Hypnobabies disclaimer: This birth story has non-Hypnobabies language in it, so use your BOP of peace if you feel the need. It was intense, a wild ride, but not what I would call painful. (I have chronic migraines, now THOSE I consider painful!).
This was my 4th Hypnobabies birth and 3rd homebirth. I’ve never given birth without Hypnobabies, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I didn’t listen to my Birth Guide tracks (my home study course is from 2004, I know these tracks are a little different now) and didn’t feel the need to use my lightswitch. But after 4 times, the hypnoanesthesia and other hypnotechniques (“release” and “peace” cues) are so automatically integrated into the birthing process for me that it’s not something I consciously think about. Saying “open, open, open” was the only thing I remember consciously choosing to do.
I did a lot of envisioning my birth this time around, and this was pretty much exactly like I had pictured. I know it’s not to everyone’s taste but for me it was exactly what I wanted.
I wasn’t getting much sleep on Monday night, the night of the 14th. I went to bed around 10 pm but between waking up to pee every 45 minutes (love having a bladder the size of a walnut) and my 22 month old repeatedly waking up and needing me (2 year molars suck), there wasn’t a great deal of sleeping going on. I was large and uncomfortable, felt like I needed the assistance of heavy machinery to help get me out of bed. But thanks to this I know that I was not having any contractions throughout the night, everything was calm in uterus-land.
Just after 4 am I got up to tend to DD2 again. Got her some more water, settled her back down and made yet another trip to the bathroom. Started to go back to sleep and then…. hmmm, was that a contraction? Involuntarily I was out of bed, kneeling on the floor and leaning over the side of the bed.
I glanced at the clock and it was 4:15 am. I woke up DH who asked if I was in labor and I said I didn’t know, maybe? He snorted and said “this is no maybe – last time you had the kid 2 hours later” and went downstairs to get things going. I called my midwife to let her know that I had a contraction and had the 2nd contraction while I was on the phone with her, she left as soon as we hung up. Then I grabbed my computer and sent a Facebook message to the chiropractor I was going to see later that morning, letting her know that something might be getting started so I might not make it to see her that morning.
The birth tub heater was broken and it was only maintaining about 92 degrees, so DH started the big stock pots of water boiling. After my last two 2 hour labors we knew we might be pressed for time. I brought down my iPod to listen to my Hypnobabies Birth Guide tracks but don’t remember where I set it down. We spread out a shower curtain on the floor in front of the birth tub, put the waterproof sheet and spare sheet on the futon, then DH went upstairs to make some coffee.
When a contraction would hit I would lean on my hands and knees over the futon, moving my hips and making really low vocalizations to keep myself relaxed and saying “open, open, open” (like on my Hypnobabies tracks). DH came and asked how I was doing and I looked at him and joked “stop the ride, please, I want off now!”
This was probably about 4:30 am. I remember thinking that I couldn’t really be in labor yet because I was still wearing my nightgown – I can’t stand to have any clothes on when I’m laboring.
I went into the bathroom and thought about sitting down, but realized that if I sat down on the toilet then I probably wouldn’t be able to get back up and didn’t want to spend the rest of the time stuck on the toilet. I walked back into the family room and the tub looked so inviting – off came the nightgown and in I went. I was hot and sweating and the water was warm enough to feel comforting but not overheat me. The feeling of relief and support when I sank down into the water was amazing.
DH came down with the first pot of boiling and poured it into the other side of the tub, I was acutely aware of the feeling of the hot water swirling around in the cooler water of the tub and the coolness of the edge of the birth tub against my forehead as I knelt down, focusing on the physical sensations. DH went back upstairs to refill the pot and check on the others and I leaned over the side of the tub, enjoying the warm waters swirling around my legs.
I felt a bit of pressure, reached down and felt the baby’s head & amniotic sac right at the opening, then my water broke. I yelled upstairs “hon, turn the stove off!”. He yelled back “why, is it warm enough?” It was difficult to talk (I tend to be non-verbal in labor) but managed to say “baby!” as my body started to push with me half- kneeling, half-squatting.
The head emerged as he ran down the half- flight of stairs saying “holy sh*t, you’re kidding me!” and then the entire baby flew out into the tub. DH scooped the baby out of the water to hand to me as I turned over. I caught a glimpse between the legs as I cuddled him up and said “we have another little boy!”. I kept his body down in the water to keep him warm and had DH hand me a chux pad to cover him up with.
I told DH to open my computer and check the time, it was 4:39 am. 24 minutes after the very first contraction and, as DH said, “I didn’t even have time to brew my coffee!”.
Ian Grainger B.
9 lb 8 oz, 21.5″
My longest pregnancy (40+4 by ovulation), shortest labor (24 minutes) and next-to-smallest baby.