This birth story was written by one of my clients, Cindy – a mom of two adorable boys and a contributor to the children’s fashion blog Coos & Ahhs. Cindy had the loveliest water birth while using hypnobirthing at Morristown hospital – so peaceful, calm and intimate, as it should be. It was the fastest labor I ever attended – we were texting all day but she didn’t ask me to come over until her water broke later that afternoon. She was so relaxed and so in control over her body and her contractions that she really didn’t need my or anyone else’s help. She owned every piece of her labor and I am still in awe how relaxed and completely calm she was, I could barely tell she was contracting!
Roman’s Birth Story
On Thursday, October 24, 2013, I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I woke up feeling like it was any other day, and I resigned to going past my due date like I did with my first son. I rolled out of bed, drove my 19 month old son to daycare and planned to spend the day cleaning and continuing to prep for the new little one’s arrival. While I was dropping my son off, I noticed that everything felt extremely heavy. There was so much pressure on my crotch, I thought to myself I really can’t take it another day.
When I got home, I climbed back into bed with my husband and I told him there was a ton of pressure down there and he said something along the lines of what the hell, let’s make this happen! I had told him that nipple stimulation was supposed to help to induce labor so that’s what we tried for several minutes when I felt a bit of wetness. I hopped up and went to the bathroom to check, and just like my first labor, there was a leak but not a full water break. So I put a pad on and waited for contractions to begin. In the meantime, I texted my doula, Veronika, and called the midwives to let them know labor was beginning.
After three hours, a slice of pizza, and bouncing on the yoga ball while watching the entirety of Miss Congeniality, still I felt nothing except for very, very minor period-like cramps. I did need to poop every 30 minutes or so, so I knew things were clearing out – a sure sign of impending labor.
I decided to start listening to hypnobirthing recordings on my phone while doing nipple stimulation to see if it might speed things up. I was familiar with hypnobirthing techniques because I had studied it to use during the birth of my first son, but when I was in active labor with him, I didn’t want to listen to them so I never really got the full benefit. During this whole pregnancy, I never even freshened up on the techniques but figured it’s just another tool in my labor kit. Little did I know it would carry me through this entire labor.
So I sat on the bed listening to the lady say, “Relaaaax” over and over again, while tweaking my nipples and the contractions definitely came on stronger. They still weren’t painful, but at least I was feeling something. After 20 minutes or so, I got bored with that and noticed that the drapes I had just hung in our bedroom were still wrinkled from being in the package, so I grabbed my steam iron and started steaming the drapes. My husband sat on the bed laughing, grabbed his camera and took a video.
By around 4pm I was getting frustrated that nothing was happening. I had really wanted to have the baby before we needed to pick Nikolai up at 6pm. When you have another kid to worry about, you just want to get the show on the road! So my husband suggested we continue with the nipple stimulation since it helped induce the leak in the first place. A few minutes later, I told him all it was doing was turning me on, so he was like, ok, let’s just give you an orgasm. Why not? I thought about how crazy it would be if I were one of those women who had orgasmic birth. So we set out to do that and just as I was on the brink, I heard and felt a pop and GUSH! Water for reals broken this time. I hobbled to the bathroom and sure enough, it was flowing out like a faucet. I yelled to my husband to call Veronika and let her know the contractions were about to be crazy intense and we needed to go to the hospital NOW.NOW.NOW. I knew from my previous birth that as soon as the water broke, contractions were going to come on hard and strong.
One minute later BAM. I was hit with my first real contraction and it was unmistakable. I had to stop putting my shoes on, and just breathe through it. I made the deepest humming sound I could make to flow through the pain and let my body open up and not clench and it actually made the contraction bearable. Every contraction after that, I hummed deeply through it and when it was over, I felt 100% like myself again.
With earphones in my ear and the hypnobirthing lady saying over and over again, “Relaaaaaaax,” we met Veronika downstairs in front of our house and drove separately to the hospital. I closed my eyes, relaaaaaaaxed, and hummed through all the contractions for the 40 minute drive and I was surprised that between each contraction, I felt fine.
As I sat in the hospital awaiting registration in lounge pants that were completely soaked through, another expecting mother sat down next to me. It was her first baby, and just like I had done with my first baby, I could tell she was there a little bit too early. We made small talk and every 2 minutes or so I would ask her to hold on and I would hum through a contraction.
We walked over to the delivery room and the first thing I did was go to the bathroom. Last time I forgot to pee and my full bladder made it really hard for the head to come down and caused a lot of pain and hardship. I was not making that mistake this time!
Then they put me on the monitors to check the baby’s heart rate, which was fine. During the 20 minutes of monitoring, my husband set up video cameras, the nurses filled the tub I planned to labor in, the staff asked us a bunch of medical questions, and Veronika offered water and ice chips and set the room up to be calm and serene. Then, my midwife, Donna, checked dilation and she let out a huff. I was terrified she was going to say it was too early, but she goes, “You’re a 9 and a half,” and smiled.
I started laughing, I just couldn’t believe it! I had only been in “real” labor for an hour and a half! She asked me if I had the urge to push and I said I hadn’t. I realize now that in humming through the pain, I wasn’t actually listening to what my body wanted to do. I was very successfully hypnobirthing and using my mind to provide the anesthesia. I was so, soo relaaaaxed. She told me I could get in the tub and start pushing as soon as my body told me to.
So I got in the tub on my knees with my upper body and head laying on a pillow along the side of the tub, and a couple minutes later, I felt a wave come over my whole body and knew it was time to push. While I was pushing I started humming. Donna told me I needed to stop humming and start clenching and push like I’m pooping. And that’s what it felt like. Like I was taking the largest poop ever and that my vagina and butthole were splitting in two. It was a crazy feeling, and I didn’t know how long I’d be able to do it. Donna came over and said, “His head is right there. You’re going to have a baby in a few moments.” I didn’t believe her, so I reached down and felt it. Again, I had no idea we were already at this point! That gave me strength and motivation, and a mere two more pushes later, out he came! And just like that all the pain was gone.
I had to maneuver sort I oddly bringing my leg above the umbilical cord to get Roman on my chest and we sat in the tub for several minutes. While we sat there, I was so in love with his little face, I didn’t even notice the water around me starting to get all bloody and dark. Donna told us we needed to move to the bed now so she could deliver the placenta, so my husband cut the cord and Roman and I got out of the tub.
With shaky legs, we moved to the bed and she pushed and kneaded my tummy and pulled the placenta out. All that pushing on my stomach was almost more painful than the birth! I tore a tiny bit during crowning so Donna put in two or three stitches while I sat there breastfeeding Roman. He was 20 ¾ inches, 7 lb, 7 oz, born at 7:19 pm. And we were put in recovery room 7. Lucky number 7 – he is our lucky baby indeed!
This image is the property of my client, please do not use without her permission.