Hypnobabies mom says about pushing, "I was certainly calm, and pain free, but I was not quiet!"
My sweet love, our five week old son, is on my lap as I write this. Jackson is our first child and his birth was amazing, in large part thanks to Hypnobabies. From the time we found out we were expecting, I had the date of March 9, 2012 in mind as the day our sweet baby would join us. Our actual guess date was March 13th, but I suppose mother's intuition knew our little one would decided to come a few days before his guess date. Our birth story unfolded throughout the week culminating with our most precious gift joining our family on March 9th.
We are so fortunate to have a wonderful birth center in our city with two amazing midwives. They were our primary care providers throughout our pregnancy, with the exception of two visits to an OB required by state law. I think it's worth stating that my BOP and Fear Clearing were invaluable on my second visit to the OB. He basically mocked the fact that I told him I was intending to enjoy our natural birth and felt it necessary to tell me horror stories to try and scare me. I used my BOP to block him out as much as possible during the visit. That evening when I returned home I did a fear clearing session to try and (successfully!) get the stories he told me out of my head. The experience with the OB made me all the more thankful to have our birth center and fabulous midwives.
On Monday morning I woke up and felt a little trickle when I got out of bed. It was just the smallest amount, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid so I went in to see my midwives. It turned out to be nothing (or the beginning of the mucus plug) and she said I didn't appear to be dilated yet. She did say that baby was in optimal fetal positioning, which I was thrilled to hear as our little one was constantly swimming around in there (lots of fluid for him!) and changing positions almost weekly.
Tuesday morning I woke up and went to the restroom and discovered that I had lost my mucus plug. I was 39 weeks and some change and was excited that things looked like they were getting started toward our birthing time! I went on about my day and felt a periodic pressure wave, but nothing that really grabbed my attention. Apparently I did have practice pressure waves toward the end of pregnancy, but I never felt any of them. The only reason I knew they were going on was the midwife pointed it out to me at an appointment. Being aware of them at all was a change, so I knew this was a positive sign that we were progressing.
That evening around 7pm the waves began to get more frequent, but again nothing to really grab my attention. After we went to bed they began to ramp up and I became more aware of them and ended up getting out of bed and spending the evening listening to my deepening track over and over on my birthing ball. Although my sweet baby was in OFP, I began feeling the waves in my back quite strongly. As the evening progressed the waves in my back became stronger and stronger. I wouldn't use the word (pain), but they were definitely becoming intense. I didn't feel the waves anywhere other than my back.
When my husband woke up the next morning, I told him I thought things were progressing so he decided to stay home with me. I was supposed to have my weekly appointment at the birth center at noon, but we waited until later in the day as the waves were progressing in intensity and frequency and I thought we may end up going to the birth center that evening. The pressure on my back was very intense throughout the day and my husband was a champ and pushed on my back during each wave to try to help ease the intensity. I was unable to lay down as the pressure on my back was too great and made me need to throw up. I just kept thinking of something my midwife had told me "remember you can do anything for a minute". So I took each wave as it came and made it through the day with my husbands help and Hypnobabies tracks. I wouldn't call any of this "painful", but it was definitely intense. I think I would have been in a very different frame of mind if I hadn't had my Hypnobabies tools. We ended up going to the birth center around 5:00pm and once I was checked, we found out I wasn't dilated! Quite disappointed we headed home.
The waves continued in intensity and I spent Wednesday evening on my birthing ball with my husband holding my back through each wave. We did the tuck and lift multiple times to help our sweet baby descend further. Thursday progressed much the same as Wednesday had in intensity and back pressure. I took a couple of showers which were delightfully wonderful. Mid afternoon the waves began to get lower with quite a bit more pressure and I knew our birthing time was imminent. We called the midwives and headed to the birth center. I listened to my Easy First Steps track with my eyes closed the entire trip to the birth center.
When we arrived around 5:30pm they check me and found I was 7 cm dilated. My husband and I walked around the birth center, bounced on my birthing ball and tried all kids of different positions to help our birth progress. Time becomes very foggy to me at this point, but I believe around 7:30 I wanted to go ahead and get in the tub. It felt AMAZING. I'm not sure how long we were in there, but all of a sudden the waves became very intense, low and almost pushy. I didn't realize it at the time but this was transformation. y water broke and one of the midwives fished out the sac which was almost completely intact (apparently this rarely happens). I hadn't used the restroom in a while so the midwifes wanted me to go before we began pushing. I was unable to go and they felt it would be safest if we moved to the bed. I hadn't decided if I wanted a waterbirth or not, but I knew I would know in the moment what was the right choice for us and the bed turned out to definitely be the right choice.
The tracks that say 20 minutes feel like 5 are totally accurate. I began pushing around 9:30pm. The midwifes were amazing, massaging me to make sure I didn't tear, giving encouragement when needed and just in general being completely fabulous. My husband, my rock, was up on the bed with me (a nice queen size) holding my hand when needed, letting me grab on to him and doing the release cue on my shoulder. I LOVED the release cue, it was probably the most powerful tool for me. I pushed for what felt like 20 minutes to me, but was in reality, three hours. I was in multiple different positions to try to help our sweet baby descend and join us.
I had watched amazing Hypnobabies videos online, most with the women being completely quiet and calm. I was certainly calm, and pain free, but I was not quiet! I had no idea I would make as much noise as I did, but it was involuntary, almost primal and it was just right for our birth.
Once his head was low enough for me to touch, I felt my sweet boys full head of hair for the first time. I just kept saying "come on sweet baby, come on sweet baby" and rubbing his wonderful, warm, soft head. Sometimes my husband will look at me and say "come on sweet baby" and it's a lovely reminder of our fabulous birth. After three hours of pushing, our amazing son joined us at 12:32am on March 9th, the day I had always thought would be his birthday - all 9 lbs 4 oz and 22 1/2 inches of wonderful, snugly love!
The midwives immediately placed our baby on my chest and he picked his head right up looked directly at me, turned his head looked at his Daddy, back and me and back at his Daddy. He kept picking his head up and quietly looking around at his new world. We picked him up briefly to find out he was a boy and then he snuggled down on my chest. The placenta was out almost immediately, I barely noticed as I had my beautiful baby in my arms. It only took two minutes for the chord to stop pulsing and my husband was able to make the cut. We snuggled skin to skin for quite a while and nursed for 45 minutes before he decided he was finished! My husband called my Mom and she came to the birth center to meet her first grandchild. Since it was the middle of the night, we decided to enjoy our son and tell the rest of the world the next day. The midwives weighed him and I couldn't believe he was over 9 lbs! We settled down for the night around 3am and the three of us slept together in the bed for five hours.
We never did an ultrasound, but at several appointments throughout our pregnancy my midwives had said "I think we have a thumb sucker here". My boy wasn't born sucking his thumb, but he was born sucking his hand! Thus the three hours of pushing this 9 lber and his hand out. :) I had talked to my baby and told him "head down, facing back, chin to chest!" many times. It never occurred to me to add "hands down!" haha As it turns out, baby does indeed know best. I had no tearing as his somewhat slow progression allowed me to stretch and the midwifes to massage me etc. keeping me completely intact and comfortable.
I'm so incredibly proud of myself and of my son for our birth. It wasn't easy, but it was perfect. I know Hypnobabies proved invaluable throughout our pregnancy and birth. I enjoyed the program so much that I've been thinking I would like to become an instructor to help other moms. Yes, the birth was intense (and the 48 hours of back pressure waves leading up to his actual birth) but I wouldn't use the word pain for any of it. Bringing new life into the world should be intense, beautiful, and an experience. We got everything we wanted from our birth and ended up with the most precious gift of all, our son.
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