#95 | Birth Story Mini: Jessica's 5 Hours of Pushing Using HypnoBirthing

April 26, 2021

Jessica is a first-time birthing mother from Atlanta who recently attended Cynthia's HypnoBirthing class via Zoom. She and her husband had a birth that began with laughter over a misunderstanding, and ended with a 5-hour pushing stage doing HypnoBirthing deep-breathing while wearing a mask. Jessica's story emphasizes how she and her husband felt respected and supported by their hospital staff from start to finish, including an appreciation for the COVID protocols that disallowed visitors postpartum, allowing them to become acquainted with their son, Smith, without distraction or interruption.

To learn more about HypnoBirthing, visit HypnoBirthing of CT to attend a free information session, and to learn more about Postpartum Soothe visit www.PostpartumSoothe.com

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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). We are always happy to hear from our listeners and appreciate questions for our monthly Q&A episodes. To join our monthly newsletter, text "downtobirth" to 22828.

You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

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View Episode Transcript

My name is Jessica and I live in Atlanta. I gave birth to my son Smith on January 19 of this year and I did a HypnoBirthing course with Cynthia towards the end of last year, I believe we finished up around November. So I had a few months to mentally prepare myself. And I definitely spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy any cramp or any you know, shooting pain or anything that I felt thinking, is this happening? Is this it? So I texted my sister in law a few times. And I was like, Okay, what about this? Does this mean I'm going into labor? You know, what about this? I think it's happening. So I didn't, I did intend to eat the famous spicy eggplant, you know, towards the end just to see if it would help. And my stepson actually turned 13, the day before my due date. So I waited until we had his birthday party and, you know, got to the end of his birthday day. And I ended up eating a spicy I plan and I went into labor about four hours later. So my water broke at home, which was so funny, you know, you just picture what it's gonna be like, because you've seen it be so dramatic in the movies. And it's, it's, it's anticlimactic in some ways, and it's also so alarming in some ways, you know, so we got to the hospital, and we knew we were going to, you know, not have a baby on on Calvin's birthday. So that was good. We knew he wouldn't come before midnight, we got to the hospital and I got straight in a room. And I definitely felt like the way they were managing me. It made me feel like things were progressing pretty quickly. So that, you know, was good. And and, you know, it was it was good. It just there was a lot of things that I thought I would prep that I didn't really feel like I had time to prep. I had brought candles and I wanted the lights down and everything happened pretty fast. So I got in the room and I was handed the gown. And so the nurse walked in, and she said her name was Cassie. And so I had this job for years. And her name was Cassie. And we used to joke her nickname was my firstborn. And I lived with just her for several years. And I ended up losing her a few years ago and kind of had a permanent hole in my heart from this dog. So, you know, when the nurse said her name was Cassie, I was just so overwhelmed with emotion, I thought oh my goodness, this is a full circle moment. It's cosmic, you know, Cassie is going to deliver my baby. So I went in the bathroom, and I looked in the mirror and I you know, I had to give myself a pep talk and say, you have a job to do, you have to focus, you have to calm down, you know, pull yourself together. So put the gown on. And I went back into the room and I looked at the whiteboard with all the information for the nurses. And her name was Cassidy was not even Kathy. So it was just, you know, it started with tears. And then it started over with laughter and so I asked my husband, what are the things? You know, what did you remember from our birth and he said, we started laughing. And and that was really special to both of us. So I did labor to nine centimeters naturally. And I had some relief throughout the contractions. But I just had this pretty intense low back pain that wouldn't let up. So I did opt for the epidural. And then after that I had the epidural kind of settle in for about an hour. And then it was time to push. And so what we didn't know before I went into labor was that at some point, Smith had turned face up. And so the pushing did take quite a while I pushed for, you know, unassisted for five hours, which was a while and I was I was definitely pooped. And I wore a mask the whole time. And it was very peaceful. I remember I think, you know, when you hear, or when you see people's reactions, when you say I pushed for five hours, you know, even the doctors or the nurses towards the end of that five hours were like, this is a long time. And, you know, you see people spaces when you tell them that and they think oh my gosh, how did you do that? But But it all went by fairly quickly. And it was so calm, and it was so quiet. And yes, I didn't get the candles out. And, you know, no, I didn't have the lights on. But I felt that it was very focused. And it was very me centric. And that's one of the things that I will 100% takeaway from my experience was that everybody was very focused on me. There was very minimal chatter, very minimal talking. It was just communicating, you know, with me when it was appropriate, and if it was not necessary, it was very quiet. And so I think because of that, I was able to not be stressed and because I was not stressed there was no you know, the baby wasn't stressed. And so there was no need for intervention and they let me push as long as I needed to and I did have a girlfriend tell me that one thing that helped her once she had the epidural because she couldn't feel anything was to get a mirror, you know, to to have some motivation so you can actually see what's happening. So I did do that and I was very grateful to have that mirror was a great tool for me. So You know, I pushed for a while and you know, five hours later, he finally came out. And I remember feeling just elated when he came out, I mean, it's such a relief, to see them and to hear them into it, that was a really beautiful moment. And I I remember feeling just such an intense overwhelm of pure joy. I don't think I've ever felt a moment like that before. So the rest of the time, it was just Lawrence and I in the hospital with the baby, because of COVID no one could come and visit us. And I know that I don't know what any other way. But I have to say that that was a really special time for the three of us to bond and towards the end of the the two days, we were there, you start to feel like a prisoner, right? Because you can't leave your room and no one can come to you. And, you know, you have to stay in this in this small space. But, you know, it was very sweet. And I needed that time to process what had just happened to me emotionally and physically. And I was very pleased that no one could come and see me if I had a parade of people in the hallway wanting to see me and check on me and meet the baby and see Lawrence, I think that would have been really hard for me. So that is a you know, something that I will take away from the experience as a positive from from giving birth during COVID. But you know, it's it's, it's just been a joy to have him and he is such a nice, such a nice baby. And he's, he's, he's very sweet. And he's got a great personality, and I'm very grateful for that. But I'm really grateful for everything that I learned through HypnoBirthing I don't think that I could have done it, you know, especially with the mask on without the breathwork technique that we learned and, and that we practiced. And you know, with my yoga background, I think that was super helpful. And I just I felt like I was able to stay very focused the entire time. And that was very important to me, because for the first two trimesters, I was very frightened of the end game I was very frightened of giving birth, I was very frightened of, of being in labor and what that was going to feel like but I was so desensitized to the fear because of the HypnoBirthing. And because of all the exposures and because we talked about it in so many different ways and looked at all the different angles. And I felt, you know, empowered to know what decisions I wanted to make for myself and for my baby. And Lawrence knew what those decisions were. And we had a lot of conversations about what we wanted. And you know, what we would accept and what we went in. And so we went in, you know, really united and, and I'm confident and no longer afraid. And I'm very grateful to Cynthia, for that I also had the I did use the postpartum suits when I got home. And that was fabulous. I did not expect to feel so physically impacted. I mean, I you know, you know, that's going to happen, obviously. But that was more intense than I had anticipated. So I was grateful to have the postpartum Su, then, you know, I'm feeling great now. And I actually went back to work this week. So having the opportunity to relive the experience, you know, this weekend and sharing the story has been very sweet. I've had a hard time accepting that it's my time to leave Smith and go back to work. So I'm, that's the stage that we're in right now. But I just am extremely grateful for for the care that I had. I'm extremely grateful for the support that I had. I know that, you know, strong prenatal and postpartum care is a privilege and that does not go unnoticed. I'm very grateful for the hospital that I had in the team of nurses and doctors and really grateful for my husband, I think that we were a united front and it brought us closer together and I never realized what a magical experience. It really truly can be. So I hope that you know everyone has the experience that they are looking for and that they hope for and I just very, very grateful for everything that we went through.

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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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