#59 | Birth Story Mini: Andrea's Natural Birth

November 2, 2020

In this episode, one of Cynthia's HypnoBirthing clients, Andrea, shares her pregnancy and birth experience. She wanted a happy, natural birth and describes her process in achieving one, but the predominant thing she feels she learned is that she - and all women - should feel they have choice along the way. That all decisions belong to the birthing mother. 

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View Episode Transcript

My name is Andrea. I'm a first time Mom, I give birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl named Sophia in January of 2020.

Now, I was that girl in your friend group who was terrified of needles, hospitals IVs, the thought of an epidural literally made my knees weak, and I shuddered at the thought that I would have to experience that. For some reason, the process of giving birth was always told in two parts, right? Whether it was through friends, family, or even the media. The first part is the awful, awful labor process, and then giving birth. And then the second part consists of the moments after that are completely blissful. When you're holding baby in your arms, and everything is perfect. I felt so beautiful and strong, both in control and not in control. And I was totally okay with that. When I was pregnant, and I wanted my birth story to be a continuation of that. I didn't want it to be this fragmented experience where, you know, I hated the birthing process, I hated being labor and you know, loved holding baby, right. And I appreciate that. For some women, it is like that, but I desperately did not want my experience to be that way. I wasn't quite sure what direction I wanted to take my experience into, until I came across Cynthia's HypnoBirthing center. And that moment changed my life. And my favorite part about HypnoBirthing became the daily hypnosis and the meditation and just being able to practice so hard for what was the marathon of giving birth, and knowing that the experience was going to truly be my own, because of the education that I received. Now, it would be really unfair of me to talk about the amazing experience that I had giving birth and the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed being in labor, and giving birth, if I didn't talk to you about all of the prep work that went into it. Right. So if you run for a marathon, or if you sign up to run a marathon, you practice, you make sure that you practice. Same thing goes for for the birthing process. You need to practice relaxing yourself, and putting yourself at ease and breathing, and giving your body the oxygen that it needs in order to do what it knows to do. So, discovering and practicing hypno birthing is is one thing, introducing this to your physician, if you're at a hospital is a very different ballgame. I loved how my birth story ended up because Sophia was delivered by a resident by the name of Molly Flanagan, who respected my birth plan to a tee, she stopped one of the nurses from turning on all the lights, because you know, I had it on my birth plan that I really wanted the lights off. And not only did she stop her, but she did it in a like with a using a whispering voice. She's like, please, please keep the lights off. You know, she she wants to be calm and relaxed. And I couldn't believe it. Going back to when I when I let my ob gyn know that I was practicing HypnoBirthing, I did so by by presenting my birth plan to her. And if anyone's written a birth plan before put one together, you put a lot of time and care and thought and attention to what you want that very important and significant part of your life to look like right? So I gave her my piece of paper, really excited about it. She glanced at it for a couple of seconds, and gave it back saying you know, honey, we'll do whatever it takes to make sure that mom and baby are safe. I don't want you to worry about anything. We have everything that we need, you know, you don't have to worry about a thing, then and there, I realized that my husband and I would really need to bunker down on what our non negotiables were and that he needed to be my advocate. So what we ultimately decided on was that we were going to stay at home for as long as possible. And that is exactly what we did. I didn't want to have the conversation of being induced, stress me out. And I knew that it would because it came up several times where my ob gyn said well you know, if we approached this date. And you know, a few days after we know we're not seeing any signs of you getting it going into labor, we're going to have to induce you and, you know, put an induction date in the calendar. And that was obviously not something that I wanted to happen, I wanted as little intervention as possible. So after doing a little bit of research, we agreed that, you know, we would do a membrane sweep. On January 17, I took a really, really long walk after having been, after having experienced the membrane sweep the day before, and thought to myself, you know, what, I should get a pedicure, because I'm probably not going to have much time to get one afterwards. And I was very right about that. And I went into labor in the salon, and I knew instantly that it, you know, something was something significant was going to happen. And the surges were more and more powerful and closer, and time and frequency. So I called my husband and I told them, you know, hey, I'm gonna, I'm gonna be home tonight, just hanging out, I won't go to my mom's and I, I stayed on the couch, I'm starting to write thank you letters for the folks that attended my baby shower. And I was smiling to myself, because, you know, I thought how special and thanking everyone for all of their, you know, presence and gifts and their presence and babies is literally making her way. At the time, I didn't know what gender Sophia was, I wanted to keep it a surprise. But my husband knew. So that that was an interesting twist. So that night, George got my husband, he got a bunch of candles ready to go just to make it as relaxing of an environment as possible. We had our yoga ball, we had lavender, lavender oil, and just tried to make it as comfortable of an environment as possible for me to practice my breathing and going in and out of this very sweet hypnosis. I get goosebumps because it's hard to explain. Honestly, you're in a situation where your entire life you went through the notion of Oh, giving birth is miserable and painful, and you you're going to be screaming, you're going to be sweating, you're not going to be comfortable. And here I was in my bed, breathing, smiling, talking to George listening to my, my birth affirmations. And just relaxing. I mean, I couldn't believe it. It was hard to believe we had a bath going, which was amazing. And I ate, I drank water. I had snacks all throughout the night, I went to labor at I want to say 6pm. And at eight o'clock, my water broke. Now there were points where I was, you know, swaying on the toilet, which I know perhaps sounds a little weird, but it was the most comfortable spot for me at the time. I was thinking to myself, why am I doing this?

Why am I not getting an epidural? Why am I not at the hospital right now like asking for all the drugs. And I just I distinctly remember Cynthia saying, once you get to the point where you feel like you cannot any longer, you are so close. And all I could think about was was Cynthia saying that because each and every single surge in my mind was bringing me closer to Sofia. But at that point, when I realized that my water broke, and the surges were very, very intense. I felt jolted out of bed and I told George we need to go now. Luckily, we were 10 minutes away from the hospital. So I was afforded that luxury of waiting so long. But I legitimately thought I was going to give birth in the car. So perhaps I waited too long. But I was at the doorway, shoes on jacket on barely fit. I was leaning on the door and I was just like, oh god please please just hurry up George like get the bag and let's go. Do you want to know what George was doing? He was applying dry shampoo. Probably out of nervousness but when I realized that, I know that dry bar smell. When I smell dry shampoo. I literally thought I was going to flip out. The guy was nervous. It is what it is. It was very cute now that I am able to think back and smile and laugh at it. But took me 10 minutes to walk from our door to the elevator. So we get to the hospital and I am in the zone. I just remember breathing and being very much inside of myself and very focused. Obviously George handled all communication with the nurses and at that point he he was on the phone with my mom. For some reason, I don't know, I don't think anybody realize just how close Sophia was to arriving. So I just, I was listening to my body and I like, pushed myself to the edge of the bed. I was making some funny noises But hey, it's uh, it's okay. camera was rolling George filmed it. And we've only been able to watch it once because it was a very, very emotional. And one nurse, you know, looks over to me to probably ask me, you know, Hey, how are you doing honey. And I'm crowning. But I'm not saying a word. I'm just breathing and making funny noises as George would say. So she calls the the resident over, and she's like, Alright, this baby's coming right now. And all I could remember was Molly sitting there so gently at the edge of the bed, just breathing with me, telling me that it was going to be great. I'm doing great. George, you know, putting cold water towels on my forehead and also breathing with me holding my hand. Those few moments where I felt Sophia come into the world were indescribable, to feel the beauty of of giving life and bringing life into the world. If you truly do want to have a natural birth, you can. You can. And if you're healthy, and your baby's healthy, and you want to get an epidural, and you're good with it, and you're fine with it, you can and you should. But it's about the education piece. And it's not to say that giving birth one way is better than another way. I mean, that is not the point of this at all. The point is that woman should have a choice. And she should be given the education necessary to make these choices. And if I don't want pitocin to release the placenta, then don't give me pitocin to release the placenta. I don't know if I don't want an IV. Don't prep me for an IV. Again, that's not it's not to say that giving birth one way is better than than another way. It's all about what the mom wants. And what the mom wants should be what the mom gets.

It's her story.

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If you enjoyed this podcast episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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