I can’t tell you how grateful I am for Hypnobabies and how much of a difference it made for me. This was my 3rd baby, but first time using Hypnobabies and I came away from this birth feeling worlds of difference. During past pregnancies, I’ve been a lot more anxious, but this time, my daily hypnosis became such a comfort to me and I looked forward to it every day. This pregnancy had new challenges with COVID-19 – being quarantined, isolated from friends and family and the financial toll that came with shutting down our small business for months, but Hypnobabies helped me to stay positive and focus on what I could tangibly do. It gave me the confidence to switch to a home birth at 34 weeks and I’m so glad I did. I loved our previous midwives (my previous two births were at a free-standing birth center), but I just felt instinctually that given everything going on, home birth would be the best thing for us.
1:00 AM – Just like I had many times before, I woke up with some waves. My husband, Jon, hadn’t gone to bed yet (he’s a night owl), so I asked him to time some waves for me while I listened to “Your Birthing Time Begins”. They weren’t very consistent and still pretty mild so we both went back to sleep for a bit. I listened to “Special Safe Place” on repeat thinking this would probably fizzle out like it had in the past.
2:30 AM – I couldn’t sleep and felt eager to get some things ready, so I started putzing around while listening to “Birthing Day Affirmations”
4:00 AM – I woke up Jon because I needed help working through the waves and I noticed some tinges of blood. Since this was new, I thought we should call the midwife to let her know. We also texted our moms to come over when they could.
4:30 AM – My mom came over and she stayed with me during waves so Jon could start getting the birth tub ready.
5:30 AM – Jon and I took a walk. As soon as we stepped out the front door, I saw a deer standing at the edge of our driveway! He was so close and we locked eyes for a moment before he ran. I swayed with Jon through a few waves during the walk and as we came back to the house, we saw the deer again leaping through the yard. I felt a sense of being watched over and protected.
6:30 AM - Our groggy 2-year old wandered into the living room, plopped herself on the couch next to me and we snuggled and nursed for a bit. It was a sweet moment of connection. And soon after, our 4-year old daughter joined us too. They were both very interested in the tub and we explained a bit about what was happening. The waves started to slow down, and I thought maybe some warm water in the shower would feel good.
8:00 AM – After the shower, things were still pretty slow, so I called the midwife to ask if she had suggestions for moving things along. She encouraged me to follow my body’s cues and rest if I could. So Jon and I took a 2 hour nap. (what? I still can’t believe we napped just 2 hours before she came!) I was still having waves and kept playing my hypnosis tracks on repeat, but it was so nice to get some sleep.
10:00 AM – I woke up and waves were really on top of each other. Jon called the midwife to tell her we thought she should come right away and he also called his mom who was on her way too. I switched to “Easy First Stage” but because things ramped up really quickly, I had a hard time relaxing into my hypnosis. I was feeling pretty uncomfortable and knew I was fighting the waves rather than letting my body do what it needed to.
10:30 AM – My midwife came. I was having back discomfort and was worried that baby was posterior. She checked and said that baby was anterior and the discomfort in my back was likely because she was getting lower. This really encouraged me that maybe things were further along than I thought, although I was still bracing myself for another 10 or 12 hours.
11:00 AM - I spent some time on the toilet and had a few waves where I was in hypnosis and felt a lot of relief. I felt like I was working with my body rather than fighting it. But then there were some really intense waves and I struggled to stay in that mode.
11:30 AM – The midwife asked if I wanted to check myself and I was surprised to discover that when I reached in, I could feel the bag of waters! She asked if I wanted her to check and she said she could feel the head right behind and there was a tiny bit of anterior cervix but it was so stretchy, baby could come right down. At this point, I realized that we were pretty close. I had still been bracing myself for hours more, but it seemed clear she was really coming!
11:45 AM – The tub was ready so I got in and loved the warm water. Jon played “Pushing Baby Out” on a speaker in the living room. My girls were laughing and playing nearby which was such a joy for me. I vocalized through some strong waves and the intensity was a lot for me at this point. But even in the intensity, I felt a sense of calm resolution that I could do this and that everything was going the way it was supposed to. This calmness was something I didn’t have in previous births and I really attribute it to Hypnobabies.
12:10 PM - With my past births, pushing took quite awhile, so I was really surprised when I could feel her head. I started yelling “that’s her head!” I was pretty loud, but it wasn’t out of discomfort, but out of surprise and excitement. I couldn’t believe she was actually coming! And then I focused in for one more wave and out came the rest of her body! I pulled her out of the water and up to my chest and that moment is one I will NEVER forget. I’ve never felt so powerful and strong as I did in that moment of watching my baby come out of my body and into my arms. I held that precious bundle of squishy baby and marveled at how perfect she was. The placenta came out 9 min later, very easily. I had very minimal bleeding and even though there was a small tear, it didn’t need to be stitched and I haven’t had any discomfort with it. Recovery has been wonderful and I still revel in the beautiful memories of this peaceful perfect birth.
Caris adds: "After the (very challenging) birth of my first daughter, I wrote in my journal "maybe some women just get to have empowering beautiful births, but that won't be my story." After another (very challenging) birth of my second daughter, it took a long time for me to be willing to consider the possibility of having another child biologically. And if I did, I wanted to have on the table the option of a planned c-section under general anesthesia. I didn't want to experience any part of it.
As Jon and I started thinking about baby #3, I discovered Hypnobabies and it gave me hope that maybe things could be different this time. It felt like a big time commitment at first to listen to the tracks regularly, but it became the most relaxing part of my day and helped me have a much more positive and relaxed pregnancy as well as a gentle, beautiful and empowering birth. I'm so grateful to Hypnobabies and to our instructor, Anne, for this incredible gift.
People have asked me how long the birth was, and I really don't know how to count it. I had early waves for 6 weeks with waves that were just as intense as the waves on the day Cadence was born. But maybe it was 11 hours if you count it from start to finish, but I had 2 hours of rest in there and then she was born 2 hours later, so maybe it was only really 2 hours of active birthing time - who knows. What I do know is that I was pretty comfortable and relaxed for the first 9 hours and from there things got challenging but still manageable. It feels less important to track the amount of time and more important to focus on the experience itself. I'm so grateful for the amazing care we had from Twin Cities Midwifery. I felt so encouraged, respected and empowered by them every step of the way. And the support of our moms was invaluable too."