Our precious baby girl was born 2:40 a.m. on September 29!  Here is the story:

I was working at my laptop at the dining room table until after 11:30 p.m. on the 28th (my “guess” date).  I was having some mild contractions, but I had been having them for two months due to an irritable uterus, so I didn’t pay much attention.  I had also given up on all the pre-labor preparations — making sure I got to bed early “in case she comes tonight,” having last-minute stuff in the bag for the hospital, the treats for the nurses, etc.  I had been doing that for weeks since it was expected she was going to come early, and I’d had enough of the disappointment.

I remember finally going to bed that night not being able to get comfortable, even more so than usual.  Still, I didn’t think I was going into labor.

Around 12:30 I woke up feeling like I had to go to the bathroom, and as soon as I sat up, I felt a gush.  I still didn’t believe my water had broken until I got to the bathroom and knew that couldn’t be pee.  It was a lot of fluid.  Based on my first birth experience, when I went from 2 cm to 10 in 90 minutes, I knew things would probably move quickly.  I woke my husband, who at first didn’t seem to believe me since we’d had so many pre-labor signs the past few weeks, but the waves started coming right away.  I was hoping he’d help me time them,  but he got in the shower (!) so I got my digital watch and the log sheet out.  5 minutes, then 4, then almost 3.  I practiced turning my lightswitch off during the waves.   I called my nurse midwife, who had also been there for our first baby, and she said to get to the hospital.  My husband was on the phone with our friends arranging to drop off our son. I grabbed the last-minute things and the ipod and got in the car.

The waves started coming more quickly on the car ride, and my legs were shaking slightly.  I thought I might be starting transformation stage.  I was listening to Easy First Stage and was comfortable.  I switched to Center to say goodbye to our son when we dropped him off and then went back to loose and limp until we got to the hospital.

I remember the wheelchair attendant guy at the hospital trying to make small talk as he took me to OB (my husband was parking the car).  I think I may have put my hand up, like “talk to the hand,” and asked him to please be quiet.  Poor guy. I was trying to focus!

They took me to triage, but I wasn’t there long.  The waves were right on top of each other and the rest of my water released.  Still, I was using the lightswitch and Kerry in my ears, and I was ok.  I scooted to the bed and they wheeled me into the birthing suite.

Once there, I remember I put on Deepening (my favorite).  The staff was great about keeping the lights dim and not talking to me.  I marveled at what was happening in my abdomen!  The waves were really like a wave — tightest at the top first, peaking like a wave, then gradually fizzling out.  They were intense, but I felt in control and never felt discomfort through transformation, which had been my greatest fear. My husband said later that as he was sitting there quietly watching, he could see my belly rise way up when a wave started.  I broke my lightswitch one time when I said “pushing” to my midwife during one of the waves, because I realized I was.  She lifted the blanket and they saw the head.  This was sometime between 2:15 and 2:30 — less than an hour since we’d arrived.  I was getting more vocal, which made me self-conscious a bit, but it was working.

I only pushed a few times, and probably more forcefully than I should have, because I did tear.  Had I listened to my midwife more closely, I probably wouldn’t have, but that was the only time I felt discomfort.  It was also the only time during the birthing that I wasn’t using my hypnosis tools, so learn from my mistake!  Oh well, Elise was in my arms.  Again the staff was wonderful about following our birth plan and letting us bond.

The MP3 player was a godsend.  I highly, highly recommend it to anyone planning a Hypnobabies birth.  I knew we wouldn’t do birth partner scripts — why would I have my husband awkwardly reciting these when I could have the expert I’d been practicing with in my ears?!

The past two weeks, I’ve used the Peace cue and breathing during breastfeeding when she first latches on to tender nipples.  I miss practicing the scripts every day.  I’m very grateful for Hypnobabies.  The nurses the next day said they’d heard what a beautiful birth it was.