As I approached 40 weeks little man had made NO SIGN of being ready. He was still high up jamming into my ribs and I had not lost my mucus plug. I didn’t worry too much and was grateful my midwives don’t like to do cervical checks so I didn’t have any numbers in my head to discourage me (or give me a false sense of security!) Jolene encouraged me at my final checkup at 39 weeks to plan a fun date on our guess date so I didn’t think about the fact I was still pregnant! The hubs and I PLANNED to go to dinner and a movie and it never actually happened!
At 39+6 at 11:30pm I had a close friend text to check in and jokingly told me she’d love it if he came this weekend because she was in town. I told her not to get her hopes up because things hadn’t even come close to starting yet (what I didn’t know at the time was she felt the Lord tell her to be praying for me that night, and that’s what encouraged her to check in!) Right at midnight I felt a tiny voice tell me that I needed to put down my phone and go to sleep, so being 9 months pregnant and always tired I did just that. As I curled down to sleep I felt a fairly strong practice wave and when it finished little buddy danced a jig as if he knew today was his birthday! I had a few more practice waves and thought it was encouraging, but decided to go to sleep figuring if it was really the day my body would let me know! I slept two hours and just after 2 am woke up to a much stronger wave. I used the bathroom and timed a few and saw they were coming every 3 to 4 minutes so I let my husband Jon know I thought this could be it. I started listening to my tracks and tried getting a little more rest.
At 2:30 my waters broke and things picked up quickly in speed and intensity. Unfortunately since I was already in my active birthing time from almost the get go I wasn’t able to access my hypnosis quite the way I was hoping to, so the waves were pretty uncomfortable the whole time. Hubby started timing waves for me since I was already vocalizing through each wave and found them to be 2 minutes apart lasting almost a minute a piece! We called the midwife who said to keep timing them for twenty or thirty more minutes and to call her back. Our doula, Ariel, arrived about fifteen minutes later and saw that I was very close to transformation and called Jolene who agreed it was time to go.
At this point I was in the shower on hands and knees and as they got me out to get me dressed I remember saying “are you sure we aren’t going too early? We have HOURS to go!” And they both assured me it was better to be there too early than too late. We left for the birth center around 4:30.
When we got to the birth center Jolene was still filling the tub so she took my vitals where I had collapsed on the floor (I couldn’t stay standing during the waves anymore no matter how hard I tried) and after a few waves on the ground they got me into the still-filling tub. I found a position that helped and stayed there for about an hour vocalizing through each wave. Between waves Jon pushed fluids into me and read me the partner scripts and every ten to fifteen minutes Jolene checked the baby’s heartbeat and assured me he was very happy and doing well.
Finally Ariel suggested a change in position (which I wasn’t excited about) and I ended up laying in a semi reclined position in the tub holding onto hubby with one hand and Ariel with the other. The change in position was just what we needed for my body to be ready to push! I pushed for close to an hour (baby was average weight but had a BIG head). Jolene told me she was going to check baby’s progress with the next wave and found him about half an inch away from crowning. I was so shocked he was that close that I felt his head myself and couldn’t believe he was already almost here! It took a couple very uncomfortable waves to birth his head (95th percentile!). I had one more small gentle push and the rest of him was born at 7:53am, on his guess date which is both St Patty’s day as well as my Grandfather’s birthday who we named him after. I did have a couple second degree tears (which I’m convinced with how big his head was would have been third degree if I had used an epidural), but they healed quickly and well. While hypnobabies certainly didn’t make my birth pain free (I think it would have done a much better job on that front if my birth time had started slower!) it kept me relaxed between each wave (and according to Jolene and Ariel during each wave as well, but I definitely didn’t FEEL relaxed during the waves, ha!). I NEVER ONCE felt panicked, scared, or unsafe. From beginning to end all I felt was support and love from those around me and confidence that my body knew what it was doing, even though it had never done this before. I didn’t even remember nitrous oxide was available until five minutes after he was born! I had such a peaceful birth and such a positive experience that I get to treasure the rest of my life, and I do credit a lot of my mental state throughout the birth to my hypnobabies training, even if I never achieved hypnosis during the birth. Even right after he was born I thought to myself that I could totally do it again!