First Time Mom Hannah’s Hypnobabies Waterbirth
“I pushed in the tub for about 1.5 hours, with my waters releasing only a little before Iris’s head could be seen. The Pushing Baby Out track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing) was playing out loud the whole time, and I was deep in hypnosis during this entire phase, my focus turned entirely inward.”
This year was a rollercoaster for us, between COVID and moving across the country when I was 29 weeks pregnant. I had dealt with pregnancy/birth specific anxiety for many years by the time Iris was conceived, and I knew that a completely positive, trusting mindset were what I would need during this transformative experience. I chose to begin my Hypnobabies home practice around 24 weeks, giving myself some grace time to get through the course materials because of the upcoming move.
I lost my mucus plug Thursday evening, 9/24, around 5 PM. After that, mild pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) started coming on and off, gradually building in intensity throughout the evening and overnight, to the point at which I called my midwife and was told to come into the birthing center. We arrived early in the morning on 9/25 (Iris’s guess date), and the midwife performed a cervical check – to my disappointment, I was 100% effaced but only a centimeter dilated.
We headed back to the house around 7 AM, and I tried to get some rest and food, but didn’t get much of a respite. We headed back to the birth center around 1 PM as waves had picked up in intensity again, but another cervical check showed not much progress in dilation so we returned home yet again with a directive to rest, eat, and drink (unfortunately, I couldn’t do any of these things due to nausea and long, draining waves). At this point, I was getting very down on myself and struggling to remain positive and was not able to stay in hypnosis for any significant length of time.
Friday evening around 7 PM, the waves really started to pick up. Around 10 PM, I told my husband to get some sleep, and I hopped in the shower. At this point, the waves were coming fast and furious, and with enough intensity that I needed 100% focus. I relied heavily on my PEACE (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort) and RELAX (Hypnobabies cue to deepen hypnosis and relaxation) cues, and alternated between standing with the hot water on my back and crouching on a low stool out of the water in between waves, with a profound feeling of heaviness and pressure in my bottom. After an hour in the shower, I got cleaned up, and tried to rest with no avail.
At around 12-1 AM, I woke my husband up and told him it was time to go – my midwife also called us at this time to check on how we were doing and when she heard my tone of voice on the phone, agreed that we needed to come in. The car ride was tough, I was mentally exhausted and dreading the thought that we might arrive at the birthing center and get more bad news. However, once we got in, a cervical check showed that I was 9+ centimeters dilated, and the midwife started filling the tub. It was such a relief to know that all of the discomfort had meant progress and I finally got a second wind, emotionally.
I pushed in the tub for about 1.5 hours, with my waters releasing only a little before Iris’s head could be seen. The Pushing Baby Out track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing) was playing out loud the whole time, and I was deep in hypnosis during this entire phase, my focus turned entirely inward. Probably due to how tired I was, I needed to actively push with each wave, but as the momentum picked up, it became easier and easier to work with the intensity, rather than against. Once I reached down and could feel her head, I got SO excited to meet our little girl!
Iris Adele was born at 3:48 AM on 9/26, with perfect Apgars. We stared at each other in the tub for quite a while, before getting out of the water, rinsing off, and getting back in the bed to nurse and cuddle with dad. Finally, we headed home around 7 AM, to our own bed and some much-needed rest. All in all, it had been about 30 hours since my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor) had started, and maybe around 36 hours since I’d been able to sleep, eat, or drink without issue.
While this wasn’t the birthing time I had originally envisioned, it was still a beautiful experience, and as I kept reminding myself, the experience that me and my baby NEEDED! The midwives also mentioned several times that they were very impressed with how hypnosis had helped me and that I had rocked the birth process. Thank you, Hypnobabies!