Friday July 8th was scheduled to be my last day of work before I went on Maternity leave, my "guess date" was the next day, 7/9/16. I had to give my company a 30 day notice for my last day of work, and this was it. I made it this way since I figured Arya would hang out in my womb a little longer like Asher (my son) needed to. It was a great last day and I felt wonderful knowing I was going to have the next 9 weeks off with my daughter as I'd only been able to take 6 weeks off with Asher. I would have never guessed that Arya was going to be born within the next 24 hours though, lol.
The last few weeks of the pregnancy were amazing for me honestly, I was very healthy and mentally ready. I felt so prepared and confident. However, we had some scares and fear tactics thrown our way the last month or so of the pregnancy. Ultrasound testing gave the doctors some concerns, and some of the OB/GYN's explained things more harshly than others. They thought she was measuring small, her frame, her head, fluctuating amniotic fluid levels, etc. I had gained the same exact amount of weight I did with Asher (20lbs) and I felt like I was carrying her very similar to how I did with him and he ended up being perfectly healthy and nice size.
It was both frustrating and worrisome at times to hear some of the OB/GYN's suggest induction (without a good explanation), the medical term microcephalia, etc. Despite what they said to us, our faith was strong and I knew by her kicks and movement, Arya was a mighty little girl. After all we'd be through (having 2 miscarriages in 8 months before her conception) and all the hard work we'd done with our research and with Hypnobabies, I felt confident that God was going to give us our healthy baby and the peaceful healing birth we desired.
Don't get me wrong, Asher's birth was indeed beautiful and a good experience, but it was not what I had fully desired. After he was born, I learned so much more about birth, labor, rights, methods and options. One of these options/methods was called Hypnobabies. I was blessed to hear of my sister in law Christy's birth story where she birthed my niece Rowan (her first child) using Hynobabies. She did so comfortably, without drugs and had an amazing recovery. Her experience was so unique and beautiful. She became so passionate about hypnobabies, she became a certified instructor to teach the classes. I knew hypnosis had worked for me in the past (another long, funny story) and if we were to have another little one, this was the kind of experience I wanted to have. Not long after Christy became certified, we conceived Arya. We happily and excitedly asked her to be our Hypnobabies instructor and doula.
For those who are wondering, "Hypnobabies teaches real medical hypnosis techniques, creating an automatically peaceful, relaxing and more comfortable pregnancy, a calm confident Birth Partner, and an easier, much more comfortable natural birthing for the mother. Painless Childbirth Program techniques are used rather than just using simple relaxation, breathing or guided imagery. This allows our Hypno-Moms to enjoy “eyes-open childbirth hypnosis”, easily remaining deeply in hypnosis while walking, talking and changing positions; being as mobile as they would like to be during childbirth. Hypnobabies is well-known for helping women to create much shorter, easier and more comfortable labors, making childbirth the joyful experience it was meant to be.
We began our classes with her and began our homework in the late 2nd Trimester and were finished around the beginning of my 3rd Trimester. Some days I felt like I wasn't doing enough homework and others I felt like I was very ready. The classes were great for all of us regarding bonding, real practice and applying what we were learning. I could tell as my birthing time became closer, it was time for me to listen to my tracks more often to get my subconscious ready. I really enjoyed the "Fear Clearing" track, "Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations" track and the "Deepening your Hypnosis" track. I would listen to these while driving, walking Remy, my lunch break at work and at night before and during sleep. Joey and I both followed our instructions and listened to the tracks we were supposed to, when we were supposed to. I felt very confident and at peace, despite all the doctors concerns.
I wrapped up my duties at work on Friday July 8th, was blessed by some caring patients, was gifted a very inspiring picture and coffee mug by my kind co-workers and left around 2pm. Then a thought crossed my mind, I wondered if I called my mid-wife or my favorite OB/GYN at BHE, if they would be okay with "sweeping my membranes" before I headed home (since I work right across from the hospital), so I gave them a call and they said to come on in, I was 39weeks 6 days. I had done my research many times over about membrane sweeps (had one with Asher) and I felt comfortable enough to ask and have this done.
Getting this easy 10 second procedure will do absolutely nothing to jump start labor if your body isn't ready and if your cervix is unfavorable. At my last check I was 2 CM dilated and about 50% effaced. Nothing crazy but my body was starting the process in its own timing. I was in and out of the office within 10 minutes and felt normal. If it works great, if not, I'd consider having this done again at my next appointment scheduled the following Tuesday. After I got home that afternoon, Joey (my husband) and I took Asher to the movies and I took Remy (our GSD) for a nice 2 mile walk in the subdivision. I had some very tiny spotting and mild cramping, nothing out of the ordinary. It was a normal Friday night for us....until it was time to sleep.
I was tossing and turning most of the night and was keeping Joey up in bed. After all, when you are that far along pregnant, it's hard to get and stay comfortable for one reason or another. I decided to give him some space and headed to the couch to lay down with my Kindle playing Hypnobabies relaxation track through my ear buds and alternating to the "Deepening your Hypnosis" track. I must have eventually gone under and fallen asleep. I woke up on the couch around 4:30am with some pressure waves in my back. I laid on the couch for a few minutes and noticed that they were pretty consistent and not far apart. For a minute I thought I might be having some spasms in my back from being on the couch so I moved back into the bed with my husband. I laid there a few minutes next to him and still noticed my pressure waves were consistent and close together.
I was comfortable the whole time these passed but I thought it was time to wake up the hubby and I asked him to start timing them for me. He opened up the timer on his phone and waited for my cues. When I told him I had just had another, I think I saw his mouth about to hit the floor. They were about 2.5 minutes apart and lasting close to a minute in length. Our sweet Arya had decided her guess date was indeed going to be her birth day.
I told him to start calling our support family and friends (had to get our son and dog taken care of) and to get things together while I focused on my Hypnobabies. I felt like I was doing gymnastics or something from going from the bathroom to the all 4's on the floor to hanging over the bed losing my bag of waters and mucous plug all along the way. I felt like I was past my "Early Birthing time" track so I wanted to go even deeper into my hypnosis and listened to my deepening track instead while in a prayer stretch on the floor and using my finger drop technique so I could time my pressure waves on the phone app.
When my father in law got to our house, they were between 1.5-2 minutes apart. I remember giving my son a big hug and kiss goodbye (he had just woken up as we were about to leave) and told him his little sister would be here soon. He was so excited and I was so happy to see him like that before we left. I got in the car playing my track with my ear buds in and Joey got to driving (around 7am). I remember the car moving kind of fast and could tell when he took turns but other than that, I was so calm and focused. My husband said the waves were between 1-1.5 minutes apart during our drive. I was in the zone and feeling great. Just so thankful this day had come. We'd gone through a lot to get our double rainbow baby, and here she was, on her way. We got to the hospital around 7:30am and I calmly walked in with my husband to get checked in. When I felt an intense pressure wave in my back, I held up my finger at the check in counter and got down on all fours while Joey took care of the sign in paperwork and they prepared my "natural birthing room."
When we got into the room, my support team (Mother, husband and sister in law/Hypno Doula) got to work, placing my Peace signs in different places, covering the clock, putting a warning on the door, giving instructions and Hypnobabies terminology sheet to my L&D nurse, etc. Apparently I was 5cm when they checked me. I used my techniques and they placed in a saline lock. From there, things seemed to go so fast and I began once again, doing obstacle courses. I didn't want a gown on and my primal-self decided to just be in a sport's bra and nothing else during my birthing time. The pressure waves were very similar to that of my son's, everything was in my back. In my mind, I knew she was also posterior like he was, however, I was so much more comfortable and feeling awesome with every wave that came. I kept my support team busy with applying counter pressure massage to my back and I went back and forth from the peanut ball, to over the bed, to on all fours on the floor to the bed. The most comfortable position was probably over the head of the bed and with me on all fours, with them applying counter pressure massage. I was STILL COMFORTABLE and able to rest. I asked to be checked but not told [my cervical dilation], and within an hour of being in the hospital I was apparently at 9cm with a little bit of a cervical lip.
I rested over the bed for a long time using my finger drop technique while my tracks played in the background. After resting I asked to be checked again because something felt different (still didn't want to know the answer) and apparently I was then fully complete at 10cm. I had no idea I had just went through full transformation with a posterior baby...no one would have guess because of how relaxed and comfortable I was. I could tell I must be close but was still in denial, the room began to change, everyone's faces looking at me in pure delight and nursing staff began to bring in all the birth equipment. I began thinking, am I really this close??? I am doing this, I feel amazing. I am about to meet my daughter. I was comfortable at 10 cm for a little over an hour, doing what my body needed to do, following its cues. I was on the ball and whispered to my husband that I was beginning to feel the urge to push. Someone went and told our L & D nurse and got the OB.
Christy our Hypno-doula began playing the "Push your Baby Out" track. At this point, I couldn't quite tell how my body wanted to be, I kind of felt most comfortable over the edge of the bed or in a squat position.
****BUBBLE OF PEACE****
(A Hypnobabies tool for processing information that may trigger anxiety)
When my OB/GYN got to the room she explained to me that she was so proud of me and that I was doing an amazing job but since they were predicting my daughter was small and had a small chord, she wanted me to deliver her laying supine. I don't remember feeling upset about this and was just still excited it was my pushing time. They waited on me and my cues to do so. I don't remember feeling the Burning Ring of Fire and wasn't worried even if I did. I could feel myself opening up and her descending down. I remember feeling her head with my own hands and my mom saying they could see hair. I remember being frustrated that it was taking more effort and work on my part to push her out than I had imagined it would (she was posterior occiput) and for a split second I doubted myself. I looked into my husband’s eyes and those who loved me and were around me and said, "Can I do this?" They all in unison said, "You ARE doing this and you ARE doing an amazing job." With the next pressure wave, I remember saying PEACE and asking out loud for help and strength from loved ones past (my grandmother, GG's and grandpa), and then Arya Rose came. I helped pull her to my chest, her beautiful eyes were open and she gave out a shrill. I DID IT. She was born 100% healthy @10:24am at 6lb 7oz and 19.25 inches long. I had only been at the hospital for 3 hours and the whole ordeal was around 6 hours.
I am so incredibly pleased and thankful for Hypnobabies, my support team & Hypno-doula. My birthing time was dream like. Truly a peaceful and comfortable experience. I'll never forget the moment my husband kissed me with our daughter at my breast after she was born and whispering to me, "You were amazing. I am so Proud of you." Despite me delivering her supine and being posterior, I had one tiny stitch. After our kangaroo care time, I immediately got myself up and cleaned off and was walking around the room helping pick up things. My L& D nurse who was 38wks pregnant herself was in total awe of me and just saying how inspiring I was for her to watch. I was the first hypnobirth she'd ever seen and she was going to pass the word after seeing the results herself. The recovery after my son was a long hard one. With Arya, it was like nothing had even happened, I was completely fine and we were on Florida vacation within 3 weeks of her birth having a great time. I was physically active and emotionally happy. So many people doubted me or thought we were crazy for trying such a birth, after she was born, they all were in shock and so curious. When I tell my story, it's so completely different and opposite of everyone else I talk to. I feel like I'm now a part of some very special elite birth club. I try to introduce and educate anyone who’s trying to conceive or who is expecting about Hypnobabies. It is 100% possible to have a completely intervention free birth, naturally, happily, comfortably. Thank you