I’m finally getting around to introducing my little guy and sharing his birth story for those of you who are interested!
We couldn’t be happier that he’s finally here.
If you follow me on Instagram you know…he made us wait. And wait. And wait. 12 days past his due date to be exact.
Once I passed the 41-week mark my doctor had me come in for monitoring every few days. Each time they offered to strip my membranes or schedule and induction and each time I politely declined.
I was able to go into labor naturally with my daughter (her birth story here) and I trusted that my body would do it again, in it’s own time.
Let me start out with a little disclaimer: I chose to have a medication-free delivery and thankfully, the stars aligned. My body and baby cooperated. But just because this was my choice – it doesn’t mean it has to be yours. Pregnancy and birth is beautiful no matter how it happens. I appreciate you respecting my decisions as I respect yours. What matters in the end is healthy moms and healthy babies. 🙂
Kincade’s Hypnobirthing Birth Story…
On Sunday, 12 days past my “due date” I went to the hospital to be monitored. Everything looked perfect with me and the baby but my fluid levels were borderline. My doctor’s only concern at this point was that if my fluid levels continued to decrease then I’d be at an increased risk for a c-section and she knew I’d rather have a vaginal delivery if possible.
My husband and I discussed our options and decided that we wanted to continue waiting. We would go home and drink lots of fluids and rest to be mindful of my fluid levels (I had NOT been resting up until this point. I had been walking as much as I possibly could to get things moving). We did, however, agree to her stripping my membranes because we knew we were running out of time and an induction was just around the corner. In fact, they scheduled me for an induction 3 days later so I was praying, praying, praying, that the baby would arrive on his own before then.
After our appointment that morning I started getting regular contractions around 4:00 pm. I was able to continue on through the day with focused breathing, timing them on my phone and making notes. I had dinner with my family and then relaxed on the couch for awhile, noting that the contractions continued every 4-8 minutes but they weren’t really getting closer together.
But at 10:00 pm the surges started to get stronger and longer. They were still 8 minutes apart but I was having to drop off into my “hypnobirthing relaxation” to get through them. As they continued to intensify we decided to head into the hospital. I grabbed a Kind bar for some last minute energy but couldn’t stomach it. The contractions were too strong.
(note: I’ve chosen to deliver at a hospital with both of my babies even though I plan for medication-free deliveries. I love my OBGYN and our hospital is very supportive of natural births so I have never regretted that decision.)
We checked in to the hospital at 11:00 pm and the surges continued to be strong, but spaced out enough for me to feel in control and relaxed. I was excited and thankful. Our nurses were woderful and in full support of my Hypnobirthing birth plan. They had all read my birth plan in advance so never suggested anything outside of that (epidural, pain meds, etc). They left me alone to labor and come in every hour on the hour to check the baby’s heart rate (I chose intermittent monitoring so that I would have the freedom to walk around).
I was feeling the contractions strongest in my back which was a challenge. Back labor is no joke. I labored standing while leaning forward on the bed and laying on my left side. Most of my focus and concentration went to my breath and my self-talk.
I counted my breath to keep me focused and I continually told myself that it was “just pain, the pain is not dangerous.” Giving birth is more of a mental challenge than anything. I know for a fact that if I would have let myself believe that I couldn’t do it, even for a second, then I would have given up and given in to the pain. It would have taken me over. But I kept my self-talk focused and I took it contraction by contraction, just like I did with my daughter. My husband was so encouraging and made me feel empowered and in control the whole time.
When I checked-in I was already 7 cm dilated, which was a big surprise – but also a testimony to how wonderful Hypnobirthing is. That means I labored at home until I was 7 cm dilated, which is no small feat! But thanks to my breathing & relaxation it didn’t feel that bad. A few hours after we checked-in I was 10 cm dilated and feeling a lot of pressure of the baby coming down.
Transition was just as intense as I remembered and this time my legs were shaking uncontrollably. The nurses brought me warm, heavy blankets which helped my body to calm down.
The only way to make it through transition is to remember that it’s almost over! Again, giving birth is so mental. I can’t get over how big of a role the mind plays in the process. Good thing I’m married to a mental performance coach. 🙂
As I was nearing the point of “pushing” the doctor on-call wanted to break my water to make sure there wasn’t meconium in the fluid since I was 12 days overdue. I agreed since I felt ready to breathe him down and I wanted to know he was safe.
At that point things REALLY picked up. I pushed/breathed him down (I did my own combination of something) for 6 minutes and out he came!
(note: Hypnobirthing teaches a method of “breathing the baby down” rather than the traditional pushing that is coached by doctors and nurses in the hospital. Both times I have done some combination of the two, letting my body dictate what to do.)
Kincade came out with a loud cry, opposite of his sister who was nearly silent. He was immediately placed on my chest for the first hour. We bonded with him skin-to-skin for a glorious 60 minutes before the nurses even touched him. He immediately started nursing all by himself and nursed for the entire hour. Did you know newborns can do that without any help? It’s absolutely incredible.
Kincade was 7 lbs. 6 oz., healthy, and beautiful. Thank the Lord.
Thank you SO much for all your support on this journey.
PS – If you are hoping to have a calm, anxiety-free delivery I can’t recommend Hypnobirthing enough. Even if you choose to get an epidural the relaxation skills taught in the Hypnobirthing method would be of great value. I’d start by reading THIS BOOK and then finding a coach/instructor in your area. And if you’re near Denver I can’t recommend Angie Egan enough.
PPS – Pilates is SO helpful when it comes to having a smooth delivery. If you’re currently pregnant be sure to check out my online prenatal Pilates program, Balanced Beginnings. Click here to learn more.