Archive for the ‘Home Birth’ Category

I love this birth video. Mom is so calm and confident despite the fact she is pushing before the midwife gets there.

Here is the background.

  • 6th Baby
  • Liz used Hypnobabies.
  • Midwife Called around 1 AM
  • This video was taken around 2 AM a few minutes before midwife arrives.

It was so incredible, feeling his head after the water broke, then seeing his head when I pushed it out, then holding his whole body as it came out. What an incredible way to be totally and completely connected to my baby and my body, and doing it all completely by myself was so incredible! I just really can’t describe how it felt other than completely natural and right!

From the minute I stepped in the tub not a single fear or doubt even entered my mind, I was so assured and confident. It was like someone else stepped into my body, someone who had done this hundreds of times. It was so perfect, so amazing, truly such a miracle!

You can read Liz’s complete birth story here.  It is inspirational!

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Zane’s birth story

  • 2 weeks comfortable Braxton-Hicks
  • 2 wks of comfortable Pressure Waves
  • Saw midwives after 2nd wk of PW for prenatal and asked for internal to see if anything was really happening (first internal of the pregnancy)
  • They said station=0, dilated 3cm…yeah!  Ripest cervix she ever felt.
  • Had very strong PWs on way home…figured better not drive from then on.

Had stronger PWs that night with bloody show which I had been having since internal (as told I might by the midwives).  I called the midwives to see if the quantity was significant (like light period) they said no.  I knew it wasn’t time for them to come to my house but I was asking them for any idea on a time frame since my husband needed time to get home.  he works and stays 2.5 hrs away during the week.  I called DH to let him know my status but told him if the PWs picked up I would call him but otherwise for him to sleep.


I awoke that night with him home.  He said he would rather commute each day than be worried.  He stayed home two days with the PWs going back to their former intensity and still having light period type discharge.  Third day was Thursday, he went back to work but I told him to come home early on Friday so he didn’t hit traffic which would turn his 2.5 hr commute into 4-5 hours…especially since Friday was our Guess Date.


Daily life on Thursday…everybody asking when baby was coming…I said well, our Guess Date is Friday so I guess tomorrow.
Thursday night went to bed and felt like I wet my pants.  I went to the bathroom and found my pad soaked but not my clothes…I always thought it would be obvious when my water broke but I thought that perhaps it was a high break and only some of the fluid leaked.  The midwives told me I had a lot of amniotic fluid so I was expecting a soaking.  I called them to let them know that I was pretty sure my water broke and that it was clear.  I asked if I needed to check for the cord and they said no since my baby was so low the cord would not have prolapsed.  I went back to bed to see what would happen that night.


PWs started and I timed them.  I was to call the midwives when they were consistently 10 min apart for 1 hour but they would come over when they were 5 min apart.  My waves bounced around and I finally felt they were close enough and I must be progressing because I wanted to focus rather than look at the clock, also I was too focused to use the phone and wanted my husband to call so I knew it was the real deal…finally.  DH called the midwives to let them know and they said they would come over and set up.


I had been planning a completely unassisted birth and a few months before my GD felt led to ask this midwife team to attend my birth.  They specialize in unassisted, midwife attended births.  Essentially they were my guardian angels making sure that I had the unassisted birth I wanted.  I realized that my birth team (DH and my Mom) was not getting comfortable with my unassisted plans as time progressed and I worried that they might call 911 in the heat of the moment.  I was glad the midwives attended for many reasons before, during, and after the birth.


Although I had envisioned staying in off for much of my birth, I actually was in center for almost the entire time so definitely practice center switch.  I listened to my scripts on the mp3 player and would occasionally take out one ear bud if I needed to hear or talk.


Here is what I listened too early on:  Birthing Day, Deepening, and Special Place.  Eventually my battery ran down and for some reason my husband was not able to charge it so we switched to his mp3 player which we don’t know how to work and I listened to Birthing Day over and over until time to push when I asked for Pushing Baby Out.


I did not have a pain free birth but would call it manageable discomfort.  I used to get nervous when Hypnomoms would say manageable discomfort since it is so subjective.  So, here is what it felt like for those that want some perspective.  It felt like a moderate period cramp right above my pubic symphysis (the bone right in the front of your pelvis).  I don’t usually get period cramps unless I have emotional baggage that I haven’t dealt with (fight/grudge with DH, etc.) and unfortunately, I did go into this birth with unfinished business so I wonder, if I had dealt with my business early as I really should have, if my birth would have been completely pain free.  I will see next time.


Throughout the birth the discomfort level stayed at a moderate period cramp.  This is my second child.  The first I had all natural but without Hypnobabies and people told me it would be like a period and it wasn’t so I am not downplaying the discomfort, it really was no more than a moderate cramp feeling for me and was decreased by about 1/3 if my husband pushed on my left sacroiliac joint.  The only time my discomfort increased was if I lay down during a wave or sat on the toilet (my baby was very, very low).  Therefore, I stayed in center during the waves and would lean on the changing table and rock, sway, or spiral my hips during the waves and it felt great.


Between waves I was completely pain free, able to talk, joke, visit, etc.  Even during transformation, between waves, I was talking and making jokes which was amazing for such an intense time.


So, the discomfort stayed the same but the intensity changed with the progression of the birth.  I was able to stay aware of the birth progressing and be positive about it because of Hypnobabies and that was priceless.  I felt the intensity increasing and by this I mean a strong power starting to flow through me (like an adrenalin rush) and the waves were coming closer together and between waves I was thinking “alright transformation here we come…let’s do this!”


Suddenly though my birth slowed and the waves eventually stopped.  I asked the midwives for an internal (my second for the entire pregnancy).  They checked and confirmed that my water had broken, I was dilated 4-5 which gave me hope because I knew that was the “hump” in most births (was in my first) and I really was close to transformation, but baby was still ROA-in my right corner facing my left hip.  He hadn’t turned into birthing position yet which meant he essentially wasn’t hitting the doorway head-on so I wasn’t dilating efficiently.


We did some work to get my hips loosened up (I knew I should have seen my Chiropractor that week….and I am a Chiropractor so I should know better than get too busy right before my birth to get adjusted). The midwives gave me some homeopathic remedies and their assistant come over and did some body work on me with essential oils.  It was awesome!  Finally, I had to address the emotional baggage that I hadn’t taken care of before birthing time.  Once all of this was done the midwives told me to lie down and rest and they went home (they had been at my house since 4am and it was about 9:30am).  I rested and the rest of my birthing team (my Mom) finally arrived.  My Mom lives about 5 hours from me.


The waves finally picked up and I stood up again to rock and sway my hips.  The midwives called to check on me around 1:30 and my Mom told them I was talking about filling the water tub and they said they would be right over.  They had offered the tub earlier in the birth and when I asked them when I was supposed to use it they said it was for when nothing else was working.


Hypnobabies was working so well, I told them that I was feeling fine so I would save the water for transformation.  When they heard I was ready for the water, they knew it was finally time.  The nice part of this is that I was calm and focused during this time.  I made a conscious decision to start filling the tub because I felt that transformation was coming not because I was in too much pain to bear without the water.  At this point, my discomfort was still at the level of a moderate cramp but the energy had returned and I was not as able to relax all of my muscles during the waves (toes would curl but it wasn’t from pain just intensity).  Once I was in the warm water I was able to relax and then the transformation really took off.


I used to wonder at the “intensity” that Hypnomoms would mention that wasn’t pain so I will do my best to describe how it was for me for those that find it useful.  Please keep in mind that during the pw the discomfort still felt like a moderate menstrual cramp above my pubic symphysis and my DH sat behind the water tub and pushed on my left sacroiliac joint which helped with that too.  The intensity was like a rush of feeling and emotion. One of the midwives filmed the birth and the other sat nearby and during transformation fanned me with my file during the pws because I said that I couldn’t get a full breath.


I yelled during the pws at this time from the intensity.  It is like if you are so excited about something that you just have to let it out in a shout or a song for those that sing or that extreme rush of adrenalin when you go down a ski slope or a rollercoaster ride .  A feeling of such intensity that it has to have an outlet.  It doesn’t hurt but your body feels the feeling with such intensity that you have to let it out.


In between waves I was able to talk and joke and I mentioned a couple times that I wouldn’t mind if this part ended really soon.  I kind of like it, looking back, but it is so intense that I wanted it to end.  I don’t particularly like rollercoasters :).


It was disconcerting when I began to get the urge to push.  With my DD-age 9, I barely felt an urge to push, was told I was complete and to start pushing but I never felt an urge and in fact I felt like I wasn’t even giving birth just pushing because I was supposed to.  With this birth I felt the intensity, the discomfort from the pw, and the beginning urge to push all at the same time and that was kind of overwhelming.  The pushing urge eventually became the strongest urge and my body began to bear down on its own.  It took me by surprise and I had to regain my calm since I had not known that the pushing stage could feel like this since it hadn’t with my daughter.


In hindsight I wish I had listened to the Pushing Baby Out CD all the way through once before giving birth so that I would have known to start it earlier, it was slightly one step behind what I was feeling so I felt a sensation and then I heard ideas for how to handle them calmly which I would use.  I was able to use the script but I like to be prepared beforehand.


As Zane emerged I felt his head coming into my hand (these wonderful Midwives encourage Mom to catch her baby which was just what I had wanted all along).  We each gently rubbed his head and welcomed him:  my DD, my Mom, and my DH.  One of the Midwives was still videotaping and the other held a mirror and light into the birthing tub so I could see Zane emerging.


The pushing urge stopped and I watched him in the mirror as he rotated (babies do this naturally DON”T let the doctor do this for them unless it is an emergency.  The doctors don’t know if the baby’s shoulders are rotating clockwise or counterclockwise internally while the doctor is rotating their heads to “help”).


After two more pushed Zane was born.  I held him and snuggled him as his big sister got into the tub (she had been waiting patiently to get in the tub and help).  DH was leaning over the edge of the tub looking at Zane over my shoulder (see pic in the file under Zane’s birth).


My Mom asked “what do we have a girl or boy” so we peeked downward and made our long awaited announcement (we love being surprised!).  Shortly after Zane’s birth the placenta came and the Midwives placed it in a dish that floated so we could keep the cord attached.  The Midwives don’t cut the cord until the parents say they are ready.


They helped me out of the tub and I said “Wow, I could do that again…give me a week or two for my body to recuperate and I would definitely do that again”.  It may sound crazy but it was like screaming to get off a rollercoaster and then once you are off it saying “what a rush, I am going to ride that again.”

In summary here were my goals going into this birth:
1.  Be in control
2.  Be willing to do it again after the birth so that my decision about having more children is based on logic not on fear.


I thought a completely pain free birth would be nice but my focus was these two goals.  Hypnobabies definitely helped me attain these two goals and I am very grateful!


Moms, “catch” your babies!  If I had known how amazing, empowering, and beautiful it is I would have never given that honor to the doctor the first time.  Let the first hands to touch your little one be hands that have loved him/her from the beginning.

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This was my second hypnobirth and my 1st homebirth.  It’s a long story of a fairly short birth. :)


On Monday the 15th I started feeling contractions that were definitely stronger then braxton hicks but they came with about the same frequency as I’d been having braxton hicks so I didn’t think much other than my body was getting ready to have the baby, but it still could be anytime.  I’d also been feeling sharp pains in my cervix for a while but wasn’t sure if it was just baby poking me with her little hands, or if it was my cervix dilating as some thought those pains were.


On Monday I also felt more mucus when I wiped after going to the bathroom, but it was just clear or whitish so I didn’t think it was my mucus plug.  On Monday night when my husband, Mike, and I were in bed, I had an emotional breakdown and accused him of not remembering what it was like to have a newborn.  He’d made some comments about things we could do after the baby arrived that I thought were ridiculous.  I got everything out that I’d been thinking and voiced some of my concerns about having a new baby.  At first it turned into kind of a heated argument and I cried a lot and Mike was mad but then we had a good discussion and both of us went to bed happy.  Sometime in the middle of my crying I had the thought that maybe this was an emotional release I needed to do to be ready for baby and for the first time thought that maybe the signs were pointing to it happening pretty soon- maybe even the next day.  I didn’t say that to Mike, though.


I woke up the next day, Tuesday the 16th (3 days before my guess date) and felt the same as I had the day before.  I had sporadic pressure waves that were like strong Braxton hicks but I hardly gave them a thought.  I dropped my daughter off at preschool at 9, stopped at a favorite coffee shop and got tea and coffee cake and then headed home to start on some projects that I had planned for the morning.


By the time I got home around 10, I realized that I probably wasn’t going to get anything done because I was having pressure waves that were still really sporadic but I felt best just relaxing on the couch.  After I got home I went to the bathroom and when I wiped I had a bunch of tan, bloody mucus.  Definitely my mucus plug.  I called Mike at work to let him know what was up but at that point I didn’t know if this was going anywhere so he should stay at work and not be too excited.  I texted our doula to tell her the same.  After all, some women deal with this off and on for days before their birthing time really starts, right?


Not too much later I talked to Mike again to let him know that I didn’t feel like I should drive to pick up our daughter from preschool because I didn’t want to have one of these pressure waves while I was driving.  He said he’d pick her up at 11:30 and then come home and work from home for the rest of the day.  In the meantime, I piled up pillows on the couch and leaned forward against them.  Just in the last couple of weeks my baby had been sometimes turning a little posterior so I wanted to give her every encouragement to be in a good birthing position.  I put on the easy 1st stage track and listened to it out loud.  I was really comfortable and my pressure waves weren’t too frequent.


Mike and Sairshe got home a little after 12 and I turned the track off so I could interact with them.  Mike puttered around getting his workspace set up and checked his work email.  Then he started making lunch for the kiddo.  I asked him to scramble a couple eggs for me since all I’d eaten was coconut coffee cake and I had the foresight to think that if this was really the beginning of my birthing time, I should eat something a little better.  I didn’t really time my pressure waves at that point but when I did think to look at the clock they seemed to be really irregular- 10 minutes, then 5, then closer to 15 minutes.


Around noon my midwife’s office called to sat that Catherine, my midwife, had been called to a birth and needed to reschedule my appointment (I’d had one scheduled for that afternoon) and since I wasn’t ready to say for sure my birthing time had started, I didn’t mention it and just rescheduled my appointment for later in the week.  Mike thought that I should have said something.


At some point my daughter started to bother me and I regretted turning off the easy 1st stage track so I told Mike he was on his own with her and moved to my bedroom.  I tried to recreate my comfy couch spot by piling pillows up against my headboard and leaning onto them and I turned on the easy 1st stage track again.  I couldn’t really get as comfortable as I’d been before everyone got home, though, and I was a little frustrated.  My pressure waves seemed to be coming with a little more regularity and were getting stronger so I told Mike he should probably call the midwife and give her a head’s up.


I heard him talking on the phone and then he came into the room I guess to ask me something but then he said he’d call her back in 5 or 10 minutes.  Catherine told me later that Mike hadn’t been sure if I was having a pressure wave or if I was just resting but either way, he hadn’t wanted to disturb me right then.  I had been having a pressure wave but was still able to appear pretty relaxed.  When Mike came in again and saw that I’d opened my eyes, he asked if I wanted Catherine to come and check me and I said something along the lines of “I guess so.”  He called her back and asked her to come and I also heard him call our doula and tell her to come over too.


This was maybe 1:30 and my pressure waves seemed to be suddenly coming more regularly- 4 or 5 minutes apart- though they still seemed pretty short and were really manageable.  Somewhere around this time I asked Mike to call my mom and tell her that baby was on her way.  My mom lives out of state but had asked us to let her know.  Our daughter was in the dining room eating lunch and Mike started inflating the birth pool in the living room while I stayed in the bedroom.


As soon as that was all set in motion, I had several really intense pressure waves.  I definitely couldn’t be still through them so I’d quickly put my lightswitch in center and sway my torso back and forth while I knelt on the bed.


In the easy 1st stage track Kerry reminds us several times that “you are safe and your baby is safe no matter how much power goes through your body” and that was my mantra during those intense pressure waves. It was SO much power!  I felt like in my head I was yelling that mantra to myself and I didn’t feel particularly calm in my head but my physical body stayed as relaxed as I could make it.  Even though I was still sitting/kneeling on the bed my legs started feeling kind of shaky during these intense pressure waves.


I had the fleeting thought that it felt kind of like transition but then dismissed it because my pressure waves had only recently become regular and still weren’t terribly long or close together.  I then started to doubt if I could keep up this calmness and looseness through out my birthing time if this was how intense it was going to be.


I decided I needed a change of scenery and felt like I should go to the bathroom so I sat on the toilet.  My next pressure wave definitely felt pushy.  I yelled for Mike and had to yell a couple of times and pretty loud since he still had the air pump running to blow up the tub.  At that point I realized I wouldn’t have time to use the tub but water felt like it would be amazing.  I thought of filling up the bathtub since that would be quick but then decided even that wasn’t really worth it.


Mike came in and I told him that I was feeling a little panicky and that we could have this baby before anyone got there.  Almost immediately my 3 year old came running in to say “Midwife Catherine’s at the door!”  I think this was about 2:15.  I was glad it was her.  I’d thought it might be the backup midwife since Catherine had been called to a birth earlier.  (It turned out that the other mom wasn’t too far along so Catherine came to my birth and then an hour or so after my baby arrived, she went back and attended the other birth too.)


Catherine checked me while I was still on the toilet and said that the baby was right there and then said “I’d like to run out to my car and get my supplies really quick.”  I wasn’t about to say no to that.  :) When she got back I said that I didn’t want to have the baby in the toilet and she said that I’d better move now then.  I remember saying several times that I wasn’t ready for this to be happening so soon.   I was feeling really hot and I was right next to an open window and the cold air coming in felt really nice.  I didn’t really want to move but also really didn’t want to have my baby in the toilet.  I asked Mike to get a washcloth wet and he put that on my neck and forehead and it felt amazing,


Catherine helped me move to the bedroom and I brought my phone that was still playing the easy 1st stage track.  I got on my knees on the bed but felt like being in a more upright position so I asked for something to lean against.  I still had the big pile of pillows on the bed so Mike moved that closer to me and I got in the same position I’d been in before- up on my knees but leaning forward onto pillows.  Immediately I was pushing.  I asked Catherine a couple of times if it was really ok to be pushing because I still was having a hard time believing that I was at that point already.


She assured me that it was fine and my baby was ready to be born.  With each pressure wave I vocalized a low (but loud) “aaahhhh” noise and let my body do the pushing.  I didn’t have to think about it, it’s just what felt right to do.  It was amazing to be able to really feel her moving down.  With my 1st, I pushed for 40 minutes and never really felt that movement with my pushing.  It was really great to feel that my pushing was doing something and it wasn’t painful at all.  I said once that I felt stretchy and that’s really all I felt.  My only discomfort was that my legs got tired being in that position.


I was really thirsty and Mike gave me sips of tea in between waves and he put his hand on my shoulder and reminded me to relax and told me how great I was doing.  After a few good pushing waves, my water broke and I really felt the pressure of baby’s head.  I think it was the next pushing wave that she was born.  She seemed to just fly out of me and I immediately felt an emptiness in me.  It was a weird sensation and I think it was because I hadn’t really been prepared for her birth to be so quick.  I had just felt like I was really in my birthing time and then she was born!


I heard her cry immediately and then Catherine passed her between my legs so I could pull her up to me.  When my older daughter was born, a dr I’d never seen before came in my room at literally the last minute, decided she didn’t like something about baby’s heartrate and whisked her out of the room as soon as she was born.  When they brought her back, she was all cleaned off and wrapped up.  The first thing I said when I pulled this baby up to me, all wet and blue and covered with vernix, was “I never got to see Sairshe like this!”


It was so amazing to hold that brand new baby.  Seconds after she was born, the room got really quiet for a second and at that moment we could hear my hypnobabies track that was still playing quietly just as Kerry was saying “. . . your beautiful birth.”  Catherine said “That was beautiful indeed.” I turned around and saw that as I was pushing the 2nd midwife, a nurse and our doula had all arrived just in time to see the birth.  Mike was holding Sairshe who got to see the whole thing too.  She got a little nervous after the baby arrived so she went back out to the living room and played with our doula while I birthed the placenta and nursed my new baby.


A little later she came in and we all snuggled up in bed together, which was awesome because that had been my special place that I’d practiced imagining for so many weeks.


Carys was born on November 16th at 2:34 pm, only about 20 minutes after Catherine arrived and just over 4 hours since I’d had the first thought that just maybe my birthing time was starting, but I wasn’t at all sure. I sure am glad we had a homebirth planned because I’m pretty sure we would have had one regardless!


Hypnobabies worked great, even though I didn’t have a lot of time to use my tools this time! There were maybe 2 or 3 pressure waves that were pretty darn uncomfortable but the rest of the time I was really comfortable, even when I was anxious and not sure if a midwife was going to arrive in time.  I listened to the tracks mostly as I was going to bed each night so I slept through them and just as everyone says, that really does work.


Birth is truly amazing and Hypnobabies helped me experience it in comfort and without any fear. Mamas, you can do this too!

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This pregnancy was sooo much different from Garrett’s. I had been experiencing Prodromal Labor for a month, and was beginning to wonder if our little bugger was ever going to join us. The day before my birthing time began, we were scheduled for a Biophysical Profile/NST. The tech said the baby had a lot of amniotic fluid, and was big (8lbs 14oz). We decided to find out the sex, after waiting almost 41 weeks, in hopes it would help me visualize the birth better and perhaps help bring on my birthing time. The tech ALSO said that the baby wouldn’t come anytime soon. Ha!

The next morning, Garrett woke me up around 3am for his usual walk-me-back-to-my-room/potty routine. I was having some pressure waves, which was pretty normal for me, and really didn’t think much of it. I decided to try some nipple stimulation to see if it would help them continue or get stronger. I did 15 minutes on the breast pump, and had some decent waves going. They were about 10-12 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds. I checked my email and then went back to sleep listening to my Birthing Guide (Gotta love Hypnobabies! I’d been listening to my birthing guide for a few days, trying to bring on my birthing time).

When we went to the BPP/NST the day before, I picked Brad up at work and left my car there, so the plan was that we would get up that morning and I would take him to work so I could bring my car home. I had a feeling that this was “it”, but we decided to still take him to work. After we dropped him off, Garrett and I went to Target to pick out some cars as his baby gift, and then to Chuck E Cheese. I would have SKIPPED Chuck E Cheese completely, because the pressure waves were getting stronger, but Garrett was looking forward to it and I knew it would be a while before I would be able to do something with him alone, just because, again. So we went for about an hour and he played. I’m glad we did, he had so much fun.

Once we got home, however, I really felt like I needed to rest. Garrett had napped in the car, and was not going to stay asleep once we got home. I called my neighbor to see if she could take him ASAP. Right before she came to get him, my pressure waves definitely picked up in intensity.


When I would use the finger drop (Hypnobabies technique) for a contraction, my sweet little boy would poke me and go “Are you awake mommy?? WAKE UP!!” Yeah, time for him to go!! He left around noon.


Brad came home for lunch. We decided the waves were about 6 minutes apart, and lasting about 45 seconds to a minute. I was 4.5 cm and the baby was very, very low. We felt like we were going to have a baby soon, but after the way my labor stalled with Garrett, we decided that Brad would go back to work for a couple more hours and then come home early. I listened to my “Creating Anesthesia” track in the rocking chair and dozed for about an hour until my midwife called. I was still able to talk through the waves, so we decided she would finish up her day at the office she works at in North Miami and she would come straight to me from there.

I straightened the house a little bit, cleaned the bathroom, etc. Around 2:30 or so, I lost a little bit of my mucous plug. My waves were coming about 4-5 minutes apart, but were very short (30 seconds). I called Brad and told him to haul butt home.


By the time he got there, things were getting VERY intense. Laura was on her way back from North Miami. I knew my birthing time was imminent by now, and was SURE this little one was coming at home. Brad started to fill the birthing tub and got the bed ready. He tried to come to support me through each wave.


Around 4 I decided to get in the ¾ full tub, because the waves were becoming intense for me. Once in the water, I put on my First Stage track again, this time on the CD player instead of the Zune.


About 15 minutes after that, I decided to switch to “Pushing your baby out” since I was having some MAJOR pressure. Brad talked to Laura around this time, and said she was stopping at her house quickly.


I told him to tell her to come NOW! I was HOT and decided to get out of the tub around 4:40 or so.


Right after that, it was time to start pushing the baby out. I labored on my hands and knees on the bed for the duration, which wasn’t very long. I could feel her moving down and kept telling Brad to check for a head. Around 5 or so, there WAS a head. Brad called Laura to let her know the baby was crowning—she was right around the corner. She came upstairs, and a few minutes later, Summer Elizabeth was born.


I have NO idea when my water broke—IF I really had as much fluid as the U/S tech claimed the day before, I must have had a fast leak. Because there was no gush when she was born. She was covered in vernex, has a TON of hair and brown eyes (Garrett had very little hair and had blue eyes when he was born). It took her about 12 hours to take to breastfeeding. She was 21 inches, 7lbs 13 ozs. (Surprise, surprise, the U/S was off by a whole pound!)


Recovery has been a breeze so far. I was in the shower within half an hour of her birth. No tearing. In fact, I honestly don’t feel like I’ve had a baby. My midwife yelled at me because I asked her if we could go for a walk at our 24 hour appt.  Summer is finally getting the hang of nursing, and is SUCH an easy baby. She let us sleep 2 – 4 hour stretches on her second night, which I thought was pretty darn good!!

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After Camryn being born at 37 weeks, I was so paranoid with this pregnancy that I was going to go into labor before I was `homebirth legal’ at 37 weeks.  Beyond that paranoia, I was just pretty much sure that I was going to go into labor around the same time….in the 37th week.  Maybe 38 weeks.  I could hardly even believe I made it to my 38 week midwife appointment.  When I was leaving, we didn’t even make a 39 week appointment, figuring I would give birth before then.  Well…then we had to make a last minute 39 week appointment!  I had my appointment on Thursday, October 21.  I joked that with the full moon coming, and the Scorpio sign looming on the horizon, that I would just have to be having this baby soon.  My midwife said something about my face looking different and guessed I would have the baby in the next few days.  I thought she was joking.  We did make a 40-week appointment but turns out I wouldn’t need it!

On that Thursday night, I went out for a mom’s night with some friends.  It was around 7 PM and I couldn’t stop yawning.  I was feeling way more tired than I should have been!  When I got home around 8:30, I couldn’t wait to get Camryn to bed so I could go too!  Of course she took extra long that night and I wasn’t able to get into bed until around 11:45.  Even though I was very tired, I figured it was a good time to listen to one of my Hypnobabies tracks since my husband was doing some work in another room.  The tracks ALWAYS put me to sleep so I figured I would sleep extra well.  But oddly I was lying there listening to the Hypnobabies and thinking, why am I not asleep yet?!  I am tired!  Well, shortly after that I must have fallen asleep because I never got to the end of the track.

Around 1:40 AM on Friday, my husband was coming to bed and as I heard him, I moved a little bit in the bed and thought I felt wet, like I was lying in a puddle.  I was afraid to move more so I asked him, “am I wet, is the bed wet?” and he felt it and said yes.  I said, “I don’t think I peed myself so I’m guessing my water broke!”  He immediately `ran’ into the bathroom and started hooking up the hose to fill the tub.  I said, “slow down, wait a minute, and get me a washcloth so I can get up!”  So he brought me one and I ran to the bathroom trying not to drip on the floor.  A flood of water gushed out then and would continue to do so for the rest of the morning.  Normally while I was sitting it was fine but when I would lay down in bed, it was like a cork was pulled and I would leak a bunch more fluid so I’m guessing he was not even fully engaged at that point.

At 1:50 AM, I called our midwife to let her know that my water had broken but nothing else was happening at the time.  When my water broke with Camryn, it was 14 hours before my contractions started so I wasn’t sure how long it would be before things really started but I wanted her to be `aware.’  For the next little while, we did a few of the last minute things we had to do like set up the crockpot and set up some of the birth supplies.  It was around 3 AM that I started feeling contractions but they were mild—about 20-30 seconds long every 7-10 minutes.  I gave my husband a few more things to do and figured I should try to get some rest.  So I put on one of my Hypnobabies tracks and laid down to rest.  I was never able to get to sleep but it was nice to relax, not knowing for sure how much work would be ahead of me.  Shortly after that track ended, Camryn woke up wanting to nurse.  Normally she would nurse and fall back asleep but since there were lights on and `action’ happening she woke up more than normal.  She had milk and then was ready to play!  We sat around in the bed for a little while and then decided to call my mom and grandma to let them know that `Munchie’ would be arriving soon.  I decided that I was starting to get hungry and it was only going to get worse so I had some apples and cheese with Camryn.  I know that this was around 4-5 AM and after this I kind of lost track of the timing of everything.

Camryn asked to nurse again and fell asleep in our bed, I think around 6 or 6:30.  I rested in the bed for a little while longer, having contractions lasting about 30-45 seconds every 6 or 7 minutes.  I got up to go to the bathroom a few times and every time I sat on the toilet, I would immediately get a long contraction, no matter how long it had been since the last one.  I would also get another short one when I would stand up and then would have to lean on the sink to get through that one.  They weren’t horribly awful, but very annoying and made me want to avoid the bathroom!

The whole time I was having contractions, I was trying to use the Hypbobabies, telling myself during contractions, “open, open, open” and `Peace.”  And trying to keep my jaw and hands loose and open. At 7:50 I decided I wanted to get into the pool.  It was still filling but was almost full and it felt so good.

I was debating when I should call our midwife.  I didn’t want her to be sitting around `watching’ me for 4 hours, but I also didn’t want her to have to race over, sans shoes, like she did with Camryn’s birth!  With that birth, I was told she would head over when I had contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute, for an hour but at that point last time, I started uncontrollably pushing!  I wanted to give her a little more time this time.  So after I had 3 or 4 contractions lasting around a minute (a few were a little shorter), I figured I’d better call.  I called at 8:10 and told her what was going on. She decided it was time to head over.

A few minutes after we hung up, they started getting a little more intense.  I was feeling just a tad nauseous.  Not quite `get me the bucket’ sick but just a little `icky.’  I had a few contractions 4-5 minutes apart lasting a minute to a minute and a half.  And then they jumped to every 2-3 minutes.  At that point I knew I was in `transition.’  I was thinking of a line I read in a book saying most women only have 6-10 transition contractions.  I just kept telling myself that.  That I would only have a few more of those to get through.  I was continuing to think “open” and “peace” and would hold my mouth very open, all the while picturing my cervix opening just as big.  I think I was in denial that this was going to go super fast like Camryn’s birth did.  I was wrong!

My husband had taken Camryn downstairs to get her some breakfast and turned on the TV…that ended up working out wonderfully.  I think it was around 8:30-8:40 he came back upstairs and was going to make up the bed with plastic and do a few other things.  And then I got one of those slight pushy contractions.  He asked if he should bring Camryn up and put her show on and suddenly I said, “no, leave her there, forget the bed, you need to call Jessica (our midwife) now!”  I knew she was probably getting close but she needed to hurry now!  I got another pushy contraction and could feel the baby’s head coming down.  It did not feel anything like what I expected a head to feel like.  (With Camryn’s birth, when I had that first pushy contraction, I felt what felt like a little wrinkly walnut and that was it…our midwife showed up soon after that and I didn’t feel any more.)  This felt `big’ and bumpy…like a head of cauliflower…well not quite that big but definitely not a little walnut!  Garry was telling Jessica that I was pushing and the head was still coming down very quickly.  She asked if he could see the head and I think he said no and asked if I could feel it and I yelled, “YESSSSSSS!”  She ended up being just a few streets away and would arrive soon.  After they hung up, I think that’s when he asked if I wanted him to get Camryn.  I didn’t think he even had time to get down and back up the stairs so I asked him to take a few quick pictures and then he jumped in the pool to catch our baby.

Pushing went SO fast.  It was 9 minutes from the first `urge’ until he was out.  I did not even attempt to listen to the pushing track of my Hypnobabies CDs.  My babies don’t seem to want to be `breathed out.’  They come out like a roaring freight train and all I can do is hang on for the ride.  I felt a strong urge this time to try to `slowly’ guide his head out (I guess `slowly’ is relative!).  My husband asked if I was holding him in but really I was just trying to protect myself. I just sort of cupped what was still feeling like a huge bumpy blob with my hand as it descended.  His head went from just reachable to all the way out within about 4 minutes.  After it was out, there was an odd period of a minute or two where nothing was happening.  I had no contractions, no urge to push or anything. Perhaps he was rotating.  I remembered to check for a cord this time and didn’t feel anything.  Then just that suddenly, I said, “here it comes” and the rest of his body was born into my husband’s hands at 8:56 AM.  He lifted him onto my chest and of course he was beautiful!

Jessica walked in, said, “Do you have a baby yet?  Of course you do!” and came over to check us out.  I said I wasn’t sure if he was breathing or not so she sort of tipped him over a little and he started right away.  He recovered well and ended up with APGARs of 5 and 9.  I mentioned to Jessica that I hadn’t had much `bloody show’ and she said that was because my mucus plug was on his head…I was wondering what that was in his ear!

Camryn wanted to join the pool party so my husband brought her in while she checked out her new little brother.  A few minutes later I started having contractions again and was dreading delivering the placenta.  Not that it’s really meant to be `fun’ but I was unhappy with how I delivered Camryn’s placenta so I was trying to do this one better!  We knew it was detached so I just kept kind of checking to see if I could feel it.  I stood up for a few minutes (at which point Camryn walked around  behind me…I asked what she was doing and she said, “looking at mama’s booty!”  It was a definite cute moment!)  After a few minutes, I decided to try squatting and soon I could feel with my hand that it was coming down.  It had that same cauliflower feeling that his head had and it felt SO big that for a moment, I was afraid it was a twin!  With the next contraction, I gave a few little pushes and it came out gently…so much nicer this time!  I pulled it out of the water and was glad to find that it wasn’t another baby, but just one of the thickest placentas my midwife has ever seen…no wonder it felt like another baby!

A few minutes later we all got out of the pool and onto the bed.  Camryn and Colson had their first tandem nursing session…he latched on wonderfully after just a few tries.  The next two hours was just a blur of post-baby homebirth bliss.  Talking and joking and having a snack…just relaxing!  After an hour or so, the cord was declared `empty’ so we tied it off and Garry cut it.  Jessica then weighed Colson…8 lbs 12.5 oz!  I was shocked and amazed!  He was 22.75 inches long which also surprised me!  And the 14 inch head was a shocker as well, though it explained the feelings I was having while birthing him!  Jessica finished checking him out, declared that “he works,” helped clean up, and left us in peace to nap!  Gotta love a homebirth!

Colson has taken wonderfully to nursing.  I didn’t seem to get any of the yellow gold colostrum…it went straight from the watery milk I had the second half of pregnancy into `regular’ milk, which I found a little unsettling, but he is loving it and hopefully he didn’t miss out on too much `good stuff!’  We are now at almost 3 days post-partum and he is wonderful…a perfect little boy whose big sister is enthralled with him and whose parents adore him!


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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:

My body knows exactly how to birth my baby.
I am safe and my baby is safe no matter how much power flows through me.
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’ve been meaning to write in and tell you about my successful use of the Hypnobabies Home Study course to prepare for my first birth in the summer of 2007. The techniques were so successful that I delivered my son breech at home with a smile on my face the whole time.

Here’s my story:

Around 7 PM the night before my actual due date, I started having early “waves.” We tried to sleep, though I couldn’t, and then around 2 AM, we called the midwife to say that we thought things were moving along. The midwife told us to call her when the pain became “too much to handle” or the time between contractions very short.

So while my husband got things ready, I lay in a bed and did my focused relaxation; it felt mostly like I was having short spurts of menstruation cramps every so often. It was really manageable.

We finally called in the midwife around 5 AM, and when she checked me, I was already 8 cm dilated! I hadn’t realized it, but it seemed I’d been in “active labor” for hours. She quickly got the tub ready, as I had planned to at least labor in a tub to help with the pain I assumed I’d have. But there wasn’t really any pain and things were going so quickly and smoothly that there seemed no need for the tub.

We listened to a harp music CD and my husband used the “peace” cue with a hand on my shoulder whenever I felt a wave. I became aware and was told afterward that I was smiling (yes, smiling) the whole time! I just kept thinking, birth is natural and wonderful, and I couldn’t wait to see my baby. It’s hard to describe the blissful scene in our bedroom that early morning. We had candles around, soft music playing, and my husband and I held onto each other with so much love. It was so peaceful and moving, nothing at all like those horrible scenes one sees in the movies.

At 5:40 AM, my body just started to push naturally. It was amazing just to leave everything up to my body and to feel the push taking over. I pictured my baby moving lower and lower with every surge. Between pushes at some point, the midwifes told my husband the surprising news that my son was breech, presenting bottom first. He decided that it would be best not to tell me, as things were going so well, and he thought it would scare me. He was right.

I continued to push believing everything was fine. “Are those the shoulders coming out?” I’d ask. They kept reassuring me that things were going great and to keep doing what I was doing. Although I’d been laboring on my side for almost the whole time, I decided to get on my knees in hopes of having gravity work for me. I held onto my husband for support.

At the last moment, the midwives said that I would need to put everything I had into the next push. I felt a very intense stretching that was as close to pain as I’d gotten but still quite manageable and out came my son at 7 AM, after only about an hour of pushing.

He took a minute to revive fully but after a puff of room air and a spray of Bach’s rescue remedy, he was alert and wide-eyed. I delivered the placenta with ease 20 minutes later, with my beautiful baby boy in my arms and still attached via the umbilical chord.

I can’t say the next weeks were easy, but the birth itself could not have been more fluid. My husband and I still get teary eyed when we think back to that peaceful, incredible day. And my midwives, who had attended hundreds and hundreds of natural childbirths but had never taken part in a Hypnobabies birth, were stunned. It was, they concurred, one of the most beautiful births they had ever witnessed.

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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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Although this birth was nothing like I had actually envisioned (a 4 hour relaxed hospital birth), it was exactly like I wanted and needed (a natural, surprise home birth – superfast about an hour of true birthing time) primarily because my birth plan was followed exactly…

  • I wanted to labor and deliver as my body directed me
  • I wanted to assist with the birth and bring her directly to me
  • I wanted to stay skin to skin
  • To initiate breastfeeding when we were ready
  • Let the placenta deliver naturally and cord stop pulsing
  • To delay procedures until I was ready to let go.

(I had these 6 things printed on a 3×5 card, that was my entire birth plan) I had planned for a hospital birth so all of those things were potential sticking points, things I was most concerned about, the birthing was least of my worries, in fact I hadn’t even tried visualizing a completely comfortable birth, I was so hung up on confrontation with the staff over my birth plan.  I also, had been very torn about child care for my daughter, I wanted my mom to be the one caring for her but I also wanted her to be there at the birth, this way she actually did that.

However perhaps the craziest part is that one thing that I had envisioned and rehearsed really did happen, and it was the best thing, water breaking and then 5 or 6 pushy waves later baby would be born.

I had envisioned, rehearsed and told everyone that would listen, that Ellie would be born on Thursday, May 6th.  The midwives delivered on Thursdays and I was hoping that delivering with a midwife at the military hospital I use, would get me the intervention free birth that I wanted. Although towards the end I started to think, that perhaps that wouldn’t guarantee my ideal birth and started to let go and accept the thought that perhaps another time might provide the optimal care provider mix to have my ideal birth.

I had not had an internal check at my 39wk visit, May 3rd.  I had had about 2 or 3 strong, practice waves a few weeks before so I thought I might be dilating but was so sure that May 6th would be the day that I was ready. I’ll admit to being anxious and not really sure though.  I was a bit anxious going to bed on the 5th, but I had totally prepared for a trip to the hospital the next morning, just like I envisioned.

Nothing…  then around 4:30pm an hour of pressure waves, not very strong but lots of stretching down low, at my pelvic bone, like I had with Clara, no pain or discomfort anywhere else just very very tight stretchy feelings down low that were uncomfortable. I could say they were painful but I know they really weren’t.

Not much more for a couple of days, then to the nurse on Monday, the 10th my official Guess Date.  I was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby was at a -3 station (still high but slightly engaged).  After that exam on Monday I had more pressure waves and bloody show throughout the week. By Friday, May 14th, I was getting anxious, tense, mad, scared,  all the bad feelings.  I was mainly worried that baby was in a bad position which was preventing my body from keeping the pressure waves going and that I would indeed end up at 42 weeks with no baby and an induction.  I read a wonderful post on the HypnoBabies Yahoo Group. Susan was advising another woman in a similar situation, a woman who’s confidence was shaken thanks to some painful practice waves.  She reminded readers that those early pressure waves can be the hardest and most painful, they can be your body positioning baby and the are so irregular it can be difficult to get into good deep hypnosis. (Msg number 76966) I took that thought to heart and went to do a fear release after a what seemed like a 20 minute wave while watching a wonderfully powerful lightning storm.

I slept through the fear release script trusting that my subconscious would clear out the fear and doubt I had in my mind. I wanted to give birth joyously as I’d planned, not grumpy and angry or mean to my support team so I decided not to be that way.  I woke up feeling more settled and accepting of my birthing time, whenever that would be.

My husband came to lay down with my daughter was sleeping and my mom was relaxing in the living room, it was around 9pm when… A ‘real’ pressure wave, it was stronger than I’d been feeling, I knew something had changed and I was excited. This one I felt the stretching and discomfort move up the front of my uterus. Before they were just down low near my cervix. With this one I could feel the stretching moving up.  My husband and I stayed on the bed relaxing, I wanted him to talk to me, he was so tired, I was frustrated with him and begging him to talk to me, when another came about 10 minutes later. And then…

A third real one, that was really really pretty bad (for me anyway – I’d guess that many women, not using Hypnobabies would say it wasn’t that bad.) And a strong pop – my water had broken. I was way up high near my ribs so I was a bit concerned about baby position still.  I didn’t want to move even though I could feel the fluid seeping down onto the bed. After the pressure wave was finished I moved to the bathroom, and saw that happily the water was clear.  Mark wanted to head to the hospital, I told him no, they need to get stronger and closer together, it could be a while. I even doubted calling the doula, which we did and calling my friend Brandi to come watch Clara.

I had another wave talking to my Doula, Emily, she estimated that it was about 4-5 minutes since my water broke. I think I went through 2 on the toilet and then moved to the birthing ball. They were pretty bad and wasn’t really into hypnosis, although I had my headphones on listening to Easy First Stage, I think.  A wave on the ball and I thought I sensed that my body was pushing, just as it had with my daughter Clara, I got nervous and wanted to lay down, went to the couch, and another wave, moved during it and for sure my body was pushing!

My husband and mother wanted to go to the hospital, I said there was no time, and was insistent that I wasn’t going to move. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to move that baby out, but I knew that moving to the car and taking the 40 minute ride to the hospital was just not something I could handle at that point. I guess I felt like she was coming down, because I remember reaching up to check my cervix (I’m not sure what I thought I’d find) but I felt her head, I knew she WAS close. So I went to the toilet again, knowing that it would feel better there.  I have to say the waves were intense and I was not using hypnosis to handle them, but I was thinking about the cues and I do remember telling myself “I’m safe, my baby’s safe” during a particularly rough moment.

My husband went to move the car, although I told him again, there’s no time. My mom wanted to call the paramedics I said not to. I’m not sure why, I guess I was still in a bit of denial about it happening so fast.

Things got fuzzy here, but my mom and I estimate maybe 3 waves later baby was crowning! I felt that first wave on the toilet move her down and out of my cervix, my memory now seems like I felt her move down like I felt her just kind of pop down into my birth canal in one wave. The soreness of my pelvis for weeks seems to verify that there was not gentle stretch or movement of the pelvis.

I remember reaching down and feeling her head crowning, knowing I needed to slow down and relax, I think I did for just a few seconds. I remember looking into my mom’s eyes and saying ‘oh baby’ and she saying that back to me, not sure if she was talking about me, her baby or just about the fact that a baby was here. I pushed between waves and out came her head, I felt it tear a bit forward and back in my perineum.

I knew that it would be really hard for my mom to catch her over the toilet so we started, in a strangely lucid moment between waves, to talk about me moving to hands and knees, even down to the detail that I was going to turn my head towards the tub.  Then another wave and out she came!  I remember feeling the cord pull up a bit and tighten as my mom handed me the baby I brought her up to my chest, I have a clear memory of blood splattering the wall as my mom reached back for a towel.

I remember joy, excitement, amazement, wonder, at holding her. Ellen Judith.  I remember a moment of fright waiting for her to cry, and then MORE (could there be more? I didn’t think so) joy at the sound of her cry.  This was indeed the birth I needed to heal me, the weeks of worry, about her position, pain and frustration of ‘false labor’ and my frustration at my last birth in the hospital when baby was wisked away from and brought back like a stranger to me.
I remember double checking to be sure she was a girl.

My mom called 911 almost immediately, I remember reminding her of the address and hearing her tell me to keep the baby at a lower level than the placenta (I ignored that advice though).  I remember Mark coming in shortly after and he had a shocked look on his face, he was so upset that he missed her birth – he’d oddly been delayed because of a broken gate in our parking garage.  Sometime shortly after that Emily the Doula arrived – she’d been delayed by surprise roadwork in her neighborhood. So baby came in a 2 minute window that my mom and I were home alone together. This is amazing since this child’s middle name is my mom’s name. Judith, a complete surprise and honor to my unassuming and excited mother.

Somewhere in there the placenta delivered without any effort, I don’t even remember another pressure wave happening. I felt it come down and out of me and into the toilet.

Emily asked quite calmly if we wanted to move to the bed. Mark and my mom seemed stunned by the thought and Emily directed them to get the shower curtain and spread it on the bed. I had to remind Mark to get the curtain from the girl’s bathroom since the one in ours was not waterproof.

My mom got a bowl for the placenta, and once Emily fished it out of the toilet and put it in the bowl, I got up to move to the bed, I was sore and I could feel some pain where I know I tore while I was moving to the bed, I could feel blood running down to the carpet, my mom cleaned it up for us later, I never saw it.

The paramedics arrived at some point, lots of them, at least 8, all men. I think I was already on the bed.  They asked a few questions but were pretty hands off since I think things looked pretty stable and I knew  all the right answers, (water clear, placenta delivered, baby had cried, even down to volunteering this was second pregnancy second live birth). They told my mom at some point that we all seemed very calm for having just gone through a surprise birth.  They wanted to cut the cord, I said okay, but had to ask for my husband to do it, no malice there I think they were just looking to keep things moving alone.

It was time to move to the hospital, I was wheeled out on the stretcher, this hurt, I could feel every bump at the point of my two tears. I remember my mom coming out into the hallway with us, and holding her hand and saying goodbye, sad she couldn’t go with us but so very relieved that she’d be home if my daughter needed her.

I was really insistent that Ellie latch before we left, and so got her on in the ambulance before we left and she and I did our best the whole way to the hospital. Mark rode in the front and Emily rode with me in the back, it was nice to have her there we kind of giggled like kids, I was so excited and proud and happy and yet still needed her reassurance and guidance.  Yet more evidence that doulas are truly important people in my opinion. It seemed so strange in the ambulance, like it should be smaller, I felt odd I still had on my cami top and no pants, I was in a sheet that I guess the paramedics brought with them.  I had no idea where we were going, they told me but I wasn’t familiar with that hospital so it was just all so strange and like I’d been transported somewhere else.

We go there and I was wheeled in, through a lobby not through the ER, just in through the very quiet lobby it was around 11pm I guess.  I was checked and found to have two tares, they were afraid I tore up towards my urethra, that was scary, that would really really suck, but it turned out I didn’t.  A very uncomfortable repair later I was feeling pretty good.  Although I wish I handled the staff better, I didn’t fully surrender to them but I look back and know that I did a bit, just to go with the flow, I still feel like I was in control, asking questions, being the owner of my body and my baby.  I controlled when they took the baby out of my hands and when I got to breastfeed, I felt like, unlike with my first, Clara, that this was MY baby, I guess because I brought her to the hospital with me.

Hypnobabies was a great tool before during and after my birthing time,
a great education and preparation and certainly the confidence it gave me to deal with the hospital staff was quite welcome. I also was so glad for that bubble of peace since I got a few ridiculous comments from the doctors. They don’t realize how important their words are to women, and had I not been prepared and educated I’d be scared out of my mind at some of the things that were casually said to me, with no malice intended but still quite negative just the same.

Thank you Hypnobabies for although it was not what I envisioned, I’m certain it was the birth that I needed.

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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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