Each of my pregnancies has been a little different. With Otto’s pregnancy I felt well emotionally for the most part although I did have some increased stress in the second trimester due to the ongoing delta wave of COVID and the stress of my work as a nurse practitioner. We did finally end up catching COVID at 23 weeks in January but fortunately we all had mild cases.
It was around 3 am on 6/29/2020, and it was thundering & raining that night. The power went off a couple of times, so both of our sleep was disturbed. Leslie got up to go to the bathroom and that's when she had bloody show. She came back to bed and had her first pressure wave. I woke up to her breathing through it, and I asked if that was what I thought it was! We remembered that we needed to get our sleep, so we tried falling back asleep but it was especially difficult for Leslie as she kept having the waves.
May 21st I had my third son, second Hypnobaby and first home birth. It was absolutely amazing.
At 39 weeks I woke up around 6 am to a small “pop” and a gush of fluid as my water broke. I went to the bathroom, discovered bloody show and thought to myself, “I guess I’m having a baby today!”. My second hypnobaby came at 38+5 but I had it set in my head this baby was staying put for at least another week. It also happened to be the day of my oldest sons’ preschool graduation, that I would have liked to attend, but I was in transformation as he was graduating that evening (he had three grandmas that attended- very thankful for family).
I had some pressure waves at 1:30 in the AM on Sunday, but was able to sleep through them for about 3 hours until I realized they weren’t going away. They still felt more menstrual crampy, but they were wave-like. Then I got very excited and started to get the house ready from 3:30 am-4:30 am. I went back to bed to try and rest and listened to some different tracks (don’t remember exactly which at this point, but I used the cheat sheet and the guide to pick which ones). I was able to go back to sleep for a few more hours. I reached out to my birth team in the morning to give them a heads up. For the next few hours, we just got the house ready. I tried to rest, eat, drink water, pee, etc. I listened to tracks and worked on getting my hypnosis going.
Throughout my entire pregnancy, I said that I wanted to at least make it to my guess date before baby’s arrival. This little one sure listened since she arrived right at 40 weeks! On Sunday, 7/22, I suddenly felt ready for baby. I don’t know what it was, but I just felt ready, that the time was right. I had the tell-tale burst of energy - I mopped all the floors in our apartment and took K for a 6 mile walk outside. That evening, I began experiencing some waves around 8:00 pm, shortly after I got K down to bed. They felt “different” than the practice waves I’d been experiencing for the last few weeks, but I wasn’t convinced it was the “real deal” yet. They were fairly regular and predictable, coming every 10 minutes or so. The sensation was definitely different. I decided to take a bath and ignore as much as possible. They continued, making sleep challenging, but never really increased in frequency or intensity.
Home birth and Hypnobabies went hand in hand for me, I could not have done one without the other. Early on in my first pregnancy my chiropractor and friend mentioned a home birth midwife and everything about birthing at home seemed right. As I began to show, and people knew that I was indeed pregnant, the question began to arise “So, where are you giving birth?”, especially since I work in a hospital! The surprised reactions and horror stories, began to stir around in my mind, “should I really be doing this?”, “am I brave enough”, “should births really be in the hospital?”, “can I really do this?!” Enter in Hypnobabies...
Introducing my hypnobaby, born at home in the water on Sunday, July 2 at 8:38 pm. 8 lbs 10 oz 19.5" and perfect in every way!
I awoke at 3:00 am at 40+4 with stronger pressure waves than any of the practice waves I'd been having, and thought this could be it!
So I put on my tracks and ended up sleeping through them for another 4 hours or so. At around 8am I noticed they were getting more powerful and knew today would be it! I started timing them, ate a good breakfast and got a shower in while playing tracks. I live alone, so about 9:30am I called my mom and sister to come over and began my early birthing time tracks. The tracks were amazing as I began to experience feelings I hadn't before! My Hypno-Doula, Aileen Larson, showed up around 12:30 and immediately assisted me with my peace and relax cues during each wave. My sister ended up carrying around my bright orange hypnoanesthesia towel around on her shoulder as I found comfort in that. They continued to get stronger, a sensation I feel I couldn't have prepared for being a first time mom! I was very vocal, but apparently (I'm told) I was quite serene in between each birthing wave. My tracks were constantly playing for me all throughout the day and served me as a powerful guide and something to focus on. After about 12 hours of active birthing time I pushed for an hour when I felt the urge and out he came! It was an instant relief and I suddenly felt very normal, like I had just come out of another dimension
It was the most intense day I've ever had, but I'm so proud to say I had the birth I envisioned at home in the water completely naturally. It's fun to put on tracks or relaxation music now and see my baby respond to it. I think he likes Kerry's voice better than mine!
It was January 7th. I had been off of work for winter break since December 19th. I was supposed to go back to work on Monday, January 6th but school was cancelled on the 6th and 7th due to extreme cold temperatures. I was two days past my “guess date” which was making me eager, especially after having two weeks off of work and being stuck inside for two days straight, but Matt and I ended up having a productive, yet relaxing day. That morning I listened to my “Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations” while making breakfast and then did the “Hypnotic Childbirth #1” home-play. I then did my pelvic floor exercises (click here to learn about the Restorative Exercise ™ this mom did with local Hypnobabies instructor and Restorative Exercise ™ Specialist Lindsay McCoy) followed by a DVD pregnancy yoga session to relieve some lower-back discomfort I was having. While doing the yoga DVD, I started to feel a dull, constant ache/cramping. It felt like constant pressure on my pelvis. Matt asked me if it was anything that I could time, but I couldn’t since it was constant with no beginning or end. It lasted for about an hour or two and then went away. To fill our day, we decided to organize some childhood photos into photo books, play cards and make some soup.
The Birth of Aubryn Clara Rae