My little ray of sunshine is here. 12-20-2012 12:30am
This was my second pregnancy and it was such a wonderful pregnancy……
My third trimester was the very best time for me because I had the most energy and I loved my big round belly with my growing baby moving around inside. As my pregnancy progressed I became more and more eager to begin my Hypnobabies classes. This pregnancy was quite different than my first because this time around I was constantly chasing around my very busy two year old which didn’t leave much time for bonding much with the new life growing in my belly. I knew Hypnobabies would be just what I needed to get me some quality prenatal bonding time with my new daughter.
Our class began and it was so much fun to be doing it for the second time just two years after the first. Once I started Hypnobabies I got some really wonderful time connecting with my baby as well as my husband, both of which were much needed! I love and cherish the time the three of us (husband, new baby inside and I) got to spend together practicing scripts.
With this being my second pregnancy, it was really important to me to allow this pregnancy and birth be unique in its own way because this was a new and different baby. I didn’t want to place certain expectations on this pregnancy and birth based on my first. The experiences I had with my first were all really wonderful and positive and perfect, but I wanted to just allow this second time around to have a life of its own. I was easily able to do that by staying aware of my thoughts and feelings, affirming to myself daily that this was a new unique pregnancy, and of course with the help of my Hypnobabies.
As I approached my guess date, which was 12/12/12, I anxiously awaited the arrival of my new daughter. I made the mistake of assuming that since my son was born at 39 weeks my daughter would arrive around the same time, if not sooner. My husband, being the amazing birth partner he was, started reminding me that babies know their birth days and that the “due date” REALLY IS just a guess. Thirty-nine weeks came and went and I was baffled by the fact that we didn’t have a baby in our arms already. To my dismay, 40 weeks came and went as well. I started getting phone calls, text messages and Facebook posts from every person I have ever known (it seemed) asking me when the baby was going to be here. As I got further past my “due date”, nearing the 41 week mark I got really, really anxious. The phone calls and messages from well meaning friends and family (who really just love me so much and were excited) really started to get to me. I planned to have this baby in a birthing center I couldn’t go past 42 weeks if I was to give birth there. The constant sound of my phone pinging all day with everyone wondering what was going on started to become too much to handle. I got to the point where I just didn’t check messages any more. I went into a sort of hibernation mode.
I went in to see my midwife for my 41 week check up. She had to tell me that I should be expecting a call from the OBGYN she works with to get me on their schedule for an induction. She did say not to worry, she was sure I would have the baby before then, but they had to get me scheduled just the same. I tried so hard to just let that roll of my back but it didn’t. It really hit me hard. I felt I was “on the clock”, I had to give birth within the next seven days or face induction. Along with that bit of news she also informed me that she had to run a few tests because since I was 41 weeks and “past my due date.” For liability reasons they had to make sure that the baby was ok. So they hooked me up to an external monitor for 20 minutes to monitor any birthing waves and to check the baby’s heart rate. They also had to do an ultrasound to make sure there were safe levels of fluid present for the baby. Everything checked out perfectly. My midwife asked me if I was aware I was having birthing waves every 6-8 minutes, she thought maybe I couldn’t feel them. This was the norm for my pregnancy, I had tons of Braxton Hicks all the time. I told her I certainly could feel them, but they were just tightening in my whole belly that felt warm and tingly and didn’t feel like what I remembered as the “baby bringers”. She told me after my exam that I was about 2 cm dilated. Sigh. I thought for sure I would be much more than that at this point. I was really bummed and wishing I hadn’t heard that last bit of information.
She sent me home and I tried to calm my mind with the now looming induction appointment I was going to have to schedule. My mother in law offered to watch my two year old son that night so my husband and I could go have a rare dinner date alone. We eagerly accepted, knowing it could be our last for a while. On our way to dinner I mentioned to him that I felt some crampy feelings down low and that maybe tonight would be the night. We tried not to get too excited though because I had this feeling several other times and nothing had happened. We ate our dinner and a few times I found myself closing my eyes and taking very deep belly breaths along with some pressure waves that were sporadically rolling in. My husband and I were both so hopeful that this was the real deal! We came home and turned on some music for our two year old and we were all dancing around together. I decided that I was feeling a little “funny” and the dancing didn’t quite feel right so I took a seat and enjoyed watching my son, husband and mother in law dance around the living room.
My mother in law went home and we got my son into the bath, it was around 8:30 pm. As soon as we got him settled into bath time my pressure waves kicked in. I noted the time as soon as I felt that first strong one and continued noting the time as they progressed. I was on my hands and knees on the floor of the bathroom doing pelvic tilts to encourage proper baby positioning as I goofed around with my son and husband during bath time. I noted the first waves were 10 minutes apart, the second 8 minutes the third and every one thereafter were 4 minutes apart. I also had my husband use a scarf to do some “Belly Sifting” to ensure baby was lined up.
My midwife, BJ, had told me to call when my pressure waves were 6-8 minutes apart since second births can progress much quicker than the first. Well, I was a little unsure of what to do since I sort of skipped over the 6-8 minute apart stuff and jumped right into 4 minutes apart. After the bath I told my husband to handle the rest of our son’s bed time because I really needed to go start listening to my Hypnobabies and call the midwife. I called her and asked what she thought I should do. She said I could come in if I wanted to, but she would send me home if I was not far enough along. She had just seen me a few hours earlier and I was only 2 cm with no major pressure waves to speak of. She also informed me that at midnight another midwife, Vicky, with whom I was not well acquainted, was taking over being on call. My heart sank a bit. My midwife BJ had seen me my whole pregnancy and she had attended the birth of my first son. I felt so close to her and really wanted her at the birth of my second. Not much I could do about that at this point, I just had to accept it and focus on birthing my baby.
BJ asked me to get in the bath at home and relax for a bit to see if this was for sure the real deal. It was such a cold night- I was too cold to get undressed to get into the bath. So instead I curled up on the couch with lots of blankets over me to keep warm. For some reason with both of my pregnancies I tended to be cold all the time rather than hot like most women. This night was particularly cold and the further I got into my birthing time the colder I got. My husband was putting blankets and towels in the drier and putting them over my feet and legs because I was freezing! Once I warmed up I just relaxed on the couch and listened to my Hypnobabies. I don’t remember what I listened to, but my husband seemed to know exactly what I needed and played different tracks for me. Whatever he played for me worked perfectly. I relaxed easily and comfortably as I breathed through my pressure waves. Once I got all cozy on the couch my pressure waves spaced out to 6 minutes apart for a while. This was 9:00, about 30 minutes after my first pressure wave.
By 10:30 my pressure waves were consistently 2-4 minutes apart. I was very comfortable relaxing in my living room, lit only by our Christmas tree, with my Hypnobabies tracks playing out loud in the room. My husband made sure I was drinking tons of water and that I was getting up to use the restroom often. He would remind me to try different positions when I would return from the rest room. At about 11:00 my pressure waves were about 2-3 minutes apart and even though I was still very comfortable, we decided we should probably head in to the birthing center. We called the midwife, Vicky, and let her know we would be heading in. She said it would take her about 25 minutes to get there so we waited a little bit to leave since we were only about 15 minutes away. Any apprehension I had about not having my usual midwife present was instantly diffused once I heard Vicky’s cheery, loving voice on the phone that night.
Once we started driving my pressure waves were 2 minutes apart and some were even closer together. I listened to my Hypnobabies on my head phones in the car but I was not able to get very comfortable in the seat. The freeway seemed very bumpy and after a few pressure waves while we were driving I started asking my husband to pull over to the side of the road when I would feel one coming on. The freeway was pretty empty at this time and it was quite easy for us to maneuver the car on and off the freeway and pulling over made it so much more comfortable for me!
During one of my pressure waves, pulled over on the side of the road, I opened my eyes and saw right in front of me the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. The moon was so low, and so bright, and colored the most brilliant orange. It was in an exact half circle, looking like the crooked grin of the Cheshire Cat. In the middle of this pressure wave I grabbed my husband’s arm and said, “Look-at-the…. (deep breath)… moon…” He agreed that it was so beautiful and tried to take a picture with his phone. Still in the middle of this pressure wave I said, “Its-not-going-to… (deep breath)… work…. Your… (deep breath)… flash-is-on…. (deep breath)… window-is-up…. (deep breath)” and we both began laughing that we were even having this discussion on the side of the road with my pressure waves less than two minutes apart, and even funnier that this discussion happened in the MIDDLE of a long, strong pressure wave.
Off we sped, both of us feeling a sudden urgency to get to the birthing center. When we arrived neither the midwife nor her assistant were there yet. The pressure waves continued to roll in and we got a little nervous. My husband’s VW is not very roomy inside and I didn’t even want to start thinking about how I was going to birth our baby in the car. Luckily the midwife sped into a parking spot a short while later and let us in. I had “let go” of my hypnosis a bit at this point with arriving at the birthing center and moving inside with urgency. It also was 32 degrees outside, which is really, really cold for South Orange County. Our winters usually consist of a chilly (for us) 50 degrees with an occasional overnight low in the 40’s. Since we did not allow the midwife any time to prep the birthing center, it was really cold inside as well. I flopped over atop the bed and was absolutely chilled to the bone. I was shivering and shaking so badly and my husband piled blankets on top of me. I tried so hard to relax but there was just no way to do so when my body was shivering like it was. Every muscle was tense and shaking. I just couldn’t get warm.
This was one of the only times that I was slightly uncomfortable. In the commotion and excitement and freezing cold air I was not able to use my hypnosis very well. My husband was so tuned in to how I was feeling. He could see that he needed to get me warm and it needed to happen quickly. I continued to use my deep belly breaths with my pressure waves but I was just so tense from being cold. My hands started to tingle a bit and felt a little numb. My midwife told me that I was experiencing some hyperventilation and that I needed to breathe even slower. My husband turned on my Hypnobabies out loud in the room so I could start focusing on my hypnosis again. He also asked the midwife and her assistant to turn on the water in the tub. They were so busy getting everything set up he had to ask several times. He knew it would help me so much to get into the water. (During those brief moments of discomfort I never once felt out of control or any real pain. I was just uncomfortable and tense until I got into the water.)
My midwife, Vicky, said she needed to check me. After she checked, she asked if I wanted to know my stats. I declined. I knew that earlier in the day I was 2 cm with the baby sitting up very high. I didn’t want the “numbers” to discourage me. My husband ran over and discretely found out since he was curious and knew I would want to know later. After my exam I was able to get into the tub. The moment I hit the water I instantly warmed up and relaxed. It felt so amazingly good. I could hear my Hypnobabies playing from the other room and my husband assisted me with lots of “Peace” and “Relax” and “Release” cues. I was able to get back into a really good state of mind after getting in the tub. Everything was so much more manageable and comfortable.
I think I was in the water for only a few minutes when I asked my husband to notify the midwife that I was feeling my body push. She came in and checked me when I was in the water. With the next pressure wave I felt the baby moving down. I was really shocked! I said, “Is she coming now?!?!” Vicky said that I should decide if I was having a water birth or if I wanted to move to the bed.
I said something about not moving from the tub. Since I had no idea how dilated and effaced I was when I came in, and we had only been there about 30 minutes, I didn’t know it was possible to be feeling “pushy” so soon. I had no idea if I had been at 3 cm or at 8cm when she checked me just a half hour earlier. Still not wanting to know my numbers I said, “Is my cervix ready for this??” She said she wasn’t really sure because she wasn’t able to tell when she had just checked me in the water, but she didn’t seem the least bit concerned about it so I didn’t give it another thought. Her confidence that my body knew exactly what to do gave me the confidence I needed in that moment.
Vicky said if I was going to give birth in the water I needed to move myself around in the tub so she would be able to catch the baby. My amazing husband was up near my head leaning over the edge of the tub. He held my hands and we pressed our heads and faces together and we were able to wrap our arms around each other as I breathed my baby out. I know he wanted so badly to catch our daughter but everything happened so fast and he says he feels he was exactly where he needed to be, holding me in his arms. It was such an amazingly powerful bonding experience to have our faces and heads pressed together and for him to be supporting me so much in those intense moments. I get choked up every time I think of how loving and supportive he was. It was as if there was no one else in the room besides the two of us and it meant the world to me to be able to feel him so close to me. I will always, always remember the closeness I felt with him during that time and the way he was there for me in every way I could have possibly needed.
I made long “ahhhhhh” sounds with each pressure wave and Vicky could hear my sounds were not as smooth, my voice was getting a bit choppy and shaky. She and my husband would tell me to lower the tone of my voice so that I was making deep, low “ahhhh” sounds and they would even sometimes make them along with me reminding me to lower my voice. This helped so much! My “ahhhh’s” smoothed out and the shakiness dissipated when I lowered the tone.
Right after I moved around in the tub so that Vicky would be able to catch the baby when the time came I had a very powerful pressure wave. During this particular pressure wave I thought Vicky was trying to give me another exam. I remember thinking to myself “This is not a good time…. Can’t she wait for the pressure wave to end?? Or warn me first?!” What came out of my mouth was “No Vicky, No!” Vicky said something like, “Honey I’m not touching you…. That’s your baby’s head!” I couldn’t believe it. Even though she had me move so she could catch the baby I still didn’t think I was that close to birthing my baby. I hadn’t even been in the tub for 10 minutes! At some point in the midst of all this I felt my bag of waters release. I breathed through a few pressure waves and felt my baby move easily down and out. I kept up with my long, low “aahhhhh” sounds and breathed the baby out without ever really feeling the urge to push.
When my baby came out I had to do some fancy maneuvering, lifting my leg up and over, to bring her up to my chest as the umbilical cord was quite short.
Another thing I will always remember about this day is the way my baby felt in my arms for the first time. She was surprisingly clean from being born in the water. She felt so warm and squishy in my arms. She made a few noises but I don’t remember her crying at all. Her cord stopped pulsing on its own really quickly, after only a couple of minutes and my husband got to cut it right there in the tub. I moved out onto the bed and the placenta easily detached. I had not a single tear and by the next day had no discomfort or swelling to speak of. Vicky made sure the baby and I were doing well and they left us alone for about an hour and a half before beginning any of the newborn procedures. My little Sunshine was able to eat and then fell sound asleep on my chest. My husband climbed in bed with us and we all fell asleep for a bit.
After I gave birth and because of the hormone surge, I did get shaky and I had totally let go of my hypnosis. So I did experience some slight discomfort once the birth was over. I took an Advil and within about 20 minutes I felt totally fine and never needed to take any more.
After we had our baby my husband told me how dilated I was when Vicky checked me when we arrived at the birthing center. He told me I had been 6cm. So I went from 6cm to 10cm in about a half hour, maybe less. My husband told me he had been really bummed when Vicky told him I was only 6cm because with the birth of our first baby I had walked into the birthing center being 8cm dilated and we were there for three hours before our son was born. So he was a little confused about it this time because he thought that by just looking at me and my behavior it seemed like I was acting the same way I did when I would have been 9-10cm just minutes before I gave birth to our first child. Based only on the “numbers,” he thought we might be in for a very long night. It turned out my husband was right the first time; he knew exactly “where I was” by just being tuned into me and my behavior and body language before learning the “numbers”. It was less than 30 minutes from the time she checked me when I was at 6cm to baby in my arms.
Our daughter was born easily and peacefully into the water at 12:30am, about 4 hours after entering my birthing time, about 40 minutes after arriving at the birth center, and maybe 15 minutes after I got into the water tub. She weighed 6lb 12oz and was 19 inches long and she couldn’t be more perfect! We were happily home with our baby sleeping in our own beds by 4:30am. It was a beautiful experience and I can thank my husband first and foremost for being the most amazing birth partner ever. I can thank Hypnobabies for providing me the tools I needed to become so deeply relaxed an anesthetized with my hypno-anesthsia and of course Vicky and Beach Cities Midwifery for taking such great care of me and for having so much confidence that my body knew exactly how to birth my baby.
***Click here to view the birth story of my first baby