I suppose Priscilla’s birth story begins at my 36-week appointment, which was July 24th. I chose to receive my care at Roots Community Birth Center in North Minneapolis. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was so impressed with the quality, love, and expertise of the staff. I had an opportunity to get to know each midwife well and felt excited as my last weeks of pregnancy drew near. At my appointment Rebecca did a brief check just to see if I had any scar tissue left from a procedure I had done earlier in the winter. To my surprise I learned that I was already 2-3cm dilated and that babe’s head was very low. I left feeling excited, but also resting in the knowledge that I could be dilated at that number for a long time, and that numbers don’t generally mean all that much so early on. Throughout the week prior I had experienced a few light waves but nothing too exciting.
Throughout my entire pregnancy, I said that I wanted to at least make it to my guess date before baby’s arrival. This little one sure listened since she arrived right at 40 weeks! On Sunday, 7/22, I suddenly felt ready for baby. I don’t know what it was, but I just felt ready, that the time was right. I had the tell-tale burst of energy - I mopped all the floors in our apartment and took K for a 6 mile walk outside. That evening, I began experiencing some waves around 8:00 pm, shortly after I got K down to bed. They felt “different” than the practice waves I’d been experiencing for the last few weeks, but I wasn’t convinced it was the “real deal” yet. They were fairly regular and predictable, coming every 10 minutes or so. The sensation was definitely different. I decided to take a bath and ignore as much as possible. They continued, making sleep challenging, but never really increased in frequency or intensity.
My birthing waves started early Thursday Morning March 1st at 1am and ended after 2 hours. This pattern of prodromal birthing continued Friday Night and Saturday proceeded from 3pm to 12am. I thought it was my birthing time so I began my Hypnobabies tracks. Birthing Waves would be less than 5 minutes apart for hours, but the intensity was just not where it needed to be, eventually they stopped around midnight and only occurred once every hour at the most.
First time mom has super fast pushing stage after patiently waiting for her waves after PROM at 37 weeks
Editor's Note: PROM means premature rupture of membranes. When the water breaks before waves start.
On Saturday morning, at 37 weeks, I awoke at 6am to a pop and minutes later I was laying in a large pool of water. We immediately put on my headphones and started by listening to the birthing day affirmations and early birthing tracks. We waited several hours but didn't notice any pressure waves starting. So we took a 2 mile walk while listening to our tracks with headphones, we also tried nipple stimulation and squats, lunges and hip circles. We also made sure to get some rest and eat a large breakfast and lunch. We decided to go to our hospital's birthing center around 2pm. They suggested starting pitocin, but we stood our ground and asked for more time to get everything going naturally.
My water broke at 3:30 am May 2nd. At first I wasn't sure if it was "actually happening" but after a huge gush I knew my baby was getting ready to meet us. After waiting a couple hours to see what would happen I called into the Birth Center and alerted our Doula. The Birth Center asked us to come in at 2 pm for a check up since my pressure waves were very inconsistent. I listened to Easy First Stage and Birth Affirmations on the way to the appointment which helped me get into the mindset that we may meet our baby soon. Baby looked good at the check up and they didn't want to admit us yet since my waves were still inconsistent so we decided to do some movements with our Doula. I felt a surge of energy after that so we decided to grab dinner and take a walk.
I’ve been putting off writing my birth story but as I sat here this afternoon with Phoenix sleeping and cooing on my chest, I was thinking about how I go back to work in just another week and I decided it was time to collect my thoughts.
My second child, Phoenix Wagner, was born on February 24, 2018, during a winter storm, in the water, out of hospital, at Roots Community Birth Center about a mile from our house located in North Minneapolis. Those present at the birth include our midwife, Holly Fix; a birth attendant; a student midwife, Evelyn; my husband, Devin; our 6 year old son Griffin; another student midwife/our doula, Britt Duncan; a sibling doula, Cheyenne Johnson, and a birth photographer, Raven Dibble.
As a second time Hypno-mom, I was excited to get back into class and remember all of my hypno tricks (aka tracks and cues). I had had an amazing and successful first birth using Hypnobabies and knew I wanted the same experience. Once class started it was tougher to find the time for the home play with a toddler running around but I knew how important it was. Each day I was always happy I did it and felt at peace…. Usually so at peace I took a quick nap 😊
(Editor's Note: YES! It is recommended to take the full live class again if you can swing it. Otherwise make sure you order the Home Study if you are a repeat Hypnobabies families. The live class materials are not designed to be a self-study and if used as such you will be missing some things.)
Home birth and Hypnobabies went hand in hand for me, I could not have done one without the other. Early on in my first pregnancy my chiropractor and friend mentioned a home birth midwife and everything about birthing at home seemed right. As I began to show, and people knew that I was indeed pregnant, the question began to arise “So, where are you giving birth?”, especially since I work in a hospital! The surprised reactions and horror stories, began to stir around in my mind, “should I really be doing this?”, “am I brave enough”, “should births really be in the hospital?”, “can I really do this?!” Enter in Hypnobabies...
I can honestly say this was the best birth experience I could ask for! My birth team was amazing as were the midwives at Willow.
My waves started (very inconsistently) Jan 9th when I was sleeping. They didn't wake me up, but when I had to get up (bathroom runs) I felt a wave. The next day I had maybe 30 waves all day. Around 10:00pm Jan 10th, my water broke (in the middle of Target 🙊). I called my midwife and she suggested I check back in an hour. Well, I fell asleep and called her 2 hours later. By then the waves were coming every 15 min and they were definitely stronger than they had been. My midwife told me to sleep, and I couldn't have been more relieved. I really didn't want to go in to the birth center until I had to. Morning came quickly, and so did the waves. However, they were very inconsistent still. 4-6 min apart for 45 min, a few 8-10 min apart, some more 4-6 min apart, etc.
Check out HBTC instructor giving birth to her third child at home! Watch for the following amazing things...
Hypnobabies hypnosis tracks playing in the background
Laura chanting Peace - the hypnosis cue to release hypno-anesthesia into her body
Two midwives and two doulas plus Laura's mom and husband
Doula doing Relax cue on Laura's shoulder to help deepen hypnosis and relaxation
Deep abdominal breathing and working to slow breath to get more oxygen to baby
Baby's head emerges in one wave (contraction)
Baby's body born in one wave
Laura laughing and smiling
Hypnobabies does not equal a silent birth
Staying hydrated, using cold washclothes
Laura communicates with midwife on how much of baby's head it out
Forward-leaning position or squatting/kneeling
Delayed cord clamping
Midwives very hands-off
Laura catches baby, unloops the cord from around his shoulder and brings him up skin to skin