Aria's Birth - Epidural Delivery
Before the birth I was practicing my natal hypnotherapy in the intervals recommended by you 2-4 times a week, then tried everyday after week 36, but I must admit however that I didn't manage to practice everyday after week 36, but I sometimes listened to the cd twice a day if I could with my aromatherapy oil burning.
My labour ended up to be quite long, 2.5 days with contractions every 15-30 minutes the first 12 hours, then every 5-15 minutes before we got admitted to the hospital after 1 day and 21 hours! I was at that point 4cm dilated.
My contractions started to get stable with 30 minutes apart Saturday at 7pm. As we where in the middle of making dinner I didn't take the time to lay down to relax or anything. I just went about as normal and sat down whenever a contraction came I along counting 3,2,1,relax and wiht the long breaks I felt that was all I needed to have the energy for the next contraction (as the cd suggested!). I went to bed that night, and put the cd in just to get a quick repetition and to be able to practice it with the actual contractions. It helped loads! I didn't sleep much that night as I found I was waking up at the peak of the contractions -this was really tiresome. So I stayed in bed for as long as I could that morning and practicing my relaxation. I think I put the cd back on too at one point.
During these first 24 hours my contractions where quite painful with alot of pains in my back, to the left and right of my lower tummy and down both my legs so I did not move around alot, but spent the day on the couch saving energy. We went to the hospital that night as my contraction came ever 5 minutes and I concentrated on taking your advise of relaxing on the way there too. Only practicing 3,2,1, relax and breathing calmly. If my back pain got too hard to handle I started to imagine breathing golden light down my back. Helped loads!
Anyway, we got monitored and examined at the hospital only to learn that I was 2cm dilated. So we got sent home and I was given a pill to take the edges of the contractions so I could sleep. I don't think I slept for that long as I was woken up by each contraction, but at this point the contractions had changed and they felt more manageable as I only had pain in my tummy and they didn't peak for a few hours with the pill. I only practiced 3,2,1,relax and breathing again.
Next day I tried to eat, but ended up in the bath. I think I was in it for 2 hours and I'm happy to say that I really managed to zone out. It was a great experience and it gave me confidence as I was starting to feel really exhausted by this point. What surprised me was how tiered I was mentally. I was starting to find it hard to concentrate on relaxing, but as soon as I gave up using the techniques, the contractions felt huge- like something out of this world! So I kept on going!! I found it nice to change environment too as I got something new to focus on.
Anders was great. We managed to try out a few techniques. What worked best for me was if he pushed my hips together and down, massage my thighs or stroking my back during the contractions where I had pain down my legs and back. Other than that we didn't do much. Maybe some stroking between contractions, but I definitely found it easiest to relax if I could only concentrate on the contractions alone.
At 4pm on Monday we called the hospital again and we got emitted at 5pm with 4cm. I managed to relax on the way there, but the contractions slowed down a bit with all the examinations and everything before we got emitted. We got given a room and a midwife and I was in no luck to get a room with a birthing pool which i had hoped for, so I was so grateful for your advise on trying not to focus on things that is out of my control and make a goal for your birth experience regardless of physical environment and scenarios you can not control. Anyway by this point I was so tired so all my goals and thoughts about how I wanted the active phase to be like was tossed out the window and I stayed in bed for most of the time to come. Only getting up if the midwife wanted to see if it could speed things up. I found it really easy to practice Natal Hypnotherapy while in bed so I felt in full control and Anders said later that he didn't think I was in pain!
I managed to breath calmly through the contractions and I felt like the time between them was more than long enough to relax. I remember practicing the turning down the dial, which to my surprise helped loads, 3,2,1,relax and I was saying, pressure, warmth, power in my head to try to imagine the contraction doing its wonders. Any way as it turned out my body was to tiered and the contractions didn't have any affect after a while. 10pm they took my water trying to speed things up. My contractions got really intense, and I must admit I didn't manage to control them at all due to a back pain that didn't go away between the contractions. I wasn't prepared for constant pain. When 11pm I was still only 5cm dilated and they wanted to put me on medicine to help my body. So I ended up totally attached to the bed with drip and epidural. Not at all what I had hoped for but i knew I could still use the techniques we had been taught. So I found I could again handle the contraction and I managed to stay calm and relax again and it was a great inspiration watching the heartbeat of my baby staying low and stable as I relaxed. I also believe that because I managed to handle the contractions again the midwife speeded things up to shorten the time before I got the urge to push. I had to stay in bed so I gave birth laying on my back, again- not at all what I wanted, but it was at the time it was for the best. I was tired mentally and physically and didn't have the strength to move about anyway. All in all I felt prepared and had a great birth experience thanks to your help and to practice the NH in the time up to birth. Even with all these changes, and the long time, I was never ever scared. I never held my breath and stopped the oxygen flow. I managed to stay calm and was able to communicate with Anders and the midwife. I also believe that I didn't get any tearing due to the fact that I wasn't scared, I listened to the midwife, took her advise and she listened to my wishes and the fact that I was breathing through every contractions so the oxygen was flowing to the part of my body that needed it. I do not think I would have gotten the positive experience that I did had I not practice nh. Even though I found it mentally tough and at some points tiresome, I have come out of this experience with a positive view of the birth of my child and I am so happy you helped me on my way. I would never have done this without your help. I'm very grateful.