When I found out I was pregnant with Elsie, I did a lot of researching. I really didn't want to take any chances of repeating Callie's week in the NICU. I had always wanted to have a natural birth, but it hadn't worked out with the other 2 girls, but now I had some major motivation. I stumbled upon HypnoBabies (self-hypnosis for child birth) and convinced Nathan that we needed to take the class. The class was great and I loved listening to the HypnoBabies tracks while I was going to sleep and the cues really helped me stay calm during all the normal pregnancy blood draws and during my birthing time. I was really excited about using it during labor. HypnoBabies uses some different terms for things to help you keep a positive mind set about your birth (contractions=pressure waves, labor=birthing time).
My due date with Elsie was April 8th, Easter Sunday. Both of the big girls had come before my due date, so I was mildly surprised when that day came and past with only discomfort and moderate pressure waves. The following night I was having some pretty strong pressure waves and since Nathan was very concerned about her being born in the car and I hadn't been checked yet, we headed up to labor and delivery. After checking me and an hour of walking the halls they decided that I was in early labor, but wasn't progressing fast enough for us to be admitted. They all seemed very sure that we would be back in a few hours. I was pretty disappointed and not in a very good mental place, so the pressure waves slowed down big time. I had tons of pressure waves all day Tuesday, but not enough to warrant another trip to the hospital. By Wednesday morning they had completely stopped, so I tried to just be patient and wait. I listened to the "Come Out, Baby!" track a couple times and we went for lots of walks. Over the next week I had lots of pressure waves, but none regular or strong enough to be my real birthing time. At my last midwife appointment on Thursday, April 19th at 41 weeks, 4 days pregnant, they offered to strip my membranes, in hopes of causing my birthing time to get going. I didn't really think it would work, but we tried it anyway, since if Elsie wasn't born by Monday I was going to have to be induced. I really wanted to avoid induction. I used my light switch and it wasn't even uncomfortable. Anita said I must have a high pain tolerance and I laughed and said it was completely my HypnoBabies.
That afternoon I woke up from a nap with a pressure wave and they picked up from there. Thankfully, Nathan had not gone into work that afternoon. I started having some good/strong pressure waves that were regular and 4-5 minutes apart around 3:30 in the afternoon. I rested and listened to a hypnosis CD and then got up and was able to play with my big girls for a bit while using my lightswitch. The pressure waves were still pretty strong for about an hour and I was extremely uncomfortable sitting or lying down, so we called my Mom and asked if she would pick up the girls on her way home from work. By the time she got there about 5:30, I was having trouble focusing on my hypnosis during pressure waves. Once the girls left and I could relax and focus I was much more comfortable and I walked around the house listening to music for awhile. Finally about 7:15 I told Nathan we had better get to the hospital. I figured we still had lots of time, but I was having a LOT of back labor and wasn't dealing well with the pressure waves if I had to sit or lay through them. I wanted to get the car ride over before they got any stronger, since they were coming every 2-3 minutes. We made it safely to the hospital and got checked in. Then I had to lay down and be monitored for 20 minutes. It was a horribly long 20 minutes, thank goodness for my hypnosis cues and Nathan or I would have been climbing the walls. The midwife checked me and said that she could stretch me to 5 cm, so we could be admitted and go walk around and see what happened. We were so excited! We were taking bets on whether it would be before or after midnight.
Nathan and I took the elevator down a floor and walked about 20 feet and the pressure waves got very strong and I really needed to throw up. Thank God we were right by the restrooms. Once I made it back out of the bathroom I told Nathan we needed to get back to our room immediately. I was having a really hard time relaxing through the pressure waves and finding a comfortable position. We got back to the room and the only position I could tolerate was leaning over the bed with Nathan standing behind me putting pressure on my hips. He was such an awesome birth partner and really helped keep me calm and relaxed. The pressure waves were long and on top of each other and I was just about to tell him I didn't think I could do it after all, when I felt a gush. I had a brief thought that I really hoped Nathan hadn't gotten soaked before some intense pressure and pressure waves hit. It was at that point that I knew I was going to be able to do it. I was uncomfortable, but I had some amazing tools, my hubby, and an amazingly supportive nurse. The nurse called the midwife and asked me to get on the bed so they could check me. I started crawling up on the bed, but suddenly started feeling like I needed to push. The midwife, April, came in and said that I was only 8, but she could stretch me to full. Then she left the room to check on something.
Nathan almost lost it then. I could hear him loudly demanding that she stay because with Callie I went from 6 to pushing in under 5 minutes and only about 5 minutes of pushing. Pretty much immediately after the midwife left, I told everyone in the room that I was going to be pushing now. The pain that I had been feeling just vanished. It felt so good to be doing something. I loved that I was able to push when and how I wanted to. There wasn't anyone telling me what to do or counting. They just let me do it and offered quiet encouragement. The midwife managed to make it back in the room and Elsie was born at 9:59 pm, just under 2 hours after we were admitted to the hospital. During every ultrasound/fetal monitoring Elsie had been sucking on her right hand and she came out in exactly that position.
Still sucking those fingersI felt amazing and I had this beautiful baby girl in my arms. Nathan was an absolute rockstar through it all and I would not have been able to do it without his help and encouragement. I got to just hold and cuddle my beautiful baby for about an hour and then finally let them take her to weighed and measured. She was 19 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce. It was the birth that I had wanted with all the girls and I finally got it. Thanks to HypnoBabies, my hubby, my nurse, and the awesome midwives at UNMC.
Proud big sisters and the Glow Baby
We did end up having a short trip to the NICU because of her bilirubin levels, so that she could be under the lights.
Doing her hearing screening so we could go home :)
Her sisters were pretty excited that we brought a baby home.
Mimi loving on the baby.
Fiona was just a little bit excited.
Callie said "My baby!!"