At about 5:30 or 6am I started having pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) about 10 minutes apart. When my husband’s alarm went off at 6:30 I told him about them and we talked about what he should do. I told him to go ahead and plan on going to work and that I would call him if I needed him to come home. By 7:30 I had decided that he should not go into work, not because I thought things would go quickly but because I wanted help with Shelby. I called Carolyn (our midwife) and she told me to keep her updated and to call her when the waves were more regular. We also called our family and friends to let them know that things had gotten started. He took our daughter to Walmart to pick up some needed items and to guarantee me some quiet time to start my hypnosis. I listened to the “Birth Day” script and things picked up a little. I was starting to get uncomfortable and became distracted.
I began thinking about the difficulty of Shelby’s birth (pitocin induction and the premature breaking of my water, which lead to an epidural and episiotomy) and began to wonder what I was doing! I called a friend who has had 2 homebirths and she gave me a good pep talk. She helped me to realize that those negative thoughts were not helping me and that this time would not be like the first. By the time I got off of the phone, Jeremy and Shelby were back and I had him call Carolyn and ask her to come. This was about 11:30.
The pressure waves were still somewhat irregular but getting longer and more intense. At about noon, both my sister, Marcy and my friend/birth assistant, Leah arrived. It was perfect timing because I was really needing to focus and needed Jeremy’s help. Marcy took Shelby to play outside and I don’t really know what Leah was doing at that time :). Marcy also called my other sister, Kacie, and had her come home from school.
Carolyn arrived at about 12:30 and checked my dilation – 5 cm and 100% effaced. That was pretty encouraging because the pressure waves were still VERY manageable. I got into our tub for a while. It didn’t really do much for me because I felt like I needed to stand up and lean on something while swaying my hips during a pressure wave. At about 2:30 things were even more intense and I was ready for it all to be over. Carolyn checked me and I was at 9 cm!!
At this point I really needed Jeremy’s help to stay focused on my hypnosis. The funny thing is that I kept looking at his shirt, which said “Thats how we roll”, and being irritated that the apostrophe was missing in “Thats”! I guess that was my focal point at that time! I had 2 more pressure waves and I told Jeremy that I felt like I needed to push (said while pushing a little). He told Carolyn and she helped me to get into position. I happened to be standing beside our bed so I just sat down. I told Leah to let my sisters know that they were welcome to come watch if they wanted (Shelby was napping). Marcy, who was against homebirth from the start was apprehensive but ended up sitting with me on the bed. Leah was behind me supporting me with pillows, Kacie was holding my right leg and Jeremy was holding my left. I pushed once – apparently the water sac bulged out so significantly that Carolyn told my husband that it might burst and make a mess!
Fortunately it didn’t; the pressure was released. I pushed twice and her head came out. She still had the sac around her face so Carolyn moved it off and we could hear her gurgling. Carolyn told us that was a good sign! My sisters were yelling “there’s her head!!!” They were so excited! I touched her little head and it was so sweet! I pushed a third time and our lovely Sadie Margaret was born at 2:55! Jeremy (with Carolyn’s expert guidance) caught her and placed her on my belly and covered her with blankets. Sadie was so slippery! She had her eyes open and was looking around. After about 15 minutes, Marcy cut the cord (I’m really glad that she was able to do that.)
Sadie wasn’t really interested in nursing at first but was busy checking everything out. She didn’t even cry! The placenta came out a few minutes later and Carolyn was showed us all of its parts – very interesting (not something a doctor generally does)! She even commented that Sadie’s cord was short relative to others she has seen. At this time my other sister, Ashley arrived. She had been half way to our house when Sadie was born and she came in with tears in her eyes and said “I missed it!” I hated that she wasn’t there. Shelby joined us and was mesmerized by her baby sister.
After a quick exam, Carolyn told me that I tore along my episiotomy scar and that I would need stitches. She stitched me up and, even though I did have local anesthetic I was still able to use my hypnosis tools during this time. When she was done, I cleaned up a little while Carolyn prepared her traditional mother/baby herbal bath. She floated flower heads in the water and it was so nice to enjoy the warm water with Sadie.
Three hours after her birth, Carolyn performed Sadie’s newborn exam. She weighed in at 7 lbs 4 oz and was 20 3/4 inches long. During the whole exam, Sadie was so calm. Carolyn commented that homebirth babies were generally calmer but that Sadie was one of the calmest she had ever seen! Shelby was fascinated with Sadie. She said “Baby Sister is here!!” – apparently it took her 3 hours to process all of the excitement!
My homebirth and hypnobabies experience was wonderful! I am so glad that I chose to give birth at home. I hope and pray to never need to go to a hospital to give birth again. It was such a beautiful and joyous experience…giving birth is truly a gift from God. If the Lord blesses us with more healthy children , they will all be born at home, surrounded by family, peace and love.
I should also mention that we had given permission to a young lady at the local paper to be at our home to document the birthing process (while modest, of course). We had told her earlier that we would prefer her not to be in the room when I actually gave birth. Everything happened so fast at the end that the poor girl got stuck in the room when I started pushing and was afraid to leave for fear of distracting me so she crouched down in a corner and waited until I had given birth! I didn’t even know she was there (she was behind me). Oh yeah, another funny thing was that, on that day, the sprinkler repair man came to replace some sprinkler heads in our yard. I was facing the window and kept seeing him pass by our bedroom – he never looked in but I can imagine his surprise if he had!