When I got up the next morning the pressure waves were still going, however, they seemed to slow down to about 8-10 minutes apart. My husband stayed home with me until about 9am until we both realized no progress was being made and then we decided he should go into work. My sister and brother in law were staying with us for a couple of weeks before they moved out of state, so I wasn’t alone and knew my sister could take over if anything came up. My husband called at about noon to check up on me, but I was unable to talk due to the intensity of my waves. My sister updated him and he relayed the information to my midwife. They were now about 5 minutes apart and much more intense. I was using the hypnobabies techniques to get through them. My midwife informed my husband that we should probably look at packing up and leaving within the next two hours just to be safe. At about 3pm while my brother in law was making dinner the midwife called to check on me. My sister let her know I was swaying a lot more than before and asked us to get in the car and get to the birth center as soon as possible—it was baby time! I was so distraught about not being able to eat that I had my sister pack the dinner up so I could eat once I got there. I didn’t understand why we needed to leave right away, however, I listened and grabbed as much as I could as quickly as possible. I was very confused; I thought that when it was time to head over to the birth center I would know, but I never got that feeling. Once the car was packed we raced to my husband’s work because he didn’t have time to come home to take us there.
When my sister and I arrived I was using the Hypnobabies tracks to help me through the pressure waves. I didn’t realize how intense they had gotten. My husband and sister shifted all of the luggage from my car to my husband’s truck and soon we were off flying 90 miles an hour down the road. Every bump and turn made the waves more uncomfortable, but we managed to make it there in about 40 minutes (during rush hour) and the best part—the baby wasn’t born in the car!
Once we arrived at the birth center I slid out of the car, waddled in, and was greeted by my widwives. I explained that I didn’t know how dilated I was, but the Hypnobabies seemed to be working well. All I felt was pressure. They told me they had to check my cervix, so we headed into the room I had chosen to give birth in. I had asked that they not share how far I was because I knew that dilation didn’t really gauge when the baby would arrive. I am the type of person who will over-think things, so it was best for me not to know. My midwife did say that I was supposed to be here, which reassured me that I must be far enough along. I would later find out I was dilated to 7 cm!
When I got into the room my sister, sister in law, and husband brought my things in and gave me dinner to eat. I ate as much as I could, but realized I had lost my appetite from the excitement of finally arriving at this time. Jack was already a week past my guess date and I was very anxious to meet our baby. The midwives drew my bath and my sister turned on my Hypnobabies, but I must not have been in the mood to use it because I began cracking jokes, laughing with my sisters, and requesting to play games to pass the time. The midwife came in and asked my sisters to leave, so I could get more focused on birthing my baby. Once they left I began using the Hypnobabies tracks. Before I knew it it was dark outside and hours had flown by since we first arrived. They checked my cervix a few hours later and stated I could push if I felt like I needed to, but I said I had no urge. I found out after Jack was born that I was at a 10. Dilation happened quickly and painlessly for me. Hypnobabies is amazing:)
*BUBBLE OF PEACE*
A few more hours passed and the midwives said I should lie down and get some rest. When I tried I had intense pressure in my back where my kidneys were. I told the midwives and they instructed my husband on where to help relieve the pressure, but nothing seemed to work. When they left I lay there and listened to my husband snore for what felt like eternity. Every once in awhile I would jab him in the ribs and tell him he had to stay up with me since I couldn’t sleep. That didn’t work—seconds later he would be off snoring again. The nurse and midwife came in periodically throughout the night to check on me and listen to the baby’s heart rate.
When early morning came and the nurse entered the room I sat up and told her I couldn’t lay down any longer, I needed to get up and get in the tub. I spent the next several hours in the bathtub hoping I would feel pushy.
Finally the midwife said I should try to push even if I didn’t feel like it. I pushed for a long, long time. Nothing seemed to be getting him out. My pressure waves had slowed and I was starting to feel discouraged. I was also exhausted and was being fed nutella and honey throughout the day to keep me awake. My midwife offered to break the bag of waters to see if that might help speed up the process. I was very nervous about this because I had heard of the complications it might cause, including a prolapsed umbilical cord. That meant I would have to go to the hospital and that was the last place I wanted to end up. I agreed to have my bag of waters broken.
After the procedure they realized my bladder was very full. They stated they would have to catheterize me because I had not been urinating, but drinking plenty of water. The midwives had a great deal of trouble getting the catheter in because of the swelling. It was very uncomfortable, but they were finally able to get it in and I filled about a bag and a quarter. No wonder why my back hurt so bad the night before! They had hoped this might help move things along, but to our dismay it did not.
I was then told to walk around the birth center to help move baby down the canal. We walked up the stairs, down the stairs, through the rooms, but the waves did not increase. I could feel Jack's head when I reached down and they said they could see his hair, but that baby was staying put!
When we got back to the room I went into the tub to try pushing for awhile. The midwife then asked me if something was bothering me because this could possibly be slowing down the birth process. I stated I was so afraid to go to the hospital. I didn’t want a cesarean section—this was my greatest fear. The midwife talked to me about how wonderful I was doing and praised me for how hard I was working. They walked me through many more pressure waves with no change in the length or intensity. They insisted that I pull out my breast pump to stimulate my nipples. I tried to no avail. I was so determined to have this baby, but every attempt to speed things up seemed to fail.
The midwives and nurse reported it was time to see what the position of the baby was in. They had me lay on the bed while two people held my feet and the midwife reached in to feel where he was. She stated the baby was stuck under my pubic bone. This was not the news I wanted to hear. She said she could try to turn or move him while I pushed through a pressure wave, but it would be very uncomfortable. I didn’t care at this point I just wanted him out. She was right, as the first wave came and I began to push, she reached both hands into me and pulled and yanked to get the baby to move over the pelvis. Nothing. So we tried again. And again. And again. He would not budge.
By this time the midwife had explained that if I could not get him out soon I would have to go to the hospital. The hospital?! I began to panic. This could not be happening to me. I cannot go to the hospital to birth our son; this was not part of the plan. We tried a few more pushes—the most difficult and exhausting thing I had done in my life, but little Jack didn’t want to come out. I was so thankful at that point for his steady heart rate through all of the maneuvers and tricks we had tried. He was such a trooper, but he was very stubborn! I had decided that I needed to put my desires, wants, and selfishness aside and get in the car. I was so exhausted I could hardly cry, but boy did I want to. This felt like one of the darkest moments in my life.
The drive to the hospital felt like eternity. A half an hour later we arrived in Wisconsin, at a hospital that used a more natural approach to birth. I had chosen this hospital (also a recommendation of my midwives and Hypnobabies instructor) because of Dr. Hartung and his amazing belief in listening to his patients’ wants and the midwives’ suggestions.
When I stepped out of the car the midwife thought it would be a good idea to walk to the birth center. I agreed, but I didn’t realize it was at the other end of the hospital. I waddled down the hall, intense pressure all the way. When I was offered a wheelchair halfway to the hospital room I turned it down. Don't get me wrong, I really wanted that wheelchair, but I was not about to give up my chance to birth my baby without help.
Unfortunately the long walk did not help, but I was able to finally have time with my sisters, whom I hadn’t seen all day. They had been patiently waiting for over a day in the family room at the birth center; sleeping on the couch and chatting away—just trying to pass the time. I felt horrible because up until then I hadn’t gotten a chance to talk to them or even see them, yet they were still by my side cheering me along from across the birth center.
When I arrived in the birthing room I was greeted by one of the sweetest nurses I had ever met in a hospital. She helped me into the bed and began to strap the heart monitor around my waist, put an IV in my hand, place a blood pressure cuff to my arm, and clip a heart monitor to my finger. I was so exhausted from pushing for almost eleven hours that I didn’t care at this point. Looking back these were the reasons why I did not like hospitals and why I did not want to birth in one.
The nurse had me lay on my back. Immediately Jack’s heart rate drop significantly. I was in a panic. I quickly rolled to my side and tried to calm myself down. My heart was racing, as this was the first incident during the birthing time that his heart rate wasn’t where it should be.
The doctor walked in shortly after. He said he had read my birth plan and wanted to make sure he followed it as closely as possible. He read my birth plan?! He wanted to follow it as best he could?! This was unbelievable. Immediately I was at peace with being in a hospital. I knew this doctor’s top priority was to advocate for my needs and the needs of my child. He stated that he would need to check the baby’s position before he could determine what to do. Once he finished he stated the baby could most likely be birthed using forceps, however, he only had one shot to get him out using the forceps, so he recommended a spinal block. He said this due to the intense pressure I would feel from the forceps and the level of exhaustion I was at. I did not want medication. I was so against medication. I had done my research and I knew that medication was not good for the baby and was dangerous to administer to the expecting mother. However, if he could not get him out using the forceps then a cesarean section would have to be preformed. I did not want a c-section. I did not want a c-section more than I did not want medication. I talked to my husband and my midwives and we all agreed that with the condition my body was in I should take the medication and get the baby out. I let the doctor know my decision and the nurses acted quickly to administer the spinal block.
Once the spinal block was in place I felt immediate relief. I was still upset about deciding to take it, however, I was thrilled I had taken it when I heard I needed to be catheterized a second time that day. Thankfully this time was much easier for the nurses to put in. The doctor returned and it was time to have the baby! My husband had asked our sisters to leave so we could have this special time to ourselves. The midwives advised that they would be out to get them shortly after the baby was born. The doctor then inserted the forceps and waited for a pressure wave to come. He let me know when it was time to push so that I could push my baby out. My husband later told me that Dr. Hartung only used the forceps to move Jack around the pubic bone and let me do the rest. What a wonderful feeling to know that I was still able to birth my baby myself!
*END BUBBLE OF PEACE*
Our beautiful boy arrived at 10:04 pm on Friday, June 1st 2012. He was a perfect 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 inches long. After being in my birthing time for about two days I was finally able to hold my precious baby in my arms. It was the most amazing feeling to meet this little one I had been carrying for over ten months, yet had never met. When I looked into his eyes I felt like had always known him and now I can’t imagine my life without him. I wouldn’t trade being a mom; it has been the most wonderful and natural experience. And even after four months I still cannot believe how fortunate I am to be Jackson’s mom.
I could not have asked for a better birth team. My midwives, Catherine, Rachel, and Myriah, and nurses, McKenna and Michelle, from Morning Star were so amazing and I am forever grateful for the time, energy, and drive they gave to keep me (and themselves!) going. I am also so incredibly thankful for my Hypnobabies instructor, Lindsay, for all the information and encouragement she gave. I am proud to say Hypnobabies really does work and without it I don’t think I could have spent those eleven hours pushing at Morning Star. I’m happy to report I did not feel pain throughout the duration of my birthing time. Dr. Hartung and his staff did such a wonderful job following my birth plan and providing me with outstanding care during and after the birth of Jack. Without this fantastic group of individuals and the awesome support of my husband and sisters, my birth experience would not be the same.
I am so incredibly blessed for my birth experience, even though it didn’t go as I had hoped. I know that I did my very best to bring my son into the world as safely and naturally as possible. This was the most amazing journey I have been on and I cannot wait for the chance to do this again very soon!