Our first pregnancy and birth had many complications and even though we ended up with the natural we wanted, it was very hard and my recovery took a long time. When we decided to get pregnant again we knew we wanted a different experience.
For our second child Jason (my husband) and I decided to go with a midwife and have a home waterbirth using Hypnobirthing techniques.
On Thursday January 19 two days past our “guess date” I began having strong cramps. I didn’t think too much of it because I’d been having cramps on and off for a couple days. Jason and our 22-month-old daughter and I continued the day as usual; we had a doctor’s appointment, did some shopping, enjoyed a steamer at Starbucks and had company over for dinner.
By 8pm the cramps began to change and have peaks. I was still very comfortable and wasn’t sure that this was the start of labor. But by 10:30pm I thought I should phone our doula just in case this turned into something over night. Still I felt great and we decided to head off to bed.
By 11:45 the peaks were getting too uncomfortable to lie down so I woke up Jason and we headed down stairs where he attached the TENS to my lower back and I began to walk in a circle through our living room and dinning room.
At 12:30 the intensity was building, as the peaks grew closer together. We decided to phone the doula. Laura arrived just after 1am as the intensity increased again. Through this whole time I continued to walk in a circle and by now needed silence and deep pressure on my lower back during these intense peaks.
By 1:30am Jason decided it was time to phone the midwife and she arrived shortly before 2am. When the midwife arrived she checked me and I was 4cm dilated and on the verge of active labor. However, in my mind I knew this was going to happen quickly. With my first child labor progressed gradually and I was experiencing comfortable peaks for over 6 hrs before labor started to pick up. This was a whole different experience. Everything was happening much quicker. I could feel my body working hard and doing all the right things. During each peak I imagined my body dilating quickly and efficiently and pictured my baby coming to me. I knew this time it was going to be quick, easy and gentle.
By 2:45am our midwife insisted we head to the hospital (because it was a weekend there was only one midwife on call and therefore births had to be done at the hospital). By now, the peaks were getting so strong I could no longer stand. I was kneeling against the ottoman in the living room. My body was working so hard that my muscles shook uncontrollably during a peak as I completely let go all control.
My mom arrived shortly after to stay with our sleeping daughter and we headed to the hospital. It was a difficult ride but we made it! I got in a wheel chair and we headed up to labor and birth.
We arrived in our room at 3am and I had my first push in the wheel chair and my water broke. There was no time to fill the tub for our much anticipated water birth, there was hardly time to get undressed and go on the bed and no time to be checked. Jason propped the head of the bed up and I knelt leaning against the head of the bed. I reached down and could already feel my baby’s head. Two intense peaks later and I gently guided my baby’s head out with my hand and one my push she slipped out at 3:09am.
It happened so fast my body was shacking, my muscles were weak and I was in shock. That couldn’t possibly be it! That was too easy! And not even a slight tear.
Paisley Brooke entered the world alert, wide-eyed and eager to breastfeed. After staying in the hospital for 3hrs we got to go home and Prairie got to wake up to her baby sister just like we wanted.
Even though we didn’t have the home water birth we wanted, it couldn’t have been anymore perfect.
written by Jenni Krall
You might enjoy reading more birth stories from some of my hypnobirthers so that you can an idea of what a gentle and calm birth can be like. https://birthbliss.ca/category/birth-stories/
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