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Friday, June 12, 2015

Birth Story 2015

Spencer born June 9th 2015 via VBAC.

This may be rather long as I want to address my experiences with my Doula and OB, as well as VBACing and Hypnosis for childbirth. I hope my story will help some of you make choices for your births and if you have questions please feel free to leave them in the comments!  Dr. Thompson was my OB, I will refer to him as Dr. T and I birthed at St. Francis main in Tulsa. My Doula was Amber with Better Birth Now of Tulsa.
I was in the thick of my birthing time so the timelines might be skewed a bit, but they are pretty close! 
I would birth with Dr. T a thousand times over. I cry just thinking about how wonderful he was. I would also have Amber by my side for any birth! She was a strong support system for myself and my husband.
Due to medical reasons (blood clotting disorders, GD and High blood pressure) I was induced at 39 weeks. I went into St. Francis at 7:30am, when I arrived the nurse asked me to put a gown on, I told her I would prefer my own outfit and showed her what it was, a swim suit cover up skirt and a nursing bra that unclipped all the way and allowed for fast removal, she was surprised but perfectly fine with that. 3 nurses and 6 needles later I had an IV started in the left arm and a Heplock on the right arm in case of an emergency since I was a VBAC patient. I requested that the IVs were in my arm instead of my hand or wrist so I could have wrist mobility for changing positions and the birth bar if I decided to use it. I decided to not have an Epidural, and instead used Hypnobabies to manage pain. In using Hypnobabies pain is not a word that is used, instead of contractions the words Pressure Wave are used and labor is Birth Time, pain is thought of as and called Energy. 
Pitocin was started at 2mls at 8ish (AM). My Doula Amber arrived on the scene and we were ready to rock this birth!
(The following conversations are not word for word and are paraphrased.)
Dr. T came in shortly after the pit was started and checked me, I was still the same as the previous weeks check, 2cm and 80% effaced with my cervix facing forward. He then asked me if I was sure that I didn't want my water broken, I told him that I simply didn't want that because I did not want to be put on a clock. His pager went off, he said "I am needed in the office" then he leaned against the sink countertop and got his drink and crossed his ankles and said "have we had my rules talk?" to which I said no, I was a bit worried at that moment, he smiled and said that his rules are "there are no rules", rules just make things complicated and stress everyone out. He said that he would NOT put me on a clock, he even tried to take my clock off the wall, but it was stuck, that gave everyone a laugh. He said that as long as I am healthy and the baby is doing well, he will wait as long as it takes. I then told him that I wouldn't mind my water broken as I knew it would help my labor start and hopefully lower the need for a large dose of pit,, especially since I had witnesses that he wouldn't put me on a clock "wink wink". He asked me if I was sure, he said he did not want to push me into anything or if something didn't happen the way I wanted he didn't want me to be upset that I did what he suggested vs what my original plan was. I told him I was sure. He then said that if my water is broken he would like to insert an internal monitor, to monitor uterine pressure, again my choice. He explained that the monitor is a small wire that doesn't hurt the baby, it is not the kind that goes into the baby’s head, it just sits in the uterus. He said it measures the actual intensity of contractions and allows the nurse or himself to determine how much pit is actually needed. He said the external monitor does not measure the intensity, it simply tells them how close together contractions are. He said that the internal monitor has increased his VBAC success rate to 96%, because he can tell exactly what is going on in there. He said many VBACs fail because too much or too little Pitocin is used. Too little is not effective and many doctors just give up and decide it won't work and too much leads to fetal distress and a repeat CS. That makes a great deal of sense! So I agreed to the monitor. The monitor made me feel better about the chances uterine rupture not occuring. At 9:12am he had me lay back and relax, he said the breaking of the bag wouldn't hurt because there are no nerves in the membranes, he was right, it didn't hurt, I felt it pop and that was it. Then he put the monitor in, I won't lie, it was uncomfortable. The baby had his head in the way so it was difficult to get around it, but he managed to do it. Once it was in, the discomfort was gone. I could feel it for a bit, like a tampon if you aren't used to them, then after a few minutes I couldn't feel it at all. The monitor was attached to a wire and plugged into the machine to monitor pressure waves and baby's heart rate. It was a little difficult to pee without making a mess because the wire was in the way, but once we adjusted where it was taped to my leg, it was fine. (It was just a thin little wire.)
While we waited for things to get going Amber went over my desires for my birthing time one last time, we talked about when I would go into hypnosis and what my specific cues would be so she would know that I was entering hypnosis so she could ensure that others in the room were being respectful of my pressure wave times. We also went over who would be in the room and just chit chatted about other things. She was sooooo good at keeping me distracted and calm. We decided together that it would be best if I got up on the birth ball and let gravity do some work. She also brought a chart and educated my husband on ways to help me and how to do counter pressure, hip squeezing etc.
I had some visitors during that time, so we talked and laughed, Amber kept a close eye on me and my pressure waves, I begin having some that I could feel but tolerate well, I stood up for a while because my tailbone was hurting. The pressures gradually begin to increase as I stood. 

After a couple of hours I told Amber and my hubby that I needed to "go dark", lights off and silence during pressure waves as I could feel the energy in my body building. I was using a portable CD player and ear buds to focus on hypnosis.

Again, I am not sure of exact timelines, but around noon my internal monitor fell out, so the nurse had to put it back in, at that point she went ahead and checked me. I was 5cm and 80% effaced. At this point my visitors had left the room to eat and visit, my dear friend came up on her lunch break a little before 1pm and we visited a few minutes, I had a few pressure waves while she was there but was able to visit with her and talk and laugh.   I had some strong pressure waves (contractions), I was able to quickly and easily enter hypnosis and breathe through them with peace. I sat up on the bed and then got on all fours during pressure waves. During a part of this time Amber got up on the bed with me and did some counter pressure things and showed my hubby what to do and had him climb up and do it. She also made sure I had a heat pack on my tailbone and kept track of it and my CD player that I kept moving around.  I did that a few times and then decided to try my left side with the peanut ball because my legs were tired of the way I was sitting on them, the first couple of waves while laying down were intense and my body was bearing down during them, I thought that was kind of odd and was a little concerned I might poop on the bed, I didn’t but I was thinking about that and cursing myself for eating grapes before bed last night (little did I know it was the baby). The baby didn't like my left side so my nurse flipped me to my right, baby liked that better for a few minutes but not long. My body again was bearing down. The last 2 waves I had while on my side made me grunt and bear down hard, so I told the nurse, she checked me and I was a stretchy 6. She had observed me bearing down, after checking me, then she had me sit back up as baby didn't like me being on my sides. I needed to pee and pressure waves made that sensation worse so there were a couple of times in this that Amber brought me a towel or bed pad and let me just sit there and pee on it, child birth is rather gross. Amber wasn’t fazed though and assured me it was okay and important that I was comfortable.  I continued to have pressure waves and after a few waves the nurse decided to check me again because I was getting quite “pushy” feeling, I was a stretchy 7 and baby was still a -1 (high). She said she could tell it wouldn't be long though. She called Dr. T to come. She had already set up for birth at some point, I remember during a pressure wave opening my eyes and seeing her unwrap a big silver bowl and she told me it was for my placenta.  I kneeled at the end of the bed and the next wave had me grabbing Amber in a giant hug and my hubby too. I think he thought I might break his neck!! I bore down hard and made some sort of grunting noise, the next 2 or 3 pressure waves were the same, I knew I was pushing and something was happening. I remember saying "this is the point where I say I can't do this anymore" I was however able to stay calm and in hypnosis during that time. Amber made sure I had my ear buds and CD player handy at all times.
As I waited for Dr. T to come I continued to have intense pressure waves and was pushing down, I continued to squeeze Amber and my hubby, I at this point was focusing on my Hypnobabies and Ambers arms holding me up, I am so thankful she was there! She held me tight and was a pillar of strength for me to continue. I remember really liking the texture of her shirt, odd to remember that, but it is a part of my memory!
During pressure waves I knew something was happening, but I knew that just a few moments ago I was only a 7 so I wasn’t sure what was going on. The nurse wanted to check me again and asked me to lay back when I could, I was trying so hard to lay back for her, but I just simply could not move. About 2 pressure waves later Dr. T came in the room and told me the baby’s heart rate was lowering and he needed to check me now, that motivated me and I laid back as fast as I could with the help of my hubby and Amber. I was shocked at his next words, he barely inserted a finger and said “the head is right there, break down the bed, Jen sit up”, the next 30 seconds or so were slightly funny and distracted me for a moment. He was in a HUGE hurry to get gowned up, the baby was coming fast, I remember thinking “he doesn’t think he is going to get gowned and gloved in time” Dr. T was making extreme eye contact with me while barking orders, (OMG I adore that side of him) and glancing down to check the head situation. Then a pressure wave hit and I was pushing so hard, at that point Dr. T asked me to lie back and they sat the bed up in a sitting position and propped my legs up. At this point Amber, knowing I didn’t want to push lying down asked me if I was okay with the position they were putting me and surprisingly I was. I was so glad that Amber remembered my birth plan and was ensuring it was followed or that I was okay with the changes. Dr. T then told me to listen to his instructions because he would tell me how hard or easy to push so I lowered my chance of tearing. I wanted my push time to be body led, but I was fine with him coaching me and I also knew with the baby’s heart rate not being awesome I needed to get him out pretty soon.
I was in the bed but in a very upright sitting position with the end of the bed removed, I felt like I was going to fall off the bed, but I was assured that no one would let me fall. I do not recall how long I pushed or how many times I pushed, I know it could not have been long because he was born at 2:02pm and I was still on my side at 1:30! Dr. T asked me to give a push so I did, there was not anyone else telling me to push or saying anything for which I am glad as that was part of my birthplan. I did not want a lot of noise and people telling me anything. I wanted to focus. With Dr. Ts help in pushing I can honestly say it was a VERY gentle birthing experience.
He told me to push harder or not so much, he used a very gentle yet firm tone of voice, I was trying to get the top of the baby’s head out and so he wanted me to push without stopping, I was trying but needed to catch my breath, so I had to stop for a few seconds to breathe. There were a couple of times that I felt like I could not keep going, the pressure and energy was very intense and this time I felt the “ring of fire”, during those couple of times I looked over at Amber and while I am sure she said something to me I don’t recall any words, I only recall making eye contact and her touch and that encouraged me and reminded me that I COULD do this, we were almost there! I made some low animal type grunting sounds; my body just did that on its own. Dr. T asked me to reach down and so I did and I felt the top of my baby’s head! Dr. T tried to get me to position my hands to catch the baby but I just did not want to, I was petrified I would drop him so I declined. (I was also offered a mirror)  A few big pushes and suddenly Dr. T was telling me to stop, the head had come out! I looked down and there was a hand waving at me, Dr. T had asked me to stop because the hand delivered with the shoulder and he needed to ease the baby out. Once his shoulders were out the rest of him just slid right out, I saw his boy parts and my husband and I were all “IT’S A BOY!?” we were team green but felt girl the whole time so we were a bit shocked, anyway he was suctioned by Dr. T quickly and placed on my chest. I wore a nursing bra that allowed me to unstrap and have full skin exposure. I held him for a bit while they stitched me up, I was allowing him to do the head bob and find my breast on his own, but he was a little lazy so it took awhile! I finally helped him out a bit.
After he came out I still had a lot of pressure and a few minutes later Dr. T told me he was waiting on the placenta, I had forgotten about that. He said no rush, it’ll come when it’s ready. And a few seconds later I pushed and it plopped out, to me the placenta feels like a ball of jelly coming out. It doesn’t hurt and is immediate relief. I tore a tiny bit and had one stitch, I didn’t feel the stitch at all, Dr. T whipped it in and was done. The nurses cleaning me up hurt me a bit but it was over quickly. Dr. T told me I did a great job, I told him he did too, then he was off to the office again.  I held baby for about an hour and then they took him to weigh, get cleaned and assessed. I cleaned up and was transferred to the PP unit.
My story may not paint a great picture of my doctor and doula, but I will say that without them my birth would not have been as wonderful! My birth time was very peaceful, quiet and smooth. It was everything I could have wanted in a birth experience. Hypnobabies allowed me to really focus within.
Dr. Ts bedside manner was amazing, he was very patient and talked me through every single thing he was doing or that I needed to do, I was very impressed at his ability to go from chill laid back Dr. T to taking charge of the room and getting my baby out safely, moving fast and even getting there as fast as he did, all while keeping me focused and informed. Dr. T has a reputation with the nurses for being an amazing surgeon, and liking surgery! Despite that his reputation is that he is not CS pushy, he would prefer moms have vaginal births if they desire.  He will do everything in his power to ensure VBAC success.
My Doula, Amber, was with me every moment, she had the perfect ability to talk to me when I needed it, to stay quiet and still, to hold me, to do everything I needed in the moment I needed it without me having to ask. I was so happy with her, she is amazing, especially when she not only encouraged me to go ahead and pee on a towel in the bed, but she stood by me and then took care of my mess. Childbirth is a bit gross and she kept all the grossness away from me. Amber was also new to Dr. Ts world, but he treated her with respect and seemed to really like her, he addressed her while he was talking to me about things, even in the office, and he let her do whatever she needed to do to keep me focused and on task. I sincerely hope they work together a LOT in the future!
Amber also reviewed all my hypnosis material weeks before and educated herself on exactly what I was doing. She had a couple of visits with me and came to an OB apt as well. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive Doula! My hubby really loved her and he was able to relax and let her tell him what to do, he was very grateful!
The world is now blessed with one more amazing boy!
Please ask any questions you may have!

Below is the timeline from Amber:
8:38am-Started Pitocin @ 2
9:10-Dr. T checked you, you were 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced...started discussing having your water broke.
9:12-Water was broke
9:40-1 min long pressure waves, 5 min apart
9:50-Bathroom/Pitocin @ 4
9:52-Stayed standing and out of bed 
10:09-Pitocin @ 6
10:42-Your pressure waves were almost hitting a 90 on the monitor
10:43-Had some Cranberry juice, felt like your blood sugars were low
10:44-Pitocin @ 8
11:30-Pitocin @ 10
11:52-Room went dark-Started Hypnobabies
1:15pm-Stretchy 6cm, almost 7
1:30pm-Brought in bed and supplies for labor
1:34pm-Switched to right side w/ peanut ball
2:30pm-First latch


  1. Thank you for sharing! I am 35 weeks today and planning a home birth. When you say "hypnobabies" what exactly do you mean? Is it a specific track that you listened to? I'm very interested in hypno birth, just don't know where to start with it. Thank you!

    1. Hypnobabies is a set of CDs you listen to on a schedule. You can buy from their website directly or off ebay. You'll pay $100-$175 on ebay for the 6th edition, but it is easily re-sellable for what you pay for it. Make sure you get a set with a workbook. On ebay don't buy from zero feedback people from out of the country, they are likely bootlegged copies.
      Just search for hypnobies and it'll pop up. You need to start ASAP though as you are already 35 weeks!