Dakota’s birth was immensely evolutionary and evocative. I birthed her into this world the way Mother Nature intended. No drugs. No bright lights. No institution. Peacefully. Intimately. Safely. This is my sacred rite of passage. This is my natural birth story.
Please note: I used Hypnobabies hypnobirthing techniques. I’ve been taught to use different vocabulary without negative connotation – “pressure waves” refers to contractions, and “birthing time” refers to labor.
I was 9 days past my “guess date”, so I went to see my midwife Liz at 11am on October 27, 2017 to get my progress checked. I was 3cm dilated, which surprised me because I hadn’t felt any pressure waves, only mild menstrual-like cramping. Knowing that my birthing time was near, I went home and practiced my hypnosis techniques.
At 4:15pm, I awoke from a deep hypnosis. As I got out of bed, fluids came rushing out. I wasn’t sure if I had peed all over myself, or if my water broke! I went to the bathroom and checked to see what happened down there – it was definitely the latter. I immediately called my Liz and told her what happened.
Things moved fairly quickly because my body was relaxed, and I was in a comfortable environment. My pressure waves were 1 minute apart, so I called my doula Kelly to come over. I labored on my birth ball until she arrived around 7pm – I instantly felt soothed by her presence. She applied counter-pressure on my back and spoke to me in the most absolutely calming voice. Liz and her assistant Annette arrived around 8:30pm.
I tried different positions on the bed, birth ball, and bathtub to move the process along. An hour later, I told Kelly I had the feeling to push – she said I might be more comfortable sitting on the toilet and letting gravity work its magic.
At 10:22pm, I got back in the tub as I could sense my transformation stage was near. With each pressure wave, I curved my back as if I was cradling my baby and Christopher poured warm water on the exposed parts of my back and belly, nurturing his creation from the outside dimension.
As my pressure waves got stronger, I rooted myself deeper into hypnosis, yet I was still present in the moment. Passionately alive. Liberated by the ability to feel the magical life force inside me. I surrendered to the storm of sensations, letting the current take me back home. I knew that every vibration and every movement was bringing my baby closer to being in my arms.
At this point, I had a fleeting thought that I would have to go to the hospital because my energy was so depleted. I looked at Kelly and told her how tired I was. “Sleep,” she gently whispered. So I did as she said, and I slept for 30 seconds in between each pressure wave.
Progress slowed down as I experienced an anterior cervical lip complication, meaning the edge of my cervix was swollen and in the way of baby’s head. Liz assisted me through it and I reached full dilation at 3:32am, but I still had difficulty crowning my baby in the tub.
I looked over at my birthing team and saw how tired they were. I was trying to get this baby out as quickly as I could, but something was holding me back. Something didn’t feel right. Deep down to the marrow of my bones, I knew that I wasn’t meant to have a water birth.
At 4:24am, I followed my intuition and moved to the floor, and with unshakable strength, my baby started crowning. “Be brave,” said Liz. She gently guided my fingertips towards the top of my baby’s ethereal head. When I felt her bare skin blanketed by a sheet of purity, I drifted within myself and poured every ounce of love and light energy into the final moment of transcendence. I felt the release of pressure alchemizing the expansion of my soul in certainties, and drowned in an ocean of divine bliss as tears cascaded down my face. “We did it, we did it.”
Dakota Ruth Waldrum was caught by her father on October 28, 2017 at 4:42am. This was the moment I transformed from maiden to mother. This was the moment I gave birth to my daughter. This was the moment I gave birth to my truest and highest self.
I laid Dakota on my chest for immediate bonding. We waited a few minutes for her umbilical cord to stop pulsating, in order for all of her blood to be transferred from the placenta to her body. Once it stopped pulsating, Christopher cut the cord.
About 5 minutes later, I delivered my placenta, which came out much quicker and easier than I had anticipated. We saved it aside to be encapsulated for post-partum consumption. Then, I moved from the floor to the bed, and Kelly helped me get the first latch for breastfeeding.
Dakota weighed 7lbs 14oz and measured 20 1/4 inches long. She also received a rare and perfect 10/10 APGAR score (measure of the physical condition of a newborn). After her measurements, I nursed her to sleep and spent the rest of the morning staring at her in complete bliss. It was (and is) the sweetest love I have ever known.
Through the power of belief, I had the birth of my dreams. I didn’t tear (thanks to Liz for applying olive oil to my perineum), and I felt no pain during my birthing time (thanks to my Hypnobabies techniques). I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better first birth experience. I truly hope my story empowers other women to not fear childbirth, but to embrace it. Our bodies were made for this.
Thank you to my doula Kelly for capturing our photos – raw and beautiful, a perfect account of our birth.
Stay tuned for a future blog post where I’ll be revealing my tips for a pain-free birth (updated – click here to read my tips). Please leave any questions or comments, I’d love to chat!
Midwife: Elizabeth Smith, LDEM CPM // BabyBizLiz.com
Doula: Kelly Colvin, DONA Trained Birth Doula and Certified Hypnobabies Hypnodoula // PeacefulBirthChoices.com
Placenta Encapsulation Specialist: Laura Hopper // AlternativeBirthServices.com
Home Birth Resources:
Business of Being Born
FAQs About Midwives
Free Home Birth Checklist
Hypnobabies Natural Childbirth Classes
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Medical Research on Home Birth Safety