In Less Than 2 ½ hours, I Became A New Mom All Over Again

This week’s birth story comes from one of our very own instructors Holly Oden who teaches Hypnobirthing (Serenity Birth School) in and around Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

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“At 1:19am I woke and felt a downward trickling sensation followed by cramping. I thought I was feeling my waters release, so I went to the bathroom to check. To my surprise, I was right! The day before I was exhausted and nesting BIG TIME but had no major signs of labor.  This, along with the fact that we thought Kye would arrive 2-4 weeks later, made everything a surprise.


After checking my waters, I went into our room and woke Wil to let him know I was in labor, and surges had started. Next on the list of people to wake was our doula and birth photographer. I texted them with the news and headed downstairs to grab a protein ball. I headed back upstairs right after because I had already experienced several surges. Wil met me at the bedroom door with a look of disbelief on his face. “I f@#&%$ up!” he told me, “The hardware I bought doesn’t fit the hose.  We can’t fill the birth pool.” He wanted to search the basement for a replacement. I was disappointed, but simply I asked him not to search too long and told him not to stress about it.


Between surges, I put on a bra and braided my hair—two things I’d wanted to do last time but didn’t get around to. I experienced several surges before finishing my braid. They seemed close together, so I began to time them. They were already 2 ½ minutes apart, but it had only been 20 minutes and each surge only lasted 30 seconds. I felt conflicted. My intuition told me it was time to call my birth team, but it seemed too early. I also didn’t want to inconvenience anyone by asking them to arrive only to wait around for forever. During my first birth everything started quickly but then switched to slow and steady. I felt unsure about what I should do.

I decided to go ahead and call my doula, Brooke. I figured she was probably still sleeping and hadn’t seen my text. Not wanting to inconvenience her, I simply explained what was happening and told her I’d try to go back to sleep (I knew that’s what my midwife would recommend doing). She suggested I keep her posted and call or at least text my midwife, Amber.


I rang Amber. She seemed a bit surprised to hear it was me on the other end of the line. I’d gone in for a prenatal appointment the day before. I told her I thought Kye was going to debut early, but neither of us would have guessed it would be in less than 24 hours. She asked if I was having surges and I told her I was and that they weren’t very intense, and it had only been thirty minutes since everything started.  She reminded me of the 411 rule (surges that are 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each, and having been consistent for 1 hour). I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, so I told her I’d call back when they were lasting longer, and the intensity increased. My gut told me it was time, but my head said it could be a while like my last birth.


Hanging up the phone, I laid down and focused on my breathing and relaxation techniques. Sleep was not imminent.  My surges were too close together to go back to bed and my sensations getting stronger. I called Wil and told him he needed to come upstairs… now! I knelt with my knees on the floor and my head on the bed and continued breathing deeply through the waves. My mind wondered.  What if I didn’t have enough strength without the birth pool? What if I needed the comfort and support of the pool? I quickly shut that fear down, “My surges cannot be stronger than me, because they are me.” I knew my body and I knew myself. All would be well.


By this time, my “Contraction Timer” app aggravated me. It had been telling me to grab my bags and head to the hospital since before I called Brooke. Every time I signalled the end of a surge the app would repeat itself; urging me to leave. It said my surges were still only about 40 seconds long, but I decided to text Brooke anyways saying, “I think you should come.” Her response made me happy: “I think so.”


About that time, Wil took his place by my side. We headed to the bathroom so I could labor on the toilet, but I didn’t even sit down. Squatting was uncomfortable. I stood in the bathroom with my arms around Wil’s neck. I hung on him for a couple of waves. I leaned my head on his chest and relaxed. His heartbeat and warmth felt comforting against my cheek.


We slowly made our way back to the bedroom. Each surge now took my full focus. I hummed through them. Wil helped me to the floor and brought my yoga ball over. I leaned into the ball and rested my head on it for the next surge—then quickly shoved it away. The ball that was so comfortable before now felt like a megaphone shouting my vocalizations back at me. I paused on hands and knees thinking to myself, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.” I recognized these same thoughts from last time.  For me, they marked transition. “I DO KNOW what to do! My body knows what to do,” I reminded myself. Even though he had no idea what was going through my mind, Wil stayed right there with me gently stroking my back. I asked him to bring me a drink of water.  He sweetly grabbed my glass and tilted it toward me. “It’s spilling,” I exclaimed as cold water poured all down the front of me! He responded with a quick, “Of course.” Those were two words I couldn’t stand. “Don’t say ‘of course’,” I said. We needed to stay positive. There was no room for negativity. Wil seemed to understand.


I kept to the floor on my hands and knees. My humming was getting louder. I suddenly felt my body bear down. “Did my body just push?!” I questioned. Realizing Baby Kye could arrive at any time, I reminded myself that my midwife didn’t have to catch our baby. If it was just Wil and I when Kye was born, we would all be safe. Then, I moved to our bed to lay on my side. Wil continued to massage my back and played a Hypnobirthing track for me. I focused solely on my body, my muscles, and my breath. Between surges, I broke focus only to ask Wil to call Amber and our photographer, Kendra.


Amber arrived first, quietly entering with her massive backpack. I asked her how far along she thought I was, and she said it probably wouldn’t be long since I was already bearing down. I wanted to be on hands and knees to catch baby myself but worried I may run out of endurance. “Your body knows what to do,” she reassured me. I knew this was true, so I paused to listen to what I was feeling. I wanted to be on hands and knees.  I knew birthing on all fours would make catching Kye easier, but side lying felt right. I stayed on my side with Wil supporting my right leg.


After a while, I realized the room had gone silent. I called out to see if anyone was there. Knowing I didn’t want to be alone; Amber came along side me and sweetly placed a hand on my calf to assure me she was near. She let me know Wil was letting his parents and Monica, my student midwife, into the house. Wil’s parents brought a fitting for the hose.


With the hose hooked up, Wil and Amber worked on inflating and filling the pool. Meanwhile, Monica took my blood pressure and monitored me as I continued birthing. I barely noticed what was going on around me. I tuned in to my body even more. I could feel my uterine muscles moving Kye down. “My body is capable. I will trust my body,” I thought. I allowed my breath to move downward with my baby. “He’s coming!!!” I announced. I asked Monica if she could see him. She couldn’t, but I could feel him getting close. Soon I felt a stretch. I reached for his head but felt his sac instead. Kye was being born en caul; something I’d wished for before my first boy, Jax, was born. Feeling Kye emerging, I asked Wil to go wake Jax.


While I waited, I let go of everything. I let my body have control and move baby boy down. I exhaled for as long as my body requested. I relaxed my upper body and legs. I felt stretched to the max, but knew my body wanted me to continue. I listened. Working with my surges, I breathed Kye down. Then, there was a pause. Jax pointed to his brother’s head and started talking to him. I smiled inside and then used my breath and my voice one last time to bring Kye earthside. He was born completely en caul. Monica unwrapped him from his cord and handed me my beautiful boy. “He’s here! He’s already here!” I could hardly believe it.


I introduced Jax to his new brother and then finally made my way to the pool to birth Kye’s placenta. After all was done, I relaxed in the warm water and stared down in awe as my second baby boy nursed for the very first time. In less than 2 ½ hours, I became a new mom all over again.”


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