Aidan’s Speedy Hypnobabies Homebirth
“I used Hypnobirthing for my daughter and Hypnobabies for this birth (they are very different!). While I liked my Hypnobirthing class and felt it was somewhat helpful during my daughter’s birth, it did not even come close to how helpful Hypnobabies was for me. I actually learned how to use hypnosis to have a more comfortable birth experience with Hypnobabies.”
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Aidan was born on Aug 27 at 4:13 pm – a day before his guess date. So, a little background on me before we begin his birth story. I’m 43 years old. Due to my age, I got my A1C tested at the beginning of my 2nd trimester. I got a test result of 5.7 which is the lowest number on the “pre-diabetic” scale. Because of this, I began testing my blood sugar daily and eating a low-carb diet of about 50-60g of carbs daily. It took about a month, but I got my numbers within the recommended range for pregnant woman.
I started out at a free-standing birth center but switched to a homebirth midwife around the beginning of my 3rd trimester. I did this for a few reasons. The birth center was about an hour away. They wanted to do 2 non-stress tests per week starting at 36 weeks which would mean a lot of driving. They also wanted to induce me based solely on my age at 39 weeks.
I did a lot of research on the safety of going past 39 weeks and felt that as long as all tests continued to come back normal, there was not a reason to induce at 39 weeks. Lastly, I really wanted my 4-year-old daughter to be present for the birth. The birth center was ok with this but the long distance from my home made it difficult to figure out the logistics of someone bringing her there and not having her be bored if it was a longer birth.
However, switching to a homebirth made me very happy and the midwife made me feel very at peace with my pregnancy. I felt we were doing the necessary checks to ensure that baby and I remained healthy without routine protocols that are put in place more to protect an institution rather than a mother and child.
Around 39 weeks, I started having some Braxton Hicks that felt like mild period cramps – I never felt my uterus contracting – just mild crampiness. There were 2 nights when the sensation did get strong enough that I wondered if this could be the beginning of my baby’s birthing day, but as soon as morning arrived, and I got out of bed and moving around, the Braxton Hicks would disappear. Both nights, I listened to my Hypnobabies tracks – just in case it turned out to be the real deal! I liked the Birthing Day Affirmations and Deepening track the best.
I also started listening to my Hypnobabies Come Out Baby track around 39 weeks 3 days. I really liked this track as it told baby it was ok to be born now if he was ready and if he wasn’t – if he needed more time to grow inside, that was ok too and I could be patient. This was pretty much what I would say out loud to him when we were alone having some mommy-baby time.
On the morning of my baby’s birthing day, I had a prenatal checkup with my midwife. I agreed to an internal exam and learned that I was 3-4 cm dilated, and baby was very low. This added to my positive feelings that I would meet my baby in the next few days.
I was feeling crampy most of the day, but it was not that uncomfortable. I could easily forget about them when I was keeping busy. About 2 hours before my baby was born, I was doing some grocery shopping. When I returned home, I picked up my daughter from my mom’s house and she played while I did some design work on my computer. As I worked, I realized that the crampiness was getting stronger so about 1 hour before my baby was born, I decided to close my computer and focus on my body. At this time, my husband arrived home unexpectedly. He explained that he had about 40 minutes until his next case. I told him I was having a lot of BH and this might be the day, but I wanted to go to our bedroom and see how I was feeling.
He stayed with our daughter as I listened to my Easy First Stage hypnosis track. I decided to time what felt like true pressure waves at this point. It was hard to focus on my hypnosis and pushing buttons on my phone to start and stop the counter, so I asked my husband to join me to time some pressure waves. My pressure waves quickly become very strong and intense so I used more hypnosis. My husband said they were 1-2 minutes apart lasting from 30 seconds to 1 minute. I knew this was it and asked him to call the midwife and my mom to come get our daughter, so we could focus on preparing for the birth (filling up the tub and getting the bed ready) The midwife told my husband she would be there in 30 minutes. That sounded like plenty of time even though my pressure waves were quite strong now.
I told my husband to get the bed ready before the tub, so I moved to the living room, still listening to Easy First Stage. Once in the living room, I felt the urge to use the bathroom. I got about half way to the bathroom and my body involuntarily squatted and started to bear down. I couldn’t help but push along with the sensation. I instantly knew I did not have to use the bathroom, I was having my baby! I told my husband to call the midwife back and tell her I was pushing. He didn’t see the need since he had just called her, and she was on her way. I repeated that he needed to call her back and let her know I was pushing. He did, and she said they would stay on the phone together… just in case…
I had my birth ball on the bed and I was resting my chest and arms on it. With each pushing wave, my body was bearing down. I really wanted to wait for the midwife, so I was trying not to push with my urges. This was not working, and it was as if my midwife, Kelly, could read my thoughts because she said through the phone, “if you feel like pushing, go ahead – just short controlled pushes, okay?” Short and controlled was doable – much better than trying to will my body to stop pushing. So, this is what I did for a while. I totally lost all sense of time.
I remember Kelly asking if my water had broken yet. My husband and I answered in unison that it had not. However, after the next push, I reached down and felt something very smooth. I knew this was my bag of water. On the next push, my amniotic sac broke and we informed her of this. She asked what the color of the water was, and my husband said it was clear or a little yellowish. She said that was good. I think I took a few pushes to birth my sweet baby’s head.
While I was doing this, Kelly asked my husband to get the bulb syringe ready. She explained that once the baby was completely born, he would have to clear the baby’s nose and mouth if he was not crying. I was pretty sure my husband had never used a bulb syringe and I prayed that the baby would cry as soon as he was born. After I birthed the baby’s head, I no longer had any urges to push. I took a nice rest and wondered if I could just leave things like this until the midwife arrived – I still really wanted her present before he was born!
To my recollection, I only thought this in my mind, but my husband and midwife confirmed that I said this out loud and then I heard Kelly over the phone saying, “No you can’t leave him like that, you have to push out his body.” She gave me some helpful tips on how to make this easier which was nice since I wasn’t having any pushing urges anymore. I could also tell that my husband was worried by the tone of his voice. He later explained that Aidan’s face was bluish-purple, and he thought this was because he wasn’t breathing. He didn’t know that babies are bluish-purple until they start breathing oxygen.
So, in one last big push, little Aidan was born and he immediately started to cry. What a sweet, sweet sound! I asked Kelly if Allan needed to do anything since Aidan was crying and she said nope, he was just fine. Looking back, I would have guessed that it took about 20 minutes to push him out, but Kelly was timing it and said it was actually 3 minutes! At some point before my water broke, I did ask to change my Hypnobabies track from Easy First Stage to Pushing Baby Out! This is so funny to me now, because I assumed hours would go by in between listening to Easy First Stage and Pushing Baby Out! I had been visualizing a faster birth than my first, and I guess I got my wish!
I turned around and sat down as Allan handed Aidan to me. We dried him off with a towel. Kelly asked Allan if I was bleeding a lot and he said no so we just cuddled until Kelly arrived. The midwife’s assistant – a LPN, arrived first. She assessed Aidan while explaining that she jumped in her car without taking the time to put on shoes so that she could get to us as soon as possible. Shortly after our barefoot assistant arrived, Kelly arrived. She began checking me out. I birthed the placenta and then she stitched up a small tear. I know there was some other stuff she did like check blood pressure, but I don’t really remember – it is all kind of a blur! By this time, I was ready to get cleaned up, so Allan held Aidan while I took a shower.
Then my mom called and asked if we had things set up and if we were ready for her and Alia to come down and watch the birth. Allan laughed and told her that the baby was already born. Oh, the best laid plans… my daughter was not here to see the birth, but she did get to come down and meet her brother when he was only a few minutes old. Our little family of 4 was able to sit on our bed and all bond with little Aidan. It was the nicest feeling to be in the comfort of my own home and just be able to enjoy each other’s company.
After a little while, Kelly asked if it was time to weigh and measure Aidan and I agreed. This “little” guy weighed 9 pounds 15 ounces! I couldn’t believe it, he didn’t look that big to me. Of course, my first concern was his health. I asked if his size was due to my gestational diabetes even though my numbers had been good the majority of my pregnancy. My midwife reassured me that GD babies have an out of proportion larger abdomen, but my baby was proportionately big – he had long feet and hands, his body was long, and his abdomen was not larger than his head. I guess this guy takes after his dad who 9 pounds and my daughter took after me weighing in at under 7 pounds.
In retrospect, I am very happy with my son’s birth story. It was an amazing experience that my husband and I will always have together. We have an amazing story to tell and my husband is enjoying making jokes about adding baby catcher to his resume. I never would have chosen to have an unassisted home birth but our midwife being on the phone the entire time, really did help both of us stay calm and not feel like we were doing this on our own.
When I compare the difference between my daughter’s birth (13 hours, 3 hours of unproductive pushing – in large part due to my feeling uncomfortable with the hospital provider who was on call) to a 1-hour birth with only a few minutes of pushing, I have to contribute the drastic difference to how comfortable I felt. I used Hypnobirthing for my daughter’s birth and Hypnobabies for this birth (they are very different!) While I liked my Hypnobirthing class and felt it was somewhat helpful during my daughter’s birth, it did not even come close to how helpful Hypnobabies was for me. I actually learned how to use a very deep form of hypnosis to have a more comfortable birth experience with Hypnobabies. I also know that being in my own home and having a provider whom I trusted 100% was a big factor in my comfort level