Ava’s Birth – Surprise Home Birth

This is a long birth story! I decided to write out all of the details since I really learned a lot and enjoyed reading the details of the other birth stories on the list.

A little background: Grace is our second child. I also used Hypnobabies during my pregnancy with our son, who is 16 months old. He was posterior though, and I had terrible back labor for about 5 hours with him and then pushed for 2.5 hours before he was finally born (drug-free!). I was really unable to use the relaxation techniques due to the back labor and worried the same thing would happen with Grace’s birth. But I loved using the Hypnobabies during my pregnancy and felt it would be my best chance for another drug-free birth.

For this pregnancy, I read every word of the Spinning Babies website and did the inversions regularly and did pelvic rocks every night. I also saw a Webster-technique trained Chiropractor throughout my pregnancy and hired a birth doula.

We were using a wonderful midwife who only delivered at the hospital. I was really hesitant to go to the hospital for delivery, but the local birth center closed after my son was born and we decided we weren’t ready for a home birth since my back labor had been so bad.

Back to Grace’s birth: Dec 31st, the day before she was born, my husband and I took our son to the Zoo and walked around for about 3 hours. I started having pressure waves during that night. They woke me maybe ten times, but I was able to go right back to sleep each time. They got more regular when I got up around 7am. I told my husband that today might just be the day. I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant, the same length as the pregnancy with my son.

My husband took over taking care of our son and I was able to lie on the couch and read the rest of the birth stories in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth for the second time. The PW’s continued but were not regular for a few hours. Around noon, I started doing last minute cleaning of the house and reading through the Spinning Babies techniques again while doing figure 8‘s on the birth ball..

At 1 pm, we decided we should start timing the PW’s. They were anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes apart for a couple of hours. I called my midwife around 3:30pm to let her know today may be the day. She said to call her and head to the hospital when they were between 3-5 minutes apart for an hour. The PW’s were fairly strong, but I was able to completely relax during them and felt great about it! I had only experienced back labor with my first baby, so I was excited to feel what a “normal” PW felt like.

For the next couple of hours, the PW’s were mostly from 2-7 minutes apart but then I’d have some 10 minutes apart. The Hypnobabies was so effective at eliminating any pain that I was telling my husband I thought we must have a long way to go.

Around 5:30pm, they started getting more intense. So I asked my husband to massage my shoulders at the beginning of each PW. There would be quite intense pressure, my husband would massage my shoulders and I would use the Hypnobabies relaxation techniques and the “p**n” would almost magically disappear in seconds. Most were 2-5 minutes apart, but there would be a 6 or 11 minute break that threw me off for the timing. I had to completely focus during the PW’s at this point, but they were so manageable that I was still thinking I had a long way to go.

At 7:30pm, I spoke with our Doula who suggested I lay down for a while and see what happened. Up to this point, I had been in an upright position for the last few hours. As soon as I laid in bed, I had two really intense PW’s that lasted 1.5-2 minutes long, but they were 7 minutes apart. I was starting to think we should probably go in and get checked. My husband put our son to bed at 7:45pm. I stood up for a couple of waves, then back in bed for one really intense one. At the end of it I literally jumped because I felt like something had “punched” through my cervix. I told my husband we had better get going. I stood up from the bed and a second later my water just gushed. It was 7:58pm. My husband called his mother to come stay with our son, it was a 15 minute drive for her.

It suddenly occurred to me and I told my husband: “Things are about to happen very fast!”. This was when it first crossed my mind that we may not make it to the hospital. My husband went into turbo mode and started racing around trying to load our car. I started having PW’s every 1-2 minutes. So every time he was almost out the door with a load, I called him back in to help me. I really needed his help massaging my shoulders as hard as he could at this point. It was amazingly intense but we were doing it!

I told my husband I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the car, much less the hospital. He tells me now he was horrified. He did his best to convince me we could (MUST!) make it to the car. It was right about then that I started to feel pushy. That’s when his mom arrived. I asked my husband to close our bedroom door for privacy. I told him I was pushing and went into our Master bathroom and he brought me some towels. I knew my husband was scared and that was about the time I started praying myself. I knew we could do this as long as there were no major problems. I told my husband he better go ahead and call 911.

He told the 911 operator I could feel the baby’s head and was pushing. I could hear the operator telling him to get me to lay down. I was kneeling on the floor and had no interest in laying down at that point. After just a couple of pushes I could feel the baby crowning. I tried my best to slow her head from coming out too fast but wasn’t very successful. I could hear the operator tell my husband several times that he had to get me to lay down. I said, “I’m NOT laying down”. Another push or two and I caught the baby and laid her on the towels. I glanced at the clock. Grace was born at 8:35 pm. I noticed how long the cord looked and unwrapped it from around her neck although it wasn’t tight. Thank God, she immediately started crying. Just my husband and I there to bring her into the world. It was a wonderful, amazing experience we will never forget. I felt great!

Just a couple of minutes after she was born, the Fire Department arrived. Soon our bedroom and bathroom were crowded with men. The EMT’s arrived about 5 minutes later. It was pretty funny to me when the EMT mentioned a couple of times that this was the 6th baby he had “delivered”! They took the three of us to the hospital by ambulance.

Grace’s apgar scores were 8 and 10. She weighed just 6 pounds 3 ounces which was a surprise to us since our son had been 8 pounds 7 ounces. She is the sweetest baby, just beautiful and such a blessing – my husband and I are absolutely thrilled. He did an amazing job helping me. I couldn’t have done it without him! I feel like all of the techniques I used contributed to me having such an easy birth this time. I have loved learning and practicing Hypnobabies and know I wouldn’t have had such success without it. I will definitely be using it again for our next baby!

written and shared with permission from a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.

  • These birth stories always make me weepy. This one especially. The moment where she tells her husband that things were going to start happening fast just completely chokes me up.

    I am so excited for my own hypnobabies birth.

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