"I’m not sure how, maybe it was the impending weigh-in at my 38 week appointment the next day, but I actually got up the motivation to get to the gym on a Monday morning. I woke up at 6am and was on the elliptical machine mid-workout when my water broke a little before 7. I literally froze mid-stride, completely in shock as I realized what had just happened. I waddle-ran to gather my things and head home and tell Kyle. As I texted him “My water broke” I remember briefly wondering if I was wrong and had actually just peed myself instead. In that case, I thought, I’m about to be really embarrassed.. Luckily for me, it was, in fact, my water and the start of August’s birth day!
I wasn’t having any pressure waves (Hypnobabies-speak for “contractions”) yet so planned to go back to sleep after checking in with the midwife on call, Vanessa, at Morningstar and my doula, Erin. I put in my “Deepening” Hynpobabies track which never failed to put me to sleep. Except this time. Almost immediately after laying down I started feeling what I would describe as intense menstrual cramps which became stronger and stronger over the next two hours. By 10am I was feeling very frustrated, wondering when my pressure waves would start. I was also starting to worry, the cramping was so intense that I began to wonder how I would handle actual pressure waves!
By 11am I couldn’t wait any longer and decided to go in to Morningstar and get checked out. Erin and Vanessa met us there and we went to the “Red Room”, the birthing room which we‘d chosen earlier. My “cramps” were coming every 2-3 minutes and an internal check showed that I’d dilated to a 4 so Vanessa officially admitted us for our birthing day!
Still I didn’t experience the traditional description of pressure waves - the tightening and releasing of my belly. The sensation of menstrual cramps continued for the next hour and a half, increasing in intensity and frequency. My visions of being a calm, zen-like hypno-mom were quickly dashed during this phase as I found myself being very vocal! The intensity of the cramp-waves was unlike anything I could have imagined. Each one took intense concentration and I “AHHHH”d August down so loudly that I wondered if the expecting moms in the exam rooms across the center could hear me!
At 12:30, I suddenly heard myself make the exact same guttural pushing noise that my Hypnobabies instructor had described in class! I was half thrilled and half terrified as I couldn’t imagine that my body could be ready to push without having any of the full-belly waves I’d been anticipating for months. When Vanessa told me I was at a 10 I felt a huge wave of relief as I really didn’t think I’d be able to not push at that time, it seemed like my body was just taking over.
Progress started off quickly but soon stalled. We decided to move to the tub at that point and the water felt great. I love the water so it was really comforting to be in the tub. I still wasn’t making much progress though so at that point we tried a few other positions. I was most comfortable side lying on the bed but this also seemed to be the least effective. In the end the birthing stool worked the best for me and, at 3:15PM that Monday, is where I birthed our little boy! August was born beautiful and healthy at 8 lb 2 oz and 21.5 inches long. Turns out he had his arm up by his head so that made it a bit more challenging for mom to birth him!
Throughout the day, Kyle was amazing at supporting me and reminding me to eat and drink. He gave me sips of water and small bites of food between each wave and I think we ended up going through six bottles of water during those couple hours! I also really relied on Erin who was such a wonderful, calming influence. Though my Hypnobabies training had given me the tools to have the birth I wanted, I don’t think I could have done it without my amazing birth team. It was the most intense, challenging day of my life but also the most rewarding. I’m so grateful to have been able to have such a beautiful birthing and so in love with our beautiful little boy!" - Amber, Kyle and Baby August