Thanks to Leigh Anne from Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan for allowing us to share her birth story from her blog onto the Hypnobabies Blog.
So here is the part of the birth that I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting. My previous births have been pretty quick, especially Nick’s. I teach Hypnobabies, so I always enjoy telling the parents the different things they can do during their birthing time, walking, sitting on the birth ball, resting, etc. However, I have not really gotten to experience those intimate moments in birth because once things got going, it seemed like the birth was all out and fast. This time I got to enjoy a few of the things, I felt I’ve missed out on in previous births.
My husband was great, he asked what i wanted for breakfast. At this point, I was hungry, but not sure what I really wanted to eat. I think I told him to make me some eggs. I laid down in the bedroom and played around on my iPad in between waves. I sent a message to my friends on thebabywearer.com website that I had just two words….prodromal and posterior. I figured that I may be in my birthing time for a while. I knew the baby was posterior because I could still feel hands moving in the front part of my lower belly, over my pubic bone. Like I had said before, I didn’t do much during the night to try to rotate the baby because I knew I needed to rest. So, my plan for the morning was to get on all fours as much as possible and try to get the baby to turn around.
I sat on the birth ball in the kitchen while my husband cooked and my mom sat at the kitchen table. Whenever I had a pressure wave, Damon would come over and do a hip squeeze. I had to remind him how to do his hands. My mom even came over and did a hip squeeze, learning how I wanted her to put her hands. I had some pretty good pressure waves during this time. I resent my text to my boss from the day before while sitting on the ball, saying that I would not be in the office today.
After eating some eggs with salsa, I asked my husband to go for a walk with me. I took a photo of my mom with the boys right before I went for a walk. I sent a text message to Debi, to let her know how the evening had went and that I was still having pressure waves and had more show. She said she was nearby if I needed her.
We didn’t walk far in the neighborhood. It was before nine o’clock so it wasn’t miserably hot yet. We walked down a hill and then back up. I figure in our twenty-minute walk, back and forth in front of our house I had at least seven pressure waves. The part that was so cool about this was, I had always wanted to do the clutch and sway hold with my husband during a pressure wave. Since we are the same height, it was kind of funny to figure out how I could comfortably be supported by him. It was great to snuggle my face into his neck on this beautiful morning. We chatted about my mom’s dream she had in the night. She told me upon waking up that she dreamt we had went into her room and told her that Grant had been born. We did not have a name for the baby yet if it was a boy. Damon told me he had actually thought about that name last week. I said that he had vetoed that name with me in the past. I wasn’t ready to commit to any name at this point, especially because we still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. I loved our walk and found it was most comfortable to hold his waist during a wave. We even tried one abdominal lift while on the walk. I had not gotten to do that during birth before either.
I’m sure we were a sight to see, we even had one of our not so nice neighbors stop and check on us to see if they could do anything for us. It was during one of the waves where I was holding on to Damon’s waist. I started laughing during the wave because of how funny I know we looked. Another neighbor saw us and you could see the big smiles on their faces. I thought we might be having a baby soon but Damon told them that we would probably have a baby within the week. I loved that he was trying to protect my space for me.
We went back inside and I wanted to try doing some rebozo sifting. I had Damon pull up the Spinning Babies website so that I could show him what I wanted him to do with the wrap. I then got down on all fours in the living room and had him do some gentle sifting. It felt really good.
I then decided that I was tired and wanted to lay down again. I spread out a towel on our bed and laid down on my side. Damon came back there with me and would put counter pressure on my hips when he heard me start to moan or take a deep breath. I know I fell asleep between some of these waves because I would be feel a wave coming on, look around for Damon thinking that he was probably far away and I would need to yell for him and he was always right behind me, ready to support me and do whatever he needed. I laid there until about 9:30-9:45 am. At this point, I decided to get up and use the restroom again.
I believe around this point, Damon called Debi to let her know that things were picking up. She said that she would be here soon. I went downstairs and started to get the last-minute things I wanted ready in the birth room. I made sure that the video camera was set up properly, making sure that it would record. I asked Damon to call Amy around this time too, but he thought I had meant to just call Debi. I reminded him to call Amy and he did. Around 10 am, Debi and her daughter Rachel (her assistant) arrived. They were really great when they got there.
They brought in their supplies as we began filling up the birth pool. While I had laid down, Damon had somehow managed to get water boiling on the stove to provide extra heat if we needed it in the birth tub and had also duct taped a white sheet to the inside of the watering trough/birth pool. I was sitting on the birth ball next to the pool, waiting for the water to get higher and the right temp. I used the restroom a handful more times. Whenever I sat on it, I thought of it like a birth stool. I would almost always have a pressure wave while sitting on it.
Debi then asked to do some monitoring on the baby. I reminded her that I did not want any vaginal exams and she had no issues with that. She set up her external fetal monitor and I stood next to the birth tub while she held the monitor to my belly. She said she would monitor for six minutes and then would do so again in an hour for her intermittent monitoring. I was able to move as I needed to while she held the doppler. Once she was done monitoring, I got into the tub. The water felt wonderful.
I laughed as I saw water bubbles underneath the white sheet. I played with the water bubbles in between waves. My husband was cracking up at my simple entertainment. He took a couple of photos of me during this time.
Amy arrived shortly after I got into the pool and she took a few photos of me. Amy knew I really wanted photos during this birth since I had not gotten the opportunity with Nick’s birth and I had said no during Liam’s. The midwives and Amy were all fantastic about massaging my lower back/sacrum area during a pressure wave. Women that have had babies know exactly where to put their hands during a birth. Amy was fantastic at putting her hand on my shoulder and saying the release cue right when I needed it. I remember at one point she was sitting to my left and I was saying the words, “open, open, open” out loud during a wave. Afterward she asked me, “do you really believe those words when you say them?” I replied, “most definitely. I said those very words in that room right there,” gesturing towards the boys bedroom that I could see close by. ”I said those words when Nick was coming out of me in that room, I know they work.” She smiled.
I was joking and laughing between waves, telling the midwives stories about my recent hemorrhoids. I even was midway through a story, a wave came on, I groaned through the wave, saying “opening up, come on baby,” then as soon as the wave was over, I continued on with my story. Later on, I told Amy that we were going to be life long friends because she had rubbed my butt and I had it on video for proof. I was cracking up at myself.
I remember looking up at this board…
I had written the words, Relax, Release and Peace on it, just about thirty minutes before. I hoped that it would remind everyone in the room the cue words that I would need. Liam also had a picture that he had drawn specifically for when I had the baby put up on the board. I remember looking at the magnet board and I really thought it was about to fall. I asked someone to go catch it. My husband went over to it and asked what was behind the board. My response, which wasn’t so nice, but I started really cracking up, “Ohh, it’s just your stupid golf balls! Bwhahahahahahaha.” I have no idea why I thought that was so funny but in the moment when I was nearing transition, I thought I was hilarious.
I think around this time, I asked for some crackers and I drank some water between almost every wave. After a wave, I made sure to smile because I remember in the hypnosis scripts, it says to smile after a wave. It made me feel better to do so.
The waves were coming quicker and quicker. Debi went to monitor the baby while I was in the water. As her hand held the doppler to my belly, I said, “Wow, did you just feel the baby rotate?” She did. I have never actually felt my babies movements during birth. Another very special thing about this particular birth.
Once the baby rotated, I started to feel like I could push. Remember, I had no vaginal exams. I loved that no one said, let me check you. They could hear the sounds changing from loud moans, to lion sounds. I asked for Liam to come downstairs. I wanted to see him. He came and looked in the tub asking if the baby was coming soon. I kissed him and then he left the room as another wave sent a roar through me, roaring the words “Open.” I laughed as the wave ended because I could hear him say, “It sounds like a lion!”
A few waves later, I asked Nick to come downstairs. I kissed him and was so happy he was there too. Then he too went back upstairs.
I was getting louder and louder, the grunting roars where coming closer together. I would put my head into the towel on the edge of the tub, thinking to myself that it was the perfect replacement for a hand on the forehead (just like one of Hypnobabies physical cues for relaxation). Someone had their hand on my shoulder and during a wave someone would put their hand on my sacrum. It was starting to get uncomfortable with a hand on my lower back. I remember Rachel, the assistant midwife asking where I felt the most pressure. I took both hands and placed them into the sides of my glutes, right where the IT Band connects. I still had my head on the side of the tub. I felt like I was pointing at a big sign when I did that.
I started to push during the waves. The Hypnobabies Easy First Stage track ended and Amy asked if I wanted the pushing track on. I said I wasn’t sure, but yeah, go ahead. I had told Damon to turn off the Pushing baby out track off during Nick’s birth and then I felt pushy. Amy knew I would like to listen to it during this birth.
I remember repeating after the hypnosis track really loudly the words, “Yes, just pressure,” and kind of laughing after it. I started to push in earnest. I put my hand down on my perineum to see if the baby’s head was there yet. It wasn’t. A few more pressure waves and I put my hand down there again. I felt the sac for an instant. I said, “I feel the head.”
I was still having space between the waves, where I would just lean my head into the edge of the tub. Then during the next wave, I placed my hands in a circle around my perineum as the pushing urge became so strong. I was going to do my own perineum support.
During the waves, I really wasn’t sure if I could stand to have anyone’s hands on my back and said so. I was so confused on what I needed, the sensations were overwhelming my body. My hands were firmly placed against my perineum. Some people wonder how it is possible to support your own perineum around a belly, but I had my legs far, far apart at this point, with my legs starting to go numb in the water. The water was supporting my weight, with my head on the side. I could feel the baby moving down. The sac was right there during the next wave, I pushed back on my perineum while I pushed with all my might, the sounds in my voice being the loudest roar. I felt some of the sac bubble out in front of the babies head, like a small water bubble getting pinched, the sensations were overwhelmingly strong, I tried to stand up to get away from them. In that moment a piercing scream came from my mouth as I was so confused on how to get the head out….and then, the head slipped out.
I paused for a moment, taking a second to breathe to try to ease the baby out and then the whole body slipped into the water, the babies back to me covered in vernix. I lifted him up and saw his wonderful little testicles and shouted, “It’s a boy!” I had my baby boy. I had done it with people cheering me on around me the entire time telling me what a great job I was doing.
Liam and Nick were born with almost no vernix, but this baby was so sticky with it. He was wonderful, perfect and held to my chest.
Chunks of vernix floated in the water. Debi came over and rubbed him with a towel. Liam and Nick came down with my Mom to meet their little brother. I stayed in the tub for a little while and then noticed a lot of blood in the water. I asked Debi if it was a normal amount and it was. It was just the placenta separating from the uterus. The assistant felt the cord and said it had stopped pulsing. I was surprised at that, as it had only been about a minute. We realized later, that the cord was actually still pulsing. It was cool, even after it came out, it continued to pulse and didn’t stop for a while.The cord stayed in tact though. I soon got out of the tub after a handful of photos.
They asked if I felt the urge to push the placenta out. I tried a little push but it did not come. So I stood up with the baby in my arms. I think the midwives were surprised that I was able to stand so easily and heft my leg over the edge of the large watering trough. Just as I brought my left leg over, the placenta fell out and I grabbed the cord and lifted the placenta up to Debi. I hobbled to the nearby bedroom to lay down with my baby boy.
I couldn’t be happier with the way this birth turned out. All my wishes were respected. Not knowing Debi, I wasn’t sure if she would follow my wishes, try to do a bunch of vaginal exams, or even try to get me out of the water. All she did was monitor me as she needed to and keep the tub water warm enough. My doula, Amy was amazing in remembering to take the photos that I wanted and to use her hypno-doula tools perfectly. Rachel the assistant had great touch on my lower back and all of them said encouraging words during the birth. My husband was always where he needed to be. Keeping the water boiling to keep the tub the right temperature; being next to me as I needed him and just being all around wonderful. I was so thankful that my Mom was finally there for one of my children’s births. It wasn’t her fault that she wasn’t there for the others, but this time she along with my doula’s daughter Miriam kept my children entertained as necessary.
I got to catch my own baby again and I was so excited when Debi said that my tear was minimal and I would not need stitches. I’ve had second degree tearing with the previous two births and I was proud of myself for supporting my own perineum to get the baby out. The baby was born at 12:14 pm on Friday, June 29th, 2012. The cool thing about the number 29, is I’m born on October 29th, Liam was born on October 29th as well, my wedding anniversary is May 29th and Nick’s birthday is on April 19th. I think I like the number nine.
Grant was named after the midwives had left and we had done our herb bath and newborn checkup.
Debi asked right before he was weighed how much I thought he weighed. I said, he looks similar to my other two when they were born, probably 8 lbs at least. I was surprised with him being born at 37 weeks. Sure enough, I was close. He was 8 lbs 5 oz, 21 inches long with a head circumference of 14 inches. He did show signs of being early. His muscle tone is a little low, the cartilage on his ears is very soft and he was covered in the most vernix I’ve ever seen on a baby. He is perfect though and nursing wonderfully now.
Thanks for taking the time to read this very long birth story, but I want to keep all of these things in my memory forever. I haven’t watched the birth footage yet, but I’m so excited to have it. I know it will be interesting to hear the sounds that came out of my mouth there at the end. Afterwards, I found out my husband knows those sounds well enough that he told both my mom and that assistant that when he heard a certain sound, the baby would be out in thirty minutes. He was right.