I decided to take a shower and then got out my ipod and yoga ball. I listened to Early First Stage and Easy Comfortable Childbirth. For some reason in that moment I really liked Easy Comfortable Childbirth and listened to it over and over. By early afternoon the pressure waves were getting much stronger and I was experiencing bloody show. I called our clinic to let our midwife, Susanna, know what was happening and that I was in labor. Ryan came home around 4:00 pm and found me rocking on the yoga ball. At this point I asked my mom to make the brownies I was planning on baking for our nurses! The pressure waves were getting much more consistent - closer together and much stronger. By 8:00 pm they were suddenly 2 1/2 minutes apart and I knew it was time to go to the hospital!
We left around 8:30 pm and arrived at the hospital shortly after 9:00 pm. I listed to Easy Comfortable Childbirth the whole way. Ryan dropped me off at the entrance and I remember leaning my head and hands against the brick wall through the pressure waves until he parked the car and ran to meet me. I wanted to walk to Labor and Delivery, but standing wasn't and easy position for me so I tried a wheel chair. I sat down and immediately shot up because it was too narrow and forced my legs and hips shut which was far worse than standing. The security guard saw this and found an extra wide wheel chair that I could sit in with my legs wide, similar to how I had been laboring on the yoga ball. It was so much better! I was in my zone with my headphones and kept my eyes closed most of the time.
When we arrived in the Labor and Delivery unit the charge nurse said they would take me to triage to be checked, then she looked at me again and asked what my level of pain was. I wasn't sure how to respond because the word pain wasn't on my radar so I told her that the pressure was really strong. She took me straight to my birthing suite and determined that I was dilated to a 7 and fully effaced! She said she was surprised to see a first time mom progress that far at home. She called my midwife who said she was on her way! They strapped 2 monitors to me to listen to baby's heart rate for a while before I got in the water. I was finally able to get in the tub shortly after 10pm and it felt AMAZING! The warmth relaxed me and really helped with the pressure. They turned the jets on which were SO LOUD and SO STRONG that it was actually moving my body and belly around! I couldn't hear my ipod because it was so loud so I set the headphones aside and knew that I would have to focus and relax on my own. At first I found the noise to be distracting, but after a few minutes I realized that it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. It drown out everyone's voices and really allowed me to focus.
I did some strange things in the moment.....instead of counting myself down I would simply say "off" to turn my light switch off. (Editor's Note: This is a wonderful skill that means this Hypno-Mom had complete control over her lightswitch and could turn it off with just the power of her mind instead of using her finger drop or "release" cue.) I also said the word "peace" over and over in my head during pressure waves. When practicing I never used the word peace, only relax. I also imagined my special place with every pressure wave which was the beach Ryan and I were on a few years before in Coco Cay, Bahamas. I could occasionally hear the nurses and a few times I heard them say that they couldn't even tell when I was having a contraction! It made me happy that I was so calm and gave me extra confidence that I could do it! I was in a sitting position leaning back against the tub for quite some time so our midwife recommended I get up on my knees because I was progressing very slowly at this point. Once I was on my knees and resting my arms and head on the side of the tub I began to dilate more. At one point something popped out and we yelled for the midwife and nurse because I thought it was the head. Seconds after Ryan ran out of the bathroom I realized that it was the bag of water. My water never did break and I was delivering the bag intact! The midwife punctured the bag. Shortly after I was getting the sensation to push, but I still had a little cervix left and was told not to push which was so hard! I finally told Susanna that I couldn't help it, I had to push. I never looked at the clock to see when I began pushing, but I tried for a while on my knees in the tub. The pressure was very intense and for the first time I began to vocalize.
After a while of pushing in the tub Susanna recommended that I get out so I could get into some different positions. They quickly dried me off and I had a few pressure waves on the way to the bed. One of them I dropped into a deep squat with my bottom almost to the floor and Susanna and our nurse, Janine, cheered! I made it to the bed and they propped me on my side with my legs bent high and put an oxygen mask on me. I was facing the clock on the wall and saw that it was after 2:00am and remember thinking that my son's birthday was April 3rd! Susanna could see the baby's head and said that he had lots of dark hair! Then she got very direct and forcefully told me that this baby was READY to come out and to PUSH. I gave it everything I had for a few pressure waves and his head finally popped out and his hand was clenched in a fist on the side of his head! I later learned that the cord was wrapped around his neck which was why her tone became more forceful. Gavin Dean Ash was born at 2:21am. He weighed 8 lbs, 8 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. I will never forget laying eyes on his face for the first time when they placed him on my chest. I DID IT...I had given birth to my beautiful son naturally, unmedicated, as I'd always hoped...