On Tuesday, May 29th, we had our 39 (+4) week appointment with our midwives. As we were close to 40 weeks, we had the option for a cervical check and while I know we don’t give birth by numbers, I was excited to see if there was any progress as baby was feeling really low. In addition, the midwife mentioned that a check now could lessen the need during admittance should my membranes rupture within a few days (a big positive being GBS+)! When she checked, I was 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced and Oliver was in station 0.
At this time, I sat down on the birthing ball and listened to ‘My Birthing Time Begins’ and ‘Deepening’ (my favorite track). We then took a walk around the floor, and settled into bed around 9:30 pm. I fell asleep with Deepening on repeat, and only had a couple interruptions for vitals, and doses of Cytotec. At 11:30 I was able to get the ‘Monica’ wireless monitor and I was SO grateful to not be connected with cords. (continuous monitoring was needed given the Cytotec induction medicine)!
By 7 am, things had changed and my body began bearing down – I progressed from 5 to complete within 2 hours. I was very much in my hypnosis, and not really cognizant of anything around me until my midwife came up, touched my hand and said – “Marie, it’s time to meet your baby!” I switched positions to lean against the back of the bed on my knees and Michael put on the Pushing Baby Out track, and started to bear down with the waves – pushing felt SO good! I was able to reach down and feel the top of his head, and Michael told me with tears in his eyes that he had a lot of dark hair! That was so motivating!
My midwife was repeating affirmations from the Pushing Baby Out track, reminding me to focus my energy down and out, and really sitting back and watching! As he made it fully into the birth canal, they started losing his heart rate with each wave/push, but never let me know and trusted he was on his way out. (Editor's note: It's common for it to be harder to hear the baby's heart rate as they are coming through the pelvis/birth canal and being born.)
My midwife had me lift one leg up to be in another kneeling position which was really difficult as he was crowning but ultimately helped him out! Within a few more pushes, Oliver’s head was out, and his body followed in just a couple more. Our baby arrived at 8:57 am on May 31st, one day before his guess date! I turned over, and Oliver was placed directly on my belly. I saw he was a boy and looked at my husband to announce the surprise! We waited around 10 minutes to cut the cord as the midwife and team continued working on me.
BOP – post-birth bleeding complication, using hypnosis
With Oliver on my chest, my midwife looked at me and calmly said that I was bleeding a bit more than they’d like, so they were going to be palpating my abdomen. When that didn’t work all the way to help my uterus contract, baby went to dad for skin-to-skin so I could go back to my hypnosis (lightswitch + safe place + peace cue) for the after-birth and stomach massage as it really was the most uncomfortable part of the experience. Finally, I was given a shot in the leg to assist the contractions and a Pitocin IV was started. At no point was I scared, I felt calm, safe and supported. I lost 3x the ‘typical’ amount of blood, but my hemoglobin was nice and high throughout pregnancy, so I didn’t require any follow up. Oliver came back to my chest, where he stayed for most of the day skin-to-skin.
I credit my Hypnobabies preparation, the preparation and involvement of my husband through the course and birthing time, for my natural and peaceful welcoming of Oliver Michael! I am so grateful to the program, and Aileen – our instructor! And now, I cherish my connections with the mamas I met in class as we head out on the journey of motherhood together.