Ryan went to work at 7 am, because I was not having birthing waves yet, and he wanted to get everything done that he could before taking baby leave. I tried to rest, and continued to listen to Hypnobabies tracks.
Our doula came over after 2 when I started feeling my waves and tried to use some techniques to speed things up, such as inversions, sitting backwards on the toilet, squats, and walking. Nothing seemed to get things moving. By 10 pm that night I was having regular waves, but nothing very strong or consistent. We went in to Willow Birth Center, so they could monitor the baby and make sure everything was alright. Baby was doing fine and the midwife asked to check me. I didn't want to know, but my birth team told me later I was 3 cm dilated at that time. Willow sent me home with a pill for anxiety and told me I needed to take that and get some rest so I had energy to bring my baby into the world tomorrow.
I had a hard time getting comfortable at first, and was starting to worry about my body not progressing in the way that it should be (I really wanted to have my baby at the birth center, and we were getting close to 24 hours after my water had broken) but Ryan reminded me to listen to fear clearing as many times as I needed and to take deep breaths to calm down and help me sleep through my waves. I was able to sleep for about 4 hours before I was to get up at 6 am and take a shot of caster oil! I threw up shortly after, because it was the nastiest thing I've ever tasted, but it got things going a bit. I continued to listen to my tracks and took several walks around the neighborhood. Again thinking, "am I really just casually walking the neighborhood during my birthing time!?" I took another shot at 9 am, and then another around noon. By the time noon arrived, my waves were getting a bit stronger. My chiropractor came to our home and adjusted me again. At 2 pm, my waves were still several minutes apart, and not very consistent, but Willow asked that I come in again to monitor the baby.
Baby was fine on the monitor, and we could hear her hiccuping:-) We played my birthing time begins on a speaker in the room and I laid down in the bed to rest with the peanut ball between my knees, which really caused my pressure waves to intensify. Having Ryan next to me and using the peace cue kept me comfortable during this time. I again began to have feelings of concern, knowing I didn't have much time left to have baby at the birth center. The nurse who was assisting our birth at the time told me that in the short time with me she had seen me completely trust my body to do what it needed to do. She said it was a beautiful thing and that she hoped that some day she could have a birthing time as peaceful and beautiful as mine. This was so reassuring to me.
After a couple hours things were still somewhat sporadic, so our doula suggested I start pumping every hour. Each time I pumped things would get very intense for a while, and then slow down a bit. By 7 pm, I started to feel different. Things were so intense I just retreated into myself, and I wasn't getting a break in between waves. The next midwife on shift came in and asked to check me. Things were so intense at this time, that I knew baby was coming soon, but she checked and again informed my birth team that I was 10 cm and we were about to have a baby! I got in the tub but ended up moving to the toilet, which seemed to be my favorite spot to push in the beginning. I then moved back to the tub when I felt baby's head getting close to being born.
I pushed for about 2.5 hours, listening to the pushing baby out track the entire time. Pushing was the hardest and most exhausting thing I've ever done in my life! At one point the track finished, and I immediately realized it and asked to have it turned back on feeling unable to proceed without it! Ryan and my mom were the most amazing support during the entire process. They both used the peace and relax cue on my shoulder during each wave, and kept me breathing calmly and with purpose.
Our doula felt that they were so amazing that she could sit back and offer help only when needed, but spent time instead taking some beautiful pictures of our birth which I will forever cherish. I was still able to talk with my team and joke with them between waves, and at some point, our doula joked about getting a beer after this was over and I perked up at the mention and put in my order for an oatmeal stout! (I didn't know this at the time, but my dad was in the waiting room and got the message about beer, so headed to the liquor store to get what I had ordered!)
Mother directed pushing got that baby out, and the last few times, I felt the urge to push between waves as well. Finally, Freya's head came out, and I yelled, "Oh my God her head is out!!!!" I was seriously beginning to think it would never come! I sat back and with one more push grabbed my baby and pulled her up on my chest! She had her eyes wide open and she reached for me as I pulled her up! Freya Louise was born in the water at 9:56 pm on July 19th, 44 hours after the dreaded PROM. She was 8 pounds and 21.5 inches long. We both got out of the tub, cleaned up and I drank my beer while Freya nursed for the first time!
Just writing this out brings tears to my eyes! Bringing baby Freya into the world was the most amazing experience I've ever had, and I can contribute the peacefulness, confidence, and calmness that I had to Hypnobabies. It really helped Ryan and I to work as a team, and I know Hypnobabies is what helped me to have a natural birth, and make educated and informed decisions and trust my body, when I could have very well taken the fear approach and ended up using many interventions that can often come with a premature rupture of membranes. Ryan and I are both so thankful for the tools and knowledge Hypnobabies gave us to not just "get through" the birth of our baby, but to fully experience every moment calmly and peacefully together.