Throughout pregnancy Justin and I practiced Hypnobabies. He would read scripts to me while I was training my body to go completely limp, loose and relaxed at the drop of a finger. I was actually supposed to practice on my own as well, about 5 times a day and for some reason that was so hard for me to remember. As I got close to my due date I did start to worry I wouldn’t know how to relax, that I would just forget everything I learned.
My due date came and went. I now know why in Hypnobabies they say guess month rather than due date. We just got so anxious, not to mention the family as well. Every night I went to bed hoping that it would not be a normal night, but every morning I would wake up and know today is not the day. I knew he would come when he was supposed to so I was never once worried, just excited. What is he going to look like? Is he going to have hair? Wouldn’t that be a shocker if he wasn’t a little boy? He did know what he was doing though so we just needed to be patient. Justin and I got so much done in the week that passed after his due date. Garden fully planted, new (old) car picked up and ready, co-sleeper built and many last walks in the woods with our dog for a while.
Six days after our due date I went to bed on Sunday night trying not to wish for a different night and only wishing Justin didn’t have to go to work the next day. Around 3:30AM I woke up to go to the bathroom- again, and when I got back in bed I knew this was it. I was having pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions- a much better way to think about it). I lied there for about an hour before waking up Justin. The pressure waves seemed to be coming about every 10 minutes or so but I wasn’t sure, I just knew I should wake him up. He tried to get me to go back to sleep, according to our midwives directions but that was not happening. I sat on the couch and put in my Hypnobabies deepening track which always made me fall asleep so I knew it would help me relax. At first I wanted to punch the lady talking in the face, but once I calmed down and took a couple breaths, it did help, tremendously! I was so calm and relaxed just breathing through each pressure wave as they got closer together and stronger. Justin called the midwife around six to tell her I was in labor. She said call back when pressure waves are closer and stronger and they’ll be on their way. It didn’t take much longer for that to happen. I knew this wasn’t going to be a long labor, I could just tell he was ready and I had been prepared for that. Justin ran around the house and got things ready and I continued to listen to Hypnobabies tracks and tried to relax. I couldn’t believe how much the hypnosis really helped. It did take a lot of concentration though. If I didn’t concentrate the pressure wave would feel so much different and painful; if I did concentrate, really concentrate on relaxing my body and “turning off my light switch” then it felt only like pressure.
My midwives and doula showed up around 7:00 AM which I have no recollection of. I just know I was so happy to see them. When they checked me I was 6.5 cm dilated. My doula taught our Hypnobabies classes which I think was a huge benefit because the sound of her voice was exactly what I needed. She was wonderful and always ready with a drink of water after a pressure wave. This also freed up Justin to finish getting things ready and fill up the birthing tub. That was such a relief. It’s pretty amazing how relaxing and good the water felt. The tub wasn’t even warm enough yet but it felt so good. When I got out of the tub or had to do anything for that matter, it was so difficult. It felt like it just made the pressure waves come quicker and stronger. I couldn’t even pee without having a pressure wave. It was all very manageable though, especially with my doula and my husband.
When I felt ready to push, the midwives wanted me on the bed or on the birthing stool. For first time moms there is too much risk of tearing in the birthing tub because it speeds things up so I could only labor in the tub. It’s funny because all throughout pregnancy I thought I would want to be hanging over my birthing ball (exercise ball) or kneeling and the very last thing I would want was to lie down. Once I was on the bed and pushing, it was so hard for me to even think about moving to the birthing stool. The birthing stool turned out to be pretty awesome. I agreed to move once they said it would help move the baby down and through the pelvis. When I was pushing they asked if that felt right, making sure I was ready to put the energy into pushing. I knew I could have waited longer and just dealt with each pressure wave and pushed for a shorter amount of time, but they got so strong and quite unbearable that it just felt better to push. Once I started pushing, I threw Hypnobabies to the wind. It was so hard to concentrate and focus when I had the most intense, foreign feelings going through my body. I believe it would have helped, but I didn’t even think about it.
When my baby was going through my pelvis it was the strangest and strongest pressure in the world. Yeah, it was painful, but not unbearable. It was just crazy feeling. I pushed less than an hour, but it didn’t feel like it was that long. I had no idea he was close until Justin held my hand crying, and told me he could see his head. When they saw his head they told me he was still in his bag of waters. My midwife had me make eye contact with her and promise her I would listen to her while pushing him out to prevent tearing. Of course I would try to oblige. This, by far, was the hardest part of the whole labor. He was right there and I knew he would come out with just one good push, but she had me do little, half pushes- so hard to do! Those little pushes were stretching my perineum though, w/ his head coming out a little bit each time.
I’m not sure if it was him or me, but he decided he was ready to come on out. In one push he was out, head to toes in his water bag. Justin caught him, the midwives had to break the water bag away from his face so he could breathe and he was placed on my chest. He was completely purple with a full head of hair. From the moment I pushed him out to the point that he was lying on my chest was just this crazy moment in time that was the most amazing feeling. It felt like this crazy amount of energy was leaving my body and coming to life.
I was never once worried during the birth or after. I was drinking water the whole time and some coconut water, and immediately after he was born I had more coconut water and a larabar shoved in my face. After they were sure that I had eaten, the midwives left us, our new family, alone on our bed to be together and fall in love with each other. It was perfectly peaceful and just how we thought it should be. It turns out I did have a second degree tear, probably because those shoulders just came barreling out, but I had no idea until they told me (next time I will think of my perineum as elastic, which it is during labor, and I will remind Justin to remind me it is and I guarantee you it will work and I won’t tear). However, he was born in his bag of waters which is supposed to be good luck so I’ll take it. J