A few months ago I decided that it was about time for me to sit down and type Ana’s birth story, and I started it back then. Thankfully I finished it before baby #2 comes earthside!
Back in 2011, when hubby and I decided we wanted to move and were thinking on where to go to, one thing became very clear; I wanted to get pregnant and share at least part of my pregnancy with ‘MY PEOPLE’ (aka friends and family) before moving, because I knew this move was a permanent one... we weren’t coming back to Mexico.
Another thing I knew was that I was definitely having my baby naturally (without any drugs), it just made sense since I never take any medication, not even when I’m sick.
Fast forward to May 2013 when we were in the process of getting our Permanent Residency to move to Canada and we found out we were finally pregnant (it took us a bit of time for the pregnancy to happen).
I had heard about HypnoBirthing through my cousin (she had her first baby using Lamaze and her second with HypnoBirthing) and swore by it. After having a conversation with her and seeing her birth video, I didn't need anything else to make my decision, I knew I wanted to prepare for my baby's birth with HypnoBirthing.
She recommended me to wait until we were in Canada, and a bit more settled to take the class, and so we did!
On October 13th, 2013, at 24 weeks pregnant, we embarked in our journey to start our new life in Canada. A life we had no idea where it would take us!
We took the HypnoBirthing Class and listened to the relaxation and affirmations every day, sometimes even more than once. At the same time, we were anxiously looking for jobs, a new apartment, furniture, photographer, baby stuff, etc...
We felt very confident and comfortable with the birthing process.
Hubby found a job in Hammonds Plains, which felt so far away from Dartmouth (where we were living at the time) and he was on the road all the time. I remember focusing on "having to know" when labour started before he left for the day, so that he could be with me for the baby's birth, and that was exactly what happened!
If there's something I've learned from HypnoBirthing and as a Hypnotherapist is to pay attention on what you focus on, because you will attract it and that's exactly what will happen.
Anyhow, on Sunday morning/afternoon, we went to an event at the French school and I remember feeling extremely tired, so I rested in the evening.
On Monday evening, at around 8ish, I was laying on my left side on our new couch, just resting (maybe snoozing) when I suddenly felt some water/liquid leaking. I panicked a bit and started thinking if that meant that my membranes had released (aka my water had broken); so I put a pad on, grabbed our hospital bag(s) and left to the IWK.
We got to the hospital and they let me/us know that it was my water/membranes releasing, but that I was not in labour, so I should go back home. My mom at that point panicked even more, there's no way that something like that would ever happen in Mexico, they would never send you back home from the hospital if your membranes had released, so she couldn't understand why they would do such thing here. They sent me back home, after letting me know that 'I had 24 hours to be in labour or I would get induced'. Not to add any stress to my process or anything LOL
I immediately called my HypnoBirthing Educator and talked to her, I explained to her what was happening and what I had just been told, and she very calmly reminded me that all I had to do was to relax... she said:
"Everything is going to be OK, just talk to your baby and let them know that it is time for them to be born... listen to the relaxation and the affirmations and rest as much as you can! Your body knows what to do and everything will happen as it should..."
I remember her words so clearly and most of all, I remember feeling relaxed and confident again, regardless of what was happening or what I had just been told... I was able to trust my body and my baby again, and I knew that my body and my baby knew what they needed to do... I didn't need to know anything... I didn't need to do anything... just relax and trust the process...
And so we did... we left the hospital and stopped at a Subway for some food, then we went to bed. I dozed into sleep and would wake up every now and then, while listening to the relaxation and the affirmations through the night. Hubby was sound asleep through the whole process.
I woke up at some point in the morning (I'm guessing around 8 am) and let hubby and mom know it was time for them to start getting ready to go to the hospital. Then I had a shower, and I remember having at least 4 or 5 surges (HypnoBirthing word for contractions) while I was in the shower, which prompted me to think we should get going.
I still had no idea on how far along in the labour process I was, since I hadn't had a single cervical check. I also hadn't had anyone check my vitals or my baby's, and that was totally fine! I loved being at home and having the comfort of not having anyone around me. However, because I had no idea how far along I was and I knew once I got to the hospital I wouldn't be able to eat anything, I asked mom to make me a sandwich, which I ate while getting dressed. Then we headed out the door! The drive wasn't the most fun experience, but it wasn't that bad either; I kept listening to my relaxation and affirmations the whole way there.
Once we got to the IWK, we had to give our information at the front desk and went to Early Labour. There, they did a cervical check (for the first time and thankfully the last one too). That was by far (in my experience) the worst part of the whole process!
While they were doing the cervical check, the nurses started panicking and whispering between them... leaving me wondering what was going on? So I finally asked them: Will I have to be induced or what's going on? Only to learn I was 9.5 centimeters and they were panicking to bring me to the Labour and Delivery room and get the doctor there too... When I heard that, I felt relieved (I wasn't being induced!). However, they all looked very confused... and they started asking me questions like:
Where you at home all this time? You really didn't take any medication for the pain, not even a Tylenol? How did you manage it? How are you so calm?
To which I just answered we had taken the HypnoBirthing class and I was feeling great!
We went to the room and were getting ready for the baby's birth. They took some blood samples in between surges, and helped me get undressed and onto the bed (I didn't really even had time to think what position I wanted to be in for her birth).
Everyone seemed rushed and panicky, little did I know, getting to the hospital at 9.5 centimeters wasn't something they saw too often or for most of them, not something they had ever seen.
A bit over 40 minutes after we got to the hospital, our daughter Ana was born at 11:41 am weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces (pretty normal size for a Mexican baby)!
One thing I was really adamant about, was on not getting the Oxytocin shot (to release the placenta), I wanted my baby to crawl to the breast and latch on her own because I knew that would help the placenta release and had so many other benefits for her and for me. Staff were OK with my request and waited until about 40 minutes after she was born; at that time, I was asked to put the baby on the breast so that the placenta released or I would 'have to get' the shot. I chose to have baby on the breast and the placenta was released shortly after.
From there on, everything was perfect! We cuddled, I got in the shower, daddy had some skin to skin time with Ana, we got some pictures taken and a while later, we went upstairs to get settled in our room.
I can't believe it 'only' took me over 7 years to type this out, phew. Hopefully the next one won't take that long because I can't wait to share the birth story of this new little munchkin we're expecting now!
*If you want to learn more about HypnoBirthing check out my blog post or register for one of my How to Have an Amazing Birth free information sessions.