I remember sharing with my husband before I took a nap “honey, I don’t know if today we are having a baby or not. But if it’s not today I really think it’s going to happen in the next few days.” He smiled and agreed. (Our guess date was Nov 25th and it was Nov 21st that day).
Starting at around noon, I had turned on the Hypnobabies tracks to get mentally prepared in case today was the day. At around 2:30 pm the waves started to pick up in intensity. And by 3:30 pm the waves were getting stronger and closer together.
This time I trusted my body more. I moved and walked more between waves around the house. I used the birthing ball by kneeling on my knees and leaning over the ball, pushing gently down on my belly through the waves. I truly followed my intuition and my body. It’s incredible that our bodies really know what to do! The waves felt more intense than last time and more centralized in my uterus than in my whole stomach. I really had to stay focused on my breathing and staying calm and take one wave at a time.
My husband called Willow around 4 pm and talked to Cheryl who was on call that evening. She calmly talked to us and encouraged us to come when I was having waves 5 minutes apart lasting for a minute. At the time we talked, they were not consistent and sometimes 6-7 minutes, sometimes shorter. So we didn’t think we were that close. Within 5 minutes of talking to her, the waves picked up and some were closer to 4 minutes apart. We quickly got in the car and headed to Willow. I laid in the back seat with my headphones on playing the Hypnobabies tracks with an eye mask to not get nervous if there was traffic.
We arrived at Willow just before 5 pm. We were greeted at the front door of the building by our doula Anne and Olivia our sweet nurse who wheeled me upstairs.
Within a half hour of arriving at Willow, Ari the midwife calmly suggested I get in the tub if I wanted to have a water birth. I was shocked she suggested it so soon! The moment I got in the tub it felt so good. The warm water just eased the intensity and I’m convinced helped speed up the process. Anne sprayed water down my back which also helped me stay calm.
Minutes before Mari was born, I started to feel pushy. Actual pushy like my body was ready to have a baby. This didn’t happened to me as obviously for our first. At 6:02 pm I had an extra long wave. Having our doula was especially helpful at this time. Her words of encouragement were just what I needed. “Good job Michelle you got this. Peace…peace…follow your body. Open. Open. Michelle just take it nice and slow, follow your body, there is no rush. Ease this baby out slowly.” (I am tearing up as I am recall all of these details.) Ari said calmly that my water just broke and that things would start to pick up soon. Anne was taking pictures of me throughout this time. Looking back at this moment as I was waiting for the next wave, I looked so relaxed and comfortable and I was! And the next wave I listened to my body, I felt pushy and gave a powerful push and our baby arrived. Having a water birth was such a beautiful, calm way to bring our baby into this world.
My husband was such an incredible part of the birthing experience. I really think this was because of our Hypnobabies classes and prep work we did when we were expecting our first child. He knew how he could be helpful in the birthing process. He was so calm and collected which helped me be more confident.
I wasn’t sure how hypnosis would work this time since I didn’t to my homework every day as suggested. Some weeks I only did it a few times. I started getting refreshed on the course material around 25 weeks as Anne had suggested. I didn’t listen to the positive pregnancy affirmations track as often as I would have liked. Regardless, when I thought this might be our birthing day, I got in the zone and listened to the hypnosis tracks Thursday around noon. I definitely felt intense pressure as the waves progressed. I was never in a lot of pain. It’s so true that if you are relatively calm and confident that there is less pain and more comfort. The hypnosis worked!
Our birthing experience with Willow was incredible. Our birthing team was nurse Olivia, midwife Ariana and the head midwife of Willow Cheryl who was overseeing another birth. We couldn’t have asked for a better team. Ari was so soft-spoken and motherly like which eased my nerves when I arrived. And Olivia was so smiley, tranquil and sweet. Our doula Anne was exactly what we needed as well. She gave my husband breaks between my waves by pushing on my back. She encouraged me and gave me confidence things were progressing. The moment I felt slightly nauseous she had peppermint on a gauze for me to smell which really helped. When I got in the tub, she encouraged me to sit deeper in the water when I was leaning over so the water was covering my belly. She knew spraying water down my back would feel so good which it did. She encouraged me to change positions in the tub, which worked because soon after I did Mari was born. She encouraged me to be vocal when I felt pushy.
Our birth team at Willow and Anne will forever be in our hearts as they helped guide me in my birthing time to bring our sweet daughter Mari into this world.
It is incredible looking back how I went from thinking "this could be the day" in the morning to holding her in our arms by that evening. I can confidently say Mari’s birth was better than I envisioned. We are so blessed!