Marie’s Amazing Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“This next piece of Odin’s birth was SO COOL, and just as I imagined (though didn’t visualize birthing on the toilet!). After that first wave, I reached down and felt my baby’s head – I asked to confirm that it was in fact his head – I couldn’t believe it!”
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I had been having waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) off/on since Sunday August 9th, waking me up in the middle of the night with a regular pattern about every 10 min or so of varying intensity and they would fizzle out by mid-morning. I started listening to birthing day tracks off/on and Birthing Day Affirmations in hopes it would help strengthen the waves and bring our birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor) on! I also began doing daily spinning babies inversions, side lunges etc. to ensure proper engagement.
On Friday 8/14/20, at 40+4, we had a regularly scheduled appointment. I elected to have a cervical check and was ~2cm and 75% effaced, Odin was in a really low station and in good positioning to start birthing time! I was excited that the work we’d put in over the week was preparing us for birthing time! Odin’s base heart rate had been low (~110, but still in the healthy range) for about 3 weeks, and I had lost a pound each of the last 2 weeks. For that reason, my midwife recommended doing some longer monitoring along with the waves to ensure we were healthy. And given some tight scheduling the following week, we opted to do the recommended 41-week ultrasound early while we were there. Mom and baby looked great! The midwife came into the room and asked how I was feeling – I said I’m feeling great, and grateful all is well. She let me know at that point that I was having waves about every 4 minutes, though I didn’t realize, and the intensity wasn’t strong. We headed towards home, needing to make a stop to pick up our son at daycare on the way.
By the time we made it to daycare, a pretty intense tension headache had set in, and I was quite uncomfortable in the car. My husband brought our son into the house; I took some Tylenol and decided to get in an Epsom salt bath with tracks on to try and relieve the headache and relax. I became too warm in the tub and moved to my bed – waves were starting to intensify and I texted my husband from our room, letting him know that I thought my parents should plan to come over that night (to take care of our son). Then, I made it to the bathroom and vomited, and that’s when I realized our early birthing time was upon us! Waves were still consistent about every 4 minutes, though I could still walk/talk through some of them. My mom arrived around 5:30 pm to our house, and my husband was on the phone with the midwives ensuring whether or not we should come in yet (it’s about a 40 min drive). The recommendation was likely yes, as things can progress quickly the 2nd time around and I was GBS+.
We arrived and were brought to triage around 6:30 pm, I was promptly given the COVID-19 test (possibly the worst part of my early birthing time!). A storm was brewing outside, that was likely to bring hail and tornadoes, etc. We were given the option to stay though we were a bit ahead of when they would typically admit, but they could make the case given the need for antibiotics, and doing the COVID test so that we could possibly have a water birth. The choice we may need to face would be intervention (rupture of membranes) later in the evening if there wasn’t much progression on our own. We opted to be admitted, feeling confident that this was our birthing time and trusting our instincts.
We ordered dinner in, and I spent most of the evening on the birthing ball with my headphones in listening to Easy First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing day track) and Deepening Your Hypnosis (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis), then closed our eyes to get some rest as we anticipated birthing overnight. Around 11:30 pm they came in to check my dilation – I elected not to know the number. It was at that time that they recommended we rupture the membranes to help encourage stronger waves. My husband and I agreed. I was able to get a bit more rest before waves started keeping me awake. Around 2 am I opted to get in the tub and spent about an hour in there before moving back to the bed where I shifted positions from side-lying, to the squat bar, leaning on a peanut ball, etc. At this time, the midwife wanted to get some better monitoring of my waves, and we agreed to place an internal monitor – this threatened my confidence and hypnosis as it seemed that the intensity I was feeling was being matched by progression (though I didn’t know my numbers and I’m glad I didn’t!). Around 5 am I needed to use the restroom and decided to spend some time sitting on the toilet backwards. I really loved this position as it allowed me to rest and took some of the pressure off of my legs/hips.
I made my way back to the bed where I spent significant time on all fours, heavily leaning on my Peace cue (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort), and then we saw the shift-change. The midwife I had seen for most of my pregnancy was on call for the day shift, and when I heard her voice I broke down in tears and we hugged for a long moment. In hindsight, I was beginning transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition) around 6:30 am and the intensity was overcoming me. This was such a pivotal moment in our birth and one I am so grateful for and won’t forget. She knew my goals so well, and she and my husband made such a great team in helping me through transformation, encouraging me to RELAX (Hypnobabies cue to deepen hypnosis), belly breathe, use my Peace cue, and trust my body. It was also at this time that I started talking to our baby – something I remember doing in transformation the first time around! I knew that I couldn’t stay on all fours anymore, my body was urging a change in position. I asked to get in the shower, wanting the hot water and not realizing how close I was to having my baby! I stood up out of the bed and immediately had a wave, where my instinct was to lift my left leg onto the bed. My midwife says that was such a cool moment of instinct that she believes led to the baby turning for birth.
We walked into the bathroom when another wave came and I made my husband a human jungle gym (Ha!) mirroring the same left leg up, leaning forward position from the bed. I started undressing but quickly realized I wasn’t going to make it to the shower. I sat rear-facing on the toilet again and my body started pushing on its own with the next wave – with a distinct audible difference from me that I recognized immediately. The midwife had gowned/gloved up, and a nurse was shining a flashlight – it was only then my husband realized we were having a baby, like now! Note: my biggest focus of visualizing this 2nd birth was about the pushing phase, as I had pushed for 2 hours with my first and didn’t feel very in control, didn’t reach down to feel the progress of my pushes, etc. This next piece of Odin’s birth was SO COOL, and just as I imagined (though didn’t visualize birthing on the toilet!). After that first wave, I reached down and felt my baby’s head – I asked to confirm that it was in fact his head – I couldn’t believe it! I said ‘okay, okay’ to myself and baby, took a rest between waves. The next wave again brought with it the Fetal Ejection Reflex, and his head was born! With the next wave, they told me to catch my baby, and I did, exactly as I wanted to! I brought him up to my chest and sat on down. My husband and I together looked to see that we had our second boy! Odin Jayes – born 8/15/20 at 7:15 am.