Audrey’s parents, Lyra and Lee Elder, were model students of Portland Hypnobabies. I am so proud of them!
Please feel free to share their story with friends and family so the world can learn how peaceful birth can be.
Audrey Pauline Elder’s Birth Story ~ 8.21.12 ~ 5:54 am ~ 7 lbs, 7 oz
We transferred our care to Andaluz Watherbirth Center Monday morning (8.20.12) at 41 weeks and 5 days, only 2 days to 42 weeks, the day our OB wanted us to induce. Our initial intake appointment at Birth Center was at 4 pm Monday afternoon, at that point I was having some “different” feeling pressure waves and I had been experiencing some new cramping sensations for the past few days.
After our appointment, my husband, Lee and I went out to Vietnamese downtown and had some spicy Pho soup and went for a walk along the waterfront. At this point, I was experiencing manageable pressure waves and we noticed they seemed to be occurring a bit more consistently, about every 20-30 minutes apart. After our walk we headed home, with a lot of excitement and anticipation of “could this really be IT? ~ finally, the day we have been waiting for these 10 long months.
Since the pressure waves were still very much manageable, I still didn’t know if this really was early birthing time or just some more consistent practice waves. I went upstairs to listen to my Birthing Day Affirmations and Baby Come Out CD to help relax myself and get some rest in case this really was IT. At about 11 pm, my husband came up to check on me and time some pressure waves while I tried to rest. At this point, they were still about 15 minutes apart but becoming increasingly more and more intense. Somewhere between 11 pm and midnight, things progressed very quickly and my pressure waves went from 15 minutes apart to about 5 minutes apart. After the PW continued at 5 minutes apart for about 30 minutes, we texted our doulas to let them know that things had progressed quickly and have been pretty consistent for the past hour.
Early Birthing Time at Home
After they continued consistently for another 30 minutes, Lee called our midwife to let her know that my pressure waves have been going on for over a few hours now and have been 4-5 minutes apart, lasting over a minute. Lee was absolutely great working with me through each and every pressure wave, using the hypno-queue words like “relax” and “peace” and “limp and loose” to help deepen my hypnosis. He kept reminding me “with each pressure wave we get that much closer to meeting Audrey” and “with each pressure wave I get 2 times more dilated.” I would turn off my light switch during each wave while listening to Early First Stage track to help deepen my hypnosis. The more intense the pressure waves were getting, the more challenging it was to stay in the “off position” so I tried “center” while standing and having Lee to the belly lift while moving my hips from side-to-side. This vertical position and movement seem to help. Lee did a great job of quickly gathering all of our stuff and taking Kenzie (our pup) outside all in between each pressure wave so he was there to support me. He was with me through each and every pressure wave, and it really helped to hear his voice and the queue words.
Heading to the Birth Center
On our way down to the birth center, I listened to the Deepening track with my ear buds and tried to stay in center. I had to experience 1 pressure wave in the car seat and it was awful! For some reason the position in the car, even with the seat totally reclined, really put more pressure on my lower back and made the pressure waves and back labor more intense. The next pressure wave, Lee stopped the car so I could be standing. Luckily, Lee was able to race to the birth center so I didn’t have to experience another pressure wave in the car.
At the Birth Center ~ Arrived at 2 am
Our midwife met us at the center and started filling up the birth tub immediately. I passed around the room a bit listening to Easy First Stage while they were getting the room set. I tried a few positions on the birth ball and on all fours on the bed with pillows but none of the positions was as helpful to reduce the pressure as the standing position. Once the tub was ready, we both got in and immediately found that an almost laying position was the best during the pressure waves. I was lying back on Lee to support me; he would help put pressure on my forehead and cold washcloths on my head and chest. That was really helpful so I didn’t overheat. The support of having him right there with me was immeasurable. He continued to reinforce my hypnosis with the queues and was always reminding me to stay “limp and loose” and that “with each pressure wave we were closer to meeting Audrey.” At one point, our midwife offered to do a check to see how far dilated I was but we decided to pass on that since we knew that could be discouraging because I sure felt like I should be getting closer to pushing and didn’t want to be discouraged if I wasn’t as far along as I expected to be. I asked for them to put the Pushing Baby Out track on because I thought that would help me get there quicker if I was listening to that. I kept telling myself “Open, open, open…. Breathe, breathe, breathe….each pressure wave we are closer to meeting Audrey.” It was important to reinforce this, as the more intense the pressure would get, it was easy to forget to breathe and relax in between the pressure waves and become “tensed” up anticipating the next one.
Transition / pushing stage ~ Audrey was born at 5:54 am (4 hours after arriving to the birth center)
At this point, all the details become really fuzzy to me since I was so deep in my hypnosis state and very much within my sub-conscious mind. Once the pushing sensation started, it was an overwhelming feeling that I just had to start pushing. At first, it didn’t feel as if it was doing anything but clearly it was since it was somewhere between 20 minutes and my baby girls head was crowning. There is no real way to describe that feeling other than very intense. Feeling down and feeling her head was amazing and gave me the last bit of energy and strength to push really hard in between pressure waves. I tried this technique to push her out between pressure waves but it was difficult to do without the added help of the pressure wave. Our midwife recommended me waiting and resting for the next pressure wave and with that we should be able to meet our baby girl. And with that very next pressure wave, we came right out. It was an incredibly surreal and emotional holding our sweet girl for the first time in the tub. She was quiet for a few seconds and then let out a sweet cry that just melted my heart. She is such a content and happy baby girl, nursing like a champ on day 1 and even letting her parents sleep in.
We are feeling so grateful and blessed that we made the decisions we did at that late stage to ensure we were able to have a completely natural, intervention-free and peaceful birth experience for our sweet daughter. I definitely attribute Hypnobabies to helping ensure we had such an amazing birth. It provided me with the “tools” to help me stay deeply relaxed, focused and in my sub-conscious. The preparation of visualizing such peaceful, natural birth experience really helped me accept and know what was happening in the moment and be completely assured that my body and baby knew what to do. It also provided my husband with the “tools” to help support me throughout our birthing time. His support was incredibly important. We’ll definitely be using hypnobabies for our next birth and will undoubtedly be at Andaluz water birth center as well.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Lyra, Lee, Audrey and Kenzie!