Unassisted Hospital Birth of Honora Vivian
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My back story was that I had a really difficult birth with my first baby, and when I was pregnant again about a year later, I was determined to find a different way…enter Hypnobabies! This is my 4th birth, and my 3rd Hypnobaby, and I am thankful for that first bad experience, because otherwise I would probably never have known the subsequent births. J My first baby was born at 41 weeks, my second at 41 weeks 2 days, and my third, on his due date! This time around I have a close friend, Melissa, who is a doula and birth photographer, and I was so excited to have her onboard my birthing team, along with my husband, who is always so great during birthing, my midwife, and the nurses. I was going in for my 39 week appointment, 5 days before my due date, and my friend said that she was teaching Lamaze during the days on the weekend that would be easier not to have to schedule around, and then I looked at my family’s calendar, and this week was so open, but the next was not, and I started to think it would be a good time to have a baby! So, when my midwife asked if I’d like her to sweep my membranes, I thought, why not? I’d had it done after 40 weeks with my others and it had really never started much up, but I thought I’d go for it anyway.
My appointment ended around 11 am, and I went to lunch with Melissa and had a few “means business” pressure waves, but I kind of thought it would fizzle out. Instead, they started establishing a pattern. About 8-10 minutes apart by the time I was home around 3pm. We went to a business dinner at 6pm and I think they were about 6-8 minutes apart then, but I wasn’t timing. We walked around a bit so that we could come home after the babysitter had our other little ones in bed for the night. J We decided to watch a movie while I chilled on my birth ball. I texted my midwife around 10 pm when my waves were 4-6 minutes apart, but relatively intense, and we agreed that I could probably try to finish my movie for the next hour and make a decision. So in an hour, I decided I wanted to get on the road, because our drive was about an hour long and I wanted to have freedom to move as things progressed. My doula said she’d meet us at the hospital, and we got there sometime around 1 am. I got all checked in and hooked up to an IV, b/c I was Group B Strep Positive, I was at 4cm and 90% effaced at check in. When they were finished with all that jazz, I started walking with my IV pole. I was pretty sleepy and wanted to have my tracks onboard, and they were in my room, so I headed back after about 30 minutes and hopped on the birth ball for the next while. I settled in with Early First Stage playing in the background, and I think I got some sleep in between waves. I started to vocalize a bit, and my doula reminded me that lowering my pitch would help keep things loose, and it was such a good bit of advice for me to focus on. I recognized that my midwife, Anne, arrived, and Melissa said that she was pretty confident that I was further than I appeared. She had asked earlier if I might want to labor in the tub for a bit, an I started to think that the warm water would feel nice. Before I went to the bathroom, my midwife checked me and said I was at an 8.5 to a 9 with a bulging bag of waters. I started for the tub, and I heard Melissa and Anne talking, and they asked me to sit on the toilet for my next wave. They told me they thought I was pretty close and maybe getting in the tub might not be a great idea if I didn’t want to birth there, which I didn’t—it is a nice jetted tub, but no birthing pool for sure! So I made my way back to the bed. *BOP Warning* I think by this time I had vomited about 5 times. I had some more vomiting, which I learned was my body trying to rupture my bag of waters. I was pretty tired of puking, so I asked if it might be a good idea to rupture my waters. My birth team was very supportive of what I wanted to do without telling me to go for it, but I was really over throwing up and wanted to get the show on the road. 😉 My midwife ruptured the bag for me and said it was a “bag of steel.” I got settled in on my side with a few pillows between my knees and had 2 or 3 more productive waves, and then I told them I was starting to feel pushy. I guess I was so calm that they didn’t think much of it. But, bless my husband, he started up my *Pushing Baby Out* track. I focused on what Kerry was saying and on keeping my pitch low and my mouth round, because of what Melissa said, and because I think I recall Ina May saying something about that helping things open as well. I was feeling pushy more and more often, and I looked to my side and saw my midwife sitting on the floor cross-legged watching me progress, and my friend nearby. My husband was providing the best counter pressure on my back with each strong wave. My sweet L&D nurse Shana came up and asked if she could listen to the baby’s heart with the stethoscope on my belly, and I declined. Everyone thought I was just having a particularly strong wave, and they started to think about getting up and ready for Pushing Stage, but in reality I was confused at why she asked, because I was actively birthing my baby. I had two more pushing waves and Shana came back to see if she could check baby’s heartrate again just as I felt her body birth, and I told her, “Sure, she’s in the bed.” And my husband simultaneously said, “The baby popped out!”
My doula, midwife, and nurse all hopped up and said, “What did you say?!” Anne, came over, lifted up the sheet and saw that Baby Honora had a nuchal cord once around, and undid that and passed her up to me. They were completely shocked and awed. Anne didn’t even have her gloves on! She said that in over a thousand births this was the first one that she completely missed from about 2 feet away. Melissa, said, “Well, I’ve never seen it before, and I may never again, but you really just breathed that baby out!” They were so sweet and supportive. My nurse said she groaned when she saw that I had a doula, and my birthplan, but she was a believer and felt so privileged to be there to witness everything. I got to cut the cord (my first time ever), and Honora had vernix all over—another first for me! She had apgars of 9 and 9 and she was my tiniest little peanut at 7lbs 14.8 ounces. Blessed again to be a Mama! She nursed immediately and has been an effective little nurser ever since. Each new person who came in asked how all of this worked, the lactation consultants listened to some of the tracks, and one of the pediatricians on call told me I should teach “my method,” because people would drive for something like that!
It was a crack up, but I am seriously so thankful for the Hypnobabies curriculum. I always feel so empowered in my decision making leading up to and during labor. I know that I make educated and informed decisions for me and my baby, not necessarily what everyone else would do for themselves or their births, but it has so helped me to heal from my first birthing to take ownership of the process of bringing life into the world. We are confident that our family is now complete, and I will miss Hypnobabies and childbirthing. I am in awe of the Lord’s design for the process and so thrilled to have been able to be an active participant.
Melissa is putting together a birth slide show that I’ll probably post for you all when it’s finished too, but I wanted to get this written up while Honora is still in her sleepy newborn stage! J