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Extremely Empowering Birth Experience

beck6When I found out I was pregnant I struggled for 3 months to find the perfect OB, which didn’t happened. I struggled for 3 more months to find the perfect hospital midwife, which didn’t happened either. Meanwhile I was researching all the options women had in childbirth and I discovered that some women labor and deliver at home. (Gasp!) At home?! I could have a birth experience that didn’t require me to ever leave my house? It sounded relaxing, gentle, and absolutely delightful! I told my doula I was interested in exploring homebirth and she scheduled an appointment with homebirth midwives with whom she worked. Our first appointment was love at first sight for me! I immediately felt welcomed, comfortable and safe with Heather and Gerri.

Not only was I confident I had made the right choice in where I wanted to have my birth, but I was confident I was making the right choices in preparing myself mentally and physically for the big day. So when the time finally came on Monday May 9th I felt beyond ready.

I knew the real thing was happening when I started having surges which felt like none I had experienced before. The pressure was more intense and there was a tension that I hadn’t felt with previous surges. My husband stayed home from work and we were able to relax, soak in the hot tub, and watch movies all day. During surges, while watching the latest Harry Potter film, I would focus all of my energy into utilizing the breathing techniques I had learned in our HypnoBirthing class. As the night went on and my surges intensified I sat on my yoga ball, moving slowly back and forth and from side to side, walked around the house, and started using some vocal toning.

When active labor started and my doula arrived I created a comfort zone for myself in the living room. My husband put on my HypnoBirthing Affirmations track and I laid on the couch, breathing into each surge while staring at the birth art I had made to use as focal points. When I felt I needed to change positions I moved to my yoga mat. I did Cat-Cow and vocal toning during each surge and would rest in Child’s Pose. I would also switch between rocking on the birth ball and “slow dancing” with my husband, while my doula massaged by back. I think I used every technique we had practiced in our HypnoBirthing class, plus more when I needed something different. I also used vocal toning for almost every surge over the next 12 hours. (I had almost lost my voice by the end, but vocalizing helped me to send the vibrations and the breath down to my cervix. It made me feel strong and centered.)

IMG_3353After laboring in almost every room of my house for 9 hours my water finally broke. I had fallen asleep sitting backwards on the toilet, with my husband asleep against the wall behind me, his hands massaging my shoulders. (I’m not sure how he was able to continue massaging while snoozing, but I’m so thankful he did!) I ran out of the bathroom yelling, “My water broke! My water broke!” Heather settled me down and told me we still had time and I needed to really focus my energy now because the cushion was gone and the pressure was about to increase.

At this point I was able to sleep between surges, so I took naps between almost every one. I remember waking up for a surge, looking back at the window as I lay on the bed and realizing that it was light out. I had made it through the night! I ended up in what most refer to as the “pushing phase” for almost 3 hours. I was able to breathe down for the first hour, but after that my body was depleted of energy and was telling me I needed to push. Heather told me to listen to what my body was saying.

After encouragement from Heather, my doula and my husband, I gathered all the energy I had left to get up, get something to eat, and change positions to deliver our baby. The midwives were cooking breakfast – I could smell something on the stove and coffee brewing – and someone made me scrambled eggs. I ate eggs, strawberries, spoonfuls of honey, yogurt and cheese. It worked almost instantly to boost my energy.

IMG_3375I moved into the birth tub, took a squatting position, and started to feel my baby moving down with each surge. What an amazing sensation to reach down and feel my baby’s head. He was going to be with us any minute! Although that feeling gave me the energy to get him out, I needed my husband to hold me up. He jumped in the tub, sat behind me and supported me through those last few pushes. I could feel a burning sensation and Heather reminded me not to push, but to focus on her and maintain my breathing. The burning stopped almost immediately when I used my breath. I leaned back into my husband, gave one last push and our little man finally arrived. I could hear my husband laughing and sobbing behind me as we held the most beautiful baby boy.

William Roman joined us on May 10th, at 9:48AM, weighing 6 lbs. 9 ounces and measuring 19 inches long. He was healthy and perfect in every way!

Thank you, Heather and Gerri, for guiding us to have the calm and gentle birth experience we imagined. Not only was it an incredibly empowering experience for me as a women transitioning into motherhood, but our family bond is now stronger than ever! We are forever grateful.