Baby E's Peaceful (and Very Medical) Birth

Who knew being a new mom would be so busy? I should have known the first two weeks of E sleeping all day would be gone. But it's soooooo much more fun now.

Anyway, let's go back into the past of 14 weeks ago (yikes! my little E is getting so big!) on the fateful day I had an ultrasound appointment. As it turned out, not only was E completely breech, but I had low amniotic fluid as well. We went into the hospital at one point to have her turned, but it didn't happen. The doctor at that time said he was concerned about the low amount of fluid I had, and of course, he didn't explain why he was concerned. I had to look that up for myself. I was borderline oligohydramniotic (is that even a word or did I totally make that up?), which basically means I didn't quite have low enough amniotic fluid to warrant an emergency C-Section, but I would have to go in for weekly ultrasounds until my due date. Essentially, if the amniotic fluid drops below a certain threshold, the chance that umbilical cord could get pinched off goes way up. That's because there's less fluid to hold the baby suspended, so the cord could get stuck between the wall of the uterus and the baby's appendages. Not cool, obviously, so I was a bit worried.

Also since E didn't turn over, I decided to schedule a C-Section. We were given the option to let everything happen naturally, but after we weighed the pros and cons, we went for the scheduling option. Nevertheless, I still wanted to use Hypnobabies and have a family-centered C-Section. So, I went about creating my birth preferences, which included having E with me in the OR while I was being sewn up, having her breastfeed right away, and us being allowed to video the birth, among a lot of other things. My doctor and midwife both agreed to my preferences, and they said they would do everything they could to make sure the pediatrics people would let E stay with me.

So, a couple more weeks of ultrasounds showed my fluid decreasing even further (they don't know why, but there are several theories about it) until finally, at the end of March, I went in only to be told I was now officially below the threshold, and I needed to go right away to see my midwife. The midwife was pretty concerned as well, so they did a stress test, and E was fine. When she sat me down, I was terribly nervous, but, as always, my awesome midwife calmed me down. She said she didn't want to wait until the planned C-Section three days later. She wanted to get me in as soon as possible. That could have been that night or the next morning. But since E was doing fine, she didn't see the need for an emergency C-Section. Whew!

That turned out to be a blessing. The midwife had me scheduled for the next morning with a wonderful OB at a great time, considering I couldn't eat or drink for 12 hours before the surgery. Our friend, who was going to be at the birth, couldn't actually make the original date, but she could make the new one.

Basically here is how the birth went down:

We went to the hospital at 4:30 AM, walked to the maternity floor (after I convinced the security guard in the ER that I wasn't going to give birth before we got up there), went to the room where our friend was already waiting, put the horrible hospital gown on, and got hooked up to all sorts of monitors. The nurses were amazing. Everyone was laughing and having a good time, and then the big moment came. The worst part was sitting on the table having the spinal put in. It didn't hurt at all, other than where I was prodded against my spine, but for some reason I got a huge case of the shakes (non-medically induced). That sucked, but it went away when they laid me down on the table. The brought G and our friend in, talked me through the procedure, and E was born. I might add that there was a little more to it than that, but the whole thing was amazing. The doctors explained what they were doing and when. They let G announce E's sex. I was able to have E with me the entire time (all 45 minutes of it!), and it was so nice.

I was expecting the worst after everything I'd read about C-Sections, but really, I'm so glad I didn't wait and take the chance of having an emergency C-Section. Plus, I got my sweet baby E!

Hypnobabies makes for a very peaceful pregnancy...

So, as I mentioned in my last post, Miss E was born by a scheduled C-Section. This was probably the farthest from what I was expecting, since I had planned for a completely natural birth using Hypnobabies. Here's the first part of the story:

When I first found out I was pregnant, I got on the internet to my BFF about her birth. She'd had this awesome birth story, and I hoped to have something even kind of that awesome. Turns out she had used this program called Hypnobabies. They have in-person classes along with home-study ones. Since I was in the UK, and they don't have Hypnobabies classes there as far as I could see, she said she would send me her home-study materials, and then I could do the classes on my own time.

Hypnobabies isn't just a self-hypnosis study, it's a full childbirth education course. You don't just learn how to cope with pain; you learn all about what happens during the birthing time (Hypnobabies speak for 'labor') and methods to help your body do what it's supposed to do without pain (but not necessarily without discomfort). Essentially, you put yourself into a very relaxed state, getting around the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle that is commonly discussed in childbirth classes. I absolutely loved doing the classes! I was so incredibly relaxed from the first class I did, and I stayed that way throughout the pregnancy.

In fact, people kept mentioning how calm I was, and really, I felt calm! Even when things started not going to plan, I was calm about it. I had prepared myself for such a calm natural birth, but I hadn't realized how awesome I would feel during the pregnancy too. In fact, I had lots of people ask toward the end of my pregnancy if I was just ready for the baby to come already. I never ever felt that way. True to Hypnobabies, I wanted her to come when she was ready.

Doing Hypnobabies also helped me come to peace with having a scheduled C-Section, something which I don't think I would have been okay with otherwise. But more on that next time...

Suffice it to say, I'd recommend Hypnobabies to anyone who was interested in a non-medicated birth. If for nothing else to help with relaxation during pregnancy and birth!