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Courtney’s Airbnb Hypnobabies Water Birth

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Courtney’s Airbnb Hypnobabies Water Birth

“I listened to Easy First Stage on repeat and my husband laid behind me, rubbing me and breathing with me. This time was amazing to have the constant affirmations and encouragement coming into my mind and body with this track.”

We welcomed our 4th baby, Emmerlie Ruth Louisa Buckley January 20th at 8:47 am!

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I had a long and difficult pregnancy. I had severe SPD (pelvic, hip, and pubic bone discomfort) and was home bound the last 3 months of pregnancy. From this past Tuesday on, I was pretty much in tears or near tears all the time because I was ready to be done. (Keep reading, it’s a good story!)

I live in Alabama, and although we just passed our midwifery licensure bill, licenses are not available yet, so midwifery is technically still illegal. I have gone to Tennessee for home birth away from home with all of my children. This time, I rented a house off AirBnB just over the border to birth my baby. I rented it for 2 weeks and prayed that she would come in that two week time frame. We got the house on Wednesday and planned to stay until after birth. However, after staying here two nights, my anxiety was super high and I just really needed to go home. Friday night we all went home to sleep in our own beds.

That night I woke at 3:30 am as usual to get up to pee. I felt some low pressure and as soon as I stood up I felt a gush of fluid. “No, no, no” I thought. (However, this was exactly the time of morning I visualized my birthing time to begin!) But I didn’t want my water to break before the start of pressure waves for a variety of reasons. I went to the bathroom trying to convince myself I had lost bladder control, and changed undies, though I knew it was my waters. Sure enough, I soaked those undies as soon as I put them on!

I called my midwife and told her the news. She said I sounded nervous. I said that I was, I didn’t want my water to release ahead of waves, and I was worried about having to use induction methods. She said that waves will likely start soon and that this could be an answer to prayer because I have to travel 35 minutes to get to my place of birth. She said that now I know it is birthing time, yet I can make my way slowly and peacefully to Tennessee without being in a mad rush and pushing in the car. I nodded, trying to agree, called my neighbor to stay with my kids, and we headed out.

I listened to birthing day affirmations in the car, and I comfortably rode to the birth house. (Background… with my 1st and 2nd pregnancies we traveled to my midwife’s house in middle TN that was 1.5 hours away and I was through transformation and almost ready to push by the time we got there with my 2nd, so this comfortable ride was certainly way better than that!)

We got to the house about an hour ahead of my midwife and her team. My husband started putting water in the birth pool and I started my diffuser and got the bed ready. I was starting to have a few birthing waves here and there. When I got all my stuff arranged, I went to bed. I think waves were starting to come a little more regularly at this point. Between filling pots of water my husband would come and rub my back or my legs just to give me his presence, and I put on Easy First Stage.

By the time my birth team arrived I was having regular waves. I told my midwife when she came in and she almost cried she was so happy. We had had a prenatal appointment that Wednesday at the rental house and I cried most of it because of unwarranted anxiety. My birth team prayed over me and we had a really special time together, so my midwife understood how much I needed a peaceful birth and she really believed my waters releasing early afforded me that peace to know when it was time to go, but to be able to go in complete comfort and not in a panic.

I would say my birthing waves were regular by 5 am, and I relaxed in bed until about 7 am. I listened to Easy First Stage on repeat and my husband laid behind me, rubbing me and breathing with me. This time was amazing to have the constant affirmations and encouragement coming into my mind and body with this track. If I didn’t have the track, I really don’t know how I could have stayed relaxed mentally and physically during this time. I truly was completely comfortable, even with the pressure starting in my back. My midwife gave us a warm rice sock for my back and showed us how to do an abdominal lift while lying down. I got up to potty once and my husband lifted my belly while I was standing. I will say, the pressure in the front from the lift was much more intense, but it did alleviate the pressure in my back fairly well. I had a few moments of indecisiveness as I didn’t know when I wanted to get in the tub. I knew being in the warm water would feel great, but I also knew I wouldn’t be able to lie completely down and totally release while being in the water, and I was doing well staying in hypnosis while I was in bed. It was really amazing, that every time she said “release” on the track, my body would automatically relax and my eyes would close. I had severe trembling through this time in bed, yet during a wave, my body would stop trembling and I would ride the wave in peace.

As things progressed and got more intense, and my indecision rose, my team suggested I get in the tub so I wouldn’t have to try to walk to the tub while I was pushing. As they helped me in, the warm water immersed me and I let out a huge “ahhhhhhhhh!” as the comfort ran over me. I then spent the next, I have no idea how long, trying to find a comfortable position. The pressure was increasing in my back again and I wanted counter pressure and hip squeezing. My midwife’s assistant began to squeeze my hips and almost had to get in the tub with me! This amazing team of 3 ladies will do ANYTHING you need at any cost to them. They are truly servants! She squeezed for a while then traded places with my husband. I would tell them “ok, now” and someone would squeeze and someone would whisper encouraging words.

I felt complete relief between waves and was of very sound mind between waves, so we would joke or talk about what I want. At one point I looked at my belly and said “Baby, come out!” The only potential BOP here, is that I had visualized my birth lasting only 2 hours. My last was 4 hours and the one before that was 3 hours. I expected a precipitous birth, had prayed for it, and visualized it, so when 2 hours came and went, half of that time, not even having waves, I became quite impatient. I wondered if something was wrong, or she wasn’t in a good position. I had not had any vaginal exams, but I did check myself and could feel a bit of cervix left. I didn’t know why it was taking so “long” so I had to refocus and try to let it happen in its own time. The birth turned out to be only 5 hours from the time my water broke to birth, and only had waves for about 3.5 of those hours.

I began to push gently with some of the waves, in hopes to move her down. I asked my midwife to go ahead and check to see if there was a positioning issue. My midwife’s assistant (who is also a midwife) checked me and said there was a small lip left that would melt away with the next wave. As I had the next wave, she gently held the lip back, and my husband squeezed my hips with all his might. She said “There! It’s gone! She’s ready to be born!” I had talked to my team about how I really wanted to exhale push gently because they all know that pushing is the hardest part for me to stay in control. I get really impatient and tend to “blow the baby out” so at this point they all looked me in the eyes and told me we were going to have really gentle controlled pushes.

I put my own fingers inside with the next wave to feel her moving down so I could control the pushes better and it was totally awesome!! I felt her head move down and yelled “yes, yes!” as she gently came down then back up, down and back up, for a couple of waves. About 4 pushes later, she began to crown and I kept my hand on her head so I could gently control the pushes and feel my perineum stretch. At one point I started to scream a little and they talked me down and told me to blow feathers and “ahhhh”. With the break between the next wave, I took big deep breaths and told myself to slow down, we are doing great! With the next wave, I felt her head crown and then slide out. I took a break to breathe gently then pushed the rest of her body out! I had one hand on her already so reached the other hand down to grab her squishy little body and bring her up to mine. “Thank you Jesus!” I yelled! I had done it just the way I wanted: gently, in control, and completely relaxed.

Those of you with SPD: I have had it with all my pregnancies and this is by far the worst it’s been. Ladies, it doesn’t affect birth one bit. I was used to not being very mobile, so I wasn’t mobile during my birthing time, but it did not cause me any extra discomfort. My pubic bone was not an issue, unless maybe that is what caused the back pressure, but I had back pressure in my first birth and not in my 2nd or 3rd, so it’s hard to say.

I had a really indecisive pregnancy and my birth plans and location had changed at least 3 times, but things could not have worked out better. Trust God. He’s totally into logistics. I used Hypnobabies with my first birth but didn’t do the program fully again until my 4th birth because I am a non-hypno-baby childbirth educator and I didn’t want to teach one way and then do a different way myself, but I am really glad I went “back to my roots” and did Hypnobabies again for this one. There was a lot of discomfort and anxiety surrounding this pregnancy and Hypnobabies was extremely helpful during this time. Training your mind in positive thinking and instant relaxation is worth more than precious jewels!

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