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Charley's Birth

Dear Charley,

Your dad and I had been preparing for your birth with excitement from the moment we knew you existed. I attended prenatal yoga classes and your dad spent hours talking and reading to you when you were in my tummy.

One of the best things we did, however, was participate in Hypnobirthing classes. We wanted you to enter the world in a calm and gentle way and Hypnobirthing sounded like the perfect thing for our family.

Your dad and I attended classes every weekend where we learned how to relax and trust nature.

Every day we listened to positive affirmations and prepared for your birth by remaining calm and confident that you would know what to do when you decided to join us on your birth day.

As your estimated due date drew closer we tried to keep ourselves busy and patiently awaited your arrival. On my first day of maternity leave, which also happened to be your estimated due date, I slept in and then moved to the couch to watch a movie and relax.

I started feeling tightness in my abdomen and a dull pain in my lower back.

At first I thought they were Braxton Hicks contractions, so I remained calm and continued watching my movie. They continued to happen and I felt a bit uncomfortable so I decided to time them for an hour. Each surge was lasting 30-40 seconds about 10 minutes apart.

I decided to text your dad at work and let him know that something was happening, but I wasn’t sure if it was real labor or not. He was so excited, but told me to keep doing what I was doing and let him know if anything changed. I had planned for a massage lady to come to the house at 11:00am and give me a massage and throughout the massage I was still getting surges, but nothing that wasn’t too uncomfortable.

Through each surge I practiced my candle visualization and relaxed into the massage. After the lady left I want to the bathroom and ta-da there was my birth show!

I was so excited I called your dad and told him what had happened. Charley, your dad was stoked! I told him that since the surges didn’t seem that bad that he should stay at work, but to come home right when the students were dismissed for the day. While I waited for your dad to come home I watched another movie, listened to my affirmations, and tidied up the house.

The closer it got to 3:00pm I found that the surges were happening more often and I had to stop what I was doing to breathe through them.

I closed the curtains in our room, lit some candles, put on the hypnobirthing music soundtracks, and got into bed. I timed the surges for another hour and they were lasting 50-60 seconds and were spaced 5 minutes apart.

I think this is when it hit me that I was really in labor and that you would actually be joining us. I was ecstatic!

This is what we had been preparing for over the last nine months! I tried to calm down and waited for your dad to get home. When he got home he put on the rainbow relaxation track and gave me a light touch massage while he timed the surges for another hour.

At 5:00pm we both decided that we should get ready to go to the hospital since it was a 30 minute drive away without traffic and I didn’t feel comfortable being at home anymore knowing that I would have to sit in a car and endure surges without the help of your dad.

It took us about an hour to get to the hospital and your dad did an amazing job putting counter pressure on my knees in the car whenever I had a surge and keeping the affirmations and relaxation tracks playing on the stereo.

At the hospital we checked into the labor room at 6:00pm and they did an examination on me to see how dilated I was. I told them not to tell me so they took your dad outside the room and let him know (I was 5cm dilated!).

I continued to breathe through the surges and imagined filling up a giant balloon in my belly while they monitored your heart rate for 30 minutes to make sure you were okay in there.

I can honestly say that I was not in any pain, but was feeling more and more pressure with each passing surge.

After monitoring you and making sure that everything was okay with you they moved us into our labor room. Your dad set up the room by placing candles around the room, turning off the lights, playing our hypnobirthing tracks on the speaker, placing scarves over medical machines, setting up an area for my yoga mat and birthing ball, and lastly speaking with our midwife, Emma, about our birth preferences.

Your dad says that five hours passed by, but I honestly had no concept of time. I changed birthing positions a few times and continued to breathe through the surges while your dad applied counter pressure to my lower back or knees during surges and gave me light touch massages in between.

Emma, the midwife, left us alone in the room the entire time only entering when she needed to monitor your heart rate and to check in on us when we requested her.

I started to feel A LOT of pressure down there and it was getting more difficult to breathe through the surges.

I asked your dad to get Emma so she could check to see where I was and if it was ready to deliver you yet. She assessed me and then took your dad out to tell him where I was at in dilation (still at 5 cm, but you had dropped and were pushing against the cervix, hence all the increased pressure).

I asked your dad if I was close and he said some things are changing and somethings are not, but it is all good and that he was really proud of me. At this point I told him that I didn’t want to do it anymore. It was too hard and I was so tired, but he kept encouraging me and we worked through it together. I told him that if I had to keep going that I wanted to get into the shower so into the shower we went!

Your dad turned the water to hot and moved some candles and the stereo into the bathroom with us. I listened to the depthometer/birth release track over and over again. He applied counter pressure to my lower back during surges and hugged me underneath the hot water in between.

After an hour in the shower, which only felt like 5 minutes to me, things got intense. My whole body felt like it was tensing up with each surge and I started to get the urge to push. Your dad called Emma and she assessed me in the shower and then told us that we would be meeting you very soon.

I went from 5cm to 10cm in 1 hour!

I was beyond happy to hear this bit of news and got out of the shower and moved towards the bed. Emma said she was going to go call the doctor to join us and that she was going to prepare the delivery cart. I tried several birth positions on the bed and ended up in a squat position at the end of the bed (the bed turned into a really cool birthing stool contraption).

You took your sweet time coming down the birth path baby girl, but your heart rate never increased and I continued to breath you down whenever I got an urge to push or poop (don’t worry I didn’t poop)!

There was no pain, just pressure and a little bit of stinging.

Feeling you enter the world has to be one of the coolest things I have ever experienced and I cried during your descent because I was so happy that I was finally going to get to meet you.

At 2:09am you entered this world peacefully and were so calm and observant. Your dad placed you on my stomach and told me that our little Charley was here (we had a two names picked out because we didn’t know if you were a girl or boy!).

We left you attached to your placenta for 10 minutes until it was finished delivering blood to you and you performed a breast crawl all on your own. The doctor was so impressed with how aware you were and let you bond with your dad and I for 2 hours alone before she performed any birth tests on you.

Your dad and I are still in awe of you and how amazing your birth day turned out to be.

I love you Charley,


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