Talita Pearl was born September 11, 2008, at 3:29 p.m. 6 days after her “guess date.” The labor and birth were not like anything I had visualized or expected, but were exactly what she needed to come into the world safely and healthily.
“A few days after Talita’s birth my midwife read the literature on short tight cords and discovered that my birthing time and actual birthing were “textbook” for that situation. Slow, easy labors and a longer pushing stage allow the cord to adjust with each wave and each push. Also the best position to use is lying on your left side. Exactly what I had done instinctively! I am totally amazed at nature’s wisdom and how if we just trust our bodies, they know what to do for our babies to be born safely and naturally.” read her story below …
On September 10, 5 days after my guess date, my water broke around 1 a.m. Since most of my other labors were 4-6 hours long, I was excited because I figured this baby would come before my little boys (ages 5 and 2) woke up. Just what I had visualized and wanted! I woke up DH and together we filled the birth pool, changed the bedding and lit some candles. I wasn’t having any real pressure waves so we both went back to bed. I listened to Birth Day Affirmations, Easy First Stage, Deepening, Hypnotic Childbirth 1 & 2. You get the picture–nothing was happening! No waves and no sleep. Of course, I kept gushing amniotic fluid and pieces of the mucous plug so I was going to the bathroom about every 20 minutes. I kept thinking maybe I should get up and really get labor going so the baby comes before everyone wakes up. However, I was tired and so I just lay there on my left side listening to my HB. Finally at 4:30 a.m. I came up with a plan: I would put on Deepening again and when it ended at 5 a.m. I would automatically wake up (this often happened during the pregnancy) and would get up and really get things going. That would give me 2 hours–that should be enough time before my boys woke up. (So funny in hindsight.)
As soon as the script ended I awoke with a start. I felt like I needed to have a huge bm. That, combined with the adrenaline of my “plan” made me jump out of bed and practically run to the bathroom. As I sat down, waves of nausea came over me at the same time a really strong pressure wave started. I started moaning and grabbed the trash can and put it between my legs just in case I threw up. I was terribly hot and sweaty so I ripped off my shirt and threw it on the floor. Our bathroom door is within reach of the toilet so I grabbed onto the door knob and held onto it for dear life. I was thinking, “Maybe I slept through early labor and this is transition!” Suddenly I felt myself jerk upwards and “thought what just happened?” I finished business and got back in bed telling my DH to go get the throw-up bucket. I was breathing really fast and hard. My DH got the bucket then put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Relax.” It worked immediately. (Yay HB!) My breathing immediately calmed down and I told him what had just happened. It wasn’t until then I realized that I had almost passed out on the john!
I went back to sleep for a couple of hours and at 7 a.m. decided to call my midwife. She came out and checked me. The baby was too high for her to even reach my cervix. (?) At a – 3 station. I thought it odd since I had carried the baby low all pregnancy and the baby had been engaged for nearly two weeks. She said not to worry, the sac can reseal itself and it could actually be days before I gave birth. She reminded me of the standard things to be careful of when the water breaks and then she went back home.
My DH stayed home from work because we both thought it could happen at anytime. All day long I only had mild crampy sensations. I lay down often to rest and catch up on sleep. I put on HB scripts whenever I would lay down and they helped me relax and get some sleep. I was surprised that it was all happening so slowly. But I was so grateful I wasn’t in the hospital strapped to a fetal monitor being starved “just in case” I needed anesthesia.
That night we went to bed just knowing that it would happen once the boys were asleep and the house was quiet. At exactly 12 midnight I awoke to a strong pressure wave. I started watching the clock and realized they were coming about every 5 minutes. Hooray! That lasted about 45 minutes and then the waves started to come less often and not as strong. What??!? However, they kept coming irregularly. I got in the pool at 2 a.m. I listened to HB on my speakers I had set up by the pool and some of Enya’s music. I had always wanted to listen to Carribbean Blue in the middle of the night while laboring peacefully in my birth pool. However, being in the water just didn’t feel right so I got out after an hour. I called my midwife at 3 a.m. to let her know what was happening. I was worried about waking her up too soon, but she was already awake, just lying in bed wondering how I was doing! She arrived by 4 a.m. and checked me. I was only 3 cm. Argh! I kept resting off and on the rest of the morning. Pressure waves continued to be irregular and I would never have two strong waves in a row. I was very perplexed. I had never labored like this before. My DH and midwife were great. They never showed signs of impatience or frustration. I think we all just seemed to know that this was how this labor needed to be for some reason. They alternated rubbing my back and legs during waves and I continued listening to HB scripts. I was actually getting kind of tired of them since I had listened to every one of them at least 3 times! Once my midwife started rubbing the pressure points on my feet and hands to stimulate stronger waves. Even though that didn’t sustain anything, the massage felt great and I couldn’t help but think, “I would never be treated so well in the hospital!” In fact, I knew that had I been in the hospital I would have been started on Pitocin since it had been so long since my waters had broken and since my waves were so mild and erratic. The other odd thing was that laying on my left side seemed to be the best position to bring on pressure waves–more than walking around or sitting on my birth ball. Even in that position, the waves were very manageable and I just breathed deeply through them and used my peace cue.
Finally, at 2 :30 p.m. things suddenly changed. I was lying down on my left side (of course) and the waves started coming close together and very long. My midwife heard me moaning and came in to time them. One was 2 minutes long! At this point all I could think to do was moan really low through each wave. I knew this was transition and I guess I wanted everyone else to know as well, because in between waves I was saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore!” I’m not sure how long that lasted, but suddenly I just couldn’t lay there anymore. My midwife helped me off the bed and I got situated on the birth stool. At this point, my two little boys who had pretty much left me alone most of the day just had to be in my bedroom with me.
I think they were a distraction to all of us so I told my DH to take them next door to our neighbors who had agreed to watch them if I had the baby during the middle of the day. I honestly didn’t think that would happen! When DH got back, he sat behind me in the glider chair so he could support me and rub my back. I had a brief rest period where the waves didn’t come as often but they were still pretty intense. After another check my midwife said I was complete, and thus began the pushing stage. I have never pushed so hard and so long except for my first baby. In actuality I pushed for 11 minutes but it felt like an eternity. I was pretty vocal as I pushed, groaning real low in my throat. I couldn’t believe it was so hard to get this baby out. Being my 7th baby, I thought the baby would just kind of shoot out, like my 5th baby had done. Not so! I told my midwife I wanted to feel the baby’s head while still inside me and so when the baby was nearly at the opening I reached down and felt the head. I honestly felt like I was touching part of me–like I had the sensation in my finger and also the baby’s head. It was weird but cool.
Then I had to push with all my might for a long period as her head slowly (and I mean slowly) eased out. I didn’t tear! I kept thinking isn’t her head out yet? Finally it was out but the midwives found the cord was around her neck and it was a little tight. She said, “We’ll either have to cut the cord now or you can push right now and get this baby out.” Fortunately the cord was just barely loose enough for her to ease it over the head as I pushed. Again it was agonizingly slow–I felt first the top shoulder come out, then the bottom shoulder and finally the baby was out. My midwife immediately put the baby on my legs face down so any fluid could drain. We discovered the cord was too short to bring the baby to my chest. The baby felt so good–so hot and alive! We rubbed the baby’s back to stimulate breathing, still not knowing if the baby was a girl or boy. I was patient–I wanted the baby to be okay. Finally after about 30 seconds (it seemed more like minutes) we turned the baby over and both my DH and I said together, “IT’S A GIRL!!!!” We were so excited. After 4 boys in a row and knowing this would be our last baby, we were ecstatic!
The midwives suctioned her and actually used the neonatal mask to help get her breathing. She was a little blue but pinked up really fast. She is absolutely perfect and beautiful. Everyone felt her strength and energy as she took her first breath. We knew then that she is a strong and incredible spirit.
A few days after the birth my midwife read the literature on short tight cords and discovered that my birthing time and actual birth were “textbook” for that situation. Slow, easy labors and a longer pushing stage allow the cord to adjust with each wave and each push. Also the best position to use is lying on your left side. Exactly what I had done instinctively! I am totally amazed at nature’s wisdom and how if we just trust our bodies, they know what to do for our babies to be born safely and naturally. I am totally convinced that had I been in a hospital I would have had a C-section. No doctor or nurse-midwife would have “allowed” me to labor so slowly and mildly for 38 hours after my water had broken. They would have used pitocin and that would have put the baby in distress and they would have done the CS. (Birth story#3) I am so grateful for everything I’ve read about natural childbirth and for the Hypnobabies scripts that told me every day of my pregnancy that my body knew how to birth my baby!
Hypnobabies mom, Bonnie