Amanda’s Powerful Peaceful Hypnobabies Home Birth
“Even though things were suddenly moving very quickly with this birth, I really was able to breathe her out and work with my body with intention. If I felt a lot more pressure in a wave, I took that one more slowly. I was happy to feel so in control. In the notes from the birth from my midwife, at 4:07pm she wrote that in between waves I looked up at everyone in the room with a big smile and said, ‘we’re close!!!’.”
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This was my third baby and third home birth, but first Hypnobabies birth. Here is our story of the day we met our sweet Geneva Kathryn.
On Tuesday, November 16th I was 40 weeks and 3 days. The furthest I had ever gotten in a pregnancy (my daughter, Winona came at 40+1 and my son, Caspian came at 39+5). We were all anxiously awaiting the early signs. Around 2pm that afternoon some mild waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) started setting in, in a pattern of every 10 minutes or so. They were in my belly and low back. We started to get really excited but tried to go about business as usual. When my husband, Danny, was done working around 4pm we all bundled up and went for a walk in the crisp sunshine together. That felt great. When I got home and went to the bathroom around 5pm I saw the first signs of some pink tinged mucus plug, and we reached out to our birth team to let them know something was happening!
Hooray! At 5:30pm I decided to put my headphones on and listen to ‘Your Birthing Time Begins’ (Hypnobabies reminder of all the tools for birthing) and then ‘Birthing Day Affirmations’ while I made dinner. After dinner, since the waves were still coming in the same pattern and hadn’t let up at all the last 5 hours, we decided to have the kids help us inflate the birthing tub before bedtime. They had lots of questions about when baby was going to come, and lots of goofy, happy energy. Danny put the kids to bed, and I took a hot shower, got into bed and fell asleep listening to ‘Easier More Comfortable Childbirth’. After a couple hours of sleep the waves woke me up, growing in strength slightly, and had spread into my thighs now as well. I felt a little concerned about not being able to rest well at that point, but then fell asleep this time listening to ‘Fear Clearing’ (Hypnobabies track to release fear). I got decent sleep, though was a bit restless, waves kept coming all night.
In the morning, on Wednesday, November 17th we decided things were progressing enough that Danny let his staff know he wouldn’t be going into work that day. After breakfast, around 11am, we bundled up for another family walk. I was moving much more slowly for this walk compared to our walk the day before. A couple of waves on this morning walk even took up my whole attention and I needed to stop to breathe through them. Around noon I decided to try to rest a little more, so I laid down for an hour and listened to ‘Easier First Stage’ (Hypnobabies main birthing time track). I really enjoyed that track a lot, and the rest felt good. Around 1:30pm I got some lunch ready for us and popped upstairs to check in with my family (we share a duplex type of home with my parents and youngest sister). They would later say that I seemed a little ‘turned inwards’ but otherwise very calm and happy, they really couldn’t believe how shortly after our quick visit then that Geneva was born.
Around 2pm I noticed that I was hitting the 24-hour mark of having this pattern of early waves, and that things were starting to shift. I timed a few waves while bouncing on my birth ball and they were a bit longer and a little closer together now. I started wanting Danny’s company, and some back rubs. I had a few waves on the toilet that were very strong. I was listening to ‘Easier First Stage’ again at this point, which was nice, but I also admitted to Danny around probably 2:45pm that I was feeling a little disappointed that the waves and sensations were feeling fairly strong and uncomfortable, and I had been hoping for more effective hypno-anesthesia, especially this “early” in the game (little did I know). Danny was great and encouraged me that I had invested so much time and energy into Hypnobabies and that I should keep trying to use it and keep listening to my body and working with my body.
When 3pm came I was pretty convinced that active birthing time was now starting, I was very settled into wanting Danny close by for support with my waves, and I was ready to send our kiddos upstairs to play with family. I made the phone call to my dad to come grab the kids, and I called my midwife and doula to tell them that they could start making their way over. We moved to the living room to be near the tub, and I turned on ‘Easier First Stage’ to play out loud in the room. Hip squeezes started feeling really good at this point, and everything I was feeling reminded me of the point in my previous births when I was moving out of early birthing time and into active birthing time. I was feeling excited, but also had about ten minutes or so here that felt more intense and emotional. Between waves I had a quick cry, feeling a flood of things: pure joy thinking of finally seeing my daughter’s face, tiredness from over 24 hours of waves and a night of pretty interrupted sleep, a big and slightly heavy sense of all of the birthing time work ahead of me still, excitement that things were progressing normally and naturally, and just an acute sense of awareness of all of the hormones and emotions that were flooding my body at once.
Danny and I worked through this shift together, while also getting the tub filled and waiting for our team. I was pleasantly surprised that Winona (4 years old) popped in and out of the room a bunch. She hadn’t been sure what she wanted her involvement to be, but when the time came, she was feeling drawn to checking in on us a lot and I loved that. She would come down and rub my back, or tell me I was doing a good job, and at one point she said, “I hope you are having such a peaceful birthing time, mom!”. Around 3:30pm our birth team arrived. I was so glad; I was ready to get into the tub! Right away our doula was at my side, offering counter pressure and getting me what I needed. And right away I realized that my waves had changed and all of a sudden… I was feeling pushy! I could not believe it but didn’t have time to process and just needed to stay tuned in to my body and do what sounded right, which at that moment was to get into the tub. Somewhere around 3:45pm I got into the tub and followed my body’s lead as it continued pushing my baby out. I was still feeling so much surprise that I was already somehow at the pushing phase, and also that I somehow felt completely grounded and calm and in control.
One of my goals for this birth was to be more in control specifically during the pushing phase, and I really was! Even though things were suddenly moving very quickly with this birth, I really was able to breathe her out and work with my body with intention. If I felt a lot more pressure in a wave, I took that one more slowly. I was happy to feel so in control. In the notes from the birth from my midwife, at 4:07pm she wrote that in between waves I looked up at everyone in the room with a big smile and said, “we’re close!!!”. I remember talking to Geneva at one point here too. I just couldn’t wait to hold her. I also remember looking out the window between waves to see that a beautiful flurry of a snowstorm had started. I was on hands and knees in the tub, Danny was rocking the hip squeezes and my doula was keeping a cold washcloth on my face and keeping me hydrated. The ‘Easier First Stage’ track was still playing in the room, and I remember noticing that while I was pushing, we reached a part in the track where she was talking about pushing. There was definitely a lot of intensity and sensations here in this final phase, but I felt fully present, fully capable and really peaceful.
My big, beautiful girl was born there in the water, at 4:19pm, in a beautiful snow globe flurry. She slipped out and into Danny’s hands, with big sister Winona watching close by. Such incredible relief, I was so happy to see her face and the first thing I noticed about her was how luscious her cheeks were! There is just nothing like this moment. Somehow this was our biggest baby (she was almost 9 pounds), and at the same time our fastest birth, AND at the same time our most peaceful birth. I am amazed and so thankful that it was all of those things combined!
I really was so, so amazed that despite my doubting it, my hypnosis was in fact working so well that I ***did not recognize that I was going through transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition)***. !!!!!! Looking back, in those moments when I was feeling more intense and emotional around 3:30pm it really felt to me, when compared to my other births, like when I was shifting into active birthing time. My cry that I had in that moment makes more sense now too, little did I know I was totally working through finishing dilating! What a big and emotional moment! It’s funny to think that when I went upstairs to check in with my family around 1:30pm that I was probably actually in my active birthing time, but so calm and peaceful and just going about my day! I’m thankful that Danny encouraged me to keep at my hypnosis, when I was feeling discouraged.
My practice definitely made such a difference for me in this birth. My birth team was so kind and affirming, calling me a ‘birthing goddess’ and noting how calm and in control I was. My doula also said that in many of her other clients that have had equally fast (or ‘precipitous’ as they say) births that she sees a lot of moms have a hard time “coming back into their bodies” afterwards, because of how much they just went through in such a short time. She was amazed that for me, she said I seemed 100% present and grounded in my body, during and then even immediately after the birth. She really credited the hypnosis in helping me with that. Caspian (2 1/2) came downstairs right away after Geneva was born, and we were all there together as a family when I birthed the placenta.
The kids really thought everything was so cool. They were amazed to see Geneva and wanted to touch her and talk to her and ask about the vernix and be a part of everything. Both kids helped to cut the cord and couldn’t wait to hold and kiss Geneva. Unfortunately, I did tear again, but I felt the most calm and at peace for getting stitches this time. When I was getting stitched up, Caspian came over and took a look and then asked, rather loudly, “mom, did you broke your vulva?!?!?!” and I was so happy to have a good laugh in that moment. I told him, well yes, I sort of did, but that our midwife was taking good care of me. He made sure I was ok and then sat and watched her stitch me up for a while. Both kids just took it all in stride and really enjoyed being a part of the big day. They had been such a part of my practice too, they loved listening to our Daily Affirmations together. I so hope that this experience helps them to have a positive perspective about pregnancy and birth that they can carry into their own lives. A couple of weeks ago Winona asked if we could have another baby soon, because she loved the birthing time so much.
My two favorite words to describe this birth are powerful and peaceful. I feel so thankful and happy about how it went, and about how strong and capable I felt. It was an incredible day.