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Just thought I’d share the long version of Jonah’s birth story, while I have a few minutes of quiet with all three boys asleep!!!
On Saturday (the 15th) I awoke around 3 am with pressure waves, which is normally when I wake up and go into birthing time. I got them every 10 minutes, so I figured I’d time them for an hour or so, and see how close they got together before bothering to wake Joe or call the midwives. By 5, they were still 9 minutes apart, which was odd, as I usually progress down to around 4 minutes by then. So, I decided I’d try to go back to sleep, and if they got any closer, then they would wake me up. I couldn’t sleep, though, because I was too excited about it being birthing day:). The kids woke at 7 am after sleeping through the night!! By 7:30am, my pressure waves just suddenly stopped. I couldn’t believe it! So, I went to sleep, and then slept on and off until around 10am. They started again in the afternoon, and then stopped again. Sunday, at 3am, again, I woke with pressure waves. I timed them, and they were 8 minutes apart, so I thought this MUST be it this time. The exact same thing happened. They came, stayed for a few hours, the kids woke, they stopped. They started again in late afternoon (as in the previous day) and by 5pm, I called my midwife, … frustrated, and vented that my birthing time was starting and stopping, and asking if I should start trying to purposely get it moving along (by walking, or other methods). She recommended I take some castor oil, and see what happened. What happened was a horrendous snow storm that made it impossible for her to get to me, and other than some terrible diarrhea, nadda happened. She told me to come see her Monday morning, and she’d check me out to see what was up.
Monday morning: woke at 3am…see the trend??! stopped at 7am, luckily, went to see midwife at 11am. She checked me, and I was a ‘very stretchy 5 cm’!!! So it certainly was labour, but just prodromal labour. She tried to give me a stretch and sweep, but said I was too stretchy to do anything with, and as for sweeping, she could feel all around baby’s head, and there was a bulging bag of water. She assumed I’d have my water break in the next 24 hours and would birth within the next 2 days. I was so excited and happy to think it wasn’t all for not: I was half way there already!!:)
Birthing Time Begins
As I left her office, I noticed I started having some good waves again, but I thought ‘I’m not being fooled this time!’ I went home, and took a nice nap. I called my Doula to update her on the situation, and told her how frustrated I was with how it was all this stuttering labour. I normally have lengthy labours, so I was really worried this meant another super long one, as they say the third baby is the ‘wildcard’, since you can go either way: quicker than usual, or much slower. I tend to be the slow type, so it didn’t bode well for me! She suggested that perhaps there was some reason I was stopping myself from going into full labour, and thought I should listen to my Hypnobabies CD, and then …go and play in the snow with the kids to have some ‘fun time’, as the watched-pot-never- boils scenario seemed to be in effect for me:). So, I instead did the fear release session, (slept through it), then I took Josiah and Jacob for a sled ride around the block, but had to stop every 10 feet for some seriously powerful waves. They seemed manageable, and still far apart enough (although I think they were closer than I realized).
I got home, and tried to eat dinner, but I couldn’t, as I kept having them. By 5 pm, Joe came upstairs to find me crying on the bed. He asked what was wrong, and I said that these waves were really strong, but still only 4 minutes apart and how was I going to manage this way for another 2 days!!! He suggested I call my Doula and have her come by for a visit and to offer some support, and even tried to dial her for me, but I stubbornly refused, saying I didn’t want to be babysat for another episode of false labour. At 5:30pm, for some reason, though, I decided to call my midwife and ask her advice. She listened to me go through a few waves, as I complained, in between them, that they were making me drop to my knees they were so strong, but far apart still (in denial!) and how was I going to do 48 more hours.
As she listened to me breathe through them, she wonderfully told me how strong I was, and how fantastic I was managing through them. I asked her if her stretch and sweeps usually put women into waves this strongly, and she remarked that it certainly wasn’t the stretch and sweep, as it was too soon for it to cause this (later she told me she hadn’t been able to effectively do one), and she thought baby would arrive around midnight! I couldn’t believe it, so I laughed and told her not to get her hopes up, as I’m a ‘slow and steady’ kind of gal, and my birthing times are quite long. She said she wanted to come over and see me, but I declined, saying it was too soon, maybe after our kids went to bed. She asked me to call the Doula to have her then come and sit with me, and I reluctantly did so. I told the Doula to come after 8:30pm, when her kids would be in bed, and not to bother rushing, as it would be a while. She said she’d come after she’d fed the family supper instead, and suggested I fill the birthing pool and listen to my c.d’s as a relaxation session. I figured I deserved a spa-day, so why not?!
6pm: I told Joe that baby WAS arriving, and that the midwife thought midnight (we both laughed!) and said we’d see baby by around 5am the following morning, according to our usual patterns of birthing. I filled the birthing pool, and climbed in, and put on my c.d. player. I was in absolute heaven. It felt so wonderful, and I immediately relaxed. I found it interesting that although I’ve slept through every Hypnobabies session I’ve done, I would subconsciously bring the words back to my mind, and even hear Kerry’s voice in it, especially the ‘I am safe, my baby is safe, no matter how much power flows through me.’ I’m still not sure where that even is in the program, but my brain kept chanting it throughout the next 2 hours!
Then, at around 7pm, I felt this tremendous wave and thought wow, that was a tough one. I’m not sure I can manage to get through another 12 hours of those ones! Turns out that the Doula was coming up the stairs, and had distracted me out of my peace. I told her that the last one was tough, and I was a bit worried. She sat down beside me, and told me how proud she was of me for doing all of this on my own up till now, and how strong I was to get through these. She then said that one was never going to happen again, so let it go, as it’s time to relax. So I did. She then reminded me that I was safe, and my baby was safe, and when the next wave came, she gave me cues, with her ‘lets breathe to the count of 4 relaxing (and my mind inserted ‘your face, hands and pelvic floor!), go to your safe place, and relax into the wave. It immediately helped so much.
7:15pm. By this time, my midwife arrived. I flipped over (I was hugging the side of the birth pool, just swaying back and forth on my knees…really peaceful and nice!) and I asked her if she thought I would be okay to do this at home. She laughed and said she wished everyone laboured that wonderfully, and that there was no question that we would be doing this at home. I thought great! Here we go with the start of a long night, but at least I’m enjoying my pool time!:)
From here on end, I don’t know the times other than I would have a wave, do some relaxation techniques, then flip over and chat with the midwife and Doula, have a few laughs, then flip onto my front to do the next wave. My midwife and Doula kept commenting on how an outsider would never know I was in active labour, and neither of them had seen a woman laughing in between waves, only stopping the fun to concentrate on relaxation! After about 45 min. of this, I mentioned that I thought I was doing some weird grunting at the end of the waves, and that they weren’t fully going away like they had been. The midwife got some strange wide-eyed look on her face, and said just don’t push with them. She ran out of the room, and I heard her paging for a ‘urgent backup’, saying she hadn’t checked me at all, as she knew if she did, my water would break and baby would be in her hands in 3 seconds. I flipped over to whisper to the Doula that the midwife was being silly, as baby wouldn’t be coming for HOURS, and that she should just relax. The doula laughed away, and we continued to just deal with each wave.
At one point, I said that my pressure was building in my bottom, and it was really starting to get irritating. She reminded me that it was all ‘only pressure’, which it was, and that it was just baby moving down. My midwife then looked at me and said if baby came before the back-up, she wanted me to know that it was completely fine, and we were all safe and it was okay. For some reason, this seemed to make me fully release. She took my blood pressure, which was great, and then took a picture of me having it done (it was 8:10pm).
I decided I needed to get out to pee, so I waddled out of the pool, and sat on the loo. Immediately I gave a surprised little yelp and said I’m sorry, but I’m pushing a bit. I’m trying not to…. She came in, and said it was fine. My first and only wave out of the water came, and I dropped to my knees for it (instinctive for me?) and she asked if I could feel baby. I thought she meant to check myself, not in terms of just pressure, so I did a check, and then told her I could feel the head just past my finger nail. Was baby suppose to be that low already?! She laughed, helping me up, and asked where I wanted to push out our baby. I giggled, and said NOW? She said you did it, you’re ready to push!!!! I got all teary, and happy and said we’re really doing our homebirth?!! I haven’t gone through the scary ‘transition’ part yet! My waves haven’t built up to horrendous heights yet…she said I told you you were labouring so well.
Let’s try pushing on your bed. One little push, and we all realized that I needed to be in the water. 8:16pm: Apparently the moment I slipped into the water, I sighed in complete relaxation. I rolled onto my back, and squatted a bit in the water. I gave one mighty and primal push, and vaguely heard a voice saying wow, great pushing! That’s the way to do it!! So strong…good for you!! For some reason, it pulled me back to a nice level of awareness and helped me to keep that one push going.
8:21pm: baby Jonah slipped peacefully from me, and was brought to the surface. He gave one little cry, then peacefully and quietly stared up at me. I looked up, and realized my oldest son (4years old) had been at my head the entire birth, and watched it all, while my husband held our second son (2 years old). Joe says the only voice heard during the entire event (beyond whispering women) was mine, and that even my voice was lulled, and only during the one wave out of water did he realize that I was seriously in labour.
I kept saying I couldn’t believe we’d had our baby already! It all happened so fast, and up until the moment when I told the midwife I could feel the head, I hadn’t clued into the fact that baby was coming NOW. She laughed, saying she couldn’t believe the shocked look on my face as I finally realized I was about to birth. The secondary midwife never made it, and the 3rd back up made it as baby’s head crowned, joking that at least she got to see that, instead of just birthing the placenta.
Both midwives and Doula said that it was the most peaceful and beautiful birth they had attended. I ended up having a skid mark, but other than that, nothing. The biggest joke of all was that out of the entire experience, when the midwife gave me an injection of oxytocin (I tend to bleed), I yelped out a big OUCH!!! and everyone laughed. Labour didn’t illicit even a groan of pain, but the needle hurt worse than anything!!
It was truly the birth of our dreams, so much so, that the midwife was saying that it would be super hard to top that experience again, if we ever had any more kids. I was saying we’d quit while ahead, after such a gift!! So that’s the big event! Hope I didn’t put you to sleep with such the lengthy read!! I have to say, I know that Hypnobabies gave me the birth of our dreams, and not just for the hypnosis aspect of the birth. It was the program that led me to seek a Doula for the first time, and to go for a water birth. These three aspects combined really did give me the tools needed for ‘our’ perfect birth.
My first 2 were hospital births and medicated, so our goals felt quite high in aiming to have a natural birth at home. My husband is such an advocate of the program that when I got some very uncomfortable after-waves, he was reminding me to use my Hypnobabies to get comfortable again. I joke that someone should have told me to turn my switch off for that needle!!:):) Thank you ladies, for all the WONDERFUL advice and support in our journey. I just can’t believe that it worked out so amazingly, and it really has been a birth that has healed me. I feel like a whole woman, who only now, understands what we are capable and entitled to.
Thanks again. The happiest new hypno-mommy on the block!!