The topic of hypnobirthing just won’t let me go. And in a positive sense you are also a little bit to blame, because I still get a lot of letters from you with questions or suggestions about it. Franzi’s birth report about a hypnobirthing home birth I have had in the virtual drawer for a long time. Now it will finally be conjured out to show you how great such a HB birth as a home birth can go.
Because my article "Hypnobirthing from the clinic’s point of view – desire vs. Reality" was not quite as positive and encouraging as Franzi’s story. I really like the approach hypnobirthing takes and believe that it can work. That’s why I’m even more happy to be able to publish here a birth that really happened the way Hypnobirthing always promises. Pain-free.
Here comes Franzi’s birth, as always with little notes from me in purple :
It should finally start!
Sunday morning. Almost a week after the expected date. The baby is still not here. I put all my powers of persuasion together and try to persuade the baby in my belly to please get going now, because then it will still be a Sunday baby.
The closer it gets to noon, the more often I think, "Oh, we can do this today". But nothing happens. No contractions, no broken water. No GARNIX!
A little disappointed and above all exhausted – the "big" daughter is 14 months old, the belly is heavy, the air to breathe is getting tight, I have heartburn and have to go to the bathroom all the time – I go to bed late. So around 11 p.m., still thinking, "Well, women have had their babies in just under an hour, sigh!". But nothing happens and I fall asleep with headphones in my ears to the hypnobirthing music.
Hypnobirthing – well prepared
In the last weeks and months I have prepared myself intensively for my hypnobirthing birth. We have a home birth planned and everything is ready to go: The birthing pool is inflated in the middle of the way. The CD player is ready to go, the midwife is on call and with her the grandmas-to-be and a very good friend who is supposed to be there to watch the big daughter in case she wakes up. Somewhere I know that it will start this night. Soft, red towels are ready and just waiting to wrap around a little person.
I have read many books on the subject of natural and self-determined birth and attended a hypnobirthing course together with my husband. This is a childbirth class where we learned different relaxation and "hypnosis" techniques, which I practiced almost every day for the last months of pregnancy. I also watched a lot of videos of relaxed hypnobirthing births. THAT is what I wanted too! Especially the video of Clios Freebirth
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impressed me deeply and confirmed me in my assumption that birth does not have to be like it is shown in movies and on TV, and gave me confidence. I was so mentally set on an easy, painless and quick birth that sometimes I woke up in the morning thinking the baby was already there because I had imagined it so real and accurate.
The waves are coming
At point 03.05 o’clock I woke up and wondered why I was awake. I looked at the clock and thought: "Oh how nice, I can turn over again and go back to sleep"."Suddenly I noticed a slight pulling in my lower abdomen.
"Well," I thought, "here we go?"I went to the bathroom first and then lay back down to go back to sleep. There it pulled again. Now I was awake. I was excited, but full of anticipation, because I knew that the time had come.
I stayed in bed and continued to breathe quietly. A few minutes later I again felt a slight tugging in my stomach. And a few minutes later again. The intervals were very different, sometimes three minutes, six minutes, two minutes, four minutes, seven minutes. By now it was close to four and the waves were getting more intense every time, so I decided it was time to wake up the father-to-be.
For all the non hypnobirthing experts (yet): In the preparation of hypnobirthing births, there is a lot of emphasis on positive language in dealing with the birth. So z.B. is spoken of waves instead of contractions. Everything that could cause fear is avoided.
Midwife change you
Hakan, my husband, immediately jumped out of bed full of joy and asked what I needed. "Nothing," I said. "Just that you are there". Then I called our midwife who was going to be at the birth.
Judith answered the phone and immediately sounded wide awake. Too awake. She told me that she was in the middle of another birth, that it was difficult and would take a long time, and that she would send her colleague to me. What a bummer! Everything is agreed with Judith, she knows I want to attempt the birth on my own and don’t want any investigations or suggestions unless I ask for it or Judith thinks it is absolutely necessary. And now comes a woman completely unknown to me. Who does not know me, who does not know our preparations, and does not know my pregnancy. The poor thing.
The poor thing? Not me poor thing? The fact that you were more worried about the midwife than about yourself shows a pretty relaxed basic attitude. Because that the midwife does not come at a planned home birth, is of course annoying at first. Because that’s exactly when you’ve settled on a certain midwife and want to be able to rely on everything with confidence. But births can not be planned absolutely. This can always happen and it is good to keep an open mind. Basically, I think that midwives who represent each other also fit well together, work similarly and of course make a specific handover – even at short notice if necessary.
Hakan brings the birthing pool into the bathroom, sets up candles and hangs a cloth over the window. Shortly after four o’clock I call my friend Anne to be present at the birth in case the big baby wakes up and because I want her to be there as a support.
Meanwhile, the waves are picking up speed, I can still talk, but I have to pay attention to my breathing.
When Anne arrives less than 30 minutes later, the three of us are still sitting on the sofa, chatting. Suddenly I noticed how the pulling in my belly became even stronger and I had to concentrate on breathing with my eyes closed.
In the birth pool
What to focus on? On my breath, taking deep breaths and most importantly exhaling slowly and for a long time. To my positive thoughts and the pictures visualizing my birth. After a few waves I realize that I need to move. The voices make me nervous. I want to walk around and I want to go to the pool. So I go to the bathroom with Hakan, while Anne waits in the living room and guards the baby monitor. We put water in the pool, light the candles and turn on the hypnobirthing music. At this moment I am so happy that I don’t have to go anywhere now. I want to concentrate, I want to get into warm water, I want to breathe and let the baby out.
By the way: hypnobirthing births don’t necessarily have to take place in the birth pool. But the warm water is just often very helpful. During birth the muscles work and muscles relax better with warmth. For all births..
It’s just after five when I get into the tub. The warm water is wonderful, I immediately relax, breathe with the waves, make long mmmmmmmmmmmhs and aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhs while Hakan touches my shoulders with a special massage we learned in the course: The Light Touch Massage. It ensures that hormones are released that relieve pain and cause feelings of happiness. I don’t have any pain – it is still a strong pulling in my belly, which I can stand well with the calm breaths. Between the waves I can rest well every time, feeling happy and excited because the baby is about to come. We do not know yet what it will be. It is a surprise egg&
I am leaning against the wall of the birthing pool in a seated position when the next wave comes and squeezes my belly. Suddenly it makes BLUBB and I notice how a jet of water shoots out of me and the pressure in my stomach decreases. "I think my water just broke," I beam. It felt like someone was popping a water balloon under water.
Arrival of the midwife
I am still sitting leaning in the pool when the midwife comes in. It’s about 5.8 pm. She introduces herself briefly, I introduce myself and have to pause for breath. Then I change to the quadruped position, because I notice how the baby’s head pushes downwards. Ute (the midwife) wants to examine my cervix, as a midwife does when she comes to a woman in labor, but I hiss at her: "Hands off!!", because it hurts immediately and I don’t want to be touched at that moment either. Poor thing, she really couldn’t have known that. So she asks me if she can listen to the baby’s heart tones with the ultrasound Doppler. Of course, she is welcome to do that. The heart tones are great, the baby is fit and doing great.
Of course, a midwife wants to get a quick picture of the situation when she is called in the middle of the birth. Even more so with a woman who is a stranger to her, as one she may have been looking after for weeks. I think I would have liked to have been examined very briefly in that situation to see if the baby was lying correctly and everything was okay so far. Listening to heart sounds is of course mandatory.
Since Ute is not allowed to palpate herself, she asks me to feel the baby. Cautiously, I examine myself, but bump into something and wonder what it could be?! Ute says "That’s the head!" Waaaaaas. Now I am really out of my mind. I have just stroked my baby for the first time and that although he is still completely inside me. Madness!
A few seconds later a strong urge to press comes over me. I let my body do it. I am NOT pushing along, but trying to keep breathing down, breathing my baby out. My body does all the work alone. I breathe and concentrate on being relaxed and loose, soft and open, so that the baby can come out more easily. At the next wave – my body contracts and pushes the baby further down – I can feel that the head is almost there. I ask if it is really the head, because it is incredibly exhausting right now and if it is NOT the head, then I don’t want to continue now. "Yes, yes…", Ute reassures me, "..It is the head, it will be here soon."
Ring of nettles
It’s 5.40 o’clock. Ute makes a compress to protect my perineum. Suddenly it burns – like a ring of nettles – and then the burning stops. No pain. No stinging, only an immense pressure.
The baby’s head is there! I can see it! Under water, all black hair! One more time I take a deep breath and slowly exhale downwards, there the baby slips out and I can take it myself and put it on my chest! My baby! I gave birth to my second child! Unbelievable – a miracle! I look at it, it is so wonderfully beautiful, tears come to my eyes – at 5:49 a.m.
The baby gurgles a bit and starts to grumble. Then I realize that it has the umbilical cord in the neck, which pulls it downwards. With Ute’s help I free my baby from the umbilical cord, which is only around the neck, but not around the neck, and the baby immediately becomes calm again, looks at us with blinking eyes.
"What is it?" asks Ute. I look carefully. A girl.
We are all so happy: A little sister for our big girl. What a blissful moment.
I put my daughter to the breast and she immediately starts to suck a little bit. We marvel at our little miracle. The daddy cuts the umbilical cord and I give our little girl to him in the pre-warmed towels.
Tree of life
Ute waits patiently with me for the placenta, but it doesn’t want to come yet. I am getting cold in the water and we decide to wait for the placenta in the next bed.
No sooner said than done: Hakan and Ute help me out of the water, over to bed. Then I have to push a little bit and the complete placenta comes out, with umbilical cord, amniotic sac and all the little branches. We look at it in peace this time, because it looks really fascinating. Like a real tree – the tree of life.
Ute examines me and finds a tiny little abrasion, but it doesn’t need stitches.
Great! I’m sure the warm water and the controlled, slow pushing contributed to this.
Happy Birthday Breakfast
I sit in bed, my baby at the breast. There are fresh rolls, coffee and juice. The two freshly born grandmas also came, marvel at the new baby and play with the big daughter.
It was a dream birth. It was even more beautiful than I imagined it would be. A few minutes after the birth I actually think that I would like to do it again right away. This birth is by far the most fulfilling thing I have ever experienced! I feel so powerful and strengthened – I have given birth to a beautiful human being for our little family. This is the greatest gift. I love you, my baby! <3
Franzi, thank you for your beautiful birth report!
By the way, the dear Franzi is a blogger colleague of mine. If you want to read more about her, you can do so on her beautiful simply small blog, which is very much about babywearing and diaperfree topics. I especially love their exquisite "Wearing is Love" series. Take a look!
Franzi has been preparing for the birth quite extensively and of course we don’t want to deprive you of her sources…
– Franzi’s personal preparation library –
– Franzi’s Youtube video list –
Attention: Trigger warning! Here are shown beautiful births, but you can see everything..
(Part 2 of the video linked above) (In the birth pool with siblings present) (In the birth pool) (A third child born in the birth pool)
If you want to know more about hypnobirthing now and have any questions about it, just leave a comment below. Franzi and I, as well as certainly one or the other (reading along) HB expert, will do our best to answer them then.