My entire life I imagined my birthing time would be at a hospital using an epidural or receiving a C-section. If you would have told me that I pulled a 180 I would not have believed you. I first heard of Hypnobabies from my older sister who birthed two healthy boys using her hypnosis. For her first, I thought she was on drugs. Who in their right mind would willingly birth naturally and at a birth center nonetheless! That's not how they show it on the movies so it can't be right. For her second, I was more open to the idea of birthing naturally and was intrigued by this whole hypnosis idea. She encouraged us to look at all the options and to educate ourselves.
Iris is our third daughter, which made us think we knew what to expect this time around. Well, she certainly wanted to prove us wrong!
Our older girls were each born about a week before their guess dates, so we were preparing for the same with this baby. The 39 week point came and went, still no baby. Then 40 weeks, and even 41 weeks passed! Waiting is HARD, but all of our post date evaluations were coming back fine. She was in a great position (LOA, nice and low), her movements and heart rate were healthy, I had plenty of fluid, my cervix was ripening (3-4cm, 80% effaced), and she didn’t seem to be unusually large. She was healthy and very cozy so we were prepared to wait. However, I was getting more uncomfortable each day. My hips and pelvis were so sore I was having trouble caring for my other children. So, at 41 weeks and 1 day we went in for an induction.
While everyone was sleeping in Saturday morning, I texted my hypno-doula, Anne, because I finally had one sign of my birthing time beginning—bloody show. I decided to listen to the Your Birthing Time Begins track and Birthing Day Affirmations (love this track) in hopes of feeling some consistent waves soon.
I went about my day as I normally would, and felt some minor pressure waves...
I suppose Priscilla’s birth story begins at my 36-week appointment, which was July 24th. I chose to receive my care at Roots Community Birth Center in North Minneapolis. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was so impressed with the quality, love, and expertise of the staff. I had an opportunity to get to know each midwife well and felt excited as my last weeks of pregnancy drew near. At my appointment Rebecca did a brief check just to see if I had any scar tissue left from a procedure I had done earlier in the winter. To my surprise I learned that I was already 2-3cm dilated and that babe’s head was very low. I left feeling excited, but also resting in the knowledge that I could be dilated at that number for a long time, and that numbers don’t generally mean all that much so early on. Throughout the week prior I had experienced a few light waves but nothing too exciting.
Throughout my entire pregnancy, I said that I wanted to at least make it to my guess date before baby’s arrival. This little one sure listened since she arrived right at 40 weeks! On Sunday, 7/22, I suddenly felt ready for baby. I don’t know what it was, but I just felt ready, that the time was right. I had the tell-tale burst of energy - I mopped all the floors in our apartment and took K for a 6 mile walk outside. That evening, I began experiencing some waves around 8:00 pm, shortly after I got K down to bed. They felt “different” than the practice waves I’d been experiencing for the last few weeks, but I wasn’t convinced it was the “real deal” yet. They were fairly regular and predictable, coming every 10 minutes or so. The sensation was definitely different. I decided to take a bath and ignore as much as possible. They continued, making sleep challenging, but never really increased in frequency or intensity.
My water broke at 3:30 am May 2nd. At first I wasn't sure if it was "actually happening" but after a huge gush I knew my baby was getting ready to meet us. After waiting a couple hours to see what would happen I called into the Birth Center and alerted our Doula. The Birth Center asked us to come in at 2 pm for a check up since my pressure waves were very inconsistent. I listened to Easy First Stage and Birth Affirmations on the way to the appointment which helped me get into the mindset that we may meet our baby soon. Baby looked good at the check up and they didn't want to admit us yet since my waves were still inconsistent so we decided to do some movements with our Doula. I felt a surge of energy after that so we decided to grab dinner and take a walk.
I’ve been putting off writing my birth story but as I sat here this afternoon with Phoenix sleeping and cooing on my chest, I was thinking about how I go back to work in just another week and I decided it was time to collect my thoughts.
My second child, Phoenix Wagner, was born on February 24, 2018, during a winter storm, in the water, out of hospital, at Roots Community Birth Center about a mile from our house located in North Minneapolis. Those present at the birth include our midwife, Holly Fix; a birth attendant; a student midwife, Evelyn; my husband, Devin; our 6 year old son Griffin; another student midwife/our doula, Britt Duncan; a sibling doula, Cheyenne Johnson, and a birth photographer, Raven Dibble.
As a second time Hypno-mom, I was excited to get back into class and remember all of my hypno tricks (aka tracks and cues). I had had an amazing and successful first birth using Hypnobabies and knew I wanted the same experience. Once class started it was tougher to find the time for the home play with a toddler running around but I knew how important it was. Each day I was always happy I did it and felt at peace…. Usually so at peace I took a quick nap 😊
(Editor's Note: YES! It is recommended to take the full live class again if you can swing it. Otherwise make sure you order the Home Study if you are a repeat Hypnobabies families. The live class materials are not designed to be a self-study and if used as such you will be missing some things.)
Home birth and Hypnobabies went hand in hand for me, I could not have done one without the other. Early on in my first pregnancy my chiropractor and friend mentioned a home birth midwife and everything about birthing at home seemed right. As I began to show, and people knew that I was indeed pregnant, the question began to arise “So, where are you giving birth?”, especially since I work in a hospital! The surprised reactions and horror stories, began to stir around in my mind, “should I really be doing this?”, “am I brave enough”, “should births really be in the hospital?”, “can I really do this?!” Enter in Hypnobabies...
My birthing time started when my water broke spontaneously. The first pressure waves started within an hour, and I started listening to Your Birthing Time Begins and followed up with the Fear Clearing track. My husband was working from home that day and asked if I could just give him two hours to finish up a project. I didn't mind at first, because I had plenty of tracks to choose from, but the pressure waves became fairly intense faster than I'd imagined. Soon enough we were working together through a Miles Circuit and various other positions, and after about four hours, I got in our bathtub and listened along to the Deepening track. That track, along with the warm water, really helped calm me down and focus my attention on the hypnosis. (possible Bubble of Peace) After getting out of the tub, however, I became really nauseous and started vomiting. The pressure waves were down to three minutes apart, and at that point, we called the hospital and my midwife told me to come in immediately.