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My Labour Experience – Seriously successful hypnobirthing homebirth

By Mikhaila

I wrote this the day I gave birth. So it was fresh in my mind. It’s pretty detailed so only read it if you’re super interested haha. It also needs to be heavily edited so take it with a grain of salt.

Haphazardly written but here goes.

So I started getting things that were pretty menstrual crampy Thursday night. Then they paused during the day Friday. I was exhausted just standing up. Then they picked up Friday night but weren’t too bad. More annoying I’d say. I slept through them (woke up 3 times to pee) but slept from 1 am to 12:30pm Saturday. Then we went to St Lawrence market (for meat) and the cramps started coming every 10 minutes for a minute each,  but I could breathe through them. And the pain would just shut off completely after 70 seconds so it wasn’t that bad because there were breaks. It took me a while to start timing them because I thought your first labour was supposed to last for a really long time, and I wasn’t sure they were anything anyways.
Then we went to my parents and I started timing them around 4pm and they were between 6-8 minutes apart. We got some paintings to bring over and installed a car seat haha. So it was just about 1 minute of really slow deep breaths and then I was fine for a bit. Then we stopped at shoppers (perfectly timed to avoid a contraction) while shopping.
We came home and had chicken wings. Then at 7pm I unsuccessfully tried to nap and they kinda went to 9 minutes apart. We went to Loblaws at 10pm but I stayed in the car. On the way home we had to pull over for one contraction because of the bumps, and I thought they were getting more intense but again nothing unbearable because of the breaks in between.
Then… Let’s see. We got home and cramps started getting intense enough that I had to squeeze my eyes shut, but I was still getting breaks in between them. I was able to be on Facebook (11:30pm). Sitting up helped. Laying down made them take longer but I kept upright to speed things along. Then I think around 12:30 they went from 5-6 minutes to like 2 minutes apart really fast and got pretty intense. I went to the washroom and it was pretty painful but I could still walk in between the contractions. Then I called mom and dad (12:40) because the contractions had sped up so much so quickly. Mom asked if I had called the midwife. I hadn’t yet, you’re supposed to call the midwife when contractions are 3 minutes apart and 1 minute long for an hour, but mine had gone from 5 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart in 15 minutes, so I was trying to wait until they lasted for an hour…. which was probably a mistake. Anyways, I called the midwife (1:15) who was at another birth so she didn’t show up until 2:10am and by that time I already felt like pushing!
The birth tub helped quite a bit but I started making moaning noises with the contractions at around 1. I could still laugh and things in between though, it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I was led to believe. Then at 2am before the midwife showed up I started wanting to push. I have a hard time getting on my hands and knees because of my ankle replacement and old arthritic wrist damage, and the birth tub really helped me use different positions with less weight in my joints.
From 12:30 to 3:30 it was pretty intense. I would say an 8 in pain maybe? And the pain would go down to a 5 but not really give me much of a break. But enough that I could take some deep breaths and relax my body a bit.
But it doesn’t feel wrong like breaking a bone or something. It’s hard but breaking a bone or surgucal pain is wayyyyy worse. It kinda goes in waves so you can breathe a bit in between. But the last 3 hours did hurt. Well from 12:30 to 2:30 hurt a lot. Then when I started pushing it felt a lottttt better, but still painful. It’s not the pushing that’s the worst part it’s the last part where your cervix thins out that actually hurts.
When the midwife showed up I was around 7 cm dilated (just needed to get to 10).
I got onto the bed for the midwife to check my cervix and then pushed for about 45 minutes and out she came.
And that is my birth story. I think listening to the hypnobirthing cd’s really helped calm me down and that’s what sped up the labour.
I practised deep relaxation and deep breathing every day from 34 weeks on and I think that helped me stay relaxed. I also wasn’t worried at all, it’s not like a surgery, it’s not scary. Women in western society are traumatized by terrible birth stories and it’s horrible. I read that when animals are scared they can stop their labour. Well, when women are scared, their cortisol levels rise and it slows the labour and makes it more painful. I think not being in a hospital really helped things go smoothly. For me at least, the smells and the lights and the sounds, and being hooked up to machines… that would raise my cortisol levels. I stayed home because I wanted to lower the risk of interventions as much as I can. I had 2 midwives with me, and I’m a 5 minute drive from a hospital. Statistically, home births have the lowest risk of interventions (for obvious reasons).
I also have a strangely high pain tolerance (probably from constant pain…. haha – the arthritis and surgeries). The midwives thought the fast labour had to do with that as well. I think it had to do with the deep relaxation practice. I would seriously recommend looking up hypnobirthing and beginning to practice closer to the beginning of the pregnancy. I think it would have helped me relax a lot more if I had started earlier.
Between 11:30 and 1am I got a whole bunch of nice hormones. So then I was kinda high in between the contractions. That was nice. But I think staying super super calm really helped. Stressing out also releases adrenaline which dampens oxytocin (which is what gives you the contractions). I would’ve freaked out in a hospital.
It did hurt quite a bit for a while but as soon as I started pushing it’s way more manageable. And now afterwards I’m sore but like I said, not broken bone sore. Like stretched muscles sore so it ain’t so bad!
Mom and dad were great to have around too. Mom helped the midwife.
The midwives were also extremely helpful, telling me everything was going well and monitoring heart rates and blood pressures.
I don’t want to do it again for a long time but it wasn’t scary like hospital experiences I’ve had. Being at home was amazing.
Liza (Elizabeth) Korikova weighs 7 pounds and 6 ounces and is 51 cm long. Born August 6 at 3:21am. She’s got a full head of hair. She doesn’t have a middle name yet! My feet are already less swollen and I’ve gone from 122 to 156 lbs to 142.5 today. Female bodies are amazing.
Just gotta get the hang of breastfeeding then everything’s golden. The midwife said stay in bed for a week, then around the bed for another week, then I can start doing things! I already feel more mobile than being pregnant though. I’ll be up and about in no time. I’ve been immobile before and this is not one of those scenarios haha.
That was an amazing experience. I’ve never felt more like a primate before. It was insane. Incredible. Females are amazing.
I’m really happy with this experience. My life used to feel like a series of bad jokes, or just repeated worst case scenarios. If something bad could happen, it would. Changing the way I eat, and therefore lifting the depression and arthritis has changed everything. I’m so thankful.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your birth story! I had my son the very next morning on August 7th. I had the help of my partner, a doula and two midwives. What a wonderful experience! I agree that the pain wasn’t as bad as I was led to believe but I was also fortunate that no interventions were needed. I did however have my son at Mount Sinai hospital. Luckily, I never saw a doctor or a nurse. We used the L&D room and were out of there 2 hours after he was born. All to say, hospitals can still provide a relaxed birth scenario too. 🙂 Congrats on the birth of your baby girl!

    1. That’s fantastic! I’m sure hospitals can be relaxing for some people, even more than homes. I don’t feel relaxed in them from the experiences I’ve had, but I’ve talked to people who have only had positive experiences, so they feel safer there. That’s great that everything went well! Congrats to you too!

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I visited your blog on your fathers recommendation based on some diet recommendations-I had no idea I would find a story of a home birth. My wife had our second son at home with two very capable midwives. What made it even more remarkable she was initially told it couldn’t be done because she had our first by C-section. Look forward to recommending this blog to my wife and family.

    1. Good for you guys, and good for her. I’m sure she was told a lot of negative things about vbac’s during her pregnancy. And to do a home birth on top of that? Very impressive.

  3. Amazing,
    I loved your story and I am so glad you had such a positive experience and your story inspires other to home birth too!
    I have a question for you, do you feel better after having given birth?
    I mean have your negative health symptoms reduced in there severity?
    my partner has had a similar experience in life and noticed a lessening of her symptoms during pregnancy and after birth and i wondered if you also had this experience?
    Thanks for sharing your experiences ,

    1. I think the pregnancy seriously negatively affected my mood. So since giving birth I’ve managed to get my depression under control again. I couldn’t seem to do it during the pregnancy. As for other symptoms (arthritis, skin issues, etc.) they’re still around unfortunately. They don’t seem to have changed. The last food I tried to reintroduce didn’t go well and I had the same kind of reaction I always have. That’s really good news about your wife though. I have a cousin with an autoimmune disorder that’s been in remission since her pregnancy.

  4. Women are amazing. Good for you for owning your birth and doing things on your terms. Nothing more primal or empowering than birthing a babe. It’s pure magic.

  5. Hi Mikhaila, Congratulations on your gorgeous baby girl! I live in Ireland where they are beginning to get c-section crazy in hospitals over here. I had my second baby last October and before I gave birth I did not think for one second that a section might be possible, especially so as my first was a natural birth. In a bid to get me out of the labour room as fast as they possibly could (hospital over-crowding here is at a manic level, even in maternity hospitals), I was advised to take so many interventions that everything just stalled (definitely should have done my research before this time!). I was so disappointed that, long story short, an emergency c-section was performed. Hospital policy over here (generally) is that pregnant women are not advised to go more than ten days over their due date- induction will always be scheduled by this time. My last two babies were born nearly 2 weeks overdue and I have been informed by everyone I know (medical professionals and otherwise) that it is dangerous to let your pregnancy go on for longer than this time. Sorry about the long post but I was just wondering if your baby was ‘overdue’? We would love to have more children and I absolutely want to avoid hospitals the next time however I am wondering, as far as you are aware, if women with a tendency to have ‘late-arrival’ babies would be good candidates for a home birth with no intervention?

  6. Thank you for sharing this inspiring birh story.
    I am a medical doctor, but opted for home birth because I am convinced it is the safest option for mother and child if you take the sensible precautions and have a capable midwife.
    I ended up having all 5 children at home, but was always open to transferring to a hospital without being dramatic about it, should the situation have warranted it. Contrary to popular notion, need of intervention rarely occurs suddenly, but develops over time and transfer is planned accordingly.

    You described that you had expected it to be more difficult because of all the stories.
    More than one woman told me that they were apprehensive sharing their unspectacular birth stories as they did not want to offend women with dramatic ones.

    In reality, today women have different and sometimes more dramatic birth experiences exactly for the reasons you state.
    Stress hormones hinder laboring and make for a more protracted birth for many women. This then changes expectations because of the stories they tell other women.

    What I also really liked about your story, is how you beautifully describe the natural tide of contractions. Contractions are usually stronger in the evening and in the night and subside somewhat during the day.
    Just imagine how that would have turned out if you had gone to the hospital at the first sign of contraction. There is a high probability, that you would have been given oxytocin in the morning, because birth was “stalled”.

    This makes for situations where intervention invokes more intervention and at the end of the day, a woman ends up with a c-section and the feeling that “Thank God she was in the hospital, because she or the baby or both would have died without serious medical help”. And that is exactly what she will tell her daughters and any other woman willing to listen.

    Again, thank you for sharing your beautiful story and having given your daughter a good start in life, good luck with raising the child lovingly.

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