Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wren's Hypnobabies Birth Story (Jami's Perspective)

I've been wanting to write Wren's birth story. The very real demands of life as a mother of 4 young children have been preventing me from doing so.  But today is finally that day! :) A big THANK YOU to my friend Heather for taking photos during the experience.

Wren Bailey Hepworth was born on August 13, 2017 at 7:37pm. She was 8lb. 2oz. and 23 inches long.

Reader's Digest Version: 15 hours of pressure waves were followed by my water breaking while on the toilet. I quickly got on my knees and baby came out into my arms in one easy push.

I don't know that I have a whole lot more to add to that Reader's digest version. Even as I say that, I know I will. Birth is such a funny, everyday, yet epic kind of thing. And Wren's arrival was no different.

The week before:

After being woken several times in the middle of Sunday night/early Monday morning August 7th, I thought I better encourage my mom to get to Pocatello (she was in Salt Lake, visiting her sister before heading over) or else she might miss the birth. Squire called in to work to let them know he would be staying at home. I let him check my dilation the night before and that morning and we had found that I had gone from 3 cm to 6cm and my cervix was 90% effaced over the course of the night. (For anyone who has stumbled upon this blog post and is not familiar with our family - my husband, Squire, is a family medicine resident and has done several rotations of OB training.) Incidentally, my sister McKenzie, her husband Nate and their baby Jude were visiting us. My mom and aunt Jan drove to Pocatello as quickly as they could once they got the news that baby might be coming. We informed the midwives. I made waffles for the kids. I was so excited that this was the day! We got the birth tub set up and filled up in the middle of the room. But over the course of a couple hours, I found that my pressure waves were stronger only when I would go to the bathroom or to my room. My midwife asked me if I was ready to take off my pants and get into the tub. I remember coming out into my living room in the light of day, pants on, with the birth tub in the center of the room, full of warm water just waiting for me - and then seeing the crowd surrounding the tub as though in a sports arena. It was just too much for me. My pressure waves stopped completely after 12 hours of consistency. We spent the days running errands, and I got a lot of walking time in, but to no avail. That day, was not THE day like I had hoped and felt.

I felt a little deflated, but I was relieved my mom was finally there. That week we focused on getting our home in even better order. Squire repaired the washing machine which had broken and wasn't working. (Great timing, right?) And we all just waited. I accepted the fact - yes, the fact - that I would be pregnant forever. And I told myself I was totally fine with that. .  .

The big day:

Around 5:30am on August 13th, I woke up to some very strong pressure waves. Maybe this was the day baby would come!? After a couple of hours of consistency, I informed my friend, Heather, and my midwife Angela, that I thought the real deal could be starting. She let Valerie and Mary, the other midwives, know. Everyone trickled in as the day moved on. The kids helped Squire fill the birth tub.

Angela is checking my pulse here while I experience a pressure wave.

THE BEST tasting coconut water - natural electrolytes, baby.
This time, the atmosphere was better managed than the week beforehand. We set up a table for the midwives to put their things. We arranged the seating in a less obtrusive fashion. We had everything in order, and we kept the feeling calm. I listened to my Hypnobabies tracks on my birth ball, in the birthing tub, and as I walked around my home. 

At one point I had Squire check me and I was dilated to 8cm. That number, coupled with my past experience of having my babies in 4-5 hours time, led me to anticipate a baby's arrival in the next 20 minutes or so. But the 20 minutes turned into hours, and we waited and waited and waited. Baby was posterior by the way, so I think that may have contributed to some of the waiting.

Why is this baby not born yet?!
A See's lollipop lick to cheer me up.

Our last family pic before Wren was born.
Checking baby's heart tones.
At one point I thought I felt my water break while in the birth tub. I felt a pop and a bit of a leak. Squire was in the water with me at that point. He asked me if I was sure my water had broken. I told him he had better hope my water broke, because if it hadn't, I had just peed in the birth tub he was sitting in! I guess the joke was on me, because as I found out later, my water didn't actually break until much later. 

I asked my midwife for help. Was something wrong I wondered? When I was so far along, usually things went extremely fast. We did a couple maneuvers to try to get baby to rotate. We did some in my room, and a time later we did some maneuvers while I was in the birth tub. Squire and Angela did a little hip-squeezing on me as well. But things kept plodding along at a snail's pace while my cervix held itself wide open.

At one point I tried to push inbetween pressure waves while listening to my Push Baby Out Hypnobabies track. My midwife asked if they were involuntary pushes. I said, "No. I just thought if I pushed a little I could help baby move down." "Jami. Everything is going fine. It's just going a little slower than you are used to. You should wait on that pushing."

OK! Nap time then I guess.

Not for long, though. I decided that if now wasn't the time to push, now was the time to help the baby rotate. I remembered that I had a Turn, Posterior baby, Turn! Hypnobabies track and listened to that. The whole time I listened to that track I felt intense pressure and openness. The kind of intensity you expect to feel when baby's head is right on the lip of the cervix. But no pushiness. So I listened and waited and relaxed and stayed and dove deeper into my hypnosis. I was so relaxed that I found I had drooled a bit on the side of the tub when the track completed playing.

I continually got in and out of the birth tub to use the restroom during my birthing time. After finishing the Turn Posterior Baby track, I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement. I don't like to poop or pee in the water I'm giving birth in if I can avoid it. So I got out of the birth tub and headed to the bathroom to pass my #2 for what felt like the thousandth time. I think I had to take a break draped over the birth ball in "Off" position before proceeding if my memory serves me right,

When I sat on the toilet and started to push, my water broke with a gush and all at once I felt baby's head. I think I said something terribly significant and meaningful like, "Poop! Baby!" I quickly dropped to my knees and called for Squire to get behind me to help make sure I was clean. And then in one easy push baby slid right out into my arms. You can see that pushing footage, here:

And there she was. My soft-skinned warm sweet baby in my arms. I'll never get over that feeling of holding my naked freshly-born babies for the first time.

Surprise! Baby was a GIRL!

 Angela tucked a bowl under me and I pushed out my placenta while admiring my sweet new babe.

Lincoln cut the umbilical cord:

Candid Hepworth family picture - Wren included.

While I was nursing and snuggling baby girl, our other two girls decided it would be a great time to dip into the birthing tub for a swim. (GROSS!!) Haha! Oh, well. That's just what really happened. 

Mimi with baby Wren.

Little baby hand.

While the wait was confusing and a bit frustrating at times due to my previous experience of having very quick births, with my Hypnobabies tools, I was able to remain comfortable and focused throughout my birthing time. I was surprised at how many hours had passed the couple of times I requested the time, and I believe the hypnosis helped with that as well. It was a rewarding experience bringing Wren into the world. I learned that I can give birth "on land" comfortably and smoothly, and that I am capable of giving birth gracefully, even facing the challenge of a much longer birthing time.

We have loved getting to know this girl this past month. She lives up to her name, Wren, quite well - an inconspicuous little bird with a distinctive song. She is a really calm, quiet, easy-going and content little baby most of the time, but when she needs something, she expresses that very distinctly for all to hear. ;) We love this girl and feel peace knowing that "that someone" who we felt was missing from our family, has arrived at last.


  1. You are brave to give birth with all your kids around. Maybe yours are just better behaved but mine would be like "Hey Mom, I'm hungry. Can you get me some lunch? Hey let me swim in the pool with you." Glad she arrived safe and sound.

  2. Awww, I love reading your birth stories! And how nice to have pictures and video! I think I have one snippet of video from Ivy, but it's most likely not one I'd share because it was taken from the angle right between my legs!

  3. Jami this is so beautiful and real and precious! Watching other people's births always makes me cry, it is such a miracle every time. I'm impressed with your stamina through the waiting game and will need to find out more about that CD as I get ready for our birth in a couple months. Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful details!!



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