I had already started Blooma’s Prenatal Teacher Training when I found out I was pregnant. It was perfect timing. I started to feel really sick; nauseous, headaches, sleepless nights, but getting to the 10 required Prenatal Yoga classes was such a treat and could not have happened at a better time. It was hard to get there, but once I got there, it felt amazing. Blooma’s classes were a blessing in disguise since I had to take these classes for the training, yet I was a part of a community that intentionally gets together to practice yoga and to share their feelings and thoughts about pregnancy. I loved being a part of it and I learned so much about my body! The instructors were all amazing and truly care about pregnancy and what was happening in the lives of all of their students. It was such an empowering and loving environment and I felt so fortunate to be there.
(Editor's Note: Hypnobabies doesn't promise a pain-free birth. Many variables can affect the experience. However, pain-free definitely CAN happen with Hypnobabies. Everyone *will* have an easier and more comfortable birth with Hypnobabies.)
Before the birth, the curriculum encourages you to think about what kind of birth you’d like. Down to even how long you’d like it to be. I knew my mom, sister, and her kids were going to be in town so I pictured laboring at my in-laws, who I also knew were going to be out of town. I wanted to labor during a week day because then I knew my son would be in daycare, a routine and familiar place for him. That was comforting to me. I also wanted the whole labor and birth process to take 6-8 hours. And so, this is how it happened.
My family arrived on Saturday, 2 days before my guess date. (I went 11 days passed my guess date with my son, so I was expecting for this one to go long passed the date as well). I wasn’t feeling a thing. Sunday I started to see a bloody show, but nothing else. Sunday night, I woke up every hour to use the bathroom and I was feeling pressure, but nothing strong. I noticed in the morning that pressure waves were 10 min apart. My husband and I were both planning on working since it was Monday, but I decided to drop our son off at daycare and then go to his parent’s house to see if they were going to progress. I wanted to be alone with my husband in an air-conditioned house - we don’t have a/c and it was a HOT July 23rd day. I started listening to the “Fear Clearing” CD, and then the “Birth Day Affirmations” CD. I was feeling really calm and relaxed. Pressure waves were getting stronger, but lasting only 40-45 seconds long. They were about 5-9 min apart, but with no pattern. I labored on birthing ball, practiced yoga moves, and I would breathe through every wave. They all felt great and I felt strong and positive, as I listened to the hypnosis CDs. I labored like this from 9:30am-12:30pm. I ate and drank in between and walked around the house as well; letting my body go limp whenever I could. My husband read a book he was totally into, so we were both happy.
(Editor's Note: One key to getting the most out of Hypnobabies is actively using the tools, just like Karen did!)
At 12:30pm I called the midwife and she said I could wait a little longer or go in. I wanted to see where I was since I felt like “something” was happening so we went in. I continued to listen to the CDs in the car ride to the hospital – St. Joseph’s. We parked and walked to the maternity unit. I had to stop to breathe a few times, but nothing crazy.
I checked in at 1:45pm and the midwife (The Awesome, Jess Holm) did an internal check at 2:30pm. I was only 3-4 cm dilated. This was a disappointment since this is where I was on Friday. I asked if it was foolish of me to stay and she said no. She said we could hang out and relax and she’d come back in a couple of hours to re-assess. I felt fine with that since the hospital was air-conditioned and I knew the staff would leave us alone. We drew the curtains, shut off the lights, and filled the tub. I labored in the tub the whole time because it felt so great – still listening to hypnosis CDs. Midwife came in at 4:35pm and checked again and I was 6cm dilated – “making great progress.” Midwife later stated that I looked like I was going to fall asleep. I felt that way too, but pressure waves were getting stronger and I was getting tired so I asked for something to take “the edge” off. I labored with my son for 35 hrs so I wanted to make sure I was prepared for the long haul. She stated there was an injection I could get that would slightly take the edge off and that I could still birth in the water.
The midwife and the nurse walked out of the room and all of sudden I felt my water break in the water. I immediately got up b/c I had the sense I needed to get out (I wasn’t in the birthing tub, just the hospital room tub) and as soon as I stood up, I felt the strongest pressure wave ever and I also felt myself completely opening up – as if the baby was going to fall out. I wrapped my arms around my husband to hang on, and I pulled the red emergency cord hanging next to the tub. The midwife and nurses ran back in and I told them I thought I needed to push. I was shocked b/c I couldn’t understand how I had gone from a 6 to a complete 10 in just a few minutes. And, I wasn’t familiar with this feeling of having to push, as I ended up with an epidural with my son, so I was still unsure of what was going on.
Needless to say, it was all happening very fast. They told me to get on the bed and my instinct was to get on all fours on the bed. That’s when it started to feel like an out-of-body experience. I had no control and baby was coming out. The pressure waves were making me make this noise I had never heard myself make, kind of like a low deep grunting noise. In between pressure waves I asked my husband to get me water and put on the “Pushing Out” CD. I wanted some guidance. I also asked the midwife for the injection……clearly in denial that baby was coming out just then…. and midwife was like honey, it’s too late, baby is here! So then maybe about 4 pushes later, my baby girl came out! It was truly amazing. I felt the ring of fire and skin stretching. My midwife guided me through the last push and I was surprised I was even listening! And all of this wasn’t “painful,” it was just happening and yes, I will admit it was very intense. Probably the most intense feeling ever, but I’ve never felt so human – if that makes any sense…
So, this birth was everything I wanted it to be except for not being able to birth in the tub. I labored for about 7-8 hours. My baby was born at 4:56pm. I wanted her to be born around the time my son was leaving daycare, so he could come straight to the hospital to meet his sister, and that’s how it happened. I also wanted the midwife who was on to catch my baby and didn’t think it was going to happen since her shift was ending at 6pm. It all lined up so nicely! And I will say that this birth was the complete opposite from my son’s – I had every medical intervention possible minus a c-section and labored forever and ever. So yeah, I have a lot to be grateful for.