I was hopeful for a second child, even at the more “advanced maternal age” of 39 and a past history of hormonal imbalances.   Besides the familiar and awful nausea, food cravings and aversions of the first trimester and hot swelling of the third trimester, everything went great.  I continue to attribute my success in regulating hormones to Chinese Medicine and feel I have been working on preparing for fertility many years before I ever thought about having a baby.

I was scheduled for my 40-week check up the morning before the baby’s due date. I sensed things were happening when I woke up and the day progressed, and asked Jason to stay home from work to take Harvey to daycare.  My doctor suggested I come in for my scheduled appointment to check me.  While I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, my doctor could let me know if it was time to go to the hospital or to return home.  Second deliveries are notoriously faster than the first, so it made sense to me to go.

Jason hustled to pack the car when he returned home around 9am.  We made it to my 10am appointment on time.  When I told the receptionist that I was in active labor, she turned white before running for the doctor.  I sat in the corner of the waiting room huge, swollen, eyes closed, listening to a hypnosis track on headphones.  What a sight!  I was brought back for examination: 5 centimeters dilated and fully effaced.

Our doula left to meet us at the hospital which is 2.5 miles from the doctor’s office. A wrong turn, a dead end, some speed bumps, a few curse words (from me), and an illegal U-turn later, we got to the hospital at 10:54am.  The doctor on call was the only doctor from the practice that I had never met in person, though my sister previously worked with him which was comforting.  He checked me: 9.5 centimeters.  Jason left to move the car.  The doctor told me to let him know when I felt like pushing.  I responded with, “I feel like pushing.”  That was the only moment I felt scared because Jason wasn’t back yet.  While the doctor got his gown and gloves, I fully dilated to 10 cm, Jason returned, I asked for a squatting bar, the foot of the bed dropped down, a bar was strapped in, I reached up, squatted, and in a few pushes and seconds, Lila came out at 11:18am to some pretty crazy screams. The doula arrived about 10 minutes later 🙂

I went through the Hypnobabies self-study program for a second time.  As I re-listened to the hypnotic suggestions and recreated my “special safe place” for birthing time, I had joyful memories of giving birth to Harvey and the preparation work I did to get there.  I feel that because I was prepared to give birth both times, it was an efficient process that doesn’t evoke a memory of pain or fear.  I was able to relax into the sensations felt as strong pressure from a hypnotic state.  Preparing for those moments and giving birth to our children has been one of my proudest accomplishments.   

I share my story with compassion, as I know not every mother is so fortunate with her fertility and birth stories.  I think about it a lot and am humbled knowing that I struggle with other things (like milk supply).

I’m grateful for what my body has given to my family and me.

With love, Molly