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I have given birth twice before, if you call having a baby cut out of your stomach “giving birth”. I don’t want to go into details about my negative experiences so I’ll summarize to give you an idea of where I was coming from. During my first birth I was progressing surprisingly fast for a first time until a nurse accidentally hurt me badly and caused my body to go into shock which slowed my labor to an almost stop. After many, many hours of labor the doctors refused to wait any more (I was 9cm at this point), even though my baby’s heart showed no sign of distress, and I received a very traumatic Cesarean. Second birth was a forced c-section because the baby came about 6 weeks early and I was 4 hours from my hospital, the one I ended up at wouldn’t allow me to have a VBAC (I threatened to give birth in the parking lot if they wouldn’t let me just push him out but I wasn’t able to waddle out there. lol.) Both babies were perfectly health though!
I was very discouraged, especially since I had planned a natural birth with both of my pregnancies. So when I became pregnant with baby #3 (another precious boy) I did extensive research and became determined to do hypnobabies, I started the course very early in my pregnancy, ate super healthy and after much prayer my husband and I felt very confident in giving birth at home. The midwife we chose had a lot of experience and also happened to be a good friend that lived only a block away.
Hypnobabies was such a HUGE help in being able to overcome my fears and as my birthing time approached I grew more and more confident in my ability to ease my baby into this world. I had many people who told us things like: “Since this is your first vaginal birth it will be a long, hard labor and many hours of pushing.” “Having it natural is great but it should be at a hospital since its a VBAC.” etc etc. Not to mention the “Your crazy!” comments from random people. But it didn’t matter what they said we were confident and knew what was right for us.
At 3:33 pm on Feb 8th, not long after my husband got home from work, I began getting mild pressure waves. I knew they were simply practice waves since I had been getting a lot of them this week but as we gathered in the kitchen to eat a late lunch the waves were getting progressively stronger and I found it easier to rest my head on the table through each one. My husband knew it was ‘that’ time but I still wasn’t convinced. It must have concerned my precious 4 year old because he reached over occasionally and tenderly rubbed my hand to offer his comfort.
My husband finally convinced me to call the midwife. She brought over her equipment and my husband filled up the birthing pool while she checked me at 4:30. I was completely effaced but only dilated to about a 4 1/2. She offered to stay but voiced her desire to return home and shower first. The kids had now gone with the babysitter so I thought it would be nice to just enjoy this time with my husband and I encouraged her to go. Not long after my midwife left I made a trip to the restroom and found it difficult to get comfortable then on my return I spotted the birthing pool. The warm water was so inviting and instead of changing into the birthing skirt and swim top I had planned on wearing, I lost any sense of modesty and stripped completely then sank into the water. It was so soothing!
The pressure waves were rapidly becoming a LOT of pressure and at one point the fear of this lasting for hours caused me to tense up and I lost my focus but my sweet husband brought me back and I can testify that relaxing makes a HUGE difference! Then for the first time I actually tuned into the hypnobabies cd that was playing in the background and it eased things up too. I tried the belly lift technique (from the book: Back labor no more) through a few of my waves but it seemed to make me more uncomfortable instead of less. I suspect that it still sped things up because suddenly I realized that my body was pushing! In complete awe I told my husband and he quickly called the midwife (good thing she was only a block away!). It was now 5:31 and my sweetheart kept telling me to stop pushing until she got there but there was no stopping my body, it had taken over.
Our midwife arrived minutes after. She moved back a slight cervical lip and gave me complete permission to push. WOW! I was amazed at the incredible power my body put into each push. I had read that in your birthing time it is very relieving when it comes time to push and I now know what those women were talking about. After a few pressure waves my midwife suggested that I reach down and feel my baby’s head in the birth canal. That was another WOW! moment. With each push I could feel his head move closer and closer, it was so amazing and exciting!! We didn’t have enough hot water to fill the birthing pool very far so it only reached up my tummy when I was on my hands and knees. My midwife had me get into a squatting position so that my bottom would be submerged for the crowning but that position stopped the baby’s progress so after a few pressure waves she had me get back onto my hands and knees. From there the babies head was soon crowning. As I was trying to slowly ease my baby’s head out I could really feel the stretch so when my midwife asked me to push I obliged her and in two pushes I felt his beautiful head emerge (I still didn’t tear at all. YAY!). It was strangely incredible to feel his head protruding from me. I could feel his wet hair and his tiny ears. I was then told to go ahead and push out his body even though I wasn’t having a pressure wave. I was surprised at how easy it was to do so with one quick push. He was born at 5:50. I immediately turned over onto my back and my little angel was placed onto my stomach. He lay there looking around at his new world, occasionally making the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard.
In less than 2 1/2 hours from when my pressure waves began and almost 20 minutes of pushing I had given birth to my baby. It was the most empowering experience of my life! He weighed exactly 6 lbs and measured 19.5 inches. I’m so in love!