It was a typical and usual Tuesday where I was having dinner with my family at a restaurant, where I experienced my first birth sign – the birth show. I knew that my baby was ready to come, but not at this very moment yet, so I continued enjoying my dinner. It was only after the dinner, when I notified my husband about the birth show.
The surges followed abruptly soon. It got harder and harder to walk after my dinner as I initially planned to do some grocery shopping, instead, could only stay in the car and patiently waited for my husband to do the shopping for me. I felt much better sitting in the car and practicing the HypnoBirthing breathing as my body instructed me to. All I had in my mind was, ‘Breathe. Long and deep. Breathe.’
When I returned home, the surges became a bit stronger. I lied down on the couch comfortably and practiced my surge breathing while interchanging with my calm breathing technique. My mind was blank because I knew my mission was to be as relaxed as I could be, so I just kept on breathing and breathing and went deeper into relaxation while my husband was busy trying to contact my midwife and the birth photographer.
My midwife and her assistant came shortly after my husband contacted them. When they came, I was still lying in the couch practicing my breathing, calm and quiet. They checked on me and my baby, listened to my surges, and did a vaginal examination. My midwife pinpointed to me the muscles that had to be further relaxed. The vaginal examination didn’t take long. I picked up my breathing techniques right after and found my mind and body falling into a much-relaxed state quickly again. My midwife finished with the assessment and informed me that I was still in the early part of the labor process.
My early labor progressed very slowly. There was no need to rush my labor, so we let it take its own pace. I spent the whole night lying on the couch, practicing the breathing techniques and relaxation over and over again. With my husband and midwife with me, I knew I was safe and protected. I felt the surges coming over again and again. I couldn’t get into a deep sleep, but it was still pretty relaxed because I focused solely on my breathing. I enjoyed this calm, quiet and peaceful night.
When the morning came, I was still in the early laboring stage. After checking the baby’s condition, my midwife asked me to contact her again when the surges become much stronger with closer intervals, leaving me to a peaceful and private labor while allowing my husband to spend time and to take care of me. In the meanwhile, I kept on listening to rainbow relaxation and continued to practice the breathing techniques, switching between sitting on the birth ball and lying on the couch. My husband gave me some light touch massage to help me further with relaxation.
As time progresses, the surges became much stronger than in the afternoon. I didn’t feel any pain in my abdomen area as I continued to use the breathing techniques, slowly and calmly. However, cramps began to arise in my thighs resulting in my husband putting a TENS machine to help with the relief of the uncomfortable feeling.
When my birth photographer came, I was lying on the couch quietly. At first glance, she said, “Wow! I can’t believe that she is laboring. She is so calm.” After hearing this comment, I felt happy and proud. This made me enjoy my labor more as I was lying in my most comfortable position, connecting with my baby and patiently waiting for him to come.
My midwife returned in the afternoon, but my labor was still progressing very slowly. “I know you feel very comfortable at the couch but perhaps you need to be more active. Come on! Let’s move!” she mentioned as she encouraged me to walk around the house and requested my husband to cook some eggs for me to gain more energy. “Let’s go out and breathe some fresh air too!” she said as she took us outside. I thought my midwife was just bringing me out to walk around in my small neighborhood, but instead, we drove to a nearby street, or steep hill in this case, as she parked the car. “Haha! You should be kidding me, right?” I yelled out, startled while looking at the steep hill with a 45 degree incline. “No! Let’s walk up the hill!” She said as she smiled at me. “You can do it! I’m here with you. Let’s walk up together!” I always encouraged my HypnoBirthing couples to do some walking if they want to speed up laboring naturally. I could never have imagined that my midwife pushed me out of my limits to walk uphill during laboring! It’s definitely not an easy task as my husband and midwife supported me the entire way of the hike and the best part, I did it! My midwife and her assistance gave me a massage when we returned home, which was one of the best parts of the laboring where I could relax each and every muscle and go even more deeper into relaxation right after walking uphill. The laboring progressed much faster after, and looking back, it was definitely worth hiking with all my might!
I became more active during my late laboring. I took hot showers for a few times and it was so relaxing to have hot water running over my body. Even the surges got stronger and stronger, they were still manageable. I continued to be more active by walking up and down the stairs with my husband. It was hard since the surges became much stronger and closer. My husband encouraged me by giving me a kiss every round when I finished walking up and down. “Come on! You can do it! One more round. One more round,” my husband yelled with encouragement. With my husband’s support, I couldn’t tell how many rounds of stairs I have walked. In return, my labor reacted well to all my movements and progressed nice and fast.
“Are you ready? Now you can get into the pool!” my midwife said as I was very excited that she finally allowed me to get into the water! I was looking forward to laboring in water for so long! I have always been visualizing to labor and to give birth to my son in the water. Excited, I had prepared for this moment for such a long time! I just couldn’t wait to get into the water!
The water in the pool was much hotter than I expected. It took me a while to adapt to the temperature and to finally submerge myself into the water. Another wave of relaxation washed all over my body as I was immediately released, feeling calm and peaceful while the surges became stronger and stronger. My husband read me some of my favorite birth affirmations as I went deeper into a state of relaxation and patiently waiting for my baby. After changing into different positions in the pool, I didn’t feel my baby was ready to come just yet, so I came out of the pool and walked around the house, trying to stay active during my labor. Afterwards, my laboring progressed faster, as I went into the pool again, getting ready to give birth to my baby in the water. I tried to breathe my baby downward when the surges came, but it was still not the right time for the baby to be born yet…
Since I have been in the water for over 2 hours, and there were no signs that the baby would be born soon, continued length of stay in the water may slow down the laboring and birthing process. My midwife helped me get out of the pool as she said, “we have to try different positions out of the pool to give birth to the baby!” My husband got me onto the bed as I thought to myself, “I accept every turn my birthing takes.” This is one of my favorite affirmations that kicked in as I was lying on my husband’s thigh with his support, I was surrounded with love and support. As the surges increased and became even stronger, I became more vocal when I tried to breathe my baby out. Time passed by and I wasn’t able to keep track of time. In the back of my mind, I also didn’t want to keep track because all I had to do was to relax, to focus on myself and my baby. I tried giving birth a few times on the bed, but my baby seemed to not like this position very much resulting in me changing positions. I sat on the toilet… I walked… I squatted… beside my bed, with my husband’s support…
I got tired trying to birth my baby out, so I laid down on the floor. The midwife checked the baby’s heartbeat again and she informed me, “his heartbeat sounds good. The baby is happy!” I love how the midwife described the baby’s condition – He is happy! I know and can feel that the baby is waiting patiently to be born, so why should I rush my birth? I continued to perform my calm breathing when the surges stopped to restore energy for the next surge.
When the surges came in stronger and stronger, just breathing down the baby seemed not enough to bring the baby down at this stage, the natural expulsive reflex urged me to push the baby out! I kept breathing down and pushing for a few times with the surges. The midwife supported my thighs with a rebozo. Even though I didn’t feel much pain, I was still very vocal when I pushed as the sounds that I made gave me more power! “I see the baby’s head!” the midwife said while my husband’s voice became more apparent as he said, “You can do it! The baby will be born very soon! Our baby is coming!” The surge stopped again, so I had to wait for another surge to come before pushing my baby out! My husband could feel how tired I was after trying to push for such a long time. When the next surge came, what I didn’t expect was my husband’s next move. He could feel that it is the most opportune time and the baby is ready to come, so he yelled in synchronization of the screams together with me! His screams were even louder than mine! This was the greatest support I could ever have because it felt like my husband was giving birth WITH ME! WE DID THIS TOGETHER! When I thought I have just pushed the baby’s head out, my husband received the baby already!
My husband gently kissed the baby! “Welcome, our son!” my husband placed the baby on my chest, with tears in his eyes. “Oh my God! I did it!” I have been looking forward to this moment for so long ever since I taught HypnoBirthing. Even though I have been teaching HypnoBirthing for so long, watching so many birth videos, attending and supporting births as a doula, this magical moment of first touching my baby seemed unreal to me. I would never forget this first touch.
Looking at my little darling in my arm, all my tiredness went away! The only question I asked my midwife was about the tearing because not only did I breathe down the baby, I also did some pushing. My midwife double checked and assured me, ‘”No! There is no tearing! It is completely fine!” I was thrilled! Now I can say confidently that tearing can be preventable from birth! Not only from the ways I gave birth, but also from another preparations I learned from HypnoBirthing such as massages and exercises! They were all worth the amount of the time doing so!
I didn’t really keep track of the time. Even though I kept all the blinds down, I could still tell the nighttime turning into daytime and daytime turning into nighttime again. It was only after my birth that my husband told me that I had been laboring and giving birth for over 30 hours! I couldn’t believe it as it didn’t feel that long to me. Even though I had a long labor and things happened out of my birth plan, I was very proud that I could keep calm the entire time and had a drug-free, relaxed natural childbirth.
The first pic of Bentley with him showing a OK hand gesture!