Birth Stories

Daily Meditation And Hypnobreathing Helped Danielle During Her Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    We scheduled an induction at 41 weeks due to my daughter's heart rate being high in utero. Labor was induced with misoprostol (a cervical softener) and a Foley bulb. I didn't expect active labor to kick in for several hours, but after only an hour I was contracting pretty intensely. The contraction monitor wasn't showing any action, however, so I was still given Pitocin.

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    Managing the Pitocin contractions was the WORST! I had severe back labor and needed constant counter pressure with ice from my husband and doula.

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  • What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?

    I prepared with daily meditation and hypnobreathing during pregnancy.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    My body was pushing well before my midwife checked me and declared me as complete. I started involuntarily pushing moments after my nurse said I was 7 cm dilated. Transition must have last only a few minutes. My daughter was out in 3 active pushes!

  • kept repeating my mantra "all will be as it should"
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    I was able to use Nitrous Oxide during labor, which did NOTHING for the pain but helped me focus my breathing. I also kept repeating my hypnobirthing mantra "all will be as it should" in my head, which helped me remember the epidural was available if I wanted it, but I could probably manage without. At one point I asked for it, but by the time the anesthesiologist arrived, I sent him away. I just wanted to say it out loud! Finally, my birth team was amazing. My husband stroked my hair and told me stories from our life together, my doula applied consistent counter pressure, and my midwife held space in the room and encouraged me when I felt like breaking down.

  • What position did you end up delivering in?

    On my back. I was so determined to NOT push on my back but that felt the best at the time. I started out on my side, and my midwife tried to encourage me to stay that way because I was stretching nicely. In the end, however, I felt like I had better leverage laying down with my feet supported.

  • How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?

    Phenomenal. My labor was much faster than I had anticipated. The exertion of pushing her out and the relief it gave my body combined with the rush of pulling her onto my chest and feeling her against me was a complete high.

  • What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?

    Plan ahead, but don't expect everything to go to plan. My plan was an unmedicated water birth, but the Pitocin induction made it a little more difficult to achieve. I was still able to avoid an epidural (my ultimate goal) because I had practiced good breathing for months, but a little Nitrous Oxide also went a long way :)

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