I was 42 weeks 1 day pregnant with my second daughter on the morning of August 30th, 2012, when I began to have gentle surges. My husband went to work and my 2-year-old daughter and I went to a play date. My friends enjoyed watching me close my eyes, use my Hypnobabies tools and breathe through more surges; every 15 minutes or so. When I used the restroom and had some bloody show they were all VERY excited about that!
All afternoon the surges were getting a little more intense and a teeny bit closer together. I called my midwife’s office to give her the head’s up that things might be happening sometime soon. While my daughter napped, I did a few Hypnobabies track. At about 2:00pm, I finished the last track and the surges, while not intense or long, were very noticeable. I began feeling teary and sensitive and I wanted my husband with me.
After dinner that evening, through many tears and worries on my part, we decided that sending my daughter for her first overnight at my Mom’s house would be the best idea. Looking back, I realize that my overwhelming emotion was a sign that my labor was starting to progress!
Soon after they left, I lay down to do another Hypnobabies track and had several stronger surges that caught my attention, even while in hypnosis! At about 9:30pm my husband and I went to bed, knowing that this was indeed the night!
We were both able to snooze between surges until about 11:30 – when the party really got going. The rest of my labor was spent standing up and swaying/lunging from side to side, leaning forward on a rolled-up pregnancy pillow at the edge of the bed while my husband rubbing my shoulders and gave me Hypnobabies prompts, hanging on him and labor dancing, or doing what felt the best: sitting on the toilet. The birth ball was out of the question because of the pressure it pushed back onto her wee head and my pelvis.
At 1:00am my husband paged our midwife to update her, and unbeknownst to me, he also wisely started filling up the birth pool. My midwife asked if I was still pretty verbal, which I was, and I told my husband to tell her that I didn’t want her to waste a trip or come too early because my last labor was 38 hours and I was still feeling pretty relaxed. She said to page again in an hour or when things picked up. At 2:00am I had a surge on the toilet and felt a familiar but new-to-this-birth sensation and shouted to my husband in the bedroom, “I’m feeling pushy!” He paged her to come straight away.
My midwife arrived at 2:30am. While she was taking my blood pressure, I told her that I wanted her to check me internally but was afraid to; worried that I’d, “Only be like, 4 centimeters dilated or something.” She said that if I wanted her to, she’d check me when I wasn’t feeling afraid anymore. Good answer, right?! She left the room and went downstairs to talk to the assistants but just then, I had another surge where I was holding back a push and screamed her name.
I heard her feet padding up the stairs and down the hall. She came in and said, “Honey, you sound like you’re gonna have a baby in your pants!” I told her to please check me, which she did, while I had a surge. When it ended, I asked her how far I had progressed. She smiled and said, “You didn’t hear me? Oh honey, the birth door is open! Let’s go downstairs and have a baby!” I threw my arms around her, thanking her and God that I was complete!
I made my way downstairs while having another surge and telling my husband that we never should have purchased a two-story house. I paused at the bottom and held the railing for a moment to have yet another surge and my water broke. I quickly stepped into the birth pool and was flooded with sweet, sweet warm relaxation. I immediately had another surge and pushed… I had a second and then third in the water and my midwife said she could see my daughter crowning. On the fourth surge, at 3:04am on August 31st, my midwife told me to lean back and sit on the seat in the pool as I pushed and to pull my daughter up and out of the water! I did! She came out easily and quietly and I brought her straight onto my chest. What an incredible feeling!
We relaxed in the warm water and began falling in love with one another (while she pooped on me!) for about 15 – 20 minutes while everyone took vitals, photos, recorded data, and made phone calls. After we cut the cord and I delivered my placenta, I walked to the couch and started nursing this sweet girl, whom I then named Madeline. She latched beautifully and stayed that way for the following hour and a half!
It was SUCH an incredible and easy birth experience… I had no idea it could be that way for me, especially after my first SUPER long marathon hospital birth which included 2 hours of pushing and a lot of “management” on my part to keep it moving. This just happened like it should; all on its own – and I just rode the roller coaster. I will treasure these memories of pure joy and empowerment for as long as I live. Birth is so amazing.
Photography by Labor of Love Birth Photography.