Reese MacKenzie’s Birth Story

If you read my older daughter Finley’s birth story, you know how much I was looking forward to my next birth. I didn’t get the birth I imagined the first time but was still really looking forward to having a natural, calm, hypnobabies, birth at a birth center.

My husband Josh and I waited for our first, Finley, to be 3 before trying for a second. It took 4 months but found out on Father’s day a second was on the way. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to find out what we were having. Our first gender reveal during an ultrasound was such a mess, I really wanted to be in control of it this time. I ordered the blood gender test, Sneak Peak, at 10 weeks. The test directions tell you to do it by yourself, so not to introduce other’s chromosomes, and clean every surface and yourself to not cross contaminate the data. I had to prick my finger, which for someone who HATES blood, this was not an easy process. Then had to collect the blood in a vial. Sounds easier said than done. You have to milk your finger to get enough blood out to fill the vial up to the line. Let’s just say I wouldn’t do it again. Two weeks later we got the email with our results, which Josh and I read together. Sneak Peak was 99% sure we were having a girl, with no Y chromosomes found. I was ecstatic to be having a little sister for Finley.

My family had moved to St. Louis when Finley turned one, so I needed to find a new birth center. Mercy Birthing Center is in Mercy Hospital so it was a great option for us since we were so disheartened by not being able to birth in our original center due to complications. Now unless huge unseen circumstances came up we were going to be good to go. One of my first questions to the midwives was about the procedure of a meconium birth, since that is what had sent me during labor to the hospital with my first. We were reassured it would be no problem and I could still deliver in the center.

My pregnancy was fairly smooth. A little nausea at the beginning, round ligament pains when walking long distances, but no real Braxton Hicks like I had with my first for months. The thing that was the hardest with both pregnancy was carpel tunnel in both wrists. It made daily activities and sleeping very difficult. I went weekly to chiropractor appointments for 5 weeks which helped a little with wrists and lower back pains.

I knew from the start I wanted to use Hypnobabies again for this birth. At 32 weeks I started my daily meditation practice and online readings. It is a very big commitment, but I knew it’d be the only way I’d make it naturally through a birth without trauma. It was at least an hour a day dedicated to my practice, which helped me heal from my first birth that didn’t go expected at all. I felt calm imagining my next birth and knew my body could do it.

During the last part of pregnancy my husband and I made the crazy choice of wanting to sell our house and get ready to move to South Florida. This meant we had to prepare the house for selling and pack. Not an easy task 8 months pregnant with a three year old.

At 39 weeks and 3 days I woke up for a normal day of working my home daycare. By 9 am I knew something was happening. I started to get little pressure waves that I could still talk through. I had three daycare kids at the house and my daughter to watch so I was very occupied. By 11 am Josh and I decided it was time for my mom to come over to help with the kids. At 1:30 my water broke once again in my bedroom, and once again I could tell the baby had passed her meconium based on the fluids color. The pressure waves became much more intense and closer together so we decided it was time to start getting ready to go to the center. Of course on this day we had a handyman repairing the back door for resale. The poor guy seemed very confused by it all.

We left for center at 2pm. The car ride was surprisingly very peaceful for me with my headphones in listening to my birthing tracks. I had 2 contractions on the drive, and one walking in to the center. By 2:30 they accessed me and I was 5 cm but my contractions were so close and water broken so they escorted me to the suite. Once in the room the pressure waves really picked up and I went straight to the bed. I went into myself and everything around me disappeared. I still had my back labor discomfort like my previous birth, but my husband knew just what to do by pushing my hips together through each wave. My ritual during a wave was to count a loud. It surprisingly helped to keep my mind busy and made me feel like an end was coming. I stayed in the bed on all fours. My waves were only spaced a minute a part so there wasn’t much down time. Josh was busy getting me cold cloths for my neck and squeezing my hips. I frequently had to waddle my way to the bathroom as quick as possible to relieve myself between waves which was difficult. My eyes were closed unless I was walking the entire time. At any given time I had no idea who was in our dark room other than Josh.

Sounds weird, but during my transition phase, my comfort turned into rubbing my feet against a soft furry blanket I brought from home. The midwife came in and checked me and I was fully complete. She told me it was time to push. I was shocked it was all moving so quickly. I told her I did not have the urge to push at all. The midwife suggested I move to the toilet to get a better position. Getting myself to the bathroom this late in the game was no easy task, and sitting on it through several waves was not the comfort I was excepting. I stayed in there for 5-10 mins. I made my way back to the bed and tried to get on all 4’s. I lasted like that until I had the urge to push and then it felt right to flip over and lay on my back. With in minutes Reese’s head emerged and one additional push for her body. Once out I was surprised she wasn’t put straight to my chest like my first daughter, but was put on my legs, the midwife kept saying don’t pull her you have a very short umbilical cord. With the next wave the cord got a little longer and she was put on my stomach. It took another wave to get her to my chest. The placenta came right out within a couple minutes.

My baby girl was everything I had dreamed of. She had a little dark hair, not as much as my first but great color. I had torn a little so needed to be stitched. My husband and I enjoyed every minute with our new girl. My sister and mom brought our daughter Finley to meet her sister within the first two hours. Finley was quiet and shy at first. It melted my heart to see her hold her new best friend.

We packed up our stuff and were home 4 hours later. It was the perfect birth I had always envisioned and I have Hypnobabies to thank for that. We were so lucky to have her when we did because just a few days later that same hospital had their first case of Covid-19 and the hospital rules changed. I was so thankful none of that affected my birth, but it has made it very difficult to see family and friends since. We have been so lucky our little family of four has safely gotten to stay home together for the last four months and enjoy our new little love.

Reese’s Birth Video

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