Author’s note: This is the sixth of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty. Birth is a beautiful experience, but some can find the contents of the topic a bit squeemish. In light of this, please note that these posts are neither too graphic, nor are they full of unicorns and rainbows. They’re just the unfettered, unadulterated truth. And the truth is that birth is the most amazing experience of which I have been a part. By far. So, read on – learn, cry, laugh, but most of all, enjoy.

After laboring all night long….

…my contractions really started to pick up.  I was listening to my Hypnobabies CD’s, and was trying to focus on keeping calm.  One of my CD tracks told me to think of each pressure wave (hypnobabies’ nickname for a contraction) as a BIG WARM HUG
They didn’t feel like any warm hug I’d ever experienced, but nonetheless, I wasn’t nervous or scared, and I accredit that to my Hypnobabies training.  I was in the zone, and knew that birth was a natural and normal experience – and it was what my body was meant to do. 
My doula arrived, and Blake served us a multitude of Starbucks pastries.  I wasn’t hungry, and just kept focusing on my contractions, which were 5 minutes apart at that point. We tried to watch Harry Potter, which was our plan to keep me comfortable and relaxed, but I couldn’t sit still.  I kept pacing the house, breathing and Ahhing through each contraction. 
During a Hypnobabies birth, the mother needs to pretend and think of herself in a “special safe place.”  Throughout my studying and hypnosis, my safe place that I would visualize was a forest at dawn
and a small pond – to be specific – it was Monet’s Water Lillies 
During each contraction, I would close my eyes, say Ahhh, and picture one of the images above.  I even printed out these pictures, with the hopes that I would tape them around the birthing room at the hospital.  
I felt in control, calm, and collected.

But as soon as the clock struck noon, something changed.  My fairytale dream of big warm hugs and Monet left my mind. The contractions changed.

I changed.
My beautiful singing turned into a guttural “arrrrrgggghhh” and I braced myself against one of the columns in our apartment.  This BIG WARM HUG felt like a bear hug, or more like a bear claw entering my back and reaching through towards my stomach.  
Our doula and my husband took one quick look at each other, grabbed our hospital bag, my birth plan, my Hypnobabies CD’s, and all of the beautiful pictures I had printed to create my “special safe place” and we rushed to the hospital.
This is the sixth of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty.