“A” is for Ashley! – Part I

Introducing my very good friend Ashley!  She has agreed to write about her birth story for me and because it is such a good, long story, I’m splitting it up into 2 posts.  Enjoy!

First of all I want to thank Erika for the wonderful and kind words in her blog post about me! Wow! I feel way to undeserving for such wonderful words!

When Erika asked me if I would guest blog my first thought was NO WAY! I am not that interesting and wouldn’t have anything to say! But when she mentioned she wanted me to tell my birth story I changed my mind immediately! Of course I would talk about the most memorable and life changing day of my life! :)

I had a pretty hard start to my pregnancy. I was diagnosed with Hyper Emesis when I was 14 weeks pregnant and was so sick I lost 26 lbs in only 4 weeks! I slept for up to 18 hours a day and when I wasn’t sleeping I was puking! YUCK! But as I neared my 24th week or so I started feeling pretty good and decided this pregnancy thing wasn’t so bad! :)

My husband and I had decided to take a childbirth hypnosis class call “Hypnobabies” to prepare for our homebirth. We did a series of classes once a week for six weeks. Hypnobabies really focuses on the positives of birth and that it really doesn’t have to be painful! (I know what you are thinking! But really it doesn’t have to be!!)

On Friday, August 7th I woke up at around 4 am with what I thought was Braxton hicks or intestinal cramps. I couldn’t sleep and went downstairs.  After awhile I realized that these contractions were different and coming exactly 10 minutes apart!  I still was in no way convinced this was it! I was not “planning” on having this baby until the following Friday!  (I am a planner!!) I went back to bed around 6 am  but told my husband as he left for work that “something” might be happening and that he should keep his phone close.

I had an appointment with my midwife scheduled for that morning and decided I would go ahead and go since I “knew” this wasn’t going to be “it”! I made the 45 minute drive down to her home office with contractions still 10-15 minutes apart. I listened to my Birth Day affirmations hypnosis CD on the drive. Just in case this was the day, I wanted to be as positive as possible! At my appointment I asked to be “checked” (not something routine for my midwife to do) and was told I was 3 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced.  Yaay! I thought 3 for free!! I wasn’t uncomfortable at all!!

I went home and decided to take a nap. I put on my deepening hypnosis CD and was able to nap for a little more than an hour. During and after my nap my contractions had spaced out considerably to where I thought everything had pretty much stopped. Since I wasn’t “planning” on having her that day I figured it was just as well!

Mark came home from work and we decided to go for a walk to the pool and have a drink at the bar (yes, we have a bar at our pool! And no I didn’t drink!) We got back at about 6:15 and I made dinner, I did notice that I was extra grumpy while making dinner and thought hhmmmmm…. mood swings… Pre-labor sign…. but also just a grumpy, hot, tired pregnant lady sign! While making dinner I had about 4 contractions that were much stronger and only 4 minutes apart! I tried to eat dinner but really didn’t feel very hungry. I decided to sit and rock on my exercise ball (birth ball) and had several more contractions that I really needed to use my hypnosis for. My husband had downloaded a contraction timer on his phone but we just could get the hang of him pushing start and then trying to be there for me to lean on.

I decided that I was going to take a shower and then we were going to watch the show “Baby Story” that I had recorded because it was a natural, un-medicated  birth at a birth center and that was highly unusual for that show. I text my doula and my sister saying that maybe today was the day and things seemed to be picking up. I was still in denial that she was going to come any earlier that her “due” date! (ha!)

On my way up the stairs I had 2 pretty intense contractions and leaned on Mark for support. I sat in the shower on my exercise ball and thought….. wow these contractions really are close together! I was still completely comfortable but I really to concentrate on using my hypnosis and really relaxing my body during each contraction. I asked Mark to de-clutter our house a little since maybe we would be having people over in the near future!

The stupid ball was blocking the drain and I had to stand up to let the water drain out and so I decided to get out of the shower and see how things progressed. It was about 7:20 when I got out of the shower and I layed down onto the bed. My sister called to see how it was going and I
told her that they definitely felt stronger and I even had to put her on hold while I relaxed through a surge. She suggested I call the midwife and let her know how close they were.

I called our midwife Jessica and told her that they were about 2-3 minutes apart but that we were not really timing them. She said to call her back in 1/2 an hour and let her know how things were going. We called our doula Amy and let her know that I would probably be needing her soon and that I would let her know.

We timed about 4 contractions and they were 2 min. apart lasting at least 1 min. My sister called back to see what Jessica had said and I told her that they were close together and getting more intense. She said I should get the midwife and doula there because it sounded like things were definitely progressing fast! :) My sister is a physician’s assistant and I think she was freaking out at the point about the fact that I was actually going to have a home birth!

At this point I really had to focus on my hypnosis. I had been listening to different hypnosis CD’s in the background and Mark was using the relax cue we had learned. I told Mark to call Jessica and Amy back and tell them they should both hea
d over. At this point it was about 8pm (I think) I decided to get into the bathtub and told Mark that this was “really” it and that he should call everyone and let them know. I called my Mom and told her she should come right away!

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