On Saturday evening before our estimated due date, I had a little bloody show that we took as a sign that we’d be starting labor soon. Although “Dr. Google“ suggested that it could still be as much as 2 weeks away…
Regardless, I decided to treat myself to a relaxing Epson salt bath while listening to my birth playlist and HypnoBirthing affirmations. My intuition told me that we would be in labor soon, and sure enough I woke up around 4:30 am with noticeable surges. Chris woke up and loved on me while I breathed through some mild surges. We laid down and I gave myself the “suggestion” that as long as Chris’ hand was on my belly he was transferring a feeling of calm and anesthesia to my uterus … it worked well and we were able to go back to sleep until around 7:30 am.
My parents had come from Utah to support us and be here for our older son, so we spent some time with them. I had intermittent surges throughout the day, which we attempted to time… but they were inconsistent, so I just focused on reading and “pampering” myself. I took 3 naps, accompanied by the HypnoBirthing rainbow relaxation and other guided meditations. It was a lovely, mellow day. My intention was just to allow my body to slowly open and allow baby to move down in preparation to come out. We were in communication with our midwife and trying to assess when to tell her to come over… this was tricky. We watched for signs of labor getting more “serious” but it was just moving slow and easy. Around 5 pm I decide to take a shower, which turned into a bath, during which I fell asleep resting on my side and just tuning in with my body, enjoying my music and reaffirming my affirmations, etc.
I was awoken to a series of moderate surges that felt quite productive and my intuition told me “this is transition”… I felt like we should call the midwife to get here because it’s going to pick up after this… which didn’t make logical sense because they weren’t all THAT intense, and with my older son, transition happened after about an hour of really active labor. Regardless, I talked to the midwife and told her I felt like it was time for her to head over, knowing it would take about 45 minutes or so, since she was up in Carlsbad.
Chris and I decided to nap/listen to a guided meditation. I awoke after about 20-30 minutes and got up. My dad and I walked out to watch the sunset, and by the time the midwife and doula arrived I answered the door, walking/talking and feeling fine! I hadn’t had another surge since the bathtub, and was thinking that I had called her too early.
She was surprised to see me up and around, after the call telling her I was starting to have more active labor, but she assured me that it was fine, false alarms happen with birth, and she would just listen to baby’s heartbeat since she was here, then they could leave and come back when it was really GO time.
We settled in on the couch and she asked to touch my belly (she always asks for permission to touch me/us) and once she did (she described to me later) she felt herself go into a bit of a trance, she told me later that she’s never particularly believed in “the goddess” but she definitely felt like she was in the presence of goddess energy, and she began to relate a very clear vision she was having of my son all grown up and standing tall in the moonlight, with broad shoulders and a “peaceful warrior” like energy. She said he’s not a “fierce” warrior, but he is committed to standing up for what is right. It was a beautiful vision and as she shared with me, it helped me expand my vision of my son and his future as well.
Kayti (midwife) asked me “what do you want? Do you want to have your baby today?”
I had been reading the book that Care recommended, Labor Like A Goddess, and my intuition told me that I needed to choose to be willing pass through the gates of birth, into the unknown and embrace whatever may come in the birth journey. Having my Midwife and support team there helped me feel confident to fully release and step into the unknown and choose IN to having this be my baby’s birth day!
I decided that I did want him to be born today, I just didn’t want it to be too late. It was already about 7pm and I wasn’t interested in staying up allllll night!
Regardless, we moved into the bedroom to try some side lying positions that Kayti recommended to help baby move from my right side to the left, and once we started that, my surges came back stronger and more consistent. Kayti and our doula, Madeline, supported me though a few strong surges, then asked Chris to take over while they prepped for the birth. We had a homebirth kit ready with all the items that she said we may need.
Chris was wonderful at supporting me as I breathed deeply and vocalized through each surge, doing my best to allow my body to open and my baby to move down into position. To accept and allow the “pain” without resisting or attaching to it. To just be with it and then fully release any tension in my body after each surge subsided. After a few decent surges I felt something bulge and then my water broke! This was it!!
We really were in labor and we knew that birth was imminent! Chris told me afterward that he felt fully prepared from the HypnoBirthing class with Care, as well as the appointments with our midwife. As a Former Marine with the mind of an engineer, it’s very important for him to have all the information and a plan of action for each possible scenario. He was confident and composed, and I felt so safe and supported!
I had tested positive for GBS, so while we had a back up plan of using antibiotics in the event that my water was broken for longer than 18 hours, we had definitely held the intention that my water would stay intact right up until baby was ready to come! He was born about 1 hour after my water broke!
Soon the birth tub was filled with water and I was able to climb in! What a relief! Water makes everything SO much more bearable!
Chris and my mom took turns pouring water in my back and belly and I moved around in the tub a bit, resting my head on the edge, then trying to find the most comfortable position.
Before long the surges were very strong and I was ready for my baby to pass through the final gate and come down and out into the world! My midwife noticed me arching up out of the water and asked what I was feeling. I told her “I’m ready for him to come out!”
She offered to check my cervix, asked if I wanted that, as it was the first and only time she checked me. I consented and as soon as she felt, she knew why I was feeling ready to birth! My baby’s head was right there! She suggested I feel for myself, and I was SO happy to reach in and touch his head!
“Yes!! I am so close! I can birth my baby now!” I thought! She told me to go ahead and push when I was ready so with the next surge I have a good push and held him there like Care taught us. One more big push and I had his head out! Yes!! I had a third, strong push, but he didn’t budge!
Kayti checked him and felt that his shoulder was lodged. She got very serious and told me something like “ok we have a shoulder. (She didn’t say it was stuck) “What needs to happen next is that you get out of the tub and birth your baby on your hands and knees.”
I heard the seriousness of her voice and immediately stood up, protected the baby’s head and stepped out of the tub. I got down onto all fours and Kayti got behind me. With the next surge I pushed with every ounce of strength I could muster and Kayti wiggled and jiggled the baby free. He came out!!
It took me a second to pause and take a breathe and then I reached down and scooped up my baby!! What a relief!!
After some bonding time with me and Chris, we did the newborn check and discovered that baby Valor weighed in at 9 pounds and 4 ounces!! Whew!! Also his chest/shoulders are bigger than his head, which explains the should dystocia. Luckily we resolved it quickly and easily!! And I didn’t even tear! Yes!!
- Relax and rest as much as possible.
- Listen to your intuition and trust your body and your baby!
- Open and allow the process to unfold, even when it hurts.
You’ve got this mommas!! Daddy’s- your role is so important! Help mom feel safe and remind her what an amazing goddess she is!! Sending lots of love!!! Enjoy your journey through the portals and gates of birth!!