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Archive for the ‘Home Birth’ Category

This is a long birth story! I decided to write out all of the details since I really learned a lot and enjoyed reading the details of the other birth stories on the list.

A little background: Grace is our second child. I also used Hypnobabies during my pregnancy with our son, who is 16 months old. He was posterior though, and I had terrible back labor for about 5 hours with him and then pushed for 2.5 hours before he was finally born (drug-free!). I was really unable to use the relaxation techniques due to the back labor and worried the same thing would happen with Grace’s birth. But I loved using the Hypnobabies during my pregnancy and felt it would be my best chance for another drug-free birth.

For this pregnancy, I read every word of the Spinning Babies website and did the inversions regularly and did pelvic rocks every night. I also saw a Webster-technique trained Chiropractor throughout my pregnancy and hired a birth doula.

We were using a wonderful midwife who only delivered at the hospital. I was really hesitant to go to the hospital for delivery, but the local birth center closed after my son was born and we decided we weren’t ready for a home birth since my back labor had been so bad.

Back to Grace’s birth: Dec 31st, the day before she was born, my husband and I took our son to the Zoo and walked around for about 3 hours. I started having pressure waves during that night. They woke me maybe ten times, but I was able to go right back to sleep each time. They got more regular when I got up around 7am. I told my husband that today might just be the day. I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant, the same length as the pregnancy with my son.

My husband took over taking care of our son and I was able to lie on the couch and read the rest of the birth stories in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth for the second time. The PW’s continued but were not regular for a few hours. Around noon, I started doing last minute cleaning of the house and reading through the Spinning Babies techniques again while doing figure 8‘s on the birth ball..

At 1 pm, we decided we should start timing the PW’s. They were anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes apart for a couple of hours. I called my midwife around 3:30pm to let her know today may be the day. She said to call her and head to the hospital when they were between 3-5 minutes apart for an hour. The PW’s were fairly strong, but I was able to completely relax during them and felt great about it! I had only experienced back labor with my first baby, so I was excited to feel what a “normal” PW felt like.

For the next couple of hours, the PW’s were mostly from 2-7 minutes apart but then I’d have some 10 minutes apart. The Hypnobabies was so effective at eliminating any pain that I was telling my husband I thought we must have a long way to go.

Around 5:30pm, they started getting more intense. So I asked my husband to massage my shoulders at the beginning of each PW. There would be quite intense pressure, my husband would massage my shoulders and I would use the Hypnobabies relaxation techniques and the “p**n” would almost magically disappear in seconds. Most were 2-5 minutes apart, but there would be a 6 or 11 minute break that threw me off for the timing. I had to completely focus during the PW’s at this point, but they were so manageable that I was still thinking I had a long way to go.

At 7:30pm, I spoke with our Doula who suggested I lay down for a while and see what happened. Up to this point, I had been in an upright position for the last few hours. As soon as I laid in bed, I had two really intense PW’s that lasted 1.5-2 minutes long, but they were 7 minutes apart. I was starting to think we should probably go in and get checked. My husband put our son to bed at 7:45pm. I stood up for a couple of waves, then back in bed for one really intense one. At the end of it I literally jumped because I felt like something had “punched” through my cervix. I told my husband we had better get going. I stood up from the bed and a second later my water just gushed. It was 7:58pm. My husband called his mother to come stay with our son, it was a 15 minute drive for her.

It suddenly occurred to me and I told my husband: “Things are about to happen very fast!”. This was when it first crossed my mind that we may not make it to the hospital. My husband went into turbo mode and started racing around trying to load our car. I started having PW’s every 1-2 minutes. So every time he was almost out the door with a load, I called him back in to help me. I really needed his help massaging my shoulders as hard as he could at this point. It was amazingly intense but we were doing it!

I told my husband I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the car, much less the hospital. He tells me now he was horrified. He did his best to convince me we could (MUST!) make it to the car. It was right about then that I started to feel pushy. That’s when his mom arrived. I asked my husband to close our bedroom door for privacy. I told him I was pushing and went into our Master bathroom and he brought me some towels. I knew my husband was scared and that was about the time I started praying myself. I knew we could do this as long as there were no major problems. I told my husband he better go ahead and call 911.

He told the 911 operator I could feel the baby’s head and was pushing. I could hear the operator telling him to get me to lay down. I was kneeling on the floor and had no interest in laying down at that point. After just a couple of pushes I could feel the baby crowning. I tried my best to slow her head from coming out too fast but wasn’t very successful. I could hear the operator tell my husband several times that he had to get me to lay down. I said, “I’m NOT laying down”. Another push or two and I caught the baby and laid her on the towels. I glanced at the clock. Grace was born at 8:35 pm. I noticed how long the cord looked and unwrapped it from around her neck although it wasn’t tight. Thank God, she immediately started crying. Just my husband and I there to bring her into the world. It was a wonderful, amazing experience we will never forget. I felt great!

Just a couple of minutes after she was born, the Fire Department arrived. Soon our bedroom and bathroom were crowded with men. The EMT’s arrived about 5 minutes later. It was pretty funny to me when the EMT mentioned a couple of times that this was the 6th baby he had “delivered”! They took the three of us to the hospital by ambulance.

Grace’s apgar scores were 8 and 10. She weighed just 6 pounds 3 ounces which was a surprise to us since our son had been 8 pounds 7 ounces. She is the sweetest baby, just beautiful and such a blessing – my husband and I are absolutely thrilled. He did an amazing job helping me. I couldn’t have done it without him! I feel like all of the techniques I used contributed to me having such an easy birth this time. I have loved learning and practicing Hypnobabies and know I wouldn’t have had such success without it. I will definitely be using it again for our next baby!

written and shared with permission from a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.

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Elliott’s Wonderful Hypnobabies Home Water Birth (First Baby)

A bit of background: Before I had Elliott, I had been a doula for about 5 years and a Hypnobabies instructor for about 3 years. We struggled with infertility that whole time so there was such mystery to me surrounding childbirth, even though I worked in the field and loved my job.  I always hoped I would be able to experience pregnancy and childbirth but didn’t know for sure if I would get the opportunity.  When we finally got pregnant on our 5th attempt at IVF, the first thing I remember thinking was, “I’m going to finally give birth to a baby.” I had a perfectly healthy, although physically difficult pregnancy, dealing with nausea the entire 40 weeks.

I was due on January 28th, the day before my 35th birthday and on Feb 1st, I still had no signs of my birthing time beginning. My brother and his wife called to see if there was anything going on and I told them there was nothing – not a single birthing wave. But I was fine waiting for the baby to come whenever he or she was ready.  I was 40 weeks and 4 days and agreed to a non-stress test at 41 weeks so that’s the only thing I was dreading a little. Otherwise, I was completely fine waiting.

I remember looking at the clock when I got off the phone with them and it was 9:30pm. I felt my pelvis ache when I got off the phone but it passed. I asked my husband if he would read me a Hypnobabies script. I had been mostly listening to the scripts on CD during the maintenance phase of the program. But I loved hearing him read the scripts to me more than listening to them on CD so I was glad he agreed to read me one. It had been a while since we had done that. We probably finished the script at about 10:30 pm. I remember feeling my pelvis ache twice during the script. After the script was over, we turned out the lights and I had another ache in my pelvis that came and went.

I didn’t think anything of these aches because they felt nothing like how anyone had ever described birthing waves to me. To me, it felt like someone was tightening a vice on my pelvic bones. I just figured it was pregnancy discomfort, as I was pretty miserable towards the end of my pregnancy. Then I had another sensation and decided to look at the clock, just to see if there was a pattern. It was 10:59pm.  Another one at 11:09pm. Then around 11:25pm. Then 11:34pm. I got up to use the bathroom and had some bloody show. I hadn’t had any spotting throughout my pregnancy so that was definitely different.

I came back to bed and told DH that I thought someone might be starting.  He went back to sleep and I spent the next half-hour or so just sending my anesthesia to my pelvis and relaxing through the waves. I got up a little after midnight to call the midwife and give her a head’s up, even though I felt silly for calling her so soon. I went back to bed and relaxed through the waves and got up a few times to use the bathroom, only to see more bloody show. I called the midwife back around 3:00am to tell her the waves were still coming and seemed stronger and closer together.  I tried to wait as long as I could to wake up DH but after I called the midwife, I woke him up and told him I thought I needed some help.

The midwife said to try a bath so DH ran a bath for me. I got in and laid on my side and he put the CD player in the bathroom so that I could listen to my Birthing Day Affirmations while he rubbed my lower back, as I was starting to feel discomfort in that area along with my pelvis. Then I would turn on my other side for a while and do the same thing. I felt like I was relaxing very well and just saying, “Ahhhh,” during every wave. At that point, I was making noise because it felt good.  I decided to get out of the bath after an hour or so and tried a few birthing waves leaning over the side of our bed and on my hands and knees.

Around 5:00am, we called the midwife again. She asked if I wanted someone to come be with me but I told her I could call her back in an hour. I called her back in 45 minutes! I told her I probably needed someone to come check on me, as things weren’t slowing down at all. I realized now that I was making noise because I HAD to. I had DH call my mom and tell her to come (she had about an hour drive) and to call my fellow Hypnobabies instructor, Susan, who was going to be at the birth.  I wondered before the birth how I would feel about having people around me while I was in my birthing time but in that moment, all I knew is that I wanted all the help I could get!

My mom thought we were going to call her back later to tell her to definitely come but when DH told me this, I told him  to call her back and tell her to definitely come now!  It seems like everyone got to the house around 7 or 7:30am. I can’t remember who got there first but by that time, the midwife’ assistant and Susan were there, faces smiling knowingly at me! The midwife’s assistant asked it I wanted to be checked and I told her I wasn’t sure because I was worried I wouldn’t be very far along. I asked her what she thought and she said she thought it would be a good idea to see where I was.

So she checked me around 7:45am or so and I was 6cm!  I had never been as happy as I was to hear that!  My birth team started getting the birth pool set up and DH rubbed my back and butt through each birthing wave. Susan ran back and forth to give me physical and verbal cues during birthing waves and work on filling up the birth pool in between. I finally got in around 8:30am. I hung over the edge of the pool and the  water felt so good. I had little bites of bagel and cream cheese in between birthing waves and plenty of water. DH, Susan, and my mom were all surrounding me.

The physical and verbal cues were really helpful because I had practiced them so often and was able to relax instantly when I heard or felt them. I was still breathing deeply and Ahhh’ing through the birthing waves. I felt like I got louder and louder as the intensity of the waves built up. But I was focused on relaxing and it felt good to keep leaning over the edge of the pool. Pretty soon, I started to feel my body bear down and I let the midwife’s assistant know. She called the midwife to give her an update.  They were trying to figure out if she should leave the third-time mom she was currently with or stay with her.

So the midwife’s assistant asked me to get out of the tub to get checked, so they could make a decision. I was fully dilated and it was about 9:00am. I got back in the tub and they called the backup midwife, who was about 45 minutes away.  Susan put the Pushing Baby Out track on in the kitchen where I was. The midwife’s assistant told me to still try not to push but let my body do the pushing. I think that was partly because she wanted the backup midwife to get there but mainly to just allow for a gentle second stage.

I was a little confused about what I should be doing so I tried not to add to my pushing but my body was definitely pushing. It was getting harder to try and relax but I felt where the baby was inside of me and I could feel that he or she was making progress downward so that was inspiring! At one point, I felt a little pop inside and I think that was the hindwaters releasing because I could still feel the forewaters very taut around the baby’s head. The was so much pressure that I thought about asking the midwife’s assistant to break the forewaters but right when I was thinking that, she said how good it was that they were there to protect the baby’s head. The midwife’s assistant let me know that the baby would be crowing in the next few birthing waves.

I remember feeling intense pressure as he or she crowned and I let out my only shriek as the baby’s head came out, although I had to be told that that’s what had just happened. The baby didn’t wait for the next birthing wave but came out all at once instead. It was 10:58am. The midwife said, “There’s the baby,” and nudged him or her between my legs. I turned around quickly and brought the baby up out of the water as I sat down. I looked and said, “Oh!  It’s a boy!”  He was making noises and had a great heart rate. DH laughed and said, “You caught him yourself!”  The back up midwife walked through the door right after he was born. We couldn’t believe we were holding our baby boy after waiting so long for him and that everything had gone so smoothly!

 

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This was my third baby, and my second natural birth, and my first hypnobaby and home birth.

Hypnobabies helped me to have a birth experience more wonderful than I hoped for.  I started at about 24 weeks and took two weeks for each section. There were a few days that I missed listening to a track, but I was pretty good at keeping on top of things. I didn’t listen to joyful pregnancy affirmations every day, and I, quite honestly, struggled with practicing my light switch. Even with my lackadaisical preparation, my birthing time was very relaxed and enjoyable.

Thursday, July 22, just after midnight
I wake up a little after midnight with pressure waves that are quite regular and strong. I listen to the “Early First Stage” track, and soon after that was done I decide that this is it! I woke up Mark and convinced him it was absolutely necessary to get up and clean the bathroom and the loft, do some laundry, etc. This is it! So exciting! And only a day past my due date! I get back into bed and turn on my ipod and try to get a little sleep.

Thursday, July 22, morning
My pressure waves are farther apart and not as strong, but still coming. I call my mom and ask her to start driving up here. (She has to drive up from Utah, and is taking 2 days to do so. I planned on having her arrive after I had the baby.) I would be having the baby today!

Thursday, July 22, afternoon
Faint, irregular pressure waves. Quite discouraged, but still hopeful. Mark has spent the whole day with me, instead of working. The girls have been with Grandma all day. I’m starting to feel quite silly.

Thursday, July 22, late evening
Pressure waves are picking up, hurrah!

Friday, July 23, morning
Call my mom, sobbing. The pressure waves have almost completely stopped. I will never have the baby, and my mom has already driven half-way up to my house. I cry and complain and whine. After I get off the phone with her, Mark gives me a no-nonsense pep talk and I decide that life must go on. I take the girls to town and stop by a few garage sales. I feel better when we get back.

Friday, July 23, evening
Nothing. But my mom arrives, which is a welcome distraction.

Saturday, July 24, morning and afternoon
Pressure waves throughout the day, becoming stronger. I ignore them. Sort of.

Saturday, July 24, evening
I’m exhausted, hot, and completely break down because the apple berry crisp I made is too runny. Mark is working late, putting in the hay. I try to ignore the pressure waves that are coming more often.

Saturday, July 24, 11pm
Mark gets home and we watch an episode of Jim Henson’s Storytellers on Netflix. I tell him, very hesitantly, that maybe my pressure waves just might be getting stronger. We head to bed. Mark is asleep in about 12 seconds, but it takes me a little longer.

Sunday, July 25, early, early morning
My pressure waves continue all night. They are 10-15 minutes apart, but growing stronger. I’m able to get quite a bit of rest/sleep by listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I’m pretty sure I would not have slept otherwise, but my after months of falling asleep listening to these tracks I found it so easy to relax and let any worries or stress go.

Sunday, July 25, 5 am-ish
I wake Mark up. My pressure waves have suddenly jumped from about 10 minutes apart to about 6 minutes apart. They are strong. I feel a lot of tightening and squeezing and a dull ache during the pressure waves. Mark times them for a little while, then calls the midwife to tell her that I think I’m really approaching my birthing time…

Sunday, July 25, around 6 am
When I talked to the midwife on the phone, I didn’t have a contraction during the conversation. I told her I would call her back in about 20 minutes if I was ready for her to come.

After talking to the midwife, Mark filled our bathtub and I got in. There was one pressure wave when I was walking to the bathroom that I was unprepared for and it was probably the most uncomfortable one I had. I had been laying on my side in bed with my light switch off (meaning my body was completely limp and relaxed, no moving). I walked to the bathroom with my light switch on (not in hypnosis)(editors note: mom could have chosen to have her switch in center and that would have helped her feel more comfortable) and was caught off guard when the bathroom door was locked!

I started pounding on the door, panicked because I had planned on making it to the tub before the next contraction. Mark opened the door and I kind of collapsed onto him because the pressure wave had just hit. After it was over I got in the tub and it was so nice. So nice. I was able to lay on my side with my knees bent and a couple of towels as pillows. We timed some more contractions and decided it was time for the midwife to come. (She lives about 50 minutes away) They were 4 or 5 minutes apart and very strong.

I had Mark turn on the “Early First Stage” track on the computer, because I didn’t want to worry about my ipod with the water. By this time my mom and the girls were up, and I could hear all the happy morning noises in the other rooms. My pressure waves felt quite powerful, but not in a negative way. During each wave I would relax completely and picture my muscles working to make way for my baby.

Sunday, July 25, around 7 am
My midwife arrived at 7:15. I can’t remember exactly when we stopped timing waves, but they were about 3 or 4 minutes apart at this time. It felt like there was so much time between the waves, and I wished  they would come closer together because I felt like I was still so far from having the baby.

Before the midwife checked me she asked me how dilated I thought I was. I said “Oh a 3?” and secretly hoped for a 5 or 6. She laughed and said she thought I’d be farther along than that. She was right, I was almost an 8!

Almost an 8! I could hardly believe it. When I had Eden I was struggling at 6, but here I was, almost done! As I settled back into a comfortable position I tried to prepare mentally for “transformation.”

When the Early First Stage track ended I had Mark put on the Deepening track. Everyone left me alone for awhile. As the intensity increased, I started to vocalize during the waves, saying words like “relax” and “open” and I don’t remember what else. I know some people feel totally uninhibited when they are giving birth, but that’s not me. I actually felt quite silly and self-conscious but vocalizing helped me so much. It seemed to override any discomfort that I might have otherwise felt.

During transformation I felt totally in control. I never had that “I can’t take this for a moment longer” feeling. I still felt like I had plenty of time to rest between pressure waves. I did get a couple right on top of each other, but I was able to accept whatever came my way. If I felt discomfort at the beginning of a wave I would say “relax. relax. relax” and remind myself that it was just pressure and tightening and that’s what it became. Transition was intense, but totally manageable.

Sunday, July 25, around 8am
Mark sat next to the tub and held my hand during this time. The midwife was in the bathroom too, and told me to let her know when I felt like I needed to push. Soon I felt things change, and during a pressure wave I felt the baby’s head move down a bit, then slide back up after the wave ended. I told my midwife that I was ready to push. She knelt down next to the tub and with the next wave I started to push and felt the head move down, and then out it slid. I wasn’t about to stop pushing though! A second later the baby’s body slid right out and the baby was lifted up to my chest, all warm and pink and beautiful. It happened so fast I was shocked. One push and it was all done! Oh, and the feeling just after you have a baby. There are no words.

After a minute or two the midwife asked if we had seen what the baby was. Oh! I had totally forgotten. In those moments the whole boy or girl thing didn’t matter at all. This was my baby, and my baby is healthy and beautiful. That’s all that I thought. But of course, after she asked Mark checked and it was a girl! And no, we were not disappointed. Another girl is just perfect.

My mom had taken the girls outside to play, thinking it would be a while longer until I had the baby. She didn’t believe Mark when he came out and announced it was another girl! They all came into to see the new baby. That was one of the best moments, being together as a family for the first time.

Lucy was born at 8:07 am, less than an hour after the midwife arrived. Amazingly, I pushed the baby out in one push without tearing at all. This was the first time I didn’t have to worry about the dreaded stitches. After I got out of the tub and cleaned up we hopped into bed. Lucy was happy and calm and eager to eat. All I wanted to talk about that day was how amazing the experience was. Even my mom, who was terrified about me giving birth at home, is a bit of a convert.

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This is the story of how Blake chose to enter into the world on August 22nd at 12:50 pm. I begin at the beginning of my pregnancy so that others will see the journey my husband and I went on. How the choices we made and did not make affected us. I hope that other women will learn from my experience to listen to their inner self. I was blessed that I ended up with the birth that I desired (even though it was not planned this way) but for many others I know that this does not happen. They settle for something less than what they desire. I want other women to know that they are powerful, strong, and know how to follow the best choices for themselves no matter what others think or say.

Blake’s story begins in December 2009, when I found that we were pregnant. This after a few years of not preventing it. I soon found that there were many decisions about the care we wanted to receive and how we wanted Blake to enter into the world. I met with Julie Byers, a doula, to discuss options. Before meeting with Julie, I had joined the AnMed hospital practice in order to start receiving the prenatal care I needed. I met with Julie at a coffee shop and we began to discuss what I wanted, felt I needed for my care, and what I wanted in a birth. Speaking with Julie and having her listen to me “ramble on” allowed me to realized the kind of care I wanted and the type of birth I wanted. She suggested that I speak with her friend Carey Collins who is a midwife and learn more about homebirths.

I e-mailed Carey and left it at that. For many months I continued my care with AnMed but each time we went for a check-up, I felt rushed, not heard, and not pleased with my care. After going to AnMed to have blood drawn, Brandon and I stayed to tour the birthing unit of the hospital. We left the tour unimpressed and knowing that we were going to change practices. This was solidified in our minds when we asked the nurse if laboring mother’s could move around and her response was “No, you have to stay in the bed because the baby could just slip out if you were moving around”. All the way home I said “I will not be delivering there“.

We then started to look at birthing at Oconee hospital. That way we would be closer to home. We set up a tour of their birthing floor and was impressed with the attention, the one-on-one time the floor’s supervisor spent with us, and the answers we were given to the questions we had. We then asked for recommendations of doctors who delivered there. We were given names. I soon made an appointment and switched care providers.

Still unsure of what kind of birth I wanted I decided in April that I would meet with Carey, a midwife. By the time this meeting came to pass I had done much research on home births and discussed home birth with many different individuals. All with their own opinion of whether it was safe, appropriate, and all with their own opinion of what I should do. Brandon and I knew we wanted a home birth deep inside but we wanted to please those around us, so I discussed with Carey the possibility of her being our monitrice and laboring as much as possible at home and then going to the hospital to deliver. After meeting with Carey, and discussing the options, I decided that laboring at home and birthing at the hospital would make everyone happy. (Did I put much stock into how I felt about this? If you asked me then I would say yes. If you ask me today I would say I was the only person I did not listen to.) From this meeting with Carey, I loved the bond that quickly formed between the two of us and the knowledge she provided into understanding how I was feeling and the knowledge she had of birth itself. We decided that day to work with Carey, a decision I will never regret!

We soon went for our first visit with our new care provider and were impressed with the time she spent with us discussing our pregnancy. We were happy with our care until a visit in June when I went one time by myself and gave the doctor my birth plan. As I sat with her in the office the doctor began to write on my birth plan and marked out parts of my plan. Asking me questions that were formed in medical lingo that I didn’t understand. I left that day feeling bullied and beat up. At this point, I knew again deep inside that I really wanted a homebirth but I still didn’t listen to my inner self and continued care with this provider.

The visit in July was no better. From the urine specimen I gave when I first went in for that appointment they found protein. I was called into the doctors office and was told that I had to do a 24 hour catch and that they would probably have to take the baby early because I was showing one symptom of preclampsia. Even though I had no other symptoms they assumed this all this from one small dipstick. The doctor spent no time discussing with me what was going on and again I felt bullied and rushed. While in her office I asked her questions and questioned what she was doing. She would give no answers in terms that I could understand. I left completely panicked and immediately called Brandon and Carey. Carey was calm and reassuring that it was nothing and the doctors reacted that way to cover themselves. It turned out that it was nothing when the results came back from the lab. Again at this point I should have listened to myself when I KNEW I wanted to switch to midwife care but yet again I did not. I continued care with the providers and now had to go to appointments once a week.

Through the rest of the months I continued to meet with Carey and continued to wish for a home birth. But I kept telling myself at least with doula I could labor the way I wanted at home before having to give birth at the hospital. Brandon and I also began a Hypnobabies class with Julie. Each Thursday through the months of May and June we met with Julie and three other couples to share stories, excitement, and learned a way to control what our bodies felt during our child’s birthing day. We practiced everyday, listening to the scripts, doing prenatal exercises, eating healthy, and dreaming and talking about the birth we wanted. Through out the class, I often wondered to myself if this is really working, will I be able to do this when the time comes, and will I remember how to control my mind and body because Blake’s birthing day was so far way. Other important information we learned through this class was about birth and the process a women’s body, the baby, and the mind goes through during this special time and how our bodies were designed when we let them, to give birth in a natural way without help. Little did I know how important all the things we learned from this class would be!

Jump forward to the month of August. At the last visit to the doctor before Blake arrived, I was told that I would probably go full term and then some. This meant another two weeks. I was excited because it would give me a few weeks with my kids at school before Blake arrived. The first week of school when kids were back was a difficult week. There was a lot of stress and excitement all in one for me. I came home the Friday before Blake’s birth tired and worn out. My long term substitute backed out at the last minute and I was stressed. The next day was Saturday. That night I looked at my belly and told my son “Blake I am ready when you are, you come when you are ready, I love you”. Little did I know that this would began the process of Sunday becoming Blake’s birthing day. I believe that by giving Blake permission to come I honored him, my body, and what was to come.

Sunday I woke up with small cramps and a small, tiny, amount of discharge. Nothing that alarmed me or made me think Blake was coming anytime soon. I was busy planning on being at school the next day and seeing my kids for the second week of school. Brandon asked me around 8:45 if I was up to going grocery shopping because the cramps were a little stronger (Let me say here none of the cramps I experienced during my birthing time were anything close to what I have experienced during my period).

I told Brandon sure we must continue on with our day. Before we went to Bi-Lo I asked Brandon to take a picture of my belly. We had been meaning to for quite a while because I finally “looked” pregnant. I am so glad we did this. In the back of my mind I think I knew that Blake might be coming in the next few days. At 8:45 we left for Bi-Lo. As we shopped through Bi-Lo I had to stop every now and then because of the cramps and I would “look at the shelf” and made comments jokingly that if these cramps are pressure waves than this is nothing. I also looked at Brandon after one of them and said jokingly “I smile and feel happy after my pressure waves.” This came from one of the Hypnobabies scripts that I had ingrained into my brain. I really could recite many of the scripts by heart. After making these comments Brandon and I would bust out laughing at each other!!

 

We didn’t even consider that those really were pressure waves, I thought my body is just getting started and I had a few more days to prepare. On the way home, I mentioned to Brandon that I thought Blake had dropped because I had a huge gap between him and my ribs. Blake was always in my ribs during the pregnancy. I should have taken this as a clue but since I was not experiencing anything I thought of as “labor” I choose to continue to ignore what I was experiencing and dismissed it.

When we returned from the store, I started to have diarrhea on top of the cramps. I asked Brandon to call Carey just to ask if this was normal. This was around 10:00. Carey reassured both of us that all was normal. This was the normal way for the body to get ready for the birth that was to come and it could be another couple of days. She reminded us just to continue with our normal routine and ignore it.

 

After speaking with Carey, we decided to watch a movie that we had rented the night before. I tried laying down and watching but the cramps were uncomfortable and I kept having to go the bathroom. This continued for a while. I would lay down to watch the movie, watch about minute or two and then I would be up and going to the bathroom. I soon claimed the toilet as my throne. During my time on the throne, Brandon was busy gathering items for the hospital. Later I asked him if he knew it was going to happen and he said he thought he should be ready in case.

 

After being on my throne for a while, I found some comfort on the birthing ball by bouncing up and down and rolling my hips back and forth while sitting on it. I told Brandon just to turn the movie off because I couldn’t remember what was happening during each time I cam back from the bathroom. The comfort from sitting on the birthing ball only lasted a few minutes and it was back to my throne in the bathroom, where I felt most comfortable. Again I should have started putting the signs together because Julie told us in the class some women spend lots of time on the toilet during their pressure waves because it is most comfortable.

 

I still didn’t realize what was going on because I was waiting on the “labor pains” that many women speak of. I was only having pressure and they were not even like the Braxton Hicks I had experienced in the months and weeks before.

Wanting to get off my throne and try something else I remembered how much water was a comfort to me during pregnancy. I asked Brandon to run a bath for me. He soon joined me at the side of the tub as I took a bath. During the short time in the tub, Brandon poured cups of water over me and spoke words of encouragement and peace. He tried to comfort me through the cramps, pressure, and the many feelings I was experiencing. Quickly the bath became uncomfortable and I moved to the bed. I was there for no longer than 5 minutes. I had just enough time there to put my I-Pod on for only a few seconds and found a Hypnobabies script. The only words I heard on the script were the words “open, open, open”. I then threw off the I-Pod and ran to the master bath to claim my throne once again. At this point I still did not realize that I was experiencing pressure waves and dilation.

This time I called for Brandon to come to the bathroom because every time I tried to use the bathroom I now felt as if I was going to throw up as well. Brandon’s job became to hold the trashcan and allow me to lean over his arm that he held in front of me during the cramps and sensations of pressure. During these moments he spoke words of affirmation and words of comfort that he learned in our Hypnobabies class. He helped me to relax and remember that my body knew what it was doing and that my body was made for this. Soon I began to move back and forth between the floor and my throne.

 

I asked Brandon to call Carey around 12:26 and tell her to head this way because I no longer felt comfortable being without her. I needed her reassurance that everything was normal. At this point we still did not know that Blake would be entering the world in a few minutes.

Soon I asked Brandon to help me to move to the floor and that is when my water broke. It felt to me as if it was gushing everywhere and flooding the floor. I told Brandon I think my water broke and said he was not so sure because it really was not very much. Worrying it was going everywhere Brandon reassured me that it was ok and that the water was no problem to deal with. I soon asked Brandon to move me back up to my throne.

As I sat on my throne, I felt the need to use bathroom but nothing was happening each time I tried. I began to feel a greater amount of pressure down below and moved my hands to see if I could feel what was happening. I could not. Through each intense set of pressure waves, Brandon gently held me up and to told me to relax, breath deeply and slowly (which is hard to do), and to allow my body to be loose and limp. Again all these affirmations and prompts came from our Hypnobabies class. Looking back I was surprised at how quickly all the scripts came back to me and how my body was using them without me knowing.

After being on the throne for a few minutes I then felt the need to move back to the floor. This is where I felt the most comfort while I experienced the pressure waves from where Blake was at inside of me. I still didn’t realize at this point what was happening. I was waiting for the intense p**n of labor that I grew up hearing about. When Brandon got me to the floor I began to push as if I was using the bathroom. My body wanted me to push and so I did. It was the only comfort to the pressure I was feeling and as I pushed I thought that I felt something coming out.

 

Yet again I felt below and this time I thought I felt hair. Brandon at this point saw Blake’s head and hair. He said it would peek out and then go back in. I really thought I felt it too but Brandon told me it was “nothing, don’t worry about it” when I asked him what it was. Later we laughed about this and how he choose to tell me a little white lie. He said he told me it was nothing because he was doing his best to keep me from freaking out. My husband knows me well because we were all by ourselves and Blake was on his way and had I realized this I probably would have freaked out.

At this point I don’t remember much because of the way my mind and body were working together. Brandon said very quickly Blake’s head peeked back out and that he told me not to push. Then Blake’s head come all the way out and Brandon told me to give a little push. Brandon was able to see Blake turn as he slid all the way out at 12:50. This was something Brandon was expecting because during our hypno class we saw pictures of how the baby turns in order to leave the body.

 

When Blake came out, Brandon quickly laid him on my chest and covered him with a towel. I was in shock and kept asking Brandon if it was a dream and if Blake was really here. I then kept shouting at him what time is it, what time is it. I wanted to know the time of our precious baby’s birth.

Brandon called Carey back to tell her Blake had arrived (it had only been 24 minutes since our last call to Carey to head this way) and she to could not believe that Blake was already here. She was still 15-20 minutes away from the house. During this time on the phone Carey assured Brandon that everything was fine. However Brandon had a hard time hearing her because I was so consumed with excitement and joy (meaning I was loud). Brandon handed me the phone and said “Carey wants to talk to you”.

Carey quickly got me calmed down as I began to experience the euphoria of holding my son that my husband caught and gazing into my son’s eyes. I still had a hard time believing that this was not just a pregnancy dream. Brandon propped me up and continued to speak words of love and told me how impressed and in awe he was of what I had just done. I in turn told him how proud of him I was for catching our son! Did I mentioned that smoke detector went off and Blake christened me while we were cuddling on the floor all before Carey arrived?

Carey finally arrived to the house as I laid in the bathroom floor. She came in wheeling a suitcase full of midwife stuff and said to Brandon “boil a big pot of water” as she passed straight through the house to get to Blake and I. Brandon later said to my mom, “yes you really do boil a pot of water like in all the old movies.”

Carey came in the bathroom and checked Blake and I over and began to step into action. She helped me to birth the placenta and showed Brandon and I the ‘tree of life’ that is on it. I wish I had Brandon take a picture. She also helped me to nurse Blake for the first time on my chest while he was still attached to his umbilical chord. She checked over Blake and I before moving us to the bed.

 

While I was in the bed coming down from the adrenaline, Carey clamped and cut the chord and she had Brandon cook me some eggs and toast. Carey began to feed me and Brandon said I kept falling asleep between bites. While Carey was looking after me, Blake was being held by his father. After eating, Carey put Blake in the bed with me and helped me to nurse again. Then Brandon weighed and helped measure Blake. He was 7lbs 9oz and 21 inches long. Soon Brandon crawled into the bed and spent time with me and Blake while Carey cleaned up the bathroom and started a load of towels in the wash.

 

At this point no one but Carey, Brandon, and I knew Blake was here. It was wonderful to enjoy our son in the peace and quiet of our own home, in our own bed, in our own way. Carey respected us and our wishes in a way I will never forget.

That is the story of how Blake chose to enter into the world on August 22nd at 12:50 pm. Again let me remind you that I begin at the beginning of my pregnancy so that others will see the journey my husband and I went on. How the choices we made and did not make affected us and our child.

I truly believe that during this pregnancy and birth even though I did not listen to myself, that my son Blake, my body, my mind, and God knew that deep down I desired:

  • - a birth that was not at a hospital
  • -a birth where the mother’s body was the guide
  • -a birth where only love and affirmations was given to the mother
  • -a birth that was comfortable with no fear or p**n
  • -a birth where the mother’s wishes were followed and space respected
  • -a birth where Dad was active and allowed to experience all the joy and excitement of birth

I am blessed because in the end I did experience the birth of my son in the most intimate and perfect way.

Would I had experienced all that with the birth that I had planned at the hospital?

Being completely honest I would have to loudly say No I would not have.

To end Blake’s story I want to quote my mother law from her post on Facebook:

“Brandon and Jenni brought Blake into this world with only God present……what a special time and a special blessing! Praise God !!”

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Yalana’s Unexpected Home Birth in Less than 22 Minutes

Saturday Jan 29th 2011, I was studying all day. I was having some contractions but I thought they were just toning contractions. They were nothing I couldn’t study through or do anything else for that matter. I felt great! My husband, Lucas and our son, Austin went to Impressions Five and then went bowling. I stopped studying at 6pm to clean the house because Lucas’ brother and sister and their spouses were coming over to drop off some food for us. They came and we all had some good laughs. After they left, Lucas told me he was planning on taking Austin out to play with his cousin Tahara the next day. I wasn’t happy about this because Lucas had been having a tendency to not answer his phone lately and my sister lives about 45 minutes away. I just felt like he needed to be close by. But he convinced me that he would keep his phone on him and he told me, “Your going to be in labor at least 2 hours right. So that is plenty of time to get home to you if you need me.” I agreed. We put Austin to bed and I called my sister Theresa to tell her that I had been having toning contractions all day but they weren’t much but maybe they would get stronger over night. She said ok and that she would keep her phone by her. Lucas and I watched Bones and then I listened to my Hypnobabies “Visualize Your Birth” tack on my iPod and fell asleep (I always fell asleep listening to my Hypnobabies tracks).

I slept great (I think listening to the Hypnobabies had something to do with it). I woke up at about 5:50am to go to the bathroom. I had a contraction and notice that I lost the rest of my mucus plug. I came back to bed and told Lucas that I thought I was really in labor now. I had another contraction and used deep breathing to relax through it. I could feel it in my back so I got on all fours to make myself more comfortable. Then I asked Lucas to heat up a rice sockie for me to put on my back. I also made him plug in my iPod to charge because I wanted to begin listening to my Hypnobabies “Birthing Day Affirmations” so that I could relax even more with each contraction (wasn’t quite time to do this thoughJ).  And I told him; maybe I should call the Greenhouse Birth Center and just let them know I am in labor. He agreed.

I called my little sister Theresa first though; this was at 5:57am (I was planning on having her at the birth plus she is one of the post partum doulas at the birth center). She asked if I wanted her to meet us at the birth center and I said I didn’t know because I might just labor at home for a while until the contractions get stronger. So I called the Greenhouse and left the message with the messaging center.

A minute later (6:05am) Shelly, one of my midwives (who was already at the birth center because another mom was in labor there), called me back. Just as I answered the phone, I started to have another contraction. I told Shelly to wait one second. I got on my bed and breathed to relax and just allow the contraction to happen. After it was done I told Shelly what was going on. She thought I should come in and not wait too long. So I told her I would take a shower and have Lucas get things around and we would come in. So Lucas began to shave his face and get the bags around. I felt like I had to go pee again so I sat on the toilet. Right then my water broke and I was having another contraction but this time it was different. I felt some pressure. So I reached down and I could feel her head. Lucas asked me if I wanted to just go right to the birth center.

I said, “No, she is coming now. Call Shelly back. And bring me some towels.” So he laid some towels down for me as he is trying to call Shelly back but the line to the birth center was busy (Shelly said she was calling Clarice, the other midwife for back up since there was already one mom at the birth center). So he called Theresa and told her to come to our house now or she was going to miss it. She thought he was kidding (since he pranked her earlier in the week that I was in labor when I wasn’t). Meanwhile, I can feel Lana’s head moving down. So I get down on my knees on the towels Lucas laid down for me. I didn’t have to push. My body was bearing down with the contraction. Lana slipped right out into my arms. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it was! She was perfect! She did not have a cone head that’s for sure.

Just prior to this (6:10am), Lucas had gone down stairs for something while on the phone and finally got through to Shelly and told her we wouldn’t be coming in. By the time he came back up stairs he could hear Lana crying. He looked at me holding our little bundle and told Shelly, “Yup, she just had her.” Shelly said when she heard her cry over the phone it was 6:12am. Lucas went and got baby blankets.

Austin woke up and came into the bathroom. All smiles when he saw his baby sister. He said, “MOM you squeezed your baby out!” Then he came and sat by me. Lana started to nurse and we were as happy as could be. Theresa got there soon after and helped put some warm towels on me. Lucas made me breakfast… I was hungry! Shelly arrived and helped cut the cord and get me up and into bed. It was AMAZING! It was so calm and peaceful and everything I could have hoped for and more!

And what a 180 from Austin’s hospital birth! No drugs, no throwing up, no IV’s or epidural. No heart rate monitors… no lying on my back in the worst position to push for over an hour and NO episiotomy! I couldn’t have asked for more. God is wonderful and women really can have babies with out interventions! I could move around (the greatness of not having local anesthetic)! And my bottom wasn’t in pain from an episiotomy tear. What a difference not having those two interventions made! And I got to get right back in to the comfort of my own bed with my baby. No having to pack up into a vehicle or move from place to place. Lana was measure and weighed right in bed with me. She was 7bs 8oz and 20.5 inches long. The comfort of my own house was amazing. My wonderful sister helped me take an amazing herbal bath with Lana a few hours after she was born and I was able to take a shower and get dressed. And I feel great.

Maybe its coincidence but I really think the Hypnobabies childbirth program that I had been doing since 17 wks pregnant really had something to do with how calm and relaxed and fast Yalana came into this world. Hypnobabies taught me how to relax which I tended to have difficulty doing. It gives only positive suggestions about childbirth and how with each contraction you will smile and feel so happy that your baby will be in your arms soon. If you fight the contraction it just brings the fear-tension-pain mechanism into play and makes you feel pain. Hypnobabies teaches you how to deeply relax so that all you feel is pressure and no pain and gives positive affirmations about how quick and easy labor will be if you just relax. I wonder if this is why I was so comfortable studying through contractions the day before and only thought they were toning contractions. I wonder if listening to it while I feel asleep made it so I didn’t feel any contractions and slept so great. I only experienced discomfort with the contractions I had just prior to giving birth but it was manageable just with breathing (but this is why I wanted my iPod charged so I could listen to my Hypnobabies:). And the feeling of birthing Yalana right into my arms with out interventions was so very empowering and amazing. I cant find words to describe how absolutely amazing it was.

 

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Lars was born September 6th at 9.58 pm.

I studied Hypnobabies for this birth so I have used Hypnobabies terminology in this story and I refer to Hypnobabies sound tracks.

Sunday September 5th we awoke to a summery morning and decided to drive the hour into Stockholm to the aquarium, thinking “baby won’t come if we stay around the house”. We found parking and started the rather long but beautiful walk from the car to the aquarium. My birthing waves started immediately but did not inhibit my walking. I said to DH that both we and Helena (HB MW) have hour drives so it will time perfectly if this is it, but that I hoped we didn’t have to pay admission just to turn around again. The waves were mild but it felt good to sit in front of the big tank, relax and just watch the fish go by. We ate lunch at the aquarium’s cafe overlooking Stockholm, watching boats go by. I felt so happy and peaceful, the waves stopped all together and I enjoyed a great slice of Pecan Cheesecake. During the car ride home I listened to my Pregnancy Affirmations and had two waves that hour. They picked up once we were home and we started timing them at 6.20 pm. They were 2 to 20 minutes apart and 40 seconds to 2 minutes long. There was no pattern but this was a lot of action for me. DD went down to sleep and I sent a message to my midwives to say, “tonight is not impossible”.

As I got into the shower that evening I looked at my belly and thought, “this is it”. An immense sadness washed over me. The beginning of my pregnancy was difficult. The “why am I doing this?” kind of difficult, but these last three weeks –  feeling good, home from work, connecting to the baby in my belly, having time for me, energy for DD and DH (despite the mood swings) – it had been luxurious and it was coming to an end. The future was unknown. Another wave came and I thought about how saying “good-bye” to my belly meant saying “hello” to my baby. I quickly indulged in my right to be sad that something nice was ending, smiled toward the future and got happily in under the calming hot water.
At about 11 pm I went to bed. I listened to the Fear Release track and then to the Birthing Affirmations. I must have fallen asleep towards the end of the affirmations.

Monday September 6th
I woke up to a wave at 1.30 am after about an hours sleep. I went downstairs at 2 am and posted at our DDC.  Between 2.30 and 3 am my waves increased and after some good advice from the ladies at MDC (mothering dot com), I called Helena (my HB MW) just to let her know what was going on. She said it sounded like things were progressing. I said, yes, but that they were mild, I felt good, that I was eating some cereal and was going to try to rest. She thought this sounded good and I was to keep her posted. DH heard me on the phone and came down to check on me. We went back to bed, I listened to Deepening and fell asleep after that. I woke up to waves a few times between 6 and 8.30, DH called in to work and when DD woke up we went down for breakfast.

At 9.50 am I go to the bathroom and yell, “yeh!” when I spot some blood. We go for a walk at 11 am to a beautiful waterway near our house. My waves have been 15-20 minutes apart and I update my MWs. DH puts DD down for a nap around 12.30 pm, I warm some leftovers, and Helena (HB MW) calls to check on me. Between 1 and 2 pm I rest and listen to my Birthing Affirmations and between 2 and 3 pm my waves are 2 to 7 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. DH makes a yummy Greek salad. I notice my Mucous Plug is loosening at 3 pm and it’s mixed with blood. Carina (PN MW) calls to check on me. My MIL picks up DD, who kisses my belly and says “see you later”. I’m not sure if she’s talking to me or the baby, but my heart warms.

 

I listen to my Birthing Affirmations while I shower. I feel calm and excited. At 5.50 pm my waves are 3 in 10 minutes. Helena, who lives an hour away is on full alert, but I don’t feel I need my MWs just yet. At 6.50 pm I call Carina (who lives 20 minutes away) to say “not yet but soon”. My sitz herbs are steeping, the house is prepped and ready. I’m feeling good and the waves seem very effective and I enjoy them from my birth ball listening to Billy Holiday. DH is preparing seaweed soup for later and pasta for now (he told me later, this was a great task to take his mind off being nervous). He comes by now and then to put a hand on my shoulder and give me the “Relax” cue, which really works to send a wave of relaxation through my body and brings a smile to my face.

I decide it’s time to listen to the Easy First Stage track. The track starts and she’s talking about the strong waves I’m feeling and I’m feeling nothing, except the baby hiccuping. I’m thinking, “Typical! They stopped.” Then I feel one coming and “Pop!”, gush. I hop off the newly prepared sofa bed and yell, “My water, time to call.”  DH admits later to looking at the stove three times to see what water I was talking about (there was after all, soup, pasta and an herbal bath going on there) before realizing, “Oh HER water”. DH calls the MW’s and I rush to update at our DDC (this made DH giggle and shake his head at me which in turn made me laugh).  I dry myself off and DH lights lanterns in the garden for MW’s. I wait out another wave leaning on my birthing ball, amazed at how much water continues to gush. I’m enjoying my tagliatelle when Carina comes in.

Carina listens to the baby. I ask her to use a doppler so I can hear too. Baby is calm. Mommy is too. I move to a softer chair and Carina does some acupuncture for my abdomen and legs. I move back to my ball to enjoy some more waves. DH moves the dogs to the basement and meets the HB MW, Helena, on his way back up. He helps her carry the scale and things. He tells me the night is starry and beautiful. The milky way is visible and the big dipper is right outside our door. Carina and Helena sit on the floor, we chat and laugh, I close my eyes and enjoy my waves saying “Peace” to release anesthesia into my body. I feel relaxed and happy. DH gives me the relax cue. Billy Holiday’s “Solitude” comes on and I inform everyone that it’s my favorite.

 

I need to pee and Helena wants to listen to baby. He or she is still calm. The waves get way stronger when I’m standing. DH whispers to me “open, open, open.” There’s no more water gushing now, the baby’s head must be wedged down the birth canal. I lean on the media center for support and Helena massages my back.  This feels so good, I just want to stay there but I feel it’s time to listen to Easy First Stage. I want to turn my switch off and then get it back to center. DH puts the track on the speakers and I sit in a chair and listen. I go way down and then quickly count up to 2 so I can be active and talk while still under hypnosis. My MW’s are new to Hypnobabies and very curious so I explain to them while DH massages my feet with lavender oil. I feel warm and cozy. The waves are really strong now. “Open, open, open,” I tell myself. The track reminds to be “limp and loose” and I remind myself that it’s just pressure and tightness, that it is I who chooses how to meet these waves.

 

I glance at my birthing bead bracelet and feel the power of all the mamas in our DDC, all the mamas through out time birthing our daughters and sons. I pull up whatever foot DH is not massaging to the other knee and kind of flap my leg up and down like a bird. This feels perfect and after each wave, which are very tight together now, I find myself looking at DH, smiling and my eyes are watering. I’m SO happy! Those moments there with DH are indelibly written in my mind.

I am so comfortable in the chair but I know and say out loud that it’s time to stand up. I love how in tune I am with my body. No one tells me what to do, I just know what needs to be done. Standing up launches things forward. I feel DH’s hand on my shoulder, “relax”. Carina sets a ring of acupuncture needles around my abdomen and back. The waves come hard. The pressure is incredibly powerful, it’s hard to stay on my feet. I fall into DH’s arms, breathing and focusing on the tightness which is moving my baby down and out.

 

“Peace”, I breath anesthesia into all the birthing muscles. DH whispers “open, open, open”. Helena grips and massages my feet, keeping me grounded. The Hypnobabies track ends and DH asks me what I want to hear. “Music, you chose”.   Johnny Cash, “Hurt” comes on. I love this song and I want to say that but the words can’t get out. Helena listens to baby again and smiles, saying nothing is stressing out this baby. I smile and  fall to all fours gripped by a wave. “Eisenhower Moon” by Jesse Sykes plays. I smile to myself. I feel the baby moving down and out. We are so close. I tell myself to breath.

 

“Rainbow Connection” covered by Willie Nelson. I want to explain that this is DD’s namegiving song but the time for small talk is far past. I’m just talking to myself, breathing anesthesia to my cervix, down my birth canal. There’s plenty of room for welcoming my baby to the world.

 

All of sudden words come to me. “My red raspberry leaf tea!!! I need it!”  I know I’m way past needing RRL tea but it’s the last desperate cry of a woman about to let herself lose control. I’m about to give myself over to something far more powerful. “2 cups of water! 30 minutes!”  “Oh that’s a lifetime right now,” I manage to say sarcasticly. Helena laughs, DH runs to the kitchen. DH admits later he put in 4 cups of water. I sense this because I insist between waves, “How much water did you put in?!”. He assures me from the kitchen that the tea is fine and I can insist no more.

 

“Put on the pushing track!” I yell. DH runs back, hits play, gets down in front of me and I hold on for dear life. I’m growling our baby out. I hear the track telling me there’s plenty of room. I growl again. I listen to track, go to “my special place” where I am always safe and can be with my baby. I let go of my baby’s hand, telling her/him I welcome her/him. It is time is for us to meet out in the world. This visualization is so beautiful and powerful to me. Carina and DH change positions. DH is going to catch our baby.

 

There’s no time to rest between waves. A sip of juice, growl, a sip of juice, growl. I know there is only one direction to go…towards my baby. I feel a small burning sensation and tell myself, “peace”, sending anesthesia out in front of the baby’s head. He’s crowning, the wave ends and he slides back up. “Come on!” I yell and prepare for the next wave. Growl! Out comes his head. “What does the baby look like?” I ask. “Like DD but with less hair” answers DH and I can hear he’s smiling. Helena tells me I’m going to push the baby out next time and I know it. I get up on my knees and hold Carina around the shoulders. GROWL! 9.58 pm, three hours after my water broke, out comes baby into DH’s arms. “It’s a boy”, he tells me.

 

I smile, fall forward, breathing heavily and try to glance backwards. Helena untangles him from his cord which was caught tightly around his neck but luckily is long. This is why she told me to push him out on that last contraction. It was time. He had really twisted himself up in it. Carina helps me turn and gets me propped up against DH. Lars comes to rest on my chest. He’s gorgeous and very content. Carina brings me a cup of RRL tea. Helena laughs and says that’s the first time she’s heard anyone give instructions for brewing tea during the second stage of birthing. It hasn’t brewed for quite the instructed 30 minutes, but it’s very tasty anyway.

Lars was 8 lbs 9 oz, 21 inches long. Carina and Helena hugged us and wished us a good night. We celebrated with non-alcoholic champagne and cheese sandwiches. DH lit a fire and the three of us cozied down to sleep. DD came home when Teddy was 12 hours old and it was love at first sight.

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My 40 week visit with my midwife was on Thursday 9-24, at 40 weeks 4 days. We were doing bloodwork and a 24 hour protein as I had had continued high BP since 32 weeks and we wanted to rule out pre-eclampsia. I had my midwife check me and asked her to do a membrane sweep if she could. It’s not something I normally would have asked for but with my BP so high and the potential to risk out if I was indeed pre-eclamptic and our home induction methods failed, I felt it was worth it. Initially I was found to be 1.5 CM and 90% effaced. When she went to do a stretch and sweep, a small thin band of cervix let loose and I was suddenly 4CM. She said she thought it would stay at 4CM since it stretched on it’s own. She also moved my cervix over so it was completely midline and not slightly off to the side as it had been. This wasn’t a fun feeling, let me just say.

Later that night, I was crampy and was getting brown mucus on the TP but thought nothing of it because I’d had a pretty good exam and figured it was all from that. I got brown on the TP all night and most of the morning. I was feeling a lot of braxton hicks with no real timing to them so I thought nothing of it… Another day, another chiro visit, etc.

That morning, I piled the kids into the van and went to the chiropractor. She assured me my pelvis and hips had spread nicely and everything was even. I asked her to work on the acupressure points for me again (she had done so Monday and Wednesday) as I’d had contractions after she did it Monday and I was willing to take all the help I could get. I left the chiropractor at 11am, the whole time having what I thought were braxton hicks (I’d been having them all morning). I stopped by Popeyes for lunch and noticed while sitting in the drive thru line that the braxton hicks were timeable… Every 5 min, lasting nearly a min! I didn’t want to get too excited because they didn’t feel ‘real’… They really felt like BH!!

 

I came home and unloaded the food and settled the kiddos in… Scott noticed me looking at the clock and pausing and asked me what was wrong … I originally said ‘nothing’ because I didn’t want to get him into birthing gear and have it not be time…. He said ‘no, that’s the contraction timing face’ or something along those lines. I said yes and of course got questioned with ‘how long, how far apart, you should call Joey’… I didn’t want to call her yet… It’d only been an hour and I wasn’t sure it was labor… They were just braxton hicks with cervical pressure (which I’d been having since 30 weeks).

 

I went to lay down in the bedroom after eating, talking with a good friend on the phone who was sort of timing my contractions for me and making me laugh (OUCH) through them. I called my midwife at nearly 3pm, when the contractions had moved into a more steady 2-3 min apart pattern. She said it was a good thing I was in labor because my labs weren’t good and she was actually going to call me and suggest I start some cohoshes and try to move baby along.

 

She suggested I get in the shower and start the cohoshes around 5-6 if things seemed to peter off… I debated starting the cohosh before getting in the shower but I’m very glad I didn’t… The shower intensified things greatly. I tried bouncing on the ball but it made things intense in a way I couldn’t manage so I stopped… In hindsight, it probably would have sped my labor up had I continued to bounce on the ball but I was not able to manage the contractions that way and a manageable labor was more important to me than a fast one.

 

My friend Micah got here around 7 or so and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. I talked to the midwife again, let her know things had intensified and she said she was going to go home and put her kids to bed and then head up. Around 8:30/9pm I called her back because I was getting to the ‘unable to talk during’ contractions and I really wanted to get in the birth pool. She was concerned the water would stall my labor but said to get in and if I felt labor stalling to get back out. The water, just like the shower, intensified things but it was very manageable. Hydrotherapy really works!

 

My contractions spaced a bit and did take a weird pattern but were lasting 2 plus min so I continued to stay in the pool and work through each contraction as it came. My husband was very aware of how I wanted to birth and lit several candles and kept the room dark and quiet. I laughed., joked and talked through much of my labor… sipping on lemonaid viatmin water and trying to eat watermelon between contractions.

 

I started to get a little panicky just after 11pm.. I blurted out ‘Joey isn’t going to make it’ which freaked my husband out. I then started to feel the urge to push… Micah said ‘you don’t sound like women do when they get the urge to push’ and as soon as she finished that statement, I let out a huge pushy grunt that was completely beyond my control. Micah called Joey for an ETA and let her know that I was getting pushy. They were still 30 min away so Micah cut the legs off her yoga pants to turn them into shorts, in case she needed to jump in and help me birth the baby.

 

The midwife, doula/birth assistant in training and the birth assistant walked in the door at 11:30, moments after my bag of waters exploded. It was like a torpedo through the water, it broke with such gusto. I looked back at Micah and Scott and asked ‘what the heck was that?!’…  They came in, started to get set up and kind of watched and waited a bit. I felt more urges to push and so I asked for a cervical check because my fear was that I would not be far enough dilated for pushing and I didn’t want to push against an undilated cervix.

 

With Bella, I felt the urge to push at 6CM and was told not to push, to fight it. There was no fighting this but I wanted to be sure, for my own peace of mind. I was found to be complete with baby at 0 station…. I settled into a semi-recline position, balanced on my husbands legs. It took me a bit to get the hang of pushing and how it felt… It was an incredibly intense, uncontrollable feeling I was unprepared for and I think I was afraid. My coping mechanism during pushing was saying I couldn’t do it, lol. Picture a hugely pregnant woman saying loudly ‘I can’t do this!’ as she’s pushing along with her body. It was a bit comical, I’m sure.

 

I remember telling DH it was his turn to push for a while and he responded with ‘OK, I’ll do the next one’… to which I whacked him (playfully) upside the head. The doula and birth assistant were wonderful during this time, giving me sips of drink and putting cool rags on my head. During the pushing stage, Scott, who had been up since 11pm Thursday night (it was now midnight Friday night/Saturday morning) started to have a panic attack. I kept telling him to get out of the pool before he passed out but he wouldn’t get out. The doula fed him some gatorade and wiped his face down with a cool rag and gave him an ice pack to cool down. He worked through it because he knew he couldn’t leave me… He knew I needed him that much. He put forth a lot of effort physically to help me through pushing.

 

As the baby crowned, I reached down and felt the head… I rubbed the head, touching the soft hair. It was inspiring for me to know that yes, this baby is right there and no one is going to take it from me like they did with Bella! As we waited for his shoulders to be born, my midwife checked to make sure the cord wasn’t wrapped around his neck. I pushed out his shoulders.   My midwife said ‘Felicia, reach down and pull out your baby’ and I tried but couldn’t reach around my still huge belly to get him. I kind of panicked because I couldn’t reach the baby. My husband lifted me up more so I could reach and my midwife helped guide him to my chest. The most euphoric feeling is catching your own baby… I think especially in a VBAC or in my case, a VBAMC.

He didn’t cry, in fact his eyes were closed. It kind of scared me that he wasn’t OK but he was pinking up so they assured me he was fine. I counted his toes and fingers and checked to see what we had been blessed with… A boy! A bit surprised as I had felt girl for a while, up until the end. I called my mom at 12:45, just 15 min after he was born, while we were still sitting in the birth pool. She came right over and was a bit upset I didn’t call. I meant to call after my water broke but I was so far into laborland that I thought it but didn’t speak it. I woke Caleb when I yelled during my final push and so he came in to meet the baby… He was a little shy at first with so many people there but he warmed up quickly to his new baby brother.

Shortly after, we cut the cord and I got out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I did bleed a lot and needed a shot of pitocin. The baby was weighed and measured. 8lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long… with a 14 1/4 inch head…  They really wanted me to go to the bathroom but I couldn’t…. It took me a bit to convince them I’d be OK even though I hadn’t pee’d for them.

I snuggled up into my bed with my new baby on my chest and just nursed him all night… Caleb came charging in the bedroom around 6am wanting to see the baby… Bella trailed behind him and saw the baby, gave him a kiss and then ran away to play. I felt bruised and sore but it was an amazing feeling knowing that it was all worth pushing that baby out, in my home, in my bedroom, the way I wanted it.

Jameson was born via VBA2C at home on September 25th, 2010. He came 5 days after his due date and the day we found out I did have pre-eclampsia. He was my largest baby at 8lbs 1 oz, 21 inches long and 14 1/4 inch head.

 

So many people told me I couldn’t have a baby vaginally, that I was crazy stupid to even attempt to do it at home.. And that I was nuts for wanting to go natural. My birth was amazing, nearly pain-free aside from pushing (which I believe is because I was unprepared for how it would feel)  I wouldn’t change a thing. I was incredibly well supported by my husband and my friend Micah as well as my birth team…

And that’s the story of my amazing, empowering HBA2C…

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