The morning of November 7th, 2008, I started to feel what I thought might be some surges. I don’t know at what exact time they started, because I was just waking up for the day. They weren’t very strong, or regular, but they were there. I told my husband about them, and we thought that that might be the day, but we weren’t sure. I had been loosing my mucus plug for the past few days, so we felt like the day for Kaylin to be born might have arrived. We were debating about whether or not to send Abe to work, but the whole time we were talking, the surges gradually started to get stronger and stronger, so we decided to have him stay home. I felt pretty sure that this was it, so we called our midwife.
I had tested positive for group-B strep, and had elected to receive antibiotics, which needed to be administered at least four hours before birth, so my midwife checked me just to get an idea of how far along I might be. I was only dilated to a three, so she left, and told me to call her when I felt things might be changing. That was at about 9:00 am. I decided that I wanted to walk around, so I did my hair, makeup, etc, and we were going to go walk around the mall for a bit. However, as we were about to leave, the surges started to become noticeably stronger, and I decided I wasn’t going anywhere. Instead, I just paced back and forth across our living room with Abraham, and with each surge, I would just hang my arms on his shoulders and lean into him, while he softly spoke to me and practiced soft touch massage on my back and arms. I had been practicing my hypnosis religiously up until that day, so I found it very easy to just relax and slow-breathe through each surge.
At around noon, I felt like the surges were stronger and more regular, so I called my midwife again, and she came and checked me again, and I was dilated to a six, so she administered the antibiotics via two shots in my legs. She stayed after that, and I just continued to breathe through my surges in whatever way was most comfortable. We had filled the tub earlier that morning, so I spent a lot of time in the water. That, for me, was the most relaxing place to labor. In fact, at times I felt so relaxes that my surges would stop for a period of time. Being somewhat impatient, and not wanting to wait any more that I had to for the baby to come, I would get out and walk around whenever that happened, and the surges would start right back up when I did. I ate breakfast at around 1:00 (maybe? I’m not quite sure about the time). I only felt like eating some cereal, some my husband poured me a bowl of rice crispies, and I ate it, pausing to slow-breathe whenever a surge came. I should probably mention here that throughout the day, I felt a lot of intense pressure in my lower back, so the labor wasn’t completely pain-free, but the hypnosis helped SO MUCH, and I never once felt like I wasn’t in control.
Well, later in the afternoon (or possibly early evening), the surges became very intense, and I had to focus hard on just relaxing and slow-breathing, and take one surge at a time. I spent a lot of that time in the tub. A funny memory I have of that time is from the music that was playing. My husband had put in a classical music CD, and when one of the songs came on, it suddenly evoked images of a bunch of fairies dancing in a field of wildflowers. I laughed to myself, because I know you like fairies. I enjoyed that song a lot.
Back to the story: so the surges were very intense at that point, as well as the pressure in my back. However, I just breathed through them one at a time. At that point, I also noticed that my belly was so tight during each surge that I really couldn’t expand it, which made it difficult to visualize the balloon inflating, so instead I would arch my back and stick my belly way out front, and that helped a lot. Minutes after that, I felt an incredible urge to push, so I did. I then remembered my birth breathing, so I started to birth breathe between each surge. However, I started to get impatient, and my midwife was urging me to bear down with each surge, so I finally relented and started pushing. Kaylin started to move down a lot more quickly after that, but it also became a LOT more painful when I started pushing. I started to feel slightly desperate, because she was crowning, but not coming out.
At one point I remember saying that I couldn’t do this anymore, but then I remembered what it means when a birthing woman says that, so I gave one, last, almighty push, and out she came! I will never forget the immense relief, the surge of endorphins, and the complete euphoria that I felt at that moment, kneeling in the tub, holding my new daughter against my chest, repeating over and over again, “oh my goodness, she’s so beautiful!” I’m not sure how long Abe and I were in the tub like that, but it was an amazing, indescribable experience, and was so worth the effort it took. Eventually, Abe and my midwife helped me to the bedroom, where they proceeded to stitch me up, and do all that other post-partum stuff they do. Afterward, they weighed and measured Kaylin, and she turned out to be 9 lbs, 3 oz., and was 21 1/2 inches long (who says big babies can’t be born naturally?).
Well, that’s my story. I hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks, and have a great day!