My ﬁrst born, Delsy, was born in June 2012 in the hospital using Hypnobabies. It was a long birthing time. It was a good, but somewhat difﬁcult birth. (Read the story here) And I hated staying in the hospital afterwards. So when I found out that I was pregnant again in the summer of 2013, I looked at our insurance beneﬁts again and realized that free-standing birthing centers were covered in-network! I quickly transferred care to Minnesota Birth Center and signed up to take the Hypnobabies course again with Anne, who had been our hypno-doula with Delsy and was now a Hypnobabies instructor.
spent a lot of time doing positioning exercises and tried to only sit on an exercise ball (which was about the only comfortable way to sit anyway).
On Tuesday, January 28th, I had a couple of friends and their little ones over for a play date. I remember feeling “off” and having a hard time concentrating on the conversations that were going on. That evening, I went to a community acupuncture clinic, and relaxed for about an hour while receiving acupuncture and listening to the Fear Clearing track and pregnancy afﬁrmations. During that hour, I had a few pretty signiﬁcant practice waves that felt a little “different”. I had been having lots of these since week 20, but they had never been this strong. I remember saying “open, open” in my head while I was having these waves.
I slept well that night, and woke the next morning, the 29th, to bloody show. I was so excited!! The 29th is my brother’s birthday. I thought how great it would be for my little one to share a birthday with his uncle! Other than the bloody show, however, nothing was different all that day. About 8pm, after our daughter was asleep for the night, I started noticing regular waves. They were not very intense, so I decided to go to bed in case things picked up later. As soon as I laid down, they got closer together and were getting slightly more intense. By midnight, we decided to take our daughter to my sister & brother-in-law’s house rather than doing it on our way to the birth center. Willi was worried that it would take him awhile to get her settled there, so asked my sister, Becky, to come over and be with me. I thought this was probably unnecessary, but it made him feel better so I went with it. As soon as Willi got home (and Becky left again), my waves started tapering off and by 2am, I was barely feeling anything. Boo! We tried to get some sleep, with limited success.
January 30th, Willi called in to work and Chad (my brother-in-law) offered to watch Delsy for the day. We slept and rested most of the morning and went for a walk in the early afternoon. I was still having sporadic waves and bloody show, so was sure that my birthing time was imminent. We went to Becky & Chad’s house in the late afternoon to hang out there and put Delsy down for bed (we decided it would be easier to have her sleep there than transfer in the middle of the night again, should K2 decide to arrive). We went home, went to bed and I woke up early the next morning, still pregnant.
Despite telling myself all along that I was going to have a February baby, I was still so frustrated that K2 wasn’t here yet! I also had somewhat of a “fear” about having K2 on the “ofﬁcial” guess date (2/1), as it was that date last year when my cousin completed suicide. Whether it was reasonable or not, I just didn’t want my baby’s birthday to be on a day that carried such sadness for me and for my family. By the morning of the 31st, I was feeling sure that this is what was going to happen and I was upset about it. Willi and I went to my 40 week check up that morning at 8am, and after a good cry on the exam table, we talking over our options with the midwife (who was amazing and so comforting). I decided to get my ﬁrst cervical check and have a gentle membrane sweep if I was favorable. Although Hypnobabies discourages ﬁnding out your “numbers”, I wanted to know so when my birthing time actually began I would have an idea of how quickly I should go to the birth center. I was 4cm and 70% effaced. So clearly, things were happening! The midwife did a very quick sweep and we went on our way.
I dropped Willi at work and went to Chad’s house to pick up Delsy. My plan was to take Delsy home and my cousin would meet us there to hang out with us in case things started happening. My cousin was going to be a few hours, so I decided to just hang out at Chad’s for awhile, playing with my daughter and nephew. By 10am, I was starting to notice some waves that seemed to have a bit of a pattern. So I decided to hang out a bit longer. By lunchtime, I was deﬁnitely noticing a pattern and it felt much better to be on my hands and knees when I had a wave. I started listening to my birth day afﬁrmations at this time and using my center switch. I managed to put Delsy down for her nap, but reading a book to her while having a wave was deﬁnitely uncomfortable. By 1:30pm, I
called Willi and told him to come get me and called Anne and told her to meet us at the birth center.
We got to the birth center a bit after 2pm. It was just a 5 minute drive and my waves stopped the whole way there, which worried me, but I had a great one as soon as I stepped out of the car. Becky also met us at the birth center shortly after we arrived. I started feeling nauseous pretty soon after I arrived and continued to feel that way most of the rest of my birthing time. Tanya and Kaitlin were the midwives on call, and one of
them would come in to check on me and K2 every 30 minutes or so, but otherwise left us alone. A little after 3pm, we did a side-lying release and then I got into the tub. Willi, Anne and Becky were taking turns reading me birth prompts. I’m not sure what track I had playing in the background, it was the prompts that I was really paying attention to
and a ﬁrm hand on my shoulder really helped me focus as well.
At 7:12pm, Kaitlin checked me again (again I didn’t ﬁnd out) and I was at 7cm. She suspected that K2 was in a posterior position and that this was making progression slower. Tanya came in as well and she and Kaitlin and gave me a list of exercises to do. I remember them being so ﬁrm and encouraging, which was exactly what I needed at that
time. I did some lift and tucks, inversions, lunges up the stairs, more lunges agains the side of the tub, exaggerated side-lying (I puked through this one) and then sat on the toilet for awhile.
Although I don’t remember this, I apparently said I had “the mother of all waves” at 9:13pm. I also remember Tanya coming and telling me that if my waves were not consistently strong, we could try some nipple stimulation. I couldn’t even answer because my waves were taking all of my concentration at that point in time, but I remember thinking that it deﬁnitely wasn’t necessary. At 9:18pm, I got in the tub and at 9:21pm, I felt my body starting to push.
Pushing was my least favorite part of birth with my daughter. By that time, I was so exhausted and felt so removed from everything. I had no idea what to do and felt that my body wasn’t telling/showing me what to do. I pushed for three hours, and felt like giving up a number of times. I remember having a ﬂash of fear that this would happen again, but my body just seemed to take over and I could feel K2 descending quite quickly. Our baby was born at 9:29pm, only 8 minutes after feeling the ﬁrst pushing sensation! Nowhere close to 3 hours! Willi helped Tanya catch K2 and handed the baby through my legs to my chest. Tanya kept referring to K2 as “she” and so I asked if the baby was a girl (honestly, I was a little disappointed because I wanted either Willi or I to announce the sex). She said she had no idea, so we looked - a boy!! He barely cried at all (again, completely different from our daughter who screamed for the longest time) and had great Apgar scores. Willi cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and we stayed in the tub, getting to know our son until after the placenta was born.
K2 (we hadn’t yet decided on a name) took about an hour to decide to nurse, and then nursed for nearly an hour. Despite me being sure he was much smaller than his sister when she was born (could they ever really be so small!!?) he weighed in at 7lb 8oz (one ounce more than his sister) and was 20in long. After a short nap at the birth center, we packed up and were all in our bed at home by 2am.
Willi picked up Delsy the next morning. She was amazed by her little brother, and helped pick out his name - Aditya Joseph. Aditya was the only name on our list that she could pronounce! Hypnobabies was such a wonderful way to prepare for a beautiful birth.