Guest Post by Erin, a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group
The HBA3C of Titus James (Home Birth after 3 Cesareans)
You may need your BOP towards the end as my birth wasn’t completely comfortable, but I still believe Hypnobabies totally worked for me.
I woke up early on Thursday morning with a few mild pressure waves at 0230. They were uncomfortable enough for me to get out of bed, but not to wake DH (my husband). I went to the bathroom and sat backwards on the toilet seat with a pillow on the back to work through the pressure waves and listen to my Hypnobabies tracks.
By 0430 the pressure waves had died down a little and I was able to go back to bed and sleep through them. I got up around 0730 and had a few more, but they were never very regular or uncomfortable. They did feel different than the “practice” pressure waves I’d been having for the past few days. I also noticed that I was losing my mucus plug.
I got up and told DH and mom that something might happen today, but that I didn’t think it would be soon. I decided to call the chiropractor around 10 or so just to see if I could get in and make sure things were lined up. I also called our midwife The midwife and our doula Kim just to let them know what was going on, but that I really didn’t expect much at that point. My cervix at that point was still high and posterior, but was 2/50%/-1.
DH, mom, the boys and I all went in to see the chiropractor and then we did a little shopping and had lunch. I was still having pressure waves on and off, but they still weren’t regular and I was able to walk and talk through them. I could feel them mostly in my lower abdomen, below my belly button, I never felt discomfort above my umbilicus the whole labor. I checked heart tones more for my peace of mind than anything and they were great.
After we came home from lunch and running a few errands during the day, I lay down to take a nap and was able to sleep for about an hour or so using my Hypnobabies tracks to relax and sleep. I continued to have irregular pressure waves all afternoon even after taking a shower and keeping active. I was still able to walk and talk through them.
I didn’t really feel like getting out for supper, so mom went to Sonic to get something quick (healthy I know). I called the midwife and gave her an update. I felt like it was going to be a long haul still. After dinner we took a mile walk with the boys. I had a few stronger pressure waves where I had to stop walking, but I was still able to talk through them and was still fairly comfortable. There was one pressure wave where I felt like I could feel the baby move down a little, but he still felt really high to me. We came home and the boys and DH worked in the garage while mom and I sat and chatted.
I remember telling DH at some point that we might want to move our bed over so we could put the birth pool up. I guess we did that around 2000 or so. My pressure waves were still irregular, but getting a little closer together and more uncomfortable. I could still talk through them though so I didn’t give them much thought. I decided to take a bath to see if I could get them to move closer together or stop (I was starting to get worried I wasn’t going to get any sleep and would be exhausted by the time the baby finally came). The bath really didn’t do much of anything. My pressure waves stayed about 6 minutes apart or so and were still very manageable.
About 2030, I went downstairs to sit on the birth ball and hang out with the boys. I watched TV for a bit and did some work online. I sent out a couple prayer requests at that time because I was starting to get a little tired, and again worried about not getting sleep and worried it was going to be a long labor.
I talked to our doula about 2200 and she said she and the birth photographer would kind of get their stuff together and head down this direction (they live an hour away). I didn’t feel like I really needed them (and I didn’t want them to feel like they were here wasting their time), but they could come down so they’d be here when I was ready. I was able to talk through and even laugh during a pressure wave while talking to the doula. Mom and I set up the air mattress in our extra bedroom so that they could sleep in shifts while they were here. I had to stop a couple of times for a pressure wave, but they still felt really manageable.
I decided to lay down on the couch and try to doze between pressure waves for a bit, they got more uncomfortable while I was laying down and I was listening to Hypnobabies a little more to help me stay relaxed.
I remember having a really uncomfortable pressure wave and my mom suggesting we put some towels underneath me “just in case” my water broke so that I wouldn’t ruin our couch. About 2 pressure waves later, I was glad she had suggested it because my water broke at 2225 during a mondo huge pressure wave. This was the one part we hadn’t prepared the boys for. I have no idea why we left it out, I guess we forgot(?). We’d talked to them about the labor and birth process, the placenta and umbilical cord and everything else we could think of, but apparently not the rupture of membranes. So on my way to the bathroom I found myself explaining to them that this was completely normal and nothing to worry about. While mom helped me get cleaned up, DH called the midwife to let her know and she said she’d be on her way shortly.
I asked mom to hand me the Doppler so I could check heart tones for my peace of mind. They were fine through the next pressure wave. I decided (or maybe DH suggested) that I head upstairs and get in the birth pool (which wasn’t filled yet). I got upstairs as fast as I could between pressure waves and here’s where things get a little fuzzy. I had a couple pressure waves waiting to get in the pool and got in before it was full. I think I was in the pool for about 30 minutes or so and my pressure waves were really intense. DH was so great telling me I was doing a good job and using my cues from Hypnobabies. He was so calm and helpful.
I decided to get out of the pool to head to the bathroom. ***BOP I was sitting backwards again through pressure waves and they were so intense at this point. I remember them coming one on top of the other and feeling like I couldn’t get on top of the pain. This was really the only time during the whole process that I felt like I didn’t have enough time to use my cues and for them to really be effective. However, I still used them and said them, and I really think they helped me keep my pelvic muscles relaxed and things moving smoothly. ***BOP
DH was standing behind me reminding me to relax. At some point I said “I’m hysterical…I can’t be hysterical”. It was almost an out of body kind of experience. In my head I had completely lost control, but DH said I was calm most of the time.
I quickly checked to see if I could feel my cervix and it was 5cm or so. I remember worrying that if I had 4 more hours of this I would never make it. 5 minutes later I felt like pushing and told DH to call the midwife and tell her to hurry. I could feel my body involuntarily pushing with each pressure wave and in my mind being worried I wasn’t complete, but I couldn’t stop it.
DH took the cell phone downstairs to mom (she was down stairs with the oldest 2 boys watching a movie, they had no idea what was going on upstairs) and asked her to call The midwife and tell her I felt like pushing. Mom came upstairs and gave a brief report to The midwife. She was about 15 minutes away and said if I needed to push…to go ahead and do it. (I was anyway). We didn’t even have time to put on the pushing baby out track, we had “easy first stage” the whole time.
DH suggested I stand up and try getting back in the pool. I was able to turn around and felt an incredible amount of pressure and said “I’m not going to make it”. I reached down and felt that little wrinkle of head that you can see when babies first start crowning. I asked mom for a warm compress but by the time she got it his head was out. I said “there’s his head” then “check for a nuchal cord” He had a loose one, DH was able to reduce it and the rest of his body was born.
I sat down on the floor and brought him up to my stomach. We dried him off with some towels and he was pink right away. He cried a little and then just sat there looking around so calm. I kept saying “I did it. I can’t believe it!” DH looked at me and was so excited…he said “you did it! You did it!” It is all still a little fuzzy in my mind, but I was in complete disbelief that my body had worked that quickly to birth this baby and that it was an unassisted birth. The midwife came in about 10 minutes after he was born and we made our way to the bed where I was snuggled in with Titus and we waited for the placenta and the cord to stop pulsing.
I didn’t listen to my Hypnobabies tracks as much as I thought I would during my birthing time, but I used the cues regularly as I was walking around during the day and walked around in center most of the time. I really think it helped me stay relaxed throughout the whole process even though in my mind I felt completely out of control at the end, DH said I was really pretty calm.
It was an incredibly healing and beautiful birth. Even though it wasn’t what I had visualized for my birth and it was very intense at the end, it was the exact birth I needed. It couldn’t have been more perfect!