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Archive for the ‘Birth Story – Water Birth’ Category

My beautiful, mellow Hypnobaby, Quinn, was born at 1:54 am on July 9th – her due date – after about 26 hours of labor and 5 hrs after my water broke. Although Quinn was my first birth baby, we also have a 19-month-old son, Josten (now 20 months), who my partner carried. So it was an interesting experience – being pregnant and going through birth after experiencing it all with my partner just a year and a half ago.

At just around midnight on July 8, I was awoken by pressure waves, which, after I started timing them, were about 6-7 minutes apart and about a minute long. I couldn’t sleep through them so I got up to try and sleep sitting on the birthing ball, leaning over pillows on the bed. While I was up, the waves pretty much went away, but once I was on the ball they came back. Not comfortable there, I decided to try lying down again, but to no avail. All this time I was listening to ‘fear release’, ‘easy first stage’, and ‘birthing day affirmations’. Finally, I got up, went to the kitchen, ate a snack, and starting thinking, with excitement, about my birthing day, which I knew was near at hand. After awhile, I realized that the waves had all but disappeared, but knew that if I tried to lie down again they’d return. I then went into my son’s room and managed to sleep between waves on the glider, for about 2 hrs.

At about 6:30 am I called the Birth Center where I was planning to deliver, and spoke to the midwife on call, who said it could be today, it could be next week! I knew, though, in the back of my mind, that it would be happening sooner than later. After another hour of sleeping between waves back in bed, my family got up and my partner, Haidee, asked if I thought she should stay home from work. I thought not, since my sister was going to be over that day anyway to help out, so she went off to work, I called in to work to say I wouldn’t be there, and an hour or so later my sister arrived. The day was spent mainly as usual, taking care of my son with my sister’s help, peppered by bouts of regular waves followed by periods of none.

During a short walk I started experiencing intense hip pain (all of my hypnosis work did not seem to touch the hip pain, since I hadn’t really gotten the idea of directing my anesthesia to anywhere but the areas that I was thinking would be affected by PWs and birth!). I decided that it might be a good idea to get a chiropractic adjustment that afternoon, if possible, hopefully to fix the hip problem, but also just to get into prime shape for the potentially long hours ahead. After my adjustment, my hip was no better, but my outlook remained very positive, and in fact I continued to feel as I had all day – excited and ready to give birth to my baby.

I had asked Haidee to come home early, since my sister had to leave for work, and once we were all home together again she called her mom to come over and help with Josten so that she could be attentive to me and get dinner made. My PWs continued to be off and on regular and then irregular, and I was able to take a bath for about 1/2 an hour, listening to my ‘birthing day affirmations’ CD.

During dinner (pasta and lots of veggies for strength and energy), they became a bit more regular. Whenever my son was near me when a PW came, and I would stop in my tracks and say “peace” over and over until it was passed, he  whispered “pssss” right along with me. He was very attentive and sweet with me, ready, in his own way, for his little sister to arrive. After dinner I went back to the bedroom and spent about an hour on the birthing ball as my PWs became regular – about 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long. At about 8:45 or so the PWs got closer together, and at  about 9:15 my water broke as I squatted through a wave. I told Haidee, and it was definitely time to go to the Birth Center, but it took awhile to get out the door (packing up the rest of what I wanted to bring, etc). We finally set out on the 20 minute drive to the Birth Center at about 10:00.

The ride in was actually quite comfortable for me, I just rode the waves and Haidee timed them on her phone’s  stopwatch. They were now 3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute each. I called the midwife and my parents, and texted with my sister on the way there, between PWs, and everyone was on their way (my parents were driving up from NJ and figured they’d arrive around 1 am).

Upon our arrival at the Birth Center, the wonderful midwife on duty that evening, Jill, greeted us warmly at the door and led us upstairs to the biggest of the three birthing rooms, since I was the only one laboring there so far that
night. She decided to check me before starting the IV antibiotics (I had tested GBS positive), and found me to be a very stretchy 7cm dilated. I wasn’t at all surprised – the whole experience was pretty much just as I had envisioned it to
be so far!

During the 1/2 hour it took to administer the antibiotics, my sister arrived. Haidee was applying pressure to my hips during my waves in the chair during this time, and my sister spelled her for a wave or two. It felt nice to have the pressure there, but I didn’t find it absolutely necessary, and was able to focus and breathe and chant Peace, Relax, Release as the PWs continued. Never once did I feel any sense of fear, nor did I experience pain, except in my right hip, but even that was perfectly bearable. I let Jill know that I’d like to get into the tub as soon as possible, so she started filling it, and by the time the IV was done it was ready for me to get into.

Being in the water felt wonderful. I continued listening to my Hypnobabies tracks, and soon Haidee joined me in the tub. My sister played photographer, and another midwife, Laurie, joined Jill because there was a chance that another birthing mom might be arriving before I gave birth. No one else did arrive during my time in the BC, so I had both wonderful midwives by my side the entire time, mostly being quiet and letting me do my thing, pouring warm water over my belly, and occasionally making suggestions for positioning my legs and body in the tub for optimum comfort.

After about 20 minutes in the tub, my body started feeling pushy, and I just went with it, checking with Jill, who was completely confident in my body’s ability to know when to push. As I pushed through the next bunch of waves I found myself getting more and more vocal and loud, chanting/groaning OPEN, OPEN, OPEN and Release, while Haidee whispered “Relax” into my ear.

We switched to the Pushing Baby Out CD and even though I don’t remember actually listening to it, I know that the soothing, familiar voice added to the already supportive and comforting energy that surrounded me. Although I don’t think I ever actually fully relaxed through any of my PWs, and definitely not during my pushing waves, I was able to completely relax between waves, and for the hour and 20 minutes that I pushed, I fell asleep between nearly every wave. There were times when I completely forgot that anyone but Haidee was in the room with me, since it was
so silent.

My parents arrived at about 1:20 am and added their supportive energy to the room. Finally, my pushing waves became more frequent and each one lasted long enough for me to really start feeling like I was participating again. The
midwives encouraged me to focus my energy into my core, shift my body so that I was grabbing my own legs and grunting low and gutteral sounds as I pushed, and this helped enormously in helping me move the baby under my pelvis and out.
There were quite a number of PWs that felt to me like they should lead to the head crowning, and I started to get a bit antsy for it all to be over – not because I was in pain at all, but mainly because I was very tired and just ready to meet this baby! Apparently the midwives felt the same way, although no one gave me any indication that there was anything out of the ordinary going on. The baby’s heartbeat was steady and strong each time they used the doppler on me, so there was no concern, but it was just taking longer than they’d anticipated to get the head to crown and stay put. Finally it did, and Jill encouraged me to feel the full head of hair poking out between my legs. Everyone was marveling at the long hair floating in the water! Another push or two later, and the rest was very fast – her head came out, giving me a wonderful sense of relief and joy, and then I pushed again and felt her whole body just unfolding out of me.

She was immediately on my chest; silent, calm, and as pink as could be (with Apgar scores of 9 and 10)! We all just stayed there for a while, marveling at what had just happened and looking at Quinn. It turned out that her hand had been next to her head as she emerged, and that was likely the cause of my hip pain and the longer time it took to move her out.

The cord stopped pulsing, Haidee cut it, and then it was time for me to get out of the tub to birth the placenta. I was about halfway between the tub and the bed (maybe a 12 foot distance) when I felt a mild contraction, and a second later out plopped the placenta, right onto the floor! That was apparently a first for both midwives and after I was helped the rest of the way to the bed, as the mess was cleaned up, we all joked about the crime scene of blood spattered walls that would have to explained to the cleaning staff.

I firmly believe that my ability to not just endure this birth without any pain edications or medical interventions, but to actually thrill in it (I clearly remember saying, after a few particularly intense PWs, “this is AMAZING!”), is due to my preparation using Hypnobabies, prenatal yoga, and by reading a lot of positive birth stories and childbirth research. In learning how fear and stress can affect a woman during pregnancy and birth, and about the idea that the experience of pain in (normal, uncomplicated) childbirth is a cultural construct born out of fear- and pathology-based western medicine, I was able to let go of that fear. In re-programming my brain, through self-hypnosis, to understand the experience as intense pressure, and as a positive, beautiful and exciting thing with a definite beginning, middle and end (even if the timing is unknowable), I was able to have exactly the (virtually) pain free birth that I was hoping for, and that I knew I could have.

-Jen (proud and happy mama who still marvels at the fact that this incredible child was formed in and emerged from my own body!)

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It’s incredible how much a woman has to fight to be in control of a child’s birth, to have a voice, to separate normal from abnormal, truth from standard medical practice, and most of all to diminish the fear that is the enemy of childbirth and trust her body.  This is the story of how Olivia, my first child, was born:

I had a wonderful and enjoyable pregnancy. But the weeks leading up to her “due date” were considerably tense. I’d planned to relax at home and be in peace and enjoy some last days of just me and my husband. My doctors (I chose to maintain dual care though would be attended by a homebirth midwife with a separate practice)were alarmed, knowing they weren’t in control, and insisted that I come in up to 3 times per week for monitoring and testing (my blood pressure had been elevated my entire pregnancy, which can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia, which should be taken very seriously. However, this wasn’t the case for me, I had a higher baseline.) . The stress was unreal (probably doing much more damage to my blood pressure), as although both myself and the baby repeatedly proved to be doing excellently, the doctors pressured me to induce as a “precautionary measure”. I knew this would be a dangerous thing to do for her and for me, and the slippery slope that would follow.

I started feeling the pressure to get things in motion, knowing that the messages from the doctors would intensify as I went past my due date (May 29th).

On Friday, the day before her due date, we decided it was time to start coaxing her out and after going through some of the natural ways to get labor started(wink), when I went to bed that night my Braxton-hicks contractions (painless practice contractions) became very regular and were accompanied by an ache in my lower back. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night, as every10-15 minutes the waves of pressure returned.

I’d listened to my Hypnobabies tracks but only fell asleep to them and never managed to stay on schedule. It was still incredibly effective for me, particularly the “peace” and “release” cues as well as the constant affirmations. I learned that fear and tightening and adrenaline are the actual causes of pain, that your mind can be in complete control of how everything plays out.

And it was true. Saturday morning came and the contractions (still felt nothing in my uterus only at times very uncomfortable– lower back pain) spaced out. I started panicking realizing that I wasn’t even in labor yet and worried that when it did really start that I would have the dreaded back labor and lose control.  I knew my baby was left occiput posterior so the contractions in my lower back confused me. Every time I let my mind go there, my body would tighten and the pain would come alive and take over.  But then I chose to release. To just shut down and let myself float on the waves with my breathing.

Saturday night came and again there was no sleep. Same thing, now only 8 minutes apart. “Release” I commanded myself, and let every muscle of my body shut down and ride the wave. It was no picnic, but it passed.

Sunday we walked to church, and I smiled and chatted in between contractions (which slowed during the day) as friends commented “Hey, weren’t you due yesterday!”  During the service, my husband Kevin hit the timer on his stop-watch each time I signaled a contraction.

Sunday night came, as much as I dreaded the evenings, and for a third night, no sleep. I couldn’t believe how long I’d had this “pre-labor” and how much I had to concentrate to stay deeply relaxed through contractions. Plus hello, I was tired. In the corners of my mind I feared what real labor would be like and if I would really be able to handle it like I’d been telling myself all these months. I’d had some “bloody show” and so I knew I was at least effacing but my midwife told me it could still be days or a week away. In those moments of fear and anxiety I actually felt intense pain through my body. At one point I was jerking on the bed through a contraction, wishing everything would stop. Kevin encouraged me to believe and utilize the tools that I had used to prepare. It took a hot shower with water spraying down my back and major mind coaching to bring me back to a controlled state and I calmly went to bed with my Hypnobabies tracks playing on my ipod, knowing I would only rest for 10 minutes at a time.

But by Monday morning I was worried and tense. I had a doctor’s appointment the following day with more testing and monitoring and I knew that it would mess with my head and with the process. I still hadn’t gone into labor and was confused as to what was happening to my body. I was having these contractions, which I assumed were “Braxton-Hicks”, since they were painless in my uterus, but was having back pressure (I’d learned to disassociate the word pain as much as possible from the process) that was requiring me to go limp and loose to relieve.

On Monday around mid-day Kevin and I went for a walk around the block, that took us about 45 minutes. The same contractions came closer together to about 6minutes apart and several times we’d stop and I’d turn into a deadweight and hang on Kevin with my eyes closed as people walked by perplexed and scared (ha, I think I scared the little boys at the lemonade stand on the corner). It was the only way I could make them not hurt, but just feel the pressure intensify and escape, by shutting down and mentally saying “release”.

When we got home, I finally called my mom. Up until now, I hadn’t told anyone what was happening because frankly, I was fed up with everyone asking if I was in labor yet (there is something about being near the end that makes you want to hibernate). I’d also always planned to have a private birth with only Kevin and my midwives present. Suddenly I wanted my mom there, and arranged for my aunt to come and give me acupuncture to accelerate the labor process.

Well it did! When my aunt Gilda came several hours later, she found me in a chair with my body slumped on the table. I’d put a finger in the air whenever I felt a contraction coming, and that was everyone’s cue to pretty much shut-up J. Otherwise they wouldn’t have even known I was having one. After the acupuncture session, they started coming ever 3½ minutes. We figured we should call Joni, our midwife.

I still didn’t know that I had been in “labor” this whole time.  Even when we called the midwife, I was worried that we were bringing her over for no reason, and that I would be no more than 1 cm dilated. Kevin started filling the birth tub just in case, since it would take quite a bit of time to fill (and later I found out that when we ran out of hot water, they were boiling pots of it at a time to get it in there!).

By the time my midwife came and listened to the baby it had to be around 9 pm. I was doing what I’d been doing the whole time, shutting down with each contraction and staying calm by relinquishing control. What a mind game! Well imagine my surprise, when she said to me, “Angie, you are nine centimeters dilated.” What?! I did all of that already (well, I mean technically it had been 3 days but I thought it was fake labor!!!)?! I think I remember croaking in response, “Holy crap that’s so awesome.”  I really wanted to shout in elation and jump up and down but figured it probably wasn’t the best idea.

That moment gave me so much confidence. I was really doing it! I’d been doing it all along without really realizing it. Still, although I’d believed I’d been in pre-labor these past 3 days, I was constantly replaying these affirmations in my head:

Release.
My body knows exactly how to birth my baby.
Open.
I am safe and my baby is safe no matter how much power flows through me.
Peace.
I deserve an easy and comfortable childbirth
.”

Shortly after, I got into tub and it felt amazing. Actually, my contraction slowed down, and I had quite a bit of a break, wondering if I’d reversed things. I was literally just chillin out in there waiting for something to happen. The apartment was quiet and dimly lit only with candles. My mom rubbed my shoulders with lavender essential oils and prayed over me, and in between listening to the baby on the Doppler, my midwife offered me vitamin water through a straw.  I kind of felt like a queen. Kevin came into the tub with me and put counter pressure on my back and supported my body. Temple Passmore’s (hypnomom) sung version of Psalm 23 was playing on repeat in the background. I felt so loved and supported, and knew I was bringing Olivia into the world in the most gentle and peaceful way.

Eventually I recognized that squatting would bring on the involuntary pressure I needed to push and bring my baby out. We actually put a little stool for me to sit on in the tub. And so I just let it happen slowly and with time. Every so often a contraction would come and I just let my body do the work for me and stretch slowly. It was so interesting. I could feel everything happening, and could work and stretch my muscles purposefully, and yet if felt so different than I imagined it would. I wasn’t in pain, but at the end apparently was roaring like a lion (ness) with the intensity flowing out through me (I later learned that my neighbors from the house next door could hear the whole thing. Awesome.). My water broke in the tub 10minutes before she was born. At one point I felt a tightness and dull burn and knew she was crowning. Joni, my midwife, asked me to reach down and feel and there was Olivia’s soft and very full head of hair starting to emerge. Oh my God, so much hair! I remember exclaiming, “Oh you beautiful girl!” I got to a point where I just pushed with all my might (and apparently, voice) and suddenly heard Joni say, “Kevin and Angie, reach down and meet your baby!” For some reason I was shocked and confused that she was out! And all in the same push! She came flying out with her hand on her face.  It was 11:19 pm.

There aren’t even words to describe the bliss and elation and wonder and miracle of picking up your newborn baby and meeting her for the first time. It will never, ever get old. She had her eyes wide open and stared for a split second before spitting up water and then belting out the screams that she is now famous for. It was out of this world.

We all moved me over to the couch, baby in arms and cord still attached, so that I could deliver the placenta. The cord was kind of short so I couldn’t really bring Olivia up higher than my belly. Kevin cut the cord after it had stopped pulsing. It seemed like the most normal thing in the world that I would be on my couch delivering my placenta. Ha, I bet it will make visitors think twice before sitting down to watch TV.

Joni examined Olivia while she was on me, and eventually weighed her at 7 lbs 5ounces and 19.5 inches tall. She was healthy and perfect. I felt on top of the world. (I had only a tiny tear that didn’t even require stitches and healed on its own by two weeks). Kevin whipped up some pancakes and scrambled eggs and fed me while all this was going on (I’d worked up quite an appetite.) Afterward, I went to shower, the grandparents came inside to gush over the baby. Our midwives stayed until the wee hours of the morning, and left the three of us tucked into bed.

I really believe had I not been so anxious about what was going to happen, and especially about the pressure from my doctors, the process would’ve been much shorter. In spite of it all, it turned out to be exactly the beautiful birth that I wanted. I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I’m so glad that I decided to go the Hypnobabies route, even if I didn’t follow it to a tee. You can call it hypnosis, or deep relaxation or whatever you want, but whatever it is IT WORKS. And I will for sure be doing this again!

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I posted a few months ago about wanting a home birth vs hospital birth.  Everyone on this group was so supportive  and we decided to do a home birth.  I am so glad that we did.

I thought I was going to be “overdue” but I figured that, like my first child, it would only be a few days.  Umm..nope, I was 13 days “overdue”.  At 41 w 4 d my midwife wanted me to go to the hospital and get an non-stress test.  Everything looked was great except for a couple of jabs from the on call doc about my homebirth so I went home.  At 41 w 6 d I went back for another one.   Ugh.  I was really stressed at this point because my midwife couldn’t continue my care after 42 weeks.  Everything looked amazing again.

I got home around 3:00 and took 4 T of castor oil. It wasn’t bad since I mixed it up in a root beer float :) Nothing happened…and by nothing I mean none of the side effects that you hear castor oil giving you. I figured it was worthless. My mom and I walked to the store to get some stuff for dinner and we rented a movie. The boys got home from hiking and we started the movie around 8. I don’t think I made it even5 minutes into it. I was sitting on the exercise ball and pressure waves started coming every minute and a half. I started panicking thinking that this is not right, these are way too fast.   My husband Brian gave me a blessing and I got in the shower. Brian called the midwife, Kathy. She said she would be about an hour. I got out when the hot water ran out and they had spaced out to about 5 minutes apart. These were easy to handle, every time one would come I would just drop to my knees and lean on my exercise ball in front of the fan. Kathy got there and got set up and took vitals and everything. I was a little worried labor was going to stop. Finally at two am I asked Kathy to check me and she called it a generous three….I was a little discouraged. Right after her check things got intense fast. Brian was totally AMAZING.  I really don’t know what I would do without him. I got in the tub which felt great. After an hour Kathy wanted me to get out and walk around some.

I started feeling the urge to push so she checked me and I had a little lip left but said I could push if I wanted. I labored on the toilet for a little bit and then got back in the tub. I didn’t have that overwhelming urge to push with Claire but boy….I couldn’t have stopped pushing if I wanted to.  My midwife was so laid back. She just sat in the rocking chair and every 5-10 minutes (I think) came and checked the heart rate which was always great. I loved being by myself to push. I could reach and feel the head coming down. BOP It was really hard to slow down when he started crowning and I did let out a scream when his head came out…I totally felt a little tear…yuck. END  He was born in his amniotic sac which was so cool. I tested negative for GBS  but was positive for my first pregnancy so I visualized my water not breaking.  Yay!

Kathy just came over and guided him up to the surface and unwrapped the cord which was around his neck and body. I sat back and brought him up to me. It was amazing. He just looked around at everyone and didn’t cry at all. He had some stuff in his throat but Kathy said it wasn’t bad and he could work it out. No rough suctioning!! We sat in the water for a long time. I think it was over ten minutes before his cord stopped pulsating. No crying…just relaxed. Finally Brian cut the cord and took Jack…my feet were falling asleep. I couldn’t stretch out in the tub because I was a little too short to reach the other side without Jack getting too low to the water.

He was born at 6:18 am  on 6/18 so I went from  a 3 to delivered in 4 hours. He had 9/9 apgar scores. I think I nursed him in the tub and then when I got out. kathy examined the placenta which I delivered when I was in the tub. After an hour maybe? she did the newborn exam. Nothing was rushed…everything was done at the end of my bed. My baby was never taken way. I had one tear up but it wasn’t worth stitching and hasn’t hurt. Amazing considering Jack is over two lbs heavier than my first at 8 lbs 15 oz! In fact, my bleeding has been so much less compared to Claire’s birth. Pain too…I took someIbuprofen but not much and not all the time. Recovery is going so good this time.  He is three weeks old and we have moved from Washington to Utah.  I loved my homebirth and my husband, who was TOTALLY against homebirth when we were first married, loved it too.  He talks about it all the time.  Once again, Hypnobabies was amazing. I kept repeating phrases over and over.  It was intense but awesome.

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Dear baby Roland has joined us!

He was born thursday, March 25 at 5:42 am. He was 8 lbs, 5 oz and 21 inches long with a 14 inch head.~

It was wednesday, March 24th when I started to worry that I wouldn’t get the home birth I had so dreamed of. At 41 weeks and 2 days, I could feel that 42 week cutoff for a home birth looming ahead. In my hypnosis practice and birthing visualizations, I had imagined birthing in the safety, silence and seclusion of our little home, and thoughts of a hospital seemed to be the opposite of that. So when I told my husband that we may not have our home birth if this babe didn’t decide to come soon, I knew I might as well make peace with that, as stress and frustration don’t help anything in birth. We decided to send a gentle message to our unborn child and the universe that we were ready to meet them that very night, if they were ready. We hunkered into bed for a movie around 8 and when my eyes started getting heavy half-way through it, something inside told me “sleep now”, and so I did.
I woke up around 10:45pm to a pressure wave that was more than the mild period-like cramps I had been feeling for a few days. This just had more power behind it, enough that when another one came about 10 minutes later, I realized how uncomfortable it was to lay down through them, so got up without disturbing my husband.
I know they say that if labor starts in the night, you should do your best to get rest, but my pressure waves were too strong to sleep through and getting steadily closer together. I got on my birth ball and leaned over the back of a chair while saying a silent “Ooopen” as each wave came through me. It felt wonderful to imagine my cervix gently opening (this soon turned into “Oooooh”, which I would chant in a low tone with every PW until my baby was born). During my pregnancy, I really learned to trust my body and the power of the mind, so I knew my cervix was opening more and more with each pressure wave, and had a hunch that this baby would be here by dawn even though this was my first baby.
My husband woke up around this time (midnight), and this is when things really picked up. Pressure waves were about 4 minutes apart, and getting more power behind them. I had put some water on for pasta because I knew I’d need the energy, but by the time it was boiling, pressure waves were so frequent that I didn’t think I’d have time to get out the pasta and pour it in between waves.
At this point, my husband filled the bathtub for me. I stayed there basking in delicious warm water while he filled the inflatable birthing pool with water. I ate pasta with my eyes closed and my mind calm between pressure waves. My faith in the safety and beauty of childbirth made my mental calmness unshakable.
Between two “Ooooh’s”, which were coming so close now, I didn’t bother to guess how many minutes apart they were, I puked over the side of the tub. I had the thought that this might be a sign that transition was close, but it had only been an hour or two since things really started getting going, so I didn’t think much more of it. With my wonderful husband toweling up the mess, I hoped into the half-filled birthing tub and adopted a frog-like squat to feel the warm water on my belly.
Time sort of warped and before we knew it, PWs seemed to be coming almost back to back. We really hadn’t wanted to call the midwife too early because we wanted it just the two of us as long as possible. But when I started to feel pressure in my bottom, I told DH to call the midwife. He asked if I was absolutely sure, because he didn’t want to wake her at 4am if we were just going to labor through till morning. I decided to hold off, mainly because I was really in a zone and didn’t want to talk much, and doubting that this could really be “it” so quickly. A few PWs with bottom pressure later, I said “call her NOW!”
I remember thinking how funny it was that our first call to the midwife was, “oh, her pressure waves are about a minute apart, and she’s feeling rectal pressure”. Needless to say, she said she was on her way.
The very next PW after my husband got off the phone with the midwife, I was surprised by an involuntary pushing sensation. It made my “Oooohh” sound very different indeed! It sort of sounded like I was dry-heaving. That was it, my body was pushing and the midwife wasn’t there yet! My husband and I both thought to ourselves that we just might be having this baby unassisted.
Pushing felt much different than I thought it would. This was the one thing that I feel could have shaken my mental focus. It felt like the power of the regular PWs had become more intense and focussed on my bottom. Not painful, I just was surprised at the sensation – truly like I was about to poop my baby out my bottom! To remain focussed through this, I just refused to entertain any thoughts of doubt.
The midwife soon arrived, and told me my sounds were wonderful and just encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. A little later she said that I could take the power that I was releasing vocally, and redirect it through my bottom to give a little more oomph to my body’s pushes.
At one point I reached into myself to feel my baby’s head (amazing!). After a few more PWs she said the head was out. I decided not to touch it at this point because I was just so in a zone and didn’t want the shock and bliss of feeling that head to shake my focus because I knew at any moment I’d be holding my baby. With the next PW I got more upright so that I could deliver my baby in a squat through the front. I reached down and pulled him up and was immediately transformed forever. The bliss of that moment is forever imprinted on my mind, and I often relive those few seconds with more clarity than I can recall any other time in my life. I was surprised by how heavy he felt (you mean this full heavy baby just came out of me?!). After a few minutes I (very carefully, as I was feeling almost drunk on good hormones) stepped out of the pool and went to the bed to birth the placenta, which happened about half an hour later naturally. Then my husband cut the cord and my babe nursed contently.
I can’t believe he’s already been here a month! His birth just confirmed everything I had come to believe about natural childbirth and that it can be a joyful, beautiful and intimate experience without any fear.
I didn’t actually listen to any of the hypnobabies tracks while in my birthing time, as it just didn’t feel like what I wanted in the moment. I still see how all of the practice helped tremendously in my mental focus and confidence – in fact, I think I was so confident with everything I had learned from Hypnobabies and in reading tons of really inspirational birth stories, that I didn’t feel the need to listen to the tracks or actively “use” my hypnosis during my birthing time. That’s pretty powerful stuff!

Thanks for reading Roland’s birth story if you’ve made it to the end:)
All I can hope this contributes is yet another account of birth going beautifully and encouragement for all you Moms who are preparing for your own beautiful birth.
If I can give anyone any advice, I’d say KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO IT! All of the preparation you are doing now WILL come through for you in the moment in a way that’s perfect for you.

Sending you and your tucked-in babe’s love and good vibes,
Jenny (first-time Mom)

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I am so happy to announce Paloma was born on the 29th of Jan. It was a beautiful, powerful, magical experience. As many of you know, I spent the second half of my pregnancy exploring the idea that pain did not have to be part of a woman’s birth experience. And as I learned more about it, I decided to take the Hypnobabies home study course. I spent time everyday for the last two-and-a-half months of my pregnancy meditating, and listening to both the hypnosis and affirmations CD’s. As my due date drew closer, I spent more and more time preparing for her arrival mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Paloma’s due date came and passed. I was 41 weeks and 1 day. My patience was dwindling. It was my third day of having contractions, but they were so far apart (every 20 min) and very mild. I was able to sleep through most of them during the night and carried on as though everything was normal during the day.

As I grew more impatient, I called my midwife and asked her if I could start taking Cohosh to try and get things going. She told me she was down the street and would swing by to check my cervix and see where we were. She arrived, checked my cervix, and told me she was going to stay. She said I already was in labor. I laughed in disbelief, told her I felt great and that I didn’t think I was in labor. Little did I know, I would be holding my little Paloma less than 5 hours later.

My mother came over (she lives next door) along with my Aunt. We called the birth team and celebrated, getting last minute things together. Jo, my 3-year-old daughter, and I sang lullabies to the baby. I would pause to breathe through my contractions comfortably. My birth team arrived, and my home was filled with love and feminine wisdom. I was surrounded by the women of my family. Those that I grew up with, and those that raised me.

As things picked up, I drew inward during my contractions, still comfortable, just more focused. Soon, I was ready to get into the birth tub. Jo got into the tub with me and poured water over my back between contractions, which grew more powerful, but still comfortable.

Soon I was in transition. I hit that wall so many women hit, and I announced I was done. I was prepared to be pregnant forever, I just wanted to stop. My body was tired. When I said this, the midwife asked, “Are you done with the tub, or the whole show?” I told her I was done with the whole show, as she put it. From my statement, the midwives and my doula knew we were almost there. They got me out of the tub and into my bed. I am so glad they did. All snuggled up, my contractions stopped for a few minutes and I took a much needed nap.

I woke up refreshed, to the most powerful contractions. I labored on my hands and knees. At one moment, I felt an energy rush from my body that was so powerful, and so pure, I knew it was the energy of Mother Goddess. I roared like a lion. And at that moment, I felt the soul Paloma and I shared since her conception split into two, and I knew she was ready to be born. There was still a lip left on one side of my cervix, which the midwife pushed out of the way. This was the only uncomfortable part of my birth. But still not painful. Her birth was free of both pain and fear. And as soon as Paloma’s head was past the lip, the birth actually felt wonderful from that moment on. Pushing was so satisfying, and I couldn’t feel the contractions anymore. I only knew I was having one because my body would start pushing by itself. In fact, everything I did was involuntary at that point. I had surrendered to the power of birth and it took over. As she was crowning, my midwives and doula coached me through pushing her head out between contractions, to protect my perineum. I let her shoulders turn, and the rest of her body slipped out of me and the midwife put her on my chest. There she stayed until the placenta was also delivered. My father came in and cut her cord (he also cut Jo’s) and then she nursed.

A few hours later I found out that the moon was full. In fact, it was a Wolf Moon, which is the brightest full moon of the year. That must have been what she was waiting for. : ) The celebration continued through the night. And, eventually we got a little shut eye. Paloma’s birth was empowering, magical, peaceful. She came into this world at home, in our family bed, surrounded by the people that love her. I am eternally grateful for the experience.

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I have posted many, many Hypnobabies Birth Stories here.  I think this is the first one I have posted from the Midwife’s point of view.

Visit Nurtured Hearts Birthing Services Blog to read this amazing birth story!

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We welcomed our second Hypnobaby, Miriam Dawn, on June 23rd. She was born at home in the water after a fast and easy birthing time. She was also breech and her delivery could not have gone more perfectly. She came out so fast my husband almost missed it!

If you want to see photos, check out my blog: http://redheadmusings.blogspot.com/2010/06/story-of-miriams-breech-homebirth.html
Now for the long version…

With my first baby (born July 2008) I did the Hypnobabies homestudy course. I had a drug free delivery in a hospital. Everything went smoothly but I ended up pushing for 3 hours!

When I got pregnant this time I decided to do a live class. I wanted my husband to be more involved and understand everything better. We had a great class and my husband Jared really got on board with everything. I had a very uneventful pregnancy until the third trimester. I felt great, and with the exception of some round ligament pain, never even got that uncomfortable. However, Baby Miriam decided we needed some more drama in our lives when she turned breech around the start of the third trimester and stubbornly refused to go head down. We spent weeks trying all the normal tricks–breech tilt, inversion, chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, Turn Your Breech Baby cd, music, ice, flashlight, headstands, homeopathics, and of course lots and lots of prayers.

Finally, when I was almost 38 weeks my midwife referred me to an OB for a version. I had an ultrasound done first where it was discovered that my amniotic fluid levels were quite low. Too low to attempt a version, and low enough to cause concern that something else could be wrong. The OB said that most of his colleagues would recommend I get a c-section that night since my baby was full term and breech. He realized that was obviously something we wanted to avoid, so he recommended a non-stress test to see how the baby was doing first. Fortunately, my midwife could do this at her office, so we didn’t have to stay in the hospital. Baby was doing great so the orders were to “hydrate like hell” and hope to get my fluids up enough to attempt the version in a couple days. I drank liters and liters of water but when I went back for another ultrasound my fluid levels were barely higher. A version was no longer an option. Time to prepare for plan B.

We did another non-stress test (baby still doing great) and talked things over with our midwife. Here in Utah it is illegal for liscensed midwives to attend breech births at home. This meant our wonderful midwife, Rebecca, could not attend our birth alone. So she contacted a very experienced and well respected lay midwife in our area and asked her if she’d be willing to come to our birth. Chris agreed to come. We decided it was probably best for Miriam to come pretty soon since my fluid levels were so low. We decided to give her a few more days but made plans to encourage things along the following Wednesday. We continued to do non stress tests every other day, which Miriam always passed with flying colors.

Wednesday came and that morning Rebecca stripped my membranes and gave me cohosh in the hopes of getting labor started. I’m not usually a fan of even these types of intervention but with my low fluid levels and a breech baby we thought it was best to encourage things along. We did another nonstress test that morning too and she was happy as always. When Rebecca stripped my membranes I was 4 cm dilated and 50% effaced with a bulging bag of waters quite low. Not a bad start.

We left Rebecca’s office just before 10 and headed to Costco to get a few last minute things. I started having a few mild cramps. By the time we left Costco they had picked up a bit. We stopped at one more store to get diapers and pads and then headed home. It was just after 11 am when we got home. I was having mild and crampy waves pretty close together but still didn’t know if they would go anywhere. I had several things I wanted to get done around the house and thought I would have plenty of time. I got on the computer to do a quick post on my blog. By the time I was done with that I was having to really concentrate on the waves to relax. They were getting more intense and were VERY close together. Rebecca called around noon and said that was the cohosh at work.

I laid on my bed and listened to Easy First Stage. The waves were so close together I hardly got a chance to regroup between them. Time gets a little fuzzy from here on out, but I spent a few waves on the toilet and then on the floor of the bathroom on my hands and knees. Then I went back to my bed. Rebecca called again and said she would come right over as soon as her last appointment left. I was back in the bathroom when she got to our house about 1:45. She checked me and I was 7 cm and 80% effaced. And bless her she said I could get in the birth pool!

I was so happy to be in the water. It really helped me relax more. The waves had spaced out a tiny bit so I was getting a bit more of a break between them, but they were also getting super intense. I knelt and leaned against the side of the pool and started vocalizing through them. In the mean time, Jared was working out arrangements for our son Asher who had just woken up from his nap, and we were still waiting on Chris, the other midwife to get there. Right around when she arrived I started feeling pushy and felt a pop–my water broke. This is also about the time Jared left to take Asher around the corner to a friend’s house. I started pushing involuntarily and pretty soon her bottom was out and then her legs. And Jared wasn’t back yet! Rebecca ran out the door to see if she could catch him but didn’t see him. He got back when Miriam was half way out. Chris told me to reach down and touch her so I was rubbing her back before her head was out. She got still for a moment while she got her arms out and then I pushed again and her head came right out super easy.  I just lifted her between my legs and turned around. No one else even touched her. I think the whole pushing phase was less than 5 minutes. (Unfortunately, it was so fast that we didn’t get a chance to get out the video camera. I really wanted to get the birth on video since a breech homebirth is so unusual. That is my only regret for the day.)

She was born at 2:41 pm. So I had roughly 3- 3 1/2 hours of active labor. I think because of the cohosh and membrane stripping, everything was more intense. My waves were always super close together. It was definitely a fast ride. But I remained very calm and peaceful during the whole thing. Thank you, Hypnobabies! I really trusted my body and my baby and it could not have gone more smoothly.

When I lifted Miriam out of the water her eyes were wide open and she was quiet. My first thought was that her eyes were huge and she looked so different than Asher did right after he was born. (He was all swollen and bruised.) I rubbed her back and we put a towel on her and she started pinking up and making some noise. We hung out in the water until the cord stopped pulsing and then Rebecca clamped it and Jared cut it. Jared took Miriam and held her skin to skin while I got out of the water and went over to the couch. I wasn’t even bleeding that much thank goodness. A few minutes later I pushed out the placenta. We just hung out on the couch and Miriam eventually started nursing while Rebecca and Chris cleaned up and then checked me out. I didn’t tear! I just have a little “skid mark” that will heal up fine. I’m not even sore. I only used one ice pack that day and have felt fine since. Much different than how I felt after Asher when it seemed like my bottom wasn’t even attached to by body anymore! Three hours of pushing can do that I guess!

My grandma thoughtfully had some pizza sent to our house so thats what we ate for a late lunch. Then I had to go pee so Rebecca helped me up and I got all cleaned and padded up. :-) I seriously felt SO good. I didn’t feel like I had just had a baby. I put on some clothes and then we weighed and measured Miriam. 6 pounds 10 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long, 13 inch head. Absolutely perfect.

This birth was pretty much exactly as I had been visualizing it my entire pregnancy. The only difference is that it was faster and she was breech. I really wanted to go into labor in the morning after a good night’s sleep and then have her in the afternoon sometime. I imagined being in the water, kneeling and catching her myself. That is exactly what I did. Although labor was very fast and intense, I was always calm and never afraid. I always felt really peaceful about everything. Pushing was SO easy and painless and she came right out fast and perfectly. The mind is so powerful. During waves I imagined myself opening really big to allow her body and head to come through easily. After she was born I also imagined everything closing up so that I wouldn’t bleed very much. (Redheads are notorious for being bleeders.)

I feel like the stars really aligned to give us the perfect peaceful home birth we had prepared for. I will be forever grateful to our midwives for their confidence in the birth process. I’m still amazed at how easy and beautiful this birth was when probably 99.9% of people in our situation would have had a c-section. I feel so blessed that I had this experience.

And let me also add that being at home right after is SO great! I’ve loved it. I hope I never have to birth in a hospital again!

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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.

~Sonja

*****

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.

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I had a really wonderful homebirth.  I am so glad that I used Hypnobabies again.  This is my second homebirth and my second time using Hypnobabies.

Amara’s birth story

I went to a neighbor’s house on Friday the 12th of March 2010 at about 6pm to play games are just relax.  At about 8:30 I stood up to go to the bathroom and felt a little gush.  I thought that I had peed myself so I went in to the bathroom and found so that the pad was stained pink and smelled differently.  I thought that I could stay at the party for a while but every time I stood up I was leaking so I went home and called the midwife.  I was not having any PW so I knew it would be a while.  Honestly, I was disappointed to have my water break early.  With my son, PW were much harder to deal with after my water was broken.  The midwife told me to lie down and get some sleep.  I tried to sleep but just ended up laying there until I began having a few PW at 2am.  They were coming close together but were not very strong.  Aaron (husband) insisted on timing them and then on calling the midwife.  She came by and checked me at 4 am but by then things had puttered out.  I was 3 centimeters when she checked.  She went home and we called my mom and sister to come over at 6am.

At this point I am not having very many PW and have been just laying down resting and listening to my Hypnobabies Early First Stage CD.  At 3 pm the midwife comes back and checks and I am still at a 3 with hardly any PW.  She gave me some homeopathic labor pills that dissolve under the tongue and I immediately begin to have strong regular PW.  During this time my family has made food for everyone, my husband has been entertaining our son and everyone comes to check on me every few minutes, alternating sitting with me.  My family and I all go for a walk around the block and I have lots of strong PW.  I begin to really have to focus on them and tell myself “Pressure, pressure, pressure” each time I have them, so I remember that it is not pain but just a lot of pressure.  I retire to my room and keep walking around the bed and continue to have PW.  The midwife leaves (she had another woman that was in labor too and was checking on her) and in a few hours comes back to check me.  I was just at a 4 and PW were slowing again so the midwife gave me more homeopathic pills.  This ramps up the waves again.  Feeling a little discouraged, I put on the Pushing baby out CD so that I would get my mind to start thinking about that.

I start to feel a little pushy almost immediately.  Remembering an article I read where the midwife was saying that giving little pushes, if the mom feels the need to, can open up the cervix more quickly, I begin to bear down a bit when I get a PW.  At 6 pm the midwife checks again and I am at a 6!  I am so happy to be moving along so I keep up with the bearing down.  At 8 pm I really start needing to bear down a lot and the PW are really strong.  I am at an 8 at this point.  I asked for oxygen because I was feeling light headed and nauseous.  That was a life saver.  As soon as they put it on, I felt much better.

At 8:41 pm my mom, sister and husband gathered around the bed and hold my hands when I start to push at each wave.  I remembered to push with my butt and not my tummy (something I had trouble with last time) and can really feel her moving down.  This is the only part of birth that was really hard.  Amara was coming down with the lip of my cervix.  The midwife kept trying to push it out of the way but it hurt so much I asked her to stop.  Then she did it really slowly and it finally worked.  When her head was coming out I was surprised at how much it hurt.  With my son it did not hurt much at all.  I asked for the hot wash cloths to be put on me and that really helped.  Later, my midwife told me that she was turning while she was coming out.

After three good pushes, she was out and on my tummy.  Born March 13th at 8:59 pm.  She was covered in vernex and cried a little bit.  She had her eyes wide open and black hair on her head.  We were all so excited to see her.  I cuddled her while the midwife rubbed her down with a warm towel.  I had no tearing at all.  A few minutes later the placenta came out and Aaron cut the cord.  Within 30 minutes, I put her to my breast and she nursed for an hour and a half.  She was 7 lbs ½ oz and 21 ½ inches long and two weeks early.  Then we all snuggled up in bed and went to sleep.

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I’ve been avoiding sitting down to write out my birth story because I know my inability to convey in words how it happened. I feel strong, empowered, and amazed at how the title of “mother” has changed in meaning after this experience. I hope my birth story can inspire or encourage another woman.

As soon as my husband and I decided to try and get pregnant a second time, I knew I wanted to have a natural childbirth.  The birth of my first son was not a pleasant experience. I was scared and out of control, overly medicated with pitocin and an epidural that wasn’t effective, and felt very uncomfortable in the hospital. So we decided to try for a water birth at the local birth center.

My pregnancy was pretty easy, after 3 long months of continuous nausea.  I started doing the Hypnobabies home study course at around 30 weeks. It helped me feel positive and confident about my body and my abilities to birth without excruciating pain and fear.  As my due date approached, I was feeling surprisingly normal, and very comfortable considering how big I was.

I woke up 6 days past my due date, feeling myself aside from water retention and elevated blood pressure that my midwife has alerted me to the day before. We had made plans for me to stay off my feet and rest to get the blood pressure down, while my son would go to my parent’s house for the day. As I was feeding him breakfast at 9:45, I had my first pressure wave (contraction). It was unlike any Braxton Hicks I’d been having, and I immediately knew this was it.

The waves felt like they were coming about every 10 minutes, but I didn’t time them yet and went about the morning getting him ready to go. As my husband loaded him up in the car, I told him I thought this was it and to get me some breakfast on his way home. I started timing some pressure waves and they were about 7 minutes apart. I called my midwife to let her know and judging by how calm I sounded, she thought it was just early labor.

I ate my breakfast and listened to my Birthing Day track and by the time it was finished, the pressure waves were about 4-5 minutes apart. We loaded up the car and got ready to go. This was around 12:30. At this point, the waves were completely manageable. I breathed through them, completely relaxed.

When we arrived at the center, they checked me (the only internal check I had during labor) and was around 6 cms dilated already! I hung out sitting crossed legged on the bed chatting with the midwife student and husband. I listened to some of my Hypnobabies tracks but didn’t necessarily feel the need to enter deep relaxation for the whole track. I just closed my eyes and deeply relaxed through the waves and was able to come out of it and be myself in between them.

They started to get pretty intense at around 3 and I had a hard time relaxing and breathing during the waves because Sam was so big and the top of my uterus felt like it was crushing my ribs. The waves started coming really quickly and felt very intense. My midwife started filling up the tub because she said if we didn’t start now, I might miss my chance at a waterbirth! I didn’t believe her and I asked if she was sure she didn’t need to check me first to see how dilated I was. But she said I would know what to do and to just listen to my body.  At around 3:30 or so I went to empty my bladder and as soon as I was done I could hardly stand up. So I made my way to the tub and got in.  It felt so good and I squatted and swayed back and forth. I was so deeply relaxed between my pressure waves that I almost felt asleep.

It wasn’t long before I felt tons of pressure, I completely relaxed and my body took over. My midwife never told me when to push; she just encouraged me when I did. Pushing felt amazing; my body knew just what to do. The student midwife told me to reach down and see what I could feel. I felt his head and my bag of water. I kept pushing slowly when I needed to, and soon the head was crowning. This was the only point in my labor where I felt overwhelmed with the intensity. I turned onto my back and let my body float to the top of the tub. His head came out and I waited for the next pressure wave to push. The bag of waters was still intact. Waiting was so hard, the pressure was intense and stayed right there. They told me that at the next push he would be born, and I made them promise me! I felt so overwhelmed with the pressure. I pushed out his chest, and he was born.

10 lbs 9 ounces, almost 22 inches long, head 14.5 inches around and chest circumference 15 inches. Big boy! His arm came out right up next to his head with his hand next against his face. And not a single tear or hemorrhoid, minimal swelling. Incredible! I held him for awhile and then we got out of the tub. He latched on about 15 minutes later and has nursed perfectly since.

I lost a lot of blood and ended up transferring to the hospital for 3 nights for a blood transfusion, but it was all worth it. It was the best experience of my life. I can honestly say that my labor and delivery was painless, expect for when he was crowning. Just the most intense pressure that I have ever experienced, or wish to experience again for a while. But painful is not a word I would use to describe it. There was no fear involved, no anxiety or moments of doubt. A completely different experience than the medicated hospital birth of my first son, which was full of pain, fear, anxiety, and doubt. I trusted my body and it’s ability to birth naturally and I did it, my size 0 hips pushed out a huge baby without a stitch or swelling! A situation that I know would have had me pressured into a cesarean section had I delivered in a hospital anywhere else.

This is what it means to be a mother in the raw sense of the word. It’s what mothers have been doing all along. Trusting their bodies and bringing their children into the world in the most peaceful way. Baby Sam is a perfect baby, started life out in a perfect way. I’m so glad to have the memory of his perfect birth for the rest of my life.

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