April 22, 2014
Jubilee’s original due date was May 7, 2014 according to the date of my last period. But when I took the pregnancy test at 4 weeks, the line was a dark positive. I started feeling sick only a few days later, and my uterus starting moving up into my abdomen very early. By the time I was 10-11 weeks along, the fundus was only a couple of inches below my belly button. I knew that it might be because I had gotten pregnant again so soon, but I also knew that my due date could be wrong, or I could be carrying twins. So my midwife referred us to a sonographer who did an ultrasound at 13 weeks to date the pregnancy. His estimation of the due date was May 1st, 6 days earlier. After talking with Jennifer, we decided to move my due date to May 1st, because of the new law prohibiting home birth prior to 37 weeks (it had been 36 weeks prior to that). We weren’t sure of my conception date, but we wanted to be safe and make sure that I could really have the home birth that I was planning.
Around 31 weeks, I started having strong contractions now and then that worried me. I kept in touch with Jennifer, rested a lot, and prayed that my baby would stay inside for a few more weeks. I had a couple of times of losing quite a bit of brownish mucous plug, which was scary. But God answered our prayers, and I made it to 37 weeks with no problems. I started getting anxious then, and laughed about the possibility of carrying this baby into mid May after thinking that I might have a preemie. I didn’t want to be worrying about it constantly, so I kept telling myself that I was not going to have an April baby like I wanted to. I kind of wanted an April baby because I already had a May baby, but had no birthdays yet in April.
I struggled with a lot of fears about this birth for several weeks. I think most of it came from my memories of Taylor’s birth. His birth itself was pretty easy, but finding out that he had Down syndrome shortly afterward, and then 11 days later having to take him to the hospital for 23 days was very hard on me. I was afraid of having a traumatic birth due to my emotions and memories, it was basically a vicious cycle of fear breeding more fear. I prayed, read scripture, and talked a lot to Nelson who was very supportive. I also got more diligent about using Hypnobabies to prepare in the last week or two. I told Nelson that when the baby came, I would be looking for evidence that he/she was healthy first, rather than if it was a boy or a girl. He understood.
Since Taylor surprised me by coming 13 days early, and I didn’t have everything ready for him when my labor started, I knew that I should at least have everything pretty much ready. I got out the baby clothes, and had all of the birth supplies in my bedroom. They weren’t organized, but they were there at least.
On April 22nd, I took Zachary with me to the HEB in Floresville at about 12 noon. I remember thinking on the way home, “What would I do if my water broke right now?” I thought it was a crazy thought, my water hadn’t broken early in labor since my 2nd child. I had not been having contractions that day. I arrived back home around 1:45, and went upstairs to take a nap soon after. Nelson was at work that day, and the Hrenyks were going to come for lessons at 3 PM, so I wanted to lay down and try to nap for at least a short time, even though I didn’t really feel tired then. Mom was here helping with the other children. I laid down on the bed and was trying to calm my racing thoughts. I don’t know what I was thinking about exactly, probably just the busy day and trying to get things done before my birth. At about 2:00 the phone rang, and I decided not to answer it because I didn’t have much time to nap. It was Keyla, returning my phone call from earlier that day. She was getting ready to have surgery the next day, and I wanted to touch base with her to let her know I was praying. She left a message, and I continued trying to sleep.
At 2:02 PM I felt a pop, and for a split second I laid there trying to process what had just happened. It was a total surprise! I got up and ran to the bathroom, and fluid started going everywhere. I had wondered why it seemed like my belly was bigger than any other time, and now I know that I had more amniotic fluid than usual. It flooded the bathroom floor and kept coming when I got up from the toilet to find a towel.
I called Nelson and got no answer on his cell phone. I was a little anxious about that for a few minutes, but I prayed and asked God to give me peace. I ended up calling him 3 times, about 10 minutes apart each time, and the 3rd time he finally answered the phone (he was in a meeting). He started home right after telling everyone in the meeting that his wife’s water had just broken! I also called Jennifer, she told me to call her back when the contractions started. I went outside the room with the towel between my legs, and called for Mom. Thankfully she answered, I didn’t want to go downstairs at the moment. I told her that my water had broken, and asked her to send Courtney upstairs. Courtney told me later that she could tell by Grandma’s voice that something had happened. She was so excited and forgot all about everything else she was doing that day! I quickly remembered and asked Mom to call Zahida and tell her not to come for lessons that day. They were going to be leaving very soon so it was a good thing I remembered when I did.
Contractions did not start right away, but I did feel more pressure and the familiar sensation of knowing that they would start soon. Courtney started helping me arrange the room the way I wanted it, and Brianna came up very soon after and helped too. We made the bed, cleaned the bathroom, and cleared off the dresser and sink. I took my temperature at 2:39 PM and did a Hibiclens vaginal wash right after that. Jennifer had instructed me to do that with the intention of repeating it every 6 hours since my water had broken, to prevent infection.
Contractions started at about 2:35 PM. I called Jennifer to let her know and she told me to call her back when I wanted her to come and she would be ready. I timed my contractions for awhile, they were pretty short, and 2-3 minutes apart. I walked around the room a lot, getting everything ready and talking to the girls. Nelson got home and I asked him to start getting the birth pool ready right away. I wanted to make sure it was ready in time even though I didn’t feel like I was in active labor yet.
I have lost track of the time now, but I believe I asked Nelson to call Jennifer about 4:00. I wasn’t sure if I was really ready yet, but I didn’t want her to miss the birth like she did last time. Tracy arrived first, followed by Hannah who was Jennifer’s apprentice. They set things up and talked to me a little bit. I was lying on my side in bed, listening to Hypnobabies, when they arrived. I remember laughing with them between contractions, and thinking that I must not be very far along since I was laughing! I decided to get in the water soon after they arrived, and it felt really good. I got a nice long break between contractions after I got in the water.
Nelson put my Hypnobabies track on his computer so it would be loud enough for me, and I relaxed in the water. I listened to the voice very closely and tried to make myself believe everything she was saying to me. Words like “easy birth” and “complete comfort” were repeated over and over again, and I kept telling myself that they were true, and that I was not going to let my mind believe anything different. I kept my eyes closed because it helped me concentrate on the words and stay relaxed. Jennifer arrived, and I was very happy that she was here and had arrived on time. I continued relaxing through the entire Hypnobabies track, and when it was over I asked Nelson to start it again.
I don’t know for sure how long I was in the water before the birth, but I know it was over an hour. At one point I remember Tracy and Hannah talking about something, and it was distracting to me. I opened my eyes to try and get their attention to be quiet, but they weren’t looking at me so I just closed my eyes again. They didn’t talk again after that though, so I think Jennifer must have seen me open my eyes and hushed them. After that the room was totally still and quiet other than the voice of Hypnobabies. I knew that 6 people were standing around the pool staring at me, but I kept my eyes closed and didn’t think about it. I was sometimes tempted with fearful thoughts, but I diligently pushed them out of my head every time they tried to enter. I kept telling myself that I was going to “continue using my Hypnobabies techniques no matter what” just like the voice was telling me to do. I remember noticing that the contractions were long and strong, but pretty far apart. They felt like transition contractions, but I got a pretty long break between each one, and that confused me.
I was whispering “peace” to myself at the beginning of each contraction, and I think that was the only outward sign I was giving to anyone that a contraction was starting. Every time I said “peace” Nelson would put his hand on my shoulder gently. I didn’t acknowledge that I felt his hand, but it was very comforting to me. I started feeling more pressure and the baby moving down. I was still confused because the contractions were pretty far apart (at least I perceived them that way) but I was beginning to feel the urge to push. I opened my eyes for a moment and asked someone to please go and get the girls. I really wanted Summer, Melody and Harmony to witness the birth this time. Jennifer questioned me, I think she wasn’t sure that it was quite time. I wasn’t sure either, but I knew it was getting close and I didn’t want them to miss it. I told her that if they could come in and be quiet then I wanted them here, but if they were noisy then they would need to leave again.
I reached inside myself and felt the baby’s head coming down, only about 2 knuckles deep. I said “I feel the baby” to everyone and smiled, all the time keeping my eyes closed. I heard people starting to move around and gloves snapping onto hands. I didn’t want to believe that it was already almost time, I wasn’t sure if I should trust the sensations my body was feeling or not, because although they were intense, they were very bearable and not painful. At the next contraction I gave a little grunt. Then on the next one I pushed harder, and groaned as the baby’s head came out. I took a deep breath and pushed again, and felt the baby’s body coming out of me. Since my babies usually come out in only one push, I remember wondering why it was taking so long!
The baby was born at 6:01 PM, and I immediately opened my eyes when they put her in my arms. She was screaming loudly, and I took a minute or two to catch my breath and look at her before checking to see if I had a boy or a girl. The first thing I noticed was her long fingers, and remembered how short Taylor’s fingers were when he was born. I showed them to Nelson and he smiled, knowing that I was relieved already that my baby did not have signs of Down syndrome. After a couple of minutes I pushed the towel and the umbilical cord aside, and saw that she was a girl. I was a little bit surprised, but not disappointed at all. My 5 older daughters were standing around the pool along with Nelson and the 3 midwives. Philip, Zachary, and my Mom were outside the door waiting, and heard my groan and then the newborn cry. They yelled down the stairs, “The baby’s here!”
After the birth, the water in the pool started getting red very quickly. The midwives weren’t sure why, but they thought maybe the placenta had already detached, so they asked me to try and push it out. I tried a couple of times, but it didn’t feel ready. They kept checking things to try and figure out what was going on, and finally discovered a 2-inch slit in the umbilical cord! It had torn on the way out somehow. After I finally did push the placenta out, Tracy reach down into the pool to get it, and her cell phone dropped out of her shirt pocket into the pool. She retrieved it quickly and learned her lesson about putting her phone in her shirt pocket!
Another interesting thing about this birth is that she was born in a “posterior brow” position. I knew that she was posterior (facing up) for a few weeks before the birth, and was trying to encourage her to turn face down by doing things such as getting into a hands and knees position a few times a day. But I did not know that she was still posterior when she was born until the midwives told me. She had a bruise on her forehead just at her hairline, and when I asked about it they told me how she was born. Jennifer said that some doctors will try to insist on a c-section if they know about this position before a woman gives birth. Apparently it is one of the more difficult vaginal positions to birth in, which explains why I had to push a time or two more than usual. She also said that was why my contractions were far apart right up until the end – that is one side effect of a posterior baby.
I could not be happier about this birth, my 10th birth and 3rd Hypnobabies birth. Each time I have used Hypnobabies it has been easier and more enjoyable. I did not feel any back labor which is normal for posterior babies, and did not feel any pain when she was coming out in such a different position. I can truthfully say that I did not feel any pain at all during the entire birth, except for a few minutes when my back did start hurting right at the end when she was moving down. Maybe 5 minutes max. I think the key for me this time was my positive self-talk. I did not allow any negative thoughts to enter and stay in my mind, and I continued telling myself to believe everything I was hearing on the Hypnobabies track.
Jubilee Autumn was born at 6:01 PM on 4-22-14, she weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and was 20 inches long. She was completely healthy and nursed well right away. We were so happy and excited to have her!