Quick, easy birth storyI am so happy to be able to share this birth story here! I have been a stalker on this thread for months and finally had the baby about a week ago.
I apologize now for this being so long (I only had the energy to write it once).
Saturday night, October 28th I was awoken by a few pressure waves/contractions during the night. I wondered if we would make it to church the next morning or if this was the start of labor. They were most intense in the early hours of the morning, but I was able to sleep in between...never more than half hour apart.
Sunday morning I woke up with no sign of labor, so off to church we went. To be honest I was easily distracted during service and uncomfortable. After church we went to eat at our favorite Mexican food place so that the owner, Maria, could see me one more time before I had the baby. We were pretty sure it would be soon so we had better go while we could before the baby came. Lunch was great and it was nice to see Maria again. After lunch we went grocery shopping to stock up. Contractions started up again (though they were not intense) with all the walking and I became tired really fast and just wanted to get the heck out of the store.
Sunday night the contractions became closer together and were uncomfortable to lay down through even with my hypnobabies disks. I finally got up and took shower. Contractions were about 10-15 minutes apart but never progressed any closer together. Finallly the sun came up (Monday morning) and they slowed down. After the kids got up I went back to sleep.
Monday was a long day and I wondered how many nights I would go on this way. We went to sleep that night and I listened to my hypnobabies disk like I had been every night for the past month or so. But tonight I ended up getting out of bed even earlier than the previous night. Contractions were about 15 minutes apart again, but much more intense. I didn't get excited right away because I thought that I would labor all night and then sleep the next day as my contractions seemed shy of daylight. However, by the early morning hours I needed hubby to help me with my relaxation, using the techniques we practiced together. By 4 in the morning the intensity had grown to such that I could only relax if Rob very firmly grasped my shoulders and repeated the relax, release and peace cues. Without his help my body felt panicky or tense just at the start of the contraction. They were about 5 minutes apart when I woke Rob up to time them... I tried to use my hypno cd for birthing time to relax, but I felt that I needed the specific cues from hubby with each contraction for the techniques to be effective. The birth ball was the most comfortable place for me to sit during this time and I was definitely not comfortable laying down (which was the position that I thought I would spend most of my time laboring).
We called the midwife at 4 and she said to give it another hour and see how I felt... to give her a call if things progressed more quickly. Well, by 5 the contractions had spaced out to 10-15 minutes again and I was able to sit in the recliner and sleep between them, though they were still intense enough that I needed Rob's help at the start of each one. I was so tired that I would fall immediately asleep as soon as the peak was over, before the contractions ended!
It is now Tuesday, October 31. They faded farther apart and the intensity settled down enough that I was able to relax completely through them on my own again, so I told Rob he should go get some sleep. I stayed in the recliner and slept as much as I could. The kids had some cereal and watched cartoons and I just tried to relax and get ready for long and tired day. I woke up a little before 9 and got up to get a few things done, however, the contractions came back and seemed back to back. I didn't believe how close they seemed so I kept about some light chores. When the intensity brought me to my knees on the stairs I decided that I'd better wake Rob up. I needed some relaxation help again to stay comfortable. I couldn't believe when he told me they were about 2-3 minutes apart! They all had double peaks and I thought we needed to start getting things ready to go to the birth center. As I sat on the birth ball and relaxed through the contractions my "wispered peace cues" became a bit louder and I didn't want Rob to leave me to load the car up. We were waiting for a friend to arrive to stay with the kids when I felt a distinct change. I felt the baby move down and the contraction felt a bit pushy. I said, "we have to leave NOW" so Chyna watched Ky for a few minutes until Robin got there and we headed out of the drive way as quickly as we could.
I was able to relax really well using my hypnobabies cd in the car, despite having VERY intense and slightly pushy feeling contractions. I swear I could actually feel myself dilating and the baby inching down. The ride seemed really short- but then again, we made the trip in about 25 minutes and it's normally at least a 45 minute drive! We went in and I was sure that the midwife would check me and say that I was dilated to 2 or 3 centimeters. I was ecstatic when she said "oh, we have a nice bulging bag of water, the head is right here and your at 6". I said "Thank you Lord!" And I remembered that once I made it to 6 cm when I was birthing Ky, transition went very quickly. We went right into the birthing suite and they started filling up the tub right away. Rob prayed over me and I was ready to go! It took about 20 minutes to fill up, but it didn't seem that long at all. I sat on the birth ball and Rob squeezed my shoulders and continued the relaxation cues. I moved into the warm water and it felt so good! It was nice to be able to be comfortable and mobile...and the warmth made it easier to relax even though the contractions continued to become more powerful and intense and quickly I felt my body start to push a little with each one.
Alethia (doula/birth assistant) noticed that I was getting pushy and called in Ruth (midwife). She checked me and I was completely dialated with just a bit of a lip left on my cervix! It went by SO quickly. And in between each contraction I was completely relaxed and very comfortable, carrying on fun conversation and talking about how much I was enjoying this birth. I pushed a bit with each contraction that felt like pushing (which at this point quickly became all of them). I could feel baby desending and the pressure was crazy- not painful, but I felt very compelled to get him out the rest of the way :~) When I was preparing for birth, I hadn't planned on pushing much at all... but at this point I was ready to meet my baby and rest. Ruth was very encouraging for me to push with the contractions but when they were over to immediately stop pushing at all and rest. To go with my body and allow myself to properly stretch so I wouldn't tear.
I don't remember how long I was pushing, but Rob says it was about 6 contractions in all. The rests in between pushing were wonderful little breaks and fun conversation continued. A few times Ruth and Alethia comented on how much I was making jokes and laughing or smiling... at one point Ruth laughed and asked what drugs I was on to be having so much fun while she could see the head! (That was one of my favorite parts of this birthing! I proudly said "hypnobabies"!)
I hadn't previously expected to birth in the tub, but everything went so quickly and it was so easy for me to keep my body comfy that I never considered getting back out. On the last couple contractions I was asking how much longer (I was pretty anxious to see this little guy). Finally I decided heck with not pushing hard, I was ready to get this kid out! I pushed with everything I had for a few contractions and out he came. He was absolutely perfect and very clean having been born under water. He was immediately handed to me, and he was so peaceful. He looked around a little and made a few little sounds. They suctioned him out a bit and helped me move to the bed to dry off and keep baby warm (and to do the ultra fun task of delivering the placenta... I had forgotten about that part :~)
It was so nice to just lay down and relax with my new perfect little guy. And the bed at the birth center is a real bed, I think queen size, so there was plenty of room for Rob to get close too.
Caden Nakai was born just less than 2 hours after arriving at the birth center. His apgar scores were great and his head is nice and round, having not spent much time in the birth canal. Even though the labor process was very powerful and intense (and I'll admit I did have a few minutes of "panicky" feeling around transition) it was beautiful and peaceful and much quicker than I had expected.
After having a previous hospital birth and this lovely, peaceful birth center birth I can't believe how much impact the difference has had on our lives. Here at the birth center I was quietly monitored and encouraged to keep drinking water, but Rob and I were left alone for much of the time with Ruth and Alethia listening and waiting in the next room. We were encouraged to relax and be comfortable and to do what we felt like doing. I was really allowed to birth in the way that I felt was right and we did not feel "managed" at all. This was a HUGE blessing in contrast to the managed care we forcefully received at the hospital. Rob and I are complete advocates for personalized birth center care, water birthing and hypnobabies! This was absolutely the birth of our dreams and there was nothing that we'd have changed. Not one thing.
A few notes about some of the things that I did during pregnancy that I believe affected the outcome of our birth~
HypnoBabies! We did the homstudy course... I got the program around 30 weeks and listened pretty much every night to the c.d.s and most days I listened to the affirmations disk. I did all of the reading with the book, it was very comprehensive, but since I was not a first time mom, most of it was a refresher and info that I already knew. Hubby and I did the practice sessions a few times the week before I went into labor. I really prayed a lot during my c.d. listening and I know that God used this program to alleviate many of the concerns that I had from my previous delivery. He used this program to help me to have confidence in the way He created my body to birth and I have no doubt that this affected the short length of time that I was actually in labor, as well as eliminated pain. I can honestly say that I experienced no pain during labor or delivery (even pushing) just VERY strong power and pressure.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea! I drank this throughout my pregnancy to help tone my uterus. I took a break from the tea for a few weeks towards the end of my pregnancy and then started again around 38 weeks. I drank one glass of strong tea each day. I also prepared a strong brew of it to drink when I went into labor, but things progressed so quickly I forgot about it. Looking back at the length of my labor, I'm glad I didn't drink that last glass! :~0 We could have ended up with a car birth instead of the wonderful birth we had.
Evening Primrose oil. I took this a few days orally and a few days "the other way", lol. One of my concerns from my last pregnancy was the need to be induced. I took this to help my cervix along. I would say it worked.