Daniele’s 2nd Hypnobabies Home Birthing
“My beliefs were affirmed that cervical checks are, at best, a waste of time, and at worst, detrimental to a birthing woman’s psychological state. I truly believe that if I had simply allowed my birth to happen rather than fighting it, my son could have been born 30 minutes to an hour earlier. ‘Our bodies and our babies know just what to do. Our job is to simply allow our birth to happen.’ ”
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Friday night, March 12th I finished the Hypnobabies hypnobirthing course and listened to the ‘Come Out Baby’ track (Hypnobabies track that encourages baby to be born). I talked to my baby and told him (I didn’t know he was a boy at the time) that I was ready to meet him when he was ready. I asked my husband to also tell the baby it was okay to come now, and he said to let him get one more night of sleep and he would talk to baby in the morning. So, Saturday morning he told the baby it was okay to come when he was ready and shortly after I started leaking fluid. With my daughter my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor) started 3 hours after listening to ‘Come Out Baby’ so I’m a big believer in it. It was small amounts of fluid (about 1/2 tablespoon) every hour or so. I started listening to my tracks with one headphone in so I could still interact with my husband and 19-month-old daughter. I listened to Your Birthing Time Begins (reminder of all the Hypnobabies tools for birthing), Birthing Day Affirmations, and Easier, First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing day track).
Pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) started a couple hours later but were very inconsistent in time and strength. Some were a couple minutes apart and others were 45 minutes apart. Some were intense and others were hardly noticeable. My mom came in the evening to stay the night. Around 11pm while lying in bed and listening to my hypnosis tracks, I began belly breathing, and with each deep abdominal breath, I would feel a gush of fluid. After about 10 breaths I felt a huge amount of fluid like a dam breaking. I had polyhydramnios with this pregnancy so there was an insane amount of fluid. Thankfully I had a reusable cloth chucks pad underneath me. I turned over on my hands and knees and there was a puddle where my knees were. I thought for sure at this point my birth would progress more quickly, but my pressure waves continued to be inconsistent.
By Sunday afternoon we decided to pull out all the tricks. We walked, I bounced on the birthing ball, I did the Miles circuit, I did acupressure, applied clary sage and fennel essential oils, nursed my daughter a million times, took black cohosh, and listened to the ‘Strengthen My Birthing Time’ track (Hypnobabies track to strengthen birthing waves). Nothing seemed to be working to increase the intensity of birth… or so I thought. During this time our friend Amanda and her 22-month-old son came over. At around 5:00 I spoke on the phone to the midwife, and she recommended that I take 2 tablespoons of castor oil. This is something I would have never considered as an induction agent, but since I was already in my birthing time and had had my waters ruptured for 28+ hours I was willing to give it a try. I was completely at ease and peace and knew that my baby would come at the perfect time.
Around 6:00 my waves became more consistent. At 7:00 I went upstairs to my room to lay down. I continued to listen to ‘Strengthen My Birthing Time’ and strengthen it did. This is when I consider my “active birthing time,” to have begun. At 7:30 I asked my husband to hurry up and put my daughter to sleep. I could tell things were picking up quickly and I wanted his support. He gave her a bath and brought her to say goodnight. At this point my waves were so close together that I couldn’t give her a proper goodnight like I had wanted to. For weeks I would spend so much time with her every night, making sure I gave her extra love with the thought that it could always be the last good night as an only child. And of course, now that it was here, I couldn’t give her that extra love that had been so important to me.
My husband went to put her down and Amanda went to put her son down too. At 8:00 I text my sister and said I was getting uncomfortable and that if I was in the hospital I might ask for an epidural at this point. Then I called the midwife and asked her to come over. Up until this point I had gone back and forth about wanting the midwife there or not, but in the moment, I wanted that extra support. By the time my husband and Amanda came back (I have no idea what my mom was doing during this time ) I was feeling like the castor oil was going to give me horrible diarrhea (which the midwife said was a high possibility) and I was fighting my body to not bear down in fear of pooping everywhere. I was on the floor near my bed and on my hands and knees. My husband, mom, and Amanda were all frantically filling the pool, setting things up, and trying to comfort me. They asked me several times if I wanted to get into the pool but there was no way I was getting off the floor.
Rocking back and forth on my hands and knees was the most comfortable position for me. The midwife arrived at 8:45. She asked to check me, and I agreed. It was 9:00. She said I was 4cm (later she told me I was actually 3 but she didn’t want to tell me that, so she said 4). I was horrified and could only say, “no, no, no!” Inside I was second guessing myself and wondering why I had chosen this path for birth. An epidural sounded really nice, and I was concerned with my ability to reach the finish line if this was 4 cm. At this point I decided that if I was only 4cm I wouldn’t be able to fight the urge to push for much longer and so I decided that I would allow my body to do what felt right, even if that meant pooping on the floor in front of everyone.
During the next wave I allowed my body to start pushing and it was such a relief. It felt so good to be working with my body instead of against it. I didn’t tell anyone that I was pushing because I didn’t want to be told not to (since I was only 4cm), and it took a few waves for the midwife to notice. Once everyone noticed I was pushing I asked my husband to put on the ‘Pushing Baby Out’ track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing), not realizing that he already had. A few more waves and baby was born into his daddy’s hands at 9:29. 29 minutes after I was told I was 4 cm (and was actually 3cm).
My beliefs were affirmed that cervical checks are, at best, a waste of time, and at worst, detrimental to a birthing woman’s psychological state. I truly believe that if I had simply allowed my birth to happen rather than fighting it, my son could have been born 30 minutes to an hour earlier. “Our bodies and our babies know just what to do. Our job is to simply allow our birth to happen.” In my experience, the moment I start doubting myself is when I’m in transformation.
I also think it’s important for moms to hear positive postpartum stories. My recovery was amazing. I had hardly any bleeding (like a moderate period). Zero clots. Zero tears. I was up walking and feeling great 10 minutes after birth (not advocating for overdoing it so soon, but just saying). The midwife had to tell me to lay down and seemed shocked I was feeling so good. My vagina was a tiny bit sore for about 36 hours and then was 100% back to normal. Breastfeeding was great which was a pleasant surprise after all the struggles I had with my daughter. I only had discomfort from engorgement for about 12 hours when my milk came in (my milk came in at 36 hours). I never took any Tylenol/ ibuprofen etc. I only took After Ease for the first 3 days. Baby was 8oz past his birth weight at 2 weeks and is such a happy and easy baby. It’s been wonderful.
It’s been an entire year since our birth, and I still relive it regularly. I’m forever grateful to Hypnobabies for giving us an easier and more comfortable birthing time.