Reflections on Birth Experience

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in My Pregnancy






I know a lot of you were waiting patiently to see how Hypnobabies worked out for me and if you read my birth story,you know that it sort of didn’t. If you followed this blog for a few months, you are aware how diligent I was about hypnobabies training and daily exercises. I was good, I was really good… I did everything I was supposed to, even the part where I have to blindly believe that HB will work ( which is SOOOOO not like me to just blindly believe in something). But I figured if I had a prayer of natural labor, this would be it. So I trained.

I have to say that in the beginning I was very impressed with Hypnobabies and the strength that it put me out with. I really felt it working. However, towards the end I felt like the tracks failed to “take you under” properly, they sort of just skipped through the whole process and you were supposed to “assume” you’re under hypnosis. I didn’t feel I was under hypnosis, not the way I did with the earlier tracks, but I continued because accordig to the program, you don’t have to “feel” anything for it to work.

So when my contractions started I did what I was trained to do which is the finger drop technique ( where you basically relax your whole body with the drop of your index finger). I thought it was working, I thought I was relaxing and managing through contractions. Granted, I don’t know how severe they were supposed to be, so I am not sure how much of it was Hypnobabies and how much was just that I was handling the contractions on my own. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t tensing up, I was doing my thing…

I think it all broke down when we got to the hospital. It’s very possible HB WAS working up until then, but as soon as I had people to talk to and things to do, I was concentrating less and less on the tracks and relaxation. Yes, my husband was “supposed” to talk to everyone for me. And he did, but I still listened, was curious, wanted to talk to the nurses, too. I don’t like to stand by and watch, I like to partake. And I believe that’s where it got me.

I remember I first started getting the shakes in the triage. The shakes that I now know were my muscles tensing up.

I thought it was hypnobabies helping me get through contractions and I guess I’ll never know if it were, but there was something that nurse, who teaches hypnobirthing said, that I tend to agree with: “If your relaxation was working, you wouldn’t feel it at all as pain, you’d be relaxed. Your uterus muscles wouldn’t be working hard against your tension”.

So will I try hypnosis or natural labor next time? I think so. But I’ll go with hypnobirthing program, just to see the difference, and I’ll give natural labor a shot once more. If it doesn’t work, well, no harm done.

{end of BOP}

Hospital bags

What we packed for labor and delivery was a topic of much discussion. Somehow everyone knew exactly what I will need or more importantly not need or what our particular hospital allows. It especially humored me when one lady announced that it’s stupid to bring a bunch of stuff and leave it in the car, because my husband would have to run 20 minutes there and back from the hospital to the parking lot to get necessary items. And that’s considering our birth center has its own parking lot right in front of it and it takes about 2 minutes to  get to it. Talk about assumptions!

So here’s how it ACTUALLY worked out:

I was packing a lot of stuff pretty much knowing that I’ll use only a fraction of it. But since we have a big SUV and a close parking lot, it was better to come over-prepared than under-prepared. So I took pretty much every suggestion that made sense from the comments to my hospital bag question post. To my surprise, I used A TON of what we packed, and what I didn’t use I was glad I brought in case my experience were different and needed them. I won’t mention things that everyone agreed I should take (like chapstick), but will list things that were questionable.

  • Blow up mattress (for hubby to sleep on since everyone said how bad those pullout couches were). We ended up finding a better solution: sleeping together in my hospital bed. It was comfy, we were together and honestly I needed the closeness of my husband after such an emotional experience. Also, the few hours that he did nap on the couch, he said it wasn’t that bad at all.
  • I was very happy to have packed my own pads and underwear. Those hospital pads and mesh panties were HORRIBLE. First of all the mesh panties were so big they kept sliding down under the weight of everything they have you put down there. And pads weren’t absorbent at all. I was very happy to switch into my own stuff the next morning when the bleeding subsided.
  • I didn’t use any of the lounge clothes I brought for the hospital. I spent the whole time in my dearjohnnies gown- it was easier, better access to boobs and checks and just as attractive.
  • I did get to wear the Boob Design going home dress with no problems. It was comfy, stretchy and I felt good and nice looking in it! Definitely preferred walking out of the hospital with my new baby looking radiant rather than grubby. Though I have to admit, it was largely due to my easy recovery. Had I felt like crap, I probably would have wanted to wear sweat pants and one of my Boob Design nursing shirts.
  • I really enjoyed having my own soft blanket and body pillow with me. It made it a lot more comfortable to labor with them and then later sleep with.
  • Lavender oil diffuser was an interesting addition. I didn’t even notice the smell at the time since I was busy laboring but all the nurses commented on how they loved coming into our room because of how good it smelled.
  • I loved having our own baby blankets and clothes to dry Lexi off with and dress in. It felt a lot more special that way than using standard issue hospital blankets.
  • I didn’t get to use a breastfeeding pillow because honestly Alexis would get so frantically hungry there was no time to fumble with a pillow.
  • Even though I packed the Victoria’s secret robe into my “just in case” bag, I did get to use it. The hospital was so cold that I had to put it on top of my Pretty Pushers gown and then cover myself with a blanket.

Conclusion: The second time I do this (if I do), I will pack the exact same stuff. This was not a first time mom overpacking. This was a “I want to cover every case scenario” overpacking. And having gone through it now, I’d pack everything once again, because I don’t see anything that won’t possibly get used depending on the situation. Every labor is different, and I don’t presume that my next one will be anything like this, so items I didn’t get to use this time, I might need next time.


Honestly? I hate to say it because I feel like I’d be betraying  all the women who have ever attempted med-free childbirth but I loved it.
I had originally wanted an epidural but after finding out about hypnobabies and the possibility of painless med-free childbirth, I was going to try without it.
Had my labor been shorter, I would have done just fine during the contractions. BUT… I am terrified, just thinking about pushing without an epidural! I mean, seriously! After going through it with an epidural, I can’t imagine tearing and being stretched out without it. So much that I will have to think long and hard before I decide to go without next time.
My 2 big concerns with an epidural had been:

  1. Leads to pitocin and then a C-section
  2. Baby is born not alert/ hinders breastfeeding.

Well the first one: we would have needed pitocin no matter what since my labor stalled and I’m glad I didn’t get to experience it without an epidural.
Second: Alexis was screaming before they even pulled her body out and stayed super alert for the next few day s- obviously that didn’t influence her.

So epidural- pretty damn good. Should you try to labor naturally? Heck yeah!!! Drugs free labor is still the best way to go in my mind. But not everyone’s situation is conducive to it. Chances are your labor experience will be very different!

Hospital experience

Completely different from what I was told and expected. We went in ready to fight for my rights but were given the green light to do whatever we wanted. I feel I got a birthing center experience in the safety of a hospital. Wonderful nurses, great atmosphere, friendly staff, no interventions that I didn’t opt for myself.  The only downside was all the medical personnel coming in to check on us every 45 minutes around the clock. That was very frustrating, but at the same time, everyone was so nice, I don’t hold it against them.


I already wrote about my recovery here, but once thing I’d like to mention was this miracle lotion from Zita West that I found invaluable. Zita West is a team of reproductive health care specialists, dealing with fertility, pregnancy, pre-conception planning. They have a line of pregnancy related products that is worth checking out. I used the Pre-conditioning Down Under oil for my perineal massage as it contains moisturizing carrier oils and no fragrance. It lasted the whole 8 weeks of the massage without having to use it sparingly.

But the true miracle lotion I have to mention was the Comfort Down Under. It’s meant for postpartum, but I started using it during pregnancy whenever any issue would arise. It literally HEALS any cuts, soreness, itchiness in a day. After delivery, I used it every time I’d go to the bathroom and the combination of its healing properties as well as a cooling sensation it gives were a God’s sent at that time. I continued using the lotion all throughout the first week or two and would recommend it to ANYONE. As a matter of fact, it’s definitely a lotion to keep for other issues, since its healing powers are truly something to behold. Witch’s Hazel is nothing compared to this bottle.

So if you’re pregnant, definitely look into buying at least the Comfort Down Under, if not both oils. Also if you’re in UK and TTC, I’d recommend you look into Zita West pre-conception resources and services.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Zita West sent me a sample of the product to try, however all the opinions are 100% my own.

Also read:

Birth Story Part I
Birth Story Part II

Breastfeeding Journey
Breastfeeding Products that Helped 


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