This was my third baby, and my second natural birth, and my first hypnobaby and home birth.
Hypnobabies helped me to have a birth experience more wonderful than I hoped for. I started at about 24 weeks and took two weeks for each section. There were a few days that I missed listening to a track, but I was pretty good at keeping on top of things. I didn’t listen to joyful pregnancy affirmations every day, and I, quite honestly, struggled with practicing my light switch. Even with my lackadaisical preparation, my birthing time was very relaxed and enjoyable.
Thursday, July 22, just after midnight
I wake up a little after midnight with pressure waves that are quite regular and strong. I listen to the “Early First Stage” track, and soon after that was done I decide that this is it! I woke up Mark and convinced him it was absolutely necessary to get up and clean the bathroom and the loft, do some laundry, etc. This is it! So exciting! And only a day past my due date! I get back into bed and turn on my ipod and try to get a little sleep.
Thursday, July 22, morning
My pressure waves are farther apart and not as strong, but still coming. I call my mom and ask her to start driving up here. (She has to drive up from Utah, and is taking 2 days to do so. I planned on having her arrive after I had the baby.) I would be having the baby today!
Thursday, July 22, afternoon
Faint, irregular pressure waves. Quite discouraged, but still hopeful. Mark has spent the whole day with me, instead of working. The girls have been with Grandma all day. I’m starting to feel quite silly.
Thursday, July 22, late evening
Pressure waves are picking up, hurrah!
Friday, July 23, morning
Call my mom, sobbing. The pressure waves have almost completely stopped. I will never have the baby, and my mom has already driven half-way up to my house. I cry and complain and whine. After I get off the phone with her, Mark gives me a no-nonsense pep talk and I decide that life must go on. I take the girls to town and stop by a few garage sales. I feel better when we get back.
Friday, July 23, evening
Nothing. But my mom arrives, which is a welcome distraction.
Saturday, July 24, morning and afternoon
Pressure waves throughout the day, becoming stronger. I ignore them. Sort of.
Saturday, July 24, evening
I’m exhausted, hot, and completely break down because the apple berry crisp I made is too runny. Mark is working late, putting in the hay. I try to ignore the pressure waves that are coming more often.
Saturday, July 24, 11pm
Mark gets home and we watch an episode of Jim Henson’s Storytellers on Netflix. I tell him, very hesitantly, that maybe my pressure waves just might be getting stronger. We head to bed. Mark is asleep in about 12 seconds, but it takes me a little longer.
Sunday, July 25, early, early morning
My pressure waves continue all night. They are 10-15 minutes apart, but growing stronger. I’m able to get quite a bit of rest/sleep by listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I’m pretty sure I would not have slept otherwise, but my after months of falling asleep listening to these tracks I found it so easy to relax and let any worries or stress go.
Sunday, July 25, 5 am-ish
I wake Mark up. My pressure waves have suddenly jumped from about 10 minutes apart to about 6 minutes apart. They are strong. I feel a lot of tightening and squeezing and a dull ache during the pressure waves. Mark times them for a little while, then calls the midwife to tell her that I think I’m really approaching my birthing time…
Sunday, July 25, around 6 am
When I talked to the midwife on the phone, I didn’t have a contraction during the conversation. I told her I would call her back in about 20 minutes if I was ready for her to come.
After talking to the midwife, Mark filled our bathtub and I got in. There was one pressure wave when I was walking to the bathroom that I was unprepared for and it was probably the most uncomfortable one I had. I had been laying on my side in bed with my light switch off (meaning my body was completely limp and relaxed, no moving). I walked to the bathroom with my light switch on (not in hypnosis)(editors note: mom could have chosen to have her switch in center and that would have helped her feel more comfortable) and was caught off guard when the bathroom door was locked!
I started pounding on the door, panicked because I had planned on making it to the tub before the next contraction. Mark opened the door and I kind of collapsed onto him because the pressure wave had just hit. After it was over I got in the tub and it was so nice. So nice. I was able to lay on my side with my knees bent and a couple of towels as pillows. We timed some more contractions and decided it was time for the midwife to come. (She lives about 50 minutes away) They were 4 or 5 minutes apart and very strong.
I had Mark turn on the “Early First Stage” track on the computer, because I didn’t want to worry about my ipod with the water. By this time my mom and the girls were up, and I could hear all the happy morning noises in the other rooms. My pressure waves felt quite powerful, but not in a negative way. During each wave I would relax completely and picture my muscles working to make way for my baby.
Sunday, July 25, around 7 am
My midwife arrived at 7:15. I can’t remember exactly when we stopped timing waves, but they were about 3 or 4 minutes apart at this time. It felt like there was so much time between the waves, and I wished they would come closer together because I felt like I was still so far from having the baby.
Before the midwife checked me she asked me how dilated I thought I was. I said “Oh a 3?” and secretly hoped for a 5 or 6. She laughed and said she thought I’d be farther along than that. She was right, I was almost an 8!
Almost an 8! I could hardly believe it. When I had Eden I was struggling at 6, but here I was, almost done! As I settled back into a comfortable position I tried to prepare mentally for “transformation.”
When the Early First Stage track ended I had Mark put on the Deepening track. Everyone left me alone for awhile. As the intensity increased, I started to vocalize during the waves, saying words like “relax” and “open” and I don’t remember what else. I know some people feel totally uninhibited when they are giving birth, but that’s not me. I actually felt quite silly and self-conscious but vocalizing helped me so much. It seemed to override any discomfort that I might have otherwise felt.
During transformation I felt totally in control. I never had that “I can’t take this for a moment longer” feeling. I still felt like I had plenty of time to rest between pressure waves. I did get a couple right on top of each other, but I was able to accept whatever came my way. If I felt discomfort at the beginning of a wave I would say “relax. relax. relax” and remind myself that it was just pressure and tightening and that’s what it became. Transition was intense, but totally manageable.
Sunday, July 25, around 8am
Mark sat next to the tub and held my hand during this time. The midwife was in the bathroom too, and told me to let her know when I felt like I needed to push. Soon I felt things change, and during a pressure wave I felt the baby’s head move down a bit, then slide back up after the wave ended. I told my midwife that I was ready to push. She knelt down next to the tub and with the next wave I started to push and felt the head move down, and then out it slid. I wasn’t about to stop pushing though! A second later the baby’s body slid right out and the baby was lifted up to my chest, all warm and pink and beautiful. It happened so fast I was shocked. One push and it was all done! Oh, and the feeling just after you have a baby. There are no words.
After a minute or two the midwife asked if we had seen what the baby was. Oh! I had totally forgotten. In those moments the whole boy or girl thing didn’t matter at all. This was my baby, and my baby is healthy and beautiful. That’s all that I thought. But of course, after she asked Mark checked and it was a girl! And no, we were not disappointed. Another girl is just perfect.
My mom had taken the girls outside to play, thinking it would be a while longer until I had the baby. She didn’t believe Mark when he came out and announced it was another girl! They all came into to see the new baby. That was one of the best moments, being together as a family for the first time.
Lucy was born at 8:07 am, less than an hour after the midwife arrived. Amazingly, I pushed the baby out in one push without tearing at all. This was the first time I didn’t have to worry about the dreaded stitches. After I got out of the tub and cleaned up we hopped into bed. Lucy was happy and calm and eager to eat. All I wanted to talk about that day was how amazing the experience was. Even my mom, who was terrified about me giving birth at home, is a bit of a convert.