On Monday I had my 38 week appointment and found out that Evan was breech and needed to be delivered via c-section. Because Frank and I had decided from the beginning we wanted the most natural birth possible for our little guy, we were devastated. We had attended Hypnobirthing classes, which is an alternative to the more common Lamaze style of birthing. Hynobirthing reminds women of their God-given ability to birth and that birthing a baby is not supposed to be painful or scary. It can be the most wonderful, powerful and empowering experience. For the past few months Frank and I have learned how I can naturally calm and relax myself and the baby through guided imagery, calm breathing and to tap into my body's own source of oxytocin and endorphins to handle the discomfort medication free.
When we found out that Evan was breech and that the c-section would be scheduled for the next day I was devastated and worried and quite honestly, scared. I had prepared myself well for labor, but this? I did not prepare for major abdominal surgery or for missing out on the beautiful natural birth that I desired. However, God had better plans. Time and time again God seems to reveal to me that my plans are far less wonderful than His.
We took the day on Monday to tie up loose ends, enjoyed the day together, and prepared for Evan's scheduled arrival on Tuesday at 10am. We checked our bags, cleaned up the house a bit more, and relaxed together watching a movie.
Then it happened. Around 10pm just as the movie was ending, I started to feel contractions (or surges as we are taught to term them with hypnobirthing). They were pretty mild and since I had had rehearsal labor twice before I didn't think much of it, took a shower and continued to go about my evening. Around 11pm the surges were so strong I had to start using my hypnobirthing breathing and started to time them. They were about 40-45 seconds long and 4 minutes apart. Frank insisted that we call my midwife to ask about what to do. She told us to time the surges for one more hour and if they were close together still, we would come into the hospital this evening.
Frank and I waited the hour and I began to listen to my music and tried to ride the waves of each surge. At midnight the midwife had us come into the hospital and we still got to experience that exciting drive to the hospital we thought we wouldn't get to experience! As we drove we were both so excited and I had such a peace that Evan was ready to meet us despite our scheduled c-section. This made me feel so much more at ease. I never wanted to feel like we were ripping him out of the womb before he was ready. One of the things I love most about hypnobirthing is that the mother and the baby work together throughout the birthing process. I wanted to be in sync with his needs and allow him to call the shots.
Once we got settled in the hospital, around 1am, the surges were about 2-3 minutes apart and getting stronger and stronger. I ended up laboring through the night for 10 hours.
That night was difficult, but at the same time, it was the most beautiful experience. Instead of being awake all night anxiously awaking my 10am c-section from my bed at home, I was laying in the hospital room working with Evan as he was trying to come into the world. We worked together, I talked to him, I prayed for him and myself for the procedure that morning, listened to music and just kept on riding the surges the best I could with no medication at all.
That morning we ended up going into the OR for the surgery around 8am. I even used my breathing and relaxation techniques in the OR. I was so scared about the procedure, but I prayed, breathed and just kept on thinking about what Evan's little face would look like. Once we were all settled, Frank entered and stood by the left side of my head. As they proceeded to deliver Evan, we were both overwhelmed with emotions. I was surprisingly calm, relaxed and so at peace which I am so thankful for. The second we heard his cry was the happiest moment of my life.
I don't ever want to forget the emotions that I felt during that time and the way that God was able to turn something so disappointing into such a beautiful and memorable experience for us. I continued to use the strategies I had learned and leaned on God as I recovered from surgery. It worked so well that I didn't even need to take the Percocet the hospital was offering me. I stuck with some Motrin the whole time. I wanted to be as present as possible for Evan and even that was a testament to how you can totally work through your perception of pain with relaxation, and your body's natural pain killers.
I didn't share this because I think Hypnobirthing is for everyone--it may not be. And I am not saying that Lamaze is bad. I just had such an amazing experience, even with having a c-section, that I felt absolutely compelled to share my story.
Evan is 1 week old--I cannot believe how quickly time has passed! Frank and I are completely in love with him and I am healing quickly.For the rest of the week and possibly next week I am going to take it easy and only blog when I have the opportunity--so posts may be few and far between for a bit. Please follow me on Instagram and twitter for more pictures of Evan and updates on how we are doing.
For more information about Hypnobirthing:
Maria Monogan Method (the method I used)
Hypnobirthing (the book we read)
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