For the last two months or so of my pregnancy, I had a real peace about God's perfect timing for the birth of our 3rd child. Since I have the tendency to go "over" by medical standards in my pregnancies, (more than 40 weeks gestation), I was planning on a June baby, since my actual guess date was May 30th. However, I did have some anxiety about the week of May 30th, because we had a lot of other things in life going on, that I was hoping NOT to miss out on (i.e. My daughter’s dance recital and rehearsal).
(Editor's Note: The deep hypnosis skills taught in Hypnobabies are more than just deep relaxation and are the reason our hypno-moms have easier and more comfortable births. Our moms literally produce "hypno-anesthesia" in their body using the power of their minds, which allows them to be so much more comfortable, even with the sometimes intense sensations of birthing.)
Anyways, on to the good part.
June 1st- MY BIRTHDAY! My husband, Phil, the kids and I went to the Original Pancake House to start out my day, then off to swimming lessons and then dance preparations. The whole family usually swims during swimming lessons, and I just felt a little different as I swam. I could tell the baby was moving and twisting and turning a lot, so I was thinking that was yet another sign of my body prepping for the big day. I was happy about the movement, too, because the baby had been in a mostly OP position for the last trimester. (OP=occiput posterior, often called "sunny side up.") I didn't have any consistent Braxton hicks waves the remainder of the day, although I started losing my mucus plug. I enjoyed the dance recital, although I do remember now that the stairs to our seats felt more difficult than usual to traverse.
We went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and I ordered a spicy sandwich. I went on a long walk that night (as I've been doing regularly for the last trimester to spend time visualizing my birth), and went to bed comfortably to one of my Hypnobabies tracks. I woke up on June 2nd with yet again more of a sense of feeling "different". No regularity to my practice waves, I just felt more tired than normal and sensed some hormonal shifts. We took the day easy and my daughter, Myah learned how to ride her big girl bike that day!
Then we spent time in the garden and went to Bible study. After coming home, I went on a quick walk and felt the need to go to bed early, so we did! We went to bed at 8:30..... good thing we did! I woke up to use the bathroom around 12:30, and noticed a stronger pressure wave (The Hypnobabies term for "Contraction"). I didn't think much of it, and heard a whimper from the girls' room. For some reason, My younger daughter, Mariana was awake, and needed a quick back scratch to go back to bed. As I leaned to kiss her forehead, I noticed another pressure wave that was more intense. It had probably been 7 minutes or so since the last one, so I began to think I might be entering our birthing time. I remember feeling a guarded excitement, but knew this could very likely just be “practice”.
I went back to bed and noticed the waves every 6-10 minutes or so. They were completely manageable, but I noticed that for each one, I was using some of my Hypnobabies techniques (especially the "lightswitch" to turn off and relax the muscles in my body). I decided to turn on some Hypnobabies tracks and relax and go back to bed. I slept between waves, I think, and around 1:30 I woke Phil and mentioned I thought we were in our early birthing time.
By 2 am I felt the urge to get up and pack our last minute things for our hospital bags. The waves were 5-8 minutes apart, but I remember doubting that they would last that close together. For some reason, even though I was doing very well, I suddenly felt the need to get the girls to Phil's parents and call my mom to our house (she was planning to attend our birth as a “mom doula” to help with maintaining a peaceful birthing environment). I was sure I'd be in early labor for 5 hours or so, but by 2:30 we called Phil's parents to come pick up the girls and I called my mom to come to the house with us.
My pressure waves continued, so at 3:00 I called the Midwife on call, (they requested "early" notice of the onset of labor) and she was thinking that I should get ready to come to the hospital. I thought that sounded silly, since I was in such an "early" part of labor, so I jumped in the shower, and she said she'd call back at 3:30. During the 2:30-3:30 hour, I was turning my lightswitch "off" and asking Phil to provide back massage and counterpressure during each wave. I stayed much more relaxed when he was with me (because we've been practicing relaxation together), than when he was packing the car or attending to the girls. By 3:30 my mom had arrived and the midwife called back. I had decided that we should probably go to the hospital, because at this point my impression was that the pressure waves had picked up in frequency. (I thought they were 4-5 minutes apart, but Phil later told me they were about 2-3 minutes apart).
Off to the hospital we went. I was feeling surprised and a bit anxious because I didn't have time to bake, or look over my hospital bags, or prepare for the drive to the hospital like I had originally planned. The car ride was about 25 minutes long, but it went quickly for me, because I listened to my "Deepening" relaxation track over my earphones. Towards the end of the drive, I noticed myself needing to vocalize during the waves with a deep, low moan. It seemed to help to keep my focus on my relaxation. Phil could tell each time a wave approached, so he put a hand on my shoulder and encouraged me to relax. (My mom was in the backseat and says that during each wave, the speedometer also went up).
The midwife, Kristin met us in the lobby at check in and encouraged Phil not to go and park the car, but to accompany me directly up to the assessment room, where Kristin did the cervical check. I still had my earphones on to stay focused. I remember thinking as she checked me that it seemed like her fingers were spread far apart. To my surprise, I was completely dilated! Things quickly shifted for the staff at the hospital, (into high gear). They knew I wanted a water birth, but informed me that they would do their best, but that I might not be able to have the water birth I had hoped for. The water birth suite was not yet cleaned from a birth earlier that morning, and the soft sided tub took a LONG time to fill.
We got settled in a labor/delivery room, and the intensity of waves picked up. I needed to be standing, or swaying with Phil during the waves, and put on another Hypnobabies track over open air.
I tried waiting for the tub to fill up, telling myself I could let the baby come down and still get in the tub for a water birth, but I couldn't resist the urge I had to get settled in and ready to push. My back pressure was very strong at this point. I got into bed and tried again to get more relaxed and comfortable..... and as I felt an urge to bear down a little bit my water broke. And it didn't just break, it literally sprayed across the room like one of those pool toys that looks like a cut off, glorified pool noodle. I even got the computer monitor and inside of the drawers of some of the other instrumentation wet. Whoops! ;)
That was all I needed. I pushed the head out. Then there was more pushing needed. I thought that was weird, since my other two had slipped out easily after the head (I found out later he never rotated to allow his shoulders to fit through easier, like babies usually do). I thought I'd been pushing for 30 minutes or so, but found out it was only about 7 minutes total. I looked down at my sweet baby, and saw immediately that it was a boy! I was overjoyed, relieved and so happy when he finally cried. He was gorgeous and I had done it. Naturally, comfortably, and the whole thing was completely manageable. I felt incredibly calm and empowered, and although I couldn’t have my water birth, I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal experience, thanks to Hypnobabies teaching me how to access my inner, positive birthing ability.