Instructor Susan May, HCHI

Anissa and Michael's Birth Story

When I first became pregnant, I did exhaustive research into birthing methods.  I knew that I wanted a birth with as few interventions as possible. Because I had successfully used hypnosis to help with problems and habits in the past, I naturally gravitated toward Hypnobabies.  It was a wonderful choice for me.  I loved time spent in class, I loved the closeness I felt with my husband when we practiced together, and I loved the hours I spent every day on my own listening to scripts and affirmations, exercising, etc.  I just knew I was going to have the 'perfect' natural birth, and I was so excited. 

Then, at 32 weeks, we did an ultrasound and discovered Cameron was breech.  My OB practice does not deliver breech babies vaginally, so I knew a breech baby at term would mean an automatic C-section.  I wasn't worried, though, as I knew there were tons of ways to turn a breech baby.  I proceeded to try them all.  I listened daily to the Hypnobabies 'Turn Your Breech Baby' cd.  I practiced various inversions and pelvic tilts.  I sat in the bathtub with frozen peas on my belly.  I made umpteen visits to the chiropractor for the Webster technique.  I visited an acupuncturist to try moxibustion and filled my apartment with smoke from the moxa stick I had my husband burn nightly by my pinky toes.   Near my vagina, we shined a flashlight, played music, and my husband talked to the baby to encourage him to turn.  At 37 weeks, the baby was still breech, and our OB recommended that we schedule a C-section for our due date.  I cried the whole way home from the appointment and doubled my efforts to make the baby turn.  I continued to visualize my beautiful, peaceful vaginal birth, but it was around this time that I realized that I might be doing myself a disservice. 

I knew nothing about C-sections, having skipped that chapter in all the books I read on childbirth and having ignored the information given about the procedure on the hospital tour.  I contacted my Hypnobabies instructor Susan May for advice, and she recommended that I research the procedure, make another just-in-case birth plan and then put it away.  I did some online research, contacted an anesthesiologist friend to talk me through the procedure, contacted the hospital's birth advisor regarding some specific questions I had, wrote a C-section birth plan, and set up an appointment with my surgeon to discuss my concerns.  I even wrote a list of C-section affirmations regarding positive alternatives to things I wanted to avoid, and I repeated them to myself several times before putting them aside and returning to my preparations for 'Plan A'. 

Then, four days before my scheduled C-section, we got a surprise.  I went to bed at midnight with no symptoms of labor other than some mild, random cramps and a lost mucus plug.  I awoke 2.5 hours later to intense birthing waves that were 2-3 minutes apart.  I woke my husband who hurriedly helped me pack my last few items in my hospital bag, got me in the car, and called our doctor. 

When we arrived at the hospital, things moved very quickly.  It was determined that I was 5 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced with the baby still in breech position.  My bag of waters broke while I was in triage, and by the time they started the C-section surgery about 30 minutes later, I was fully dilated and resisting the urge to push.  Cameron Michael was born alert and perfectly healthy at 5:02 a.m. and was breastfeeding like a champ less than one hour later. 

Although the C-section was not the birth that I envisioned, I am pleased that Cameron got to choose his birthday after all.  My Hypnobabies tools kept me relatively comfortable during the birthing waves and insertion of the spinal.   I was able to stay calm and focused as hospital staff buzzed around me thanks to my use of the finger drop technique and my time spent in center.  I credit the fact that during the surgery I had no nausea, no trouble breathing, and very little bleeding according to the nurses to the affirmations I wrote and the positive mental work that I did. 

I want to encourage other Hypnomoms that even a C-section birth can be a beautiful, calm Hypnobabies birth.  My doctors made the OR as peaceful as possible with music playing, warming blankets, and my husband there to hold my hand.  My recovery has been easy and relatively comfortable.  Cameron and I have had no issues with bonding or breastfeeding. 

My baby did know how and when to be born.  He was not born by the method I would have chosen, but in the end, it was the right choice for us.  His birth was a powerful lesson for me in being adaptive, flexible, and blooming where you're planted--a lesson that's serving me well as I make this powerful transition to motherhood.


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