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!