I was 39 weeks and 1 day on Christmas Eve and had been having Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for the past few weeks, but on Christmas Eve they started up in the morning and kept up inconsistently all day long. I was even timing the contractions while we were sitting in Christmas Eve church service. Then after church we went and walked around and looked at lights and the contractions kept coming.
David and I were contemplating whether we tell James that Santa is coming the next day or not as we were really wanting to be there with him when he came down and saw all his presents. We decided to just go for it and he went to bed all excited to see what Santa would bring him in the morning. We went to work and set up all his toys around the tree and then headed off to bed.
Right as we are getting ready for bed, the pressure waves (what Hypnobabies, the childbirth hypnosis program I used, calls contractions) started up stronger. Then they started becoming consistent so I started listening to my Hypnobabies Easy 1st stage track and using all the techniques I had learned. I was pleading with Kylie to stay in until James woke up!
I tried going to sleep but the pressure waves were too strong and I needed to focus on my Hypnobabies techniques and just ride the waves through. I had moments where I would start to panic and feel fear but then I would just use my light switch and turn it off and use my ‘peace’ and ‘relax’ cues and tell myself that I can do this and I’d make it through.
David was awesome and stayed up with me and helped me with the relax cue…putting his hand on my shoulder made a huge difference and helped me stay relaxed and calm. At around 1:30 am they were around 8-12 minutes apart and so we decided to call my doula…she had told me from the get go that she takes Xmas off so that was another concern - that I wouldn’t have her there at the birthing either! She had a back up but I didn’t know her. She told me to call her when I thought it was time and she’d contact the back up, so that’s what we did. She just said keep going and to call and give her updates throughout the night.
Long story short, at 4 am they were definitely strong and about 7 min apart but then we heard James start singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in his bed and we were so happy that he was awake so we got him up and we went down and had our family Christmas – while I lay on the couch and used my cues and breathing to ride out each pressure wave.
They got to 6 min apart and we called our doula who said we could either go now or wait until they were 4 min apart…I wanted to have an all natural, intervention free birth so I didn’t want to go to the hospital too soon so we decided to wait a few minutes…then my mother in law got there to take over and watch my son and then I started feeling very cold and had the shakes and I realized I was in transition so David called the doula and she said to go now.
She said she was going to meet us there, that the back up doula wasn’t on until noon! I was very happy. So we get in the car and there’s a terrible fog and barely any visibility…luckily we live only 10 min from the hospital, just 2 exits up the freeway.
During this time I also started feeling lots of pressure in my bottom like I had to go to the bathroom…We got wheeled up to l&d, checked in at 6:04, went into triage, and were standing there maybe 2 min when I feel a pop and wetness and I realized my water broke, then I had HUGE pressure in my bottom and we yelled to the nurses that I needed to go NOW! So they took me to a room and I peeled off my clothes and got in the bed. We were very lucky to get a nurse who knew something of hypnobirthing and was very respectful and helpful with our wishes. We didn’t even have time to go over our birth plan at all, we just told them we’ll make our wishes known as we go along.
The nurse, Cammy, made sure the other nurses weren’t all coming in and turning on lights and she got me the squatting bar for the bed. Cammy checked me and said I was complete – 10cm! The on-call doc came in and she told him I wanted to do ‘mother-directed pushing’ and not be coached and it may be a few minutes so to come back…at this time I am panicking a little and really wanting my doula there to help guide and direct me. As it turns out she was trying her hardest to get there, but she lived further and the fog was terrible!
I started allowing some fear in and I told David to get my phone with my Hypnobabies ‘pushing baby out’ track to try to help me to refocus. I couldn’t listen to it and listen to the nurses at the same time and was getting a little frustrated because I just didn’t really know what to do…I did know that I wanted to try to squat to birth to avoid a tear and to make it as easy as possible; then my body completely took over and I sat up and yelled “SHE’S COMING” and sure enough my body involuntarily pushed her head out in one push…The doctor ran in and the told me to lie back and to push out her body and I pushed so hard and out she came at 6:11am.
She was gorgeous and amazing and they put her right on me (their hospital policy is to allow skin to skin contact for at least an hour after birth) and we just savored the moment and enjoyed our precious Christmas miracle. My doula got there in time to help me relax through getting stitched up after a 2nd degree tear. Soon after I tried breastfeeding and she did pretty well… Then they took her and weighed her and did all the normal newborn stuff. She weighed in at 8lbs 8oz and was 19 1/2 in long. Breastfeeding was tough the first few days… but it has gotten a lot better and we are getting the hang of it and now I’m really enjoying the bonding…I didn’t get to breastfeed my son so I’m really enjoying this experience.
She’s a sweet heart and I’m just loving being a mommy to 2!!