Our guess date was Valentine’s Day, 2/14 and I was convinced I would go "late" with our second just like we had with our first. My plan was to labor at home and then deliver at North Memorial with the Midwives in a water birth, all natural. I had done yoga, Hypnobabies, chiropractic, and acupuncture for weeks to prepare my body to start labor on its own and be ready for a natural labor.
I stopped for lunch at Burger King complete with a vanilla milkshake and headed to an acupuncture appointment that I already had scheduled. I called work and told them I wasn’t coming in today and would update them tomorrow. I listened to visualize your birth during the appointment. I headed home after the appointment and took about a 3 hour nap as I hadn’t slept much that morning with all of that googling and texting. Pressure waves were still the same and inconsistent and slowed down to about every 9-10 mins. So I listened to the relaxation music, deepening. and affirmations and finger dropped as needed and tried to relax and ignore. I woke up around 4:00 pm and rested in bed, face booked on my phone, and talked to a friend who would be taking our dogs about what to do when and if we were in labor (I still didn’t think this was it!). Around 5:00 pm, I went to the bathroom and felt that the pressure waves were more intense. I was using finger drops and turned off during the waves as I needed to focus. I was playing the relaxation music the whole time. I timed the waves and was having 30 second waves every 2-4 mins.
I called my husband at 5:30 pm as I didn’t want to be alone at the house. I was unsure if this was it as the waves were shorter, not longer and I didn’t want to set the wheels in motion if it was a false alarm. My husband and older son were at a car seat clinic and then were headed to swim class. I told him not to go to swim. They arrived home at 6:00 pm and he saw me and heard me and said we need to put the wheels in motion as I couldn’t talk thru them and was vocalizing. He had me call the friends who would watch our son and he headed out to drop off our son and call the boarding facility. My husband called our friend and asked that she come now to pick up the dogs. I called our doula and I called the midwives at her urging. I started the last minute packing as I waited for them, stopping for waves using finger drops while listening to the early birthing scripts and an early birthing time playlist I created. Our friend came about 6:30 pm and headed out with our dogs. At 7:00 pm, our doula and my husband arrived home. He stopped and got dinner from McDonald’s to ensure he had some food in him. I ate a Luigi’s Italian Ice and we continued to pack. My husband read a few birth prompts, and then our doula read birth prompts to me while my husband packed the car as she felt the urgency to get us to the hospital. I felt nauseous and at 7:30 pm I called the midwives and told the on call service that we would be there at 8:00 pm. I was told that the hospital was on divert as they had 6 births that day and it was a busy day for them (2 births was considered a normal busy day, so this was crazy), most nurses had worked over their shifts to ensure coverage for everyone. I told them I was coming and I wanted a tub for the water birth and was told by the service that the midwife would call back.
We never did hear back from the midwife, but headed out and arrived at the hospital around 8:00 pm. I used tracks and finger drops and the release cue on the car ride, in the parking ramp, and on the walk to labor & delivery in the hospital. Throughout that walk, we stopped 5 or 6 times for pressure waves and I hunched over releasing as I needed. During the waves, I remember people staring and was offered a wheel chair and the ladies at the info desk asked if I was alright. I heard our doula say, “Yes, just having a baby.” When the wave ended, I popped up and said the same. My husband and our doula also recited prompts throughout the walk. I was reminded to “Breathe in and out” and realized that I was forgetting to breathe during waves. I liked that and told them to keep it up as it helped me to relax so much and work through the waves.
We were in the room by 8:00 pm and I immediately made myself comfortable by getting on hands and knees on the bed, and then I started to vomit. We met our nurse, who had stayed past her shift given how busy they were given the divert situation. Our doula started to fill up the tub so that it could be ready as soon as possible. I declined a check and said I would have one before I entered the tub. I used the bathroom and labored on the toilet and then back to the bed for a vital check and electronic fetal monitoring. My waves were coming every 2 mins. We used the tracks throughout and prompts during pressure waves from the quick reference guide as well as relax cue on my shoulder. It helped me to melt away into the bed on hands and knees or backwards on the toilet.
Shortly before 9:00 pm, I went to the bathroom and put on my swim suit top as the tub was close to filled. I felt cold and was still in disbelief that we were in labor and having this baby. I had a check at 9:00 pm. I didn’t find out the numbers at this point, but was 7 cm and -1 to 0 station with a bulging bag. Everyone was excited so I knew I was progressing and I was able to get in the tub which is what I wanted. I always thought of it as “my epidural;” it felt wonderful and fabulous and was a whole extra layer of instant relief and relaxation. I used the light switch and finger drops throughout the waves, the check, and movement into the tub. My husband was able to join me in the tub 7 mins later. At that point, I had settled into a hands and knees position with my head resting on the side of the tub.
Within two minutes of my husband joining me in the tub I felt pushy and was asked if it was the baby or something else. I assumed I had some time as with my first son, I felt pushy for about an hour. I said I wasn’t sure, but they were definitely more intense and I really needed to focus on the waves and used the finger drops. A saline lock was placed at my request and per birth plan given my past history with a postpartum hemorrhage. The next 8 minutes went fast and resulted in three big pushes, two poops, a broken water, and the baby’s head was out! The midwife checked for the cord around the neck and I was told to push. I just couldn’t as I wasn’t having a wave and waited 2 more mins for the next and final wave as baby came out and was grabbed by my midwife. As I leaned back, she guided our baby under my leg so that the cord wouldn’t be twisted around me. I pulled baby onto my chest and as we met our little one face to face for the first time, Dad was able to announce, “IT’S A BOY!” Happy Birthday Little One, you were welcomed with love into this world at 9:19 pm on February 10th, 2015! That's 19 minutes to go from 7 cm to baby out!
There was a lot going on right after as our care team reviewed the birth plan and discussed options given the labor and the afterbirth. My husband and I had our blissful first moments with our second son as we sat in the tub talking to, looking at, and just soaking him in: our own little bubble of peace. It seemed that we were in there for a while, but it was only 6 mins and we moved to the bed to get dry and prepare for the afterbirth. My husband was going to carry him to the bed, but with the cord it was a bit complicated so I actually stepped out of the tub and carried the baby to the bed with some steadying hands (it was only a step or two so not far.). We were nestled in bed and I consented to a bag of Pitocin/fluids given risk of hemorrhaging. My husband cut our son’s cord after it stopped pulsating and as the afterbirth occurred he was able to hold our son for the first time. I used the finger drop and our doula recited some scripts as the placenta came out and I was sewn up as I had a few minor tears. Overall, very minimal blood loss! This was a huge relief for me given my previous hemorrhage. We had a new nurse come in and take over care at this point.
Our son latched on at first offering around ten and nursed about an hour before I moved him to the other side and he nursed for another 40 mins! During nursing, we called our parents to let them know that they had another Grandson! And we chatted with our doula, nurse, and midwife about the birth and how quick everything went and I officially found out my numbers. I had frequent checks to ensure that my uterus was contracting and was watched given my hemorrhage history – all looked good!
At 11:40 pm, we asked for the newborn procedures to be done. Another new nurse came in given the short staff and overtime. As our son was pulled off of me, we discovered he had his first meconium poop right there on my chest while nursing. We were cleaned off and he was weighed (8 lbs, 14.4 oz), measured (20.25” long & 14.25” head circumference), and blood sugar was good.
Shortly after midnight, I went to the bathroom and we packed up (pretty easy as we hadn’t been there long) and headed off to the postpartum room to try to get some rest.
With our first son’s labor & delivery three years ago, the nurses referred to me as the woman who hemorrhaged (apparently only 2-3 a year were as bad as I was). Thanks to Hypnobabies and all of our prep, with our second son, the nurses referred to me as the woman who gave birth in an hour. Now, they didn’t see the early stages of labor (it started at 3:00 am), but yes it was pretty quick! I was one of the few mothers up and about the day after the birth and have felt pretty much like myself from an energy, mood, and attitude standpoint from the time I first held our son. It was completely different than the “wrecked” feeling I had for weeks after our first son’s birth. I constantly need to remind myself that I just had a baby, don’t overdo it!
Many thanks to our support team: the Midwives at North Memorial (shout out to Diane!), the many nurses who cared for us before and after the birth, and to Anne Ferguson, our Hypno-instructor and doula!
I am very thankful that Hypnobabies helped me achieve not only the labor and delivery I wanted, but helped during pregnancy and now during my postpartum period. The tools allowed me to relax (yeah for more sleep!), empowered me to push for what I wanted (ignore the waves and labor at home, minimal checks, water birth, ignore that divert), and supported my husband to be an active partner in our son’s labor and delivery.