Archive for the ‘Birth Story – Water Birth’ Category
The Birth of Myles
February 9th, 2011 3:50am
7lbs 2oz and 21in
On Tuesday, February 8th, I woke up and was feeling a little “off” and kind of crampy, not a big deal or something out of the ordinary when your “due” any time! Around 11am went to the bathroom and discovered I had lost part of my mucous plug. I texted my midwife to let her know but did not think much about it since you can lose it multiple times and it really had no indication of when labor will start.
A little after lunch my crampy feeling started getting more intense and figured it was my body preparing to start up labor. I went outside at 4pm and fed the horses grains so I was up for about 45min walking around in and out of stalls and riding on the bumpy ground in the Gator going from barn to barn. I went inside and started doing some laundry and realized were pretty regular and started wondering if my “crampin” was easy contractions. They did not feel like the contractions I had been feeling for weeks with prodromal labor so I just brushed them off all day.
Around 6pm I decide to time them even though I did not think they were pressure waves, I did noy want them to be pressure waves and them get too close before I relized it. I sat on my birthing ball and rocked my hips during my “cramps” and it relieved some of the preasure I was feeling. Between 6pm and 6:30pm I had 7 “cramps” putting them at 5-6min apart and lasting about 40 seconds.
I decided they were really pressure waves but that since they were so easy that nothing was happening anytime soon or that like they had in the past weeks that they would stop.
Mark came in from work and we decided to go to the Chuckwagon to eat dinner. We shared Jalapeno & Rib Meat Potato “Nachos” for an apitizer and I had a Chicken, Onion & Pepers Quesadilla. I had pressure waves all through the meal and they stayed pretty consistant and seamed to get a bit stronger in intensity.
We got home a little after 9pm and jumped in the bed for some sex… of course having to stop every few min for pressure waves!! After we were done I went to the bathroom and lost more of my mucos plug and had some bloody show. It was around 10 and I decided to start timing my contractions again, 4min apart!! I was trying not to get too excited because for weeks I had pressure waves (some as close as 4min apart) and these were not as bad as those so surley it couldnt be labor, right?
I also figured if it was labor it was just starting and this being my first child it would be a while before my labor was in full swing and he was born. We went to bed to try and get some sleep and I was guessing that everything would cool down a little bit. I was having trouble falling alseep so a little after 11pm I decided to get into the bath tub and try to relax to help me go to sleep, I listened to a few of my Hypnobabies tracks and started feeling tired so I went back to bed hoping to get some sleep because at this point I knew I was in the begining stages of labor and needed to rest up.
That did not happen! At midnight I started feeling my pressure waves MUCH stronger and quiet often so I woke Mark up and told him he needed to wake up because I was in labor for real and I was not going to be up all by myself! For some reason it was irritating me seeing him asleep peacefully while I was having contractions. It took a good 15min for him to get up and he was a bit annoyed! My pressure waves were 3min apart at this point so we pulled out the birth pool to get it blown up, I totaly forgot we did not have a wall plug for the air pump so Mark had to take the birth pool outside to his car and plug it into the lighter plug in the freezing cold to blow it up.
While he was blowing up the pool most likely was the most stressfull part of my birth because all I wanted to do was get into the water. I was going back and forth from laying in the bed, being on my hands and knees leaning over my birthing ball, snugling my pillow on the floor, and walking from room to room. He started filling up the pool around 1:30am and I texted one of my midwifes because I couldnt talk through my pressure waves and they were right at 2min apart from begining of one to the begining of the next. They both live about an hour away so I knew it would be a little while before they got there but I had no worried because I thought I was still at the begining stages of labor because the discomfort was not that bad at all. I decided to wait until they got there and we saw how things were going to text any family members and let them know he was coming.
My midwifes, Aimee & Desiree, got there at 3:10am and I was in the pool and decided to get out to let them check me, I was going to ask not to be told how far dialated I was. The minute I got out I felt like I had to go poop so I sat on the toilet and tried to use the bathroom but nothing was happening, got on my hands and knees and tried, squated and tried but no poop! My midwifes told me it was the baby I was feeling so I stopped trying to poop and layed on the couch for Dessire to check me. My contracting were so strong and often that before she could check anything I had to roll off the couch and get on my hands and knees because my pressure waves were coming so strong. I kept telling them, “I seriously have to poop so bad” and they said no that it was babys head making it feel like I needed to. I continued to go through pressure waves on the floor huging my pillow and leaning forward onto Marks chest. I was pushing in different possitions (trying to go poop) for a good 10min.
They then told me if I wanted to have a water birth Id better get back into the tub so I started crawling back into the kitchen and on my way back to the tub my water broke and there was a huge decrease in preassure. I got back into the tub and got on my knees leaning against the edge of the pool holding onto Mark and biting his hand with every contraction. I kept telling (im not sure who) that I wnated pictures and videos, my exact words were “Im not having a water birth and not having video proof”. But things were moving too fast for anyone to worry about getting video or pictures! When I felt his head starting to crown I said something about was this seriously it, I couldnt believe he was about to come out!
I told Mark to hurry and grab my phone to text my Mom and Dad because they would be mad if I had promised my Mom I would not wait to call until after he was born, oops! He sent a text that said, “Kade is on his way, dont call please” because I knew she would be calling and we were a little far into labor to be talking on the phone. My body then took over and started pushing itself and after 5min of being in the birth pool his head emerged, I was so excited for the pause in between birthing the head and the body that I always heard people talk about but my midwifes said to keep pushing because he had oppened his eyes and was looking like he was about to take a breath and they did not want him to breath the water in. I gave two pushes and his body was out. I started pushing at 3:35am and he was born at 3:50am.
I think my mind went blank for a second out of shock that he was here because I was in my own little world and it took me a second to capture my thoughts, they told me to reach down and bring him up out of the water. I pulled my little boy from the water and snuggled him to my chest and was speachless. It took him seconds to cry but his eyes were open and looking at me, it was a wonderful quiet moment where I conected with my son. I sat back but could not sit down because his cord was too short to keep him out of the water unless I was squating. Mark came behind me and had his arms around us and I was in pure heaven. I had to get out of the water after a few minutes since it was challenging to keep him out of the water.
We layed on the couch and he latched on wonderfully and nursed for a good 20min before I got on the birthing stool to deliver my placenta. After it was delivered we wrapped it up in a chux pad and layed back down on the couch and he continued to nurse for at least another 45min while I got checked out.
My labor and birth with Kade is by far the most amazing thing I’ve ever experianced. I can not believe how easy and natural it was. My body knew what it was doing and I believed in the ability I have as a woman to give birth. I feel very lucky to have felt what I thought was the “easy part” begining of labor when I was in my last two hours and what ive always heard to be the most difficult part. My birth had very minimal discomfort and Kade had such a beautiful passage into the world.
***I did not use any hypnobabies scripts during my birth… for me it was more help DURING pregnancy and preparing my mind to take over during labor and release… and it did!! Goes to show that while the study is WONDEFUL its just preparing your body and putting your mind at ease to do what it is 100% capable of doing!!! And yes 43 weeks (we know date of conception) and my family births tiny babies!!! Thanks the lord!!!
I was a 6 days pass my “guess date”, going bananas and running out of ideas how to get the baby out. I had a wonderful midwife and we were planning a water birth in a birthing center about 25 minutes away from where we live. My hubby was wonderful supporting my decision of having unmedicated birth and has been practicing Hypnobabies with me. We did a lot of Birth Partner sessions together and even that he wasn’t very much into it, being the skeptical man he is, he really worked hard to help me with the “relax” cue, which later on, turned out to be an amazing help.
Sunday, April 3rd I decided to take another walk with my father, but after about 20 minutes I felt strangely tired and wanted to go back home. I took a short nap and, later, cooked dinner. My husband was at work, but as usual I called him around 10pm (he works overnight) and told him that I’ve been feeling kind of strange, having pressure waves (but I’ve been having them for the past two weeks coming and going), but not really regular enough to time them. He wanted to come home right away, but I asked him not to, thinking it was another false alarm. Well, he called me 15 minutes later saying he is on the way home. Of course as soon as he got home, my PW were gone. I went to bed disappointed but had no problems falling asleep. I woke up around 2am on Monday morning not knowing exactly what was it that woke me up. I decided to use the bathroom and while I was sitting on the toilet The PW hit me. And I knew right away that this one was completely different from all the other ones I had before. I called Jayson and asked him to start timing them. I really didn’t start to listen to Hypnobabies, CD’s; I was able to use the Finger Drop Technique on my own. My PW were about 5-6 minutes apart.
Hubby called my midwife and gave her an update saying that we would call her again in another hour to let her know about our progress. I decided to take a shower while he was finishing packing our bags. The hot water felt pretty amazing on my back, but I felt like the PW were coming faster and lasted a little longer. Shower was, unfortunately, a distraction for my self-hypnosis, too. 15 min later I called Jayson back to the bathroom and asked him to time the PW again. They were 3-4 min apart.
He called my midwife, Christine, back and we were on the way to the birthing center. My best friend was following us in her car. She was supposed to film the birth for my mom who couldn’t be with us (my mom is fighting 2nd stage breast cancer and was going through chemotherapy at this time). In the car I had my IPod on and I listened to Hypnobabies Easy First Stage. Jayson told me later I was very quiet and I kept my eyes close. At one point I started humming. This was the first time during my birthing time that I went back to my special place to tell my daughter how much I loved her and how I cannot wait to meet her very soon. I also promised her I would do my best so she can have the most peaceful and loving experience entering this world.
It felt so natural to go into hypnosis and release anesthesia, maybe because I’ve been practicing for the past 4 months. When we got to the Birth Center it was after 3am and Christine was already there. She asked me if I wanted to be checked, and I said yes (that was the first time through the entire pregnancy she ever checked me). I was 6 centimeters dilated and I couldn’t believe it! She started filling up the tub for me while I was riding the PW on the birthing ball while listening to Deepening session. My husband was right behind me putting some pressure on my lower back. He also started to use the “relax” cue which was a phenomenal boost of anesthesia whenever he felt me getting distracted and anxious. My “non-believer” husband turned out to be my rock and the best tool Hypnobabies could ever give me.
When I look back at the birthing video I’m so amazed to see that the only noises coming out of my mouth was humming whenever I was climbing on the top of the PW. I was so calm with my eyes closed. Sometimes, for few minutes, my hubby joined me to listen to my IPod, to the Deepening session. I think this is the reason while he stayed so strong and so grounded during the birth of our first child.
During the breaks between PW I was able to drink some water, have something to eat, have a short conversation with my friend. It felt good to hear encouraging words from everybody. I got into the tub at 4am and decided not to use the IPod anymore and just relay on myself and the knowledge I’ve gained from Hypnobabies. Being in a warm water helped me even more to get deeper into hypnosis, since my special place, the one where I was always meeting Emma, my daughter, during sessions was surrounded by water.
Each PW felt like I was climbing a mountain. The hardest part was getting to the top of the wave, but as soon as I got there, I just rode the wave until I felt the relief. I was so focused on relaxing my uterine muscles and imagining opening my cervix and sending anesthesia down there that I did not even realize that it was time to push. The whole transition was pretty quick and not at all uncomfortable. I just felt a little nauseous and I wanted to push.
Christine said I was ready. I’ve pushed in the water for an hour and even that I was making a progress, it didn’t feel like it at all. I was getting tired. But on the other hand I was very much glad that I didn’t have anybody standing over me and counting down or telling me to push. I let my body to be in charge, and my midwife, my husband and my friend were there to give me their love and support I needed. After pushing for an hour, around 8am, Christine suggested I would change a position. I tried to get on my fours but I felt my back hurting really badly. So I’ve decided to stand up. My husband supported me holding me by my waist while I spread my legs and pushed. I felt my baby moved down and Christine called for another midwife to come in.
Again, looking back at the video, I see myself making a lot of grunting noises, but also being completely in control of my body and being able to follow Christine’s directions. She told me to slow down and she told me the head was out, I could feel her between my legs. Christine had enough time to say the she can see my baby’s face and that she is really cute when with a final push her shoulders came out and Emma Berniece was caught in mid air, born at 8:23 am.
My beautiful baby girl was 8 lbs 6 ounces and 19 inches long (which we found out 3 hours later). I sat down in the water holding her and crying. She was so beautiful. My perfect baby girl. Christine waited for the cord to stop pulsating and Jayson cut it. They helped me move into the bed and my daughter took to my breast right away. After the midwife checked me, she said I had no tear! After couple of hours I was able to shower and change. Then, they measured Emma and checked everything out. We were home, in our own bed 4 hours later.
This was the most unbelievable experience of my life. My first baby and the most amazing birth. When people asked if I felt any pain, I say no. With the knowledge and training from Hypnobabies, I was able to be in full control over my mind, while my body did all the work. I describe the PW as climbing a mountain. As soon as you get to the top, you know the hike down is much easier and then you will get to rest. And I kept reminding myself that every PW is bringing me closer to meeting my daughter.
I loved it! I can’t wait to have another baby and experience it all again. And I still cry every time I watch the video, when I see her coming out!
Thank you, Hypnobabies!
Here is my son’s birth story. There is one point where you might need to use your BOP as I freaked out a little during transformation… I think that this was in part due to the fact that my midwife was not supportive of Hypnobabies at all, but I didn’t know that ahead of time… I didn’t have very long to get to know her, However she was better than the OB, so I’m glad that I used her instead of him…
This was my first Hypnobabies birth. I was terrible at remembering to do the finger drop practices. But I was really good at listening to my scripts in my sleep each night! *Grin* Over all, I noticed that I was a lot calmer with this birth than any of my others, and it was all pressure sensations; intense pressure sensations, but nothing I’d call pain. I will for sure use Hypnobabies if there is a next time!
At 35 weeks I changed from an OB to a midwife.
At 36 weeks and 5 days, I went into labor, or so I thought. I kept thinking that it would be really cool to have this baby born on April 1st, as I thought it would be a fun birth date. So I was pretty darn excited when I woke up about 1:30am on April 1st to pressure waves coming every 10 minutes. I laid in bed listening to my Hypnobabies scripts and trying to rest in between them without success for an hour before I woke up my husband.
For the next two hours or so I walked, I climbed the stairs, I took a shower – all in an attempt to either get the pressure waves to get stronger or to go away. They were noticeable, but not uncomfortable. I normally wouldn’t have even toyed with the idea of calling the midwife, but I’d read so many birth stories of women who had used Hypnobabies during their labors and didn’t even realize they were really in labor because everything was so easy.
After about 3 hours of pressure waves that kept coming every 10 minutes consistently I called her. It took her 40 minutes to wake up and drive to our home. In that time I had another 4 contractions. However as soon as she got here everything stopped. She checked me to see if the contractions had been doing anything and found that I was 50% effaced and 3 cm dilated. She could feel the sutures in his skull so she knew that he was lined up in the optimum position for birth; and that the birth would probably go rather quickly when it finally started for real. Since nothing was happening anymore she urged me to get some sleep and she was going to sleep on the couch and see if things would pick up again. They didn’t… This was our baby’s first April Fool’s joke he ever played on us. I’m sure it won’t be his last. *grin*
I went to my next midwife appointment 6 days later and mentioned that I’d been having the kind of hot, sweaty episodes that I usually get AFTER birth, for the last two nights. My midwife said that she thought that the baby would probably come within the next couple days, probably before the weekend was out. That gave me a lot of hope. I was so excited to meet this little guy, and I wasn’t the only one. That morning my almost 3 year old daughter had come into my bedroom as soon as she woke up, and the first words out of her mouth were: “Did my little brother come last night?” *grin*
We kept hoping that he would come before April 8th so that we could add him to our insurance through my hubby’s old employer and he would be covered in case something went wrong within the first month of his life. However he didn’t. On Saturday morning, April 9th, my hubby went to work at his new company and found out that due to a mix up that we wouldn’t be eligible for even catastrophic insurance until after he had been with this company full time for a whole month. So now there was no way at all for Baby to be covered by ANY insurance at all at the time of birth. I started to freak out even more, but my hubby pointed out that maybe this was a test to be a trial of our faith. We knew we were doing the right thing by taking this job now. We just needed to decide if we were going to stress about this insurance thing, that we couldn’t do anything about, or if we were going to put our faith in the Lord and leave our health in His hands. We made the conscious decision to put it all in His hands. Immediately peace descended upon me and I knew that whatever happened was what was meant to be, and that the Lord wouldn’t leave us alone.
While my hubby had been at work that morning, the kids had finally filled the “bean jar” and had earned their outing to Incredible Pizza with Mom and Dad. As soon as my hubby got home we decided to go ahead and take them to Incredible Pizza that day. My mom had come over to spend the day with us, so we took her with us. The kids had a blast. I noticed with all the walking around I was having more Braxton Hicks contractions than normal but didn’t think anything of it because they were even less noticeable than they’d been on the 1st. After several hours I started to notice that they were getting stronger and more regular. When I realized that I didn’t want my kids to touch me during one, I started timing them. They were 3 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds-1 minute long. I decided that it was time to gather everyone and head home.
We ran into a snag at this point… I couldn’t find my husband and son. We spent a half hour looking for them. We even had them paged over the loud speaker, but they didn’t notice it. They were so enjoying their time playing video games together that they had tuned out the rest of the world.
They were finally found and when my husband was told what was going on he kicked it into high gear to get all the kids loaded into the van and get us headed home. I called the midwife from the car and told her how close together my contractions were. I was afraid to ask her to meet us at our house as I didn’t want a repeat of April Fools Day… But she assured me that she’d rather have a repeat, than miss the birth. So we agreed to meet at our house.
I was apprehensive of the drive home, as I’ve heard that traveling in the car while in labor can be uncomfortable. I was pleasantly surprised however to find that my “Peace” cue helped a lot and the trip home wasn’t bad. I would just relax into the pressure and tell myself “peace”. I was actually looking forward to each pressure wave as I was getting really excited to meet my son.
When we got home, my Mom herded the kids into the house and downstairs to watch Tangled. (I had purchased it specifically for the kids to watch while I was in labor.) I headed upstairs to the bedroom to start getting the last minute things ready. I wanted the birth tub filled, but wasn’t sure we’d have enough time, so I decided to just use our bathtub instead. In hind sight, I wish I’d taken the time to fill up the birth tub as the bath tub just wasn’t big enough for me to get comfortable in, plus it was really hard and that was uncomfortable on my legs and knees… But oh well.
I got into the tub and asked my husband to put on my Easy First Stage HypnoBabies track. The water felt so good and increased my ability to relax into the pressure. Listening to the track was very calming and helped me to keep my focus. I started out just resting my head on a washcloth on the side of the tub during contractions, but before too long, I found that I kept getting on my hands and knees during contractions as that is the position that my body prefers to labor in. I’ve used that position for all of my vaginal births. Both my husband and my 10 year old daughter took turns putting their hand on my forehead and using the “relax” cue. I was actually really surprised at how helpful that was.
When my midwife got there, one of the first things I remember her saying was “Most people just throw that crap away.”, referring to my Hypnobabies track. My sweet and protective husband spoke up and said “She likes it. It is really helping her.” That caused our midwife to back off and not say anything else negative about my track. Yeah for protective husbands! (editors note: GREAT JOB BIRTH PARTNER! Also, this is a really important reason to find out what your care providers really think about Hypnobabies. If they feel this way, then they may actually undermine your Hypnobabies experience.)
After she got everything set up, she came into the bathroom to watch me labor for a few minutes. She asked to check me at this point. She said that I was 80% effaced and 4 cm dilated with a bulging bag of waters. She also mentioned that my cervix was tilted really far backwards, which I’d told her previously that it was. I’ve always needed to have my midwives pull it forward during labor, and then once they do, birth is eminent. She asked if she could pull it forward for me, and I agreed; however I felt like she didn’t pull it forward enough, mainly because it didn’t hurt like it always had when any of my other midwives had done it. I credit that to Hypnobabies!
She then asked me to get out of the tub because she didn’t feel that I was far enough along to not have the water stall my labor. She felt that my contractions were too frequent and not long enough to be doing any real productive work. She was also not comfortable with me laboring on my hands and knees because then if I were to have a bowel movement it might get on the baby. She had me get onto the bed and lay on my side, but almost on my stomach, with my right leg extended out to the side and raised up on several pillows. She said that this position was very beneficial for helping the baby move down without tiring Mom out. She massaged my legs and back while I was in this position. I continued to use my “peace” cue and kept saying “open, open, open” to myself. After a little while, I just couldn’t stand that position any longer and so I got up and ran to the toilet. While there I had very loose stools. The midwife came in and tried to do some acupressure points on my legs, but I didn’t really notice a difference with that. When she found out that I was pooping she decided to leave us alone and went downstairs to make soup for me for after the baby was born.
For some reason, in my head, I translated that action, along with the fact that I was “only 4 cm” to mean that I still had HOURS left to go. I got up and tried to figure out where I wanted to labor. I tried the bed, but that wasn’t comfortable. I tried to get back into the bathtub, but lifting my leg over the side of the tub was too uncomfortable so I decided against that. I finally decided that I wanted to sit on the toilet backwards. While there I had a couple contractions and then all of a sudden I had a very intense one. (Which in hind sight was the start of Transformation, I just didn’t recognize it as such…)
*BOP* I started to get scared at this point because even though I wouldn’t use the word pain to describe it, it was more intense than I wanted to endure for hours. Keep in mind that at this point I still thought that I had hours to go. The midwife had never said that, in fact she said she thought it would be quick since she moved my cervix, but for some reason I was sure I still had hours left… I told my husband that I didn’t want to do it anymore and to take me to the hospital for an epidural because I couldn’t do this for hours more. He was so supportive and kept telling me that I was almost done, and that I’d be holding our new son in just a few minutes, but I didn’t believe him. *end BOP*(editors note: another example of how important the birth partner is during a birth. He knew mom just needed some encouragement. He knew the baby was almost there and was reminding mom of this!)
I then had another really intense contraction and my water broke. My water never breaks until the baby is crowning so I knew then that I really was close to the end. I got off the toilet but didn’t make it any farther than a squatting position on the floor in front of the toilet before my body was pushing. As soon as I told my husband that my water had broken he started trying to get the midwife’s attention by yelling for her, and stomping on the floor. That didn’t work. While I was getting off the toilet he raced to the top of the stairs and yelled down to her that the baby was coming.
He got back to me just as I was pushing the baby’s head out. I had reached down and supported his head as it was coming out. I never felt a “ring of fire” or anything. It was all just pressure. Which was pretty cool especially since he came out with his hand on his cheek! After his head was out, the midwife came into the bathroom… With the next contraction I was able to push the rest of his body out and I reached down and caught my Little Man and pulled him up to my chest. I loved being the one to catch him! The cord was looped around his shoulders and arm, so the midwife took him and unwound him from the cord and gave him back to me.
Then she and my husband helped me get to the bed. J.C. was born on April 9, at 7:50pm. It was 2 hours from when I first started timing pressure waves until I was holding my son.
It was so cool see him be this blue/grey color and then as soon as my placenta detached I could see him pink up right before my eyes. After the placenta was delivered, the midwife wrapped it up and put it next to us and left us alone for an hour, just the three of us. When she came back, she had Josef cut the cord and she did the newborn exam. He weighed 6 pounds, and was 18 ½ inches long. I was concerned as he hadn’t shown any interest in nursing yet, and during the exam we discovered why. He was tongue tied, so he couldn’t even stick his tongue out. The midwife clipped it and shortly after that he latched on and started nursing.
After everything was done, she brought me a bowl of her special lentil soup to help me get my energy back and to help my milk come in. The rest of the kids came in to meet their new brother. Everyone fell in love with him at first sight.
He is the most mellow baby we’ve ever had. Since he is number 6, that is saying a lot! The other kids can’t get enough of holding and kissing and touching him. We knew our family was missing people before he was born; but already I am forgetting what it was like before he was here. He has just always been a part of our family. We love him so much and are so grateful that Heavenly Father saw fit to send him to us.
Thanks to Jennie for sharing her story!
I had had a few “practice waves” over a couple days, but nothing strong or regular. They were mostly the kind of thing I wouldn’t even notice if I weren’t expecting the kid to make an appearance at any moment.
On Sept. 21 I woke up around 5 am and got up to go to the bathroom and get some water. I got back into bed but couldn’t fall asleep again. About half an hour later, I had a fairly strong birthing wave but didn’t think much of it. A few minutes later I had another. I decided if I had one more I’d get up and start timing them since I wasn’t getting back to sleep anyway.
A few minutes later, there was another one. I couldn’t go into the living room since my mom was sleeping out there, so I took my exercise ball and my phone into the bathroom and bounced/rolled a bit while timing waves and Facebooking.
The waves were consistently five minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds. Although they were fairly strong, they weren’t yet to the point that I needed to use my hypnosis techniques.
Steve got up around 5:45 and I told him he might need to call Lindsey and Carole (our midwife and doula) soon. Around that time Anna woke up and wanted me to snuggle. I tried to get her to snuggle with Steve instead, but she insisted on me. I snuggled with her for a few minutes, then bribed her with the promise of peanut butter crackers if she went to snuggle with Grannie instead.
It became clear that this was the real deal, so I decided to draw a bath and told Steve to call Lindsey and Carole. I also told him to set up the birthing pool on the patio as we had planned, weather permitting. It was early in the morning and still chilly, but I figured it might be warm enough by the time we needed it, plus we have a propane heater we could turn on if necessary.
While my bath water was running I decided to get the bed ready for later, too. I took the covers off, put a shower curtain down, and put another sheet on top. Keep in mind this is a king-size bed pushed up against a wall and a twin-size bed, so it’s a major PITA to make it even under normal circumstances, much less during one’s birthing time. I wanted to feel useful, though.
I got in the tub and listened to some of my Hypnobabies “Easy First Stage” track and to the Beatles’ “Let it Be” a few times. (“Let it Be” had sort of become my mantra during the pregnancy, and it seemed like a nice accompaniment to the whole idea of just relaxing and letting go.)
After a little while in the tub I got restless and decided to get out.
I walked out to the living room and had the first wave that made me need to stop what I was doing and focus. A few minutes later, Carole, our doula, arrived.
I went out back to see what the temperature was like. Steve had turned on the heater, so even though it was still a bit cool, the patio felt quite nice. With our fountain running, birds flying around our bird feeders, and fog in the background, it felt extremely peaceful, so I decided to stay out there.
Carole and I talked (pausing for waves) while Steve finished setting things up. By this point I had grown tired of “Let it Be,” but didn’t feel like listening to a hypnosis track, so I was listening to my Beatles mix. I wanted to keep things upbeat and fun.
Our midwife Lindsey and her assistant Courtney arrived and got some other things set up, then they went into the living room to hang out so I wouldn’t feel “watched.”
My waves started getting longer and a little more intense, so I told Steve it was probably time to finish filling the pool. (Which was very easy, by the way, as Steve had run a hose directly from our tankless water heater.)
Even after the pool was filled, I didn’t get in right away because things were going so well on land and I didn’t want to mess up a good thing.
Then my waves started getting shorter but closer together and much more intense, so I figured it was time to get in the pool. It was so nice to sit in the warm water and watch scrub jays and hummingbirds flying around the feeders! I told Steve we’re getting a hot tub for the patio.
Steve, Carole, and I hung out for a while, with Lindsey and Courtney coming out occasionally to check on me.
Probably about half an hour after getting in the tub (though my concept of time is hazy at this point) my birthing waves started to get very intense. Carole helped me relax my shoulders and gave me hypnosis cues. Lindsey and Courtney came out for good, so between that and my strengthened waves, I knew we were getting close.
I also got EXTREMELY hot, which happened just before my other two kids were born. I had Steve turn down the heater, and Carole put cold washcloths on my neck and forehead.
I had several very long, very close, very intense waves, and I knew (and hoped!) I’d need to start pushing soon.
With Elias, pushing was very easy but took a long time, probably because I was in the standard “stranded beetle” position. With Anna, pushing was easy and very fast (and stealth!). A few gentle pushes and she came right out.
I assumed pushing would be similar to Anna’s birth, where my body just took over, pushed, rested, push, push, rested, then she was out.
This time I did feel my body start to push (obviously) but there was no resting! As soon as I started to push, I needed the kid OUT!
I pushed a few times and was sure the kid was stuck. So I just kept pushing until I felt crowning. Another push and the head was out. Two more and the shoulders were out. One more for the body. If I had to guess, the whole thing took a minute.
Lindsey told me to get my baby (after each of my births I had to be reminded by someone to look at/get my baby). I looked down and saw this little creature floating in the water, reached in, and picked it up. Carole announced the time of birth as 10:03 am, 4.5 hours after my birthing time began.
Steve looked and announced that it was a boy. I had been a bit unsure about our choice of boy’s name, but this kid was definitely an Oliver.
We covered the baby with a blanket to keep him warm, and the kids came out to see their new brother. We hung out for a few minutes, then I wanted to get out of the pool before I delivered the placenta.
It was surprisingly easy to walk through the house and into the bedroom with an umbilical cord and baby still attached to me.
We settled into bed and Lindsey checked me for tears. I needed stitches with the other kids, and they were a bit smaller and had come out much more slowly. I was sure I’d need a ton of stitches–but no! Not one! I was pretty happy about that!
Oliver started nursing and Steve made some calls to let people know about the birth. Carole and Lindsey thought the baby would be over 9 pounds, but when we weighed him he was “only” 8 lbs, 6 oz. I think his big round head and chubby cheeks made him look bigger than he really is.
The kids came in and held their new brother and we made some more calls/texts. Lindsey and Courtney finished up some other things, then they and Carole left right around noon. It was very nice spending the rest of the day relaxing with my family at home rather than being continually poked and prodded by hospital personnel.
Thanks in large part to Hypnobabies, Oliver’s birth was just as easy and peaceful as the other two. Other than one grunt while I was pushing out Oliver, I didn’t make (nor feel the need to make) a single peep during any of the births. I definitely recommend the program to any pregnant women!
My wonderful husband and birth team also deserve tremendous credit for being so calm and supportive. I couldn’t have done it without them!
I woke up at around 1:00 a.m. on January 16, two days after our
estimated “due date” (according to my own calculations based on my
knowledge of when Baby was conceived, not the LMP date which would
have been a bit earlier). I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for
several more days, since I had gone 11 days past my “due date” with my
older daughter and then induced her with cohosh (black and blue, one
in herbal and one in homeopathic form) due to pressures from the
medical system. Also, I had experienced no pressure waves yet other
than very mild cramps occasionally (not more than once or twice a day,
and only if the day was busy) over the past 6 weeks or so. However,
when I woke up that night I was experiencing distinct and somewhat
uncomfortable pressure waves. My first thought was, “Oh, no! I do NOT
want to start working on this baby in the middle of the night!” My
ideal birth visualization had always included a daytime birthing time,
although I never could decide how long I wanted it to be. I waited to
see if the pressure waves would go away so I could go back to sleep,
but they kept coming regularly, so I put my Deepening track on, hoping
that would be put me back to sleep. It worked like a charm, and I
slept soundly until about 6:30 a.m. when I woke up to regular pressure
waves again. My 3 ½ year old daughter woke up then too, and my husband
got up with her while I stayed in bed and adjusted myself to the idea
that this just might be the day.
The pressure waves were mild but very regular, so after I got up and
dressed I timed them for a little while. The whole experience was new
to me, since during my birthing time with my daughter I experienced
continuous pressure with no pause between “waves.” (I have wondered
since if this was my body’s reaction to the cohosh.) Anyway, I found
that the waves were pretty consistently around 5 minutes apart,
lasting 30-45 seconds. I didn’t know whether to expect things to pick
up or fade away, but when the waves stayed consistent through
breakfast and my daughter’s bath we decided to stay home from church
and prepare just in case. I did a fear clearing session and then began
to listen to the birthing day affirmations, which were wonderful. In
the mid-morning we went to a nearby state park for a peaceful hike,
and stopped at the local grocery on the way back to pick up a few last
things. (I stayed in the car listen to my affirmation CD while my
husband and daughter went in to the store.) Throughout the morning the
waves came consistently between about 5-10 minutes apart, lasting
usually around 40 seconds. I noticed that the waves were longer and
more intense after a bigger gap, and shorter and milder after a short
gap. I wondered whether I should be trying to use my finger drop and
lightswitch cues more than I was, but since the waves weren’t getting
longer or closer together I kept assuming that this was a false alarm.
I called our midwife several times throughout the day to keep her
updated, since she lived 1 ½ hours away.
We ate several snacks throughout the morning, and had a good lunch
around noon. After that I sat on my birthing ball and leaned on the
table with pillows while I listened to the Easy First Stage CD and the
Deepening CD. I had a hard time going into hypnosis because the waves
were uncomfortable but far enough apart that they kept startling me
when they came. At around 2:00 I started to feel discomfort in my
lower back during the pressure waves, and asked my husband to press on
my back while I sat on the ball during a wave. That felt just right. I
started pacing around in between waves and sitting or lying over the
ball during a wave, and since things seemed to have moved up a notch
in terms of intensity, even though the waves weren’t getting closer
together, we decided to blow up our “fishy pool” and start filling it.
The whole time I was carrying around my little CD player and listening
to the Easy First Stage CD. I was using my “peace” cue but not really
going into hypnosis. The discomfort in my back was greater than I
expected, and combined with the long space between waves I found it
hard to concentrate on letting go into hypnosis. I also found my
daughter quite distracting, although I really wanted her to be there
at the same time.
After the pool started filling, my husband and I decided to make
bagels (which were apparently originally made for midwives and women
present during birthing). About halfway through the process the
intensity moved up a notch again (this was around 4:30), and I left my
husband to finish while I got in the pool. I knew from my daughter’s
birthing time that I like to be in water during a birthing time, but I
hadn’t decided either way whether I wanted to actually have the baby
in water. I continued to eat throughout the afternoon and right up
until pushing; the warm bagels tasted great. I think when I got in the
pool was when I finally accepted that this was indeed my baby’s
birthday. The water felt great, although the pressure waves were still
uncomfortable. I tried different positions, saying “open, open, open”
and listening to the Easy First Stage CD. The intensity was gradually
increasing, and I started finding it hard to cope. I asked my husband
to come help me. This is where I experienced the wonder of
Hypnobabies. I relaxed against the side of the pool with my legs
spread out in front of me and asked my husband to support my head and
use phrases from the birth partner practice, which we had practiced
regularly every other night. Since the pressure waves remained
relatively far apart, he was finishing up making the bagels in
between, and I would tell him when a wave was coming so he could come
support me. When he made it to me early enough, I really did feel the
waves as pressure and was able to relax into hypnosis. When I had to
start into a wave myself I found the discomfort hard to handle. I’m
glad I was able to experience the effect of hypnosis a little bit—
especially during this intense part of the birthing time—since I
didn’t use it during most of the day. I do think listening to the CDs
did keep me more clear-headed and able to easily communicate with my
husband. He commented on this afterward. I feel like Hypnobabies
provided the context for my birthing time.
The intensity continued to increase, and I could tell that we were
getting closer to the end. I started to vocalize more and more during
waves, shifting from the “open, open, open” to more of an “ahhhhh” or
“ohhhhhh”. Our midwife arrived at around 6:00, and right after she
came in I felt the bag of waters break and the baby move down a bit.
When she heard the sounds I was making, the midwife said, “Is this
baby coming soon?” and I said, “I think it’s coming soon!” (This is
what I had wanted during my visualizations—to have most of my birthing
time just with my husband and daughter, and have the midwife come at
the end once I was past being distractible.) Somewhere around here I
asked my husband to switch my CD to the Pushing Baby Out track, and I
started repeating the phrases I was hearing and talking to my baby
with them, saying things like “Gently, baby, gently” and “Gently
(During my daughter’s birthing time, the midwives had directed the
pushing stage—ugh!—and I totally forgot that I was having a baby at
the time.) I was so eager for that feeling of relief when the baby
comes out. One of the main things in my head at this time was, “I
easily use my voice during my birthing time,” and I babbled away
whatever I was feeling in between repeating phrases from the
CD. It was intense, but also kind of fun. I was so detached during the
pushing stage with my older daughter that I never felt
the desire to make any noise at all. So I was surprised that I enjoyed
“easily using my voice during my birthing time,” even roaring a little
bit as I let my body push toward the end. This is something I always
thought would be embarrassing, but quite the opposite—I still feel
happy about it now.
I took off my headphones just at the end as I was getting ready to
push Baby out so I could focus more on exactly what my body was
telling me. I shifted around into different positions as I felt like
it, mostly shifting between hands and knees and leaning forward
against the side of the pool while squatting (being in water made me
feel quite able to move—by this time I had totally forgotten that I
might not want to have a waterbirth!). My husband was using “birth
partner” phrases, which I really appreciated. My midwife said a couple
of times, “Go with what your body wants to do” or something like that.
It felt really helpful at the time, although at one of our postpartum
appointments we talked about it and it turned out that she was
actually concerned that I wasn’t letting myself push because of the
phrases I was using about the baby sliding out! I took it slowly as Baby’s head crowned. I
ended up squatting when I felt that he was ready to come out. It was
wonderful just to let my body do its thing with no one telling me what
to do. Suddenly his head was out, there was the briefest of pauses—and
then out came his shoulders and all the rest of him.
I scooped him up onto my stomach and heard the midwife say “Watch the cord!” It was so
short that I couldn’t lift him higher than my stomach. I saw right
away that he was a boy, which I had been secretly hoping for! The
midwife did a preliminary cut on the cord pretty soon so I could lift
him up higher, and then tied it off and did the final cut while I
snuggled him. He was really peaceful and pinked up rapidly. He coughed
and that made him cry a little bit, but mostly he just looked around
quietly. Although no one was looking at the clock at the time, we
looked at it about 5 minutes later and estimated his arrival as 6:43
The whole thing had taken just over 12 hours from the beginning,
and only two hours since I had really needed to start focusing. I
wanted to move to the bed pretty quickly, and he wanted to look around
for awhile before nursing. The midwife weighed and measured him: 9 lb
4 oz and 22 ½ inches long. I was hoping for a baby between 8-10 pounds
this time, so that was just right! He demonstrated soon enough that he
was a champion nurser, and I have been grateful for such an easy
breastfeeding journey this time around. My body wasn’t ready for more
pushing for a bit, but after an hour or so I felt ready and knelt over
a big bowl to push the placenta out. Our midwife said it was one of
the biggest placentas she’s every seen!
Although I didn’t use my Hypnobabies practice in exactly the way I
expected to, it was a wonderful part of my birthing time, and it would
have all been worth it anyway for the relaxation and positive
affirmations during pregnancy. In so many ways it was an ideal
birthing time, and I’m so glad Hypnobabies was a part of it. The
“recovery” has been so nice; my nether regions felt pretty much totally normal right
away. Very different from recovery after forced pushing, and so much
better! I’m also very happy to have gone through a whole pregnancy and
birthing time with no internal exams. This really helped me trust
myself and listen to my body. And it felt so right to catch him
myself, too. (During this pregnancy I have developed a pet peeve about
people saying that someone other than the mother “delivered” the
baby.) Three cheers for mother-directed birthing!
I cannot thank you enough for Hypnobabies! Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be a mom, but was terrified of an epidural. My mom had all 3 of us naturally, but I did not think I was strong enough as I have never really had to deal with pain. Growing up I always hoped there would be a “better or new way” by the time I got pregnant, and there was! It feels like an out of body experience and I cannot believe that the same person who used to be unable to get a shot or blood test without almost passing out, gave birth naturally and peacefully. The techniques work, end of story. We now have a neighbor planning a home water birth and going to our instructor Carole’s Hypnobabies class as well.
Read Jennifer’s whole birth story, along with pictures here.