That day was very cold in Jacksonville, Florida, unlike a normal day for us. My husband and I went for several walks throughout the day to assist in moving my surges along. My surges were about every 15 minutes for most of the day. Into the evening, my surges were becoming stronger and more frequent. It wasn’t until close to midnight that my surges were ranging between 4-7 minutes apart. We decided to go to the hospital and arrived around 1:30 am on Saturday, January 4th.
Upon arrival to Baptist South Hospital, I was taken to triage. Unfortunately, my temperature was a 99.5, which put me and baby at risk for potential infection. And unfortunately I was only dilated 2cm…after 18 hours of what I thought was “laboring” at home! I was immediately admitted into my room. By 2 am, my doctor called me to discuss our plan. It was very clear that I wanted as much as a natural birth as possible, as directed on my birth plan. However, the doctor wanted to start an antibiotic to protect me and baby from infection and also wanted to start pitocin. After a long and debating discussion, I agreed to have my antibiotic start at 3 am and the pitocin at 4 am. The doctor said he started his rounds at the hospital around 8 am, in which he would see me then, but he said more than likely we were looking at another 8-10 hours before giving birth, based on my slow progression.
So at 4 am, the pitocin drip started. The nurse said it would take about 30 minutes to “kick in.” Well, by 4:20 am, let’s just say the pitocin was “kicking in.” My surges were coming on stronger and faster now. I turned my HypnoBirthing sessions on and labored for one hour on my left side and another hour on my right side using the peanut ball. The nurse checked me and I was now between 4-5 cm dilated. My body was responding well to the pitocin! Around 7 am, there was a staff change, so I was assigned a new nurse. At this time, I changed positions, squatting on the bedside and leaning on my husband while he applied pressure to my lower back. This lasted for about an hour. The pain was really coming on strong now.
My husband, who was doing so good reminding me to breathe and relax, suggested I sit on the rocking chair in the room. My surges were extreme at this point and all I could do was breathe to get through the pain. What I did not know was that while on the rocking chair, I was in the “transition phase” for delivery. I have never experienced that kind of pain before and had to move back to the bed. The nurse checked me and I was now between 8-9 cm dilated. Baby was almost here!
The nurse asked if I wanted to try some guided pushes and I responded with “whatever would get baby out the quickest.” So, we did two guided pushes, which involved three 10-second pushes. This worked well. She said, “your doctor is right outside and I am going to call him in…you are going to birth your baby!” The doctor came in and did another two rounds of guided pushes and our son arrived.
He was immediately placed skin to skin on my chest. He was so very alert with his eyes wide open and staring right at me. The doctor continued to prepare my cord blood. Within minutes I delivered my placenta and the doctor started stitching me up.
Here is the cool part…the doctor, who is the lead physician of the practice was so impressed with my naturally delivery. He asked, “so what is this HypnoBirthing thing all about?” I told him all about it. I later found out that he told all the nurses on the floor about me and how good I did!
One thing I want to add to this whole experience is the importance of your spouse or loved one attending the HypnoBirthing classes. I could not have done it without my Husband. At times when I thought he wasn’t paying attention in class, he remembered every detail and ensured I used all techniques during my delivery. He truly was the best fill-in Doula!
HypnoBirthing has taught me the fundamentals of using your breathing to control extreme situations. This technique can truly be used on a daily basis for the rest of your life, even for simple relaxation.
~ Alicia Zoya