Brielle ended up being born 12 days early on March 6. I had an early labor scare a couple of weeks before that and was grateful when she decided to wait a little longer to be born. Even with that early labor scare, I found myself repeating Hypnobabies programming to myself - things like, "Your baby will choose her birthday," etc. I felt really calm that whenever she decided to be born, things would work out. I think that was all due to my Hypnobabies practice.
Almost all signs of labor completely vanished after those couple of days when I was having almost non-stop contractions. I wasn't even having very many Braxton Hicks contractions. The day before Brielle ended up being born, I wasn't having contractions but I did keep rubbing my arms a lot, as if I could feel a lot of power pulsating underneath the surface. I ended up waking up in the night at about 3:30 am, trying to convince myself to get up to use the bathroom. All of a sudden, before I got out of bed, I felt a gush of liquid and thought I had peed my pants!! I thought, that was awkward!
I got up and used the bathroom and when I stood up I felt a gush of liquid again. That's when I realized that my water had broken! I still wasn't having ANY contractions. I didn't want to wake the midwife in the middle of the night for nothing, so I decided to pull out my Hypnobabies info to see what it said about waters breaking. In the end, I decided to go back to bed to try to get some rest. I listened to a few Hypnobabies tracks - I was too keyed up to ever fall back asleep, but at leas that was very relaxing.
I talked to Becky from the Birth Center around 8:00 am or so and we decided I should come in to the Birth Center to be monitored for a bit to see how baby was doing, especially because it looked like there was some meconium in the water. We got there around 9:00 and I was on the monitor for a while - baby's heart rate looked great, but sure enough I was hardly having any contractions and the ones that were coming were really dinky. I was using my Peace cue a lot to not dwell on the worst case scenario of what would happen if my body didn't go into labor on its own. Becky suggested I start alternating briskly walking up and down the halls with resting and then walk sideways up and down the stairs to try to get my body to go into labor.
I think Brielle was listening when she heard Becky say, "Let's have a baby today, okay?" Becky needed to give me some antibiotics because I was Group B Strep positive. I decided I wanted the antibiotics since my waters had already been broken for a number of hours and since there was meconium in the water. Honestly, getting the IV in was the worst part of the whole process! It took her a while to find a vein that she could get the IV into and she had to redo it when the first time didn't take. That was not fun. I was on a birthing ball and starting to feel like things were revving up a little bit. I didn't have my Hypnobabies tracks in because I had been talking with Becky, and I think that made everything feel more harsh. Finally, once the IV was in, I started listening to my Hypnobabies tracks again and I just felt everything inside me relax.
At this point, I texted a friend to watch my youngest two kids and had my mother-in-law come to the Birth Center with my 12 year old, who really wanted to be at the brith and would have been really mad at me if she'd missed it. Even though my labor was a little bit slow in starting, as soon as the antibiotics were in, I had this intuitive feeling that everything else about that labor was going to be fast - and, boy, was I right!!
I tried to start briskly walking the halls, and my daughter was there by then and she was "racing" me and laughing at me when I would stop to sway back and forth and moan. My husband would stand behind me and lift my belly while I swayed. That taking the pressure off really helped me. I felt like I was getting less and less time between contractions. It felt like waves crashing over me one after another really quickly. But I didn't feel scared. I really felt excited that I was going to be meeting my baby soon.
Although I wanted a water birth (and Becky had the tub filled up while I was getting the antibiotics in), by the time I had my daughter go and get Becky to come back in the room (I think Becky thought things were going to take a lot longer than they did!) I just couldn't imagine getting into the tub. But Becky said, "Let's get you in the tub!" She and Eva (birth assistant) undressed me and helped me into the tub. I also had them help me get my maternity tankini top on - I didn't want all the pictures of me birthing to be topless. :) The water was HEAVENLY! That feeling of waves crashing over me vanished and I felt so much calmer. Very soon after getting in the water, I felt the urge to push. This was the only time during the process that I thought, "I can't do this!" I asked for a mirror to be used so I could see Brielle's head. It felt really hard to push her out, but in the end it only took 7 minutes so I guess it wasn't that bad after all!
The whole experience was intense, powerful, and beautiful. Becky said that I was in early labor for 15 minutes after the antibiotics went in, 15 minutes of active labor, and 7 minutes of pushing. Wow!! I intuitively felt this whole pregnancy that this labor would be really fast. I'm so grateful for the way it worked out with my water breaking beforehand. Otherwise, I think I would have ended up with an accidental home birth. If my labor had progressed the way it did except without my water breaking first, I would have been at home with my 2 and 5 year old, my husband would have been at work, my 12 year old would have been at school, and I probably would have delivered at home on my bathroom floor - so glad that's not how things happened!