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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.