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.
BOP (discomfort, intense pushing phase, almost a necessary episiotomy)
We did an in-person Hypnobabies class, and as first time parents, we are so grateful for that. We were able to complete most of the class before Covid hit. I was pretty good about getting my tracks in every day, and I was a sleeper. I feel asleep (and stayed asleep) for about 90% of all Hypnobabies tracks. They relaxed me instantly, and I just always conked out! In hindsight, I wish I would have had some more conscious experiences in hypnosis (I could have attempted some more upright positions during my tracks, which might have helped me stay awake) prior to birthing, but I know that Hypnobabies was still incredibly helpful during our birthing time.
BOP (GBS+, causing minor interventions)
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.
My entire life I imagined my birthing time would be at a hospital using an epidural or receiving a C-section. If you would have told me that I pulled a 180 I would not have believed you. I first heard of Hypnobabies from my older sister who birthed two healthy boys using her hypnosis. For her first, I thought she was on drugs. Who in their right mind would willingly birth naturally and at a birth center nonetheless! That's not how they show it on the movies so it can't be right. For her second, I was more open to the idea of birthing naturally and was intrigued by this whole hypnosis idea. She encouraged us to look at all the options and to educate ourselves.
Iris is our third daughter, which made us think we knew what to expect this time around. Well, she certainly wanted to prove us wrong!
Our older girls were each born about a week before their guess dates, so we were preparing for the same with this baby. The 39 week point came and went, still no baby. Then 40 weeks, and even 41 weeks passed! Waiting is HARD, but all of our post date evaluations were coming back fine. She was in a great position (LOA, nice and low), her movements and heart rate were healthy, I had plenty of fluid, my cervix was ripening (3-4cm, 80% effaced), and she didn’t seem to be unusually large. She was healthy and very cozy so we were prepared to wait. However, I was getting more uncomfortable each day. My hips and pelvis were so sore I was having trouble caring for my other children. So, at 41 weeks and 1 day we went in for an induction.
While everyone was sleeping in Saturday morning, I texted my hypno-doula, Anne, because I finally had one sign of my birthing time beginning—bloody show. I decided to listen to the Your Birthing Time Begins track and Birthing Day Affirmations (love this track) in hopes of feeling some consistent waves soon.
I went about my day as I normally would, and felt some minor pressure waves...
I suppose Priscilla’s birth story begins at my 36-week appointment, which was July 24th. I chose to receive my care at Roots Community Birth Center in North Minneapolis. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was so impressed with the quality, love, and expertise of the staff. I had an opportunity to get to know each midwife well and felt excited as my last weeks of pregnancy drew near. At my appointment Rebecca did a brief check just to see if I had any scar tissue left from a procedure I had done earlier in the winter. To my surprise I learned that I was already 2-3cm dilated and that babe’s head was very low. I left feeling excited, but also resting in the knowledge that I could be dilated at that number for a long time, and that numbers don’t generally mean all that much so early on. Throughout the week prior I had experienced a few light waves but nothing too exciting.
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.
My water broke at 3:30 am May 2nd. At first I wasn't sure if it was "actually happening" but after a huge gush I knew my baby was getting ready to meet us. After waiting a couple hours to see what would happen I called into the Birth Center and alerted our Doula. The Birth Center asked us to come in at 2 pm for a check up since my pressure waves were very inconsistent. I listened to Easy First Stage and Birth Affirmations on the way to the appointment which helped me get into the mindset that we may meet our baby soon. Baby looked good at the check up and they didn't want to admit us yet since my waves were still inconsistent so we decided to do some movements with our Doula. I felt a surge of energy after that so we decided to grab dinner and take a walk.
I’ve been putting off writing my birth story but as I sat here this afternoon with Phoenix sleeping and cooing on my chest, I was thinking about how I go back to work in just another week and I decided it was time to collect my thoughts.
My second child, Phoenix Wagner, was born on February 24, 2018, during a winter storm, in the water, out of hospital, at Roots Community Birth Center about a mile from our house located in North Minneapolis. Those present at the birth include our midwife, Holly Fix; a birth attendant; a student midwife, Evelyn; my husband, Devin; our 6 year old son Griffin; another student midwife/our doula, Britt Duncan; a sibling doula, Cheyenne Johnson, and a birth photographer, Raven Dibble.