Ashley’s Peaceful Hypnobabies Home Waterbirth
“I got in the tub and continued to stay “off” and let my waves bring baby down. I didn’t want to push until my body decided it was ready and started to do so. I did not have any cervical checks during my pregnancy or birthing time because I trusted my body to guide me (and those numbers mean nothing).”
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At 39 weeks I woke up around 6 am to a small “pop” and a gush of fluid as my water broke. I went to the bathroom, discovered bloody show and thought to myself, “I guess I’m having a baby today!”. My second hypno-baby came at 38+5 but I had it set in my head this baby was staying put for at least another week. It also happened to be the day of my oldest sons’ preschool graduation, that I would have liked to attend, but I was in transformation (Hypnobabies word for transition) as he was graduating that evening (he had three grandmas that attended- very thankful for family).
We had a rough night of sleep with our three-year-old waking up multiple times so I tried to lay down to rest but I was too excited. I woke my husband Darrell up to let him know my water broke and I believe he calmly responded with “ok” and started to slowly wake up for the day.
I didn’t feel like baby was coming any time soon and had no true pressure waves (Hypnobabies word for contractions) yet, just some crampy feelings here and there. I sent a text to my midwife, Janine and she called right away for details. I also sent a text to my hypno-doula, Anne of Bywater Birth (who was also at my first hypno-birth) and my birth photographer, Raven. I told everyone I was going to relax and listen to my tracks. I wasn’t in a hurry to have my baby.
My birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor) started during the night with my second son and came on fast with waves starting immediately and close together. I realized this was exactly the birth my baby and I needed, with a slow lead up to prepare my mind and body. One of my fears during pregnancy was my birthing time going too fast and my midwife not making it to me in time. I was able to use the Fear Clearing track (Hypnobabies track to help release any fears) to ease that fear and realize this birth was going to happen how it was meant to.
After notifying my team, I listened to Your Birthing Time Begins (Reminder of all the tracks and techniques to use during birthing). I didn’t listen to it my last birth and it was so encouraging and sweet. I started my Birthing Day Affirmations track after that and started to get myself focused. Darrell was downstairs making coffee, calling his mom to come over (she lived an hour and a half away at the time), sending a few emails and making the boys breakfast. My first wave was about an hour and a half after my water broke. They continued to come around every half an hour to an hour after that throughout the day. I also lost more of my mucus plug each time I used to the bathroom that morning.
My mother in law arrived later in the morning and took the boys to Mall of America for a fun day of rides and grandma time. My oldest son wanted to be there for the birth so she was ready to head home whenever we needed, but he ended up being at his graduation when his baby brother joined us. Darrell played video games and brought me snacks and water while I hung out in bed relaxing for the morning. I checked in with Janine, she was speaking at a conference late that morning but had a backup speaker and would come whenever I needed her. I wasn’t worried as I knew baby wasn’t coming soon. I texted Anne after that and coincidentally she was at the same conference. I decided to listen to affirmations and the Deepening track (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis) hoping to get a nap in.
Around 1:30 I went downstairs to hang out with Darrell and eat. I put a heating pad on my lower back while sitting on the couch and ten minutes later had a strong wave that caused a huge gush of fluid and a bit of a mess. I decided to head back upstairs to lay down and start my Easy First Stage track (Hypnobabies’ main birthing time track). My waves were coming every 15 minutes but still very comfortable. It was great to use my light switch (Hypnobabies technique to enter hypnosis and create hypno-anesthesia) and I felt I was getting a lot of great practice in before things picked up. Darrell came to lay with me and timed a few waves while I rested. He wanted to call everyone over when waves were ten minutes apart and I laughed. I was still very comfortable and didn’t need the support yet. Around 4 pm I had a phone call with Janine to tell her all was well and I would wait until after rush hour to have my baby, which makes me laugh reflecting on that comment.
Before I knew it my waves were five minutes apart, but I felt so calm and they were still very easy. Darrell noticed my mood had changed to more serious and quieter. He started to call everyone around 5 pm. Of course, it was the beginning of rush hour and most of my team was on the other side of town. While Darrell was on the phone with Janine I had my first wave that didn’t feel like it was opening anymore but it was bringing baby down. It was stronger and made me a little nervous. I said “Peace” (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort) out loud and calmed my body down. Janine wanted to speak to me and said she was on her way and the second midwife would likely get to us first but she was calling another midwife in my area to see if she could come over in the meantime. That midwife could not come but I knew everything was going to be fine. I concentrated on slowing things down and taking each wave one at a time.
Anne arrived first at 5:40 pm and I felt so relieved and happy she was there. She helped Darrell finish getting the birthing pool ready and brought her calm, positive energy to the room. She told me afterward she didn’t know I was having waves as I was laying quietly on the bed with my eyes closed while listening to Easy First Stage on repeat. I was staying “off” and riding my waves which were still comfortable. Anne asked if I needed to pee, which I did, but I knew if I got up things would pick up and I wanted my whole team there. So, I stayed in bed, laying on my side and concentrated on keeping things slow and calm.
Holly arrived around 6 pm and checked my vitals. I knew I was safe to use the bathroom and had a strong wave leaning over the sink on the way back to my room. Anne stood with me saying “Peeeeeeace” with a hand on my shoulder. I wanted to get in the tub but it needed to be cooled down so I stood leaning over the bed riding waves more vocally now while I waited. Janine showed up around 6:30 and ten minutes later Raven walked in. I knew my team was all there and it was go-time! It amazes me how powerful the mind is and how much control I had over my body.
I got in the tub and continued to stay “off” and let my waves bring baby down. I didn’t want to push until my body decided it was ready and started to do so. I did not have any cervical checks during my pregnancy or birthing time because I trusted my body to guide me (and those numbers mean nothing). I was staying extremely focused but thought the intensity was showing more than it was. Anne was giving me Relax cues (Hypnobabies cue to deepen hypnosis) with a hand on my shoulder, saying Peace and reciting birth scripts. I cannot tell you how helpful and necessary that was. I honestly couldn’t have stayed focused without her continuous support- whenever my body would tense she would remind me to relax, whenever my tones started to get high she would remind me to keep them low.
She was telling me to breathe deeply to get oxygen to my baby and giving me sips of water. Darrell and I have both said there is no way we could ever give birth without Anne! Janine was also my rock during my birthing time, rubbing my back and offering words of encouragement. She would tell me to stay with my waves when they were peaking which was so helpful. She was right there with me, telling me what a great job I was doing, that baby was working on turning and offering me continuous encouragement. Darrell held my hand and that was exactly what I needed from him, his calm and grounding presence.
(While I was in the tub, I was most comfortable on my knees hanging over the side. I stayed in the exact same position during my last birthing time as well. My last baby was the exact same weight and length too!)
Around 7 pm I was getting very tired and felt like I was falling asleep for a few seconds in between waves. I asked if I was close and then reminded myself as soon as I think I can’t do it anymore, which means he’s almost here! A few minutes later my body started to push and my “ahhh” turned to strong, primal pushing noises. Shortly before that Darrell asked Anne if he should turn on the Pushing Baby Out track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing) but they couldn’t tell if I was pushy yet, but as soon as Darrell turned it on I started involuntarily pushing. So thankful for my intuitive partner.
Pushing was very intense but I never felt like I was out of control. I knew I could do it, that I was safe and surrounded by people that love and care about me. After about 20 minutes of pushing along with my waves, his head was out and a minute later at 7:49 pm, our baby boy was born. Janine swiftly unwrapped the cord from his neck and leg and then my sweet Nolan was in my arms, on my chest and covered in vernix. About half an hour later he latched in the tub while I was waiting for my placenta. After we got comfortable in bed my excited older boys came in to meet their brother (they got home 20 minutes after baby was born). My whole family was together! Around 10 pm we asked my mother in law to cut the cord and Nolan had his newborn exam weighing 7lbs 3oz.
Being in my bedroom in my own home was the most beautiful and peaceful place to give birth. My first birth was in a hospital, second in a birth center and my home birth was the most amazing and special experience that I will cherish forever. I would never choose to birth anywhere else. My birth team was amazing and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for helping me have this unforgettable birth. I did Hypnobabies home study this pregnancy and believe I had a calm, comfortable birth because of the work I put in and the team I choose. I feel so grateful for this amazing experience and my sweet baby boy who completes our family.