Bella Rose was born on November 15, one day after her guess date. Those last few weeks it was hard to be patient, so by the time 40 weeks rolled around I decided to try a few things. I ate spicy foods and pineapple, drank red raspberry leaf tea, went for a long walk, and listened to the Hypnobabies track, Baby Come Out. Well, Baby must have gotten the message, because at 9:30 on the night of my guess date, I felt my first pressure wave while watching an episode of The Walking Dead.
I went to the bathroom as the pressure wave came on, and it totally caught me off guard. When I came back into the living room, I nervously asked my husband, “Robbie, do you think we can do this?” He assured me that yes, indeed we could, and calmly suggested we finish the episode and then get in bed. Once in bed, we listened to Your Birthing Time Begins and Birthing Day Affirmations. I would listen to a constant stream of Hypnobabies tracks for the next 13 hours!
Robbie helped me into a bubble bath and I relaxed while he got some final things together, including the Hypno books and cheat sheets. I could hear him literally running around the house – he was so excited! It didn’t phase me, though; I was already in the zone. He came into the bathroom and sat with me through some pressure waves. My eyes were shut and my body was relaxed, and every time I felt a pressure wave I would tap the side of the tub so he would know. At 12:30am with pressure waves coming every 4-5 minutes, we called the midwife. Kim spoke to both of us and said to wait a couple hours until we came in and to sleep if we could.
The pressure waves were definitely getting stronger, but Robbie and I were both able to get some sleep before we decided to go to the birth center at 3:00am. It was a cold night and Robbie managed to bundle me up for the 20-minute drive. We met Kim upstairs where she checked my cervix. My birth plan said that I didn’t want to know how far along I was, but she wanted to tell me anyway to encourage me. I was about 4 cm dilated and 100% effaced. However, she still wanted us to go back home and continue laboring there for a couple hours. I was a little concerned because she mentioned walking, and I knew that walking wouldn’t feel good to me. I told her this, and she assured me that I didn’t need to walk; I could relax in the tub and try to sleep some more. She said we would know when it was time to come back.
When we got home, we went back to bed for a while. I drifted in and out, but thankfully Robbie was able to get some sleep. I woke up to my water breaking but was able to rush to the bathroom without leaking too much on the bed or floor. Once on the toilet I felt very nauseated and Robbie was able to get a trashcan in front of me to throw up in. I got back into the bathtub with Robbie sitting on the floor next to me, and with each exhale during a pressure wave we both said Peace. Eventually, Peace turned into deep moans, and we called Kim and went back to the birth center at 5:30am. This time, Robbie had a hard time bundling me up for the cold. I was wearing some of Robbie’s giant sweat pants but refused shoes, and I had a big comforter wrapped around me instead of a coat.
Once at the birth center, Kim checked my cervix and let me get into the tub immediately. It was only about an hour before I felt the urge to push. Pushing was totally involuntary at first, my body just knowing what to do. Robbie was a huge help during this time. He was perched on a stool by the tub and rubbed my shoulders and arms, helped me drink water, and offered lots of encouraging words. The Pushing Out Baby track also helped. I pushed for about three hours in the tub, and my body and mind were getting tired. Robbie and the midwife (now Susan) recognized this and suggested I get out of the tub to switch things up. I had a few pressure waves on the toilet and then moved to the birthing ball. This felt so good, but I was confused about how I was going to have a baby while sitting, and I told this to Susan. She suggested I get on the bed on my side and put a big peanut shaped ball between my legs. Robbie was lying on the bed behind me, supporting me. It was time to push out our baby!
20-30 minutes later at 10:31am, Bella’s head came out followed by her squirmy little body, and I’m so happy to say I didn’t tear at all! She immediately went on my chest for some wet, wiggly cuddles.
She was pretty calm from the start, making noises but not screaming. I think this was because of the peaceful way she was brought into the world. The Hypnobabies tracks helped to keep me centered and relaxed the entire time, with the only difficult part being transitioning from one resting place to the next. Also, I kept my eyes closed for most of the 13 hours, and had no concept of time. It was nice to focus on my body and our baby and not get stressed out by a schedule.
Bella, Robbie, and I cuddled and slept for the next five hours in the birth center before we took our daughter home. Before we left, Susan gave us a huge compliment. She said that she had attended some hard births recently and that she was grateful for our birth because it was healing for her. I whole-heartedly recommend Hypnobabies and the Greenville Midwifery Care Birth Center to anyone. It was such an amazing experience! Bella continues to be a calm, patient baby and we love her to pieces!
Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your birth story as an encouragement to other first-time parents as they prepare for their births! –Julie