"Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go."
-Fred Rogers

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Birth of Lottie Rose

I just received this birth story from one of my HypnoBirthing moms. Below is the birth story of Lottie, through her mom's eyes:

Our second child, Charlotte “Lottie” Rose was born on May 24th weighing 7lbs 15oz and 21 inches long. The techniques that I learned in Hypnobirthing helped me long before Lottie’s birthing day. After finding out that Lottie was in breech position, I contacted Tricia and sought her help in getting Lottie to turn. She referred me to a spectacular chiropractor, and told me to visualize the baby turning at night while listening to Rainbow Relaxation. Shortly thereafter, I went into preterm labor at 34 weeks, twice. However, at the hospital during my preterm labor, I listened to Rainbow Relaxation and the affirmations and visualized Charlotte turning head down. My husband told me several times that despite the fact we were facing a potential pre-term birth and C-section, that I was incredibly calm and composed. I attribute this to the confidence that I had in our hypnobirthing plan and my continued use of the techniques. Amazingly, while we were at the hospital Lottie went from breech to transverse, then 45 minutes later, turned to head down. I was elated! I was even more thrilled in the coming weeks when early labor stayed at bay and Lottie’s due date approached.

For almost two weeks, I had extended periods of surges which would be 2-3 minutes apart. I knew that I was 4 cm already and finally, on a Sunday, the surges lasted all morning and afternoon and grew stronger. Around 5pm, we departed for the hospital, and I was admitted right away, but was disappointed to learn that I was still only dilated 4cm. I stayed overnight, listened to Rainbow all night, continued to have surges, but progressed to just 5cm 18 hours later. By 8am on Monday, my surges had stalled out completely. At that point my husband and I began to use the Red Balloon visualization, and several other suggested hypnobirthing methods to get labor going again, but to no avail. My doctor presented a few different options for re-starting labor; neither of which I was thrilled with. I could either start a pitocin drip or have my water broken. We asked if we could just go home, but were told that because I was dilated 5cm, there were risks which included having a prolapsed cord. After my husband and I discussed it, I allowed my doctor to break my water. This went against my better judgment, since with my first child the breaking of my water led to incredibly strong surges very quickly. History repeated itself and my surges returned with vigorous intensity, hard and fast. I was able to relax and breathe through them for an hour and a half. At 7 cm, I opted for an epidural because the surges were just too strong for me to tolerate.

Because I got the epidural so late, it wasn’t as effective as I thought it would be. Still able very much to feel surges and the pressure as Lottie moved down the birth path, I breathed her down and through the surges. During the last phase of labor, Lottie’s heart rate began to drop. Consequently, I received an episiotomy to expedite her birth and prevent the need for an emergency c-section. After another hour and a half of labor, our beautiful daughter was born. She nursed right away and has been a wonderful, mild mannered baby. She sleeps well, nurses regularly, and is gaining weight.

Although Lottie’s birth didn’t go exactly as I had planned, hypnobirthing enabled me to be calm and ready for the unexpected during labor. I didn’t plan to get an epidural and I certainly didn’t want an episiotomy, but I just kept telling myself that I could handle any turn that my birthing would take, and I did. Both my pregnancy and birth experience were enhanced through hypnobirthing. I believe that because of hypnobirthing, my daughter moved out of her breech position, and the pre-term labor was warded off. I have her health and full-term birth to be grateful for.

And this is why I think HypnoBirthing is such a helpful childbirth philosophy and method.  It is not about birthing unmedicated or with an epidural, vaginally or by c-section.  It's about how we handle the labor we are given.  Nobody can predict what nature will give us, but we each have the power to decide how we will react to the "hand we're dealt".  HypnoBirthing teaches moms how to "calmly take whatever path their birthing will take."

Congratulations to the family of Lottie Rose!!