Ashley’s Fourth Birth: Born in the Bathroom before midwife arrives!

February 8, 2014

Here’s a bit of my history, before I get to the birth! This is my 4th baby, my previous 3 were all born at home. I had a lot of fears about having another baby and after getting pregnant I very seriously considered having an elective c-section. Then I started looking into hypnobirthing. I felt like it could be the key to working through my fears and getting me through the pregnancy, even if it didn’t change the kind of birth I had.

Well, in addition to taking me from terrified of labor to excited and actually looking forward to it, the class really changed my life. Bringing a baby into the world is no longer an excruciating trial to endure, but a wonderful experience to treasure and look forward to! My first 3 births were 12-36 hours long, very painful, and exhausting. By the time the baby was out, I was 100% spent and didn’t have the energy or mental faculties to enjoy my tiny person and I thought that was what my births were destined to be.

I was contracting every 5-10 minutes Thursday evening, but could still walk and talk through them (although I’d frequently sit and breathe through them for practice) and was feeling like we would be having a baby soon. I didn’t want to get my hopes up though, and knew there was a good chance they would stop if I rested.

I went to bed at 10 listening to the relaxation tracks and woke up every hour or two to go to the bathroom and would have a few contractions, but was always able to fall right back asleep. At 4:30 my surges were strong enough that I didn’t think I’d be able to go back to sleep so I got up and sat on the birth ball, and watched How I Met Your Mother. I got about 5 minutes into a second episode when I was needing to focus intently on breathing through the surges and really wanted to be in the water, so off I went to the bath with a bottle of clary sage in hand. It felt AMAZING to be in the water!

I turned my hypnobirthing playlist on and was able to stay relaxed and comfortable until about 6, when I started to want some moral support so I called my husband Mel (he was upstairs sleeping) for some backup. He started timing contractions, kept me hydrated, and said affirmations. He texted our midwife, Melody, at 6:20 to tell her contractions were a minute long and 2 1/2 minutes apart.

At some point I got out of the tub to go to the bathroom and ended up laboring on the bathroom floor for a while. I tried sitting on the birth ball that Mel brought in and it was awful! The surges got VERY strong and I started feeling angry because it wasn’t supposed to hurt! I was all over the place, against the wall, on all fours, leaning on the ball, sitting on the toilet, holding on to Mel, and I remember thinking “I can’t do this! I’m going to the hospital for an epidural… this is just crazy!!” I realize now that was transition.

I asked Mel to bring in more hot water for the tub and I got in. I had no idea how dilated I was and figured I’d be in labor for the rest of the day, but I wanted to get an idea of whether or not I was progressing, so I reached down and I could feel the bag of water, crazy tight and very close to the opening! I told Mel to come feel the bag, which he did, and was shocked to realize that we were CLOSE. A minute later there was a POP and the bag of water ruptured!

I could feel the head coming down and had this huge surge of energy from realizing that I was going to meet my baby soon and felt the contractions change from the crazy intense transition surges to pushing the baby down surges. I had the thought that maybe I should not do anything until the midwife got there, but I felt so confident and comfortable with what was happening, that I knew it was okay for me to go ahead and just do my thing (not that I could really stop it at that point). It felt great! I so had this! I felt the baby’s head and got the uncontrollable urge to bear down. I got pretty vocal, but I was in complete control and very aware of where the baby was and what I needed to do. I was so excited about birthing the baby that it was hard to not go crazy on the pushing and wait for my body to be ready to birth her. I pushed during a couple contractions and knew she was moving down fast. I felt burning in one spot, so I slowed down, applied counter pressure, and then with one last push, I birthed the head. It was so exhilarating! Mel and I touched the tiny ears and head of hair, then I felt uncomfortable and thought “where’s the next contraction? I want this baby out!” One more push, and the baby was here!!

Mel and I put our hands around the tiny body and on the way to my chest I noticed the lack of boy parts . It’s a girl! Mel and I just stared at her and each other in disbelief and awe, our baby was here! She was perfect! We birthed her by ourselves! I felt wonderful and was so exhilarated by what I’d just experienced. She let out a cry a minute later, and latched on quickly. Mel called our midwife again, then the placenta came but a piece was still attached inside so we just left it there until Melody was there to help. Baby Kate and I hung out in the tub for about half an hour, then we transported upstairs… I had enough energy to walk!

It was such a wonderful expeeience! I’m still in awe over how empowering it was and I want to thank Lauralyn for being an amazing teacher and sharing such an amazing tool with moms looking for a natural, healthy, positive birthing experience! You rock! Hypnobirthing rocks! ~Ashley

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