In my Hypnobabies study, I visualized going into labor on a Friday, at 38 weeks plus 5 days. With both of my previous non-induced births, I went into labor on a Friday, so my mind naturally went to the same day of the week. Then, a few weeks out from that date, I mentally set a goal to make it through 1/23 before going into labor.
- I needed to finish up a major project at work that week
- I had a three hour spa appointment (a Christmas gift from my employees) scheduled for that morning
- My husband and I planned to take our twelve year old daughter out to a nice dinner that night.
- I literally told myself that I had permission to have the baby after dinner on Friday night.
- I even put the date of 1/24 on the birth announcements that I mocked up a few weeks before.
The mind is a very powerful thing, so 1/23 is when our birth story began…
On Friday morning, 1/23, I started my massage at 10 AM. It was a wonderful time to relax and contemplate that we would soon bring our fourth child into the world. The massage was followed by a facial, a spa lunch, a pedicure and a manicure. It was blissful! I came home and took a nap around 4 PM. During the hour long nap, I was woken up by a few waves of pressure in my back. I had experienced many rounds of “false” labor prior to this time, so I mentioned it to my husband, but wrote it off.
While getting ready for dinner, I felt several more waves, but nothing consistent. We went out to a lovely dinner with our oldest daughter at a fondue restaurant. This was an important time for us to spend with her to celebrate some incredible decisions that she is making in her life. We all joked about the pressure waves that were coming every 7 to 9 minutes. When I felt a wave coming, I would put some meat in the fondue pot, turn my switch to off, and rest my head on my hands. When I turned back to center, my meat was done!
On the way home, we called my hypnodoula to let her know that we might be in early labor. I actually started getting excited! I got the birthing ball out, set up my laptop to contractionmaster.com, covered up in a blanket and set out to start timing things “officially”. At 11 PM, the contractions stopped completely! I couldn’t believe it! I was fooled again! I called my doula to let her know that things had stopped and that I was going to bed.
I drifted off to sleep, but was awoken with pressure waves again at 5 AM. The waves were very random ranging from 5 to 12 minutes apart. I lay in bed timing contractions and trying to get some work done on my laptop until 9 AM. At that point, I figured that if a pattern wasn’t organizing itself, that it was probably false labor – AGAIN! I made a joke about it to my husband and started my day.
I decided to stay home from work because – even if it was false labor – I was mentally frustrated and would probably be a distraction to my coworkers. I called my doula around 11 AM because I was very frustrated. The waves wouldn’t go away, but yet, they wouldn’t get closer together either!
- She told me to make a conscious decision that this was my early birthing time and to start listening to my birth day affirmations.
- She recommended that I release the fear that the waves may stop again.
- Finally, she recommended that I stop frustrating myself by timing the waves and just trust that my body would know if they were getting closer together and getting more intense.
All of that advice allowed me to relax and at that point, I turned on the Birth Day Affirmations, turned to center and started nesting.
That bath felt so good and was so peaceful! I turned on the jets and leaned on the side letting the water hit my belly during the waves. I was enjoying being totally quiet and totally by myself. About ten minutes into the affirmations, I realized that I had already had three or four waves! I decided to time a few on contractionmaster.com. I had the laptop on the floor right out of the tub, so when a wave would come, I would lean over the side of the tub, press the space bar, and turn off. The waves were coming 2 ½ minutes apart and were lasting 90 seconds. I was still so calm, relaxed and comfortable that I had a hard time believing that they were that close. I didn’t want to get out of the tub… REALLY didn’t want to get out!
But, I knew that if I didn’t, we could end up in trouble. I didn’t think that I was in transition, but I knew that if I hit transition, we might not make it to the hospital since in my last birthing time, I progressed from 5 cm. to delivered in 20 minutes. I hauled myself out of the tub, got dressed and went to wake up my husband. Upon telling him how close the contractions were, he hurriedly loaded up the car!
We took off for the hospital, but had to turn back about 5 minutes into the trip since we forgot to leave our car keys with my mother in law! I was joking with my husband that it seemed like the waves were spacing out and would probably stop before we got there. I put on my makeup in the visor mirror and just turned to off for my waves. I was still very comfortable and assumed that if this was my real birthing time, I was probably at 4 or 5 cm. When we got to the hospital at around 5:45 PM, my husband dropped me off at L&D. I walked in and waited for him at the elevator. I realized things had picked up when I had three waves just waiting for him to walk in from the car.
When we checked in at L&D, I was still answering questions, walking on my own, and turning to off when I had a wave. I didn’t even need to lean on my husband. I just stood in a wide stance, dropped my head, closed my eyes and swayed. The nurse took us to triage, but after watching me turn off a couple times, she said that we were going straight to a room.
I got on the gown, and gave her a urine sample. Thank goodness my hypnodoula arrived at that time! I was having more trouble turning off while they were putting the heplock in and strapping on the monitors to establish a baseline. She was great at reminding me to release and saying scripts to me to help me go deeper. The nurse checked me once the monitors were in place and to everyone’s surprise, I was 8 cm!!! Wow! Walking, talking, calm and collected at 8 cm! I love Hypnobabies!!!
My doctor came in about that time. I asked if he would let me get into the jacuzzi tub. He laughed and said that he didn’t think so, since I was already at an 8. I begged him, so he agreed if he could check me first. He found that I was completely dilated, so the jacuzzi was definitely not an option!!! I was instinctively moaning through my waves at that point. My doula was encouraging me to “breathe the baby down” pushing as I felt the need. We did that for a few minutes and then I had the urge to turn on my side. She held my top leg up to open up my pelvis, while my husband held my hands. I got a strong urge to push, and my water broke spraying three to four feet across the room! That relieved a lot of the pressure for a few minutes.
I could then feel Jillian’s head move down. Honestly, that was the only time that I felt any fear or trepidation. I was scared that pushing would hurt so I tensed up which made the pressure more intense. My husband, my doula and my doctor all encouraged me to slow down, relax my bottom and breathe. It was hard to relax, but I focused very hard, gathered myself and gave a couple huge pushes. I think I sounded like a momma lion during those pushes! That was all it took! Jillian came sliding out at 6:47 PM – less than one hour after arriving at the hospital!
Jillian was pink, alert and nursed immediately for over 45 minutes. Her apgar scores were 9 and 9. She was more alert than my first three, because she was completely unmedicated and because it was such a peaceful birth!
After the doctor checked me out, he found that I didn’t tear at all, even though I had scar tissue from two previous episiotomies and a previous tear! All it took was delivering on my side instead of on my back and my ob using olive oil and perineal support as Jillian crowned! Because Jillian was able to nurse so well immediately following birth, my ob was able to skip the pitocin shot – my uterus was already contracting very well on its own. All said… my only medical intervention was a heplock which we agreed to. That’s not bad for a hospital birth with an ob!
In summary, this was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! It was not scary, painful or out of control. I was able to have my 8 year old son and 12 year old daughter present for the birth, and was able to give them the wonderful gift of watching a peaceful, comfortable birth, which is something they will remember for the rest of their lives. I was also able to give Jillian the gift of an unmedicated start to life! It was everything that I hoped for! Thank you Hypnobabies!!!