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Posted by on in Water Birth
Here is a mom relaxing in the tub at 9 cm during a pressure wave.  Look at how calm she is!  :)


You can read the moms experience at her blog!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
Dear Skyla
You lie next to me, milkdrunk, your body limp with the rush of the milkhigh, and contentment washing over your being. The fact that you are here is miraculous, I still can't quite believe it, today is your actual 'due date', but as we know that means nothing, and you were going to come when you were ready, no sooner, no later. You have been in our world for five days now.
So here, my love is the story of your birth, written while still fresh in my mind, body and soul.
Your conception wasn't planned Sweet Skyla, and I don't really know how you came into being, it is a little miracle. However I could feel the winds of change as soon as you were conceived. I had no idea of your existence yet I felt all tingly inside, it felt like a premonition. I looked into my days with anticipation, nervousness and wonder, 'What was this feeling? What lay on the horizon?'. I kept saying to people, "Something is going to happen, I can feel it, I don't know what it is yet, but I know it".
So when my period was slow to arrive, and then I started feeling a little nauseous, your existence was discovered. It was a shock for me and your Daddy, but under the shock we were both happy, very happy.
And it was a beautiful ride my love, growing you inside me felt so magic and full of such wonder. We were blessed with an easy ride too, you and me, a few weeks of nausea, but that soon passed, a bit of tiredness, which I took as my body telling me to rest, and that was all. We blossomed.
And I began preparing for your birth day. I wanted to bring you into this world in the best possible way for the both of us. Your Daddy too wanted what was best for us. So we made some birth choices, and your Daddy was amazing at helping me to stay strong in them, and in defending our choices to people who questioned them. We declined routine scans, it felt intuitively wrong to expose you to that for no medical reason (of course my precious if at any time anything was medically indicated then we would!). And we decided to have a birth at home.
I read books, I researched, and I looked for tools to help us have the best possible birth. Sadly in our culture birth is medicalised, rather than normalized, and so I wanted to counter that programming in myself, I surrounded myself with positive books, ones that empower women on their birth journeys, I read, I wrote. I started a Hypnobabies program to give me tools for the day, to embrace the sensations of birthing. I believed in and wanted a beautiful fearless birth. Your Daddy read the bits I asked him to read, did my Hypnobabies with me, cooked us yummy food, and gave me back rubs when I needed it. He looked after us well Sweet Skyla. And we found a lovely independent midwife, Debs, who would attend the birth, and be there to help us if we needed it.
So, I thought you were going to be late, I thought I would end up fighting the induction police, so I planned on hair appointments and massages in my last few weeks, and started tying up loose ends. On Tuesday I went to Oxford to visit my Goddaughter and her brother, Anna is 4, Will is 6, Anna chatted to you, and patted my belly and spoke about 'the baby' almost non-stop. I felt a bit crampy and ill when I left there that evening. But I had been feeling a bit 'niggly' the past two weeks, period like cramps, teary, and tired, so I didn't think anything of it. The next day I felt a little ill, and my lower back was rather achy. And you were so so active, rolling and kicking all over the show. Your Daddy and I went out that afternoon, and had a massive argument in the street, I guess we were both feeling a bit hormonal! We got home that night, he went to bed around midnight, and I stayed up and cleaned the kitchen (which, my precious, is very unlike me, so perhaps I was nesting?). I had started to feel you do your head spins on my cervix, but the sensation had moved, and I was feeling it in my bottom, it felt a bit sharp and it rose and fell. Then I felt my first pressure wave, it was like a tightening from my lower back that radiated all round to the front of my belly. I hadn't felt any Braxton Hicks throughout the whole pregnancy, so this was a new feeling, exciting! I timed them and they seemed 7-10mins apart. I got in a bath, to see if that would change them, they increased to 5mins apart, lasting a minute. By 3am, I called Debs to let her know, I wasn't going to, as I was convinced this was just practice, but I thought I should call her 'just in case', she said get some sleep and call me back. I went to bed and woke your Daddy and told him what was happening, and asked him to get the tens machine, there was no way I was going to sleep through these waves! Don't worry Skyla they weren't painful, they were intense, and the best way to describe them is to say they are all consuming, they became everything and demanded all of my attention. I put my affirmations on, and the tens, and when a wave came I got on all fours and circled my hips like in yoga, and I said "ahhhhh" in a soft breath, and "open, open, open", and I thought of you my lovely, I sent you love and energy and reassurance.
Your Daddy timed these for an hour, not realizing how all consuming they were getting, he tried to talk to me during one, I couldn't answer and I think he realized then. During one, he put his hand on my belly (he often did this in bed at night). He said he felt the energy change completely, and he knew that this was it for real, he also said he knew you were a girl (I had had this feeling from this beginning, as did he, but then he changed and started thinking you were a boy).
There was a little show and we decided to call Debs back to see if we should start filling the pool.  She said 'Okay I am coming now', when Daddy described how things were, this surprised him he said later, as we must be further along than we thought. (We had plans of going for lunch, of hanging out watching dvds together during early birthing time). So he jumped up and got into action setting up the pool, I started helping, but got to the point where I needed to just focus on this. I returned to bed, on all fours, and put on my hypnobirthing "Easy First Stage" on and went within.
Debs arrived at 6ish, checked us, you were doing great, so was I, we didn't want any internals, which Debs was fine with. Daddy did a quick dash to the supermarket (we didn't have anything in the house!). Debs just left me to it, alone in the bedroom, which was what I wanted, to go within and let my body do it. I found myself covering my eyes during a pressure wave, and continued with the circling and 'ahhh's.  I also started saying "yes, yes yes", I found this really helped me to embrace and surrender to them.
Debs said when Daddy got back I could get in the pool if I wanted, this surprised me, I didn't think we were that far. I was only using the tens machine, putting it on 'boost' during a wave, and this really helped manage the sensation, I only had it on '2' (it goes up to 20) as I wanted to keep it back in case I really needed it. The waves were intense, and becoming more all encompassing, it was such a powerful feeling, I would go right into them, and then once they subsided, I would return to the world.
Daddy got back from shopping and continued getting everything ready, but now I wanted him with me during a wave, so I would call him every few minutes and he would come running. He tried some hypno cues, but I didn't want that, and told him to hush. He tried to give me some nice touch, but again, I didn't want that and shook my head. He said he felt a bit helpless, but having him there was All and Everything that I needed.
Then I felt sick, I asked Deb to get your nappy bucket from the bathroom, and up came all the raspberry leaf tea and porridge your Daddy had given me. And I started crying, I don't know why, it was like waves of emotion washing over me, I wasn't upset, just a little confused maybe or overwhelmed.
This passed and we moved into the living room, where your Daddy had done an amazing job! The blackout curtains were up, and candles everywhere and the most beautiful fresh flowers, pink roses, and a massive bunch of lovely yellows and reds and oranges. He put the Rumi poetry and music cd on, and I got in the pool. The temperature was amazing, so hot and delicious. And you, my lovely, began your descent.
I found it hard to let go as I felt you press against my bottom, this is just a natural taboo of letting go in that area. I had asked Deb not to 'coach' at all, and only to give direction if I asked for it, so I asked her here, she said 'just push through your bottom as if you are going to the toilet', and I tried. Then I felt sick again, I leant over the edge and threw up into your nappy bucket, it was a bit of a yucky feeling throwing up and trying to let go in my bottom at the same time, but it obviously did the trick, with the next wave I felt that letting go, and I relaxed into that. There was a show at some stage and I think Debs said something about it being a good sign that I was fully dilated, somewhere I registered this, although words were gibberish at this point, I was just following my body. With each wave I went right in, still on all fours, leaning over the pool, holding on to your daddy's hand, his presence meaning more than he will ever realize. The 'ahhhs' turned into a different noise, a really primal grunt/moan that I had no idea was in my vocab. I went with that, I could feel you moving down 'pressure' or 'pushy' or something I said to let Debs and Daddy know what was happening. It felt so good to surrender to this feeling, again hard to describe, still all encompassing and intense, but it felt a bit like throwing up in that my body just did it and I went with it. In between waves I rested, then circled and moved and said 'come on baby, come on', encouraging you on your journey down.  I could feel your head come a little further forward with each wave, but then slip back, this was hard and I felt impatient and wondered aloud if I could do this. Your bag of water hadn't broken yet. Debs said to reach down and feel your head, I did and it was squishy, you felt so close and yet so far. Debs suggested breaking your bag of waters to help you down, I agreed. She was listening to your heartbeat after every wave, and it was taking a little longer to recover each time, Daddy and I could hear it a bit slower (we were using the sonic aid now, after a whole pregnancy free of ultra sound, once we were in the water we decided for ease to let Debs use the sonic aid rather than fetalscope). So Debs suggested moving into a squat, and said to direct the energy that was coming out of my mouth in my amazing primal sounds downwards. Basically she meant actively 'push', which I hadn't wanted to do, rather I wanted to let my body doing the pushing, which it had been beautifully. But obviously, my precious, you were finding this part of the journey a little hard, and it would be better to get you out sooner. So I moved (Daddy was in the pool with me and you by now), and squatted and reclined, with Daddy next to me. The next wave came "here we go" I said to Debs and Daddy, and you moved into position, and I directed the energy down and I Pushed and Pushed and Pushed, and then there your little head was, I couldn't quite believe it! We looked at you and we waited for the next wave. It felt like an eternity in coming. When it did I pushed again, and Daddy held his hands out and out you came, turning as you did, I felt your body slip out and your little foot last of all, Daddy caught you, the cord was around your neck a couple of times (this was why your heartbeat was dipping so much) and you still had the membranes covering your head, Debs removed both and Daddy brought you slowly up out of the water and put you on my chest. Daddy bent down to look at your face, and you opened one eye and looked at him. You were floppy, we rubbed your back, 'hey, wake up baby' we said, you coughed and spluttered a bit and then you were here. During the whole birthing we had been referring to you as 'she'. Debs said, "Is it a girl?" and went to feel between your legs, but I lifted your leg so Daddy could look. He said, "Yes it's a little girl". We smiled and said "Hello Skyla". It was 11.36am on Thursday 12th March 2009.
You had arrived, you looked a little funny, but of course we thought you looked absolutely beautiful! Your colour started coming, and you were quiet and content and we had a timeless hour in the pool getting to know you, waiting for your placenta to come. I was getting lots of cramping as my womb clamped down and released your placenta, but no movement, I wondered if some gravity would help, so we decided to cut your cord so I could move and you could stay in the pool with Daddy. Debs clamped it and Daddy cut it.
I went to the bathroom, and your placenta slipped out easily. I showered and while Debs checked me, you and Daddy had a lovely time in the pool. Daddy talked to you and you just listened and gazed at him, when I came back Daddy said he had fallen completely in love with you.
And now, with you lying next to me lost in your milky dream world, I can say we have both fallen head over heels for you. We intend to do our best by you. We know it will be challenging at times, and we don't know all the answers, but we look forward to rising and growing with the challenges and exploring the questions with you Sweet Skyla.
With so much love, now and forever, to eternity and beyond, your Mama xx
I loved my hypnobabies practice, I would say I was a B student, I practiced, mainly at night, and I did more of what I felt work for me.
As our birthing time happened a bit quickly, I found it hard to get into the hypno zone I thought I would be in, I didn't listen to all of easy first stage, or to second stage (I had intended to use both) as I was in that place where I just wanted to go within. This surprised me, also that I didn't want to 'listen' to words, I just wanted to know them.
My main birth goal was to have a really intuitive birth, to really listen and go into my body, so words (both the cds and Pete's - aka Daddy) felt kind of redundant. But also I felt like I had already embodied all the knowledge from all my hypno prep, so I didn't need to be listening to the cds during birthing.
This really worked for me, this embodying, it allowed me to feel confident enough to let go and go with in and 'let my monkey do it" (-Ina May!). I couldn't have done this without the confidence and calm that hypnobabies gave me.
In the few weeks before the hypno tool I used the most was painting my cervix, perineum and all my birthing muscles with my silver blue anesthesia paint (I knew how well this worked for me when I did the icecube test thing, I was Amazed that it worked so well!!!). So every time I thought of it, I would paint it on. Naturally this worked so well during birthing time too, there was no ring of fire, or any uncomfortable sensations there. Also when I had to push her out at the end I tore my perineum a little, I didn't feel this at all, and nothing when I was actually pushing!
When I visualsed the birthing I imagined it lasting 12 hours from start to birth, which it did, that it was mainly in the night with her born in the morning, which it was, and I saw myself surrendering to the sensations, which I did. The rest, being a first time mama, I wasn't sure really what would happen. But hypnobabies really helped me to Trust my body and Trust my baby.
Having this Embodied Knowledge really allowed me to let go, go within, get primal and intuitive.
I don't think I can get across how much Trust and Confidence Hypnobabies gave me, and that the three months of 'training' with it was SO important for Embodying it so it became something my body Knew, or rather ReMembered! As of course my body knows all of this, but to remember it, and to know it on all levels was vital to the Beautiful Birthing time of Skyla.
Thank you Kerry! Thank you Hypnobabies! Thank you Mamas and Mamasinthemaking on this forum for all your support! And thank you Sweet Skyla for coming into my world!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
Here is a Hypnobabies mom having a pressure wave.  I love her smile when it is over!  :)

Tagged in: comfortable birth
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Posted by on in Water Birth

First, I'd like to say that I used the hypnobabies home study course and was probably a C student. :-) I was very good during the first 5 weeks, but during maintenance, I rarely listened to affirmations and only did about 2-3 finger drops per day. This was my second child, first hypnobaby/first natural birth.

I was 5 days past my due date, but was still feeling pretty zen about waiting for baby. Weh ad just recieved a new computer in the mail since our old one had died, and the boxes arrived at around 11am. My two year old son went down for his nap at noon, an das soon as he was asleep, I began opening boxes, taking apart the old computer, and setting up the new one. I kept needing to stop because of  cramps in my back, which I at first assumed were just related to being overly-pregnant and crawling around under the desk, lifting up boxes, etc.

Around 1230, it dawned on me that the back pains were coming and going... sort of like waves! I timed a few, and they were 4 minutes apart. They were extremely mild and I was able to kep working through them. I went ahead and called my husband and told him not to come home, but to just get himself organized just in case. I then put on my birthing day affirmations and kept working. At 1245 I called him back, and told him to come on home because I wasn't 100% sure it was the real thing, but better safe than sorry. I then called my midwife, who said she'd come check me at home in 45 minutes. My husband got home around 1:15, and the midwife arrived around 1:45. She checked me out, and I was dilated to 2cm and the baby was still posterior but said my cervix was *like butter*. This was really cool to hear, as it's in some of the hypnobabies scripts. The PWs were still very bearable, and I natrurally assumed positions of leaning over- feet spread apart and bent at the waist with my hands on the bed or couch, or squatting whenever I felt a wave. I used the Peace cue with great success.

My midwife went to prepare the birthing place (Here in Switzerland, the birth center is like a studio apartment within a senior midwife's home) and we were to meet her there as soon as we were packed up and ready. Our son woke up at 2:30, and we headed out the door, down 12 flights of stairs in our building (my husband was petrified that the elevator would malfunction just at the moment where we needed to get tot he birth center, lol.). We dropped off our son, and headed in tot he birth center. As soon as he was out oft he car, I turned on Easy First Stage on my ipod and went to *off*. I remained in off until we arrived, and the car ride was not a problem at all.

We arrived at the birth center at 3:15, and I was really needing to  concentrate during the PWs. I stayed in center, as I felt a need to move during/between PWs and couldn't be bothered with my switch. I experienced about 8 PWs on my knees with my upper body supported by a birth ball while my husband applied counter pressure to my lower back. These were very intense, and yes, even painful, but I never felt out of control like I did wtih my son's birth. I continued to use Peace and Relax with great success, although my husband had completely forgotten that he could be giving me the Relax cue as well. It worked just fine with me saying it to myself.

My water broke at 3:45, and my midwife said something about how things might pick up a bit in intensity from now on. I decided to get into the birth tub, which she had filled for me. The feeling of my water breaking was a strange sensation, but not at all painful.

I got into the tub, and took off my ipod because it was annoying me with the cord and worrying about it getting wet. I had one PW while kneeling in the water with my arms resting on the side oft he pool, and it was downright painful. I felt immediately nauseous afterwards, which set off an alarm in my mind about transformation, but I thought I was being WAY too optimistic and so didn't believe I was in transformation. I asked that someone apply counter pressure to my back with the next wave, which my husband did, and it was better, but still VERY intense. My midwife asked if I felt pushy at all, which I thought was ridiculous, since I thought I was just beginning active labor. I said that I felt *something*, but that pushy wasn't the right word. And then, the next wave hit. I started out in the same position, but instictively straightened out my back so that I was kneeling but compeletely upright, then without having any ability to control it, I began making the craziest scream/cry/yell/moan that I'd ever heard.

Amazingly, a part of my brain was still able to think, gee, when  women make this noise in birth videos, it's because they are pushing the baby out.  Weird!" It was incredible- while I was making this noise, the pain disappeared, and it was just INTENSE... pressure isn't the right word.... Just INTENSE. I would make this noise until my lungs emptied, take a deep breath, and do it again.

I instinctively reached down, and felt my baby's head slide right out into my hand. The midwife then helped a tiny bit with the shoulders, and the baby was born... all within this one minute, one wave, and without me ever feeling like I was consciously pushing. My midwife hadn't even bothered to put gloves on yet! I brought the baby out oft he water and onto my chest and IT WAS A GIRL!!! So exciting. She was healthy and pink and cried after a minute but calmed right down.

She nursed within 15 minutes or so, and the placenta was born about 45 minutes after the birth.

My thoughts on Hypnobabies:

I honestly never believed in a pain free birth while practicing my Hypnobabies.

Perhaps because this was not my first baby, and I'd already been there and experienced the pain of birth. What I wanted from  Hypnobabies was control over my expereince, which I felt I didn't have with my son (hospital birth, malfunctioning epidural, panicking, etc).

Ultimately, I did experience some pain/discomfort, but it was only in the last 2-3 waves. My midwife guesses that I arrived at the birth center still dilated to only 2-3cm, but that my water breaking caused a dilation from 2-10 in just 2 waves. So I guess a little pain is a fair trade for such fast dilation!

The Easy First Stage was AWESOME in the car, but I found it  distracting once at the birth center.

The Peace and Relax cues were WONDERFUL for me, but once I got into center, I didn't continue to use my lightswitch tool.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone else, but think it is very useful to also read a book such as Active Birth to learn coping strategies in addition to hypnobabies to help speed labor along and remain comfortable. I believe Active Labor is recommended in the home study course as being very compatible.

I wish you all great births !!!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
This is one of the best descriptive birth stories.  I love how mom describes it like a roller coaster.  Enjoy reading!

Zane's birth story

2 weeks comfortable Braxton-Hicks

2 wks of comfortable Pressure Waves

Saw midwives after 2nd wk of PW for prenatal and asked for internal to see if anything was really happening (first internal of the pregnancy)

They said station=0, dilated 3cm...yeah!  Ripest cervix she ever felt.

Had very strong PWs on way home...figured better not drive from then on.

Had stronger PWs that night with bloody show which I had been having since internal (as told I might by the midwives).  I called the midwives to see if the quantity was significant (like light period) they said no.  I knew it wasn't time for them to come to my house but I was asking them for any idea on a time frame since my husband needed time to get home.  he works and stays 2.5 hrs away during the week.  I called DH to let him know my status but told him if the PWs picked up I would call him but otherwise for him to sleep.  I awoke that night with him home.  He said he would rather commute each day than be worried.  He stayed home two days with the PWs going back to their former intensity and still having light period type discharge.  Third day was Thursday, he went back to work but I told him to come home early on Friday so he didn't hit traffic which would turn his 2.5 hr commute into 4-5 hours...especially since Friday was our Guess Date.

Daily life on Thursday...everybody asking when baby was coming...I said well, our Guess Date is Friday so I guess tomorrow.

Thursday night went to bed and felt like I wet my pants.  I went to the bathroom and found my pad soaked but not my clothes...I always thought it would be obvious when my water broke but I thought that perhaps it was a high break and only some of the fluid leaked.  The midwives told me I had a lot of amniotic fluid so I was expecting a soaking.  I called them to let them know that I was pretty sure my water broke and that it was clear.  I asked if I needed to check for the cord and they said no since my baby was so low the cord would not have prolapsed.  I went back to bed to see what would happen that night.

PWs started and I timed them.  I was to call the midwives when they were consistently 10 min apart for 1 hour but they would come over when they were 5 min apart.  My waves bounced around and I finally felt they were close enough and I must be progressing because I wanted to focus rather than look at the clock, also I was too focused to use the phone and wanted my husband to call so I knew it was the real deal...finally.  DH called the midwives to let them know and they said they would come over and set up.

I had been planning a completely unassisted birth and a few months before my guess date felt led to ask this midwife team to attend my birth.  They specialize in unassisted, midwife attended births.  Essentially they were my guardian angels making sure that I had the unassisted birth I wanted.  I realized that my birth team (DH and my Mom) was not getting comfortable with my unassisted plans as time progressed and I worried that they might call 911 in the heat of the moment.  I was glad the midwives attended for many reasons before, during, and after the birth.

Although I had envisioned staying in off for much of my birth, I actually was in center for almost the entire time so definitely practice center switch.  I listened to my scripts on the mp3 player and would occasionally take out one ear bud if I needed to hear or talk.  Here is what I listened too early on:  Birthing Day, Deepening, and Special Place.  Eventually my battery ran down and for some reason my husband was not able to charge it so we switched to his mp3 player which we don't know how to work and I listened to Birthing Day over and over until time to push when I asked for Pushing Baby Out.

I did not have a pain free birth but would call it manageable discomfort.  I used to get nervous when Hypnomoms would say manageable discomfort since it is so subjective.  So, here is what it felt like for those that want some perspective.  It felt like a moderate period cramp right above my pubic symphysis (the bone right in the front of your pelvis).  I don't usually get period cramps unless I have emotional baggage that I haven't dealt with (fight/grudge with DH, etc.) and unfortunately, I did go into this birth with unfinished business so I wonder, if I had dealt with my business early as I really should have, if my birth would have been completely pain free.  I will see next time.

Throughout the birth the discomfort level stayed at a moderate period cramp.  This is my second child.  The first I had all natural but without Hypnobabies and people told me it would be like a period and it wasn't so I am not downplaying the discomfort, it really was no more than a moderate cramp feeling for me and was decreased by about 1/3 if my husband pushed on my left sacroiliac joint.  The only time my discomfort increased was if I lay down during a wave or sat on the toilet (my baby was very, very low).  Therefore, I stayed in center during the waves and would lean on the changing table and rock, sway, or spiral my hips during the waves and it felt great.  Between waves I was completely pain free, able to talk, joke, visit, etc.  Even during transformation, between waves, I was talking and making jokes which was amazing for such an intense time.

So, the discomfort stayed the same but the intensity changed with the progression of the birth.  I was able to stay aware of the birth progressing and be positive about it because of Hypnobabies and that was priceless.  I felt the intensity increasing and by this I mean a strong power starting to flow through me (like an adrenalin rush) and the waves were coming closer together and between waves I was thinking "alright transformation here we come...let's do this!"  Suddenly though my birth slowed and the waves eventually stopped.  I asked the midwives for an internal (my second for the entire pregnancy).  They checked and confirmed that my water had broken, I was dilated 4-5 which gave me hope because I knew that was the "hump" in most births (was in my first) and I really was close to transformation, but baby was still ROA-in my right corner facing my left hip.  He hadn't turned into birthing position yet which meant he essentially wasn't hitting the doorway head-on so I wasn't dilating efficiently.

We did some work to get my hips loosened up (I knew I should have seen my Chiropractor that week....and I am a Chiropractor so I should know better than get too busy right before my birth to get adjusted). The midwives gave me some homeopathic remedies and their assistant come over and did some body work on me with essential oils.  It was awesome! 

Finally, I had to address the emotional baggage that I hadn't taken care of before birthing time.  Once all of this was done the midwives told me to lie down and rest and they went home (they had been at my house since 4am and it was about 9:30am).  I rested and the rest of my birthing team (my Mom) finally arrived.  My Mom lives about 5 hours from me.  The waves finally picked up and I stood up again to rock and sway my hips.  The midwives called to check on me around 1:30 and my Mom told them I was talking about filling the water tub and they said they would be right over.  They had offered the tub earlier in the birth and when I asked them when I was supposed to
use it they said it was for when nothing else was working. 

Hypnobabies was working so well, I told them that I was feeling fine so I would save the water for transformation.  When they heard I was ready for the water, they knew it was finally time.  The nice part of this is that I was calm and focused during this time.  I made a conscious decision to start filling the tub because I felt that transformation was coming not because I was in too much pain to bear without the water.  At this point, my discomfort was still at the level of a moderate cramp but the energy had returned and I was not as able to relax all of my muscles during the waves (toes would curl but it wasn't from pain just intensity).  Once I was in the warm water I was able to relax and then the transformation really took off.

I used to wonder at the "intensity" that Hypnomoms would mention that wasn't pain so I will do my best to describe how it was for me for those that find it useful.  Please keep in mind that during the pressure wave the discomfort still felt like a moderate menstrual cramp above my pubic symphysis and my DH sat behind the water tub and pushed on my left sacroiliac joint which helped with that too.  The intensity was like a rush of feeling and emotion.  One of the midwives filmed the birth and the other sat nearby and during transformation fanned me with my file during the pws because I said that I couldn't get a full breath.  I yelled during the pws at this time from the intensity.  It is like if you are so excited about something that you just have to let it out in a shout or a song for those that sing or that extreme rush of adrenalin when you go down a ski slope or a rollercoaster ride .  A feeling of such intensity that it has to have an outlet.  It doesn't hurt but your body feels the feeling with such intensity that you have to let it out. 

In between waves I was able to talk and joke and I mentioned a couple times that I wouldn't mind if this part ended really soon.  I kind of like it, looking back, but it is so intense that I wanted it to end.  I don't particularly like rollercoasters. 

It was disconcerting when I began to get the urge to push.  With my DD-age 9, I barely felt an urge to push, was told I was complete and to start pushing but I never felt an urge and in fact I felt like I wasn't even giving birth just pushing because I was supposed to.  With this birth I felt the intensity, the discomfort from the pw, and the beginning urge to push all at the same time and that was kind of overwhelming.  The pushing urge eventually became the strongest urge and my body began to bear down on its own.  It took me by surprise and I had to regain my calm since I had not known that the pushing stage could feel like this since it hadn't with my daughter. 

In hindsight I wish I had listened to the Pushing Baby Out CD
all the way through once before giving birth so that I would have known to start it earlier, it was slightly one step behind what I was feeling so I felt a sensation and then I heard ideas for how to handle them calmly which I would use.  I was able to use the script but I like to be prepared beforehand. 

As Zane emerged I felt his head coming into my hand (these wonderful Midwives encourage Mom to catch her baby which was just what I had wanted all along).  We each gently rubbed his head and welcomed him:  my DD, my Mom, and my DH.  One of the Midwives was still videotaping and the other held a mirror and light into the birthing tub so I could see Zane emerging.  The pushing urge stopped and I watched him in the mirror as he rotated (babies do this naturally DON"T let the doctor do this for them unless it is an emergency.  The doctors don't know if the baby's shoulders are rotating clockwise or counterclockwise internally while the doctor is rotating their heads to "help"). 

After two more pushed Zane was born.  I held him and snuggled him as his big sister got into the tub (she had been waiting patiently to get in the tub and help).  DH was leaning over the edge of the tub looking at Zane over my shoulder (see pic in the file under Zane's birth).  My Mom asked "what do we have a girl or boy" so we peeked downward and made our long awaited announcement (we love being surprised!).  Shortly after Zane's birth the placenta came and the Midwives placed it in a dish that floated so we could keep the cord attached.  The Midwives don't cut the cord until the parents say they are ready.  They helped me out of the tub and I said "Wow, I could do that again...give me a week or two for my body to recuperate and I would definitely do that again". 

It may sound crazy but it was like screaming to get off a rollercoaster and then once you are off it saying "what a rush, I am going to ride that again."

In summary here were my goals going into this birth:

1.  Be in control

2.  Be willing to do it again after the birth so that my decision about having more children is based on logic not on fear.

I thought a completely pain free birth would be nice but my focus was these two goals.  Hypnobabies definitely helped me attain these two goals and I am very grateful!

Moms, "catch" your babies!  If I had known how amazing, empowering, and beautiful it is I would have never given that honor to the doctor the first time.  Let the first hands to touch your little one be hands that have loved him/her from the beginning.

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