Pre-birthing waves began on Sunday, July 31st and were different than what formerly felt like light menstrual cramps. These were a bit more intense, beginning with hardening of my uterus and spreading across to my lower back as a dull pressure. My husband and I were very excited as we were nearing our guess date of August 5th and were glad that changes were happening. I could feel my body changing as my hormones shifted and I began having signs of emotion each day in various forms, I could feel the baby sinking lower into my pelvis, resulting in pressure on my symphsis pubis, and waves began to come in somewhat regular intervals.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday around dinnertime my waves would start and we’d time them, ranging from 5-6 minutes at a low intensity of 4, lasting for an hour and then would disappear completely. I began to be concerned that I wouldn’t know when my actual birthing time would begin, but was comforted when I’d listen to the Birthing Day Affirmations and Easy First Stage tracks, being assured that I would be confident and know my birthing time.
Wednesday, August 3rd not much happened in regards to waves so hubby and I decided to order pizza for dinner and then spend some intimate time together.
Thursday, August 4th I woke up suddenly at 4:00a.m. and sat up to have a small gush of fluid come out. I went to the bathroom and tried to distinguish whether it was urine or amniotic fluid. There was no further leaking, so I wasn’t sure whether my water had broken, but turned on the light to change my panties and went back to bed. My husband knew right away that something was different and I told him that maybe my water broke, maybe not. Within two minutes I began having pressure waves that were significantly more intense than what I had experienced prior. I asked him to begin timing them and we did so for 45 minutes. The waves were 3 minutes apart and were an intensity of 6-7 out of 10. I put on my HypnoBabies tracks and really focused on turning off my lightswitch with each wave and breathing through each one. As they gained in intensity my husband got me some Gatorade and an English muffin with jam for me to eat between waves and then suggested I take a shower. He took a shower with me, as I knew I would need to hold on to him in the slow dance position. During the 15 minute shower I had to hold on to him and go limp 4 or 5 times. The warm water felt wonderful on my back and I began to get excited that our baby girl would be here soon.
After the shower we moved things downstairs and I laid on the couch with my iPod in, going limp with each pressure wave while my husband packed up the car and tried paging the doctor a few times. After 20 minutes of no response we called the hospital and they told us to come right in. My PW’s were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 60-90 seconds and were a 7-8 in intensity.
At 6:00am the ride to the hospital was comfortable and there was hardly anyone on the road. I kept my eyes closed during PW’s and talked with my husband in between about when he would text family members once we were officially admitted. We arrived at the hospital around 6:15 and gathered our bags to walk inside. I had to stop 3 times during our walk to “slow dance” with my husband and turn my lightswitch off. We walked into the birthing center and the nurses looked at me like I couldn’t possibly be in my birthing time. When the nurse tried to show us to our room and I had to stop and “slow dance” with hubby, I think they realized it was real.
We got to the room and I changed into the gown, having another wave in the bathroom and choosing to use the “Peace” cue since I couldn’t go limp. I laid on the bed on my side with my iPod in and she began asking a series of questions, which my husband tried to answer. This particular nurse wasn’t our favorite, as she seemed to emphasize that I needed to answer the questions. When she realized how close together my waves were and how I need to switch off and focus on breathing with each one, she gave up and allowed him to answer the questions. From there much of my birthing time was a blur, as my eyes were closed and I was very focused on each wave, turning off my lightswitch and breathing through each one. Other nurses came in and someone checked my dilation, to which I heard something about 70% effaced and couldn’t quite make out the dilation. Honestly I didn’t want to know at that point. Earlier in the week at my doctor’s appointment I had been 70% effaced and 3-4 cm dilated, which hadn’t changed from the week prior, so I didn’t want to hear the same thing. I just focused internally and breathed my way through as the waves increased in time and pressure. I soon learned that I was 8 cm! I had visualized it and it came true!
My husband nudged me to get my attention as the nurse who would take care of me introduced herself as Tobie. She had three natural childbirths herself under her belt and was very pro-natural childbirth. We later learned that she had worked in a birthing center in San Diego for many years, which explained how wonderful she was with us! Turns out when my husband gave the nurse our birth plan, they went straight to Tobie and said, “this one’s for you!”
They kept the lights off with some natural morning light coming in through the windows. I kept my eyes closed and focused on breathing out and going limp with each wave, barely aware of people coming and going. My husband taped the HypnoBabies sign on the door, which totally changed the atmosphere! Everyone who walked in whispered and knew that I was focusing.
At one point Tobie told us that we did everything perfect – waiting to come in until “contractions” were close together, doing most of my birthing time at home, etc. and said that my doctor is notorious for interventions at that hospital – something we didn’t realize! But coming in at 8 cm and ready to go, they commented that a six hour “labor” from start to finish for a first time mom is unheard of. They seemed very impressed and said that this is the way a birth is supposed to be.
After only a little while at the hospital I felt nauseous and vomited what little I had eaten that morning. I think that could’ve been my transformation time. Soon I began to feel pushy and told Tobie, who checked me and said I was at 9cm and needed to wait a bit. She helped me out with breathing, suggesting that my sounds of “ahh” needed to be lower. I found it helpful to be vocal, especially as I entered my time to push. My husband says that I was very loud and sounded like I was in p**n, but in reality it was a release of pressure to have my mouth open and I felt my bottom open as I did so.
Minutes later I commented on how I wanted to push and the nurse checked me again, saying that I was complete and could push any time. The doctor wasn’t even there, but it was music to my ears that I could push regardless of his presence.
At first I was on my side and after my husband put the iPod on the portable docking station to play Pushing Baby Out out loud, Tobie suggested that he hold my leg up for more room to push. I continued to vocally express myself (so loudly that I couldn’t really hear the track) though I didn’t enjoy pushing that way, as the center of the bed kind of dipped down and I felt I was pushing uphill. So I decided to change positions, where they lifted the head of the bed up and I faced it on my knees, leaning on my forearms and hugging my pillow. They nurses commented on how my doctor had likely only delivered a baby in a position other than on the back a few times and they would be surprised if he “allowed” me to push this way. I didn’t really care at this point, as it felt so good to be in this position, with gravity working with me. I pictured my baby sliding out easily and continued to use the Peace cue as I pushed her out.
My husband says I pushed for less than 30 minutes, though we aren’t sure as we had taken the clock off the wall. While pushing I guess the doctor and a few other nurses came in to help and I could hear the movement and voices behind me, but was so focused that I wasn’t paying attention. My wonderful husband continued to use his hand on my shoulder and give me updates on her head crowning and then coming out. When I felt her slide out, it was such a relief and they said that she was perfect.
I glanced behind me at her and then just laid down my head to rest. They clamped and my husband cut the cord, which had already stopped pulsing and then my placenta came out smoothly before the nurse could hook up the Pitocin, as instructed by the doctor. I had a small tear in my perineum and was able to use the Peace cue, breathing anesthesia to my perineum as my doctor stitched up the area.
Camille Renée was alert and calm, completely at peace coming into the world. She was placed skin to skin on my chest and nursed within 30 minutes. It was beautiful and we are so thrilled that we used HypnoBabies!