At some point, my waves started feeling like pushing sensations, so I asked if I could go to the birthing tub (I really like water!). They needed to do a cervical check first, so I had to go to the bed for that one. At this point, they accidentally told me my number, and it was only a 7. At that moment I was a bit terrified, because I was just about to enter transformation (and I thought I had been ready for pushing). My husband and our doula made me comfortable on the bed, and I lay on my side for all of transformation. I have no idea how long it lasted, but the hypnosis definitely made it seem much shorter than it was. I believe the "deepening" track was playing during this time, and our doula helped with hip squeezes through all the pressure waves. They did become extremely intense, but at no point did I feel like I needed to give up or ask for medication.
The nurses brought in the birthing tub when I was ready to push. I later found out that this was a brand new, extra large tub (the size of a generous hot tub) and everyone was excited to see it used for the first time. It took about 45 minutes to fill it, and once I got inside, I felt great. We put on the "pushing" track and I got ready for the waves to start.
Bubble of Peace paragraph!
Although the tub felt great, and we tried changing up positions frequently, I wasn't able to make much progress underwater. After 90 minutes, my midwife told me I only had another half hour before they'd need me to go to the bed. This was for the sake of the baby, as they'd noticed the heart rate was no longer steady through my pushing waves. That half hour passed with no progress, and we were off to the bed. They had me on my back, with both legs in the air (held by a nurse and my very patient husband), while my doula supported me from the back. There was still another 90 minutes of pushing in this position. The pushing waves were intense but not painful at all. By the end, however, I was exhausted and had to have an episiotomy just to get the baby's head out. Fortunately, it was just second degree and I healed very quickly!
End of Bubble of Peace!
Overall, my birthing time took 17 hours start to finish, with that 3.5 hours of pushing at the end. With the hypnosis, it didn't feel that long at all, and the sensations, while intense, were all manageable. Afterwards, one of the nurses visited me, and she thanked me for having her there for the birth - she said she really appreciated the opportunity to assist in such a natural, non-medicalized experience. She also remarked at how calm I was, and how helpful my husband had been throughout! I do think hypnobabies helped to train him as much as it helped to prepare me. Apparently he'd ordered cookies delivered for all the nurses on duty, and since they were swamped that night the food was greatly appreciated. In the end, I kept being drawn to several of my daily affirmations, especially the one that says "my birthing journey is exactly the one that I and my baby need" (I may have butchered that). It really spoke to my experience - it wasn't exactly the perfect waterbirth I'd envisioned, but everything that happened was what we needed, and in the end I wouldn't have traded it for anything.