My pressure waves started Wednesday night about 9 or 10 PM, but they
were really inconsistent–up to 45 minutes (or more; they were so
inconsistent I didn’t bother timing them!) between waves.  This was
similar to my first birth, so I figured I’d be birthing my baby
sometime Thursday night/Friday morning.

Uh, no.  Wednesday and Thursday night, I listened to HB scripts for a
couple hours to help relax through pressure waves.  Probably around
midnight Thursday night/Friday morning, my water broke, but it was a
high break, so the small amount of liquid made me unsure that it had
broken.  Still, I was able to get a good amount of sleep both nights.

Friday afternoon, my mother and my sister arrived from out of town (I
wonder if, really, I was delaying my own labor for her arrival so I
wouldn’t have to worry about my 2 year old).  We went shopping for
curtains for the baby’s room and had dinner at my sister’s house.  (I
have a lot of sisters 😀 .)

By Friday night, my pressure waves still weren’t really progressing,
though I had finally gotten up to 3-4 an hour.  By then I was pretty
sure my water had broken (I don’t know why leaking water all day
hadn’t been my first clue….), and rereading the HB workbook section
on high breaks helped to reassure me, especially around 9 PM when I
realized that a doctor would give me a three hour deadline to have the
baby and I was scared to call my OB and be put on drugs to regulate my
pressure waves.

I listened to more scripts and was able to get a little sleep Friday
night (as much as I could, having to pee hourly or sometimes even more
frequently!).  After midnight, I was *extremely* uncomfortable, but a
few positions mentioned in the course really helped (specifically
leaning over against a counter, rocking my hips from side to side!).

At 2:30, I decided it was time to go to the hospital.  For some
reason, although we live 1.5 mi from the hospital, it always seems to
take an hour from the time I decide it’s time to go to the time we’re
admitted.  Okay, so I know part of the reason–my pressure waves were
too intense to walk and lasting several minutes.  I was pretty much
freaking out and seriously thinking I wasn’t going to be able to get
along without an epidural.

At the hospital, they asked first thing if my water had broken, and
they did a test paper that came back bright blue–definitely amniotic
fluid.  So they were very careful about internal exams ( 😀 !), but
they did an initial one–I was eight cm.  (Even better than I’d
visualized!)  The nurse asked if I was planning on having an epidural.
I said, “Well, I wasn’t *planning* on it. . . .”  She told me I
didn’t need one!

I was a little worried about this hospital, though I’d liked it okay
the first time around, I’d *heard* that other hospitals in the area
were more natural-birth friendly.  But they never mentioned an
epidural again!

I had a very hard time focusing through the last hour of pressure
waves (and got very annoyed at my MP3 player), but my wonderful nurse
helped me to focus.  She didn’t even know we were doing hypnosis, but
she used a lot of the same cues from the course–the same breathing
cues, telling me to relax specific body parts.  She also took hold of
my foot to give me another physical stimulus to focus on, which I liked.

DH was great, too, though I discovered that I hated the forehead relax
cue and couldn’t tell him to use my shoulder.  (A little busy, I was!)

The OB got there an hour after we did, and I was almost complete.
Because I had a high break and kept myself well hydrated, he actually
didn’t believe the nurse when she said my water had broken and still
had to AROM (uncomfortable!) and pushed the last little lip of cervix
out of the way.

They told me I could push, and while I wasn’t having any urge to push,
I was ready for my birthing time to be over.  I did have local
anesthesia (which is really good, since I had 2nd degree tearing),
but, incredibly, pushing did not hurt.  There was a lot of pressure,
stretching and a little stinging (probably from the local), but it DID
NOT HURT.  It was just a lot of work!

Rebecca Shae was born at 4:58 AM on Saturday, July 26.  She weighed 5
lbs, 13 oz and was 18.5 in long.  After they weighed her and wiped her
off, they gave her back to me and she nursed for an hour.  I declined
the routine pitocin, which my OB grumbled about a little as he sewed
me up, but for someone who I know is not very supportive of natural
birth, he wasn’t bad (and I realize now that his personality is just a
lot more gruff than my regular, superoptimistic OB).

Other than being small and a little cold, she’s done great!  We should
be released from the hospital any time now (once DH gets here) and I’m
excited to go home.

I don’t feel like I did very well at maintaining my focus on my own,
but HB did help me through two days of pressure waves and I was able
to give birth naturally.

My husband blogged about the birth (a much shorter account) on my