When you're so relaxed you don't realise you're in active labour...
I had planed to have an unmedicated labor with my firstborn son, at a birthing center, but when my labor stretched over 40 hours with back labor and loss of sleep and energy I was desperately ready to go to a hospital and get an epidural. I made peace with this and found the beauty in his birth story and 2 years later was not planning to try again with my daughter. However because of all the COVID restrictions I was highly motivated to not end up at a hospital this time around, but nervous about the pain and how long things took with little progress last time.
I found Christian Hypnobirthing and immediately fell in love with the tracks and listened every night while stretching or in the shower from week 30 of pregnancy on! I could feel the positive affirmations sinking in to my spirit and every time I would doubt that I could do this, I would remind myself of the scriptures & affirmations I was listening to on the app!
At 38 weeks and 6 days I was feeling the signs of what I thought could be early labor, but was doing my best to ignore them because I thought things could potentially take days to progress. I went for a long walk in the morning while listening to the app and easing my mind of any tensions and fears. I went about my day playing with my toddler, resting when he napped and even went to my family’s home for our usual Sunday night dinner. All the while I was feeling cramps that I was convinced were just Braxton Hicks and an overall uncomfortable feeling.
By the time we got home (around 9pm) I was feeling stronger cramps and I began to get ready for bed while my husband put my toddler to bed. We watched two movies to distract and to pass some time. All the while the contractions were coming strong but were only around 30 seconds in length, way too short to be the real thing... I thought!
By this point it was 1:00am and my husband said ”Well it’s almost morning and we can reevaluate and call the midwife in the morning!” But this was when things picked up in intensity and I suddenly threw up what I had eaten for dinner and my body began involuntary shaking( what I didn’t realize in the moment was most likely transition). I tried to lay back down in bed but was no longer coping well. My husband suggested I get up and move around to change positioning. I moved to the bathroom and with the next contraction landed on my hands and knees on the bathroom floor. I was starting to get concerned and discouraged with how powerful they were and thinking I had so much longer to go. I asked my husband to get my phone and play the Christian Hypnobirthing app and with the subsequent contractions I felt my body start to push baby girl down.
Without me trying or doing anything at all my body was doing exactly what It was designed by God to do! By this point I was feeling so much pressure and looked down to see her amniotic sac and I asked my husband to confirm. We both realized that this was really happening right here in our own home with no time to call the midwife and no time to call my parents to come pick up my son sleeping in the other room! I remember we shared a look of “okay we can do this” and I continued to pray Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” out loud like I had been on and off throughout the labor.
My husband helped me move into the shower and before the water even hit my back I was hit with another wave and the ring of fire feeling (which was very intense but also very short for me). My husband encouraged me in these last two pushes and that baby’s head was almost out. I kept saying Jesus, Jesus out loud because that’s all I could think of in the moment and from the top of my lungs I yelled at him to sing to me!! My husband sang out Jesus, Jesus with me and with the last wave I was crumpled on top of him and he reached down to catch our baby girl! I dropped to my knees in the most glorious relief and held our precious little girl for the first time.
I didn’t hear her cry right away and then my husband gently peeled back the last bit of amniotic sac that was covering her face and she immediately let out a big cry! Thank you Jesus! At this point we called the midwife who arrived within 30 minutes to make sure both baby and I were just fine! I had already delivered the placenta and was tucked in bed cuddling the sweetest little girl! My midwife assisted us in the clean up and weighing of baby and quietly left my husband and I to rest in our own bed!
This experience was so powerful, so spiritual, intimate and so much more calm and relaxed than I had ever imagined possible. It was the birth of my dreams that I had been praying for! A redemptive birth that was fast and focused on God and His strength instead of surrounded by fear. I am grateful for the privacy of having this birth in my own home with just my husband and I and God there to guide us! Something I did not feel confident to plan for!
I am so grateful to have found Christian Hypnobirthing as I believe it really helped me bridge the gap between the kind of birth I wanted and had read about and how to achieve that for myself! I am forever grateful to have this birth story! I look forward to telling my daughter one day and to have this beautiful faith filled experience that I will never forget!
By Elise Hill