The day you were born

Our expected delivery date was March 16th 2013. As we travelled further from our expected date, it became apparent that we needed some assistance in persuading our little boy to join us in the world. On March 31st, we met with one of Evergreen's Midwives, Cathleen, to insert a foley catheter in an attempt to open Julie's cervix enough to start labor. Although it helped to dilate to 3cm, it did not bring surges strong enough to get labor started on its own.

Next step was our appointment for an induction with pitocin to move the surges forward. This was a needed adjustment to our birthing plan due to being 2 weeks and 2 days overdue. Upon arrival at Evergreen on April 1st at 5:15am, we met our wonderful Nurse Jen who talked us through the purpose and goals of pitocin. After prep, the pitocin was started at 6:30am at 1ml/min with continuous fetal monitoring. We were getting surges prior to the pitocin but they were not consistent and not very strong.

As the pitocin was gradually increased to 7ml/min, Nurse Jen worked with us to try different positions as a goal to be able to allow Julie's body to take over. These positions included:

  • Raising the bed and standing while leaning on the bed rocking the hips
  • Walking around the hospital with our IV pole (which we named Gandolf the Grey)
  • Laying on the left side
  • Kneeing on the bed and resting shoulders on the birth ball
  • Sitting in the rocking chair
  • Sitting on the birth ball while leaning on the bed
  • Laying on the right side
  • Sitting up on the bed with knees bent

These positions were done with the pitocin increases over a 4 hour time span. Also during that time, Julie was checked and made it to 4cm. Julie's body was showing signs it was taking the lead as the surges were 2.5 to 3.5 minutes apart and seemed strong (5 out of 10 level). We went forward and decreased the pitocin to zero and the surges continued.

After 4 hours without the pitocin, the spaces between the surges had increased. Julie was checked and showed the same 4cm dilation. This indicated that the surges were not strong enough to bring the desired progress. Despite feeling a bit discouraged, Julie maintained a positive attitude and kept her mantra going. Pitocin was then restarted at the 1ml/min level with the continuous fetal monitoring.

After our wonderful Nurse Jen's shift was over, our new wonderful Nurse Dolores took over. We then continued Jen's position adjustment patterns with the assistance of Nurse Dolores. When the pitocin level reached 4ml/min, the surges showed a clear sign of an increase in strength (7 out of 10). At 5ml/min the cramping between surges was becoming more common. This was a clear sign that Julie's body was respecting the pitocin and reacting accordingly.

In order to help Julie cope, I would tell Julie a story of hiking up a mountain. Her meditation color, green, was essential in helping her stay as relaxed as possible. Details of the hike contained light green forest trees, dark green under foliage, stepping into a cool stream, watching the green algae swirl in the water, trout swimming throughout, hiking to a wild flower meadow, walking back into the trees and seeing various animals, pausing to take shoes off to remove pebbles, leaving the tree line and seeing the top of the mountain and what was hiked below, seeing the Rainbow within view, reaching the top and seeing the Rainbow and all the colors while standing at the right of two boulders. She would also visualize the flowers in the meadow opening and blooming, and repeating mantras in her head that her cervix was thinning and opening and bringing her baby closer to her. These visualization techniques and mantras were critical and helped Julie get through when she thought she could not go on anymore.

After numerous position changes and Julie's desire for some much needed changes, at around 7:30pm, we went into the tub. Our Midwife Michele indicated that Julie was most likely going into transition or in transition with an estimated dilation of 8cm. This was very comforting knowing that we would soon meet our baby. As the surges became very constant with very little time for relaxation, the timing of the tub was great. One of numerous advices from Nurse Jen was not to go into the tub too early. This proved to be very important. After about an hour of "relaxing" in the tub, the small amount of food that Julie ate for dinner was thrown up which was another good sign that she was in transition. Julie then started noticing an increased pressure in the birth canal. It was now time to change positions.

She made it from the tub to the toilet, which were 2 feet from each other. The short distance was not a small task. The toilet became the key position. Originally meant to help dry Julie off, this was the position where Julie's body "took over" and she had an overwhelming urge to push. This just happened after two contractions on the throne. Midwife Michele recommended staying there for a little bit longer. Then Midwife Michele said it was time to move to the bed. A squat bar was added and we made the move.

After a few contractions, Julie was again checked by Midwife Michele one final time and she was fully dilated at 10 cm!! Amazing!! Julie had made it close to the top of the mountain. Now that the story was near complete and our baby boy was waiting at the top of the mountain, Julie just had to push. Midwife Michele, assisted by Nurse Dolores and Nurse Christie, began her amazing coaching to guide Julie to reach the destination. Just after every minute, surges would reach Julie. Within a surge, Julie would be able to push about 3 to 4 times. Every surge would return progress but as the head began to crown, we realized this was a big boy. Julie did great in allowing her body to know the baby's size as she eased him through with every push.

After about an hour of pushing on the bed, our son's head made it through. Now he needed to rotate to allow his shoulders through. This turned out to be an obstacle. After about a minute, backup was called and a few new nurses came in. As they entered the room, Midwife Michele continued coaching (more like yelling to push!!!!!!!!!!) and Nurse Dolores put close to her body weight on Julie's tummy and the baby rotated and eased out. Overall, the baby was stuck for 90 seconds.

Baby Royce was born!! He was lifted onto Julie's chest and cleaned off a little bit. After 20 minutes of lying there, he made great successful attempts to feed. After an hour lying on Julie's chest, it was time to get the K shot. Since he was breast feeding, he just made a small noise and continued to feed. Eye gel was then added and baby Royce relaxed a little more. They then took him for the weight and height and ... 9 lb and 2 oz with height 21.5 inches. Big boy indeed!

Julie credits her successful birth from the few months of Hypnobirthing preparation and all that we learned in our BirthZone class. All techniques illustrated under Barbara Decker's Hypnobirthing classes were applied most nights to learn the techniques and get her body used to total relaxation. During labor, these were the specific keys to our success:

  • A visual guide (story) along her journey to bring Julie's focus off the surges
  • Reading Julie's affirmations to her to build confidence
  • Changing positions to cope with labor
  • Lightly touching Julie's arm, back, or head to soothe her to deepen relaxation
  • Back massages to relieve pain
  • Breathing techniques during and after each surge to prepare for the next surge
  • Speaking of the future and imagining being with our baby

Now the reality of our new baby is here. First time parents Julie and Adam Mouton, starring Royce Alcee Mouton. We look forward to continued use of positive affirmations, dreaming together, and growing as a family.