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Archive for the ‘Birth Story – Water Birth’ Category

Thanks to Leigh Anne from Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan for allowing us to share her birth story from her blog onto the Hypnobabies Blog. 

So here is the part of the birth that I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting. My previous births have been pretty quick, especially Nick’s. I teach Hypnobabies, so I always enjoy telling the parents the different things they can do during their birthing time, walking, sitting on the birth ball, resting, etc. However, I have not really gotten to experience those intimate moments in birth because once things got going, it seemed like the birth was all out and fast. This time I got to enjoy a few of the things, I felt I’ve missed out on in previous births.

My husband was great, he asked what i wanted for breakfast. At this point, I was hungry, but not sure what I really wanted to eat. I think I told him to make me some eggs. I laid down in the bedroom and played around on my iPad in between waves. I sent a message to my friends on thebabywearer.com website that I had just two words….prodromal and posterior. I figured that I may be in my birthing time for a while. I knew the baby was posterior because I could still feel hands moving in the front part of my lower belly, over my pubic bone. Like I had said before, I didn’t do much during the night to try to rotate the baby because I knew I needed to rest. So, my plan for the morning was to get on all fours as much as possible and try to get the baby to turn around.

I sat on the birth ball in the kitchen while my husband cooked and my mom sat at the kitchen table. Whenever I had a pressure wave, Damon would come over and do a hip squeeze. I had to remind him how to do his hands. My mom even came over and did a hip squeeze, learning how I wanted her to put her hands. I had some pretty good pressure waves during this time. I resent my text to my boss from the day before while sitting on the ball, saying that I would not be in the office today.

After eating some eggs with salsa, I asked my husband to go for a walk with me. I took a photo of my mom with the boys right before I went for a walk. I sent a text message to Debi, to let her know how the evening had went and that I was still having pressure waves and had more show. She said she was nearby if I needed her.

We didn’t walk far in the neighborhood. It was before nine o’clock so it wasn’t miserably hot yet. We walked down a hill and then back up. I figure in our twenty-minute walk, back and forth in front of our house I had at least seven pressure waves. The part that was so cool about this was, I had always wanted to do the clutch and sway hold with my husband during a pressure wave. Since we are the same height, it was kind of funny to figure out how I could comfortably be supported by him. It was great to snuggle my face into his neck on this beautiful morning. We chatted about my mom’s dream she had in the night. She told me upon waking up that she dreamt we had went into her room and told her that Grant had been born. We did not have a name for the baby yet if it was a boy. Damon told me he had actually thought about that name last week. I said that he had vetoed that name with me in the past. I wasn’t ready to commit to any name at this point, especially because we still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. I loved our walk and found it was most comfortable to hold his waist during a wave. We even tried one abdominal lift while on the walk. I had not gotten to do that during birth before either.

I’m sure we were a sight to see, we even had one of our not so nice neighbors stop and check on us to see if they could do anything for us. It was during one of the waves where I was holding on to Damon’s waist. I started laughing during the wave because of how funny I know we looked. Another neighbor saw us and you could see the big smiles on their faces. I thought we might be having a baby soon but Damon told them that we would probably have a baby within the week. I loved that he was trying to protect my space for me.

We went back inside and I wanted to try doing some rebozo sifting. I had Damon pull up the Spinning Babies website so that I could show him what I wanted him to do with the wrap. I then got down on all fours in the living room and had him do some gentle sifting. It felt really good.

I then decided that I was tired and wanted to lay down again. I spread out a towel on our bed and laid down on my side. Damon came back there with me and would put counter pressure on my hips when he heard me start to moan or take a deep breath. I know I fell asleep between some of these waves because I would be feel a wave coming on, look around for Damon thinking that he was probably far away and I would need to yell for him and he was always right behind me, ready to support me and do whatever he needed. I laid there until about 9:30-9:45 am. At this point, I decided to get up and use the restroom again.

I believe around this point, Damon called Debi to let her know that things were picking up. She said that she would be here soon. I went downstairs and started to get the last-minute things I wanted ready in the birth room. I made sure that the video camera was set up properly, making sure that it would record. I asked Damon to call Amy around this time too, but he thought I had meant to just call Debi. I reminded him to call Amy and he did. Around 10 am, Debi and her daughter Rachel (her assistant) arrived. They were really great when they got there.

They brought in their supplies as we began filling up the birth pool. While I had laid down, Damon had somehow managed to get water boiling on the stove to provide extra heat if we needed it in the birth tub and had also duct taped a white sheet to the inside of the watering trough/birth pool. I was sitting on the birth ball next to the pool, waiting for the water to get higher and the right temp. I used the restroom a handful more times. Whenever I sat on it, I thought of it like a birth stool. I would almost always have a pressure wave while sitting on it.

Debi then asked to do some monitoring on the baby. I reminded her that I did not want any vaginal exams and she had no issues with that. She set up her external fetal monitor and I stood next to the birth tub while she held the monitor to my belly. She said she would monitor for six minutes and then would do so again in an hour for her intermittent monitoring. I was able to move as I needed to while she held the doppler. Once she was done monitoring, I got into the tub. The water felt wonderful.

I laughed as I saw water bubbles underneath the white sheet. I played with the water bubbles in between waves. My husband was cracking up at my simple entertainment. He took a couple of photos of me during this time.

Amy arrived shortly after I got into the pool and she took a few photos of me. Amy knew I really wanted photos during this birth since I had not gotten the opportunity with Nick’s birth and I had said no during Liam’s. The midwives and Amy were all fantastic about massaging my lower back/sacrum area during a pressure wave. Women that have had babies know exactly where to put their hands during a birth. Amy was fantastic at putting her hand on my shoulder and saying the release cue right when I needed it. I remember at one point she was sitting to my left and I was saying the words, “open, open, open” out loud during a wave. Afterward she asked me, “do you really believe those words when you say them?” I replied, “most definitely. I said those very words in that room right there,” gesturing towards the boys bedroom that I could see close by. ”I said those words when Nick was coming out of me in that room, I know they work.” She smiled.

I was joking and laughing between waves, telling the midwives stories about my recent hemorrhoids. I even was midway through a story, a wave came on, I groaned through the wave, saying “opening up, come on baby,” then as soon as the wave was over, I continued on with my story. Later on, I told Amy that we were going to be life long friends because she had rubbed my butt and I had it on video for proof. I was cracking up at myself.

I remember looking up at this board…

I had written the words, Relax, Release and Peace on it, just about thirty minutes before. I hoped that it would remind everyone in the room the cue words that I would need. Liam also had a picture that he had drawn specifically for when I had the baby put up on the board. I remember looking at the magnet board and I really thought it was about to fall. I asked someone to go catch it. My husband went over to it and asked what was behind the board. My response, which wasn’t so nice, but I started really cracking up, “Ohh, it’s just your stupid golf balls! Bwhahahahahahaha.” I have no idea why I thought that was so funny but in the moment when I was nearing transition, I thought I was hilarious.

I think around this time, I asked for some crackers and I drank some water between almost every wave. After a wave, I made sure to smile because I remember in the hypnosis scripts, it says to smile after a wave. It made me feel better to do so.

The waves were coming quicker and quicker. Debi went to monitor the baby while I was in the water. As her hand held the doppler to my belly, I said, “Wow, did you just feel the baby rotate?” She did. I have never actually felt my babies movements during birth. Another very special thing about this particular birth.

Once the baby rotated, I started to feel like I could push. Remember, I had no vaginal exams. I loved that no one said, let me check you. They could hear the sounds changing from loud moans, to lion sounds. I asked for Liam to come downstairs. I wanted to see him. He came and looked in the tub asking if the baby was coming soon. I kissed him and then he left the room as another wave sent a roar through me, roaring the words “Open.” I laughed as the wave ended because I could hear him say, “It sounds like a lion!”

A few waves later, I asked Nick to come downstairs. I kissed him and was so happy he was there too. Then he too went back upstairs.

I was getting louder and louder, the grunting roars where coming closer together. I would put my head into the towel on the edge of the tub, thinking to myself that it was the perfect replacement for a hand on the forehead (just like one of Hypnobabies physical cues for relaxation). Someone had their hand on my shoulder and during a wave someone would put their hand on my sacrum. It was starting to get uncomfortable with a hand on my lower back. I remember Rachel, the assistant midwife asking where I felt the most pressure. I took both hands and placed them into the sides of my glutes, right where the IT Band connects. I still had my head on the side of the tub. I felt like I was pointing at a big sign when I did that.

I started to push during the waves. The Hypnobabies Easy First Stage track ended and Amy asked if I wanted the pushing track on. I said I wasn’t sure, but yeah, go ahead. I had told Damon to turn off the Pushing baby out track off during Nick’s birth and then I felt pushy. Amy knew I would like to listen to it during this birth.

I remember repeating after the hypnosis track really loudly the words, “Yes, just pressure,” and kind of laughing after it. I started to push in earnest. I put my hand down on my perineum to see if the baby’s head was there yet. It wasn’t. A few more pressure waves and I put my hand down there again. I felt the sac for an instant. I said, “I feel the head.”

I was still having space between the waves, where I would just lean my head into the edge of the tub. Then during the next wave, I placed my hands in a circle around my perineum as the pushing urge became so strong. I was going to do my own perineum support.

During the waves, I really wasn’t sure if I could stand to have anyone’s hands on my back and said so. I was so confused on what I needed, the sensations were overwhelming my body. My hands were firmly placed against my perineum. Some people wonder how it is possible to support your own perineum around a belly, but I had my legs far, far apart at this point, with my legs starting to go numb in the water. The water was supporting my weight, with my head on the side. I could feel the baby moving down. The sac was right there during the next wave, I pushed back on my perineum while I pushed with all my might, the sounds in my voice being the loudest roar. I felt some of the sac bubble out in front of the babies head, like a small water bubble getting pinched, the sensations were overwhelmingly strong, I tried to stand up to get away from them. In that moment a piercing scream came from my mouth as I was so confused on how to get the head out….and then, the head slipped out.

I paused for a moment, taking a second to breathe to try to ease the baby out and then the whole body slipped into the water, the babies back to me covered in vernix. I lifted him up and saw his wonderful little testicles and shouted, “It’s a boy!” I had my baby boy. I had done it with people cheering me on around me the entire time telling me what a great job I was doing.

Liam and Nick were born with almost no vernix, but this baby was so sticky with it. He was wonderful, perfect and held to my chest.

Chunks of vernix floated in the water. Debi came over and rubbed him with a towel. Liam and Nick came down with my Mom to meet their little brother. I stayed in the tub for a little while and then noticed a lot of blood in the water. I asked Debi if it was a normal amount and it was. It was just the placenta separating from the uterus. The assistant felt the cord and said it had stopped pulsing. I was surprised at that, as it had only been about a minute. We realized later, that the cord was actually still pulsing. It was cool, even after it came out, it continued to pulse and didn’t stop for a while.The cord stayed in tact though. I soon got out of the tub after a handful of photos.

They asked if I felt the urge to push the placenta out. I tried a little push but it did not come. So I stood up with the baby in my arms. I think the midwives were surprised that I was able to stand so easily and heft my leg over the edge of the large watering trough. Just as I brought my left leg over, the placenta fell out and I grabbed the cord and lifted the placenta up to Debi. I hobbled to the nearby bedroom to lay down with my baby boy.

I couldn’t be happier with the way this birth turned out. All my wishes were respected. Not knowing Debi, I wasn’t sure if she would follow my wishes, try to do a bunch of vaginal exams, or even try to get me out of the water. All she did was monitor me as she needed to and keep the tub water warm enough. My doula, Amy was amazing in remembering to take the photos that I wanted and to use her hypno-doula tools perfectly. Rachel the assistant had great touch on my lower back and all of them said encouraging words during the birth. My husband was always where he needed to be. Keeping the water boiling to keep the tub the right temperature; being next to me as I needed him and just being all around wonderful. I was so thankful that my Mom was finally there for one of my children’s births. It wasn’t her fault that she wasn’t there for the others, but this time she along with my doula’s daughter Miriam kept my children entertained as necessary.

I got to catch my own baby again and I was so excited when Debi said that my tear was minimal and I would not need stitches. I’ve had second degree tearing with the previous two births and I was proud of myself for supporting my own perineum to get the baby out. The baby was born at 12:14 pm on Friday, June 29th, 2012. The cool thing about the number 29, is I’m born on October 29th, Liam was born on October 29th as well, my wedding anniversary is May 29th and Nick’s birthday is on April 19th. I think I like the number nine.

Grant was named after the midwives had left and we had done our herb bath and newborn checkup.

Debi asked right before he was weighed how much I thought he weighed. I said, he looks similar to my other two when they were born, probably 8 lbs at least. I was surprised with him being born at 37 weeks. Sure enough, I was close. He was 8 lbs 5 oz, 21 inches long with a head circumference of 14 inches. He did show signs of being early. His muscle tone is a little low, the cartilage on his ears is very soft and he was covered in the most vernix I’ve ever seen on a baby. He is perfect though and nursing wonderfully now.

Thanks for taking the time to read this very long birth story, but I want to keep all of these things in my memory forever. I haven’t watched the birth footage yet, but I’m so excited to have it. I know it will be interesting to hear the sounds that came out of my mouth there at the end. Afterwards, I found out my husband knows those sounds well enough that he told both my mom and that assistant that when he heard a certain sound, the baby would be out in thirty minutes. He was right.

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Thanks to Leigh Anne from Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan for allowing us to share her birth story from her blog onto the Hypnobabies Blog. 

When I woke up from my nap, I felt very rested, like I had actually slept all night. I don’t remember if I had any pressure waves during this time. I went to the restroom and heard our garage door opening. My husband was returning home with the boys from a grocery shopping trip. He left the boys in the car and I helped put the groceries away. He surprised me with some very yummy treats, like summer sausage, cheese and crackers. After giving me a hug, he left again with the boys, leaving me time to just chill on my own. I really love that man.

I took some photos of all of the baby goodies I had made or received…you may have seen that blog post. I lanolized my wool items and laid them outside. Then made myself a snack of cheese, sausage and crackers. It was delicious. I spoke on the phone with my midwife Carolyn and her apprentice. I could hear that they were both disappointed that things were happening so early and that they may miss the birth. Carolyn and I spoke a few times, during the afternoon. At one point, she called me to tell me that Debi Church was across town and would be on her way over to check me. I quickly informed my midwife that I did not want any vaginal checks. She told me that she would call Debi back and let her know. I didn’t want a vaginal check because a number of centimeters mean nothing to me. I don’t like vaginal checks and only have had them during Liam’s birth. They give no indication when a baby might be here…in my opinion, and figured that someone having a number would just be random information.

I called my mom to let her know that I thought I might be in labor. She told me that she was free if I needed her to come. I called her back around 5 pm to ask her to travel down after she got off work. She has missed Liam and Nick’s birth. I wasn’t sure if things were going to kick into gear, but I knew we could use her help in the night if the boys woke up and I was having more pressure waves.
I decided to curl my hair because I figured I would not be pregnant on July 8th, when my maternity photos were scheduled. I had fun pampering myself, getting my hair looking nice, putting some makeup on and had fun taking some head shot photos. I knew I would have Damon take some photos of me that night, Thursday. I wasn’t sure if I would go to the river gorge where I originally wanted or if we would drive to the end of our neighborhood, to the river. It was extremely hot outside. We are having a having temps around 107 degrees fahrenheit. I posted a blog post of me having fun with my glamorous hair and was pleased to see how kind everyone was about the photos. I then sewed the binding on the babies mustache quilt, hoping that if I had the desire later, I could do the remaining hand sewing on the binding.

I was having pressure waves throughout this time, but nothing my Hypnobabies mental light switch couldn’t handle. When the boys got home, I got to hear about their enjoyable afternoon going to the mall playground. I told Damon that I wanted to take maternity photos that night, but we to get dinner ready first. I started to brown the ground beef for burritos, but the waves were picking up and I was getting nervous that I wouldn’t get to take my maternity photos. Damon finished cooking dinner while I dressed for the photos. It was around six pm at this time. I decided I did not want to go to the gorge, we would have to hike a bit for the photos and I figured being near the river was close to what I wanted.

We piled into the car and drove the short distance. Damon had asked if I wanted to walk, but the heat was too much. We took some fun photos by the river, even capturing the very close nuclear plant in the background. I bet most of you don’t have maternity photos with cooling towers in the background!

We ate dinner and then I told Damon that I thought I should go lay down for awhile. Around 9 pm, I asked him to get the boys dressed for bed. Nick wanted to nurse to sleep but I didn’t want the nipple stimulation. He was adorable and I was able to rub his back to sleep. My boys were all asleep and snoring within thirty minutes. I was needing to get up, not wanting to labor in the bedroom with all of them, possibly disturbing them. I figured at this point that the waves were coming every 5-6 minutes sometimes, then spacing out. I didn’t officially time them, it was just my guess. I decided to call my friend Amy while sitting on the couch. I told her my update and let her decide if she wanted to come over or not. I tried to call Debi Church with the phone number that Michelle had given me earlier in the day….of course, there was no answer. I sent a message via Facebook to Michelle, saying I couldn’t get in contact with Debi. She gave me her cell number and that it would be okay to call, she would be expecting my call. I did get to speak to her for the first time that evening. We had a nice long talk, me telling her how I was feeling, how close the waves were, how my previous births had went, and how I was worried about how far away she lived, if things picked up quickly. She reassured me by telling me that she would come stay in a nearby town that night. I was able to discuss my wishes for no vaginal checks, that I was wanting a water birth, that I understood she would need to monitor the babies heartbeat and that I wanted to support my own perineum when birthing and catch my own baby. Not knowing her, I wasn’t sure if I would get these things, but it made feel more comfortable letting her know what was in my birth plan.

My mom arrived around eleven pm and Amy arrived shortly thereafter with her ten year old daughter, Miriam. I had previously told Amy that I would be okay with Miriam being there, possibly helping with Liam and Nick. I told everyone that they could go to bed, I was just going to be on the couch. So my doula and her daughter went downstairs and my mom followed after we chatted for a bit. I believe I put on another Hypnobabies track when she decided to go downstairs. I had all the lights off in the living room. I knew I needed to sleep if I was to have energy to birth a baby. The night involved me alternating from left side to right side throughout the night. Having pressure waves that ranged from five minutes apart to about ten minutes a part. The only thing that would have been nice during the night would have been a pair of hands on my back, but laying on the couch, it would have been hard to get hands in the right spot. I also didn’t want my doula friend to be exhausted and I was able to handle most of it with my light switch and the peace cue. I was up every hour to pee or poop, drinking water frequently and at one point having a granola bar snack. I was starving. How anyone does a longer birth with not eating is amazing! Food is awesome during birth. I was able to get some sleep and was surprised at one point in the night to be sweating a ton and having been sure that I was talking in my sleep during waves.

Around 5:30am I decided to turn Netflix back on and watch a mindless sitcom. I felt like I had gotten enough sleep and I was tired of focusing on getting through the waves. My mom joined me in the living room around 6 am. Amy came upstairs around 6:30 am to check on me. I found out then that she had come up during the night to check on me, but I was in the dark and I guess I was asleep. I don’t remember her being there. She told me that she was going to go home and take her other daughter to a camp. I told her that was fine. I wasn’t sure if this was prodromal labor or not. I knew this could go on for days like this. She told me to call her whenever I needed her back.

To be continued…again. I know, the suspense. No worries. I’ll type up the actual birth tomorrow

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Thanks to Leigh Anne from Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan for allowing us to share her birth story from her blog onto the Hypnobabies Blog. 

As many of you noticed, I did not share my due date with most people because I hate the, “you haven’t had that baby?” comment. However, now that the baby has arrived, I’m happy to tell you my guess date. It was July 20, 2012, but I expected to go late like I did with my other two children. I hoped that the baby would be born on my husband’s birthday, July 30th. This baby had other plans though.

I’ve had multiple hemorrhoid flare ups this pregnancy. For me hemorrhoids have happened about two weeks before I have a baby in previous pregnancy, but with the every two week frequency of hemorrhoids in the past month, I was thoroughly confused. I kept figuring this would be a big baby because of how much pressure I had down low and for the frequency of the hemorrhoids. I even sometimes wondered if I was having twins even though we had only ever heard one heart beat.

My husband has been working out of town at least three days a week, in Nashville, since before the baby was conceived. He planned to be home next week for the fourth of July holiday. I had no worries about him being out of town as I approached thirty-seven weeks because I expected to go until at least forty weeks. He even was in Oklahoma all last week for work.

I had been doing little things to prepare for the baby this week. I had done some crazy nesting, getting down and scrubbing the kitchen cabinet doors, making sure the kitchen was clean, laundry was washed and put away, etc. My hemorrhoids were still there, but no longer painful, so I was feeling pretty good this week. On Wednesday, I had talked to one of my bosses about my work plans. I had the need to tell him that day…for some reason.

We all went to bed normally on Wednesday night. I listened to three Hypnobabies hypnosis tracks, deepening, creating anesthesia and fear clearing. Around 2 am, Thursday morning, I woke up needing to use the restroom, feeling a little off. I laid down on the couch in the living room, watched a little television and tried to distract myself. Around three, I went back into the bedroom and laid down next to my four year old and two year old but couldn’t get the idea out of my head that I needed to call my husband. I kept saying to myself, my female intuition was telling me that I really needed to call him and I would be kicking myself if I did not. I grabbed my cell phone and thought about texting him, but decided instead to just call him. Good thing I did. His phone went right to voicemail. I went and sat on the toilet, peed, then wiped. Bright red spotting. I dialed my husband again, even though I knew it was pointless. I was only 37 weeks, that day. I couldn’t be spotting. I panicked. I called my Dad, hoping that he was staying in the duplex in Nashville with Damon, my husband. He picked up after about three rings. I said in a very urgent voice, “Dad, it’s Leigh Anne, go get Damon please.” He asked what was wrong. I said in a stern voice, “go get my husband, now.”

My dad, went and woke Damon up. He told me that Damon would call me back. I found out later, that my Dad had walked into Damon’s room. Damon was splayed out on his bed, with the lights on, completely out. Damon called me back a few minutes later, which seemed like so much time as I kept wiping bright red blood from myself. He called me and with a panicked voice, I said, ” I’m bleeding, please come home.” Damon, tried to ask a few questions, but I was a little too freaked. He called me back a little while later, once he was on the road and I told him that it wasn’t a ton of blood, it looked like bloody show, but I’m only thirty-seven weeks. He remained calm, and drove home. It was about 3:30 am. He told me that the reason why his phone was off was that he had purchased a new phone from Verizon and he thought he had plugged it in to charge, but it appears that it powered off instead.

I called my friend, Amy Poarch, a local doula, and asked if she could come over. I didn’t want to be by myself. Nick’s birth had went so quickly, I was nervous that this one might go fast too. I also needed her help setting up the hose attachment to possibly fill the birth tub. I had tried to use the tools to attach, but my nerves was so shot, I was afraid I would bust the water faucet.

The other, very important thing in my brain was, my midwife was across the country on vacation until July 1st, her apprentice was in Kentucky for a wedding. I called my midwife friend Michelle because I thought she was my backup midwife. I was mistaken or misinformed. Michelle helped calm me and gave me Debi Church’s phone number, she was to be my backup midwife. I had only ever met Debi once at the recent birth fair. I had heard good things about her, but it was unnerving for me to be prepared to use a midwife that I did not know.

My Dad called me to see how I was doing. He knew I was scared because of the tone when I had first talked with him. He made me laugh when he said he had googled, “bloody show.” I just couldn’t imagine what he was finding, but he knew that meant the baby would be coming soon. He asked me to please go to a doctor if I felt the need. I reassured him that at 37 weeks, I was good to have a home birth. He said he understood, but as my Dad, he was still concerned for me. He asked if he could do anything, but I told him no, I would be okay.

Amy came over and helped me get the hose attached. I was all over the house, gathering supplies and trying to keep my adrenaline up, invoking the fight or flight response so that this baby would not come quickly. I was so thankful that Amy came over. She helped keep me calm. I was having pressure waves, but nothing I could not handle. She asked if i wanted to listen to fear clearing, but I said no, not until Damon got home. I laid on the couch watching Netflix, Amy sat nearby reading. Nick woke up and asked me to go lay down with him. I did but didn’t want to stay in there. He ended up coming into the living room with us for a little while. I finally did get him back down. He would not go to Amy. I went and took a shower, figuring it might be awhile until I could. Damon arrived home around 6:30 am. I was so thankful he was home. I continued to lay on the couch, using my finger drop technique any time a wave came. Damon went and laid down with the boys.I sent a message to the babysitter that the boys would be staying home. I texted my boss saying I wouldn’t be in to work that day. I was not going to repeat Nick’s birth and have to drive home in labor. I decided to try and sleep, as it was 7 am or so. I told Amy she could go home if she wanted, nothing was really happening. I put on the deepening track, put my wet towel over my face and tried to relax. When the hypnosis track was over, I took the towel off my head and saw Amy had left me a card saying to call whenever I needed her.

Nick woke up and was banging on the bedroom door, wanting out. I hoped Damon would get up and let him out but he was asleep. I made pancakes for Nick and I to eat. I was starving. Then I called Michelle to thank her for talking to me in the middle of the night. We had a really nice chat. Around 10 am, Damon took over caring for the boys and I laid down to rest, finally listening to fear clearing again, for the second time in about thirteen hours. I slept until 12:30 pm.

To be continued…..

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Kizoa slideshow: Isaiah BirthSlideshow

I haven’t figured out how to embed this video, but it is worth clicking over to watch it!

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Alexander’s Home Hypnobabies Water Birth
Wedesday, March 7  11:22pm

A little Background information: Around 12 weeks I developed bacterial pneumonia and was hospitalized for one week and had quite a bit of fluid drained from my left lung. During this process I kept talking to my baby telling him or her that his core temperature was perfect (mine was 104 at the time) his organs and brain were developing perfectly and he was growing perfectly. I slowly recovered and everything showed just fine on the ultra sound for his development at the time. Fast forward to January and I became sick again with an upper respiratory infection turned pneumonia, then bronchitis. During that time I fractured 3 ribs from powerful coughing and I was in a lot of pain unable to care for my kids or hold my very sad 2 year old. Around 35 weeks I began having pre term birthing activity and my midwife put me on complete bedrest. As each week passed I prayed for another week and woke up grateful for another day where my sweet pea remained safe and continued to grow. As the same with my last birth I really felt this baby’s time was drawing very near and since we were having a homebirth (for the first time) I wanted the house cleaned. I paid for someone to clean on Tuesday March 7, 2012. I felt great relief when it was clean. I was now one day shy of 38 weeks. Nesting is something I was fighting since I was unable to do most things.

Around 8:00 pm I went to lay down on my left side because I started having pressure waves but were very mild. I started timing them and they were about 10 minutes apart. I took a bath and drank lots of water and took some rescue remedy to hopefully stop the pressure waves. I kept telling Jenna my midwife that I am probably the only mom who wants to wait to have her baby until 41 weeks. In all of my pregnancies, that has never happened. My twins were born 2 days shy of 37 weeks (induced) and my son 38 weeks on the day on his own timing. The pressure waves slowed and I fell asleep from midnight until 2 am. At 2 am the pressure waves woke me up and I began timing them. They were now 5 minutes apart but not growing with intensity. Because I went to the hospital for my last birth unaware that I was truly in my birthing time at 8cm dilated, my midwife wanted me to call asap. At 3:00 am I woke Jeff up and he began filling the pool as I called Jenna. I was kind of excited by now and during this time I thought…I am going to wear make up this time. My last births I looked rather well…blah. This was going to be different since I am going to be at home. My birth team arrived. First, Jenna arrived and began setting up her things. Shortly after that Barb my other midwife arrived. She told me that I was awfully chipper for being in my birthing time. I told her I was smiling at a 9 with my last Hypnobabies birth. Michelle my doula arrived around 5 am. Jenna checked me and after dilating so fast with Samuel I thought surely it would be the same or even faster. Wrong. I was 3cm, a plus one station and 80% effaced. I was a little disappointed but I was not deterred. I decided that I was pretty tired and I would rest and try to sleep. I rested but couldn’t fall asleep. My midwife came into the room and told me she had another mom who’s waves were 2 minutes apart and asked if I minded if she left. While Jeff was not okay with her leaving, I was.

The kids woke up and while Jeff got them ready, Michelle kept them entertained until Jeff’s mom came to get them to take them to my friend’s house for the day. After I got my hugs and kisses from them, I got up and Jeff made scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast for everyone. I was starving so it tasted so good. The night before I had woken up with a Charlie horse so Michelle massaged my leg (she is a Licenced Massage Therapist too). We went for a walk to get things going. I had pressure waves but they were not too intense. When we got back it was lunch time. Things were not progressing and I wondered if I had jump the gun and also maybe too many people were here too soon. I am a very private person and I knew that could have an affect on me. Everyone left and I actually felt some relief. Jeff went and got Qdoba and I dozed for maybe a few minutes while listening to my birthing day affirmations. Jenna came back around 3:30 to check in on me as she was done with her other mom’s birth. I was 4cm dilated and a zero station. She recommended that Jeff and I do the deed to help get things going and then go out to dinner and a movie. We followed her orders but never made it to dinner. Around 5pm my pressure waves started to pick up in intensity but I refused to time them. At 5:30 Jeff went to drop some things off over at his mom’s for the kids. Maddison, one of my twins was having a really hard time being away from home and missed me terribly. I felt so bad for her, but I knew I needed privacy for birth. Meanwhile, I got on the birth ball for a few pressure waves. When Jeff returned the pressure waves were growing in intensity and I no longer wanted to be sitting for them. I was walking around in my center switch and using the wall or a chair or Jeff to lean into them. I was also feeling quite a bit of pressure in my back so I warmed up a rice sock and tucked it into the back of my pants for some relief. I had texted Jenna a shortly before and told her they were 5 minutes apart and way more intense than the previous ones but said I wasn`t ready for anyone yet.

Finally, Jeff said, “If you don’t call Jenna, I will”. So I agreed. Jeff called her for me as my pressure waves were about 3 minutes apart. She was at yet another birth (mind you there was a full moon the next night and a storm brewing). She would send Barb back over to assess me. Barb came and checked me, I was at a 6-7. She said I was so soft she could stretch me to an 8 if she wanted. I was happy about the progress and with that note, I wanted to be in the water now! During this time, Jeff had begun reheating the birthing pool and was just about ready. I called my doula and said we were back on and to come on back.

I got into the water and sweet relief to my lower back. The water felt so good! I was listening to my Easy First Stage track on my ipod. And leaning over the pool while Jeff was giving me the “Relax cue” on my forehead. I thought I would never want it on my forehead but it felt great. I wasn’t hungry for a meal so I enjoyed eating an orange. It was just what I needed. I was using my finger drop technique and it was working perfectly. In fact every tool and technique that I used for Samuel’s birth I did not like this time. I quickly told my team not to say the word, “Release.” I was finding it really annoying at the time. My doula poured water over my back while Jeff was giving me my prompts. So perfect! I got out to use the bathroom and returned into the pool. Michelle asked me if I wanted to change positions. So I tried the side lying position and if felt good to be in that position. I felt transformation quickly coming over me shorly after getting into that position so I think it was a great move. Michelle began reading the “Transformation” prompts and pouring water into the pool like a water fall (per my special safe place). She also reminded me all about my special safe place and I LOVED hearing that. I started to hold Jeff’s hand through my pressure waves and my eyes remained closed. Allison, my back up midwife arrived and I could already tell she brought in great peaceful energy to the room. Barb introduced us and I liked her soft smile. I then closed my eyes as my birthing waves were coming so close together. I was only having maybe a 10 second break in between them now. Barb monitored the baby with the Doppler here and there. All the sensations in my body were very intense. I started to moan in a soft low tone. It felt good to vocalize this way. I knew my body and my baby were working perfectly together. After a few vocalized waves, I began to feel a slight involuntary push at the end.

I knew I’d be meeting my baby soon and I got excited (though my eyes were still closed most of the time). As I began to gently push, Michelle’s and Jeff’s prompts with the Relaxation music playing in the background changed to saying, “Breathe Your Baby Down,” and “Nice and Easy”, to “Breathing and Allowing.” I really needed to hear this as I knew I would have to gently breathe my baby down so I would not re-injure my ribs from pushing. I suddenly did not want to hear the word deeper though I loved hearing it early on. I pushed on my right side while holding Jeff’s hand with my left hand. I have to say while I had a super tight grip on his hand, my body was relaxed. As Jeff would say, “Breathe our baby down,” I would repeat it as I used my abdominal muscles to gently push. He would also say Relax and repeating that felt good and kept me focused too. I worked very hard at maintaining self control at all times. There were a couple of times when I wanted so badly to push with all my might and I started to give in and my team reminded me to ease my baby out. My vocalizations varied from a whisper “O” to “Ahh in a deep low voice. I was really focused at keeping my mouth open and my voice low and deep. I am quite proud of it too, since I did more high pitched vocalizations with Samuel.

I reached down to see if I could feel a head but I felt a bubble and I never asked about it I just took my hand away and began to push in between the next birthing wave. Jeff saw what was happening and didn’t understand what he was seeing. It was my amniotic sac still intact. (A little funny side note: Jeff said it looked like I was blowing a bubble out of my vagina.) He looked at the midwives to see their reaction to this and they were both smiling from ear to ear, so he figured it was okay. I talked to my baby during this time and said, “Come on baby”. I thought Barb was touching my perineum and I didn’t like it. She said, that’s your baby. I could then feel him doing his cardinal movements inside of me as I stayed really relaxed. It was such an interesting feeling. We were such a team together! I really wanted the head to be born yet I was thinking to myself slow and steady.  The baby’s head finally emerged and my midwife Barb broke the caul and unlooped a cord and after that his shoulders just slid out so easily like melting butter. I reached down and lifted Alexander out of the water and into my arms. It was the best feeling ever to be the one to do that! He was born at 11:22pm Wednesday, March 7, 2012. About five minutes later, we finally looked under the towel to see he was a boy. He was so cute!

My midwife praised Hypnobabies and how wonderful it is. Her actual words, It’s really something!”  Allison made sure the baby kept warm and took his vitals. About 15 minutes later I got up to birth the placenta on the bed since I wasn’t having an urge to push. As I stood up the placenta fell into the water. They checked to make sure the traction wasn’t to forceful. All was well, so we traveled to the bed. It was a challenge to get in bed because it sits really high. Once I made it on, I began to nurse Zander.  Jeff cut the cord long after it stopped pulsating.  The midwives helped me up to use the bathroom and I got comfy where we’d lay the rest of the night. During that time, the midwives checked out his mouth, weighed him. They told me my placenta looked really healthy and I must have had a really good diet during pregnancy. (Thank you Brewer’s Diet). I nursed Alexander lying down and we slept for a few hours before the sun rose. He didn’t get a name for a couple of days. We finally named him Alexander (defender of men) Peyton (after my relative to served as a Lutinant General in the Civil war. I know that his name was meant to be this because he has been my little warrior throughout all of this very challenging pregnancy.

My Birthing team was so perfect! Barb and Allison stayed in the kitchen for the majority of the time. Even though my other midwife Jenna was at another birth, it all worked out. I truly believe Allison was meant to be there and she was wonderful. Jeff was amazing. He was very nervous about a home birth but he really shined that Wednesday evening. I just got done the previous Sunday training Michelle to be my hypno-doula. She couldn’t have done a better job. Everything I wanted and needed during my birthing time…I got. I am so thankful that Jeff trusted my home birth choice. This is our last baby and it couldn’t have ended on a better note. We are now blessed with 2 girls (twins) and 2 boys. Our family is complete. Another great and relatively comfortable Hypnobabies. It really makes me so happy to be teaching this amazing program to other moms too.

Yours In Peaceful Birthing,

April

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I never got around to actively posting here, but I derived a lot of inspiration
from other people stories. So here’s mine, in the hope that someone else will
benefit from reading it. :)

Note: one of the things that drew me to Hypnobabies was my conviction that if I
could stay relaxed, my birthing muscles wouldn’t be working as hard to allow
baby to be born. In my mind, this basically negated any “risk” to the vba2c that
I had my heart set on.

My hba2c birth story

2/2000: (DS1) Interventions leading to fetal distress and emergency c-section

4/2008: (DS2) Repeat c/s

Third baby “due” 3/3/12. We’d decided early on on a vba2c. Though the midwife at
Kaiser said I was an ideal candidate, she also advised I would have to get
doctor consent down the road and then again at the hospital. Since I understood
the risks this wouldn’t be a problem.

I went to an ICAN meeting in October and was totally shocked to hear how many of
the women had opted to have their vbac at home. So I started researching the
safety of home birth, which I had never considered an option for me. Happily, it
turns out there is quite a good community of home birth midwives in San Diego.

Amazingly my hubby got on board quickly and we were interviewing midwives
shortly after! We both felt most comfortable with the ladies at the Center for
Natural Birth.

At my 37 week appointment, I had my first internal exam revealing that my cervix
was very posterior. Fingertip dilated and still thick but soft. I took from this
that the Braxton Hicks, which had become more and more frequent, weren’t doing
much.
That week though I started having a persistent backache and these practice waves
became stronger and more frequent. Thursday night, 37+5 they went thru the night
until 5AM. It was a sleepless night as I sorted thru what all I had to do if
this was really it. As of the next night I started taking Benadryl to sleep thru
these practice runs.

Monday night 38+2 the practice waves seemed like a little more than BH. I woke
up on Tuesday 2/21 still having BH but less intense again. At my appt that
morning I asked to be checked. My cervix was now anterior but still only a
fingertip. I was 30% effaced. My take home message was that something had to
really pick up if I was going to get anywhere and I could just ignore all these
practice waves. So I did. All day.

We went to dinner at a friend’s house that evening. As we departed at 7:30 I was
a little uncomfortable and knew I wanted to get DS2 put to bed ASAP so I could
relax. Thankfully he was totally cooperative and I left his room at 8.

My sister texted to ask if I was still baking and I answered “oh yes” at 8:02.

In my bedroom I leaned over the bed and swayed thru my next pressure waves.
These were different but not at all painful and I still felt they were an
extension of my intensifying BH. DH came up at 8:30 and asked how I was doing.
We hung out and chatted for a while before migrating back downstairs at 9pm. It
was at that time that I thought maybe I should time a few of the pressure waves.
They were 3 min apart, lasting just over a minute and they’d been going on for
an hour already. I told DH I thought I was in early labor and may have the baby
tomorrow. I asked him to call my mom and let her know she should come sleep here
in case things picked up over night. I also asked him to fire up the jacuzzi. He
called mom at 9:30 and she said she’d be here in two hours.

I texted my midwife, Heather. She said to get in the hot tub for an hour and if
they went away and I could sleep, great. If they intensify or my water breaks,
call her back.

I texted my sister at 9:29 to say “hmm maybe not”. It seemed clear that baby was
finished baking.

DH went upstairs to blow up the birth tub and make up our bed and I went out to
the jacuzzi and started listening to the Hypnobabies track “easy first stage”.   I was calm and confident and
under control. I thought I’d want the jets on my back but sitting wasn’t
comfortable so I was leaning over the concrete on a towel with my head on my
folded arms. I focused on staying relaxed through each pressure wave.

After thirty minutes I texted DH to say I needed more towels. And Heather. He
came out with towels and said she’d be here in an hour. During the next thirty
minutes I was having a harder time keeping my focus. I was making trips to the
restroom, hence the more towels. I also felt that my pressure waves were easier
to handle if I bore down just a tiny bit. I thought “open open open” and could
actually feel my cervix opening. A lot it seemed. But that didn’t seem possible.
Then I started shivering. It was maybe 50 degrees outside and half my torso was
out of the tub so that seemed reasonable. The track ended and I went inside.

In the bathroom, I peeled off my bikini and marveled at the frayed strings and
the worn fabric. I knew I needed a new one for this summer. But the places this
one had been: Hawaii for our honeymoon, Israel: the med sea, caked in mud at the
dead sea. And now at our baby’s birth. I dropped it into the shower and put my
comfy yoga pants and sweat jacket back on.

Upstairs I was so grateful to find that DH had already made up the bed and I put
the same Hypnobabies track into the cd player and lay on my left side, hoping to
regain my focus. DH asked if he should fill the birth tub now but I wanted to
wait until Heather said if I’d made any progress.

I don’t know how long this went on. Maybe 20-30 minutes. It still felt good to
bear down slightly with each wave. Until my water broke. That broke my
concentration as I recalled hearing how this would make my contractions so much
more intense. I was worried I’d only be at 4cm with hours of intense
contractions ahead. So I told DH I needed the tub.

11:30. My mom arrived and told me Heather was in the driveway. I told each of
them as they came in that my water had broken. Heather started setting up her
tools and I made my way to the bathroom. I didn’t like laboring there and came
back to the bed quickly.

The pressure waves were much more intense now. Heather said she needed to check
me as soon as I had a break between waves. I wasn’t getting breaks often or for
long at this point.
“I’m afraid you’ll tell me I’m at a 2!”
“Your water probably wouldn’t have broken yet if you were,” she replied.
I was having another intense wave.
She said, “Don’t fight it. It’s your baby.” And at that, I could feel myself
pushing. It felt better if I did.
“But did you check?” I asked.
“I didn’t have to. Your baby is right there.”
I pushed through two waves on the bed and Heather said if I wanted to deliver in
the tub I needed to get in. Now.
“I can’t”
“Ok. But your baby is coming now. “

As soon as that pressure wave eased up I got up to go to the tub. Apparently
everyone had accepted that I “couldn’t” as this was met with a mad dash to
support me so I wouldn’t fall. I didn’t feel unsteady…

I put my foot in and worried it was too warm. I was reassured it was perfect. My
mom tested it with her elbow and said my feet are probably just cold. I got down
on my knees and bent forward into the same position I’d assumed outside with my
arms on the side of the tub. In the water I finally got a break between my waves
and felt I was able to get a little bit of a grip. I was vocalizing with the
next one and I heard Heather telling me “Low. Go low. Raspberries”. Raspberries
didn’t work for me. But going lower actually made it more comfortable and since
comfortable seemed to go hand in hand with effective for me so far I was
reassured. When that one ended I could feel something hanging out of me. Heather
said, “It’s part of your membranes. If it was a head you’d know it.”

I had a break again before the next pushing wave. This time it was the head (and
I didn’t know it). Heather said, “Stop. Do. Not. Push. Listen to me!” [She told
me later the cord was draped over baby, like a necklace.] I stopped and then she
said go ahead. I’m not even sure I was having a pressure wave at that point. And she
said, “Lift your left leg and I’ll bring the cord around.” I looked down. Baby
was out. And he had a penis. Of course he did. In that moment he couldn’t have
been any other way. This was the little boy that had cruised around with me for
the last almost 9 months. “It’s our M—-,” I said to DH.

Then I recalled I should lift my leg and she wound the cord around in front of
me. I pulled him out of the water and to my chest. In the air he cried for a
moment and then was so peaceful. I sat down and held him on my chest for the
longest time as he looked around, calm and content. I couldn’t believe we
actually did it, quickly and comfortably. Our M—- was here and it was really
true: he knew how and when to be born.

Not that we could have done it without DH, who was a rock throughout. He took
care of everything so that I could focus on letting M—- be born.

M—- D– was born at 12:07AM on 2/22/12 weighing 6lbs 7.6oz and 19.5″ long. He
completes our family in a way that was both immediately clear and impossible to
explain. But I do think a part of it was having this opportunity to experience
natural birth with him. He will forever be my partner in what was a life
altering and healing experience.

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Most people do not know how long we waited for your arrival, but it was much longer than the standard nine months. After an ectopic pregnancy in 2005, I was left with only one uterine tube, which could have led to fertility issues. But we were expecting Autumn within a few months, so it did not seem to be impacting us. In 2009, I found out I was pregnant just a few months after we had decided we wanted another child. I was delighted, but a few days later found out that I was again having an ectopic pregnancy that had to be ended with Methotrexate. I was devastated and my sadness was compounded by the news that future pregnancies would likely end the same way. The doctor told me that my remaining tube was probably blocked and if we wanted another child our only option was in vitro fertilization. We do not have private insurance and since IVF was financially impossible, I gave up hope of a third child and decided to go back to school.
Dear Lola, imagine my surprise (and fear) that Friday nearly three years later, when looking at my calendar, I realized that I was “late.” Imagine my delight (and terror) when the second pink line appeared after I peed on “the stick”. I kept you, my delicious secret, for about a week, before telling your dad. And we waited another month, until we could see you growing safely in my uterus via ultrasound, until we told Mimi and Pap (then the rest of the world on Facebook.)
So you are very special to us: A wish granted unexpectedly and a joy unlooked for.
After an uneventful, complication-free, healthy pregnancy I headed into the weekend before I reached 37 weeks with the expectation of at least another week or two of pregnancy. In retrospect, I did a lot of nesting that weekend. I bought several last-minute baby items, paid all our bills, filed papers, made a to-do list and a number of appointments.
On Monday, April 30 I woke at 4 a.m. with a dreadful feeling about my appointment with the backup obstetricians that I had scheduled for May 1. The head doctor had called me several time the week before, wanting me to come in a sign yet another liability waiver for my homebirth plans. It was starting to wear on me and I was concerned about what awaited me at the clinic. I woke up Hal and cried to him because I felt that I was being sucked into the hospital agenda, that I would not go into my birthing time naturally or would go beyond 42 weeks. He calmed me down and I slept for several hours, missing my usual 6 a.m. 3-mile walk.
The girls and I enjoyed our first day off from homeschooling. We shopped at the Girl Scout Council store and bought some books for next year and patches. The security guard teased me about when my baby was coming and I wanted to have a Braxton Hicks in front of him to really scare him, but instead we smiles and went on our way. Our next stop was Trader Joe’s for our weekly groceries. I noticed that I was having fairly frequent practice waves and so I used my “Peace” Hypnobabies cue as I drove. Once at TJs, I was having to go to the bathroom with nearly every wave. So we finished shopping fast and I decided to skip my planned stop at Whole Food and ask my mom to pick up the gluten-free pizza crusts instead. I wanted to get home to eat, cook dinner and relax in case “this was it.”
After cooking, I had a sudden burst of energy, so I decided to channel it into my usual walk. The girls went with me for awhile, but mostly I was on my own, listening to my Hypnobabies Pregnancy Affirmations. A neighbor who recently had a baby, teased me about trying to get the baby out. At this point, I was still in denial that the baby could be coming sooner than later.
By the time I got home, Hal was there with the girls and we sat down to eat dinner together. I did not have much of an appetite for the stew and sitting on the hard kitchen chair was not comfortable. During dinner, I started using my lightswitch actively, even though I thought I was still have practice waves. I figured that if they turned real that I would be very relaxed from practicing and if they stopped, I would have gotten a lot of practice.
Finally, I felt like laying down, so I relaxed on the couch while Hal took care of the girls’ bedtime routine. They asked me to join them in Madeline’s room for bedtime stories, but I could not find a comfortable position to sit in, so I ended up wandering around her room impatiently until it was time to turn the lights off.
I brought down the big laundry basket of baby clothes and homebirth supplies. Hal looked surprised, but I insisted that it did not mean a thing- I was 37 weeks and felt it was important to have them out now. He suggested that I lay on the couch and relax and time some pressure waves while he worked on his final paper for his degree. It was due on Friday and both of us thought he had time to finish it before the baby would be here. But when I timed four waves, I found that they were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds. Hal exclaimed, “This baby is coming, isn’t it?!?” I smiled and said I still was not sure. But he was.
When I headed into bed, I decided to call Ellen and give her a heads up. I also emailed my doula who was still in California for her Hypnobabies training. I slept very deeply, listening to the Deepening track, alternated with other ones, like Fear Clearing and Special Place. Using my lightswitch and peace cues all day made it easy to sleep through this early part of birth.
I alternated between the birth ball and sleeping in bed. Hal feverishly worked on his paper. Around 10 or 11 p.m. I decided we should call Ellen. I was afraid of having the baby too fast and my waves were becoming much more intense. I made Hal go to bed in case I needed him later in the night, I did not want him up all night working on his paper and without energy to support me. When Ellen arrived at 12:45 a.m. she offered to check me, but I declined. I had not lost much mucous plus and was worried that meant I was not dilating. She assured me that many women have babies without ever seeing their plug, which made me feel better. I decided to go back to sleep after a snack and a tour of our house. She offered me something to help me sleep, but I did not want to be groggy if the baby was born in the middle of the night. Ellen slept on our couch and I alternated between sleep, birth ball and eating chicken soup on the toilet. All the while, I was listening to my Hypnobabies CDs and using my finger drop to stay totally comfortable through each pressure wave.
At 6:45 a.m. I asked Ellen to check me, as my pressure waves were still not lasting over a minute consistently and we knew we needed them to grow in intensity to bring the baby. At first, she thought I was not dilated at all, but quickly realized that what she thought was the other side of my closed cervix was really my extremely bulgy bag of water hanging out of a very stretchy 5 cm dilated cervix.
The girls got up as usual at 8:30 a.m. and were very excited to know that the baby was probably coming today. Hal made us all breakfast and I ended up sleeping until 9 a.m. Love that Hypnobabies!
Ellen thought that we should take a walk, so Hal and I went around a nearby street with a nice big uphill. We walked and talked. It was such a lovely day. Whenever I had a wave, I would lean on Hal and he would tell me to “relax” and “let go”. I started feeling double-peaking waves and I think I may have entered transformation at this point. But it did not matter. I trusted totally in Hal’s support and with each wave, I would imagine myself floating on a wave, in my special place. The water was my anesthesia and as the wave peaked in my uterus, I would envision the wave peaking and carrying me to shore. This visualization along with Hal’s voice giving me cues was so powerful that the sensations literally faded away and became exquisitely intense rather than uncomfortable.
We came home and I napped again, listening to Hypnobabies CDs. The waves were feeling much more intense and it was harder to find comfortable positions to rest in. I was really just listening, deeply relaxed and getting up to use the toilet in between nearly every one. I was still worried that I was not losing much mucous plug and concerned that the baby was still in the left occiput transverse and was getting stuck on my pelvis. I was feeling each pressure wave, first in my abdomen, then again radiating through my pelvis into my birth canal. It was more intense than I remember feeling during either of my previous births.
At 11 a.m. we decided to go for another walk, even though my waves were extremely intense. They were nearly constant, only 30-60 seconds rest and lasting well over a minute and a half. It took us at least an hour and a half, maybe longer to walk around the same street that it usually took us 10 minutes to go around. People stopped us occasionally to ask if our baby was coming. I would take a few small steps (all I could manage at this time) and I would have another wave while leaning on my husband and having him give me verbal cues for anesthesia.
We got home and I decided that after that walk, I deserved to finally get into the birth pool. It felt heavenly. I leaned into the side, listening to Easy First Stage and holding on to the handles. The girls brought me a posy of wildflowers and I looked at it. They poured warm water on my low back, which helped me focus. I talked to you, our baby, telling you that I was ready for you to be born.
After an hour, I got out to use the toilet and asked Ellen to check me again. I was 8-9 cm, but the baby was still high because of my incredibly resiliant, bulgy bag of water. She declined to rupture it, due to the risk of cord prolapse, but encouraged me to do it myself. But I just was not able to get the power I needed with each wave to push yet. And I was starting to feel a little grumpy and impatient.
Ellen asked me to get out of the tub and do squats or walk our stairs. The squats did not feel like they did much. But the stairs… oh my… walking the stairs was perhaps the single most intense experience so far. I did it once and began to cry for Hal, my rock who kept me in hypnosis and helped me focus on maintaining my anesthesia. He did two more rounds with me as I cried and swore like a sailor. Ellen took the girls into their bedrooms to explain what I was doing and that I was okay. They are so sensitive to my feelings and I did not want them to feel scared. After the third time, I refused to go further and decided to sit on the toilet.
I began to have a pressure wave and in that moment, I decided that I was going to push the heck out of it, whether I felt like it or not… I did not care. I let out the loudest sound Hal has ever heard me make. A roar, while I pushed as hard as I could and broke my bag of water. There was so much fluid that it splashed out of the toilet and all over the bathroom.
Upon the bag breaking, I immediately felt you move through my cervix into my birth canal. Ellen came running with Chux pads, intending me to birth in the bathroom. Hal knew I would be sad if I did not make it to the pool. He looked me in the eyes as asked, “Are you ready? We are going to walk to the pool. It isn’t far.” I did not think I would make it, but I did. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. Later, Hal told me that he had planned to carry me down the hall to the pool, if I had refused to walk.
Once in the pool, I freaked out because the urge to push was so intense, but Ellen simply reminded me to reach down and feel your head to center myself. I did that and instantly, instinctively, I remembered to push between waves and said “Peace” to myself as I eased your head out. I called out for help as I felt your shoulders emerge, one at a time and then your body as I knelt in the pool. I sat back, brought you up to my belly. You were blue at first, as waterborn babies are, but your heart rate was strong and you were quietly alert, looking at me, your dad and your sisters, who were present for the whole thing.
I reached down to check and found you were a girl! Madeline was crying in joy and I started crying, mostly because I was happy to finally be finished.
We got out of the tub and snuggled together on the bed. It was so amazing to go from having a baby to resting in my own bed at home. It felt so right and wonderful. You recovered from birth quickly, pinking up with the help of a little oxygen and massage and you started nursing immediately. Your sisters will never forget watching their baby sister enter the world. I feel so lucky that we all were able to have this experience together as a family. Your dad’s support created a level of trust between us that will never go away.
Initially, I felt like I had really let go of my hypnosis towards the end. That I should have worked harder to stay comfortable… then I realized that there was no way that I could have spent over three hours (or more, who knows!) at 8-9 cm with a bulgy bag of fluid in transformation if I had not been using my hypnosis. The intensity that I experienced was only matched by the power of my mind to stay in control and working towards the goal of giving birth. I also initially felt caught off guard by the length of time I was birthing because it was so much longer than Autumn’s birth. However, when doing the “Visualize Your Birth” script, I always imagined my birth starting at night, going through the morning and you being born in the late afternoon. This was exactly what happened! I just had not imagined the intensity of the experience. Having gone through it, with only my husband’s support, I feel stronger as a person, wife and mother.

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