Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Home Birth’ Category

Zia’s  Hypnobabies Birth

About a month and a half before giving birth to my then genderless child, I wrote a note that I called my Manifest List which I slept with in my pillow case. This list covered all of the characteristics that I hoped for my child to have, and also what I hoped my birthing experience would be. The latter list included such things as easy, natural, and FUN (in capital letters with an exclamation mark!).

My Guess Date was to be the first day of the Vancouver Olympics, Feb. 12th, 2010, but I knew that my baby would be ready on it’s own time. The night before the birth of miss Zia, I sat on the bed and stroked my belly. I told my baby that I was finally ready, and that I trusted that it would come whenever was good for itself. I told my baby that I would follow it’s lead and that I was proud of the epic journey that it would soon embark upon.

The next morning I awoke for my regular 5 am pee. After returning to my bed I felt a little leak, so I went back to the washroom to check it out. It looked like perhaps I had leaked a little amniotic fluid, but I didn’t want to get too excited so I put myself back to bed. I figured that if it was indeed the day, I would need my rest. On my way back to my bed, I stepped on something crunchy. Upon examining what was underfoot, I discovered that my Manifest List had magically found it’s way out of my pillow case and onto the floor.

I had been getting Braxton Hicks with a little cramping for a few weeks already, so I didn’t register them as `pressure waves’ when they began at around 7:30am. They were about every hour, so I successfully ignored them until I got up around 10:00am. Even then, I found them to be like mild period cramping.

This being my first pregnancy, I had no idea that I was indeed in early labour, so I didn’t take it too seriously at all. My sister and I decided to go on a long walk in Burns Bog around noon. When we were less than half way, I realized that my pressure waves were becoming more frequent and I chose to shorten our walk distance to less than half. Although we were laughing and joking, totally enjoying our walk, what should have taken us just over 30 min took us about 1 ½ hours. This was because my way of dealing with my pressure waves was to stop and bend over with my hands on my thighs and wave my bum side to side. This must have looked hilarious to any onlookers!

My sister and I were still laughing and enjoying ourselves when we arrived back home around 1:30/2:00pm. It was around then that my labour was seeming established, but I was still in denial that I may have a child that evening. In fact, I thought that perhaps it may be another day or longer since it was anything but painful! I chose to listen to my `Birth Day Affirmations’ and take a bath, after which I found a little blood. It wasn’t until this time that I was certain that I would soon meet my baby!

Zia’s father arrived around 2:30, and he, my sister and myself all enjoyed some good laughs and popsicles while we began calling the people who needed to be informed. I’d just pass off the phone for the minute durations when a pressure wave would come over. We called the midwives to give them the heads-up, and realized that my pressure waves were about a minute long and between 4 or 5 minutes apart. Since I was still pretty convinced that it was going to be a long process, I told them that I would call them when I felt that I needed them.

It was around then that I began using my light switch, but I should have been more diligent about turning it on and off during my pressure waves to ensure that I obtained a deeper and deeper hypnosis. Instead, I turned it to the center and kind of forgot about it. It also didn’t help that Zia’s father had to leave to get the birthing pool and left me to my own devices. I realize now that my partner should have been helping me with my hypnosis from earlier on in order to also deepen my hypnosis.

My sister and I called my mom with the news and began arranging our living room for the homebirth until my mother arrived to help take over. Shortly after my mother, my Doula also arrived. I had her run me another bath and put on my `Fear Clearing Session’. She then brought me some pineapple and water while everyone else bustled around finishing the room preparations and filling the pool.

It was during this second bath that my labour progressed in leaps and bounds. Zia’s father was rubbing my back, pressing on my hips and using our `relax’ cue with his hand on my shoulder. I tried to use more of my relaxation techniques, breathing deep and using my lightswitch, but because I hadn’t already been using them I was not quite deep enough.

Some time near the end of this bath I had my sister call the midwives to ask them to come. They said that they would be about 30min, but because we weren’t anxious and were casual about my labour they took their time.

When the birth pool was ready I left my bath tub with the intention of getting into the pool. By this point my labour was much farther than I realized. I was unable to make it to the pool, and only made it to the mattress on the ground where I laboured for the next 30-45 min. It was on this mattress that my water broke and my pressure waves began to change their intensity. About 30 min after my water broke, my mother called the midwives to inquire about their location as she realized that the baby might come before they arrived.

Somehow I was still in denial about how far along I was. I realize now that I was in transition when I thought I was only about 4 or 5 cm dialated. My pressure waves changed to more of a pushing and my vocalizations became more primal sounding. I even had a moment of feeling nauseous, but because I was such a birthing novice I didn’t see all of the signs that I was so close to the end. I realize now that my body had begun pushing out my baby and I was fighting the urge thinking that I wasn’t far enough in my labour and my midwives were still not present.

When I found myself getting lost in my contractions, I would tell myself to relax, stop clenching my face and body, and breath deep. My pressure waves were about 1 ½ min long with very short breaks in between, but it was only the first 15-20 sec at the beginning of each wave that I would find myself getting lost in their intensity. My Doula was holding cold cloths on my head and keeping me focused on remaining calm and breathing deep.

Some time during the extremely intense waves my Doula suggested that I change positions. I shook my head no, but when she left to get me another cold cloth for my forehead I changed my mind and rolled off the mattress and stood up. I’d decided to give in to the inevitable and get it over with. I began to stomp around the birth pool like a sumo wrestler, rubbing my hips, and stopping to hold onto the side of the pool to let a wave pass.

I must have made about 10 laps before I knelt down on the side of the pool and draped my arm into the water. I found that at least having my hand in the water kept me relaxed. I came to the realization that I was just going to have the baby right there. As though with perfect timing, my midwives walked up the stairs. The midwives heard one of my vocalizations during a pressure wave and told me that it sounded very much like a `pushy contraction’. I must have been so relieved to see them and hear that, that I just let go and out came the amniotic sac like a tear drop filled with fluid.

They told me that the baby was very close and that I might find it’s head if I looked for it. Indeed, Zia’s head was about 1 inch from crowning. I was amazed that I was so much farther along than I’d realized.

My body was in complete control of my birth and I was just along for the ride. In fact, I didn’t ever push myself, my body did all the work on it’s own. The only time that I pushed was in between contractions when her head was crowning.

The midwives didn’t touch our baby until 20 min after she was born. At 6:27pm I supported her head with my hand as she crowned, and her father caught her and passed her to me. I was so elated that it wasn’t until my sister’s inquiring that I looked at her sex.

I honestly believe that it was my support network and relaxation techniques that allowed my labour to progress in just over 5 hours. I remained composed and in charge despite my midwives absence. The birth of my daughter Zia May was indeed the most liberating, empowering, and proud moment of my life.

Zia is an amazingly aware and healthy baby. I healed up in just days and was out and about with her right away. Although we weren’t strict with our Hypnobabies training, I believe that it was an amazing success!

Read Full Post »

I was using Fertility Awareness Method to concieve, so I knew when I er, I mean WE concieved so the EDD (Oct. 18) was amusing to me. When anyone asked, “When are you due?” I would say “October…,” when pressed for a day I would say, “oh I dunno, babies are on there own schedule.” Well, I did not know then how much truth was in those words!
Well, I had an absolutely amazing pregnancy; I started the self study at 8 weeks! Just a couple waves of mild nausea during the first trimester, I taught yoga up to 38 weeks, I practiced yoga up to 40 weeks. Then at my 41 week appointment my midwife started talking to me about going to an OB-GYN and getting a check up at 42 weeks. I still wasn’t concerned because I was born 2 weeks “overdue” and so was my younger sister. I thought surely I’d start birthing by that Monday.

Well, Monday came and we found ourselves in the doctor’s office. I was trying to tell myself it didn’t matter how our baby came to us, but I was sick with worry; I didn’t want to be induced. They gave me my second ultrasound of my pregnancy. The doctor said everything looked good and they were measuring our baby at 39 weeks so I could go back under my midwife’s care. They also did a cervical sweep, which was not any more uncomfrtable than a pap smear but everyone kept asking me if I was ok with the p**n during the procedure.
After the doctor’s visit I was elated I had more time, but more determined than ever. I ramped doing everything I had been doing; acupuncture, chiropractic, sex, walking, and listening/practicing Hypnobabies. I also tried going up in the mountains hoping the altitude would move things along (btw, it just made me have to pee more than I already had to and I only had two good pressure waves), and I purchased and began listening to “Baby Come Out!” I listened to it for a couple days and thought, “Ugh! NOTHING is working!” So I stopped everything.

Then another day passed and I decided to try the “Baby Come Out!” track one more time because I truly believe Hypnobabies had made my pregnancy so easy up to that point. There is a part of that script that directs you to have a conversation with your baby about being born. I distinctly heard “I’ll be out tomorrow, Mama,” and I started crying hysterically. Just about that time my husband came home and asked what was going on. I told him I was hallucinating and I probably wasn’t even really pregnant! To which he replied, “Oh, honey!” I’m sure that must have been hilarious to see me with red swollen eyes and a giant belly saying I didn’t think I was pregnant!

The next day I woke up and went about my business as usual but crabbier than ever. I was so resentful to have to do laundry with my big belly! My husband came home in the afternoon and we decided to watch a movie. Then, I had a pressure wave that made me moan and get up and rock my hips, then another, then another! I told my husband I couldn’t possibly go to our midwife’s appointment like this, so he called her. She said she would call and check in a couple hours -if we didn’t call her first.

We continued to watch the movie, pausing more and more often for me to moan and wiggle; not because of p**n, but kind of like when you have to lift something REALLY heavy. Then I wanted to take a bath, the PWs started getting closer together so I decided to get out and move around some more. My husband and I decided to get the birthing tub going. I thought, “Well even if I’m not in my birthing at least I’ll be in a bigger tub!” A short while after we started setting up I had to stop to focus, and I was shaking during PWs.

My husband called the midwife to tell her. She had given us explicit instructions to call her about shaking, vomiting or water breaking (she had missed a hypnomom’s birth before :D ). I thought, “Is this transition-it’s only been an hour and a half?” She said she was on her way!
Her assistant arrived first-two hours  after our first phone call. I told her, “I don’t want you to be here for nothing,” she said “Um, it doesn’t sound like nothing!” The midwife got to our house 30 minutes later, and I said the same thing, so she offered to check me-I was 9 cm. She said I just needed my water to break so the head would engage.
Well, I normally took a nap the time of day when my birthing began, so I ran out of steam and began to nap between PWs. This slowed things a bit, but I believe my body knew what it needed to do. A few hours passed and it really only felt like one hour. My midwife suggested I get out of the tub and try a change of scenery, but when I began to get out I said no way! I really was so sick of being heavy the water felt so nice.

Then, a few minutes later-POP-my water broke. The midwife told the assistant, “Hmm, a 42 week baby with vernix.” I remember thinking,”That’s because I’m only 40 weeks and 5 days!” Then I was ready to get out and get in the shower. After showering for some time I said I wanted out, so out I came and my midwife began to talk to me about pushing.

I’m glad she did because I never had any overwhelming urge to push. So I pushed on the bed for about four pushes-hated that! Then I gripped a sheet they threw over the door and squatted and pushed for some time and said I wanted to dosomething to push where I didn’t feel like I had to stand back up, so my midwife suggested my husband sit on the edge of the bed and hook his arms under mine while I squatted deeply. This was the magic position!

I pushed a few more times, my midwife said to give it all my Mama Bear strength I pushed again. I pushed one more giant push expecting to just get his head to crown, but WHOOSH! He came out all at once and suddenly there was a baby in my arms! All I could say was, “HOLY SH*T!” over and over again. I was so surpised-I think I really think part of me believed I wasn’t pregnant and the other part (that actually believed I was pregnant ;D ) was so surprised he came in one giant push! Maximos was born November 6th 2010 at 12:31am!
It has now been two months of the most amazing experience in my life. I’m so proud of my body for growing a baby and pushing him out without drugs or medical intervention! In addition, I LOVE the look of awe on people’s faces when I tell them I had a natural childbirth and only felt uncomfortable when he crowned!

Thank you so much Hypnobabies!

So if you are still reading this, particularly if you are “overdue,” your baby will come, and your birthing will be beautiful!

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

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.
Molly

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

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!!

Read Full Post »

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!

:)Erin

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers