Lars was born September 6th at 9.58 pm.
I studied Hypnobabies for this birth so I have used Hypnobabies terminology in this story and I refer to Hypnobabies sound tracks.
Sunday September 5th we awoke to a summery morning and decided to drive the hour into Stockholm to the aquarium, thinking “baby won’t come if we stay around the house”. We found parking and started the rather long but beautiful walk from the car to the aquarium. My birthing waves started immediately but did not inhibit my walking. I said to DH that both we and Helena (HB MW) have hour drives so it will time perfectly if this is it, but that I hoped we didn’t have to pay admission just to turn around again. The waves were mild but it felt good to sit in front of the big tank, relax and just watch the fish go by. We ate lunch at the aquarium’s cafe overlooking Stockholm, watching boats go by. I felt so happy and peaceful, the waves stopped all together and I enjoyed a great slice of Pecan Cheesecake. During the car ride home I listened to my Pregnancy Affirmations and had two waves that hour. They picked up once we were home and we started timing them at 6.20 pm. They were 2 to 20 minutes apart and 40 seconds to 2 minutes long. There was no pattern but this was a lot of action for me. DD went down to sleep and I sent a message to my midwives to say, “tonight is not impossible”.
As I got into the shower that evening I looked at my belly and thought, “this is it”. An immense sadness washed over me. The beginning of my pregnancy was difficult. The “why am I doing this?” kind of difficult, but these last three weeks – feeling good, home from work, connecting to the baby in my belly, having time for me, energy for DD and DH (despite the mood swings) – it had been luxurious and it was coming to an end. The future was unknown. Another wave came and I thought about how saying “good-bye” to my belly meant saying “hello” to my baby. I quickly indulged in my right to be sad that something nice was ending, smiled toward the future and got happily in under the calming hot water.
At about 11 pm I went to bed. I listened to the Fear Release track and then to the Birthing Affirmations. I must have fallen asleep towards the end of the affirmations.
Monday September 6th
I woke up to a wave at 1.30 am after about an hours sleep. I went downstairs at 2 am and posted at our DDC. Between 2.30 and 3 am my waves increased and after some good advice from the ladies at MDC (mothering dot com), I called Helena (my HB MW) just to let her know what was going on. She said it sounded like things were progressing. I said, yes, but that they were mild, I felt good, that I was eating some cereal and was going to try to rest. She thought this sounded good and I was to keep her posted. DH heard me on the phone and came down to check on me. We went back to bed, I listened to Deepening and fell asleep after that. I woke up to waves a few times between 6 and 8.30, DH called in to work and when DD woke up we went down for breakfast.
At 9.50 am I go to the bathroom and yell, “yeh!” when I spot some blood. We go for a walk at 11 am to a beautiful waterway near our house. My waves have been 15-20 minutes apart and I update my MWs. DH puts DD down for a nap around 12.30 pm, I warm some leftovers, and Helena (HB MW) calls to check on me. Between 1 and 2 pm I rest and listen to my Birthing Affirmations and between 2 and 3 pm my waves are 2 to 7 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. DH makes a yummy Greek salad. I notice my Mucous Plug is loosening at 3 pm and it’s mixed with blood. Carina (PN MW) calls to check on me. My MIL picks up DD, who kisses my belly and says “see you later”. I’m not sure if she’s talking to me or the baby, but my heart warms.
I listen to my Birthing Affirmations while I shower. I feel calm and excited. At 5.50 pm my waves are 3 in 10 minutes. Helena, who lives an hour away is on full alert, but I don’t feel I need my MWs just yet. At 6.50 pm I call Carina (who lives 20 minutes away) to say “not yet but soon”. My sitz herbs are steeping, the house is prepped and ready. I’m feeling good and the waves seem very effective and I enjoy them from my birth ball listening to Billy Holiday. DH is preparing seaweed soup for later and pasta for now (he told me later, this was a great task to take his mind off being nervous). He comes by now and then to put a hand on my shoulder and give me the “Relax” cue, which really works to send a wave of relaxation through my body and brings a smile to my face.
I decide it’s time to listen to the Easy First Stage track. The track starts and she’s talking about the strong waves I’m feeling and I’m feeling nothing, except the baby hiccuping. I’m thinking, “Typical! They stopped.” Then I feel one coming and “Pop!”, gush. I hop off the newly prepared sofa bed and yell, “My water, time to call.” DH admits later to looking at the stove three times to see what water I was talking about (there was after all, soup, pasta and an herbal bath going on there) before realizing, “Oh HER water”. DH calls the MW’s and I rush to update at our DDC (this made DH giggle and shake his head at me which in turn made me laugh). I dry myself off and DH lights lanterns in the garden for MW’s. I wait out another wave leaning on my birthing ball, amazed at how much water continues to gush. I’m enjoying my tagliatelle when Carina comes in.
Carina listens to the baby. I ask her to use a doppler so I can hear too. Baby is calm. Mommy is too. I move to a softer chair and Carina does some acupuncture for my abdomen and legs. I move back to my ball to enjoy some more waves. DH moves the dogs to the basement and meets the HB MW, Helena, on his way back up. He helps her carry the scale and things. He tells me the night is starry and beautiful. The milky way is visible and the big dipper is right outside our door. Carina and Helena sit on the floor, we chat and laugh, I close my eyes and enjoy my waves saying “Peace” to release anesthesia into my body. I feel relaxed and happy. DH gives me the relax cue. Billy Holiday’s “Solitude” comes on and I inform everyone that it’s my favorite.
I need to pee and Helena wants to listen to baby. He or she is still calm. The waves get way stronger when I’m standing. DH whispers to me “open, open, open.” There’s no more water gushing now, the baby’s head must be wedged down the birth canal. I lean on the media center for support and Helena massages my back. This feels so good, I just want to stay there but I feel it’s time to listen to Easy First Stage. I want to turn my switch off and then get it back to center. DH puts the track on the speakers and I sit in a chair and listen. I go way down and then quickly count up to 2 so I can be active and talk while still under hypnosis. My MW’s are new to Hypnobabies and very curious so I explain to them while DH massages my feet with lavender oil. I feel warm and cozy. The waves are really strong now. “Open, open, open,” I tell myself. The track reminds to be “limp and loose” and I remind myself that it’s just pressure and tightness, that it is I who chooses how to meet these waves.
I glance at my birthing bead bracelet and feel the power of all the mamas in our DDC, all the mamas through out time birthing our daughters and sons. I pull up whatever foot DH is not massaging to the other knee and kind of flap my leg up and down like a bird. This feels perfect and after each wave, which are very tight together now, I find myself looking at DH, smiling and my eyes are watering. I’m SO happy! Those moments there with DH are indelibly written in my mind.
I am so comfortable in the chair but I know and say out loud that it’s time to stand up. I love how in tune I am with my body. No one tells me what to do, I just know what needs to be done. Standing up launches things forward. I feel DH’s hand on my shoulder, “relax”. Carina sets a ring of acupuncture needles around my abdomen and back. The waves come hard. The pressure is incredibly powerful, it’s hard to stay on my feet. I fall into DH’s arms, breathing and focusing on the tightness which is moving my baby down and out.
“Peace”, I breath anesthesia into all the birthing muscles. DH whispers “open, open, open”. Helena grips and massages my feet, keeping me grounded. The Hypnobabies track ends and DH asks me what I want to hear. “Music, you chose”. Johnny Cash, “Hurt” comes on. I love this song and I want to say that but the words can’t get out. Helena listens to baby again and smiles, saying nothing is stressing out this baby. I smile and fall to all fours gripped by a wave. “Eisenhower Moon” by Jesse Sykes plays. I smile to myself. I feel the baby moving down and out. We are so close. I tell myself to breath.
“Rainbow Connection” covered by Willie Nelson. I want to explain that this is DD’s namegiving song but the time for small talk is far past. I’m just talking to myself, breathing anesthesia to my cervix, down my birth canal. There’s plenty of room for welcoming my baby to the world.
All of sudden words come to me. “My red raspberry leaf tea!!! I need it!” I know I’m way past needing RRL tea but it’s the last desperate cry of a woman about to let herself lose control. I’m about to give myself over to something far more powerful. “2 cups of water! 30 minutes!” ”Oh that’s a lifetime right now,” I manage to say sarcasticly. Helena laughs, DH runs to the kitchen. DH admits later he put in 4 cups of water. I sense this because I insist between waves, “How much water did you put in?!”. He assures me from the kitchen that the tea is fine and I can insist no more.
“Put on the pushing track!” I yell. DH runs back, hits play, gets down in front of me and I hold on for dear life. I’m growling our baby out. I hear the track telling me there’s plenty of room. I growl again. I listen to track, go to “my special place” where I am always safe and can be with my baby. I let go of my baby’s hand, telling her/him I welcome her/him. It is time is for us to meet out in the world. This visualization is so beautiful and powerful to me. Carina and DH change positions. DH is going to catch our baby.
There’s no time to rest between waves. A sip of juice, growl, a sip of juice, growl. I know there is only one direction to go…towards my baby. I feel a small burning sensation and tell myself, “peace”, sending anesthesia out in front of the baby’s head. He’s crowning, the wave ends and he slides back up. “Come on!” I yell and prepare for the next wave. Growl! Out comes his head. “What does the baby look like?” I ask. “Like DD but with less hair” answers DH and I can hear he’s smiling. Helena tells me I’m going to push the baby out next time and I know it. I get up on my knees and hold Carina around the shoulders. GROWL! 9.58 pm, three hours after my water broke, out comes baby into DH’s arms. “It’s a boy”, he tells me.
I smile, fall forward, breathing heavily and try to glance backwards. Helena untangles him from his cord which was caught tightly around his neck but luckily is long. This is why she told me to push him out on that last contraction. It was time. He had really twisted himself up in it. Carina helps me turn and gets me propped up against DH. Lars comes to rest on my chest. He’s gorgeous and very content. Carina brings me a cup of RRL tea. Helena laughs and says that’s the first time she’s heard anyone give instructions for brewing tea during the second stage of birthing. It hasn’t brewed for quite the instructed 30 minutes, but it’s very tasty anyway.
Lars was 8 lbs 9 oz, 21 inches long. Carina and Helena hugged us and wished us a good night. We celebrated with non-alcoholic champagne and cheese sandwiches. DH lit a fire and the three of us cozied down to sleep. DD came home when Teddy was 12 hours old and it was love at first sight.