#42 | Birth Story Mini: Rachel's Natural Water Birth

August 10, 2020

In this birth story mini-episode, Rachel shares the story of her blissful birth using HypnoBirthing and how feeling empowered in her own birthing choices allowed her to have a pain-free and truly thrilling birth experience.  

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). We are always happy to hear from our listeners and appreciate questions for our monthly Q&A episodes. To join our monthly newsletter, text "downtobirth" to 22828.

You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

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View Episode Transcript

My name is Rachel, my husband's name is Ian. We were HypnoBirthing clients of Cynthia as last summer. It was perfect because I wanted to be in control of my birth as much as I could be, have my preferences and be prepared.

So after taking her classes of course, I worked really hard my whole pregnancy to stay healthy. Try to keep my weight under control and prepare for my birth. A doctor told me once my original ob told me that you wouldn't run a marathon tomorrow. So it's a good idea to prepare for natural birth as much as possible. So I spent every night listening to my HypnoBirthing hypnosis recordings. I repeated my affirmations constantly and I read as much as possible, so that I really felt educated and prepared for my birth. So when it came time I felt ready. I even felt excited. That fear just wasn't there. The fear that I felt when I first found out I was pregnant. It was no longer there because I was educated and ready. So it was December 7, we were expecting our first child. I was having a girl. It was three days past my due date. And it just felt like a typical Saturday night for us and we went out to dinner to one of our favorite places. And then he ended up deciding to go car shopping, and a little late in the game for us to switch cars but I had a small sedan and I knew we needed something bigger. So we decided to go take a peek at a couple cars and throwing our impromptu car shopping and we decided to do some test driving and in between my test driving one car to another I decided to go take a bathroom break and my water actually broke in the bathroom. So it was a pretty close call it would have made for a very expensive cleaning bill. If it was probably five minutes before or five minutes. Laughter So, my water broke about six o'clock pm.

And my labor had started within the hour. So on our way home, I called Stephanie. She is my midwife, Stephanie Goldman from the Danbury birthing center and I called my doula Colleen Myatt, and I let them know what was going on. And I went home and packed the rest of my bag and we headed headed up to the birthing center. I was Group B strep, positive, so I needed a first round of antibiotics. And after that first round of antibiotics, Stephanie sent me home. I was able to labor in a conference of my bedroom with my mother and my husband, and it was a cold night so we had the pellet stove on it was dark and dim and quiet. I had meditation music on I had my affirmations in the background. It was really really perfect. You literally hear a pin drop in my room, it was so calm. After a little while I decided to take a shower. I was listening to my affirmations, repeating them in the shower, just preparing to go to the birthing center. And then once I knew it was time, we drove to the birthing center, my husband drove Of course and to be honest, I cannot remember the drive to the birthing center. I was just remember being so focused and in my own little world, listening to my affirmations, repeating my affirmations that I do not remember the car drive. My husband says otherwise Of course, because he definitely thought I was gonna give birth to our daughter in the car because it started getting pretty intense. And he can tell by my breathing was intensifying and the contractions were getting closer. So when I arrived at the Danbury birthing center, I was already seven centimeters dialated I walked in Stephanie had a beautiful bath already drawn for me. So when I got in the bathtub, I just relaxed and stayed calm. And I had my headphones in until my doula Colleen arrived and she set the whole tone for the room for me. She had this beautiful calming music playing and peaceful lighting. And she sat on one side of the tub and my husband said on the other. It was that moment, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

I labored in the tub for a while, and then I actually labored on the toilet for a little bit. I received my second round of antibiotics. My labor at this point started to really intensify and at one point I even threw up, but I really felt that internal struggle at this point. And whether or not I should keep going or give up my goal of a natural birth, it was hard. It was very hard but at one When my labor was at the height of its intensity, I looked at my husband, and without saying a word to him, and he just said, You got this. And it was at that moment that I realized that I knew exactly what was happening. I remembered from my classes with Cynthia, and my HypnoBirthing books that once you reach that point of wanting to give up, that baby is right around the corner. I knew she was so close, and I knew I couldn't give up. I knew I had come that far that I knew she was right around the corner. So it kind of gave me a second set of energy that I really needed to push me forward. So now that I have this drive to keep going, I went back into the tub, and I began to enter those final stages of labor. It was incredible.

From this point on, She started to she's started to crown she I could feel her head. I reached down I could feel her head because I could feel her hair. I had my husband feel her hair and it was just so exciting for us to know. Okay, this is real. She's She's really there. She's really coming. And I know this may sound weird, but it kept me calm. And the midwives, the midwife, Stephanie and Colleen they kind of chuckle they were laughing at me because I was playing with her hair. Because it just gave me this excitement and I couldn't wait for the next surge. I was so excited for that next surge to come. It was an excitement that I find nearly impossible to explain. And her beautiful head finally emerged and I sat there, I was on I was on my knees and her head was out and she was in the water. She was underneath the water. And I just waited for that last surge and Stephanie and Colleen looked at me and they both Almost together said you know you're going to be a mother. And it was just it was a complete turning point for me and the excitement was unbearable.

I couldn't tell you that there was pain because there was no pain it was pure elation. To know that it was just one once more I'd come that far and one more surge and she was going to be in my arms. And at this point, I actually felt her make her quarter turn and almost pushed off of me on her own. It was just incredible. And I brought her into the water. She She came out of me on that last surge I brought her up to my my chest and it was just the most incredible experience of my life. I was the only one who touched her which was incredible. The midwives definitely put a blanket over me or a towel over us and to stay warm but she stayed In my arms, and Stephanie was present but she was completely respectful and confident in my ability to bring her into the world on my own.

So our daughter was born. She was born on December 8 at 615 in the morning, and she stayed in my arms while she received all her cord blood, and I delivered my placenta. Her cord went completely white, which was incredible to see. She was a whopping eight pounds, six ounces. She stayed on my chest skin to skin for the next couple hours. And she she latched successfully, which was incredible. And we just laid peacefully as a family for the next few hours at the birthing center, you know, occasional checks to make sure that we were okay bleeding was under control, but it was like being at home. And we were home by I believe two o'clock pm that day. So it was really the most incredible experience. My life.

And you know, before meeting Cynthia, I never knew how much power and choice I had in guiding my own birth. She inspired me to start the hardest but most fulfilling journey of my life. My my daughter was my best birthing partner. And my husband was a great birthing partner and Colleen was a great birthing partner, partner, but you really have all that you need. And all I needed was myself, the confidence in myself and my daughter. I felt like I was in complete control of my birth, I felt empowered enough to speak my mind and reject what I thought was completely unnecessary. And I really hope that all women could experience what we did that day. It's truly beyond words.


If you enjoyed this podcast episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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