When I woke up the next morning, I was having pressure waves on and off, but far between. I texted an update to my doula and my friend (who was going to be watching our 3-year-old) that I had noticed some possible early labor signals, but was still unsure if I was actually in labor. In the mean time, since I was feeling good enough to eat, I had a decent sized breakfast and lunch so that I would have energy for later in case this was the real deal.
So glad I did! Waves became regular around 1pm and I laid down to rest while my husband got our daughter packed and ready to be picked up. I was laboring in bed, and she came in to to say goodbye. She was so excited to go to her “playdate”. I hugged and kissed her and couldn’t believe that the next time I saw her, she would officially be a big sister.
My husband timed my pressure waves for about an hour and instead of fear, I felt genuine excitement over the fact that we were finally going to meet our baby. We discussed how great my birth experience was going to be. The "Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations" work! I felt ready!
I wanted to get into the tub, so my husband drew me a bath, lit some candles and put the timer away. We chatted and I enjoyed a popsicle in between waves. It was all very calming, even though waves were getting more intense. Around 4pm, I was getting tired and wanted to lie down again, so I got back into bed and put my tracks on (I swapped between “Birthing Day Affirmations and Easy First Stage") while my husband called the birth center, our doula and packed up the car.
At this point, I was somewhat aware that we would likely be leaving during rush hour traffic, but that was ok. I remained calm and continued listening to my tracks. The drive normally takes 15-20 minutes, and although I knew it was taking a bit longer, I had no idea that it actually took over an hour! My husband later informed me that we were in standstill traffic at points, but I was too “in the zone” to notice.
It was raining lightly at 6pm as we got to the birth center and our doula greeted us at the door. Once we got to our room, our midwife checked my dilation. I didn’t want to know what it was at the time, but I later found out I was at 9cm and 100% effaced! However, I was at -1 station.
I switched my track to “Pushing Baby Out” and took out my headphones and had it played over a speaker instead. I looked at my doula and told her how glad I was that she was there with me. My husband sat on the edge of the tub and made sure I stayed hydrated in between waves and massaged my shoulders, which I loved. I also started to vocalize during each wave and that felt good. My birth team was quiet and calm. They rarely spoke and when they did, it was only to encourage me or remind me to change positions.
As my pressure waves became more and more intense, I was finding it more difficult to remain focused. But my tracks would always bring me back or my husband would use a cue. Around 7:40pm, I reached down and could feel the bubble of the amniotic bag. Twenty minutes later, my water broke.
As I was crowning, I started to feel the “ring of fire” I had heard about, but I knew that meant I was so close and that made me embrace it! At this point, instead of just letting me do my thing, I was being told to push for the first time. I didn’t know it, but my baby was part way out and both of her hands were right up by her cheeks. Then one hand slipped down, and the other hand grabbed our midwife’s finger! But our midwife guided her out beautifully and then suddenly, at 8:18pm, my baby was on my chest. I was in complete disbelief. I was in total pushing mode and the seconds between her coming out and being lifted onto my chest by my husband (who caught her) were somehow lost and there she was. All 9 pounds 4 ounces of her! Amongst all the excitement, I overhead one of the assistants say, “Oh, is that what his name is?” And my husband, say “No, we don’t know what the sex is yet!” Apparently she had misunderstood what someone had said, and my husband had to lift baby off my chest to check. And that is when we found out that we had another beautiful baby girl.
I knew I wanted a birthing experience where I was in control and where I could trust my body to do what it was made to do. I had visualized a peaceful water birth with minimal interventions. Thanks to my birth team and hypnobabies, the worries I had after my first birth were washed away by my empowering second birth.