Here is the full birth story for Eric. I included some things that happened leading up to when my labor started. I am not sure if I needed to or not, but since they played into the birth story - I included them.
Last Monday, I ended up getting a stomach bug that completely wiped me out. I was in bed from Sunday night, until Tuesday morning. I felt better when I woke up Tuesday morning and spent the day eating small meals and resting and trying to get back my energy level back up. Wednesday morning, I decided we were all going to follow the schedule and get some work done! The week before I thought I was in labor, and so we hadn't really done any homeschool, thinking that I was having the baby 'any day' now. Anyways, I got the kids all up and working on thier school. As the morning progressed I noticed I was having some pressure waves. Just for fun, like I always do, we started writing them down on the white board in the kitchen. I would let the kids know, and they would write them down for me. They were averaging about an hour apart, and were very mild.
As the day wore on, they got a little closer together, but still mild. My husband took the older kids to their Church Activities on Wed night, but left his cell phone at home by accident, so he kept calling me to check on me. (I think he had a 'feeling'). By the time he called around 8:30, I told him that he didnt need to rush home, but that he should delay any errands on the way home, just in case - as he didnt have his cell phone with him. They were averaging about 20 minutes at that point, but still mild. (I keep pointing out that the waves were 'averaging' a certain time, as I would have one, then another one would be ten minutes later, then another one would be a half hour later, then a few would actually be twenty minutes apart. This is how it went all day, I would have a few spaced evenly mixed in with some half the time and some double the time - which led to the perpetual question "is this it?")
My husband got home around 9:30, and we stayed up and chatted for awhile, eventually going to sleep around 11:30. I fell asleep, but think I was worried about waking up so far into labor that we would have another 'almost parking lot' baby, so I woke up around 1:30 am. It took about 15 minutes to have one wave, but then they were averaging about 9 minutes apart. I chatted online with a doula friend of mine, and as we chatted they dropped down to about 6 minutes. They were getting a little stronger, so as we chatted we decided that it would be good to call my midwife and let her know that something might be up. I still wasnt sure that it was it, but I called. (The week before I had been sick, I had had about an hours worth of 5 minutes apart, called my hubby home from work, and then they stopped - so I was nervous about another false alarm.) I talked with the midwife, and let her know that we might be coming in. She said to call her back when we decided to head in, and she would meet us there. After I hung up the phone, they increased in intensity, and I needed to stop and focus. At this point, I decided it really was time, and called the midwife back less than twenty minutes later, and said we were heading in.
As we got ready to leave, they were getting stronger so I grabbed my ipod and turned on the tracks.(I had taken a homestudy course from Hypnobabies and it came with several CD's with different tracks on them). I am not sure if this is how you are supposed to do it or not, but I would pop the ear buds in my ear during the pressure waves (contractions) to help me focus, and then when it was over, I would pull them out, and resume getting ready to leave. We woke up the older kids to let them know we were leaving. We headed out to the hospital which was about a 12 minute drive. I had a few on the way, but they were completely manageable. It was a much more relaxing ride than last time. Not wanting the walk into the hospital to get things going faster like last time, my hubby parked right outside the ER ( where you check in) and brought me right in. A nurse met us and said the midwife had called ahead, and due to my last delivery being so fast when I got there, I was not allowed to walk anywhere, that they had strict instructions to put me in a wheelchair and bring me right up to maternity!! LOL!!! :-)
So they brought me up, while my hubby parked the car, and got me a room. I got hooked up to the monitors for about 15 minutes while they did all thier questions. The waves were getting more intense, so I would answer in between, but then, as I had at home, I would pop the ear bud in, and listen to the Birthing affirmations while I was in the middle of the waves, and then when they ended, I would go back to answering questions. It didn't bother me to switch back and forth, or I could have had hubby answer them for me. At that point I think I was at about 4 to 5 minutes apart. The midwife came in, and took the monitors off, and then checked me. I was curious, as I am familiar with how I usually progress so I wanted to know, about where I was. I was dilated to about a 6. (I usually go from 7 to 10 in one fell 5 minute swoop, so a 6 meant it would not be long!!!!
The tub had been filled for me, and was waiting. It was a tad bit on the warm side, but it was SO relaxing. I turned the jets on, and angled myself so that they hit right where I needed them too. As I sat in the tub, I put on the easy first stage, and at that point kept it on. I no longer took them out, but fully turned myself over to it. I would grab my hubbys hand when I had a wave, but other than that, there was no sign that I was even in labor! I just laid in the tub, listening and focusing on the words in the track. As the easy first stage track ended, I felt prompted to put on the Creating Anesthesia track. This helped immensely!! As the waves progressed, I was starting to feel more pressure than I was comfortable with, but after putting the Creating Anesthesia on, I was able to handle it no problem. I noticed while listening to the track that my waves were now a couple of minutes apart, lasting a minute and a half or so. Toward the end of the track, I started getting to the point, that although I was handiling it, I was getting nervous if I would be able to continue to handle it. I switched over to the Pushing Track (or whatever the name is of the one that comes after First Stage). and started listening to that. It helped, but I was still feeling slightly edgy, and I did not want that negativity to enter into what so far was an amazing experience, so I diffused it by talking back to the track. I know this is probably not the ideal thing to do, but it helped me, and the humor it created as my hubby laughed at me talking back to the track, was enough to help me refocus. At this point, my husband recommended me getting out of the tub so I could get to the bed. (At the hospital we go to, the tubs are only for labor, not for birthing), I told him okay, and that I would get out, I just needed to get through one more wave.
All of a sudden, in the middle of that contraction, my water exploded. Not just broke, exploded. I was in the tub, and this forceful wave of water shot out!! The next thing I knew, I had sat all the way up, and turned around, and was on my knees. My hubby pulled the red cord that they have in case you need them, and the midwife and like 5 nurses all came running in, The midwife tried to tell me to breath through it, and we would get to the bed, but the head had already started coming out. Realizing this, she said, "You are not breathing through it!!" Then I pushed again, and he was born!!! Since I was on my knees, he was kind of born behind me, so they had to spin me around, and hold him while I walked to the bed, where he was laid on top of me. Then we were left alone for the next hour, before they even asked if we wanted to weigh him and measure him. My hospital stay was great, as they changed everything to in room, rather than half in the room, and half in the nursery. They also would come back if the baby, or I were sleeping, so they didnt bother us. This is all 'policy' too, so I didnt have to argue for any of this!!!!
I also want to add, that I bought this course to try to get through the last few minutes of labor without 'losing it' like I usually do - saying "I cant do this anymore", etc. However, when I got the course, around 22 weeks or so, I dove into it, but then lost focus. I had so much time, to get into it, I procrastinated. I listened to the go to sleep one every night to go to bed, but didnt listen to the cd's like I was supposed to. As I got closer, I started listening, but I found myself at beditme, not knowing which one to listen to, so I would guess and listen to a variety of them. When I got to about 30 weeks I finally got all the tracks put on a ipod, so I listened more than I did when I had to have my earphones hooked up to my laptop. At one point, I wrote a list of what I should be listening to, but lost the list. At week 34 or so, I started getting nervous that I was going to blow this whole thing, and I tried really hard every night to listen to a different track so that I would get a chance to listen to all of them. So every night I would listen to them as I put my little girls to bed. I would get interrupted, fall asleep, etc. I really was worried it wouldn't work. But you know what?? It did. I never practiced my finger drop with much success either, but it worked in labor anyways!!!
I didn't realize this in labor, but the next day as I thought about it - with the Hypnobabies, I was able to relax enough and to tell the difference between pain and pressure. In past births, I would get the two confused, so I had no idea where in labor I was. I would get near the end, and not knowing it was, I would get freaked out and think there was no way I could make it much longer. This time though, there was no pain. I knew what the pressure was. I knew it was the baby moving down. I knew that labor was near the end, and that when the pressure got to a certain point, I would be pushing. I welcomed it, and I imagined opening like it said. The water jets helped soften up the area, along with the water being really warm. I think I needed the Creating Anesthesia track since I hadn't practiced enough, but just listening to it, reminded me enough that it worked for me!!! I did not tear, or rip, or anything. When my water broke, and the pressure follwing was really intense, my body instinctively took over and knew it was time to push - I did not need to be told!!!
Anyways, sorry this was so long. IT was a great experience!!!
P.S. If you have read this, and are interested in the program I mentioned, it is available at www.hypnobabies.com