I am so extremely grateful that this beautiful HypnoBIrthing family is allowing me to share their beautiful birth story. Photography by the super kind Patience Salgado.
Saturday the 22nd I started noticing contractions, nothing special or to write home about, they were very mild almost unnoticeable, and completely irregular. I figured they were just practice surges. The Wednesday before then (the 19th) I had started losing some of my mucus plug as well so it was nice to see a little progression once my contractions started. I went in Monday (24th) for my 40wk appointment, up until then I decided I wanted no interval checks, I didn't want to know if I was dilated or effaced, I didn't want to be disappointed with no progression. Since I hit 40 weeks and only had until 41/6 to have Aria on my own or they would have to transfer me to doctors care where I knew I would be induced, so I decided to get checked at 40wks. Well to no surprise I was only 1cm and 75% effaced. I had an ultrasound that morning too and the doctor said he didn't want me going over 41 1/2wks so my midwife then decided to schedule me for an induction for June 3rd. I was extremely upset about this and even asked her to perform a sweep on me to help things progress so I wouldn't have to be induced but she refused until 41wks. The next few days were really hard on me seeing everyone in an online pregnancy group I'm in having their babies and some at 38-39-40 weeks, I was starting to get depressed at this point. Thursday (27th) I texted my husband and broke down to him about it, I sat on the couch and cried because my induction date was soon approaching and I still had no signs on sure labor, he told me to come up to his work to hang with him for a few to get out if the house (I'd been out of work since the 19th at home bored and going crazy) so I went up there for a couple hours. Later that night about 7-7:30 I was getting my usual random tightening but it was a little stronger, I went to stand up to go get a second helping of dinner and when I did my stomach got tight so I decided to stand still to let it pass, when it didn't pass I decided to walk through it to the kitchen and when I got to the counter I noticed a huge amount of pressure in my lower back going around to my hips. I swayed and tried to breathe through it and when it wouldn't go away I went to the couch to lay down. I then knew what true labor contractions felt like. I proceeded with my night at usual, went to bed and was woken by intense contractions about 1am. I timed them but they were only 5-6 minutes apart. I struggled with coping with contractions and then I remembered my breathing, as soon as one would come on I'd breath in deep, and let out slowly. Now by no means did it make the contractions painless (which I wasn't expecting it to) they weren't a type of "pain" you would really think of, it wasn't a stub your toe, or smash your hand type of pain but more or less just a huge amount of tightening from my abdominal area down through my thighs, the fact that I was tired didn't help my case either. Around 4am I went to the bathroom as usual and noticed blood in my mucus, I got so excited I went to tell chuck. Finally about 6:30am I was able to fall asleep as the contractions seemed to die off some, and around 9:30am Friday morning when I woke up they were irregular again and didn't even bother to time them. I sat around the house disappointed because I really thought I was going to have her Thursday night/Friday morning. Around 12 noon I laid down for a nap to catch up on missed sleep the night before and when I woke up at 1:30pm my contractions were non-existent. Again I broke down to Chuck about it and he tried to make me feel better as best he could. Around dinner time again (7pm) I started getting my contractions back, I decided I was not going to be up with them all night long so after dinner I decided to have about 3oz of wine to relax myself enough to fall asleep. Needless to say I never fell asleep, I laid in bed from 10:30pm on timing contractions, 5-6 minutes, sometimes 7-9. About 12:30am is when things started getting serious, my contractions were then ranging from 3 1/2-4 minutes to 4 1/2-5 minutes apart and were getting more intense with what seemed like each one. It's now 2am and contractions are averaging 2 1/2-3 1/2 minutes apart and Chuck had been asleep this whole time seeing as he had to work the next day and there wasn't but so much he could do for me and I didn't want him to go to work tired if this wasn't really my time to have the baby (yes I was STILL in denial that I was in labor) I decided to go ahead and call in to see what the midwives wanted me to do, I notified her that I hadn't really felt Aria move for a while but she was never a big mover at night anyways, she told me to take at least 30 minutes to change positions, drink/eat to try and get Aria active and maybe even shower or get a bath to cope, she said from 30 minutes up until 2 hours or until I feel I can no longer be at home. So I got up and drank some water, attempted to eat (I had been feeling queasy since Thursday) I ate a couple bites of a fruit and Jello cup, and about 3am I decided I wanted to take a hot bath. I woke Chuck to tell him and told him when I was done he could shower and we would head up. The bath really helped out but would have been better if I could have fit better in my tub, I stayed there listening to my Motown radio, doing my breathing. About 3:35-3:40 I sat up to brace myself to go ahead and get out so Chuck could get a shower and we could head up, once I sat up a contraction came through and I felt what seemed like air bubbles coming out of me, so I decided to sit through another contraction and this time I felt something coming out and as nasty as it sounds, the only way I can describe the feeling is like when your a kid and your swimming and pee in the water, that's exactly what it felt like only I didn't pee and I know I didn't pee. I sat through yet another one to see if I got the pee feeling again and I did this time I noticed stuff starting to float in my bath water, I waited again for another one and noticed a small puff of green coming out of me, I knew what had happened and then called for Chuck to come help me out of the tub. He came in to help as another contraction hit followed by a bigger cloud of green coming out of me, I asked him if he could see it and he said yes and asked what it was, so I told him my water broke and there was meconium in it and that I needed to get out of the tub so I can get to the hospital. I had to actually pee this time so while I sat on the toilet fighting contractions with trying to pee. I called my midwife to tell her I was coming in. I told Chuck to go ahead and get a shower while I got dressed but he said no that we were heading straight to the hospital. We got there and I was checked in and got to my room about 4:45-5am they checked me and told me I was 5cm and 100% effaced. They hooked me up to the monitors to time contractions which were 2 minutes apart and hooked the baby up for movements/heartbeat. She still wasn't moving that much so they gave me fluids via IV to hydrate me since I hadn't really had much to drink. I stayed hooked up until about 6 when my midwife came in to greet me, she unhooked me from the monitors and allowed me to get into the tub again. About 10 minutes into getting into the tub I decided laying back was not working for me and decided to kneel and lean over the side of the tub, this whole time listening to Motown and doing my breathing, within 5-7 minutes of being in the kneeling/squatting position I was hit with a contraction like no other, I have no control over my body during this one and it forced me to bare down like I had to go to the bathroom (which I had been doing all night before going to the hospital) Once that contraction hit and my body made me bare down I felt something coming down inside me, I panicked because I thought I was going to go to the bathroom in their tub and I didn't want to be "that woman" Chuck came in to check on me and I told him about the different contraction and just as I did along came another one forcing me to bare down and yelp out, again I felt something coming down in me and desperately wanted to get to the toilet, my midwife heard my yelp and came to check on me and as I described what I was feeling another one came, I saw her eyes get a little wider as she called for the nurse and told her she thinks we were having the baby a lot sooner than we thought. She told me it was time to get out of the tub and back to the bed, I begged her to let me use the bathroom but she told me no with the risk of having the baby on the toilet. She and Chuck helped me out of the tub and to my bed so she could check me, I was fully dilated and she said the baby was right there. I called my photographer back to let her know things progressed a lot quicker than we thought and that the baby way coming. I laid there breathing through contractions as I was taught, labor down/breath her out. I wanted my contractions to push her down so I could save my energy. It got to a point where breathing through them was no longer an option, and I had to bare down, I brought her down little by little but wasn't enough in the position I was in so she had me change positions, by this time my photographer had shown up which made me so much more relaxed knowing she wasn't going to miss it. The new position helped bring her down some but still wasn't doing the job. Chuck and my photographer helped me by giving me cool rags for my neck and back and Chuck reminded me to breathe through my contractions. The last position we tried was me on my side, my midwife made fun of me because I'm in full blown labor/pushing and I ask Chuck if he was doing okay and asked if he wanted a chair so he would be more comfortable. Then nutritional services brought breakfast up and I thanked them for it being only about 15 minutes out from pushing my baby out. She asked me if I wanted to feel her head so with the next contraction she pulled my hand down so I could feel and that's all it took. I think that I bared down and pushed with everything in me. Before then I had started feeling so overwhelmed. I felt like I had been pushing for so long but making no progress, the pain wasn't getting to me like I expected, and like I stated before it wasn't "painful" I felt so much pressure and was so tired and worn out from no sleep since I woke up Wednesday, my body was just wearing down. Once I felt her head though it made all the difference. I could feel her head as it came down, my midwife applied warm compresses and oil to my perineum and she told me I needed to help Aria out by giving her a couple good pushes so she doesn't go back up so I bared down and pushed, let go breathed in and pushed again and again as I felt her head coming out, I knew she was coming because my midwife made the comment "oh her shoulders aren't waiting they're coming too" and she told me to be easy, I then felt the warmth as the rest of her body came out. They placed her on my chest instantly as Aria cried right away. They waited for the cord to quit pulsing and Chuck to cut it. I had a 2nd degree tear and Aria was born posterior. My photographer looked at Chuck and told him "your wife is a beast!!" Then she looks at me and says "do you have any idea what you just did?!?" I was kind of shocked by the question wondering if it was something wrong and she said "not only did you just have your first baby, you did it with no drugs and to an 8lbs 6.6oz POSTERIOR baby!!" She said " if they wouldn't have told me she was posterior I never would have known because of how calm you were!!" I looked at Chuck after she left and said "babe I was not calm, didn't you hear me hollering as she came out??" His response was "you were not as loud as you think you were, you didn't really holler that much here, most of it was moaning and grunting" Nothing is better than holding your newborn daughter and your husband telling you how proud he is of you and the job you did. :) I was in denial for so long that I was in actual labor that I didn't really use any of the other techniques we went over, but the breathing reeeeally helped me out a lot especially during my pushing stage. Chuck did awesome by reminding me to breathe too and talking to me/encouraging me. I remembered to keep my face loose too, I would catch myself tightening up and I would loosen up, my midwife helped me with that too. Well that's my extremely long birth story!