First Time Mom MacKensie’s Fast Hypnobabies Home Birth
“Suddenly I realized I had an uncontrollable urge to push in the tub. I still felt like I had more in my bowels to empty out, so I moved to the toilet where the pushing was even more intense, so I got back into the tub. This was around 1:50am. I yelled for my husband to come in and told him I needed to push, and he needed to call the midwives, my mom, and my doula.”
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I started to get my bloody show, but it was so faint that I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I texted my doula to let her know, but that was all.
I started feeling sad and extra emotional for no real reason, so I went over to my parents’ pool to let my dog swim and hoped it would cheer me up. My husband and I ordered food and hung out for a while, then the bloody show became more obvious, and my mucus plug was clearly coming out, so I had a feeling things were starting to happen. I chatted with my mom for a bit, and she said we should all go to bed to save energy—I could tell she was excited and thought baby was coming soon. I called my midwives to let them know and they said that it could mean it’s happening soon orrrr it could mean it’s happening in a week. That night I was super uncomfortable and had what felt like mild period cramps all night, but nothing felt intense enough to time. I went ahead and had my hubs download the wave timer app anyway though.
I continued to have mild waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions and started getting back discomfort as well, but still felt like they were way too irregular and not intense enough to mean it was birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor). I watched When Harry Met Sally and did YouTube birthing ball stretches and exercises all morning and noticed that a few of them, like rocking my hips forward and back, felt way more intense than they had in the past. I had a chiropractic appointment at 12:30, and I was dreading sitting in the waiting room for my appointment to start.
My chiro did a few extra adjustments that she had never done to me before and she was like, “I definitely don’t think you’ll be pregnant at your next appointment.” I left feeling excited and when I got home, I listened to the “Your Birthing Time Begins” (Hypnobabies reminder of all the tools for birthing time) after asking my husband, “How early is too early to listen to it? Is there harm in starting it too early?” He laughed because he totally thought I was jumping the gun.
The cramps continued and the bloody show started getting more and more, well, bloody. I wasn’t sure what that meant and was getting a little nervous. I texted my mom lots of gory photos and asked my doula about it. They both felt like it was normal and told me to try to get some rest.
I listened to my “Birthing Day Affirmations” track a couple times and timed my “cramps.” They started feeling more intense and more like a wave, so I was thinking things were getting started and timed them. They would be around a minute long and five minutes apart, but then I’d get a more intense one that would last 3-5 minutes. Everyone had told me that first time moms were often in early birthing time for a long time before dilation started happening, so I took this irregularity to mean that I was still in the early cramping stage, and I still had a long way to go. Around 10 or 11pm I laid down in bed and listened to “Your Special Safe Place” (Hypnobabies track that helps create and go to a special place) and “Deepening Your Hypnosis,” (Hypnobabies track for deepening the level of hypnosis) getting up when the longer, more intense waves would happen. I thought my bowels were emptying to prepare my body for birthing time and that these cramps were just because of my dinner trying to get out of me (I even took a fiber supplement thinking once I got it all out, I could just focus on birthing time… LOL).
So, I’d switch from lying in bed, to sitting on the toilet, to icing my back on the couch watching my soothing YouTube playlist, and eventually even had a heat pack on my abdomen. My husband asked if he should hang up the affirmations I painted and start getting the house ready, and I was like, “I don’t know… no?” This probably should’ve been a sign that yes, it WAS time. At this point I was too distracted to even time my waves but everyone said I should get rest since we all figured baby was coming in the morning, so I kept trying to ignore it. My husband was asleep when I got up with a super intense wave, or “poop cramp” as I kept calling them. When ice, heat pad, and another trip to the toilet didn’t help, I launched myself into the hallway bathroom shower (I’ve never used this shower for anything but to bathe the dogs, mind you) and was aiming the hand-held nozzle at my abdomen to try to make the “poop cramps” go away. Then I started shaking and felt like I was going to throw up.
Again, I’d heard that nausea and emptying of the bowels were signs of EARLY birthing time, so I still thought I had a long way to go. This is when I started freaking out a little, thinking if I had to do this for another 12 hours there was no way I was going to make it. (This is SUCH a classic thing to think when you’re in Transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition), but I was in denial). So, I decided I should wake my husband up. I let him know that things were getting intense, and I was going to take a bath. I started to feel like my doula should be there, but again he had no idea HOW intense things had gotten while he was sleeping so he wasn’t in the bathroom with me yet.
Suddenly I realized I had an uncontrollable urge to push in the tub. I still felt like I had more in my bowels to empty out, so I moved to the toilet where the pushing was even more intense, so I got back into the tub. This was around 1:50am. I yelled for my husband to come in and told him I needed to push, and he needed to call the midwives, my mom, and my doula. When we got a hold of the midwives, they could hear me making guttural noises in the background and asked me to stick my finger up there and let them know how it felt. I did and it felt hard—it was her head.
They said they would be there as fast as they could, but that it would be about 45 minutes because of where they’re located. Next, he called our doula and said the same thing and she left right away. Finally, he called my mom and she and my dad drove over right away (they’re only a 5-minute drive away and luckily my mom is a retired RN who has been watching Call The Midwives religiously for the past year). I told my husband to cover the bed as much as he could with the waterproof mattress cover (we were planning to get help from our birthing team to put it on properly once they arrived, but it was clear now that we had missed a few steps).
I moved to the bed and laid down on my side. My mom came into the room, and we got back on speaker phone with our midwife, and she said we should go ahead and call 911 to get EMTs on standby in case the baby decided to come before my team arrived. I did NOT want them to take me to the hospital, so I was hesitant, but she assured me that they would only be there in case me or baby needed emergency treatment. At this point my mom was trying to get me to breathe through the need to push to stall things, but my midwife said if I felt like I needed to, I shouldn’t hold back (such a relief because pushing felt SO good).
My husband called 911 and said his wife was going into labor and the dispatcher started explaining to him what to do in case the EMTs didn’t arrive in time. They told him to find something to clamp the cord with, so he goes tearing through his toolbox and couldn’t find anything. Finally, he decided a shoelace would do the trick, but luckily the EMTs arrived very quickly (with a proper cord clamp) and at this point I’m naked and on all fours with my rear facing these three strangers’ voices. My head was facing the wall and my butt was right up in the air for everyone to see. I zoned in so hard (conjuring my Bubble of Peace) that I never even looked around the room. I would push when I felt like I REALLY needed to and relax as much as possible and pray that my team would arrive in time when I didn’t.
My mom immediately went into nurse mode. At one point she and my hubs said they could see the head. On the phone I remember hearing my midwife say she was seven minutes away and I remember thinking, YES, SHE IS GOING TO MAKE IT. I’M NOT GOING TO THE HOSPITAL. But I remained calm the entire time, it was like I just knew everything would work out and my body knew exactly what to do.
Around 2:40am my team came in, my doula put twinkle lights around my bed, gave me some Hypnobabies relaxation cues, and the EMTs left. Immediately the entire vibe of the room changed, my husband visibly relaxed (according to the people who could see him) and both of my midwives were there, and they took over. My husband put on my “Pushing Baby Out” track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing), and even though I could barely hear it, I felt better knowing it was on.
After some serious pushing (led by me—I only pushed when I felt a wave come and tried to rest in between) they said I could feel the baby’s hair. I reached down and felt her fuzzy little head and immediately smiled SO big and got this wave of energy. I was about to meet my baby!! From there I would move from pushing on my side to getting on all fours. I would hear my husband get so excited and think I was almost done, but then I remembered about how the head comes out and in, two steps out, one step back to help stretch the skin. It was the craziest feeling of my life. I reminded myself not to get discouraged and said that the more patient I am, the less damage there will be to the perineum.
I was lying on my side as baby started crowning, and my husband laid next to me holding both my hands and giving me cues. I squeezed his hands so hard and pushed like I was taking the biggest poop of my life. It was a strange, but powerful moment. Finally, they said the head was out, I asked if baby was ok and they said yes, I just need to push a little more to get her body out, so I took deep breaths and with a couple more pushes my sweet slippery, vernix-covered baby was in my arms and on my chest for skin to skin.
*BOP pitocin for blood loss*
She was born at 2:58am, so it was just about an hour of pushing before she was born—aka my husband and mom handled the first 40 minutes and my midwives arrived for the last 20 minutes. After the cord stopped pulsing, they clamped the cord and my husband cut it (we were both surprised at how thick it was). Then he put baby on his chest while we worked on getting the placenta out. At this point I had been losing a lot of blood but was too blissed out about holding and bonding with my baby to notice. I lost about 2.5 liters of blood, but after a couple shots of Pitocin to help me birth the placenta and stop the bleeding, it slowed way down. They think this was due to the extremely speedy birth, but it was a good thing we had EMTs there in case the bleeding had started before the midwives arrived.
From there my team monitored me to make sure the bleeding went down (and checked for clots) and my doula helped me get baby to latch on to start our breastfeeding journey. Once everything was cleaned up, my amazing birth team left around 7am and my mom took a nap on our air mattress while we tried to sleep, but we mostly just stared at our beautiful miracle of a baby as she slept in the bassinet next to us.
I’m SO grateful for Hypnobabies. I’m certain that I wouldn’t have stayed so calm and managed for so long without my team if it weren’t for this program. I will definitely be using it again for any future pregnancies.