Nora's Birth Story
Born: 4/6/15 at 9:36 am
Birth stats: 7 lbs. 2 oz./19 inches long/13 ½ head circumference
Day 2: 6 lbs. 14 oz.
I'd been having contractions almost nightly for a week and a half. They felt like true labor and would get more intense and last longer each time they happened. I was starting to get a little crazy and, after so many false alarms, I felt like I'd never know when it was the real deal. Sunday, April 5th we had a really nice family day out at Strangeways and Bev's and then Brian and I watched a movie together that night. I had felt pretty good all day without any regular contractions and went to bed around 11.
On Monday morning, just after 5 am, Violet ran into our room to snuggle with me. I started to make up a space in the bed for her and when I turned over I felt a small gush of fluid. I wasn't too concerned because that had been happening off and on since Friday. I got up to go to the bathroom and had a contraction. I still didn't think much of it because it felt the same as the ones I've been having for weeks. Then, 7 minutes later I had another one and then 5 min. later another one. They kept getting closer together so I finally figured out that this was it. I woke Brian up around 5:45 to tell him it was time and that I was calling Nancy. He called his parents to come and pick up the kids. Violet was very upset and refused to leave my side. I carried her downstairs and held her the whole time I was on the phone with Nancy. Nancy told me to call her back in 20 minutes and let her know how things were progressing. I went outside on the deck with Violet and tried to eat some of the toast that Brian had made for me. I had a few contractions out there, the last one brought me to my hands and knees. I was trying to time them, but they seemed like they were coming one on top of another and I was distracted by the kids. I called Nancy back less than 20 minutes later, 6:10 am, because I was pretty sure they were only 2-3 minutes apart at this point. She told me to get on my hands and knees and not do anything until she arrived and that she was almost ready to leave her house. Shortly after that, around 6:30, my in-laws came and took the kids. I was really uncomfortable on hands and knees so I lay on my side in the fetal position instead. I said goodbye to the kids and my inlaws and just lay there. While I was laboring, Brian was getting the kids ready to go and getting all the birth supplies out. Nancy got to the house around 7 am and found me still laying on the floor. She asked me if I was ready to walk upstairs and to go quickly before another contraction started. Once I got upstairs I decided to labor standing and leaning against my dresser. The contractions were getting stronger and I started to use my hypnobirthing breathing and visualization to get through them. I'll be honest that I didn't think it would help me during labor, but it really did. I would say to myself, let her come down and I'd visualize that and remember that I was going to be meeting her soon and I actually started smiling during the contractions in spite of myself. This made the contractions completely managable. I almost felt better during the contractions than I did during the rest time. In between the contractions I was shaking and couldn't get myself to stop. We knew this would probably happen since it happened last time and I tried not let it worry me like it did before. I didn't feel anxious about the shaking this time, but it was annoying me that I was doing it again. Brian told me that that is just what I do in labor and to not worry about it and that helped me to just let it go. Nancy was still busy getting everything ready during this time. When she finished I asked her to check me. She checked me and I was 7 cm and fully effaced. I went back to the dresser and Nancy suggested I sit on the birth ball. I hadn't used it with either of my other births, but it felt right this time. Someone had said that the same moves that get the baby in get the baby out so I was doing lots of hip circles and thrusts while on the ball and that, along with the breathing and affirmations, was making the contractions easy to get through. I had been very nervous about transition. During my last birth I had felt very out of control and scared during transition and felt that things happened too quickly. Nancy came up with a lot of different ideas to help me with anxiety during that time. One of the ideas was taking a few sips of champagne.. She told Brian to put it in a fancy flute and he brought it to me while I was on the ball. I kept laboring on the ball and had a few small sips. Around 8:30 I asked Nancy to check me again. I really wanted to deliver in the water this time around. I didn't have the option with my son or older daughter, but I had labored in the tub until I was in transition with both of them. I wanted to try to wait until the very end of labor to get in the tub this time so I wouldn't get too hot and want to get out. When Nancy checked me this time I was 9 cm. My water broke right before she went to check me and I decided it was time to get in the tub. The water felt really good and I'd worried that the small tub would feel claustraphobic, but I really liked it. I was still smiling during the contractions at this point. Nancy had me take a few more small sips of champagne and there are some great pictures of me in the tub at 9cm smiling wide while holding the champagne flute. The combo of the hypnobirthing techniques, music, champagne, amazing support from Brian and Nancy was definitely doing the job because I have never before felt so calm and happy during labor and yet also so present with the people around me. During my other two births I sort of would go into the zone and go inside myself, but this time I was talking to Brian and Nancy until the end. At one point, while in the tub, a very emotional song came on and I started crying happy tears and talking about how far I'd come during this pregnancy from denial and anger at myself to acceptance and finally at this moment to feeling so much love and excitement that I would soon meet our daughter. This was so different from the crazy and afraid way I'd been feeling during transition the last time. I was feeling so good that I was worried I'd need to get out of the water because my labor had stalled, but in less than 1/2 an hour they started picking up. This is the time that my hypnobirthing stopped helping and I was just trying to get through it. This stage ended up only being about 10 minutes, but I didn't know that at the time. Brian and Nancy helped talk me through it at that time I was saying that I just couldn't do it. The contractions were really intense, but didn't feel that productive so Nancy told me to sit up in a squatting position in the tub and had Brian wrap his arms around me to hold me up. This got things moving and after two more contractions I beared down and her head was out. I got to reach down and touch her head while I waited for the next contraction to get her body out. That really helped me focus and forget about the pressure and stinging I was feeling. When the next contraction came Nancy coached me and I pushed her body out and pulled her up to my chest. It was incredibly empowering and amazing. It had all happened so quickly and after 9 months of feeling so anxious about transition and birth I couldn't believe how peaceful and calm I had felt until the last few contractions. It felt so good to have such a calm and happy birth experience after a rough start to the pregnancy. We all really worked to make this a fun, calm and happy birth and it was even better than we could have imagined. A great birth to end on and a great way to welcome Nora to the world!
If you are interested in HypnoBirthing in Richmond, VA please do not hesitate to contact me.
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