I Knew I Could Do It!

I was a mother of two and 5 months pregnant when I was introduced to Marie-Paul. The two first pregnancies had been healthy. I didn’t know much during the first one and followed the doctors’ ways. I wanted to have my second child without the epidural because I felt it would be better for the child and me but I didn’t prepare in any way, so when labor reached its peak, I asked again for the epidural.

For the third one, I was convinced that I should do it naturally and I was lucky to meet Marie-Paul because I knew that my desire would not be enough to succeed. Just the thought of contractions was making me panicked.

It was great to be able to speak with someone about my desire and my fears, and Marie-Paul, in a very short time, taught me how to relax through hypnosis. I also realized I was the one who knew what was the best for the baby and me, as each session was very educative, and gave me access to real knowledge. Each time, it became easier to go into a deeper stage of relaxation.

I used an audiotape at home to prepare myself, which Marie-Paul made for me. My two first children had been induced and my doctor knew that I would refuse this time. With the help of Marie-Paul, I had prepared a birth plan with my husband for my obstetrician and the nurses to let them know how we wanted things to be done in the delivery room.

Of course, I passed my due date for the third time. But finally, one evening my water broke around 11 pm. I called my doctor and my doula (Marie-Paul) for them to meet us at the hospital.

The labor stopped very soon after I got there (as it was late at night and time to go to sleep). I didn’t feel comfortable about the idea of Marie-Paul leaving the hospital, so she offered to stay with us the all night even though there was no place for her to sleep. In the morning, the labor was on and off for hours. I was not dilating very much and the doctor wanted to give me pitocyn to activate the labor. He didn’t want to check too often how I was dilating to not bring an infection since my water had broken.

I refused the pitocyn until it had been 16 hours since the labor had started, so around 3 pm, I agreed for it but at the condition to stop it as soon as the labor would be regular. We stopped it 3 hours later even though the doctor was reticent.
I felt the contractions very strongly but allowed myself to relax with each one as I had prepared for. 

It had been an hour and a half since we stopped the pitocyn and I wanted the doctor to tell me how long I would still be in labor for, so I called for him, but as he walk into the room, he looked at the monitor to which I was hooked to measure both my baby's heart beats and my contractions, and start saying out loud: "look at that, 3 kids and her body is not even able to get it going; it could take hours and hours more and the hospital won't agree to keep her much longer like that”.

At that point, I lost it. It was difficult to hear all that and I felt my strength and good spirit leaving me. The contractions were strong and I didn’t understand why I felt that way since the machine was showing very mild contractions. I suddenly felt a crazy feeling down in my back and thought I was starting to have back labor, which is known to be unbearable. I panicked and thought I couldn’t do it. I asked for an epidural. I didn’t care about anything; I just wanted the epidural as soon as possible. The doctor decided then to see how dilated I was, which he had not done since he was aware of the possibility for me to get an infection.

Well, I was fully dilated and the baby was coming. I had been through the entire labor without knowing it. I was so happy that my energy got back to me all at once and with a few pushes, my baby was born. It was amazing. I could feel him come down and wait for my help to come out. It was the first time that I really felt what was happening, the little head pushing through, and than his body… The connection with the child is so powerful that it is hard to describe. It’s like two warriors fighting for life.

My baby came out and was very alert. He breastfed immediately. I didn’t feel tired like I did after having my other children. In fact, I was full of energy.
I know that it is because there was no anesthesia this time.
To the amazement of everyone, the doctor said that he hadn’t delivered a baby naturally, (without an epidural) in 20 years.

My husband was happy. He supported me through the all process, with a lot of care; gathering information with Marie-Paul to make sure that the best decision would be made for the baby and me. The experience was healthier for everyone. The baby was perfect, so much more aware than the two first ones. The nurses were excited that I had done it naturally. The lactation lady who came to visit me said that she mostly sees sleepy babies (because of the epidural).

To deliver my baby this way was very gratifying for me. I wish it could have been that way for my other children.

Olivia Hamel,