Thank you to Flutterby students Heather and Dan for sharing their little one's birth story!
On Tuesday (11/7) I had my 39-week appointment, and everything looked great! The midwife discovered that I was already 4cm dilated, 60% effaced and -2 station (let’s note that this was further progressed than I was after 18 hours of labor with our first baby, so I was pleasantly surprised)! For the rest of the week, though, I didn't feel any true surges. Nonetheless, I was definitely feeling ready to get things rolling.
Then on Saturday (11/11) afternoon, I actually decided to see an acupuncturist to help start labor - My appointment was 2:30-4:30PM. By 7:00PM, I was feeling waves of cramps every 10-12 minutes, but honestly they felt more like menstrual cramps than labor surges. Regardless, Dan and I decided it would be best to try and get some sleep, so we went to bed by 9:00PM, just in case.
At midnight I woke up to a true surge. I stayed awake to feel out a few more, only to find that they were each lasting a full minute, and only 5 minutes apart! The midwives at our birth center follow the 6-1-1 rule for mamas of subsequent babies (a rule-of-thumb for when to leave home and head in), so truly by this point we should have already arrived at the birth center. Oops! Dan kicked his tail into high-gear, organizing everything and calling the midwife, doula and childcare necessary for our toddler. By 1:00AM we were at the birth center!
There I labored, in the tub mainly, for the next few hours. While riding out each surge, I put the HypnoBirthing methods to great use: more specifically, I had the Affirmations track and background music playing on repeat, and did my best to breathe correctly through each surge so as to maximize their effect. Dan and Liz (our doula) also assisted me with hip squeezes and light touch massage very consistently. At 4:00AM I was 9cm dilated, but then stayed at 9cm until 7:00AM. To be honest, those three hours were pretty grueling. To make no apparent progress, but for the surges to just keep getting stronger and closer together was tough. Also, by this point the pressure in my hips had evolved into back labor, so that made things even more challenging to calmly breathe through.
All of a sudden, while in the tub surging, I could feel my water break as if it were a water balloon popping! Five big surges, and a few focused breaths down/pushes, our baby was born. He literally went from fully in my cervix to down and out the birth canal in less than 15 minutes, and yet miraculously I didn't rip or tear whatsoever! Also I’d like to note that once my water broke, I was back to being pain-free! There was plenty of pressure and stretching, but no pain.
Jamison Arthur was born on Sunday, November 12, 2017. He weighed a healthy 9lbs, 3oz, and measured 20.5 inches in length. As for my perspective, I am very proud of this birth experience! By using the HypnoBirthing techniques, I stayed calm, focused and pain-free for majority of my labor experience. In the end, I had an amazing unmedicated, hands-and-knees water birth for our second baby boy!
Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner