Kaylee’s Hypnobabies Home Waterbirth
“Hypnobabies has once again given me the gift of enjoying birth. And yeah, I just said that I enjoyed giving birth.”
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This is my second unmedicated Hypnobabies birth—my first Hypnobabies birth was in a hospital setting and she was born in the water. I had such a wonderful experience that I knew a homebirth would be something I would want for my next baby. My birthing team consists of my midwife (Katia) and 2 doulas (Bonnie and Karina) who are concurrently midwife students. You could say I had the expertise of 3 midwives and 2 doulas—lucky me! And of course, my husband Kyle and 2-year-old daughter, Penny. My guess date (Hypnobabies term for due date) was September 18th, 2021, and this is my birth story.
Saturday, September 11th, 2021
At about 1:00 pm I started to have some very mild pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) — so mild that I’m able to go about my normal routine. This is my second pregnancy, so I now know what actual pressure waves feel like. My husband, Kyle, and 2-year-old daughter, Penny and I spend the day at home—playing and doing things around the house. Later that evening after Penny went to bed, we went downstairs to watch TV. I made a nice bed of pillows on the couch to get cozy and do a Hypnobabies track, Birthing Day Affirmations, while Kyle watched a football game. My waves are still flowing—about 10 minutes apart and still very mild. I know these are birthing waves because they wrap from my low back all the way around the front of my pelvis and abdomen. I do the miles circuit after my track as we watch the end of the football game. I text our doula to let her know that I’ve been having some waves today. They last about 30 seconds and I figure they’ll probably pick up as soon as we go to bed.
Sunday, September 12th2021
At about 2 am I wake up because my waves are progressing in intensity and starting to get closer together. They are about 6-7 minutes apart. Although the intensity has picked up, I would still say they felt mild. Kyle starts timing them for me as I put in my headphones and start listening to my Hypnobabies tracks like Easy First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing time track). We decide that it’s probably time to get the birthing pool blown up. I stay in bed and continue my hypnosis as Kyle gets the living room set up with the pool and towels. I had hung all my watercolor birthing affirmations in our front room—something that I had been working on over the past few weeks.
Once Kyle is done getting the pool blown up, he comes back into the bed and starts timing my pressure waves again. Side lying on my left feels the best, but I eventually move to sitting on the birthing ball and leaning over the edge of the bed. Although my pressure waves still feel quite mild, they are becoming more frequent—about 5 minutes apart. We had decided with our birthing team that we would want to call them when my waves are 5 minutes apart. My first birth progressed really really fast, so we all wanted to make sure that my birthing team made it here on time.
My birthing team arrived at about 3:30 am and I tell my midwife that my waves are frequent but still feel very mild to me. She does a cervical check (something I never did with my first) and I’m only dilated to 3 cm. She warns me though that second time moms tend to dilate faster so they are going to stay awhile incase things pick up. Kyle and I get back into bed and try to rest/sleep as much as we can. My waves start to get further apart—about 7 minutes. The midwives/doulas sleep on our couches for a few hours.
Penny wakes up at about 7:15am and Kyle goes to get her and gives her a little pep talk that “the doctors are here to help mommy and the baby”. She comes into our bed (like every morning) and is so eager to hold my hand as the midwives take my vitals and check baby’s heart rate. Everything is looking great. We get up to have coffee—my waves are still 7 minutes apart. Penny is eager to get into the birthing pool which I’m not surprised because what 2-year-old wouldn’t want to?! We had watched some Hypnobabies homebirth videos with her so that she would have some exposure before the big day. The midwives say that she’s fine to get in the pool, so she splashes around in there for a little bit. My waves are still sitting at about 7 minutes apart, so my birthing team decides to leave us to give us some privacy and allow things to progress without the added pressure of an audience. They leave at about 8:30 am but warn us to call once things start to pick up.
Kyle makes us breakfast and I sit on my birthing ball at the table. Gently bouncing, rocking, doing hip circles. Penny likes to “help” with this by placing her hands on my knees and guiding the motion. Kyle and I are both pretty tired—me especially since I didn’t get a lot of good rest last night. We call my sister, Kaycee, to come hang out with Penny while we nap. It’s my brother’s birthday today and the plan was to have Kaycee take Penny up to his party at my parent’s house later this afternoon.
Penny takes her nap at noon, and I have this instinct to get up and eat something. Kyle makes me a bowl of pho and I’m standing in the kitchen eating it and casually talking to Kaycee. My waves are starting to feel stronger—I need to stop and lean over the counter when they come. But I’m so calm—carrying on a conversation with my sister. I have this sudden urge to pee, so I start walking down the hall to the bathroom when fluid just starts leaking out of me. It wasn’t a ton, but I knew right away that this was my water breaking. It’s about 1:00 pm at this point. I sit on the toilet and yell for Kyle to come. I tell him my water has broken and that we need to call our midwives and doulas to come back. He gets me a new pair of underwear and I get back up to go finish my lunch. As soon as another pressure wave comes my water leaks even more. My waves immediately change—they are intense, and I can sense that we’re moving towards a shift in my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor). Kyle places a towel under me as soon as the wave ends. Kaycee and Kyle grab my arms and help me walk back into the bathroom. I sit down on the toilet and decide to just stay here until our birthing team arrives.
My midwife gets here first (and super-fast) and she suggests that we check my cervix to which I agree. I lean back on the toilet, and she checks my cervix—she says “you’re 8cm”. To which I respond, “holy shit are you serious?!”. My waves were intense but not to a level I would equate with 8 cm. I was expecting her to say maybe a 5 or 6. I am SO surprised and SO excited. We are almost there! She gets a hep lock IV on my hand so that I can get a dose of antibiotics since I am GBS positive. Kyle helps her with holding supplies in one hand and putting his other hand on my shoulder. It’s a gentle reminder to me to use my Hypnobabies Peace cue (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort). I have several waves throughout this process and have to focus on my breathing as they come. My doula arrives and she starts gives my counter pressure as I sit on the toilet. I look up at her she says “Peace” to me. Kyle starts adding more hot water to the birthing tub in our living room. It’s already mostly full from our set up earlier so at this point he’s just adding water to bring up the temperature. My midwife and doula help me stand up from the toilet and I can see that I’ve lost my mucus plug and I’m bleeding a little. At this point I know that my baby will be here soon!
They help me into the birthing tub and the warmth of the water just melts all my discomfort away. The water feels absolutely wonderful—something I remember from my first birth too. I go to my Special Safe Place in my head (something we practice a lot with Hypnobabies training) and it’s also reassuring to me that I’m in the safety of my own home too. I can relax and let myself focus on my hypnosis. Everything is so calm, my team is here, I feel very in control of everything and decide that I just want my Hypnobabies relaxation music on (instead of listening to a specific track). I am so relieved that everything is going smoothly. It feels nice to be in an upright child’s pose leaning over the edge of the tub. As each wave washes over me, I put my head down and imagine my bright orange hypno-anesthesia wrapping all around my body. Kyle is holding my hand as he is seated in front of me. Miraculously, Penny decides today that she’s going to take a longer than usual nap, so she is still asleep. Kaycee is here with the baby monitor keeping an eye on her. I ask several times to see her on the monitor.
My doula gives me counter pressure with each wave. Between the warm water and the counter pressure I’m feeling like this is already a lot easier than my first birth. Everything just feels more innate this time around. I’m able to have some conversation between waves with Kyle and my birth team. I feel so incredibly happy and peaceful during this time. What an honor it is that my body can birth here in my own home. Tears start rolling down my face and Kyle asks why I’m crying. “I’m just so happy” I respond. More waves continue to roll in and I surrender each time. Letting go and allowing my body to do what it’s made to do. I switch to a reclined position for a while and my doulas gives me counter pressure through my knees—switching off and checking baby’s heart rate.
Each wave becomes very intense, but I’ve done this before. Its familiar—I know what to expect and I know that my hypnosis is working. I stay in this position for a while longer and eventually switch back to the upright child’s pose again. My doulas put cool wash cloths on me because I’m beginning to feel very hot. She rubs my back and trickles water on me while Kyle holds my hand. He says to me “You’re doing it!!” This is something we always say to Penny when she’s mastering or trying a new skill, so it makes me smile when I hear it. And then my midwife joins in and starts saying it too. Penny finally wakes up from her nap (16 min before baby is born!).
Kaycee goes to get Penny out of her crib. Penny runs over to me in the tub and is excited, but I can also see a look of concern on her face. She wants to hold my hand. She sits on Kyle’s lap and holds my hand, rubs my arm, pats my head. She knows that baby sister will be born in the water because we’ve talked about it over the past few weeks. She knows what to expect. It is such an incredible feeling to be going through my birthing time in my own home with both my husband and my first-born child there to support me. I soon get this instinct that I need to change positions. I roll into a side lying position and my doulas/midwives support my legs and give me counter pressure. Kyle holds my hand and Penny is watching intently and patting my arm. My midwife tells me to go slow.
My body begins pushing on its own and its intense—the most intense part of the whole process. I can feel baby making her way down and out. I am so focused on the words “open, open, open”. I am roaring with each wave, and it helps. Another wave comes and my body pushes again—slow and controlled. I roar and moan again, imagining my bright orange hypno-anesthesia wrapping my body. Penny is still right there and not afraid at all. I put my hand down to my vagina and can feel her head but its slimy and bouncy—I’m not feeling a fuzzy little head like I did during Penny’s birth. Another wave comes, my body pushes, and I apply pressure to my perineum. The final push of her head being born is here. 3 total pushes—slow and controlled—and she’s born.
Baby girl was born in her bag of waters! Although my water had broken, she apparently hadn’t broken through the bag, so my doula/midwife quickly opens the sac up with her hands while she’s still under the water. She assists Kyle with catching her and I pull her up onto my chest. Baby girl makes one quick and loud cry and begins to look around. Penny is standing up at my head leaning over my shoulder to see her little sister. She’s saying “baby!!” over and over. Our family is whole in this moment. I’ve got both my girls right here. I have my entire world right here in the warm embrace of our own home. An incredible and beautiful moment I’ll never forget.
About 10 minutes later my placenta is born. It’s not a big deal—one tiny push and its out. My doula places it in a little tub while I lay in the water awhile longer with baby. Baby’s vitals were all checked while she laid on my chest. We are just enjoying this moment. I’ve still got Penny right there looking at her sister and Kyle holding baby’s tiny little hand. Once the umbilical cord stops pulsing, Kyle cuts it, and we get out of the tub. Kyle takes baby girl for skin to skin while I’m helped out of the tub. I’m so thankful for these incredible women I have here helping and supporting me during such a special time in my life. They wrap me up in towels and help me down the hall to take a quick rinse in the shower.
The 4 of us (me, Kyle, Penny, and baby) all snuggle up in our bed as a new family. Eva (our dog) sat and watched the entire thing from the couch and eventually makes her way into the bed with us. Lucious (our 14-year-old dog) has been gone for a little over a month but I know he was watching over us and there in spirit (he was our first “baby”). We stay snuggled up in bed and baby girl latches and breastfeeds right from the start. My birthing team stays for a few hours to monitor us before leaving. Everything was perfect—I couldn’t ask for a more perfect day. Isla Betty was born on Sunday, September 12th, 2021 at 3:06 pm weighing 7lbs 2oz and 19.5 inches long. Her big sister, Penny watched her enter this world while holding mama’s hand through it. It was an absolutely beautiful day.
I couldn’t have done this without my incredible birth team of midwives and my doula, my husband and daughter, and of course Hypnobabies. Hypnobabies has once again given me the gift of enjoying birth. And yeah, I just said that I enjoyed giving birth.
“And when its time, we surrender to the waves of labor. Like surges on the sea. Washing away our fears, and rebirthing ourselves as a mother”
Here is another great story!