(Jenn relaxing during a pressure wave with Andrew doing the Relax cue)
I had been having pressure waves forever it seemed. When Dr. Kaminskas checked me at 37 and 38 weeks I was only dilated to a 1 or 1 1/2 and not much effaced. Nothing was really happening but I would still go hours when I was having consistent pressure waves every 5-7 minutes for a good couple of hours. Andrew would ask me “When are we supposed to call the Dr?” I would tell him the doctor said to call if they were 5 minutes apart and lasted 2 hours, which they were. But I knew it wasn’t really happening and never called the doctor.
My last OB appointment was on Oct. 4th. I had dilated further 2 or 2 1/2 and was 70% effaced. My cervix had moved also so Dr. Kaminskas was fairly certain I wouldn’t make it another week. That made me happy. The next day was park day and since I couldn’t sit around the house, we went to the park. Trekking up that hill was torture and I was miserable. Everyone there will attest to that! The baby hadn’t been moving much at all that day and I kept lying down and sitting still trying to feel him. I was getting a bit paranoid. When we went home from the park I drank some juice, lay on my left side and was still not feeling any movement. I called Sheridan (my friend, Hypnobabies instructor and doula) and she suggested I just go in and get checked, after all I really was having pressure waves.
Lauri came and picked up Cailyn, Andrew met us at the hospital and Sheridan drove me. We got there around 3:30 on Oct. 5th. They hooked me up and checked me out and things were exactly the same as the day before. Of course by now I had felt him move a good number of times but I just wanted to see his heart beat on the monitor and be sure he was doing fine. Everything looked great. Sheridan left and Andrew and I went to visit a co-worker of his who had given birth earlier that day. As we got to her room, I started feeling stronger pressure waves that were consistently 5 minutes apart, it was 5pm. The pressure waves continued the whole drive home and when we went to pick up Cailyn. Lauri mentioned she had Middle School Open House until after 8ish, just in case.
After I got home I was really starting to feel the pressure waves and just wanted to relax a bit. I tried to lie down and go to sleep, that is probably the moment I knew it was the real thing because lying down didn’t make them stop and it always had before. I had left my bag with my ipod in Sheridan’s car and really needed it, she brought it over around 6:30 and I told her to get ready!
I listened to my affirmations and my birthing day cd. I ate some toast because I knew I would need food but I wasn’t really hungry. I sat on my birthing ball and relaxed into our bed. Andrew put Cailyn to bed and mostly just left me alone to do my thing. Around 8 or 8:30 my water broke and I was so happy because I knew we could go back to the hospital now. We called Sheridan to get ready and Lauri to come get Cailyn. Cailyn practically slept through the move and did great at Lauri’s all night. I was so glad I had been to the hospital earlier because Cailyn had loved hanging out with Lauri and her kids so I knew she’d be fine.
We got to the hospital around 9. Triage was much nicer than it had been earlier in the day and I was feeling very excited. I would peace, peace, peace through the waves but didn’t really feel like I needed to. I knew I better get into the groove now though! We got into my room finally about 10 and I was really happy to be there. I got all settled in and started in with peace, peace, peace with every pressure wave.
I honestly have a hazy memory of most of the next 8 hours, hypnotic amnesia I call it. I had my eyes closed practically the entire time. I loved sitting in the rocking chair, that was the most comfortable place for me, although I tried the birthing ball too. Once I got comfortable somewhere I hated to move because I would get into such a good rhythm I didn’t want to mess it up. I know I went to the bathroom a couple of times and would shake whenever I sat on the toilet. Sheridan said it was normal and good so I let it happen. I wanted both Sheridan and Andrew with me at all times. They would push on either side of my shoulders whenever they heard me start in with the peace. Whenever they left for only a second I would freak out. I remember thinking everything would be ok as long as they were both there with me. I just had my eyes closed and my ipod on listening to the birthing cd.
At one point I was really comfortable and in my groove in the rocking chair and our nurse, Melanie, came in and said the baby’s heart rate was dropping and I needed to get into the bed on my side. I was not happy to move at all. Then they put an oxygen mask on me too and I hated that. It was very difficult for me to peace, peace, peace through the mask. I know that I asked to be checked three times but didn’t want to know how far along I was progressing. After the second or third time I tried to get Sheridan to tell me how far I was but she had purposely not looked when the nurse showed them with her fingers so she couldn’t tell me. I had no idea what time it was or how long I had been going but I was starting to get tired. I felt a lot of pressure but I think I was just getting impatient. Sometime along the way I also got tired of the cd and made Sheridan talk to me. Poor thing was talking in my ear and pushing on my shoulder and I wouldn’t even let her leave me to go to the bathroom.
After the baby’s heart rate stabilized I was able to get up and go to the bathroom again. I got sick of the hospital gown and left it in the bathroom. I wanted to be unencumbered and didn’t care anymore. My eyes were still closed and I had just gone inside myself.
Finally, when the nurse checked me again she said there was just a lip of cervix and she pushed it back during a contraction. They got the room all set up and we turned on the pushing cd. My eyes were still closed and I tried to figure out how to push. I felt really tired but I was really conscious of stopping and relaxing completely in between pressure waves. I had Sheridan and Andrew on each side of me each holding one of my legs up. Even in between pressure waves I wouldn’t let them stop holding my legs. I was afraid if I changed positions I wouldn’t be able to get back into the groove. I remember looking down once and seeing Dr. Han there in her gear. She and the nurses were so great about just letting me be to do my thing. They just sat back patiently waiting for me, encouraging me once in a while.
Sometime during all of this pushing there was a commotion in the hall and a page that Dr. Han was needed immediately, followed by screaming. I guess someone had come into the hospital at a 10 and wasn’t planning on having an unmedicated birth but got to anyway. So Dr. Han left and came back and I was still pushing. I had a hard time figuring out how to push and I am really bad at holding my breath so I don’t think my pushes were very productive. I could feel his little head come out a little just to be sucked back in after the pressure wave stopped. It was getting to be frustrating. Plus I was tired and I could see the sun beginning to come up so I knew it was morning. I remember saying “just get him out” I was so tired. Finally at 6:34 am on Friday, October 6th Logan Andrew Mickelsen came out. I was ecstatic. All I kept saying over and over again was, “I rock! I rock!” It was seriously the most amazing feeling. I had done it. I had given birth all on my own, well with Sheridan and Andrew! Logan came out and immediately went into my arms. He was perfect. He had an amazing cone head and even a bruise and blister from rubbing in and out on my pelvic bones. Poor little guy. I held him for almost an hour before I gave him up to the nurses. It was right at shift change so the nurses were fine with that. When he finally got a bath and checked out he was great. He weighed in at 8lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long. He had lots of dark spiky hair and was so cute.
I had a scheduled c-section with my first child so I was so happy to have had the birthing experience I did with Logan. When I first heard about Hypnobabies I was totally skeptical about it working. After I saw my friend’s birth video using Hypnobabies I thought it might be possible for others, but me? After I finished with my Hypnobabies classes I knew it helped me relax but I still wasn’t sure I could do it for my birth. I was so pleasantly surprised that it did work and it worked beautifully. Up until the 2 hours of pushing I was pain free, pressure but no real pain. By the time I started pushing I knew there weren’t any drugs they could give me anyway. I was actually glad to not have any drugs because I could feel everything and I think that really helped me with the pushing. I struggled with pushing so much anyway, I can’t imagine if I couldn’t have felt everything. I also KNOW I couldn’t have done it without Andrew and Sheridan. Andrew’s presence was so important to me and Sheridan was irreplaceable. I only felt like I could possibly do this because I knew I wasn’t alone. I am forever indebted to her for being there for me and Logan. It was an experience I will never forget and always cherish.