Our baby Freya was born a few weeks ago. I had planned a hospital birth with midwives but it didn’t go exactly as planned. Birth is like that. =)

It was awesome.

Note: May need BOP. Does contain mentions of pain but awesome Hypnobabies Birth nonetheless.

Let me just say that that my first birth was sort of weird. My water broke first and I didn’t go into labor for quite awhile so I was looking at an induction. There was a lot of family stress at the time. I walked and walked and walked when I probably should have rested. We made a brief trip to L&D where the midwife confirmed amniotic fluid, we discussed what would likely be an induction the next day, and she confirmed that my cervix was tightly closed. My doula confirmed that I would unlikely go into labor if I hadn’t by then.

I did end up going into labor at the 14 h mark and then it got pretty wild. I got to the hospital at 5, chose to have an epidural, and dilated to 10 within an hour. And then they confirmed that the baby had not descended at all. Thanks to competent midwifery, they “allowed” my body to continue to labor for another five hours when DS completed his descent. I was posterior until the very end. I proceeded to have a vaginal delivery. I would have had a c-section with almost any OB. I was grateful for the unplanned epidural because it allowed me to have a vaginal birth but I really wanted it and this one to be natural. I hated the beached whale feeling of the epidural and I wanted an active role in this birth.

Well, I got one. =)

This time I prepared more faithfully with Hypnobabies (I started so late I only got about halfway through last time.) I also saw a chiropractor who resolved my breech presentation and saw a acupuncturist to encourage dilation. Honestly, I was skeptical at both but I think they probably helped. =)

My water broke at around 9 p.m. on Saturday. I took a shower and went to bed. Didn’t call DS, doula, or midwives because DS was doing something important and I didn’t think I would be laboring for a long time. I slept well and DS slept well. He was kind of annoyed the next morning so I probably should have called. I got my first gentle birthing wave at around 9 a.m. the next morning. I had gently ones every hour or so… I listened to “Early First Stages” “Deepening” tapes all morning toddler-wrangling but didn’t really try to stay in or use hypnosis.

At around 11 a.m. I started to feel a bit more pressure when a wavehit and I sent DS and DH to the park, intending to do a Fear Release and get into a deep state of hypnosis and maybe take a nap. I also called my doula to let her know that I thought my birthing time was starting. (I had hired a hypno-doula but hadn’t even met her yet.)

Well, about 20 minutes, yes labor started with a bang. The pressure waves started coming irregularly but strongly and progressively. I think I took four showers in about an hour. Spent some time on the the birthing ball. The Hypnobabies really did help, especially the visualizations like seeing my cervix opening and reminding me to relax- relax – relax.

It is funny how certain fears can prey on your mind. I actually avoided doing the Hypnobabies Fear Release for a couple of weeks. During this time I kept thinking that I needed to at least wait an hour to call my doula back. That it was just embarrassing to call a half an hour later and ask her to come. She had told me it would take an hour to get there as well. I finally surrendered but it took me quite awhile to get a break enough to actually make a phone call, which was in the other room. I think I was able to say something like “I need help” and she talked me through three pressure waves that came together. She later said that she drove very very fast after that phone call. I called my husband and told him to come home and call MIL to watch toddler. This was almost one p.m. I remember being pleased that I almost made it to my hour mark for the doula phone call.

[BOP warning] The pressure waves became far more intense with very little break. I no longer just felt pressure and yes, they were painful. If I was at the hospital I would have asked for something. Part of the pain was caused by fear– fear that it was going to continue for hours and hours and that the baby wasn’t descending again. I kept thinking open-open–open move-turn-rotate posterior baby. When I could I remembered all of the effort and ($!) I spent to get to this point with the chiro – accupunturist – doula. (I also had complete placenta previa for awhile.) Silly, right? Crazy active labor and the two thoughts I could string together is I spent a lot of money to feel this way! I can’t get an epidural again!

My husband got home at 1:30 and helped me through two pressure waves. Toddler was terrified because he came home and the lights were off the Hypnobabbies was on LOUD, the shower was pouring and mama was “vocalizing” on the potty. He went straight to the phone to call EMTs because he didn’t think he could transport me to the hospital. He tried to calm toddler at the same time. He came back a minute later and helped me through another contraction and I put my hand down and I had quite a lot of bloody show. I kept urging him to draw me a bath and get me some cold water. He left to get the water and calm hysterical toddler. He said something about EMTs.

I felt some really strong pressure in my rectum and thought it was some diarrhea. I was already near the toilet. I pushed down thinking I had to get it out and felt something I realized I had a head. It was *that* urge. It felt like a *huge* release because the urge to push and the pushing felt so much better than the pressure waves. I also had this huge flood of relief because it meant I had been through transition and that I was close to the end of labor. It was a wonderful, empowering feeling and I wasn’t scared in the least.

I had a flash that either this was a healthy strong baby or a baby in distress who needed to get out and I pushed hard. I didn”t feel any pain. The head came out and I could tell she was no longer posterior. At the next pressure sensation I pushed hard once or twice and she slid out. I lost my grip and she briefly landed in the toilet. I got a better grip and pulled her close. The cord was long enough that I could hold her close to my chest to maintain her temperature. She started to breathe. I felt amazing. We had a beautiful beautiful baby and I was just flooded with joy. I called loudly for my husband.

My toddler rushed in hysterical, saw the baby, and I asked him with a big smile if he wanted to meet his new sister. He ran out. My husband comes in says something about contractions – and um – we have a baby. Well, he was stunned. The 911 operator tells him to clear the mouth and he does. I hold her close.

The EMTs arrive about three minutes later and help me to the bed. There are (no joke!) twelve people in my bedroom to help with the “emergency.” I just gave birth to my baby and can’t help making snarky comments about our health care system in my head. Luckily there is a big waterproof pad there for morning toddler snuggle-peefest. They clamp the cord and we are transported the the hospital. Baby nurses the whole way. MIL has arrived and is with toddler.

After a brief stop at the ER we pick up doula in the hall and go L&D. Doula is great in that pushy doula way.. “You aren’t putting a lot of traction on the cord, right?” The OB on staff helps deliver the placenta. No tears, just a tiny skidmark.

This recovery has been *so* much easier than my first. Nursing is going well and Freya has already regained her birth weight.

The amazing thing is that I wasn’t scared at all during the delivery and it was so much more powerful and awesome then my first. I really have to thank both Hypnobabies and these boards for helping me be knowledeable and calm throughout the birth. Toddler likes baby.

It was so wonderful to be an, er, “active” participant in my birth.