Stephanie's Birth Story
My husband and I were excited to start our family shortly after getting married in October 2019. We love to travel so we had two dream vacations planned (our honeymoon Safari and a trip to Japan) and would start trying to get pregnant after those trips in early 2020, but COVID had other plans...
Our trip to Japan was scheduled right at the beginning of the pandemic and was cancelled. Then came the decision to continue with our plan to start trying, or to wait until "this pandemic ends in May" (if only we knew...). After talking with my doctor, we decided to go ahead with our pregnancy plan and we were so lucky to get pregnant right away!
I can be a fairly anxious person in general but being pregnant during an unprecedented pandemic was a challenge in itself. One of the things that helped me manage and address my anxieties about pregnancy, giving birth, and entering parenthood was mediation and hypnosis with the Hypnobabies program. Our plan was to have a natural childbirth and using hypnosis techniques helped me stay calm and feel in control, not only during the birth but also my pregnancy. We also decided to work with a doula for additional support. One of the best things I learned during pregnancy was how to ask for help and get support when I needed it!
In my third trimester I developed gestational hypertension and needed additional monitoring. This also meant I would be induced at 37 weeks to avoid further complications. At first, I was very upset at this change in plans and feared that my baby wouldn't be ready to come out. I got support from my doctors and friends and family members that had also had inductions for various reasons and was encouraged that this wouldn't disrupt our plan for a natural childbirth if that was what made sense for us.
The induction went smoothly, and I progressed to 7cm comfortably with the help of our doula and using my hypnosis techniques. After several hours of pushing, our baby was beginning to be in distress and a vacuum assisted birth was needed. After a total of 20 hours of labor, our beautiful baby boy Bennett was born and laid on my chest to take his first breaths. My first feeling when he was born was relief. I was so glad that we were done with bringing him into the world and I could rest. Relief quickly changed to joy as he was placed on my chest and I could look at his smooshed little face. To me, he was perfect.
We I have loved every exhausting minute of getting to know this beautiful human. My husband and I have always seen each other as partners, but now we rely on each other in a whole new way and work to figure out who we are as parents.