"Welcome to the world, Oliver!" Our second child, Oliver, was born while we were living in Norway. I was grateful that I had had an unmedicated birth with my first child, since this was the norm in Norway. I felt prepared and confident that I could do it again. However, even with a successful unmedicated delivery utilizing the Hypnobirthing method, I still carried a lot of fear into my second pregnancy. I actively avoided thinking about labor for the first half of the pregnancy.
At 20 weeks I knew I needed to get to work if I wanted to be mentally prepared. I re-read my Hypnobirthing book. I started listening to my positive affirmations and daily hypnosis tapes. I hired a great birth consultant to help me to process my first labor. I did several fear releases about long and stalling labor and prepared myself for what I remember being a very rough transition to the final stages of labor. Despite all of this, I still wondered whether it was actually possible for me to have an “easy, comfortable” labor this time around or if it was something to be achieved eventually, trying to get better and better at each labor. I finally came to the conclusion that if I really believed what Marie Mongan taught with Hypnobirthing, then I should be able to achieve that ideal in this labor.
I had Braxton Hicks contractions frequently at the end of my pregnancy. The last few days I had prodromal labor that I felt would never end. I walked every morning and night, talked frequently to my belly, ate spicy food, and did anything I thought could bring on active labor. Finally, around 9:00pm on March 18 I went to the bathroom and my water broke. I was unsure at first if that's what it was, but it doesn't take long to figure it out when the fluid doesn't stop coming!
Around this point my contractions were getting really close together, between 3-4 minutes. We didn't have a car so the plan was to take a taxi to the hospital. But somehow the taxi app wasn’t working and the number we had written on the mirror by our front door for this exact moment wasn’t working either! When my husband told me that, I just stared at him blankly. He apologized and said not to worry about it, he would figure it out. He must have figured it out quickly because the taxi was probably there within 10 minutes. He threw all our stuff into the car and put an absorbent pad and a towel under me. The driver asked, “Where are you going?” I looked at my husband and said, “You didn’t tell him I am in labor??” Apparently the dispatcher didn't pass that small detail to the driver.
At this point, the driver got noticeably more nervous and was very quiet on the drive. I don’t blame him! I got refocused in the car breathing through my contractions. But with each contraction SO MUCH water kept coming out. I could feel water up the front, in the back…. I started getting really nervous that I was leaking all over this man's car!
When we arrived, I awkwardly stepped out of the car holding the huge wad of towel and absorbent pad with one hand in front of me, one hand behind my butt and started walking to the door. The driver anxiously helped get our stuff out of the car and then immediately examined his back seat where I had been sitting. Again, I don’t blame him! After watching a woman in labor step out of my taxi walking like that, I'd be nervous too! I waddled up to labor and delivery holding the towel between my legs. The midwife assigned to me smiled a little when she saw my towel and soaking pants and then gave me a huge pad, commenting that mine obviously wasn’t big enough. After 25 minutes in triage, she checked to see how far I was dilated; I was at 8 centimeters. She seemed a little surprised and then moved me to the birthing room. We got into the room and the midwife said “I can’t tell when you’re having contractions so you’ll have to let me know when you are ready to push. But he’ll probably arrive in about an hour.” We were a little skeptical at this because I progressed to an 8 with my first baby and stayed there for several hours. However, she was right.
I really appreciated the space the midwife gave me and was motivated by her confidence in letting me birth on my own. She remained in the room but just settled into a chair until I said I was ready to push. It didn’t feel like I was in the room very long before I said I needed to push. She calmly checked me and said I was ready. She coached me through pushing and within 30 minutes (12:48 a.m.) I was holding Oliver. I was so alert and aware of what was going on. It was amazing! I got to hold him in my arms for a long time and really soak in the moment.
They weighed him a little while later, but since we still hadn't adjusted to the metric system when she said he was 3990 grams it didn’t mean much. When we finally converted it we discovered he was over 2 pounds heavier than our first baby, Lily! 2 pounds! Lily was 6 pounds 12 ounces, 19.5 inches, and Oliver was 8 pounds 14 ounces, 20.5 inches! I knew he felt bigger than Lily at the end, but wow, no wonder he was still kicking my ribs all the time after he had dropped.
This birth was everything I had hoped for. After my water broke I could tell my contractions were getting stronger, but I was still able to talk and joke between the contractions. And again, after I went into the birthing room I could tell my contractions were even stronger, but I wouldn’t say I was in pain. From this experience I can now confidently say that my body was meant to birth and birth can happen without terrible pain.
Since this birth my passion to help others discover what their bodies can do has been my goal. I can't wait to help you discover what your amazing body can do and to help you achieve the birth you dream of.