Calvin is Born: Medication-free Labor with Hypnobabies
I met Elizabeth Harton 4 years ago at a friend’s birthday party in Los Angeles, California. Elizabeth moved away to Coppell, Texas but we remained friends through social media. Shortly after I shared my positive natural birth experience with hypnobabies, Elizabeth became pregnant. She was inspired to try the program after doing her own research and reading testimonials such as mine. I’m grateful such simple connections can occasionally spark meaningful experiences that last a lifetime. Below is Elizabeth’s labor story in her own words:
For nine months you dream what your baby will look like, hope and plan how the birth will go, and how your life will change once the baby arrives.
I share my birth story because it really was the best day of my life and I want to remember it. The details I share aren’t to make claim that my birth plan was superior in any way because really it’s not our plan, it’s the Lords.
He allows our babies to come to us in whatever means necessary. I am very happy he allowed me to experience this though.
Friday night I went to the hospital for the second time thinking I was in labor five days before my due date (first time mom, lol). Unfortunately, it was just Braxton Hicks. Gosh, those things are tricky!
Finally after feeling contractions all weekend and barely sleeping Sunday night I told my husband, Matt, “You are taking me to my doctor tomorrow morning, something HAS to be happening.”
I was in luck, 4 centimeters dialated and 100% effaced on Monday morning. My doctor told me we could speed things up by walking around so we went to the mall and walked for an hour enjoying the sights and ate lunch. I even got a bag of candy for a congratulatory post birth snack for myself! We arrived at the hospital at 1:30pm and I was checked into my room. My birth plan included the use of the Hypnobabies method (a drug free, natural birth using associations and deep breathing to create a more peaceful birth experience). I continued to dilate and felt comfortable the whole day listening to my birthing tracks with my husband by my side helping me onto my birthing ball and massaging my back. By 8:30pm, I was at 6cm but my water had still not broken. My doctor asked if I wanted her to manually break my water. She was so respectful and open to what I wanted for my birth. In hopes to speed up my labor I agreed. Promptly, an anesthesiologist came in and asked if I wanted the epidural because the contractions (birthing waves in Hypnobabies terms) would get much more intense. I said “no” and he gave me a look as if to say, “yeah, sure. I’ll see you in an hour”. But he didn’t. Once my water was broken I began to progress 7cm, 8cm, and I threw up from the purple popsicle I had earlier…
Finally I was in transition. I felt the baby moving down my birth canal and I felt so much relief that he would be here soon.
Like everyone said this was the most intense part of my labor. With the support of my husband, months of preparation using Hypnobabies, and the strength from the Lord I felt ready. My wonderful nurse suggested I get in the shower to relax as I had been at 8cm for an hour. The shower was MAGIC. My birthing waves were really strong by this point, but my husband sprayed my back with the shower head and helped me refocus. I stayed in the shower for about 45 minutes. I was in the most comfortable position I had been in and didn’t think I could leave. But Matt stepped up when I needed him to and said, ” You can’t have a baby in the shower after the next wave your standing up and drying off”.
He then proceeded to dry me, help me dress, and walk me back to the room. He had such a servant heart this whole day and I couldn’t have done it without him. Our bond was strengthened to a new level.
After I was back from the shower I began feeling the need to bear down. The nurse came in but I was still only 9.5cm dilated. She told me to try not to push too hard, but it was very difficult. I tried several positions: sitting on my birthing ball, laying down, and standing as I had most of my labor. Finally after an hour I reached 10cm and I was overjoyed to get ready to push. A second wave of energy came over me. The room silenced, my doctor came in and dressed in her ‘serious’ delivery outfit. Matt and I later cracked jokes that the room suddenly filled with double the occupancy.
Pushing was not easy, the amount of energy required was more than any workout I had ever done at this point.
What made it more difficult was that I was only comfortable laying down, which is against gravity, then my doctor put a mirror in front of me and had me feel. There he was! A little squishy head just waiting to breathe and enter the world! A silent prayer was said and with a few more pushes he was here.
Calvin Carter Harton was brought into the world through me by the gracious Lord. We waited a few moments to hear him cry while his throat and nasal passages were cleared. Then we heard it. The most beautiful cry, that somehow I always knew. Matt yelled, “he’s huge!!!” He brought him over to me and laid him on my chest. For about two hours after I held him.
After a miscarriage, nine months of pregnancy that seemed to drag towards the end, and 16 hours of labor my life was changed forever in just an instant.
I am so thankful for the experience I was given and will never take it for granted that it went well. To all of the mommies out there I pray you have a wonderful birth no matter how it happens. While using Hypnobabies I was amazed that I never felt pain- only intense pressure! It made the whole day so manageable and I never felt that I needed an epidural. It felt so empowering to have control and feeling during such a momentous event. Hypnobabies is an amazing preparation tool if you are interested in a natural birth.
Calvin Carter Harton
My Rainbow baby
7lbs 13oz 20.5 in
About the mother: Elizabeth Harton is a behavior analyst practicing with children with Autism. She typically finds medical information via the Internet through Google searches or medical journal articles. She can be reached via Facebook.
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