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On wed night, nov. 17th I went to bed close to midnight. I was feeling some practice waves( I thought) which wasn't alarming because I had been having them for 6 weeks or more. 

A little before 2:00 am I woke up feeling stronger waves. They were so strong and close that I couldn't go back to sleep. I downloaded a contraction timer on my phone and started timing.

At 2:00, I went upstairs and woke my husband, Tony, up to have him fill up the bathtub. I got in the tub and started listening to my birth guide CD while timing my waves. They were close but irregular- 4min. apart, then 2, then 6....no consistency, but I knew that these waves were definitely different than the practice waves I had been having before.

At some point, Tony called the midwife, and she wanted to speak to me. He gave her the heads up on my hypnosis so she would know how to speak to me ( never say pain!). She asked about the irregularity of my waves and if I was ready to come to the birthing Inn. I remember telling her that we were an hour and twenty min drive away and that I didn't want to make the trip just to be sent home! She assured me that there were hotels close by if needed.

I got out of the tub about 4:30am. Even though I was timing my waves ( most of the time), time really seemed to fly by. Every 20 min truly seemed like 5. It was incredible! Something else that really amazed me was how much Tony helped relieve the intensity of my waves. When I would hang on him through a wave, it was really less intense!!

By 5:00am we were pulling out of the driveway. I was listening to my deepening CD ( I listened to this the most through my birthing time). I had been worried about losing my focus during the drive to the birthing inn, so I told myself that the car was acting like a cradle, rocking me peacefully. This really worked because the last part of the drive I was sleeping between my waves!

I would wake up during the wave and then fall right back to sleep! When we arrived at the hospital, at 6:30am, my doula was wonderful to tell everyone in our path that I was using hypnosis. All of the staff was extremely respectful and supportive! The only mental pressure I felt at this point was that they wouldn't keep me. I remember talking to the baby and encouraging another wave so the staff would see that I really was in labor ( I am sure I didn't appear to be).

My midwife checked me and I was 8 cm and 100% effaced! At 8:30 the shift changed so the new midwife on call wanted to check me. Tony explained to her that I didn't want to know of my progress. Tony explained why she wanted to check and asked if it was ok. She proceeded and what a good thing that Tony told her not to tell me because I was still at 8 cm. Had I known this I am sure I would have been disappointed.

While she was examining me, my water broke. I had rocked on my birthing ball some and after a trip to the bathroom I wanted to go back to this position. When I sat down I felt a lot of pressure and exclaimed that I needed to push! This was at about 10:00 am.

I leaned over the bed for a while then I sat on the bed. I was pushing but not too hard. I felt like I was doing what my body was telling me to do. After some time I went back to leaning over the bed. The nurse whispered in my ear that she knew it was important to me that Tony help deliver the baby and that in the position I was in, there was only room for the midwife. She told me crawl up onto the bed. They raised the back of the bed perpendicular to the floor and I held onto that while on my knees. At this point I really started pushing. I was ready to get my baby out.

Five pushes for the head and one for each shoulder and baby corinne slid out onto the bed. She was born at 11:09am. About 5 min after she was born she latched right on and nursed for over an hour!

My Hypnobabies birth was an incredible experience. My cue words and especially Tony placing his hand on my forehead during a wave really helped! I was actually shocked at what a difference it made.

The only thing I would have done differently was instead of listening to "pushing baby out" out loud in the room, I would have listened to it on my ipod with my earbuds. I think having Kari's voice in my head for hours and then switching to the cd player, it caused me to feel a little disconnected from the script. Other than that I can say that I had a perfect birth experience.
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I loved finding these blog  posts about a Hypnobabies Birth

One from Dad's Point of View

One from Mom's Point of View
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Let me just say that I am very proud of this birth.  It was at a free-standing birth center with midwives and my hypnosis helped tremendously!

Eli was born at 6:53 am on July 9th, a day after our 10th wedding anniversary! He was 6lbs 8 oz upon arrival. I am writing this up now, only 2 days after birth because I won't be able to take naps during the day until I do! My mind simply keeps playing over the events that I don't want to forget. This birth was done with Hypnobabies hypnosis and was absolutely perfect.

My birthing time started the morning of July 8th and pressure waves were about 5 to 7 minutes apart from the very beginning. My mom came over that morning as she and dad are up visiting for about a month. My 'guess' date was July 21st, by the way! All morning, I walked, squatted, laid on the couch, and tried to stay as active as possible. I really wanted to walk outside but it was in the low nineties and the humidity was very high. I ended up just staying inside with our swamp-cooled air.

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I had worked towards this natural birth since the moment we found out we were pregnant. I figured out pretty quickly that if I wanted a completely natural birth I would have to step away from the OB/hospital birth that we initially were signed up for and go with a midwife/free-standing birth center birth and I'm glad that we did. Just to give a little background, my first birth was by C-section and even though at the time I was happy with it, after doing more research I believe my section might have been avoided by doing more walking/activity during labor. My 2nd child was a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) and again, at the time I was thrilled with the outcome but the recovery was made difficult by the epidural/pitocin/episiotomy/vacuum extraction train that I boarded. Just recovering from the episiotomy took a full year!

So as I was laboring at home and looking forward to my 3rd birth, I knew what I was avoiding. I knew there was a small chance of transfer to a hospital from the birthing clinic but accepted that that might happen and that it would be because of a true emergency. So, midway through the day I started listening to my hypnosis tapes and one of the suggestions was inhaling relaxation and exhaling peace - I took this and modified it a bit. I would inhale and upon exhaling I would use my peace cue and breathe 'peeaacce' through the first part of my exhale and 'open-open-open-open' through the last part of my exhale. It allowed me to focus my anesthesia going to my middle and also to visualize my cervix opening. I believe this, along with the abdominal breathing was critical to the superb birth experience that I ended up having. It produced supreme relaxation. (As an aside, I read up on abdominal breathing because exhaling to the count of 8 had always given me trouble. So what I did was inhale first into my abdomen, and then fill up my lungs. My exhale would push the air first out of my lungs and then out of my abdomen. This gave me more to focus on instead of just the counting in to 4 and out to 8.)

By evening my pressure waves were more intense but I was staying nicely on top of them and was feeling very relaxed. I was listening to my 'easy first stage' CD and my 'deepening' but at times also just using my peace/open exhaling to relax through them. We started watching the DaVinci Code as mom had never seen it. I watched through about half and then went up to bed to try to rest. At some point I had a PW that took me by surprise and was a bit difficult to get through and because I wasn't able to feel high enough to see how much I was dilated I decided to go down around midnight and let mom and Noel know that we needed to leave for the birth center.

We arrived at about 1am and upon stepping into the building I immediately had to squat next to the couch and go through a PW. The midwives were there and everyone stood back respectfully and let me do what I needed to do. I believe at this point I wasn't yet actually saying my peace/open exhale out loud. I was more whispering it to myself. We got set up in their largest birth suite and I proceeded to squat, lay on the bed, toilet sit, and do a variety of positions that I hoped would get him moving down. Danny, the lead midwife checked me and I was 4cm and she suggested we wait a bit before getting into the tub. So after a couple of hours I was checked again and was 5cm and then got into the tub. Holly, the student midwife would come every half hour and check on the heart beat and his heart rate was always wonderful which was a relief. My husband was timing my PWs and at this point they were a little over a minute long and about 2 minutes apart.  The water felt great with the first PW but after that they must have heated up because the relief soon left me. I started moaning my peace/open chant out loud and kept on top of the PWs for awhile. The pretty LED colored water helped, too! lol After a bit, probably around 4am, I decided to get out as I was getting too warm and though I was doing great relaxing through the first and last part of the pressure waves, I started loosing my concentration during the peak and would tense up my body. I decided a change of position might help.

So after getting out of the tub, I tried laying on the bed for awhile. I listened to my hypnobabies a bit more and didn't want to stay in one position too long and so I tried some toilet sitting while hanging from my moms shoulders. This position was really effective with allowing me to relax my abdominal muscles upon inhalation. As I would inhale into my abdomen I would allow my muscles to just droop forward and down and it felt really good! I managed a couple that way before they again got the best of me and I decided I wanted back in the tub. My husband was putting some more hot water into the tub but as I was going from toilet to tub I ended up making a beeline for the bed. I got on my side and heard Kerry's voice say "and your pressure waves are SO comfortable". I was in the grip of a tough one and I yanked the earbuds out of my ears and tossed the mp3 player on the table and yelled "they are NOT comfortable!". I laugh now about this. Mom told me later she thought that might have been when I entered transition. Anyway, then I had a pressure wave that was WAY different from the others. It felt like it just kind of took over my body and I didn't like it one bit. I was laying on my side when I felt something pop down through against my perineum. I told mom I felt something so she went and grabbed the midwives. Holly, the student midwife came in first and she looked and said "uhhh, Danny?" Mom said she looked like she didn't quite know what she was seeing. Turns out it was the intact water sac just inside of me! Mom later said that she thought Danny and Holly were surprised that I was moving along so fast. With the next PW, it popped out of me, still intact and it broke on its own a couple seconds later. She then was able to check me and said I was at 10cm.

Up until hearing that it was the amniotic sac they saw and that I was at a 10, incredibly, I didn't realize that these new tough PWs were pushing PWs.  I just thought they were a new plateau I had arrived at and that I had several more hours to labor through. This was only around 6:45am and at 4am I had been only 5 centimeters!

So I had another PW while side-lying on the bed and Danny said she saw his head just inside my perineum. I remember thinking, 'that was fast!' because it can take a LONG time sometimes for the head to descend from cervix to perineum and with me it happened with one involuntary push! Yay! I reached down and felt his head there but I told Danny I did not want to deliver in a side-lying position, even though it's really a great position for preventing tears. I felt horribly out of control.  She said, 'well move fast' and I got down and used the birthing stool that we had discussed as a possibility. (The other high possibility was a water birth, but that wasn't going to happen at this point - the water was too cold). Once on the birthing stool, I felt SO much more in control of my PWs. In fact, I barely felt them. I did feel the so called 'ring of fire' but looking back it wasn't that bad. (I had entirely forgotten about the pushing baby out track by this point!)

[Editor's note: Oh, I wish someone at the birth had remembered to play the "Pushing Baby Out" track on the "Birth Guide" CD out loud for this mom to hear while she was pushing. It would have helped beautifully to remind her of the "Peace" cue for instant physical comfort and she would have heard hypnosis suggestions like, "anesthesia flows out ahead of your baby, soothing and numbing everything in your bottom as it goes", and "more powerful natural anesthesia with every breath you exhale now", "Peace...and powerful anesthesia now", etc.]

I pushed twice on the birthing stool, once to get his head about 1/3rd out, at which point I reached down to feel it again (very wrinkly), and the next push had his head out. His shoulders rotated nicely and he just came down and out really fast into the midwifes arms. His cord was short so I couldn't pull him up too high, so I held him more in my lap while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. It didn't take too long as I had already started some separation bleeding. Danny said that I delivered him over an intact perineum but I did have a skid mark.  Almost two weeks later it is feeling almost completely healed. Noel cut the cord and that was that!

My almost 6-year-old daughter McKenna was at the birth, but as we arrived at 1am at the birth center, she slept in one of the other suites while I did most of my laboring. My mom brought her in when I was pushing a bit on the bed. She and I had talked about birth and had watched a few videos so she was prepared for blood and yelling or possibly none of that. When I was on the birth stool, she was on the floor on a pillow kind of turned away but when the midwife said 'here comes the head!' she popped right up and got in there to see. I remember hearing her say a very enthusiastic "WOW" when he came out. I'm glad she was present. I'm hoping it will create a very special bond between them. She watched his first bath and loves holding and kissing him. Danny cleaned off the blood, but left the vernix so he's kept his sweet baby smell for a few days.

So overall, excellent! I am very happy with how everything went and if this wasn't my 3rd child, I'd be chomping at the bit to do it again. Amazing experience! I credit the hypnosis for keeping me positive and calm during the pregnancy and giving me great cues to help me focus through my pressure waves. I am thankful for how well the abdominal breathing worked. The midwives at The Baby Place were so kind and respectful and let me lead the show. I am still on a baby high right now! Thank you, thank you!!
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Moira’s birth story

I had period-like cramps at night for a few days, so I knew it was close, but at the same time I had gotten used to feeling them.  After spending a week or so telling my husband that most women’s waters don’t break until well into the birthing time, mine broke!  It wasn’t a huge amount, but enough that I had to wear a pad and change it every hour.  I called out doula to let her know and she told me to try and get as much rest as possible.
I made a playlist of Easy First Stage,  Deepening , and Birthing Day Affirmations  and went to bed.  Around 2am I was having trouble sleeping through waves that were about 15 minutes apart.  By 6am my husband was timing them at 3-4 minutes apart.  I remember looking at him and saying “but they aren’t that long” and he smiled and said “if you say so”.  He called our midwife’s office and when she returned his call she encouraged us to have the doula come to our house.  (She was concerned that the broken water would put me on the clock at the hospital. . . and I sounded so calm.)  I took a shower and then laid of the couch for a few minutes and slept between waves.  At one point, I just sat up and said “we have to go”.  DH called the doula and told her to meet us at the hospital instead!
I have to say earlier on I kept trying to turn my light switch off during pressure waves.  At this point I was so uncomfortable staying still that I went to center and rocked mostly on the back of DH’s swivel office chair of all things!  I HATED sitting on the birthing ball that used almost everyday!
The car ride took a lot of concentration, but it literally felt like a 5 minute ride.  (It’s about 30 minutes.)
When we got to the hospital, we went through the same stupid stuff everyone complains about.  The stupid questions!  Hospital policy requires that moms are hooked up to monitors for at least 20 minutes before they can go to a room.  I'm a person who normally can’t sit still, so this was like torture!  Another nurse came in and asked me more questions that I had already answered.  I literally ignored her during waves and answered her when I felt like it.  (Although both DH and the doula were there and they could've easily answered the stupid questions! grrr)  I did learn at this point that 1) my midwife was the one there from her practice and 2) the birth center (reserved for natural births) was open and ready!  YEAH!

My midwife came down and checked me and seemed surprised and wanted me to get to the room.  (I didn’t hear her then, but I was 8cms!)  As soon as they released me from the monitors, I insisted on going to the bathroom AND walking- though they wouldn’t let me take the stairs!  As soon as I got into the room I got in the tub.  Another reason I love my midwife- moms aren’t allowed in the tub if they've broken waters!  Hehe!  I spent a good amount of time in that tub!  I started to feel sick, so I got out, sat on the toilet, and the birthing stool.

I felt very pushy, but didn’t really know what to do.  My midwife and doula talked to me about pushing and how I could do it.  I listened to them, because I couldn’t really find a rhythm that worked for me.  But I felt like it was on my terms.  I was also listening to Pushing Baby Out out loud and everyone loved it!  I couldn’t find a comfortable position, so they suggested that my husband sit on the bed behind me.   I think this really ended up making the experience for both of us!

While she was crowing, my midwife said "you might feel stretching and burning."   I looked at her and said "Oh, I didn’t feel it until you said that!"

After getting a rhythm for pushing the midwife asked if I wanted to feel her head!  I reached down and remember thinking she had less hair than I thought she would!  I pushed for a bit longer and the MW explained that when her head got to a certain point, I would have to slow down so she could check for the cord.  Within a few pushes, the nurse couldn’t get her heartbeat (she was so low!) and the MW told me that I had to get her out soon.  The whole thing about slowing down totally went out of my mind and I pushed her out in one big push!  The cord was around her neck, but the midwife got if off and put her right on my chest and she immediately wanted to eat!  My husband was crying and telling me what an amazing job I did.  It was one of the best moments of my life!

Pediatricians examined her in the room and the MW told me that she had been posterior, presented her forehead and had her hand by her head!  She couldn’t believe it!  She said she thought that she must have repositioned herself because I wasn’t showing signs of back labor

***BOP***  I ended up with a pretty nasty tear and she needed to consult with an OB to repair it.  He wanted to give me an epidural for the repair, but the MW said, "She has a really high pain tolerance!"  And told me to put my headphones back on!  I had to be transferred to a regular labor room which made me even more thankful the center had been open.  (It was the size of a closet!)  They put me in stirrups and used a local anesthesia. ***end BOP***

Looking back I have no idea how I laid there and literally joked with the OB about the fact that I wanted to get a pedicure before the baby was born and apologizing about my chipped nail polish!  I had the Deepening track on with one headphone in, in center and my husband was holding Moria in a chair next to me.  The funniest thing was that the OB had come into the birth center and saw me on the queen sized bed before he requested the regular bed with stirrups.  (He was an older guy; I can’t blame him for not wanting to lay on the bed while stitching!)  While he was working he asked my midwife, "How do you deliver like that?"   She laughed and said "everyone’s in the bed and everyone is comfortable."  I love it!

ANYONE who is having doubts, seriously Hypnobabies helped me so much!  Up until a few days before, I was still unsure.  I did a fear release about pain and if I'd be able to handle it.  Here’s the thing, there wasn’t any!  I've heard about how terrible back labor can be, and I didn’t feel anything that I couldn’t handle.  Everyone was talking about my pain tolerance and how I was smiling at them.  I’m a serious wimp when it comes to the dentist, so I don’t think that I have a particularly high pain tolerance.  I just kept thinking about holding little Moira and made it happen.  What an empowering experience!

A final note about husbands. . . mine was amazing.  I couldn’t take it seriously when he read scripts to me, so we never did that.  He learned the cues and used them perfectly!  I remember him touching my arm and saying "relax” and instantly relaxing, not realizing I had been tense.  I don’t even know if he ever listened to the Birth partner CD.

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My beautiful, mellow Hypnobaby, Quinn, was born at 1:54 am on July 9th - her due date - after about 26 hours of labor and 5 hrs after my water broke. Although Quinn was my first birth baby, we also have a 19-month-old son, Josten (now 20 months), who my partner carried. So it was an interesting experience - being pregnant and going through birth after experiencing it all with my partner just a year and a half ago.

At just around midnight on July 8, I was awoken by pressure waves, which, after I started timing them, were about 6-7 minutes apart and about a minute long. I couldn't sleep through them so I got up to try and sleep sitting on the birthing ball, leaning over pillows on the bed. While I was up, the waves pretty much went away, but once I was on the ball they came back. Not comfortable there, I decided to try lying down again, but to no avail. All this time I was listening to 'fear release', 'easy first stage', and 'birthing day affirmations'. Finally, I got up, went to the kitchen, ate a snack, and starting thinking, with excitement, about my birthing day, which I knew was near at hand. After awhile, I realized that the waves had all but disappeared, but knew that if I tried to lie down again they'd return. I then went into my son's room and managed to sleep between waves on the glider, for about 2 hrs.

At about 6:30 am I called the Birth Center where I was planning to deliver, and spoke to the midwife on call, who said it could be today, it could be next week! I knew, though, in the back of my mind, that it would be happening sooner than later. After another hour of sleeping between waves back in bed, my family got up and my partner, Haidee, asked if I thought she should stay home from work. I thought not, since my sister was going to be over that day anyway to help out, so she went off to work, I called in to work to say I wouldn't be there, and an hour or so later my sister arrived. The day was spent mainly as usual, taking care of my son with my sister's help, peppered by bouts of regular waves followed by periods of none.

During a short walk I started experiencing intense hip pain (all of my hypnosis work did not seem to touch the hip pain, since I hadn't really gotten the idea of directing my anesthesia to anywhere but the areas that I was thinking would be affected by PWs and birth!). I decided that it might be a good idea to get a chiropractic adjustment that afternoon, if possible, hopefully to fix the hip problem, but also just to get into prime shape for the potentially long hours ahead. After my adjustment, my hip was no better, but my outlook remained very positive, and in fact I continued to feel as I had all day - excited and ready to give birth to my baby.

I had asked Haidee to come home early, since my sister had to leave for work, and once we were all home together again she called her mom to come over and help with Josten so that she could be attentive to me and get dinner made. My PWs continued to be off and on regular and then irregular, and I was able to take a bath for about 1/2 an hour, listening to my 'birthing day affirmations' CD.

During dinner (pasta and lots of veggies for strength and energy), they became a bit more regular. Whenever my son was near me when a PW came, and I would stop in my tracks and say "peace" over and over until it was passed, he  whispered "pssss" right along with me. He was very attentive and sweet with me, ready, in his own way, for his little sister to arrive. After dinner I went back to the bedroom and spent about an hour on the birthing ball as my PWs became regular - about 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long. At about 8:45 or so the PWs got closer together, and at  about 9:15 my water broke as I squatted through a wave. I told Haidee, and it was definitely time to go to the Birth Center, but it took awhile to get out the door (packing up the rest of what I wanted to bring, etc). We finally set out on the 20 minute drive to the Birth Center at about 10:00.

The ride in was actually quite comfortable for me, I just rode the waves and Haidee timed them on her phone's  stopwatch. They were now 3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute each. I called the midwife and my parents, and texted with my sister on the way there, between PWs, and everyone was on their way (my parents were driving up from NJ and figured they'd arrive around 1 am).

Upon our arrival at the Birth Center, the wonderful midwife on duty that evening, Jill, greeted us warmly at the door and led us upstairs to the biggest of the three birthing rooms, since I was the only one laboring there so far that
night. She decided to check me before starting the IV antibiotics (I had tested GBS positive), and found me to be a very stretchy 7cm dilated. I wasn't at all surprised - the whole experience was pretty much just as I had envisioned it to
be so far!

During the 1/2 hour it took to administer the antibiotics, my sister arrived. Haidee was applying pressure to my hips during my waves in the chair during this time, and my sister spelled her for a wave or two. It felt nice to have the pressure there, but I didn't find it absolutely necessary, and was able to focus and breathe and chant Peace, Relax, Release as the PWs continued. Never once did I feel any sense of fear, nor did I experience pain, except in my right hip, but even that was perfectly bearable. I let Jill know that I'd like to get into the tub as soon as possible, so she started filling it, and by the time the IV was done it was ready for me to get into.

Being in the water felt wonderful. I continued listening to my Hypnobabies tracks, and soon Haidee joined me in the tub. My sister played photographer, and another midwife, Laurie, joined Jill because there was a chance that another birthing mom might be arriving before I gave birth. No one else did arrive during my time in the BC, so I had both wonderful midwives by my side the entire time, mostly being quiet and letting me do my thing, pouring warm water over my belly, and occasionally making suggestions for positioning my legs and body in the tub for optimum comfort.

After about 20 minutes in the tub, my body started feeling pushy, and I just went with it, checking with Jill, who was completely confident in my body's ability to know when to push. As I pushed through the next bunch of waves I found myself getting more and more vocal and loud, chanting/groaning OPEN, OPEN, OPEN and Release, while Haidee whispered "Relax" into my ear.

We switched to the Pushing Baby Out CD and even though I don't remember actually listening to it, I know that the soothing, familiar voice added to the already supportive and comforting energy that surrounded me. Although I don't think I ever actually fully relaxed through any of my PWs, and definitely not during my pushing waves, I was able to completely relax between waves, and for the hour and 20 minutes that I pushed, I fell asleep between nearly every wave. There were times when I completely forgot that anyone but Haidee was in the room with me, since it was
so silent.

My parents arrived at about 1:20 am and added their supportive energy to the room. Finally, my pushing waves became more frequent and each one lasted long enough for me to really start feeling like I was participating again. The
midwives encouraged me to focus my energy into my core, shift my body so that I was grabbing my own legs and grunting low and gutteral sounds as I pushed, and this helped enormously in helping me move the baby under my pelvis and out.
There were quite a number of PWs that felt to me like they should lead to the head crowning, and I started to get a bit antsy for it all to be over - not because I was in pain at all, but mainly because I was very tired and just ready to meet this baby! Apparently the midwives felt the same way, although no one gave me any indication that there was anything out of the ordinary going on. The baby's heartbeat was steady and strong each time they used the doppler on me, so there was no concern, but it was just taking longer than they'd anticipated to get the head to crown and stay put. Finally it did, and Jill encouraged me to feel the full head of hair poking out between my legs. Everyone was marveling at the long hair floating in the water! Another push or two later, and the rest was very fast - her head came out, giving me a wonderful sense of relief and joy, and then I pushed again and felt her whole body just unfolding out of me.

She was immediately on my chest; silent, calm, and as pink as could be (with Apgar scores of 9 and 10)! We all just stayed there for a while, marveling at what had just happened and looking at Quinn. It turned out that her hand had been next to her head as she emerged, and that was likely the cause of my hip pain and the longer time it took to move her out.

The cord stopped pulsing, Haidee cut it, and then it was time for me to get out of the tub to birth the placenta. I was about halfway between the tub and the bed (maybe a 12 foot distance) when I felt a mild contraction, and a second later out plopped the placenta, right onto the floor! That was apparently a first for both midwives and after I was helped the rest of the way to the bed, as the mess was cleaned up, we all joked about the crime scene of blood spattered walls that would have to explained to the cleaning staff.

I firmly believe that my ability to not just endure this birth without any pain edications or medical interventions, but to actually thrill in it (I clearly remember saying, after a few particularly intense PWs, "this is AMAZING!"), is due to my preparation using Hypnobabies, prenatal yoga, and by reading a lot of positive birth stories and childbirth research. In learning how fear and stress can affect a woman during pregnancy and birth, and about the idea that the experience of pain in (normal, uncomplicated) childbirth is a cultural construct born out of fear- and pathology-based western medicine, I was able to let go of that fear. In re-programming my brain, through self-hypnosis, to understand the experience as intense pressure, and as a positive, beautiful and exciting thing with a definite beginning, middle and end (even if the timing is unknowable), I was able to have exactly the (virtually) pain free birth that I was hoping for, and that I knew I could have.

-Jen (proud and happy mama who still marvels at the fact that this incredible child was formed in and emerged from my own body!)
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Hi All,

Well. . . here's yet another birth story. I just want to say that I'm so grateful for the Hypnobabies home study course, and for this wonderful supportive email group. Thanks to you all! I've especially loved reading the birth stories from other hypno-moms in this group, and feel humbled to be sharing mine with such a special group of people.


Reed's Birth Story (2nd baby, first Hypnobaby)

I live in a fairly remote area of rural New Zealand. Our local hospital has a maternity ward, but facilities are basic. There is no resident OB, though they do come up here to do clinics. None of the following are available: c-sec, epidural, pitocin induction, assisted deliveries (ventouse and forceps). This means that natural and unmedicated birth is pretty common in these parts! The little maternity ward caters for water birth and allows Dad, Mum and baby to room in together after the birth. Home births are pretty popular here, too. It's a 2 and a half hour drive to the hospital in the city. That's where you probably give birth if you are “high risk.” In an emergency situation, they fly you from the local hospital to the city hospital in a helicopter.

I believe that the majority of births in New Zealand are now attended by midwives. Usually a woman chooses one midwife and stays with her for all the prenatal visits, the birth, and about 4-6 weeks of post-natal care. This care is all free and government funded. I think we are very lucky.

I woke up a bit after 7.30am on the 7th of July. I'd been woken by a couple of strong pressure waves and had had the urge to change position and vocalise. . . but resisted the temptation in order not to disturb my husband and 2-year-old son who were sleeping on either side of me. I was 39 weeks + and had only had low-key Braxton Hicks waves so far. Perhaps this would be our baby's birthday? I decided to get up, get organised and see if the pressure waves would vanish or establish a pattern.

By 7.50am I'd had about four more pressure waves. Due to lack of inclination, not having a stop watch, and my increasing sense of urgency regarding my preparations to get ready to leave the house, I didn't count or time these waves. But I didn't need a stopwatch to feel their intensity or to know that each wave was lasting a long time. I was surprised to feel some nausea, and a hot-and-cold trembly feeling when one wave caught me half-way across the kitchen with a jar of milk in my hands. I heard myself singing with the power of these waves (sounds quite lovely when I write about it. . . but probably sounded like one of our cows was stuck in a fence!). In my mind I heard some of my favourite hypnobabies affirmations – especially the one about how every powerful birthing wave was bringing our baby closer to being in my arms – and felt myself lighting up with so much love and anticipation: “Yes! This is our baby's birthday.” I felt sure of it now, even though I'd only had a handful of pressure waves. Time to wake my husband Kevin and call Tania (our midwife).

BOP**Because our first son's shoulders got a bit stuck on the way out, Tania had been suggesting that we might travel the 2 and a half hours down to the hospital in the city to have this baby. We'd also talked about probably birthing the baby in a hands and knees position to help him come out easily. Tania had made a point of telling me about a few of the different manoeuvres we could use to birth the shoulders, even though they'd most likely come out on their own this time. She laughed that at least I'm little (under 5'2'' and about 100lb when not pregnant) and would be easy to flip over if need be. Still, it's much easier and less traumatic to move a woman of any size if she knows what's going on and why! Anyway, Tania now suggested over the phone that we meet at the local maternity annex first, just in case the baby was coming quickly. (She later told me that she could tell from the sound of my voice over the phone that this baby probably WAS coming quickly!) We could then decide to move on to the city if things were not progressing too fast.**End BOP

After another pressure wave, I gave up on the idea of making a quick breakfast, but drank a glass of water in hopes of staying hydrated for the birth. As I woke my husband (who works nights and was not exactly easy to rouse after only 3 hours of sleep) and son (who was in a grumpy and toxic state due to being not quite recovered from a bad case of the flu), and tried to prepare to leave, it began to seem to me that this baby would perhaps not wait to be born at the city hospital. After what seemed like a very long and trembly pressure wave, I went to the bathroom to vomit up the glass of water I'd drunk. I asked my husband to call my parents and ask them to meet us at the maternity annex as soon as possible to care for our son.

Finally we were in the car driving the 20 minutes to town. I had hoped to listen to Hypnobabies affirmations on the MP3 player on the way to town, but our son was throwing a full-scale tantrum and needed my attention. It's not very nice to be a 2 and a half year old, not quite recovered from the flu and getting shovelled into your car seat in a big hurry one morning without having breakfast. I tried to comfort him between pressure waves. Once we had coverage for the cell phone, my husband dialled my parents' number and handed the phone to me.

“Is Mum on her way to town?” I asked my Dad.

“No,” he answered, “She's she's still here. Kevin told her to wait until you called again.”

“What?? Tell her she needs to come as soon as possible,” I insisted, as I considered biting Kevin's head off and chewing it up. After brief reflection, I decided to leave Kevin's head on his body. He was having an intense morning too, and I really needed him to keep driving the car. Then the next pressure wave washed over me. I kept hearing soundbites from the Hypnobabies CDs in my mind – Kerri's voice reminding me that this powerful experience was strengthening me and my baby and talking about “powerful birthing waves.”

These “waves” were starting to feel more and more like tsunamis, actually. It was hard to relax completely as the car lurched around the corners of the winding country road, but I felt myself welcoming each wave and vocalising as the intensity flooded through me. I think that with a different frame of mind I might have said those waves were “painful.” But I'm not sure. It made more sense to marvel at their power. I looked up and saw a rainbow arcing through the grey morning sky ahead of us. Our son kept up his five star tantrum performance in the back seat. Finally we reached the maternity annex at 8.30am

When I arrived, Tania asked me to pee on a stick for a urine test, but I couldn't do it. One pressure wave came while I was on the toilet and the next found me somehow on all fours on the bathroom floor. I think my mad cow vocalisations now sounded like something from the wild animal park, but it felt so good to make these noises. I laughed and told Tania I didn't want to stop the noise because I was connecting with my inner animal! She reassured me that since I was having a baby I was welcome to make whatever kind of noise I wanted. She also remarked that the pressure waves seemed to be just under 4 minutes apart. “They're good strong ones, she added. That last one was more than 2 minutes long!”

We decided that Tania should give me an internal exam (the only one I ever had during this pregnancy and birth), so that we could make a fully informed decision about whether or not to try to drive to the city. It turned out that I was a “very stretchy 8cm” with a bulging bag of waters coming right down the birth canal. Tania assured me that this baby was coming soon. The waters looked on the point of bursting, and were the only thing holding back the baby. The last 2cm of cervix will be gone as soon as the membranes release, she told me, and the baby is well down into your pelvis and in a good position. No question of going to the city. Water birth was out, too, unfortunately, since there would not be enough time to fill the tub.

I was still up on the bed from the examination and didn't want to move. I got onto my hands and knees and made powerful wild animal noises through the pressure waves. I was using the Hypnobabies “open open” and “peace” cues, though I don't think I sounded very peaceful! I felt elated and powerful to know that our baby was so close to being born. My husband was still outside with our son, and I really didn't want the baby to be born without him. I tried knees to chest position for a few waves. Still pretty intense, but it toned down the grunty pushy feelings that I'd been having and made me feel more grounded.

Tania said she was hoping Leeann, the other midwife, would arrive before the baby was born, too. So I kept leaning forward through the pressure waves to slow things down a bit. Since water birth was out, I asked Tania if we could use oil on my perineum. I'd read about this somewhere and thought it sounded very nice. She said that was a great idea, and no problem. She'd get the oil ready. “I liked what I saw when I examined you,” she added. “Everything's lovely and stretchy. I think the baby will come out just fine this time.” (Tania knows nothing about Hypnobabies, but plainly she's a natural when it comes to positive suggestions! All this talk about my "good strong" pressure waves, stretchy cervix and lovely stretchy birth canal was just what I wanted to hear!)

At last Kevin arrived and I leaned my head against him and asked him to rub my lower back during pressure waves. He put his hand on my shoulder and told me to “relax” as well. I was so happy and relieved that he was with me. After a few waves with Kevin and Leeann there, I realised that there was no need to hold back any longer. I knelt up a bit and let my body respond to that grunty feeling of fullness. The waters burst and gushed everywhere and I felt a huge sense of relief. It was 9:10am.

On the next wave, I felt the baby's head come down and found myself tuning into various Hypnobabies cues about breathing him down and out “aaahh” and relaxing my face, arms and hands. I felt so well prepared and so much in control as I pushed our baby out, even though I think I probably sounded more feral than ever! I felt Tania putting oil on my perineum. It was warm and it felt so wonderful and comforting. After a few more waves I felt the most intense stretching. I said something like, “I'm stretching! I'm stretching so much!” “You're doing great,” Tania encouraged me. “This is where it helps just to breathe gently and let yourself stretch before the baby's head comes out.” I panted gently for a bit until I felt the stretching sensation subside. Then I pushed out our baby's head. I couldn't believe how easy and good that felt!

Next thing I knew, Tania was saying “Ok, we need to flip for the shoulders.” This really took me by surprise, since everything had gone so smoothly up until now. I was on my hands and knees. Tania and Leeann helped me over onto my back and flexed up my knees by my sides (McRoberts manoeuvre). I heard Tania say, “That's got him. He's turning. . . Here he is!” I felt our baby's shoulders come out, and then the whole slippery length of his body. And then he was on my chest, warm and sticky and perfect!

Reed Brian F. was born at 9.33am on 7th of July, 23 inches long and weighing 7lb 13oz. Wow! That's nearly 3 quarters of a pound lighter than his older brother's birth weight of 8lb 8oz even though he's a whole inch longer! He has long skinny arms and legs, broad shoulders and massive feet and hands. And his parents and big brother think he's just gorgeous!!

Within 5 minutes he was helping himself to his first feed. The physiological 3rd stage happened just as I had visualised it. I felt great afterwards– the birth was smooth and practically bloodless. I didn't have even so much as the tiniest scratch and swelling was almost nil. And who cares about “sticky shoulders” when they come unstuck so calmly and easily! We went home a few hours after Reed was born.

Hypnobabies was such an important part of this birth, even though I didn't use the techniques and tracks the way I thought I would during the birth! I'd always expected and visualised a much slower and more mellow first stage and was really very surprised to have a baby in my arms just 2 hours after waking up in the morning.

  • I didn't end up listening to any tracks during the birth, and didn't use the light switch at all.

  • First, because I didn't seem to have time.

  • Second, because I didn't actually feel the need.

  • This birth was a wild and intense experience, but I felt so strong and positive throughout – never for a moment did I think that I couldn't cope or didn't want to be doing this.

  • I was really glad I listened to the birth guide CDs a few times in the week before the birth, because lots of the suggestions off those tracks came back to me right when I needed them.

  • I felt as if I had a customised birth guide CD playing inside my head!

  • Post-hypnotic suggestion is a wonderful thing!!

  • I fully believe that Hypnobabies helped to “programme” me for a positive and awesome birth experience.

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I love so many elements of this birth story!  Enjoy reading.

I can't believe its finally my turn to post my birth story :)

A little background: On July 18th I was 40w 3d (according to my LMP) pregnant with my 3rd little boy . My first two boys were born at 39 and 38 weeks so I was surprised I made it that far. My husband was not with me as he had to go overseas suddenly and I was a bit apprehensive about not having him with me during the birth. But thanks to the ladies in this group I was encouraged to teach my mom a few techniques to help me during my birthing. My midwife had this idea that I was subconsciously waiting for him though. I told her I had come to terms with his absence and I was not worried but she said that I may be unaware of it myself on the conscious level....

Anyway, around 7pm on June 18th I was out walking with my mom (an oft-recurring scene during those days!) and we received a phone call from my husband. He said he had some urgent news he had to share and wanted us home to chat face to face on skype. So we hailed a cab and went home. As we were walking up to the building, our doorwoman (who I love!) said we had received a package, so I follow her to the package room and I find: MY HUSBAND!! I was so shocked and unprepared that for a minute there all I thought was, "dang that guy looks just like my hubby!" Then I snapped back started screaming and jumping (yes jumping!) for joy! All my husband said was, "ok I'm here, so are we ready to have this baby now?"

At 5 am (10 hours after seeing my husband) I woke up with some pressure in my tummy, I used the bathroom, felt better for a second then realized that I was having regular waves.. I was SO EXCITED!! I woke my husband up who said with his eyes half-shut, "now thats what Im talking about!" He was so calm yet excited, it was a lovely feeling.. I called my midwife who said to meet her at the birthing center.. I put on my birthing day tracks and started listening to them on speaker as I was getting dressed. We called a cab, picked my mom up and headed to the center. We live in Manhattan so traffic here was a constant worry for me, thank God it was 5:30 am! Throughout the car ride I was listening to easy first stage and I was so relaxed. I felt like I was in center the whole time, talking to the driver, my husband, my mom on the phone all while relaxed and calm. At some point my midwife called and said the center was full and that I would have to be admitted to L&D. Strangely though I didn't panic or get upset or anything, I just looked at my husband who said, "whatever happens will be whats best for you, you know that right?" and I did! All those affirmations and statements on the tracks came rushing back and I just couldn't be fazed.

We arrived 20 minutes later and my midwife met us at the door smiling. She said, "good news, one of the rooms at the center is now free". My husband looked at me with his "I told you so" expression :) We went into the room and I put the ipod headphones in my ear and tuned everything else out.. My midwife checked me and said I was at 6cm, at that point I had had no bloody show, no loss of mucus, liquid, nothing.. I got up to pee and splash! a whole gush of what looked like water was on the floor and all over my hubby's feet!! I remember my midwife telling the nurse to hurry up, that I was going to have this baby soon and I wasn't sure what the rush was. (start BOP): my first two non-hypnobaby births were a day and half a day long! (end BOP)

That first wave after my water broke finally signaled to me that something was happening. I went down on all fours, my husband started squeezing my shoulder telling me to relax and to open. My midwife asked if I was feeling pushy and I wasn't yet (start BOP): in previous births I had pushed when my midwife said push, once I had reached 10cm.. I had tears in both which needed stitches.. this time around I was determined to breathe my baby outand to push only when I felt I needed to (end BOP) I was actually surprised she was asking me that early on - I mean I hadn't even reached  the 'pushing baby out' track yet... but apparently she was right! the next wave came and i felt my body pushing and my baby's head crowning... by the next wave I heard some weird sounds coming out of me as I was breathing out (I had been completely silent up until then).. sounded a bit animalistic if you ask me! All I was thinking was "sliding the baby out" and that's exactly what happened..at 6:28 am

Now comes the phenomenal part! I was still on all fours when the midwife held my baby and my husband tried to support me back onto the bed... I ask the midwife, "Is he ok?" and she stammers "um um its its a girl actually!!" I lay down on the bed and looked at my husband saying, "what did she say??" At that point I took my baby in my arms and sure enough there was my baby girl!! I couldn't believe how blessed we were! My husband had been praying for a girl for so long and we were told at our U/S appointments to expect a boy.. we were still happy of course, picked out a name, bought new stuff and bonded with him and now we suddenly have a girl!!!

And that's the story of how Sarah came into the world! I can't begin to stress how amazing Hypnobabies has been for us as a family. Also for those starting late, I started at 33 weeks, but I was very dedicated to the program. I also fell asleep through most of the tracks but for some reason everything comes back to you when you need it the most.

Thank you all for your help, your stories have inspired me and given me hope. I pray that everyone has the most beautiful birth ever!

Marwa -  Mother to Adam, Abraham, and now Sarah :)
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I've been avoiding sitting down to write out my birth story because I know my inability to convey in words how it happened. I feel strong, empowered, and amazed at how the title of "mother" has changed in meaning after this experience. I hope my birth story can inspire or encourage another woman.

As soon as my husband and I decided to try and get pregnant a second time, I knew I wanted to have a natural childbirth.  The birth of my first son was not a pleasant experience. I was scared and out of control, overly medicated with pitocin and an epidural that wasn't effective, and felt very uncomfortable in the hospital. So we decided to try for a water birth at the local birth center.

My pregnancy was pretty easy, after 3 long months of continuous nausea.  I started doing the Hypnobabies home study course at around 30 weeks. It helped me feel positive and confident about my body and my abilities to birth without excruciating pain and fear.  As my due date approached, I was feeling surprisingly normal, and very comfortable considering how big I was.

I woke up 6 days past my due date, feeling myself aside from water retention and elevated blood pressure that my midwife has alerted me to the day before. We had made plans for me to stay off my feet and rest to get the blood pressure down, while my son would go to my parent's house for the day. As I was feeding him breakfast at 9:45, I had my first pressure wave (contraction). It was unlike any Braxton Hicks I'd been having, and I immediately knew this was it.

The waves felt like they were coming about every 10 minutes, but I didn't time them yet and went about the morning getting him ready to go. As my husband loaded him up in the car, I told him I thought this was it and to get me some breakfast on his way home. I started timing some pressure waves and they were about 7 minutes apart. I called my midwife to let her know and judging by how calm I sounded, she thought it was just early labor.

I ate my breakfast and listened to my Birthing Day track and by the time it was finished, the pressure waves were about 4-5 minutes apart. We loaded up the car and got ready to go. This was around 12:30. At this point, the waves were completely manageable. I breathed through them, completely relaxed.

When we arrived at the center, they checked me (the only internal check I had during labor) and was around 6 cms dilated already! I hung out sitting crossed legged on the bed chatting with the midwife student and husband. I listened to some of my Hypnobabies tracks but didn't necessarily feel the need to enter deep relaxation for the whole track. I just closed my eyes and deeply relaxed through the waves and was able to come out of it and be myself in between them.

They started to get pretty intense at around 3 and I had a hard time relaxing and breathing during the waves because Sam was so big and the top of my uterus felt like it was crushing my ribs. The waves started coming really quickly and felt very intense. My midwife started filling up the tub because she said if we didn't start now, I might miss my chance at a waterbirth! I didn't believe her and I asked if she was sure she didn't need to check me first to see how dilated I was. But she said I would know what to do and to just listen to my body.  At around 3:30 or so I went to empty my bladder and as soon as I was done I could hardly stand up. So I made my way to the tub and got in.  It felt so good and I squatted and swayed back and forth. I was so deeply relaxed between my pressure waves that I almost felt asleep.

It wasn't long before I felt tons of pressure, I completely relaxed and my body took over. My midwife never told me when to push; she just encouraged me when I did. Pushing felt amazing; my body knew just what to do. The student midwife told me to reach down and see what I could feel. I felt his head and my bag of water. I kept pushing slowly when I needed to, and soon the head was crowning. This was the only point in my labor where I felt overwhelmed with the intensity. I turned onto my back and let my body float to the top of the tub. His head came out and I waited for the next pressure wave to push. The bag of waters was still intact. Waiting was so hard, the pressure was intense and stayed right there. They told me that at the next push he would be born, and I made them promise me! I felt so overwhelmed with the pressure. I pushed out his chest, and he was born.

10 lbs 9 ounces, almost 22 inches long, head 14.5 inches around and chest circumference 15 inches. Big boy! His arm came out right up next to his head with his hand next against his face. And not a single tear or hemorrhoid, minimal swelling. Incredible! I held him for awhile and then we got out of the tub. He latched on about 15 minutes later and has nursed perfectly since.

I lost a lot of blood and ended up transferring to the hospital for 3 nights for a blood transfusion, but it was all worth it. It was the best experience of my life. I can honestly say that my labor and delivery was painless, expect for when he was crowning. Just the most intense pressure that I have ever experienced, or wish to experience again for a while. But painful is not a word I would use to describe it. There was no fear involved, no anxiety or moments of doubt. A completely different experience than the medicated hospital birth of my first son, which was full of pain, fear, anxiety, and doubt. I trusted my body and it's ability to birth naturally and I did it, my size 0 hips pushed out a huge baby without a stitch or swelling! A situation that I know would have had me pressured into a cesarean section had I delivered in a hospital anywhere else.

This is what it means to be a mother in the raw sense of the word. It's what mothers have been doing all along. Trusting their bodies and bringing their children into the world in the most peaceful way. Baby Sam is a perfect baby, started life out in a perfect way. I'm so glad to have the memory of his perfect birth for the rest of my life.
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Posted by on in Birth Center Stories
YAHOOO! Labor was only 10 hours, only 3 of which I spent in the Birth Center. I practiced with Hypnobabies throughout my 3rd trimester and even though I didn't really listen to it during labor, I really felt that it contributed to my fairly straight forward fast labor. I just generally had a positive "I'm in control" feeling.  I was very vocal which is my personality so I don't know if I was really your standard Hypnobabies birth.  Still I'm sure, I wouldn't have been able to do it without my Hypnobabies practice.

I was 40 wks on Thursday and went in for my last appt at 3pm.  The midwife checked me and I wasn't at all dilated.  She could get only one finger in.  I'd been that way for about a week.  Dh had predicted that the baby would come on Thursday because that's what he wanted - his last final exam ended was on Thursday and he was ready for baby.  I scoffed because I had asked baby to come the weekend after Thanksgiving... and nothing!!

Labor started with bloody show around 10pm on Thursday and then I had really light 30 second pressure waves (contractions)every 2-5 mins at home for about 5 hours.  Then it kicked up a notch around 4 am lasting a min about 2 mins apart. We headed to the birth center.  When we arrived I was 4cm. I slept in between pressure waves  in the jacuzzi tub for another 2 1/2 hours.  Then, I had one really strong wave that got me out of the tub.  By this time I was 9 cm.  Holy cow! I went from 4 cm - 9 cm in 2 1/2 hours.  That's some magic tub!!! The waves intensified and I started pushing and he was born within 40 mins.  I had 3 little tears even tho he was born with his hand against his face.  The midwives applauded!

Dh and I are so in love with our first born son. Long live Hypnobabies.  There is a great God in heaven who designed a miracle called birth. I'm so honored to have experienced it!
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Posted by on in Birth Center Stories
A lovely Hypnobabies birth story was posted on Woman Uncensored, called The Birth of Change.

The mom had a " traditional" birth for her first baby and was going for something different this time.  She was planning a home birth and used Hypnobabies.  She ended up having a Birth Center birth and used her Hypnobabies really effectively.

Her baby was posterior and had infrequent, ineffective pressure waves for almost 2 days after her water broke and then an hour of  intense pressure waves and then her baby was in her arms!

I thought it was a wonderful example of choosing care providers wisely.  If she had been in a hospital she would have been pressured into pitocin after about 12 hours.

Congratulations and Enjoy your baby!
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Hello All!
Here is my birth story, it was AMAZING. Below the birth story is my "perfect birth" that I visualized for hypnosis(I wrote it a few months ago). I thought I'd include it so you can see how my perfect birth really happened almost just as I had visualized it!!!!!

Ivy was born on October 6th 2009 at 6:01am weighing 7lbs 14 oz, 20 1/2 inches long!! The delivery was everything I could have ever hoped for:

It was the evening of my due date and I didn't have too many pressure waves(pw's) that day, however I've been having them off and on for a few days now very consistently every evening. I went for a big walk that morning, and another big walk in the afternoon with Craig. Earlier that morning I got a text from Donna telling me that an hour after eating Eggplant Parmesan, she went into labor with her daughter. So, even though it's just an old wives tale, I decided I wanted Eggplant Parm!! We ordered from Vinny T's and I had an early dinner around 5pm.

After dinner I decided to take my 22 month old Benji for a short walk. We got outside and chatted with our neighbor David for a few minutes. I told him how bummed I was that it was my due date and I hadn't had her yet. I then saw little Sarah and her brother Zachary and talked to them for a few minutes. On my walk I didn't have too many Pw's like I had been having during previous walks this week. Right before we went home we saw Sarah again and she told me the story of how her brother came out just shortly after she talked to her mom's belly and told him to come out. I told her you better tell this baby to come out too and maybe it will work!! So at 6pm exactly, she told baby girl to come out very soon! I headed home, hoping that baby would come out so that I wouldn't disappoint Sarah! haha.

I got home, fed Benji a little snack before putting him down to bed. After I put him down, I watched House and then went upstairs on the computer. Up on the computer I started getting pw's!! Lots of them! However I had had false labor the last three nights in a row so I didn't really think too much of it. I decided I better just try to get some sleep and see if they go away. I layed down in bed trying to go to sleep and they just seemed to get more intense. I started to feel a little nauseas and I thought it was the eggplant parm bc I had eggplant parm before and it made me sick in the past.

I decided to try to take a shower to see if that would slow the pw's down. After being in a shower for a while, they still didn't slow down at all and I started to think it could possibly be "it". I went downstairs to watch some tv with Craig and when I got down there, they finally started to slow down a little bit. So, I decided to go back upstiars and try to go to bed again. I went to lay down and they started picking up a lot! I called Craig up to tell him I thought that it "might" really be it this time.

I then threw up! I layed back down in bed and felt a tiny trickle of something and I thought, "My water broke!!!" But then when I went to look, I didn't really see much fluid, but I still was pretty sure it broke. That was when we decided to call TBC. I called and spoke to Ann and told her i was having consistent pw's and a trickle of fluid. She said to try to sleep through them and call around 8am or when they got too intense to talk through and were 5 minutes apart.

I layed in bed trying to rest and listening to my Early Labor hypnosis track, going into hypnosis only during pw's, but talking to Craig about the plans for the rest of the night with him. He was also going to try and sleep for a few hours. As we were talking, I explained to Craig that I could talk but needed to go into hypnosis during the waves.

Craig started to noticed that I was going into hypnosis very very often. I asked him if he could time them because I couldn't do it as i had been before because it was getting too intense. I showed him how to use the Contraction Master on my iPhone. They were every 2:30 to 3:00 minutes. That's when we decided it was time to call TBC back and probably head in. That was at 3:45am.

Craig took a little while to get ready, call Anabel and his mom. At this point I was really ready to go in and thought we better hurry up. I said hello to Anabel very briefly in between waves, and then headed to get in the car. As I was walking out, I paused at the front door and leaned against the door to the basement to go into hypnosis for a wave. I then got in the car, put a towel on the seat "just in case" my water were to really break, turned on the heat and layed back in the seat waiting for Craig to come out and I listened to my hypnosis. Craig put everything in the trunk of the car and we left.

Craig drove nice and smoothly like I had asked him to before, I didn't even have to remind him. I think it was at about the Wynnewood shopping center traffic light that my water BURST! It was huge. I continued to stay in hypnosis the rest of the drive, I looked up at the road once at the intersection of Wynnewood Rd and County Line and again when passing Haverford College. When we arrived in the parking lot, I just started to have a wave(although it was a soft one), so we waited a minute for me to get through it before getting out of the car. I held the towel between my legs as we walked up the the door and pressed the doorbell.

Ann met us at the door and showed us to the room. She asked me for a urine sample. When I went to pee, I also got amniotic fluid in the cup as it was pretty hard to reach down to hold the cup! After about 10 minutes or so, she came in to check my stats and do an internal. I was nervous she was going to tell me I was barely dilated and to go home or something, because the waves really weren't as "bad" as I thought they might need to be to truly be in labor. I could still talk totally fine and smile and laugh between waves. But she checked and I was at 6 and -2 station(although I didn't hear that part)already!!

After she checked me, at 4:38pm Craig called Donna to tell her we were ready and to drive over. She was already in the parking lot waiting for us to call her, yay!!!!! I'm SO glad she did that. When Ann felt the baby, she was a bit posterior so she had me lay on the side of the bed with Craig supporting me by putting my one leg on him and hanging my belly off the side. I listened to my Hypnobabies Early Labor track for about an hour like that(although it went by SOOO fast).

In my mind, I still had a long time to go, however it was getting pretty intense. I just kept reminding myself that it was a choice I had to make to stay in hypnosis and that it would work if I allowed it to and that this was finally the moment I had been practicing for for all those many many hours every night. I imagined my safe place laying on the towel in the sand with the sun shining on my back, warming my skin, feeling perfectly comfortable and relaxed, especially my skin and watching my son Benjamin and husband Craig playing in the sand and water.

There were a few times i had to get up to use the bathroom. During that time I would have Craig follow me in and put his hand gently on my forehead and say "relax". Craig was also really great because he really wanted to help with the hypnosis. At one point he asked me if he could turn off the hypnosis track so that he could talk me through it himself and he was AMAZING at it(even though he only practiced with me about two times), it was so great to hear his calming, loving voice. He had a tendency to try and move a bit and massage me(a very natural instinct I'm sure) but I kept reminding him to be perfectly still, it was very important to me that everyone be perfectly still. Between pressure waves I told them to rub me, but to stop as soon as one started.

Donna put pressure on my lower back with my warm rice bag I made(I ended up liking the brown one best because it was so smooth). I was able to talk and whatnot between waves and felt great, but soon realized that I needed to start to continually focus and not get distracted from my hypnosis. At this point I stayed in off position most of the time.  I finally got to a point where I needed to move. I felt this intense need to get up and get some relief.

After a wave I said, "Ok, something needs to change right now, I need to get in the bath right now." They told me it would take a few minutes to fill it up, so I went through I think two more waves and then got up(in center position) and got in the bath, laying on my right side facing the wall and went back into off position. It was at this point that things started getting extremely intense. I felt my belly with my hand during a wave and it was rock solid. I still felt like baby wasn't very low though and thought I had a while to go.

This is when I felt as though I was losing control a bit. I started saying, "open, open, open" in a very deep, gutterly moan. I remember thinking that my voice actually sounded a bit like my son, like I reverted to a toddler for a few minutes. I then felt like I couldn't handle another second of it. I began to think of how could I possibly get myself over to the hospital and how long it would take to find someone to put an epidural in me!! It was a fleeting thought that got me through that moment. I screamed in a deep, low moan, that kind of cracked my voice, "I can't take it ANYMOOOOORE..........". Someone( I think Sabrina) said some very calming things about how I COULD do it and I found her words to be very helpful and centering.

Then I said, "Oh sh**, I'm gonna sh*t..." That's when I felt this explosive poop come out of me. I had zero control and it honestly felt like a rocket coming out. That's when I realized that the baby was coming out. The nurse Sabrina or maybe it was the midwife Ann said, "Ok, you need to get out of the tub RIGHT NOW" The way it was said was very calm, yet firm and strong and it helped me to feel strong. When she said I had to get out, I didn't think I could possibly do it, but I remembered watching one of those birthing shows and the exact same thing happening, so I knew it was time for the baby to come out and i had to find the strength to get out of the tub. Craig and Donna and everyone stood there to help me up. As I was getting up I felt down with my hand and felt the baby's head and this intense burning, ripping feeling. I kept my hand there putting pressure because I felt like she was going to fall out while I was getting over to the bed and because it lessened the burning feeling. I made it to the edge of the bed, got on hands and knee's and realized that she would come out.

No one said anything(that I remember anyway) and I realized it was the very moment i was waiting for, the time to push her out. Her head popped out during the first push and I pushed one more time and the rest of her came out. I did not look down until I realized she was out and i looked down and saw her between my legs. I waited just a moment before realizing that I could reach down and grab her and hold her, and that's what I did. She was still attached to me and I held her in my lap. They put blankets all over her and dried her off a bit while I held her there.

She was born at 6:01am, just six hours after I thought I "may" be in labor, just an hour and a half after arriving at The Birth Center. I layed down with her on my chest and just a few minutes later, the placenta came out. I remember Ann saying, "ok, the placenta's gonna come out now, but don't worry, this one doesn't have bones." It just plopped right out. A little later she showed it to us and showed us the different parts which I thought was very cool, Craig was grossed out, haha. She then examined me and saw that I had a very small tear. She said I could get a stitch, or it could just heal by itself. I really didn't want a stitch because I was scared it would hurt. Donna said, "oh get it" and Ann said, "well it's her choice" and I was hesitant to get it, but then Ann said it was a little bigger than she originally thought and that I should get it. So I did. She did one small stitch at the bottom and one on the top left labia. They used some spray, but I could still feel the needle and it was a bit uncomfortable. I just tried to focus on the baby. The pressure waves continued after birth and were very intense, but at this point I didn't feel like using my hypnosis because I just wanted to focus on my baby!!!!

The entire thing was so amazing and everything I could have EVER hoped for. It was truly my perfect birth, I think it was actually better than I visualized my perfect birth to be.

Ok and here is the birthing plan I had written out for The Birth Center and it was also what I had visualized every day:

Wake up around 8:30am as usual! Go downstairs to put on coffee, eat my cereal in front of the tv, then bring coffee up and bring Benji into bed with us. Sit and drink our coffee in bed. Get up to pee cause I'm getting a braxton hicks and those things always make me have to pee. Get another braxton hicks about 20 minutes later. I soon noticed that I'm getting them more often than usual and they're coming pretty regularly. I suddenly realize that I may be entering my birthing time, and in fact I am!

The pressure waves are coming regularly, about every 8 minutes and lasting about 45 seconds each. As soon as I realize that I am entering my birthing time I hope online and tell facebook. I have Craig call Donna to tell her that it's the day. I call the birth center. I  They tell me to wait to come in until pressure waves are 5 minutes apart and last 1 minute each. I then grab one of my nut bars filled with protein, eat that as well as a nice bowl in quinoa and a large cup of raspberry leaf tea. I put my headphones on and practice having a loose, limp body to allow my body to do all the work. I feel pressure waves gaining strength which feels like a power higher than myself guiding my body to take care of me and my baby and guide her out of the womb. I listen to my different hypnosis tapes and during each pressure wave I choose to use the meditations and hypnosis that I've learned over the past few months. I make that decision every time a pressure wave comes and remind myself to stay calm as this power takes over, it is a strong and gentle power that is going to bring me to my baby so soon. Donna arrives and I ask her to bring Benji downstairs so I can be alone with Craig. I lay on the bed, get up, sit down, walk around the hall shaking my hips, and sitting on the birthing ball and doing whatever feels good.  An hour and a half passes and the pressure waves stronger and closer together. By noon two hours have passed since I first thought I might be in labor and my pressure waves are lasting about a minute long and coming every 5 minutes. We decide that it's time to head over to the birthing center so that I can get settled and enjoy a nice bath over there. We call Craig's parents to come pick up Benji. Donna stays with Benji until his parents get there while Craig and I head over. Donna arrives 20 minutes behind us.

When I get to the birth center, they check my cervix and find that I am 6-7 cent. dilated. Craig sets up my blanket and pillow while I labor peacefully in hypnosis. He reminds me to drink my tea and juice. He also sets up my birth board that I made as a reminder to myself with many positive affirmations, as well as suggestions/reminders of things that I thought would be helpful to myself as well as my helpers Craig and Donna. At this point I am anxious to get back in the water to relieve some of the pressure on my back.

It's now 1:30pm, I've spent some time in the bath and I decide to get out and walk around a bit more. I try different positions recommended to me by my midwife, Donna and Craig. My helpers are now helping me with each pressure wave by doing the "Peace" cue and "Relax" cues. Earlier on I was spending some time in the "off" position, but i now find I need to spend more time in "Center". My husband Craig will also probably need some reminders from The Birth Center staff on how to assist me best as well as reminders that this is a natural, normal and healthy process, though at times intense. In fact, I will probably also need those reminders!

As I birth I will continuously use my hypnobabies cd's, probably through my headphones. At about 3pm I will be ready to push! At that time I will put on my "Pushing Baby Out" track on the regular speakers so that everyone can hear it to best assist me. (as suggested by the hypnobabies program) I will not need an episiotomy and wish to tear naturally unless, given the midwifes experience, she feels it is absolutely necessary. Pushing takes only a few pressure waves and the baby is in my arms! After the cord stops pulsing, either Craig or I are directed by the midwife to cut the cord. Donna is busy taking pictures. When the time is right, the nurse or midwife help Craig and I on how to wash the baby and dress her. We'd like to skip the eye drops that are often given to newborns. Donna will assist me with the baby's first latch for breastfeeding as has been the tradition in our family when Benji was born.
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Baby Will's birth story is unusual because it spans about four days. But I've limited most of the story below to the actual birth, with a little background on how we got there.

I was hospitalized on July 19 (Sunday) for kidney stone pain at 39 weeks and given an NST. Baby was looking good and I was having minor pressure waves, but nothing productive. I was told I probably had a UTI so I was put on antibiotics and sent home the same day. I did OK on Monday, resting and taking my painkillers for the kidney pain and the antibiotics for the infection.

(In a previous post of mine, I talked about how I used the Hypnobabies "Deepening" track to get me through the pain and regular vomiting while on the 40 minute drive to the hospital.)

On Tuesday morning, the painkillers stopped working so I was instructed to return to the birthing center. When I arrived, the midwife told me my urine sample results had come in from Sunday and it showed I had a nasty kidney infection. I was put on IV antibiotics and more drugs for the vomiting and pain. I started doing much better within a few hours.

Around 4:30 pm on Tuesday we were told the OB would come in and talk to us about my condition. I didn't really want to be discharged, but I didn't see how I could stay overnight at this point because I was feeling much better. In the meantime I talked to my mom on the phone and she didn't want me to be discharged because she was worried I would go into precipitous labor because of the kidney stones and infection and deliver really quickly overnight. That was exactly what had happened to her during her second pregnancy. (Unfortunate genetics...)

When the OB finally arrived at 9:30 that night, I told her that I expected her to discharge me, but she surprised us by saying she wanted me to stay overnight. She said I had a bad UTI and I hadn't completed the course of antibiotics, so she wanted me to start them first thing the next morning. My husband left shortly thereafter.

Around 10:30 pm, I noticed I was having some pressure waves so I watched them for an hour. At 11:30 they were reliably 15 minutes apart. I watched TV for a while and made a note of how the waves were progressing. The lead night nurse checked on me close to midnight and I told her I was having waves about 15 minutes apart, so she said she'd come back around 2 am to see how I was doing. (She was a little skeptical that I was having productive pressure waves.) At 1 am I started listening to "Easy First Stage" of Hypnobabies to manage the waves since I was alone. I decided to call my husband Patrick at 1:30 am to tell him what was going on and he called the doula. Shortly thereafter the lead nurse came in and said with maybe some frustration, "I'm getting phone calls from people who say they're coming in and you're in labor, so we'd better move you to a labor room." I replied, "Well, if I didn't tell *them* what was going on, they'd get mad at me!"

I walked to the labor room, having intense pressure waves during the walk that forced me to stop and squat on the floor and breathe slowly. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and saw that I was having productive waves, so Blanche the midwife took me off fairly quickly. My husband arrived around the time they were monitoring my pressure waves. My doula, Julia, showed up around 3 am. I spent part of the time sitting on a birth ball and breathing the word "open open open" throughout my pressure waves. I only threw up once (that's my typical response to p**n) shortly after Julia arrived, and I felt much better afterward. As they intensified, I put my arms around the shoulders of either my husband or my doula (whoever was closer) and breathed the word "open open open" very slowly.

It was at that time I thought, "Why am I doing this? I'll never do this again!" But it was a fleeting thought because I began using what I'd learned from Hypnobabies. During every pressure wave I replaced my brief negative thoughts with an image from Hypnobabies: "My cervix is as soft as melting butter." And I repeated to myself some key things from Hypnobabies: The more intense each pressure wave is, the more productive it is, and I was that much closer to meeting my baby. Because I'd given birth before, I knew that the baby would be here probably faster than I expected. I kept repeating these things to myself during every pressure wave and it made them so much more bearable. At that point the pressure waves were coming just a couple minutes apart.

My water broke at 4 am while I was holding on to my doula's shoulders. Every pressure wave thereafter was stronger than the last and a big gush of water would rush out with each one. There was talk of filling the water birth tub around 5 am, but at 4:30 I told my husband and doula that they needed to get the staff to fill it right away. The midwife came in and checked me because she wanted me to be at least 5 cm before I got into the tub. After the cervix check Blanche announced quickly, "Oh yeah, she's at least 5 or 6 cm, get that tub filled!" She instructed Julia how to fill the tub. The lining of the tub hadn't been placed correctly but no one noticed until after it was filled, so the nurse and my husband had to pull strenuously on the liner and get it set up correctly before I could get in.

The birth report says I got into the tub at 4:55 am with my husband. My doula was sitting outside the tub. It was a weird experience getting into the water... it didn't get rid of the discomfort, but it augmented it somehow. It felt very different and more relaxing. I faced my husband for one pressure wave, and then turned around and sat in his lap for the remaining pressure waves. The pressure waves began to intensify and I was having three and four in a row with no real break, just a very slight loosening of the tightness in between. I wasn't able to talk, or hear, or focus on anything but the pressure waves when they were going on. After about 20 minutes, I had a wave that suddenly felt very intense and I had pressure in my bottom. Prior to that, I breathed the word "open" repeatedly during every contraction – but when things got intense I began to say "OPEN OPEN OPEN" much louder. I yelled to the nurse and midwife across the room, "I'm feeling pressure – it's not time to push yet but it's really close!" The nurse said, "OK, breathe through them, you don't have to push, you can breathe your baby out. Let's do two more of those contractions and then we'll be right back to help you push." They left the room.

With that first really intense pressure wave I began floating up into the water because I had no energy to hold myself down. Then another wave hit and I began to yell "OPEN OPEN OPEN" during it, then I couldn't breathe at all. I yelled, "I can't breathe!" My whole body was completely consumed in this pressure wave that was pressing hard against my bottom – I had no control over what was happening and I was floating at the top of the water. My husband asked, "What does Hypnobabies tell you to do?" And I yelled back, "I don't know – I didn't get to listen to that track!" My husband said, "Breathe faster!" and he began demonstrating a rapid breathing, which I copied. It was exactly what I needed to get through the pressure wave. Meanwhile my husband and the doula were saying they saw lots of little bubbles, like soda, bubbling up from the birth canal during the wave.

I was feeling scared at this point because I felt like the baby was coming immediately and the nurse and midwife had left the room. With my first birth, I had a small tear even though the midwife tried to apply pressure and protect my perineum. Now I felt like things were moving so fast that there was nothing to protect my perineum and I was afraid of tearing badly. Within a minute or two another pressure wave started just like the last one and I began the rapid breathing. The pressure against my bottom was more intense than ever, there were more bubbles coming up, and the doula yelled, "She's crowning!" My husband desperately reached for the nurse call button on the wall next to the tub. Almost immediately the doula yelled, "The head's out!" And then I felt a huge whoosh that I knew was an entire baby. My doula pulled the baby's head out of the water and I immediately reached down and scooped up the baby's body and brought it to my chest.

At this point I was completely shocked. I was floating in the water, panting, holding the baby while two nurses and the midwife came running in and announced, "5:30 on the dot." I wanted to know what the baby's gender was, but I was too shocked and exhausted to look. One of the nurses helped me hold the baby's head above water because I was having trouble functioning. My husband eagerly said, "What is it???" The midwife took a peek at the baby and announced, "It's a boy!" I slumped down in my husband's lap, amazed that I was right in predicting our baby's gender for the second time. Julia asked if she could take pictures and I said yes. The pictures are very revealing (besides the fact that I'm stark naked in them) – I look completely shocked and exhausted by what happened over the last few days.

After the cord stopped pulsating, my husband gingerly cut it and a nurse took the baby so I could get out of the tub. I practically collapsed on the delivery bed because I was so tired. They handed the baby to me and Blanche went to work to encourage the placenta out. I never saw the placenta, but it felt HUGE when I pushed it out. She said it looked great. Then she examined me for any tears and said I had a little skid mark, which she defined as being similar to road rash, and a very tiny tear that needed no stitching. I was relieved. I figure the 35 minutes I spent soaking in the warm tub softened up my tissues so I didn't tear.

I'd gotten very little sleep in four days and I was truly exhausted. I gave the baby time to latch on to both nipples, which he did like a pro. Julia left around that time. Then I gave the baby to Patrick so I could rest for a while. I slept for an hour or two while my husband held the baby and called all the relatives with the news. During that time the baby was weighed and measured. I predicted he would be at least 8 lbs. before he was born, and he was! 8 lbs. 4 oz. and 21 inches long. After I was able to nap for a short while, Patrick went home to sleep a few hours and then went to pick up our daughter Laurel and bring her over to the hospital for a quick visit in the afternoon.

Just like my first birth, I was really nauseous for a few hours afterward as my uterus contracted. Breastfeeding aggravated it because it encouraged pressure waves. But when I was moved to my postpartum room, I took a shower and felt much better. Our baby boy was very drowsy the rest of the day and didn't nurse much, but when he did he still had a great latch. When Patrick returned later that day he asked me what we should name our new little boy. I told him I really felt that "William" fit him, and I was fine with any number of middle names we'd discussed. Patrick chose "Zane" as a middle name for its unique sound and the creative reference to famous western author Zane Grey.

It was truly an exhilarating experience! While I felt some fear at the end during the pushing phase, my birth partners helped me maintain control and I remained calm enough to let my body do all the work. And miraculously, my body always knew exactly what to do. I wouldn't change the experience at all!

mama to Laurel & baby Will
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My beautiful baby girl was born March 28.  This was my first pregnancy.  Everything went exactly how I envisioned.  It was a wonderful pregnancy and experience.  I had already decided that I wanted to go natural and when I researched, I came across your Yahoo site and Hypnobabies.  The program seemed to go right in line with my beliefs and what I wanted to achieve.  First I want to say I have a very low pain tolerance so when I read it was possible to have a pain free birth experience I figured it was worth a try.  I have a great relationship with my OB/GYN and I had planned to give birth at the Family Birth Center (FBC) where he has privileges, about 30 minutes away from my home.

Through all the horror stories that people told me about long labors, complications, pain and how I was crazy for not wanting an epidural, I remained focused by letting it all go in one ear and out the other. In fact, I really didn’t tell many people that I was practicing Hypnobabies until it was close to my due date.  I NEVER told my doctor.  When people would ask if I had signed up for Lamaze class, I would simply say “No, I’m not practicing Lamaze.”  The only information I let enter my bubble and “special place” were stories of natural, uncomplicated childbirths.  I kept telling myself that my pregnancy had gone smoothly and the birth of my daughter would be no different.  My doctor even commented that I was the best patient he ever had.  I never complained, everything was always going wonderful and my baby appeared to be very healthy and happy in the womb.

I did the 5 week at home study.  The daily affirmations were wonderful. I did not have a stressful time at all throughout my pregnancy.  I only had one “freak out” moment and that was towards the end.  On March 27th I had not dilated at all.  I was due on March 30th and my doctor was going on vacation March 30th.  If I did not have my baby before March 30th, he would not be there.  From the looks of it, my baby girl was nice and comfy and had no intentions of coming out.  I really wanted him to be there because he’s an excellent doctor and he really understood my needs.  He told me if I didn’t have the baby while he was on vacation, he would induce me on April 7th.  He knew I didn’t want that either.  So I calmly explained to my baby girl that she needed to come by Friday (the 28th) or hold off until April 6th when the doctor would return!  I had no idea she was listening so closely.

To make a long and crazy story short, that Thursday, I had some mild cramping which felt like menstrual cramps.  It wasn’t painful, just annoying and constant. I assumed it was from my internal exam the day before.  I thought nothing of it.  I worked through the day and made plans for that Friday as I was only scheduled to work a half day.  I went home that evening after doing some shopping.  I went to bed at 11:30pm.  At about 1am, I woke up due to a weird small sensation.  I wasn’t sure but I thought my water had broke.  I was very stunned because it all seem so unexpected even though it was just a couple of days before my due date.  I was totally convinced that I would not be having a baby until April.   I decided I wanted to take a shower and that’s when I felt my first pressure wave, about 25 minutes after my water broke.  It was not painful-just different.  So I continued on, showered, got some last minute things together and tried to time the pressure waves.  That was difficult because they varied.

I knew I wanted to stay home as long as possible and not get to the FBC until the pressure waves were 5 minutes apart.  The less chance of interference the better.  As the waves got stronger, I used the finger drop technique.  I felt good bending over from the waist and leaning on my bed for support.  Making the “ohhh” sound really seemed to help me.  I kept thinking I needed to rest a little longer before leaving but I knew I didn’t want to lay down.  I decided to just focus on helping my body to open up and remain relaxed.  I wanted to make sure my baby could make her grand entrance without any problems.  Things moved pretty quickly and next thing I knew my pressure waves were suddenly 3 minutes apart!  For this reason, I ended up going to the FBC in an ambulance.  On the way I listened to different scripts I had downloaded on my i-Pod.

When we got there at 5:30am (yes I waited that long), the pressure waves were 2 minutes apart and I was 7cm!  I was so ecstatic.  Everything was going well.  Even though nurses kept offering the epidural, I knew there was no need for one.  Things happened so quickly I don’t think the staff had time to read the birth plan in my file. They were all in shock with the progression.  They practically forgot about the IV line which was fine because I didn’t want one even though it was hospital procedure.  I was not in any pain at all.  I just felt extreme pressure.  My doctor showed up just in the nick of time.  The baby’s head was practically crowning.  I listened to the Pushing Baby Out script and I couldn’t believe how good I felt.  My body pretty much did all the work and I just tried my best to allow it.  I did end up having an episiotomy even though we had tried the recommended perineal massage exercises.  I healed up wonderfully.  I was making calls while getting stitched up and waiting to expel the placenta.  The IV line only stayed in for about 90 minutes.  I was an extremely happy camper.

So my water broke at 1am and at 6:46am I gave birth to my beautiful 8lb 6oz baby who was 21 inches long.  It was a very exciting and empowering experience.  I am so glad that I found Hypnobabies.  It definitely helped me achieve my desired birth experience.  When I tell people my story, they are amazed at how quickly everything took place, especially for my first birth and how I did not experience any pain or have the need for an epidural.

Unfortunately, 2 of my friends who gave birth 2 weeks and 4 weeks after me did not have such a great experience.  They both ended up having C-sections.  They scolded me for lying to them about the experience.  I promised them I did not lie at all.  It was definitely my mind set and Hypnobabies that made the difference.  I will recommend this program to any expecting mother.  I look forward to doing it again someday!  Thank you so much.
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Journey into Motherhood is a book recommended to all Hypnobabies Students, because it is full of wonderful, positive birth stories.  I am so happy to say that Sheri Menelli has decided to give this book away free!  I hope all moms take advantage of this and are inspired by these stories!
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Posted by on in Birth Center Stories
CBS had a wonderful segment on their news about a midwife and the difference she is making in women's births and their outcomes. 

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4428535n click on Beating the Odds to start the video.
Tagged in: inspirational
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On May 5th, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Juliana, into our family. The birth was absolutely wonderful (and it was so different
from my first birth that lasted 28 hours and was very, very difficult!). I woke up at 1:30 with what I thought were just braxton hicks. I couldn't fall back to sleep though so decided to go downstairs, get a drink, change the laundry around that we'd forgotten before bed, and then thought I'd try to time a few of the pressure waves.

They were lasting 45 seconds and coming 3 minutes apart. I still didn't believe this was it, even though they were so close because they really weren't any worse than my braxton hicks had been for the past week or more and they just weren't lasting very long. I decided to wake my husband up at 2:30 and he called our doulas and midwives. They said to take a shower to relax and then come in. So we left for the birth center at 3:15 and arrived at 4:20.

I listened to my birthing day affirmations for part of the drive and then switched to Easy First Stage. The ride was long and during the windy country roads, there were some pressure waves that were harder because I wasn't able to stay in off because I had to keep myself
from sliding out of the seat (my husband was eager to get us there and the road is really curvy!) We finally arrived at the birth center and I got settled in and then at 4:40 they checked me and I was 6 centimeters. I was so excited! I got in the hot tub about 5 minutes later and was just so relaxed and on cloud nine that I was already 6 centimeters.

My doulas were laughing at me saying they couldn't believe I was just sitting there joking and laughing. I was in center during this whole time and even during a pressure wave, I'd just rest my head on the edge of the tub and just relax. At about 4:50, the pressure waves started feeling really low and I felt like I had to be much more serious and really focus on them. My husband and doula were all massaging my back and pouring warm water over my back which helped so much. Then a little before 5:00, I felt like I had to pee so I told them I needed to pee and then about 2 seconds later was like, "I have to poop!" and just tried to get up so I didn't poop in the tub (sorry if tmi!). The urge was just so strong that I just flipped over onto all fours and was just pushing. The doulas called the midwife in and they said the baby was coming out. I had no idea I was actually pushing the baby out - I really just thought I'd pooped in the water!

Pushing was very intense and really the only time I didn't feel fully in control. I don't remember having any pressure waves or anything - I was just trying to stay relaxed and say "ahhhh....." and then all of a sudden I'd just push. I never really felt like I had to push, it just sort of happened. Then at 5:01, she was born! It went so fast - I still can't believe I went from 6 centimeters to a baby in 20 minutes!

So, it was a wonderful, calm birth. I did tear a bit because she came out with her hand by her head and then used her elbows to push out. But they stitched me while I listened to deepening. It was truly a wonderful birth and I have Hypnobabies to thank!
Tagged in: birth-center-birth
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To share her joy of her Hypnobabies births.  She has had 2 babies using Hypnobabies.  Each baby weighed over 10 pounds! 

Here is the link to Cynthia's Hypnobabies Birth Blog.  Go check it out!
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Posted by on in Birth Center Stories
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Visit this Blog to read Noah's VBAC story. 

If you want to read more positive VBAC stories you can go here
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I wanted to share our wonderful hypno-water birth story.

Audrey's Birth Story ~ 8.21.12 ~ 5:54 am ~ 7 lbs, 7 oz

We transferred our care to Andaluz Watherbirth Center Monday morning (8.20.12) at 41 weeks and 5 days, only 2 days to 42 weeks, the day our OB wanted us to induce.  Our initial intake appointment at Birth Center was at 4 pm Monday afternoon, at that point I was having some “different” feeling pressure waves and I had been experiencing some new cramping sensations for the past few days.  After our appointment, my husband, Lee and I went out to Vietnamese downtown and had some spicy Pho soup and went for a walk along the waterfront.  At this point, I was experiencing manageable pressure waves and we noticed they seemed to be occurring a bit more consistently, about every 20-30 minutes apart.  After our walk we headed home, with a lot of excitement and anticipation of “could this really be IT? ~ finally the day we have been waiting for these 10 long months. Since the pressure waves were still very much manageable, I still didn’t know if this really was early birthing time or just some more consistent practice waves.   I went upstairs to listen to my Birthing Day Affirmations and Baby Come Out CD to help relax myself and get some rest in case this really was IT.  At about 11 pm, my husband came up to check on me and time some pressure waves while I tried to rest. At this point, they were still about 15 minutes apart but becoming increasingly more and more intense.  Somewhere between 11 pm and midnight, things progressed very quickly and my pressure waves went from 15 minutes apart to about 5 minutes apart. After the PW continued at 5 minutes apart for about 30 minutes, we texted our doulas to let them know that things had progressed quickly and have been pretty consistent for the past hour.

Early Birthing Time at Home 

After they continued consistently for another 30 minutes, Lee called our midwife to let her know that my pressure waves have been going on for over a few hours now and have been 4-5 minutes apart, lasting over a minute.  Lee was absolutely great working with me through each and every pressure wave, using the hypno-cue words like “relax” and “peace” and “limp and loose” to help deepen my hypnosis.  He kept reminding me “with each pressure wave we get that much closer to meeting Audrey” and “with each pressure wave I get 2 times more dilated.” I would turn off my lightswitch during each wave while listening to Early First Stage track to help deepen my hypnosis.  The more intense the pressure waves were getting, the more challenging it was to stay in the “off position” so I tried “center” while standing and having Lee do the belly lift while moving my hips from side-to-side.  This vertical position and movement seem to help.  Lee did a great job of quickly gathering all of our stuff and taking Kenzie (our pup) outside all in between each pressure wave so he was there to support me.  He was with me through each and every pressure wave, and it really helped to hear his voice and the cue words.

Heading to the Birth Center

On our way down to the birthcenter, I listened to Deepening track with my ear buds and tried to stay in center. I had to experience 1 pressure wave in the car seat and it was awful! For some reason the position in the car, even with the seat totally reclined, really put more pressure on my lower back and made the pressure waves and back labor more intense.  The next pressure wave, Lee stopped the car so I could be standing. Luckily, Lee was able to race to the birthcenter so I didn’t have to experience another pressure wave in the car.

At the Birth Center ~ Arrived at 2 am

Our midwife met us at the center and started filling up the birthtub immediately. I passed around the room a bit listening to Easy First Stage while they were getting the room set. I tried a few positions on the birthball and on all fours on the bed with pillows but none of the positions were as helpful to reduce the pressure as the standing position.  Once the tub was ready, we both got in and immediately found that an almost laying position was the best during the pressure waves. I was laying back on Lee to support me, he would help put pressure on my forehead and cold washcloths on my head and chest.  That was really helpful so I didn’t overheat.  The support of having him right there with me was immeasurable.  He continued to reinforce my hypnosis with the cues and was always reminding me to stay “limp and loose” and that “with each pressure wave we were closer to meeting Audrey.”  At one point, our midwife offered to do a check to see how far dilated I was but we decided to pass on that since we knew that could be discouraging because I sure felt like I should be getting closer to pushing and didn’t want to be discouraged if I wasn’t as far along as I expected to be.  I asked for them to put the Pushing Baby Out track on because I thought that would help me get there quicker if I was listening to that.  I kept telling myself “Open, open, open…. Breathe, breathe, breathe….each pressure wave we are closer to meeting Audrey.” It was important to reinforce this, as the more intense the pressure would get, it was easy to forget to breathe and relax in between the pressure waves and become “tensed” up anticipating the next one.

Transition / pushing stage ~ Audrey was born at 5:54 am (4 hours after arriving to the birthcenter)

At this point, all the details become really fuzzy to me since I was so deep in my hypnosis state and very much within my sub-conscious mind.  Once the pushing sensation started, it was an overwhelming feeling that I just had to start pushing.  At first, it didn’t feel as if it was doing anything but clearly it was since it was somewhere between 20 minutes and my baby girls head was crowning.  There is no real way to describe that feeling other than very intense.  Feeling down and feeling her head was amazing and gave me the last bit of energy and strength to push really hard in between pressure waves.  I tried this technique to push her out between pressure waves but it was difficult to do without the added help of the pressure wave.  Our midwife recommended me waiting and resting for the next pressure wave and with that we should be able to meet our baby girl.  And with that very next pressure wave, we came right out.  It was an incredibly surreal and emotional holding our sweet girl for the first time in the tub.  She was quite for a few seconds and then let out a sweet cry that just melted my heart.  She is such a content and happy baby girl, nursing like a champ on day 1 and even letting her parents sleep in.
We are feeling so grateful blessed that we made the decisions we did at that late stage to ensure we were able to have a completely natural, intervention-free and peaceful birth experience for our sweet daughter. I definitely attribute Hypnobabies to helping ensure we had such an amazing birth.  It provided me with the “tools” to help me stay deeply relaxed, focused and in my sub-conscious. The preparation of visualizing such peaceful, natural birth experience really helped me accept and know what was happening in the moment and be completely assured that my body and baby knew what to do.  It also provided my husband with the “tools” to help support me throughout our birthing time.  His support was incredibly important.  Ill definitely be using hypnobabies for our next birth and will undoubtedly be at Andaluz, as well.
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