I have always wanted to be a mom. But I was terrified of actually giving birth. When I found out I was pregnant, I was fortunate to work with several women who had amazing, empowered, natural births. And I soon became determined to have a similar experience. After an incredible hypnobirthing class, lots of internet research, and a successful search for an amazing birth doula, I was so pumped and ready for labor and birth!
Well, then I went for my 38 week checkup. As my OB checked me for dilation, she said, “Uh oh Colleen, I feel feet!” Grrreeeeaaattt…..
After a quick peek with the ultrasound, she confirmed that we had a fully breech baby. My perfectly planned natural birth may not happen after all!
Fast forward to a week later. We had come to terms with the fact that our natural birth wasn’t happening. This baby wasn’t flipping over no matter how much Moxa I burned and how many inversions I did off the side of my couch. So we scheduled a c-section so that we could at least have our OB deliver our child.
The c-section was scheduled for March 29, the day before my due date. I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, so I had a plan to eat whatever I wanted the day before my daughter came into the world. On the evening of the 27th, I ate cheesecake for dessert, and it was GLORIOUS.
Three hours later my water broke.
I felt the baby MOVE and then felt like I peed myself. I woke up my husband and we reverted back to our original plan for labor. He called our doula and our doctor. I woke up my mom who had come out from Massachusetts a couple days before. We grabbed our stuff and headed to the hospital.
One of the craziest things about using hypnosis during child birth is that the time goes by really fast. Our 10 minute ride to the hospital lasted 2 minutes for me, and the next 5 hours that I labored before my c-section felt like 1 or 2.
However, I remember everything vividly, especially feeling like I was constantly peeing as I dribbled amniotic fluid everywhere. (I did not stay still at all during labor.) Labor was incredible. I felt superhuman. My husband and I worked together seamlessly as one entity. I was empowered. Goals met, sort of.
By the time they were ready for me in surgery, I was 5-6cm dilated and in an amazing mental state thanks to hypnosis. Completely relaxed and calm, I sat cross-legged on the operating table as they administered my spinal and didn’t feel a thing. My husband and our doula joined me in the OR, my husband by my head and our doula right behind me. Subconsciously I kept telling my baby that everything was ok and we couldn’t wait to see her very soon.
All of a sudden, there she was over the drape in all her gooey, smooshed glory. So perfect.
My husband went over to the warmer with her, and our doula slid into his spot by my head to hold my hand and give me the play by play of what was happening. Addison didn’t cry, (most hypnobirth babies don’t) and when my husband brought her over to me she immediately army crawled on my chest, wanting to nurse. I had to hand her back to her dad because I was afraid she’d crawl off me, and I only had one free arm.
Once I was sewn up, I held my daughter in my arms as they wheeled us into recovery. It really started to sink in that she was here and that my husband and I were parents. It was such an incredible feeling. Even though we didn’t have the natural birth we had planned for, we still had an amazing birth experience.
Originally published May 2017.