From the moment I read about hypnobirthing, I knew it was right for me. And the thought of having a water birth sounded so natural and soothing, I was all about it. So my husband ordered up our birthing pool and we prepared ourselves for a home hypno-water birth! Having the baby at home was something I always wanted. You just can't beat the comforts of home, among your own things and germs.
Thankfully we live in one of 3 states that 'allow' unassisted home births. Obviously you can't stop the baby from being born if the baby is ready and mother is not at the hospital (we've all heard the taxi cab birth stories!) but only 3 states actually allow you to plan it out that way. We thought about a midwife, then decided we could handle anything she can. If there is a special circumstance (or emergency) 911 is called, midwife or no midwife.
So with my husband's support, a birthing pool, and my hypnobirthing book we decided to embark on one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. I wouldn't have had the guts or confidence for a home birth without the knowledge gained from hypnobirthing, without a doubt. It helped me to remain calm, collected, relaxed and gave me the skills to experience a pain-free, natural childbirth.
So here is my life-changing childbirth story:
It all starts with the night before my beautiful gal entered this world. I went to bed and told my hubby that Baby was going to be here tomorrow. He chuckled at me since my due date wasn't for another 2 weeks, but I was still considered 'full term' and so ready to meet our new addition. We had everything we needed: a birthing pool & accessories, umbilical clamps, Shepards Purse (incase of excessive bleeding), towels (lots of towels, this is a water birth after all), chux pads, and more. All the important stuff, and probably some we never needed.
I woke up at 4am to go to the bathroom, as usual, but as soon as I got out of bed, water trickled down my leg. This being my first baby, I wasn't entirely sure I was actually in labor. I woke my husband to let him know I might be in labor and tried to lay back down and sleep. That didn't happen. I felt the surges (contractions) starting, which felt like cramps to me. I spent most of the morning in the bathroom.
My hubby kept asking me if he should get the pool ready. We decided he should probably set it up, but to hold off on the water for a little while. Around 8:30-9am, he started filling the birthing pool with lukewarm water and stoked up a fire in our wood burning stove (the pool was in the same room with the fire, it was very relaxing). I didn't get in the pool right away, as I was still making frequent trips to the bathroom.
On my last trip to the bathroom, I noticed some blood on the toilet tissue and knew Baby was on the way. The surges were coming really close together, so close I couldn't really 'time' them. I made my way to the pool and squatted on my knees once I got in.
With a 3" inflatable floor, it was surprisingly comfortable. As I leaned over the side of the birthing pool, squatting/on my knees, my hubby performed the light touch massage on my arm and back, which we learned from hypnobirthing. It's a great way to help your body release it's own pain killing endorphins.
With every surge, I would breathe, not push. I could feel the baby making her (we didn't yet know that she was a she) way into this world, closer and closer with each surge. I felt the baby moving down the birth canal and when each surge would stop, she would move back up it a little bit. Hypnobirthing explains this as your body's way of allowing your skin time to stretch, which prevents tearing. Perineal massage can also help greatly in avoiding tears.
My husband was still in the process of filling the pool, adding a little more warm water at my request. I wanted the water warmer, but I also knew I needed him there, as baby was coming at any moment.
After a few surges, Baby's head was crowning and visible. But as I said before, she moved back up the birth canal a little, so at first it was like her head came out some, then back in. With the next surge, her entire head was out.
My husband said in excitement "There's a head, I see a head. What do I do?"
"Nothing, just wait." I replied.
And with the last surge, our precious water baby came swimming out into her daddy's loving arms. I heard a small cry as he pulled her out of the water, announced that she was a she and handed her up to me through my legs. Her color was perfect, not blue at all. I (and everyone else) couldn't believe how perfect her complexion was at birth and shortly after!
There was no pain, no tearing, no stitches needed, no drugs taken.
The baby and I stayed in the water for awhile afterwards, nursing and still in awe of how perfect everything went. After the cord was done pulsing (about 20 mins.) Dad cut it and clamped the end on Baby's belly.
The after birth (placenta) took a couple hours before I delivered it. That was more difficult than delivering the baby. With the baby, all I had to do was remain relaxed. With the after birth however, I had bear down to deliver it, which seemed like more of a chore and required more energy than with the baby.
Our beauty weighed 8lbs, 18" long and couldn't be more perfect.
I am so grateful I was able to experienced how truly awesome our bodies can be, if only we let them do their job.