Growing and birthing this little boy was such a special experience. Up until 35 weeks I filled my time teaching other expectant couples Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Classes and attending births as a doula. Being close to 42 weeks with my first son, I was mentally preparing to patiently wait a little extra time to meet this little one too. Unlike my experience with Kuba, I never got to the point where I was “over” being pregnant. I loved feeling him kick, loved watching my body grow and change and loved dedicating myself to my Hypnobabies program and preparing for our special day.
(Preface on Hypnobabies: Hypnobabies is a complete childbirth education program combined with powerful SELF-hypnosis techniques, famous for living up to it’s slogan in providing birthing women with “easier, more comfortable births”, and in some cases like mine, pain-free. The course stresses complete dedication, practicing techniques for around an hour every day, avoiding sources of negativity about birth, and maintaining focus on creating the type of birth you want to have. And, it worked! Throughout my birth story I will use Hypno-language which helps us re-frame how we expect to experience childbirth. (I.e. birthing time is used in replacement of labor, pressure/birthing wave for contraction and transformation instead on transition)
At about 5:45am on April 1st (41+2 weeks) I woke up to some different feeling waves than I had been having the weeks before with pre-birth waves (braxton hicks). I was still unsure it was the start of my birthing time or not, so I played my “Easy, Comfortable Childbirth” Hypnobabies track and went back to bed, waking just slightly during a wave, then falling back to sleep.
Around 7am I was feeling sure that it was my birthing time as the waves were coming in a predictable pattern about 6-7 min apart. So, I notified my doula, Candace, birth photographer, Brezi, and midwife, Jolene, that baby was probably coming sometime today. From there, I listened to “Your Birthing Day Begins” which reminded me of all the Hypno-tools I could use throughout the day. I then put on my Relaxation music and just snuggled in bed with my husband having a lazy morning.
~9am We finally rolled out of bed, I made my family breakfast while listening to “Birthing Day Affirmations”, and my mother-in-law came by to pick up our 3 year old son. My waves began to come closer as I made breakfast, but were still short. With prompting from my doula, I did some belly mapping and figured baby was ROP and she reminded me to do a few forward leaning inversions during the day to give him space to move if needed. After the inversion, waves spaced a bit, so I went and took a nap while listening to my "Birthing Day Affirmations" and actually slept for a couple hours more. During my nap, my sweet husband and mother-in-law cleaned the house, and soon after my 3 year old son left with Abuela.
~1:30pm For the afternoon, my husband and I just lounged around the house, did some laundry, snuggled and watched Sweet Home Alabama. My waves were coming about 5-6 minutes apart and lasting about 30-40 seconds, so every few minutes during our movie I would use my "finger drop" hypnosis technique while laying on my husband's lap to completely shut all voluntary muscles off, relax completely and focus on sending hypno-anesthesia throughout my body. Toward the end of the movie, I could tell things were progressing and wanted to shower and pack some last minute items, but also wanted to finish the movie! Once the credits rolled around my waves were about 4 minutes apart and 40-45 seconds long and beginning to get stronger. I remember I could tell my waves were becoming strong, but thinking “This is really quite easy, I could handle so much more than this.”
After the movie ended, I went upstairs to shower, and my husband went to the corner store to get some Dayquil as he had a cold. In the shower with my affirmations playing, I could tell my waves were getting close, and I focused intently on my PEACE cue for instant comfort during a wave. As one would begin I would reach my arm up to lean against the tile and rhythmically circle my hips while saying Peeeace quietly to myself. Then, continued washing my hair and shaving my legs! In the shower I remembered my doula-brain kicking in and thinking “If I was with myself as a doula right now, I would probably be encouraging her to get to her place of birth” - but the waves were still so easy, I was sure I had some time to finish last-minute tasks.
I got out of the shower and my husband was home. My waves were very strong, but my PEACE cue was keeping me very calm and comfortable. I asked him to time my waves as I proceeded to actually put on some makeup, because... birth photographer, right!? My husband told me the waves were coming about 2.5 minutes apart and lasting 45-50 seconds. This is the funniest part of my birth story to me, because in hindsight I was literally shaving my legs and putting makeup on while in transformation (HB word for transition).
~7pm I asked him to message my birth team and tell them how close the waves were, and at that time I began to feel a slight sensation to hold my breath during my waves (like the feeling of getting in cold water). I remembered the same sensation moments before pushing my 1st son out, so at that time I told my husband we needed to leave birth center.
~7:15pm As we got in the car I put my “Deepening” track on my headphones and relaxed the entire way to the birth center, imagining my hypno-anesthesia and making low, quiet ahhh-ing sounds during a wave. (Still saving my most powerful hypnosis track, "Easy First Stage", in case things were to get stronger). My waves spaced a little during this point and again, being a doula, knew that probably meant I was about to start pushing soon. However, despite our 20ish minute drive to the birth center, I never felt worried or panicked. I said little prayer in my head that baby would wait until we arrived to the birth center to be born and then continued listening to my track.
~7:30pm We arrived to the birth center, and my photographer and Doula greeted us, with my midwife just seconds away. I walked into our beautiful birth center room, and went to the restroom for one wave, asking my doula if she would begin filling the tub for me and hang some support handles, then told everyone I believed I had a slight cervical lip, which was maybe producing that breath-holding sensation.
I came out of the bathroom, and had another powerful wave leaning on Mike. This time I felt the need to hold my perineum, and right then with a pop, my bag of waters released and following the waters I could feel a little head and tuft of hair beginning to emerge! "Okay, I guess I don't have a lip!" I said. At this point my wave was bringing him down quickly, and I began to breathe through it as to not push him out too fast. I don’t know if I said it or just thought it, but I remember telling my baby we needed to slow down just a little bit. My wave ended and my midwife offered me the tub before the next pushing wave. I waddled into the tub with just enough water for him to be born in. With another wave I focused on my breathing, allowing my perineum to stretch. As it finished, I took a short break, then finished pushing my baby’s head out between waves so I could control the speed at which he emerged and prevent any tearing from happening (it worked! Not even a slight tear!).
7:43pm His head was born with guidance of my hands, and then the rest of his body. My midwife instructed me to wait a moment before lifting him as she removed a nuchal cord and then we brought my sweet, healthy, baby boy up into my arms. Welcome Earth-side baby Trey! I told him what a beautiful job he did and thanked him for helping mama.
My immediate postpartum stay was nothing short of perfect. All of my birth attendants (midwife, nurse, doula and photographer), were also dear friends I’d had long-time relationships with from my first pregnancy and from working in the birth field. The Beginnings Birth Center was beautiful and quiet and intimate. I was spoiled with fresh-baked bread, kisses from my husband, and loving praise and congratulations from everyone in the room. Family came by with a hot meal and flowers and our 3 year old son as he finally got to meet his long-anticipated baby brother. Thank you to all of those who gave so much love and support through this journey and thank you Hypnobabies for providing me with the tools to have an easier, more comfortable, and yes, pain-free birth.
Info on Hypnobabies: https://www.hypnobabies.com/
My talented birth photographer: http://loveisaphoto.com/
My Incredible Birth Center and Midwifery team: http://beginningsbirthcenter.com/
My wonderful Doula: http://westsidebirthconnection.com/