Around 8pm the night of February 13, I was 35+2 weeks; I started having some Pressure Waves that were coming anywhere from every 5-10 minutes and lasting 30 seconds to 1 minute or so. The PWs were completely manageable and just a strong tightening sensation. By about 930pm we decided to go upstairs and lie down to see if the PWs would slow down. They began spreading out almost immediately and by 11pm they ended up stopping entirely. However, with my history of birthing fast, we had my mom come to be with our older son so we could leave for the hospital if need be.
At 130am on February 14, I woke up to some slight cramping sensations. At first I didn’t think much of it, but then as it continued I realized they were coming pretty consistently about every 3-5 minutes. At about 2am I decided to take a shower and mentally prepare myself for everything. After my shower I woke my husband up and informed him of what was happening. I told him I wasn’t sure if this was truly it or not. However, I am very in tune to my body and I knew it was the beginning of my birthing time. It looked like our little boy decided he’d rather be a cupid than a leprechaun.
Around 230am, I spoke to the on call midwife. It was the same woman who was on call during our first son’s birth and I found a lot of comfort in this. She said I seemed very calm while I talked through the PWs and wasn’t convinced I needed to come in. But again, with my history of birthing quickly, I told her we wanted to come in. I had a quick cry (about the fact I was only 35+3 weeks) while we were preparing to go and my husband comforted me. I just wanted everything to be okay with our son. We said our goodbyes to my mom and let her know that we would be in touch.
In the car I listened to the “Relaxation Music” as the PWs were consistently coming every 3 minutes and lasting over 1 minute. They were still completely manageable and I was able to easily breathe through them. We arrived to the Family Birthing Unit around 330am. The nurse mentioned how great I was doing at staying calm and breathing through the PWs. My midwife checked me and I was 4cm. She gave us the option of staying or leaving and we decided to stay since we live about 30 minutes from the hospital and I birth fast.
At this point it was roughly 430am and we got settled into our room. We were admitted to the same room our first son was born in. It was a really special moment for me. My husband asked if I wanted him to call our doula and I said not yet. I felt like I wanted a little time to myself. Since the PWs were still very manageable on my own he decided to nap on the couch. I continued to listen to the “Relaxation Music” tracks as the PWs- which were still easy to manage and breathe through- continued to increase in strength, duration, and frequency.
Around 615am, the nurse came in to see how I was doing. I told her the PWs-which I was still managing very easily- were getting a little bit more intense and that I wanted to get into the tub. (Even though I couldn’t have a water birth due to my gestation, I was told I could be in the water up until I had to push). She said that they typically don’t want moms to get in the water until they are at least 6cm and offered to check me. However, I really didn’t feel like being checked. Looking back, I truly believe that I was at least 6cm at this point, but because of Hypnobabies I was completely relaxed during the PWs that it didn’t seem like I was as far along. The nurse then offered for me to try the birthing ball, I agreed.
From roughly 620am to 7am, I sat on the birthing ball at the foot of the bed. I continued to listen to the “Relaxation Music” tracks as the PWs were working their magic. During this time, I touched base with my mom and also a nurse friend of mine who works in Special Care nursery to get some additional information since our son was going to be arriving early.
Around 7am, the nurses came in for change of shift and to see how I was doing. They both giggled sweetly at my response when I calmly told them the PWs were getting slightly more intense. I don’t think anyone realized how intense the PWs were getting because I was so calm during them. The nurse that was leaving said something along the lines of, “I am back tonight so maybe I’ll be with you when your baby is born.” The oncoming nurse said she would be back shortly to check in after she was done getting report. At 726am my mom texted, “Are things slowing down or progressing?” I replied, “Progressing as far as intensity and frequency. Haven’t been checked again.”
It was about 735am and my new nurse came back in to see how things were going. I told her I’d like to get into the water so she started filling the tub. My husband woke up around this time and asked if it was okay for him to go get some coffee. I told him to hurry because I was going to need him soon. It was around this time that the PWs started to really increase in intensity and I had to stand and sway my hips during them. My husband asked if he should call our doula and I said I didn’t know. Luckily, he remembered from our first son’s birth that this is me going through transformation and knew it was time to get our doula to the hospital so he texted her to come.
During transformation, as each PW started to build, I would close my eyes and go internal while I rode the wave and swayed my hips. Once the PW was over I was chitchatting and laughing with my husband and nurse. I don’t think the nurse was aware that I was experiencing transformation. I distinctly remember having 2 waves on top of one another, feeling our son move down into my birth canal, and then saying, “I am going to need to push soon.” The nurse leisurely started to get things ready for our son’s birth. After 1 more PW, I said, “I need to push now.” The nurse pushed the Staff Assist button and tons of people came rushing into our room. One of the nurses was a friend I used to work with and I calmly, but happily said hi to her as I got onto the bed. Later she and I laughed about how she could not believe I was about to push a baby out.
Because our son was preterm, a team of 3 nurses and the neonatal nurse practitioner had to attend his birth, in addition to my nurse and midwife. However, because it was so close to change of shift the midwife who was leaving (the one who admitted us and was at our first son’s birth) decided to attend as well. I was so happy that she decided to stay and be a part of our second son’s birth.
When I got onto the bed my midwife checked and said I had a bulging bag. She offered to rupture it to help relieve some of the pressure I was feeling. I agreed and immediately felt the gush of water release and an instant relief of pressure. She wanted to make sure I was complete and could push. I knew I was complete. I could tell my son’s head was very low.
After my water broke I had a short rest period before my body was instinctually ready to push. When I felt the need to push, I closed my eyes, went internal, and followed my body’s natural urge to bear down. My husband placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “peace.” Between pushes, I came back out and was very calm. My midwife said she saw his hair and I remember thinking, “Hair? I make bald babies.” (Our first son was bald until he was close to 15 months). At this time, our doula walked in and I was so happy she made it! She had missed our first son’s birth by a few minutes because it went so quickly. I felt the urge to bear down again and gave another push; and just like that, our son was born.
At 801am after 2 pushes our son was earth side and placed on my chest. I cried a little and said hi to him and told him I loved him. The neonatal nurse practitioner let my husband cut the cord and then rushed him to the warmer to be assessed since he was a preemie. To our surprise he was a healthy 7 pounds. They bundled him up and let me hold him for a few minutes before he was brought to the Special Care Nursery.
After waiting for what seemed like forever, we were finally given the okay around 930am to go and see our son. My nurse asked if I wanted a wheelchair but I declined, I felt great and walked to the SCN. She and my doula could not believe how well I was doing for just having birthed a baby. I was able to do skin to skin with him shortly after arriving to the SCN. Which was absolutely wonderful since I was not able to do it immediately after his birth. He latched right away and started nursing like a champ. The SCN nurses were shocked at how great he was at it.
Arland Fox was sent home on February 26th (one day before daddy’s and big brother’s birthday), he was 12 days old. He is the perfect addition to our family. And most importantly, he is happy and healthy.
Arland’s birth was bittersweet for me. Not because I wasn’t able to have the water birth I imagined. I had a wonderful birth and I was absolutely comfortable the entire time. It wasn’t because I didn’t make it to term and he was a preemie. He turned out to be a very healthy little boy. It wasn’t because he had to stay in the hospital and couldn’t go home (which was difficult). I was able to stay with him while my husband stayed with our older son and brought him to visit me daily. Arland’s birth was bittersweet for me because our family is now complete. I will not experience the amazingly empowering experience of birthing another child.
The tools I learned with Hypnobabies helped me birth two amazing boys naturally and without discomfort. Shortly after Arland was born, I remember telling my husband I was sad that I wouldn’t be birthing again. However, I will always be an advocate for women and their birthing preferences. If naturally and comfortable is the direction they choose, I will highly recommend Hypnobabies.