As a Registered Nurse, Danielle, a first time mom, went to her midwife for guidance on how best to prepare for a natural birth. Her midwife recommended Hypnobirthing. Not only did Danielle change her mindset and add more tools, but her husband gathered confidence in creating a safe space for her to labor at home and in the hospital. With the use of a doula to keep the two of the connected, little Wesley’s experience was simple, straightforward and only 6 pushes! Danielle said, ”People always say, mind over matter. Every time my mind would try to tell me I was in pain, I’d remind myself that it was pressure.” Moaning through the hospital walls with an eye mask and noise cancelling headphones makes for a fun picture of this birth!
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– I’m Danielle.
– And I’m Jason.
– I am a registered nurse.
– And I do corporate event planning.
– The reason I wanted to do a natural birth was just to prove to myself I guess that I could do it. I asked my midwife, at one of our first appointments what the best class to take would be, for a natural childbirth. And she recommended Hypnobirthing. So, I had my doctor’s appointment at 41 weeks. I was two centimeters dilated and 75% effaced. So, we went ahead and got the membrane sweep because we thought that would get things moving along. The midwife was very excited and she said that she expected to see us in the next 48 hours at the hospital. I definitely felt more pressure after that.
The next morning I woke up at about five a.m.. It wasn’t a Braxton Hicks and I could definitely tell that the tightening was a little bit different. I really wanted to tell Jason right away but I thought about, okay well maybe I could just wait for him to go to work and call him back later when things pick up a little bit more. But I was having contractions about every four to five minutes so, I was pretty uncomfortable. So, I got out of bed, went over into his side of the bed and laid with him and he could feel my stomach tightening.
So, he just knew right away and he kinda said to me he’s like, oh this is it, huh? And I’m like, yep it’s happening. So, he stayed home, earlier on I was trying to stay in bed and trying to sleep as much as I could. Petting our dog to keep my muscles relaxed while Jason made breakfast, got snacks ready, made some electrolyte drink for me. And then the contractions never got further apart they pretty much stayed consistently about four to five minutes apart.
– I was freaking out so I called our doula at probably noon. She basically said, keep me updated, you know she’s not in active labor, so. And then she came over probably 2:00 as I was losing my mind, so I needed some help. So, we kinda just used the exercise ball. The position for me that I loved was like on my knees with my arms over the exercise ball just kind of, I called it wagging my tail. I would kinda just swish my hips around. And do like cat and cow and that really seemed to help. And that’s the position that I did not like during class. I was very surprised by that. So, around 4:30.
– Right after we went on our walk.
– Yeah, things were still kind of like.
– It was staying pretty consistent, so.
– Yeah, it was pretty consistent so Heather suggested that we go on a walk. So, we took a couple laps around the complex and I was resting on trees during my contractions and resting on Jason if there wasn’t a tree. But once we came back up that’s when the shift really happened. So, they were getting significantly more intense
– Yeah, so we were just trying to keep everything calm.
– Yeah, we had the lights dimmed, fireplace on, diffuser going, music playing, soft music.
– Trying to wait out rush hour basically going to the hospital.
– Yeah, this is where things get a little fuzzier for me. Basically, Heather was kinda asking like, well we can go whenever you feel like it. So, I was like okay, didn’t I stay like three more contractions?
– Yeah, just sort of planned out a few more.
– Yep, we kinda started getting, well they started getting things set up for us to go to the hospital. And then, we got to the hospital, I had my 40 Blinks on, my noise canceling headphones on in the car.
– And I did get lost on the way. My navigation decided to send me to the wrong hospital. I don’t know why, but she has no idea about that.
– I felt a stop when I was, I was like, why aren’t we getting out of the car? And then we started going again so, after the fact was like, oh that’s what was happening during that time. Then he gets the wheelchair for me and is wheeling me and I can only imagine what the people in the hospital were thinking because I had my headphones on, my eye mask on, just groaning, just all through the hospital while he was pushing me.
– With a blanket over her, you couldn’t see she was pregnant.
– You had no idea I was pregnant I was just yelling through the hospital.
– But then we got into triage, we were in triage for hours.
– Two hours.
– I definitely, things were more clear in triage ’cause everything just kinda slowed down for me. And as soon as we went in I had my eye mask on and everything and Jason was like okay, t.v. needs to go off, lights need to go down, people need to be quiet.
– The nurse kinda looked at me all sideways, what, what do ya mean? So, it happened .
– And then they decided to admit me, I was at five centimeters?
– Five or six.
– Five, I think it’s five. So, then we went to our room, then I was on my side for a while. I had the peanut ball ’cause I was hooked up to the monitors just to make sure everything was okay. And then I started to get a little bit discouraged after like four hours or so. I think he could tell ’cause he got into bed with me behind me and then he was sleeping in between the contractions. I turned to him and I said like, I can’t do it.
– And I was just confused, I was like you can’t do what? But then our doula was over the shoulder basically saying, you’ve been doing it. So, I was like, you’ve been doing it. So, she just spoke through me, it was beautiful.
– Yeah, basically the whole, like while we were here I remember Heather and everything that she was doing, at the hospital she was just basically coaching Jason to say and do all of the right things.
– So, I did great.
– So, he was just perfect the whole time. So, Heather suggested, oh why don’t we get you checked and see where you’re at ’cause she had a feeling I was pretty far along so, they checked me and they said that I was at nine centimeters. The midwife said I would be pushing in about two hours. Which I was like, super excited hearing nine centimeters and then super not excited to hear two more hours ’cause I thought like, ten minutes we should be done here. I just needed kinda a change of pace after that. So, I went to the bathroom, I was in there for a couple contractions and kind of let Jason know I was feeling a little bit trapped being on my side. So, he came out and told the nurse and Heather. She wants to go back to the all fours on the exercise ball so they stripped the linen, got the exercise ball like, completely switched everything out for us. Then when I came out I was feeling much, much better.
– So, you were working for a little and then all of a sudden you started feeling the urge to push really, really hard. And you kinda communicated that.
– Yeah, but I also had to pee before that. So, I went to the bathroom again and had a couple contractions to the point where the nurse came in and she was like, you need to get out of that bathroom and back to the bed on the next contraction. She didn’t want toilet baby. Then contractions very, very close together. Exercise ball, I just remember it disappearing, and I was kinda like this on the back of the bed. Almost like bending down with each contraction. Heather suggested I get checked again so, I got checked again and the nurse said I was at 10 centimeters and I could push. So, I just kept pushing so it was such a contrast from the whole time throughout labor like just trying to relax as much as I could. I kept wanting to grab onto the side rail, to the blanket, to a bunch of things. And Jason would just kinda just touch my hand which would remind me like okay, just chill be relaxed. And then when I was at 10 centimeters the nurse was like okay you can push. So, when I started pushing I was like, oh my gosh, this is what I’d been wanting to do this whole time. So, it felt amazing to finally start pushing. Basically, when I was pushing my head was in between the pillows so, I wasn’t getting very good oxygen which was showing in the monitoring strip. So, the nurse literally just put the oxygen mask in between the pillows right where my head was before. So, she said in between each contraction just put your face there and I was like, okay. And I heard Heather saying deep breaths for Leslie on the outside. Probably about six pushes or so?
– The whole time the nurse was trying to page the midwife and she would be like, oh, I’ll be right there. But I don’t think she took it quite as seriously as she may have.
– I was really, really pushing. I remember feeling like, he’s getting much, much lower and then I just feel a pop and then I hear people say, okay his heads out and then I guess that’s when the midwife came in.
– Yeah, and she was diving through her gown and then she hadn’t gotten her gloves on and then it was the final push.
– Everyone was telling me to wait and hold on but I was done hearing them at all. And then Jason told me to gasp.
– Yeah, something like that, I don’t know. I must’ve heard it somewhere.
– So, I did that and I kind of understood what he was asking me to do, so I did hold off a little bit. But then I pushed one more time and I felt his shoulders kind of pop out. I kept wanting to turn around ’cause I just wanted to hold my baby but they were like okay be careful. Don’t get tangled in the cord and they had to facilitate me to turn safely.
– It was like Twister, passing him through the legs.
– Yeah. Make sure he doesn’t get all tangled up. They had to, his cord was around his neck, right?
– His neck and his wrist.
– So, it was around his arm twice and his neck once. So, they had to undo that, then they finally put him on me and it was just crazy like nine months of this baby inside me and then 24 hours of labor and he’s here, like right on top of me. It was just like, you can’t even describe the feeling of it.
– Meanwhile, I’m useless, I’m just bawling my eyes out ’cause my baby just got here.
– I looked at him and I said like, we did it. My favorite tool was definitely the doula. We had Heather Taylor and she was awesome. She was visible when I needed her to be visible, just like know she was there but then she knew exactly when to stand back and kind of speak through Jason. So, Jason was saying the perfect things. Taking the class definitely kind of got rid of any fear that might have been there. And you have to take the class, and you have to do more than just take the class you have to actually do what the class is teaching you.
– And believe it.
– Yeah, you have to believe in what the class is teaching you and you have to do the affirmations and all the stuff that goes along with it. Exercise ball, was my favorite, I loved it.
– Noise canceling headphones.
– Noise canceling headphones, were super helpful. And the 40 Blinks ‘specially going into the hospital because you bypass all those bright lights and all the sounds and your not worried about people watching you groan through the hospital ’cause your just blind to it all.
– I guess just using everything at your disposal like that. Rolling in in a wheelchair make it so you can have the headphones and the 40 Blinks on.
– Just planning ahead and making sure you kind of have your game plan for getting into the hospital.
– What advice for parents? Before it’s all about communication, knowing each other. You can’t support your partner if you don’t know their needs.
– I feel like communicating afterwards is really important too though because like, even non-verbal communication. Making sure that you’re letting your partner know like, hey I need a break, can you take the baby while I have a shower? Showers make you feel like a whole new person.
– I think communications just key in the whole process.