Guess date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009, first baby
Avery Catherine, 6 lbs. 5 oz., 20 in., born Thursday, March 26 at 1:31 p.m. Active birthing time began Wednesday, March 25 around 2 a.m.
The very moment I put my headphones on and listened to the Birth Guide CD when it was time to leave for the hospital, I was SO relaxed and comfortable. The midwife checked upon arrival and I was 6 centimeters and waters still intact! YES! What a great feeling. I was so happy and this carried me through the next seven hours until I was complete. I didn’t even know I was in transition. It was just more intense but I wasn’t aware of any particular shift. Just overjoyed to hear I was complete. I felt SO great and my husband and doula worked so well to keep me hydrated and encouraged. The nurses were wonderful and respected my birth plan. It was actually our midwife, who, while she does have a great bedside manner, and was extremely encouraging when I needed her to be, was also all about the “standard of care” and bossed the nurses around too much for my liking. You just never know. But I was allowed to move around even though the midwife was making my sweet nurse follow me around with the monitor to check the baby’s heart rate. But at least she was able to follow me and I didn’t have to lie down. It was tough on the nurse, I know, but she always found a strong beat, which I have to say, was comforting even though I wanted that monitor off me.
Let me just say a word on doulas. Hire one if at all possible and if she doesn’t know Hypnobabies, train her. Find someone who is willing to learn. I relied mostly on my husband for physical support during the birthing waves, and all he had to say was “relax” or “release” to get me through, but it was my doula who I remember turning to most during transition and pushing. At that point I needed someone who had been through it and believed in her own body in order to maintain focus. My husband was getting a bit anxious and was asking a lot of questions, and our doula was incredibly supportive during this time.
BOP needed NOW. Skip these next two paragraphs if you want. It’s not important to the overall success I had with the program, and I will preface it by saying that the more intense things became, the more Hypnobabies kicked in. And I was only a C+ home study student!
** I honestly thought we’d have the baby by 10:30 a.m. or so. Boy, this little girl took patience to a whole new level. I pushed for four hours, which was certainly no one’s plan, and in the end my body was clearly giving out. Yet in the end, everything was so worth it. I can’t say why I had to push for so long. My pelvis is obviously quite small since Avery was just 6 lbs., 5 oz. and really seemed stuck, and I did have a substantial tear when she was born at 1:31 p.m. (Even though I know plenty of small women who push much larger babies right through.) But I had no idea I’d even torn, and held and loved on my baby while I got stitched up. Also, the midwife had right away guided the placenta right out and I barely felt it. I am healing so well from the tear and have had a virtually pain-free recovery.
Just two thoughts on this: DO YOUR SQUATS. If I’d been physically able to stay squatting for longer (and if the hospital had had a squat bar like they should have), I think we’d have had our baby sooner. Also, don’t delay listening to your Pushing Baby Out track. I never really had a chance to listen to it since I was saving it for Birth Day, and by the time I needed it I couldn’t get my headphones to stay in. At that point I just needed my doula to give me the cues, and she did. Chiropractic care earlier also may have helped get my pelvis in better alignment. I will definitely be going earlier next pregnancy.**
Avery was SO alert and peaceful at birth. There are no words to describe how amazing it was to see her for the first time so I won’t even try. She scored 8 out of 10 on Apgar at one minute old, and 9 out of 10 at 5 minutes.
In the days after Avery’s birth, Kerry’s sweet voice continued to echo in my ears. The voice of an angel who helped us have the very birth we dreamed of.