Easy Joyful Natural Birth of Samantha Lynn: Part II – Birthing time begins
I awoke early Sunday morning, March 3, having only slept 5 hr 30 min. I felt really good. (I’ve been that way a lot lately, after years of 8 hour patterns). I decided to organize my bookmarks. 2 hours later, I was almost done. I lost one of my folders entitled “social media” in the shuffle. Instead of searching for each site again individually, I asked my tech husband to see what he could do to recover the folder. It ended up that 90% of the work I did vanished. I had a melt down where I turn into a hysterical whiner. ”Ahhhh! I have to do this all over again!” Since I knew what to do, I got most of it done in another half an hour. After that, I decided to organize other aspects of my Mac’s existence as well, for the next 4 hours. I never do that. Since I rarely, if ever, organize my computer, I told myself, “This must be my version of nesting.” I hadn’t done much of any nesting up until now. I also dusted for an hour when my husband had attempted to recover my file. I hadn’t dusted in as long as I can remember. Yeah, I was nesting. That afternoon, I remember seeing ‘bloody show’ also.
Later on I was exhausted from lack of sleep and stress about the online tornado that wrecked havoc to my organizing prowess. So about 8 o’clock that night, I invited my husband to come on a walk with me and the dog. We took our dog Pickles out around the 1 mile neighborhood loop. That loop was about all I could do the last few weeks. When we got near our house, I told Jay, “One more loop, I am beginning to feel emotionally more even keel again.” We dropped the dog off home and kept going. I had begun to feel practice contractions. I paid little attention, as walking is when I normally had my practice contractions. With these though, I wondered “Do I have gas?” The sensation was longer and closer together, so we started to time them. I was able to walk through all of them, although with a couple, I walked slower. We arrived home, and I was proud of myself for the 2 mile walk I just did. The contractions, or gas (lol), went away after the walk.
About 10 o’clock, I decided to turn on my easy yoga video to create that much more peace of mind and relaxation of body and spirit. Shortly before 11pm, I offered to give my 15 yr old daughter an Access Bars® session. I had a goal to give her a session before the baby was born, because she hadn’t had one since the summer and we both thought that would create more ease and peace for her. Upon asking if she would like a session, she willingly climbed on the massage table and I sat in a chair behind her head. After performing the initial energy pulls, I had the pressure sensations that I wasn’t sure were gas or not. My daughter began timing these sensations with a contraction timer app on the iPhone. They were every 4 and a half minutes, lasting 43 seconds each, all through the 70 minute session. They were only slightly uncomfortable and hardly noticeable. We turned on my birthing music compilation and enjoyed the rest of the session.
My husband, who looked completely sleepy, was about to go to bed during the session. I said, “you might want to stay up since these are so consistent, just to time a few more afterwards and see what happens.” He really did not wish to be bothered. That didn’t sit well with me, although I didn’t express that sentiment. I thought he would be excited that something may finally be happening. It was the end of our Estimated Guess date period, the last day to be exact. The 40 week guess window was February 26-March 4. It was now March 4. Earlier a couple of weeks ago, he had talked about how excited he would be, even if it were the middle of the night, he wouldn’t sleep when things began occurring. I didn’t care either way. My point of view is let the birth partner sleep in early labor. I really would have let him sleep if I knew this was completely under control, but I really wanted him there!
When I voiced my concern, he agreed to stay up to time a few contractions, to see if they would become even stronger and closer together. I leaned on the birth ball over the bed while he lay on the bed timing them. At 12:30, they were a bit stronger, every 4 and a half minutes at 45 seconds each. Because my first child’s birth had been induced using pitocin, with the epidural coming after a handful of intense waves, I had nothing to compare these too. We decided to text my sisters, a couple of girlfriends, the midwife, and doula, just to give them a heads up that I was having pressure sensations unlike anything I’d yet experienced. My doula texted back to try to get some sleep if I could because she said I would need my energy later. I decided that was a good idea. I wanted to sleep, but I was too excited. At one point I was shivering with excitement. I put on some frankincense oil, which I learned from Essential Survival pregnancy e-book, calms anxiety. I took a warm shower. I inhaled Young Living’s Peace & Calming oil before my shower. Then I added a few drops of Lavender oil into the shower before climbing in, while my hubby timed contractions on the toilet seat. I got back on the birth ball to relax, and my husband lay on the bed facing me. My 15 yr old daughter got out the air mattress next to camp out next to our bed. We all hoped that this was it. She was excited and hopeful this was it. We turned on the Early Birthing Time hypnobabies CD track. I began to need my partner’s verbal and touch support during waves, as we’d practiced with Hypnobabies.
By 2am, the pressure waves were a bit stronger, lasting 53 sec, every 4 min. I felt a bit like I had to have a bowel movement with each birthing wave. I decided it best to call our midwife Chris. She said to come on in to the birth center. We got our birthing bags, pillows, and baby car seat to the car. Jay stopped at WalMart to get a veggie and fruit tray for the staff, while my daughter and I waited in the vehicle. My birthing music playlist was playing. I had begun using my hypnobabies tools of “Peace” and light switch to handle to birthing sensations. We drove the 1.5 miles to the birth center, while one of my favorite birthing songs played: Siulil a Run by Celtic Woman. That made me so happy hearing it. We got to the birth center and there were 2 flights of stairs to climb. I began a birthing wave just as a started up the stairs. I focused and climbed the stairs fast. It wasn’t easy but I wasn’t about to stop, either! The midwife apprentice met us at the top of the stairs in the birthing suite. She took my vitals and checked baby’s heart rate while I rested through waves on the couch. My daughter found a cozy chair to nap in for a half hour.
I was excited and walked around looking at my environment. I sat on my birth ball leaning over pillows on the bed as my husband lovingly assisted me through waves as I cued the beginning of waves.
A good thing about this birthing center is that we let things unfold naturally. Although the midwife apprentice offered to check to see how far dilated I was when we arrived, I declined. I trusted my own body and didn’t want the mind interfering or interjecting meaning behind the work my body intrinsically knew how to do. (I put little importance into how dilated the cervix is, this method is over relied in, in my opinion). I put my lotus oil from Vibes Up on. This oil is rare and functions as an opener, on all levels. I put out my altar items on the nightstand by the bed. First was my statue of the Goddess Kali, the great giver, protector, and destroyer of life. Second was my lotus oil from Vibes Up. Third was a purple picture of the flower of life. Lastly was my my 2011 Ogden Marathon Race Medal.
My midwife Chris walked in around 3am and without hesitating came straight towards me and gave me a BIG HUG. I just melted in love and knew I was in good hands. She has always made me feel completely loved and safe. I told her how I was doing. I told her I was still experiencing pressure that felt slightly like I needed to have a BM. (That’s not technically supposed to happen, I thought, til pushing. These were mild though. I knew from my research that a very powerful urge like that can occur when you start the pushing phase).
Around 3am the waves were coming closer and longer. I remember thinking and using the affirmation “MY BODY IS STRONG! AND CAPABLE.” which was also posted on the wall as a reminder in our the body’s ability to birth. I knew I was in active labor, without actually having this thought. It is only now that I think about it I make that connection.
We had stopped timing contractions since leaving home, but I knew it was time to alert our doula around 3:30am. I had asked for the water in the pool to be drawn about the same time we alerted our doula Talya to come in. Talya arrived about 4am. My husband left to the kitchen to take a snack break and Talya andithe midwife apprentice stayed and rubbed my back and pushed on my knees as I sat on the bed for a couple of intense waves. My doula was very good at calmly scripting as I cued her as to when other waves began. I really don’t remember much…things were focused.
“I’m ready” by Imani Uzuri came on when my husband came back and I could no longer sit. I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable lying on the bed either. So we stood. I would lean into my husband during waves and my doula would rub my back and shoulders and script softly into my ear to enhance the relaxation response. I also remember looking at the beautiful pictures on the wall of the hands touching (and also of one of the newborns) as an inspiration and a focusing agent.
I enjoyed hearing the music and that was one of my key supports. It was like the music was it’s own entity, supporting me throughout the entire birthing process. Music by Anton Mizerak, Enya, and Karunesh, among others, were featured on my playlist. Without fail, the perfect songs would come on just when I needed them. The only song that bugged me and was too manic was Calypso, by John Denver. I had my husband skip that one.
After a few birth waves of standing up and leaning into my husband against standing up, I declared that I would like to labor in the birthing pool. The midwives assisted me into the 101 degree water. It felt great. I welcomed the submersion into water that I’d so missed during pregnancy. Then I had a break from birthing waves. I did not have a pressure wave for a twice as long as had been occurring, which was nice. When they began again, I cued my team by saying ”Release” so Talya could gently guide me and Jay could also support me with touch as learned in hypnobabies class. There came a time when I told him, “that is too much pressure,” as his hands were being extra strong in an effort to help. I asked for only mild gentle touching. My husband says I would say “that was quite the peak” after a wave would subside, and that this went on for several waves. He said there came a point where that stopped altogether, and I really liked to just rest and get a sip of water in between waves. This was what is referred to as tranformation in hypnobabies terminology. I remember asking my doula to help remind me to breathe deeply, as I was getting to a point where it would be really easy to hold my breath, tense up, and resist the waves. About this time I requested lavender oil to help me relax also. The doula soaked a cloth with some and would place it near my nose. Also, a cold, wet cloth was placed on my forehead, which was refreshing. I attempted a couple of position changes, leaning over the tub, stomach facing the water. Once with Jay, and later once with Talya, I would gaze at them and they would lovingly affirm me, but I found that position was not at all comfortable. The most relaxing position for me was on my back, stomach facing up. I asked for the pool to be cooled down and I looked at myself in the mirror. I got nauseous a couple of times during birthing waves, only. I requested my altar items to be set on the wall board to gaze at, which the team immediately did. I remember asking Jay at one point to get in his swim trunks, in case I invited him in the water.
And then it happened. I gave a primal half-grunt, as a surge with the urge to push rushed through me. This one quickly came and went though, as if to signal me that it was time. I moved to my final birthing position, facing out towards the room. *One thing I will note is that the transformation waves were unpredictable in length and strength. Some were shorter and less intense, some strong and long. The rest of the birth experience seemed to be this way.
I invited my partner Jay into the tub. He sat opposite sides of me, and I put my legs on the sides, up over his forearms. This felt very good to me, and he would caress my legs and calves in between birthing waves. The urge to push was strong, and I naturally groaned loud, low, and long as I heaved and worked with the waves. I would say things like, “I love life,” “I love my body, thank you body,” and “I love everything, everybody!” I would wave my hands in the air to gather energy like I had done in yoga dancing. When a surge came on, I would grab the sides of the tub to help myself push. Talya would remind me to bring the hypno-anesthesia directly to where I needed it, and it would get closer to the exit, she would constantly remind me to “bring the hypo-anesthesia in front of your baby’s head.” That helped a lot. One of the midwives encouraged me to check to feel where the head was, it was 2 inches up from the exit. At one point. Chris pulled up a chair and encouraged me to focus. She said, “Don’t sit on the exit.” The midwife apprentice, on my left, would say “You’re doing great,” and other things.
I’d never felt anything so intense in my life when the pushing would start. I would want to tense up, but remember to relax like the hypnobabies practice I did for days and weeks on end encouraged. I groaned long and deeply while pushing with each surge. After several moments, Chris got my attention. She asked me to direct my energies down towards the baby’s exit, with my breath, like I did in yoga. She said it’s not good to let the baby stay in the canal too long. Chris asked me to feel my baby’s head gently. I did. My husband and daughter tell me I got the most melting look, exclaiming, “IT’S SO SOFT!”