I had been told at my appointment at 39 weeks 4 days that I would need to be induced if I didn't deliver by 41 weeks due to my blood pressure creeping up over the last few weeks. I was concerned that an induction would lead to other interventions and possibly a c-section. My midwives asked me to come back that Friday to check my blood pressure, but that they thought there was a really good chance I would go into labor before that appointment. I wasn't so sure. Everyone had been telling me the whole pregnancy they thought I would go early. I had a feeling that either my baby would come even earlier than my last pregnancy (37 weeks 3 days) or be past my guess date. I have no idea why I thought that, but I did. At 36 weeks I had very regular pressure waves for most of the day and throughout the weekend, but we were able to get them to fade out by getting off my feet. I ended up on modified bedrest after that. At that point I figured I would go late, but everyone else thought it would be any day. So you can imagine everyone else's surprise when the guess date (Thanksgiving 11/22/12) came and went and my baby was still not here. I didn't mind though. I wanted her to have all the time she needed and secretly appreciated not spending Thanksgiving in the hospital, but I would have done it for her gladly if that was what she needed.
On 11/23/12 we went to our appointment and my blood pressure was the highest it had been all pregnancy. I believe it was 136/90 (not crazy high, but very high for me). They took it 3 times just to make sure it was accurate. I burst into tears as I knew that meant we were on the clock at that point. The nurse tried to comfort me and so did my husband. The midwife I was seeing that day came in and told me to not worry. She told me they would retake my blood pressure at the end of my appointment and that this didn't necessarily mean I would have to be induced at 41 weeks (she had felt differently than the midwife I saw earlier that week since I didn't have any other pre-e symptoms and my blood pressure was not off the charts). We listened to the heartbeat which was perfect. She asked me about the baby's movement and I realized I wasn't sure. I had been so preoccupied with worrying about he high blood pressure that I hadn't done my kick counts. The midwife said she would hook me up to the monitor just to see how everything was going. They took my blood pressure again before hooking me up and guess what….it was back to normal! I had been making my blood pressure rise with my worries! Then within minutes of being hooked up to the monitor I started feeling pressure waves. They were pretty strong and to my surprise started coming about every 5 minutes. This happened for the next hour. The midwife said she would go ahead and do an an internal exam to see if the pressure waves were doing anything. She said I was about 3-4 cm, 60% effaced and station -1. I had made a little progress so she stretched me to a 4 and said maybe that would be enough to get the pressure waves to continue and put me into active labor.
My pressure waves did peter out by the evening. I talked with the baby and let her know we were in this together and that I was ready if she was. I was really hoping she was ready because my favorite midwife was on call at the hospital, but only for another 24 hours. We went to bed and I woke up about 3:30 am to use the bathroom. I felt a little funny and by 3:48 am I was having pressure waves about 7 minutes apart. They were pretty strong and felt like a combination of braxton hicks and menstrual cramps. They felt different than with my son's labor, but they were strong enough were I felt like this could be it. I decided to listen to a Hypnobabies track (Easy First Stage). I was very comfortable at that point even though the pressure waves were strong. At about 5 am my husband woke up and I told him I didn't want him going to work. I started to feel sick and threw up in the bathroom. I had gotten sick with my son's labor too so I figured this had to be it. So we got up and finished packing the bags. My husband ran out to get treats for the nurses at labor and delivery while I continued to pack. The pressure waves were getting closer together which was making it hard to pack the bags. I called the midwife at about 6 am and she agreed I should come in. I told her we would be there about 7 am. We didn't end up leaving until close to 7 am because it was taking me so long to pack with the pressure waves being so strong and so close together. In fact we ended up not quite finishing because we realized that the pressure waves were getting closer and I couldn't talk through them and I got sick and couple more times. I listened to Hypnobabies through headphones on the car ride to the hospital. When we got to the hospital I was feeling a lot of pressure.
Our midwife met us at L&D. I had to stop a couple of times on the way back to the delivery room due to the pressure waves. Luckily Patty brought be right to a room and I didn't have to be checked at triage. When we got into the room at 7:30 am she checked me and said I was 8 cm. Everyone started rushing around to get the delivery cart ready. Patty said she could either break my water or I could get into the tub, but if she broke my water I would probably be ready to push right after. I told her I wanted to try the tub. I wanted my water to break naturally if possible and I had been really excited to use the tub for labor. On the way to getting to the tub I got sick again. Not fun, but I knew that meant I was getting closer to seeing my baby. As soon as they started lowering me into the tub I feel a pop and a lot of pressure. My water had broke. I started saying "I can't do this" meaning I can't be in the tub, but my midwife thought I meant I can't do a natural labor. I clarified what had happened and that I needed to push and they quickly helped me get out of the tub. I thought I was going to delivery the baby on the tile floor since the pressure had gotten so intense! They helped get me to the bed and I started to push. WIthin about 15 min my baby was born. They put our baby girl right up on my chest and I just couldn't believe she was here. She was born at 8:11 am, just 40 minutes after we got to the hospital! The nursed hadn't even fully checked me in yet! I did have to get a shot of pitocin after she were born just because they were a little concerned with the amount of blood I lost right before delivering the placenta (all was fine though). I also did have a 1st degree tear and needed stitches (I didn't feel the tear happen nor did I feel the stitches and it didn't bother me in the least during my recovery).
My first hypnobabies experience was 12 hours of labor (only about 4 hours of active labor and 15 min of pushing) and this time it was only about 4 hours of labor total with 15 mins of pushing. Not bad. I don't really feel like I ever had any pain, just pressure. The pressure was very intense, but it was all manageable and the relief you feel when the baby is born is amazing. I really can't say enough good things about Hypnobabies. The relaxation during pregnancy alone is amazing, but having such an empowering birth is beyond words!