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First I want to say I started the Hypnobabies homestudy late (about 34 weeks) and that I had a really hard time not falling asleep in them. Toward the end I would fall asleep to them at night and then listen to them again in the morning before I got out of bed. I tried to practice my on/off and center switch but wasn’t very good at it. After going and going all week, I finally told DH that I didn’t have anything planned for the rest of the time I was pregnant. “Good, let’s keep it that way” is how he responds. He doesn’t like being overscheduled. So Friday night we finally had a relaxing night. We watched a movie. I kept putting DH hand on my belly so he could feel how the baby was pushing or exercising. We joked that it liked to be up at night when I wanted to be sleeping. So we went to bed at 11 ish I think. If this was part of my birthing time, I was pretty clueless. I didn’t think anything of it. 

I woke up at 1:50 am because I thought I peed my pants. But I had to pee a lot more. And more. DH asked what was up and I said I thought my water broke. He said “just go back to bed.” So I tried. But I couldn’t. I didn’t want to just lay there and think about it. So I went to the computer and worked on it. I put on my birthing day affirmations CD to help me be in a positive mindset. I used a computer website (thanks to whoever put that great resource up!) to time my pressure waves. They were about 5 minutes apart and 45 second long from the time I started timing them. I decided that maybe I should try to relax during the pressure waves. So I would breathe and use a “peace” cue. I was kind of disappointed because they were starting to hurt a little. But I felt like I could relax a little better doing the peace cue. So I did that until maybe 4:30 am and I thought it was time I focused and lay down to relax better and listen to my easy first stage birthing CD. 

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I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and preterm labor at 31 weeks and was told that I would likely be having my baby within 1-2 weeks at that time. My blood pressure was elevated at my appt. with my midwife, my uric acid was a little high and I had some protein in my urine. I had to transfer from the free standing birthing center with our midwife to an OB/GYN-Dr. Hall and a hospital birth. We were disappointed but wanted what was best for our baby and I so we decided we needed to make the best of the situation. We had appointments with Dr. Hall twice a week to check my blood pressure, labs and monitor our baby on the external monitor. We were very fortunate to have a wonderful Dr. that we both liked and trusted.

My blood pressure was never elevated except for that one time at my appt. with our midwife and my labs stayed pretty close to where they were in the beginning so my preeclampsia never really progressed. Dr. Hall actually sat us down and asked us what we were doing so he could tell his other patients who were diagnosed with preeclampsia. I told him it was my herbal program and the power of the mind (Hypnobabies). The perinatologist-Dr. Grey, had recommended trying to keep me pregnant as long as possible and if I made it to 37 weeks to induce me in order to prevent me from getting any sicker (allowing the preeclampsia to progress) because the worse it gets the harder it is on the baby and me. They said moms with preeclampsia generally don’t tolerate labor very well. 

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Claire’s Midwife Recommended Hypnobabies for Her Hospital Birth!

"My husband was so wonderful! He was with me the whole time helping me with my hypnosis ques, bringing me water, snacks and holding my hand while they checked the heartbeat."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Join our Hypnobabies Community and receive 10% off of all Hypnobabies products!

BOHWhen my husband and I got pregnant we did extensive research on the having the safest birth possible for both mother and baby. We chose a midwife as our healthcare provider based on exceptional outcomes research.  We quickly came to the conclusion that natural birth was what we wanted. Our midwife recommended using Hypnobabies for pain management and we began the extensive self-study course. We practiced everyday and did all the recommended cues and affirmations. We knew we were not ready to have a home birth, but we were apprehensive about birthing in a hospital because of unnecessary medical interventions. Our midwife assured us we would be fine and to put together a Birth Plan. 

I am happy to report that I was able to give birth in such a perfect way! The nurses at the hospital were so wonderful, loving and patient. They really facilitated such a spiritual birth for our little one. They were so respectful of our preferences.  They used a Doptone instead of the external fetal monitor and allowed her to be placed immediately on my chest when she was born for an hour.  She was able to nurse immediately, and they also did all procedures in the room with us.  My midwife is truly an angel as well.  She knew I desperately wanted to have a natural hypnobirth and she was there and supported me the entire time!  Even when I felt like it was going to be impossible, she reminded me that I could do it and to stick with my plan.

I woke up at 1:30am Saturday morning with menstrual-like cramps that started in my back and wrapped around the lower part of my abdomen. They were about 5-10 minutes apart and very regular so I was sure my birthing time had begun.  I laid in bed for an hour but I was restless so I decided to start baking brownies for the nursing staff.  Our dog came down to see what the commotion was, and then went upstairs to wake my husband. 

We went to the hospital around 9:15am once I had been having pressure waves for 1-2 hours and they were 2-3 minutes apart.  We called the in-laws to start their journey from Ohio, paged my midwife and called my Mom.  We loaded up the car and were on the way to take the dog to doggie day care, I was deep in my hypnotic trance with my headphones on when I noticed blue lights in the rearview mirror. We were being pulled over!  My husband jumped out of the car at the red light and motions to the police officer that I am in labor by pointing to his belly.  The officer pulled up beside us, took one look at me and asked if we needed a police escort.  We thanked him and said we could make it on our own.  I was still in trance but I was getting a little uncomfortable and irritated at the disruption. 

When we got there, my pressure waves slowed down considerably because I was nervous about being in the hospital.  I was only 3cm dilated so my husband and I walked the halls for an hour, bounced on my birthing ball and paced.  When my midwife checked me around 1:00pm I was 5-6cm and 100% effaced.  I used my hypnosis and was able to stay in trace during most of the dilation.  I could hardly feel the pressure waves at all.  When I was 7-8cm when my midwife suggested I get in the tub.  I was a little reluctant, but I decided to do it and my husband helped me. I was so glad I did because it provided tremendous relief and allowed me to catch my breath. 

My husband was so wonderful! He was with me the whole time helping me with my hypnosis ques, bringing me water, snacks and holding my hand while they checked the heartbeat.  He didn’t leave my side once, not even go to the bathroom!  My mom was there supporting me the entire time as well.  Her Lamaze experience definitely came in handy during the pushing phase.  I was fully dilated around 5:00pm and tried pushing in several different positions.  It was very hot and when my mom asked if she could loosen my gown I grabbed it and tore it off. My modesty went out the window as I was fully concentrated on staying as comfortable as possible. 

I was getting frustrated, feeling that I wasn’t making progress and almost came out of my trance.  I leaped on to the bed in high position and grabbed the mattress and screamed.  My husband and mom came to my rescue quickly and reminded me that I can do this and to RELAX! I agreed and made the conscious decision to continue with the tools I had for hypnosis. Looking back on it, I would guess this would be what they refer to as  “transition”. 

Finally, I was most comfortable on my side.  I tried to push with every pressure wave, but since I was so deep in trance, I could only feel it at its peak and wasn’t able to utilize the full force. With every round of pushing everyone would exclaim “THIS IS IT, PUSH HER OUT!”  They got me the mirror and showed me part of her head sticking out.  My  midwife encouraged me to feel her head as well.  I knew I could do this; it was just going to take some time. I had to pace myself. I pushed and pushed and in-between I used my relax cue to catch my breath and took sips of water.  It was amazing that I had so much control considering I had no pain medication.  My midwife used bottle after bottle of mineral oil to massage and stretch me.  We listened to the “Pushing Baby Out” CD it seemed like 100 times and we were all getting annoyed but nobody could reach the CD played to turn it off or change CD’s.

Centimeter-by-centimeter, baby Claire was born at 9:30pm after 4.5 hours of pushing.  I didn’t end up with any stitches or episiotomy! I had a very small tear that didn’t even bleed.  It was so awesome, as soon as she was born and they placed her on my chest she looked up at me with those big eyes.  How amazing!  I did it all natural and my baby is so healthy and relaxed as well.  She is beautiful and her head was perfectly round despite such a long time in the birth canal.  She nursed right away and was very content.

What a spiritual and euphoric experience!  We are truly blessed and it was worth all the hard work.  It means so much to me that with all the loving support and patience of my midwife, husband and mother, I was able to be empowered to have the perfect natural birth.  Later I found out that some of my friends had actually placed a bet that I would end up with an epidural.  You can imagine how excited and proud I was to tell them my birth story!!!

Originally posted February 6, 2008

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Editor's note: This is an email from one of the moms on the Hypnobabies Moms Forum. She gave us permission to share it. We think it is a great example of how educating yourself and being empowered can help shape your birth.

This Hypnobabies Mom's OB had been pressuring her into setting an induction date because of “big baby”.  She asked all the moms for ideas and support, did her research and went back to her OB and took charge of the situation. We LOVED her story:

“First off I’d like to say thank you to everybody who gave me advice on my ‘big’ (healthy) baby!"

I had my doctor’s apt. yesterday where we were to discuss my birth plan I put in at my last apt. My doctor had been pressuring me to induce around 38 weeks (pending a u/s) b/c I have been measuring so large. I was very nervous. I made sure I did a fear release  before I left and toughened up my BOP.  (Bubble of Peace)

When he came in I held up my hand and told him that I wanted to talk before he even said anything. I told him that I know I am his first experience with Hypnobabies and I need him to have an open mind. I explained the program and the power of thinking positively. I told him about people using hypnosis for surgery. 

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A little background information:


During my whole pregnancy, Chris and I had been planning to have a very natural Hospital birth. Every appointment we would ask our dr about doing it as naturally as possible and he acted like we could do this however we wanted. Slowly I would ask him specifics such as not being hooked up to monitors and fluids. As well as eating if I felt necessary.

Of course I started to realize then that his idea of a natural birth was VERY different than mine. He also told me every appointment that I should go ahead and watch the epidural video “just in case”. This told me that he wasn’t taking me seriously, and thought that I would resort to the epidural. Well at my 38 week appointment he informed my husband and I that …

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Baby Annaleah Nancy was born Thursday May 10th, 2012 at 5:38am. She is absolutely perfect, weighing 7lbs 10oz at birth, and  20in  long. Our doctor even called her, "the perfect specimen". She is a truly beautiful baby, with dark brown hair and blue eyes, and was totally worth the 25 hours of birthing time it took for her to arrive.

My pressure waves started Wednesday May 9th at 4:30am. They started out strong and fast, 2-3 minutes apart, at a minute long! They did slow down after the first few, but stayed mostly at 2-5minutes apart the entire time. I had very few that were a bit longer. So it was definitely tiring.

The first 12 hours were amazing. I used the Hypnobabies techniques, and they worked. I went into my doctor's appointment at 11:30am Wednesday, smiled and said, "I think baby is on the way." She checked and I was 3cm and 80% effaced. She suggeste we go home, have lunch, and go to the hospital. I'd wanted to wait to be further along, but with testing gbs positive, also wanted to be sure I had enough time for antibiotics.

We got to the hospital at 2:30pm. So far, I still felt great. I was talking and smiling through every pressure wave. The nurses kept looking at the monitor, and asking, "Don't you feel that?" They also told me that when my doctor called to tell them we were coming in, she told them, I'd probably seem like nothing was happening because I'm usually pretty calm and quiet.

Shortly after we arrived, one of the nurses checked my progress. She estimated me to be at 7cm already!  It felt amazing to hear I'd gone so far, and had not even the slightest bit of discomfort. Unfortunately, my doctor arrived shortly after, and a bit later, had to reluctantly tell us I was not at 7cm, but at 4cm.

That set me back a bit. I'd been really calm and relaxed, and feeling positive about everything. Suddenly I felt how slow things were going. I started feeling more of the waves now too. I did manage to get refocused, but it was hard after that to be as positive as I had been.

(Editors note - this is a good example of why sometimes it is better not to find out how dilated you are.) … 
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Yes! It was Awesome! Wonderful! So peaceful, so relaxed, so beautiful! Absolutely worth all the training I did every day for half a year! Thank you Hypnobabies, I got exactly what I wanted and it was SO GOOD..!

I felt sure and confident all the time. I felt happy, good, peaceful, joyous. I knew I would know exactly what to do at any moment, I knew I wouldn't have to ask anyone anything, I would just listen to my body and do as I intuitively knew I should do. I felt no worries about anything. I knew I would know if there was anything special I should pay attention to, and there wasn't.

I was totally in my own world, I heard Kerry's voice and the same time I didn't hear it, I was there and able to say anything I needed to anyone and the same time I was completely elsewhere, calm, peaceful, in my own beautiful world.

I was on all fours all the time during the waves, and it was good. I only used the bed as a soft place to be on all fours. I leaned forward on a mountain of pillows and relaxed totally and took the hugs of waves, and it was so good. Intense, yes, but there was nothing wrong with that, intense was good. I felt so secure and sure. At some point I kept shaking my butt, which felt great, at a later point I kept still, just relaxed and enjoyed the wonderful massage and pressure my doula applied on my back. And all the time I was in my own world, completely happy, calm and secure.

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The Birth Story of Liliana

Well I should begin by saying that due to the fact that my mom had all of her (6) children at least one-two weeks overdue, I was assuming that this my first baby would be as overdue! Thus, despite being very close to my guess date I had no anxiety about wanting our little one to hurry up and be born, but instead was finding it quite easy to be “lovingly patient” as I had heard every day on the Hypnobabies tracks! My husband and I live in Australia, despite being from Canada/USA and thus were super excited to welcome my mom and little sister to Melbourne when I was 39 weeks 3 days. On the night of 39 weeks 5 days, we went to one of my husband’s basketball games which was very intense. I was experiencing super strong braxton hicks throughout the game, but attributed it to the intensity of the game! I had been having lots of braxton hicks anyhow since about 36 weeks, and so thought nothing of it.

I woke up at 5:00 am on the dot the next day with pressure waves that felt slightly different to the braxton hicks, as they wrapped around my back. Immediately upon awakening I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep through these ones, so I told my husband that I couldn’t sleep and was going to have a cup of tea (I didn’t want to raise a false alarm!). I got up and lay on my left side on the couch with my tea. I read through some birth stories and watched my favorite birth videos on YouTube. I also talked to our little girl and told her that if she wanted to be born today it was ok, that she was very safe and we were going to be a good team. I started to time the pressure waves and they were 5-8 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds.  I practiced my finger drop, as well as listened to the deepening hypnosis CD and the hypnotic childbirth 1 and 2 CDs. This continued until about 8:30. During that time I also had a shower, and watched the most gorgeous sunrise reveal a beautiful clear blue sky. I knew it was a perfect day for a birthday!

I woke up my husband at 8:30, telling him that he probably wasn’t playing his final basketball game that day, because we might be meeting our baby. Then I told him to keep sleeping as I was doing fine J A few minutes later he emerged, commenting that it was a little hard to go back to sleep after something like that! We called my mom and told her that my husband would come get her and my little sister, but of course not to get their hopes up; it might not be the real thing! However, at this point I preferred to move through my pressure waves and was listening to the birthing day affirmations, switching with easy first stage, pressure waves were staying consistent and some were lasting up to 55 seconds.

At about 10:00 I started to make brownies to bring to our midwives but I never got to frosting them because I quickly lost all interest in my brownie project and really could care less! Also, around this time I lost part of my mucous plug. Things seemed more and more real!

Things continued like this until 3:00 pm. Pressure waves got longer and more intense. Never at any point did they feel unmanageable, and I felt totally peaceful and safe. My dearest husband was just THERE for anything. I was very active, moving from the fit ball, to all fours, to swaying in his arms, to standing and rocking.  I had placed myself in center very early in the day though. It seemed like no time at all until my pressure waves were consistently 3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute, and I think it was at this point that I started sighing through them very lightly. We decided to call the birth center and give them a heads up that we may be in within the next hour or so, and they were shocked by how calm both my husband and I were considering how close together the pressure waves were!

Things started changing. I was feeling a lot of pressure in my bottom and I was also starting to feel tired. We decided I’d try lying on my side while my husband got together our last minute things. Lying down didn’t feel very good, and the pressure was continuing. So, we decided to go, it was close to 3:00 pm. I felt totally calm, and while intense the pressure waves felt totally manageable, and I think it was because I was so trusting of my body’s ability to do what it knew how to do. I felt no concern to evaluate what I was experiencing, or control it. Also, I found myself smiling after every wave, I felt so hopeful!

Even though we live a 5 minute drive from the hospital I had a pressure wave in the car and another in the parking lot! Amazingly, we were still calm entering the birth center and the midwives seemed surprised. They have a policy of not checking progress for a while, so I didn’t need to worry about that, and they just got us settled into a room. Things get a little fuzzy here. I was still totally active: standing, on the ball, or on all fours. I felt immense pressure in my bottom and kept trying to go the bathroom. You would have thought I’d figure out there was nothing there!  I remember feeling that this wasn’t really very fun anymore and that I was very tired. Later my mom told me that she knew things were getting serious, as pressure waves were about 2 minutes apart and 90 seconds long. I hadn’t stopped moving the entire birthing time, so my husband and mom strongly encouraged me to lie down. Laying there on my left side I went through what I now know was transformation. I was shaking almost uncontrollably; my husband was using the peace cue and stroking my head lightly while my mom was applying a gloriously warm rice pack to my back. I counted backwards from ten in my head over and over, as well as visualized myself in a boat with no oars riding the waves up and down. I was still only lightly sighing through the pressure waves and felt calm.

All of a sudden I had huge amounts of rest time in between the pressure waves. I just kept my eyes closed and enjoyed my husband stroking my head and my mom rubbing my back. A little while later there was this “oh my goodness” physical push that had nothing to do with my mind and everything to do with my body just doing its thing. That involuntarily pushing continued for 3 more pressure waves, and when the midwife finally arrived, my water burst with what felt like a tremendous force. She quickly scurried out of the room to get the warm things for the baby (EXCLAMATION POINTS WENT OFF IN MY HEAD WHEN I HEARD THAT!), and when she came back asked if I’d like to move to a different position. We moved me to a kneeling position, leaning over the back of the bed. I will admit, at this point I felt a little panicky…and I expressed verbally that I felt frightened. I think saying it out loud allowed me to address that I felt afraid and then perhaps move forward from the fear. I was consistently reminding myself that the more relaxed I remained the easier it would be for my body to work. I was amazed how easy it was to convince myself to relax.

Pushing was not hard for me at all, in the sense that it came very naturally to me and my body was working so powerfully. Also, I had so effectively breathed our baby down through the pressure waves that I really only started pushing involuntarily when her head was literally right there. I will never forget how happy I felt when someone said, “Your baby has hair!” At the same time, I totally underestimated how hard work it was! I was sooo sweaty hot, and I kept asking if I was doing anything. Everyone kept saying, “oh yes, you are doing something!” My husband was there, kissing my head, holding my hand, and just being someone to look at when I was feeling overwhelmed. He was an incredible rock.

The midwife (who was applying wonderful hot compresses!) said that in a few minutes she’d let me know to switch to short breath pushes. However, I got it in my mind that I was all in and bore down powerfully. Out SHOT her head. The moment her head popped out was probably the most vocal I got because I was so shocked! I gave a little yell. Then, before I knew it her shoulders were out and then her body…and all I had to do was breath. In that moment, I forgot everything and immediately just wanted to hold our baby. I don’t remember, but apparently I was saying, “Hi baby, I’m your mama, I’m your mama!” Those were the words I’d uttered to her so many times as I practiced Hypnobabies and met her in our special safe place. It was perfect, I cannot describe the relief. I was bloody, exposed, sweaty, flabby…and I didn’t care! I was in my husbands arms and my arms cradled our baby. Everything else was forgotten.

Three things:

Firstly, the last 3 or so weeks of my pregnancy I’d visualized my birth and in it I awoke with pressure waves early in the morning so that I could labor in the quiet and dark for a while, arrived at the birth center 7 or 8 centimeters dilated, and had our baby before 8 pm. In real life, I awoke at 5:00 am with pressure waves, labored at home for ten hours, arriving at the birth center only three hours before our baby was born. I never had a single internal exam because I progressed so steadily and our baby was right there when my body started pushing. I only pushed for 45 minutes. By 8 pm I had birthed our beautiful baby and was enjoying a glass of champagne! It was simply incredible.

Secondly: I took the posterior challenge very seriously and spent weeks ensuring that our little one was anterior. This meant hardly ever reclining and lots of hands and knees time but it was SO WORTH IT!

Thirdly,  the biggest thing Hypnobabies gave me was the mental conditioning to allow my body to do what it knew how to do and to be unafraid. Moreover, it taught me how to relax so effectively, and direct that relaxation through breathing, that I almost didn’t need to actively use the tools as it came naturally to me after so many months of practice. I fully believe that my body worked so efficiently because I knew how to take my mind out of the process and surrender control through relaxation.

I am looking forward to using Hypnobabies if we are so blessed to have more than one child! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect birthday for our sweet Liliana.

~Emily
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I'm so excited to share this part of my journey! My first birth was just the birth that I had wanted and envisioned. Completely natural, no medications, no I.V., not one intervention. I thank my amazing husband, our wonderful doula, and our kind, knowledgeable midwife for this amazing experience.

The night of our first Hypnobabies class, Travis and I headed out to Rexburg, in the sun of the evening. Classes were at Kelly's house, and I'll admit, I was a little nervous. This was a whole new experience for me! In meeting Kelly, all of my fears were washed away, she was kind, and knowledgeable, light-hearted and warm. There were 3 other families also taking the class. I quickly found that Hypnobabies was much more than self hypnosis for childbirth, it was actually a class! There was a wealth of information, and lots of homework! After receiving our work books, and going through the materials for the first lesson, we had our first hypnosis session. This was a session that Dads also did with us. On the way home, Travis told me this was the perfect fit for me, and that it was going to work so well! This was so encouraging! My husband was in full support, and truly, without him, it would have been a struggle.

I started listening to the tracks and doing my studies. I absolutely LOVED the pregnancy affirmations every day. I would listen each day as I was getting ready, what a great way to start my day. I also really loved my time in hypnosis, I was so calm and relaxed. It was a great time for Travis and I to bond, and really prepare for our baby. I, being my typical over-achiever self completely embraced the studies. We would all laugh in class, because I was the mom who brought her own little sticky tabs and highlighters. You should see my work book. I think I'm leaving those stickies in there as long as I can. It's so funny.

Hypnobabies is also more than just hypnosis. It was an eye opener. It was a confidence builder.

Click here to read the rest of the story! 
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Birth Story – Zuriel

Born Friday, January 28 at 4:17 a.m.

6lbs, 7oz, 20.25in

Zuriel means “God is my rock” in Hebrew.  We call him Zuri for short, which means “Beautiful” in Swahili.

The calm before the storm

 I had been having practice pressure waves on Sunday, January 23 and Monday, January 24.  They were close together and very frequent.  We (husband, mom and I) believed that our little sweet pea would be coming soon.  I timed the pressure waves and they weren’t consistent.  By Monday afternoon, everything stopped.  The rest of the week I felt no practice pressure waves and I became concerned that sweet pea was not going to come out.  He was getting heavier and deeper into my pelvis and I started to feel uncomfortable.

 Is this the real thing?

Thursday, January 27 there was nothing new to report.  Sweet pea was comfortably resting in my pelvis like he was not interested in coming anytime soon.  My day was normal and I felt no different.  I spoke to sweet pea that morning and said “Will you come out?  We all want to meet you.  We’ve been waiting for you.”  Well, like a good son, he was listening.  That evening I was preparing for bed and I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvis.  Just thought I was tired and had been on my feet all day carrying the little load.  My husband looked at me and asked if I were okay and I said that I just felt some pressure.

About 30 minutes later, I felt as if I were having menstrual cramps.  This was different from what I had been feeling earlier in the week.  I heard that pressure waves could feel like this, so I began to time the waves and turn off my switch with each wave.

The waves were about four minutes apart for about 45 minutes, so I decided to call my midwife.  In the meantime, I asked experienced Hypnomoms about what their waves felt like and folks were kind enough to respond as I was waiting to hear back from the midwife.  My midwife finally called and apologized for the delay (she was just attending another birth).  She told me that I could come into the hospital to get checked out and if I am not five centimeters, I would have to go home.  I really didn’t want to waste my time (or anyone else’s for that matter), but my husband said we’d better go.  I began to squat with each wave, which was a new behavior and we thought this could be it.  Since I was under hypnosis, I could have been closer to birth than I could tell  . . . we were right. (Later during the birth, my midwife told my husband that she didn’t think it was my birthing time when I called her because I was so calm :o)

I listened to the Easy First Stage track on my headphones and boy, it was a bumpy ride.  It snowed the night before and there was leftover snow bumps filling the notorious potholes in Philadelphia.  My husband apologized and slowed down.  I was still turning off my switch with each wave and felt comfortable.

We arrived at the hospital at midnight.  The guard came out with a wheelchair and I declined using it.  I told the guard that I wasn't sick.  I stopped by the restroom before heading upstairs to evaluation.  At this point, I would squat and do the finger drop with each wave, then turn back on, stand up and continue walking.  I got to the evaluation unit and the nurse began to ask me questions.  Can you believe she asked me, “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain level?”  I was squatting the moment she asked me this; I turned and looked at my mom with a very confused look and responded, “I don’t know, I’m under hypnosis.”  I said that it was a seven based on intensity.  (editors note - this mom did great changing the question in her mind to intensity and responding that way.)

They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and my pressure waves came closer and stronger; I kept my headphones on and listed to the Easy First Stage track.  After 20 minutes, the midwife came to check me and said that I was six centimeters.   I tested positive for Group B Strep, so they inserted a heplock with antibiotics and helped me to the birthing suite.

Time to birth my son!

This is where things get fuzzy.  Although my birth only took four hours (arrival at hospital to birth at 4:17 a.m.), it really felt as if only one hour had passed.  The birthing suite was cozy.  It had a sitting area and a shower.   I asked my husband to set the Easy First Stage on repeat on a portable CD player and I continued to do the finger drop technique on a birthing ball.  Time seemed to stand still and I felt like things were progressing quickly.

**BOP – As the waves became more intense, I felt like the wind was being knocked out of me.  I am asthmatic (it’s controlled – just use an inhaler before running/exercise), so I am not sure if that had anything to do with it.  This feeling of not being able to breathe during the very intense waves caused me to lose focus (that, along with doppler interruptions and a heplock that took longer than it was supposed to).  I took one puff of my inhaler, but I still felt breathless with each wave as I approached transformation. **

Things got more intense and I felt like I was losing it, although everyone else in the room was amazed by how calm I was.  I don’t think I was the perfect example of a Hypnobabies student, but I tend to be hard on myself.

I studied the belly lift and I planned to use it and do AAHHH pushing.  I finally got to the point where I said that I was ready to birth my baby, so I begun doing the belly lift, which made things progress even faster.  I started to grunt with each wave.  A loud, guttural grunt came from deep within me as I was experiencing involuntary pushing.  This was so unexpected, but it felt so right.  By this time I was also completely butt naked, which was also unexpected because I am very conservative.  It just felt right.

My midwife said I was 8.5 centimeters and suggested I sit on a birthing stool for a while.  I told my husband to put on the Pushing Baby Out CD.  I grunted long and hard with each wave, all the while lifting my belly to give my son a better line of sight.  I told my midwife that I didn’t think he was coming out and she said, “Yes, he is.  He’s right there.  Go ahead and feel his head.”  I was so surprised to find that his head was in my birth canal coming close to crowning.  She then suggested I get on all fours in the bed, so I can be more comfortable and she can catch my son.

I did so and she placed a birthing ball in front of me and I squeezed it with each wave.   I decided to dig deeper, so I held on to the bed rails and grunted and pushed.  I felt my son’s head crown and I slowed for a moment to make sure that I was being too vigorous in my pushing—I didn’t want to tear.  I felt good and my midwife said “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid.”  At this time I heard the voice on the CD say “Open . . .” and I said out loud “Open” and pushed my son out.  The crowning of his head and pushing him out did not cause me any discomfort.  I felt just pressure and stretching.  Zuri came out with arms stretched; hands open, screaming with an enraged look on his face.  A first mental picture of him that I’ll never forget!

A marvelous birth—a healthy postpartum

After examining me and ensuring that I birthed the placenta, the midwife congratulated me and said, “You wanted to do it your way and you did it.”  She must have read my birth plan.  Nice to know they actually read those things.  She hugged me and my family before moving on to her next birth.

Afterward I had a surge of energy that lasted through that Sunday.  I was riding on oxytocin and adrenaline until the body aches came on Sunday.  As a runner, I am very familiar with the runner’s high and the muscle soreness that follows.  It happens with every endurance sport—why would natural birth be any different?  I felt—and still feel—great.

One nurse who came in to cover for the wonderful nurse that assisted my birth, looked shell shocked.  She stayed at my birth even when the other nurse returned.  She stared at me in disbelief, or maybe it was confusion.  It was as if she’d never seen a woman, butt naked and grunting, who remained calm during an unmedicated birth.

I brought a bag full of snacks, oil for perineal massage, etc and never used anything.  I don’t regret the preparation, just noting how things progressed so quickly that I didn’t have an opportunity to use anything.

This birth exceeded my expectations because of Hypnobabies, along with exercise, diet, red raspberry tea, perineal massages, and the belly lift.
Thanks to LaRonda from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us!
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I decided to use Hypnobabies because I knew I wanted as LITTLE medical intervention as possible.


I gave birth to my 1st child 6/30/08, after only 9 hrs birthing time !  I was completely FEAR FREE !  We got into our hospital room (after triage) at around 5:15 am and Owen was born at 7:53 am.  Our 1st nurse even stayed past her shift to see Owen's birth (nurses don't get to witness natural births that often........not to mention a quiet/PEACEFUL hypnobirth).

I only pushed for about 10 minutes.  As soon as I was cleaned up I was up going to the restroom.  Nobody could believe how quickly I was up & moving around, I felt fantastic.

The hospital staff fully supported our Hypnobabies birth.  Each nurse whispered and none of the staff spoke to me (after the initial questions upon admittance).  Our doula (and Hypnobabies instructor) was a true BLESSING, her support was priceless.

Our Dr. was supportive from the beginning of my OB visits.  She stayed by our side (although she didn't have to wait long), applied hot packs to my perineum, spoke in a very quite/re-assuring voice etc.

AMAZING   AMAZING   AMAZING  experience.

I would NOT CHANGE A SINGLE THING !

Debbie
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How excited I am to share my wonderful birth story. Sorry if this is a little long but this is my first birth and I am not sure where to start since I am not sure when "labor" actually began so I will first say that around Sunday the 2nd of November I started having what felt to be like pms cramps. I called my Doula and she asked that I just keep her informed if anything progresses. They subsided and then would come and go till Tuesday the 4th.

I had a doctors appt. that morning and when he checked me he said that I was at 0-1 dialated. No problem since my 40 week mark was that Thursday anyways and I wasn't worried or rushing it. I let him know about the "cramps" and that I had started just a little bit of bloody show. Went home and just hung out around the house with DH.

The cramps got a little more intense as the day progressed and around 10:00 pm I joked to my DH that he might not be going into work tomorrow. Around 10:30 he fell asleep but I was unable to get comfortable. They were getting stronger and to be honest I was getting a little scared because I kept thinking that if this is just signs of upcoming birthing time I can't imagine what that is going to be like. I debated waking my DH and just kinda walked around the house doing my peace cues and trying different positions.

At 2:00am I suddenly got really sick and threw up. I called my doula and told her what what was going on so she said to get dressed and that she and her doula partner (I got two doulas for the price of one!) would meet me at the hospital. I was really worried that I was waking everyone up for no reason and that I would get sent back home. We arrive there and get checked in. The nurse asked if she could check my progress ( the staff was awesome andtotally respected my Birth plan ) and I said yes. She checked and I was at 5cm : )

I couldn't believe it. Just that morning I wasn't even fully at 1 and I didn't even think that I had truly begun my birthing time and yet here I was at 5cm. They get me into my room and by this time it is about 3:00am. My DH and doulas were incredible. When my PW would start my DH would do the release cue and my Doula would press on my back and hips. That extra pressure plus release cues made me think that the waves were over until I would move or they would let go of my hips and I would realize that I was actually peaking at that time.

Pretty soon the PW were right on top of each other with no breaks in between but I just relaxed and let my body do what it needed to do. I really started to go in myself and not focus on anything. I could hear them talking to me and giving me my cues but it all kinda sounded muted or muffled. I didn't really have a concept of time.

By 8:30 I was at 10cm. Pushed for 2 hours and at 10:25am I gave birth to a beautiful 8lb 19in boy with lots of brown hair!!

My DH said he overheard the nurses talking about how they couldn't believe how calm I was and my doulas said it was inspirational the way my body and baby was working together. My Dh is so proud of me and I am so thrilled I took this chance on Hypnobabies. No drugs were needed and I would say that I was only in "labor" for about 10-12 hours. BTW my water broke minutes before I started pushing.

Thank you to all the women on this site, when I had doubts just reading the posts made me feel better and more focused. I couldn't have done it without my DH,my doulas and the strength and wisdom I got from the women in this group*. Keep having faith in yourselves because you can do it!!

*Hypnobabies Yahoo Group is a great place to interact with other moms using hypnosis for birth
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Posted by on in First Time Moms
My birthing time started on Monday night, 2/02/09 around 9:20. I went to bed with my tailbone hurting so I turned on my heating pad and lay down to read. After a little while I wanted to change positions so I moved and I felt a bubble pop and my water broke. So I got up and changed my pajama bottoms and let my husband and my mom know. My mom had come in from out of town just in case I started my birthing time on my guess date, which was 2/2/09.  After laying back down I started feeling some pressure waves that were more intense than any Braxton Hicks I had previously had. So I tried to time a few on my own and thought they seemed very close, 1 to 2 minutes apart. I decided to be sure I would have my husband start writing them down to be sure I was right. After about an hour of pressure waves being 1 or 2 minutes apart, I called my doctors office who said to go ahead into the hospital to be checked out. The ride to the hospital took a great deal of focus for me to stay relaxed, every bump in the road was tough!!

Once we arrived at the ER, they wheeled me in because I just couldn’t walk very well at that point. Once I was checked in completely they took me to a room where an internal exam was done, I was 5 centimeters! The week previously I had been to the doctor and she had told me I was 3 centimeters and 50% effaced. My doula Kristin arrived at the hospital and helped me with position changes and when I started feeling sick she had some good smelling peppermint oil to ease the feeling some. The whole time I listened to my Birthing Day track and was able to remain relaxed. Occasionally it was difficult when my legs started aching, which was surprising to me. Kristin massage my legs with oil to help ease the ache.

Not long after my legs acting up, I ended up vomiting my dinner (never again will I want Italian food!). I then started feeling a lot more pushy, so I sat on my birthing ball to help bring the baby down more. During all of this I continued listening to different tracks of hypnobabies. When the nurse came back around I asked if she could check me to see if it would be ok to push. Once checked she said I was fully dilated but there was a little bit of my cervix that was still slightly in the way. So we waiting for maybe 30 more minutes (I don’t really remember the time) and I told the nurse I was ready to push and she said ok, the cervix might move on its own if I went ahead with pushing.

Pushing was difficult and I felt like I wasn’t making a whole lot of progress until I asked my doctor if she had any suggestions for me. She told me to hold my breath with the pressure wave and push hard at that point. I had not wanted to do any holding of my breath, but if I had not I think the birthing would have been at least another hour longer. I pushed for a total of 2 and half hours and then my little Bryce Violet entered the world!!

My experience was almost exactly like I had visualized it! I had visualized a 7 to 8 hour birthing and it really happened! I can honestly say I never felt P***, just intense pressure. All of the nurses and my doctor were so impressed with my birthing time! The hospital is actually going to interview me for their monthly magazine as well as the local newspaper regarding my birthing time and the methods I used for a natural birth experience!
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Hypnobabies rocks!  Keep practicing and I know you all will be amazed on your baby’s beautiful birth day.  I’ll post Danielle’s complete birth story soon but here are the highlights in a nutshell:

Danielle Nicole was born on  January 12 at 8:39 pm (guess date was Jan 21st).  She was 6 pounds 15 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long at birth.

She is doing very well – eating like a champ and her mom, dad and brother are just in awe.  I was able to convince the doctors to discharge us just shy of 24 hours after she was born and we have been much more comfortable getting to know each other at home!

I was able to use all my Hypnobabies skills to “labor” at home for most of Monday.  We arrived at the hospital just in time on Monday evening – around 6 pm - and she was born about 2 1/2 hours later.

That is not to say that it was a short labor.  I had prodromal labor that began on Saturday.  The regular 5 minutes apart pressure waves began on Monday morning and I was able to stay at home for most of Monday until my water broke around 5 pm and the pressure waves were about 2 minutes apart.

We packed up the car and headed off to the hospital at around 5:30 or so.  Before we knew it the baby was on her way and nothing could have stopped her ;-).  The doctor didn’t get there in time and it was the nurse and Daddy who “caught” her.  I’ll save the details for later.

The humorous part is that when the nurse realized she was coming RIGHT THEN she ran out to get some help.  My poor husband could see that she was coming out and he was all by himself.  I heard him yell “She’s coming NOW!” and then say “Where is the call button?”.   For a brief moment I thought he might be leaving to go find the nurse and I begged him not to leave.  Five seconds later three nurses rushed in just as she was born – one nurse helped to guide her out as my husband caught her while the other nurses started frantically grabbing supplies.  My husband said it looked like a comedy routine down to the baby just about flying across the room.

It was everything I had hoped Hypnobabies would help me with –

  • the ability to stay at home as long as possible

  • a quick birth once we arrived at the hospital

  • an alert, healthy, beautiful baby

  • who was able to nurse immediately.

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Zia's  Hypnobabies Birth


About a month and a half before giving birth to my then genderless child, I wrote a note that I called my Manifest List which I slept with in my pillow case. This list covered all of the characteristics that I hoped for my child to have, and also what I hoped my birthing experience would be. The latter list included such things as easy, natural, and FUN (in capital letters with an exclamation mark!).

My Guess Date was to be the first day of the Vancouver Olympics, Feb. 12th, 2010, but I knew that my baby would be ready on it's own time. The night before the birth of miss Zia, I sat on the bed and stroked my belly. I told my baby that I was finally ready, and that I trusted that it would come whenever was good for itself. I told my baby that I would follow it's lead and that I was proud of the epic journey that it would soon embark upon.

The next morning I awoke for my regular 5 am pee. After returning to my bed I felt a little leak, so I went back to the washroom to check it out. It looked like perhaps I had leaked a little amniotic fluid, but I didn't want to get too excited so I put myself back to bed. I figured that if it was indeed the day, I would need my rest. On my way back to my bed, I stepped on something crunchy. Upon examining what was underfoot, I discovered that my Manifest List had magically found it's way out of my pillow case and onto the floor.

I had been getting Braxton Hicks with a little cramping for a few weeks already, so I didn't register them as `pressure waves' when they began at around 7:30am. They were about every hour, so I successfully ignored them until I got up around 10:00am. Even then, I found them to be like mild period cramping.

This being my first pregnancy, I had no idea that I was indeed in early labour, so I didn't take it too seriously at all. My sister and I decided to go on a long walk in Burns Bog around noon. When we were less than half way, I realized that my pressure waves were becoming more frequent and I chose to shorten our walk distance to less than half. Although we were laughing and joking, totally enjoying our walk, what should have taken us just over 30 min took us about 1 ½ hours. This was because my way of dealing with my pressure waves was to stop and bend over with my hands on my thighs and wave my bum side to side. This must have looked hilarious to any onlookers!

My sister and I were still laughing and enjoying ourselves when we arrived back home around 1:30/2:00pm. It was around then that my labour was seeming established, but I was still in denial that I may have a child that evening. In fact, I thought that perhaps it may be another day or longer since it was anything but painful! I chose to listen to my `Birth Day Affirmations' and take a bath, after which I found a little blood. It wasn't until this time that I was certain that I would soon meet my baby!

Zia's father arrived around 2:30, and he, my sister and myself all enjoyed some good laughs and popsicles while we began calling the people who needed to be informed. I'd just pass off the phone for the minute durations when a pressure wave would come over. We called the midwives to give them the heads-up, and realized that my pressure waves were about a minute long and between 4 or 5 minutes apart. Since I was still pretty convinced that it was going to be a long process, I told them that I would call them when I felt that I needed them.

It was around then that I began using my light switch, but I should have been more diligent about turning it on and off during my pressure waves to ensure that I obtained a deeper and deeper hypnosis. Instead, I turned it to the center and kind of forgot about it. It also didn't help that Zia's father had to leave to get the birthing pool and left me to my own devices. I realize now that my partner should have been helping me with my hypnosis from earlier on in order to also deepen my hypnosis.

My sister and I called my mom with the news and began arranging our living room for the homebirth until my mother arrived to help take over. Shortly after my mother, my Doula also arrived. I had her run me another bath and put on my `Fear Clearing Session'. She then brought me some pineapple and water while everyone else bustled around finishing the room preparations and filling the pool.

It was during this second bath that my labour progressed in leaps and bounds. Zia's father was rubbing my back, pressing on my hips and using our `relax' cue with his hand on my shoulder. I tried to use more of my relaxation techniques, breathing deep and using my lightswitch, but because I hadn't already been using them I was not quite deep enough.

Some time near the end of this bath I had my sister call the midwives to ask them to come. They said that they would be about 30min, but because we weren't anxious and were casual about my labour they took their time.

When the birth pool was ready I left my bath tub with the intention of getting into the pool. By this point my labour was much farther than I realized. I was unable to make it to the pool, and only made it to the mattress on the ground where I laboured for the next 30-45 min. It was on this mattress that my water broke and my pressure waves began to change their intensity. About 30 min after my water broke, my mother called the midwives to inquire about their location as she realized that the baby might come before they arrived.

Somehow I was still in denial about how far along I was. I realize now that I was in transition when I thought I was only about 4 or 5 cm dialated. My pressure waves changed to more of a pushing and my vocalizations became more primal sounding. I even had a moment of feeling nauseous, but because I was such a birthing novice I didn't see all of the signs that I was so close to the end. I realize now that my body had begun pushing out my baby and I was fighting the urge thinking that I wasn't far enough in my labour and my midwives were still not present.

When I found myself getting lost in my contractions, I would tell myself to relax, stop clenching my face and body, and breath deep. My pressure waves were about 1 ½ min long with very short breaks in between, but it was only the first 15-20 sec at the beginning of each wave that I would find myself getting lost in their intensity. My Doula was holding cold cloths on my head and keeping me focused on remaining calm and breathing deep.

Some time during the extremely intense waves my Doula suggested that I change positions. I shook my head no, but when she left to get me another cold cloth for my forehead I changed my mind and rolled off the mattress and stood up. I'd decided to give in to the inevitable and get it over with. I began to stomp around the birth pool like a sumo wrestler, rubbing my hips, and stopping to hold onto the side of the pool to let a wave pass.

I must have made about 10 laps before I knelt down on the side of the pool and draped my arm into the water. I found that at least having my hand in the water kept me relaxed. I came to the realization that I was just going to have the baby right there. As though with perfect timing, my midwives walked up the stairs. The midwives heard one of my vocalizations during a pressure wave and told me that it sounded very much like a `pushy contraction'. I must have been so relieved to see them and hear that, that I just let go and out came the amniotic sac like a tear drop filled with fluid.

They told me that the baby was very close and that I might find it's head if I looked for it. Indeed, Zia's head was about 1 inch from crowning. I was amazed that I was so much farther along than I'd realized.

My body was in complete control of my birth and I was just along for the ride. In fact, I didn't ever push myself, my body did all the work on it's own. The only time that I pushed was in between contractions when her head was crowning.

The midwives didn't touch our baby until 20 min after she was born. At 6:27pm I supported her head with my hand as she crowned, and her father caught her and passed her to me. I was so elated that it wasn't until my sister's inquiring that I looked at her sex.

I honestly believe that it was my support network and relaxation techniques that allowed my labour to progress in just over 5 hours. I remained composed and in charge despite my midwives absence. The birth of my daughter Zia May was indeed the most liberating, empowering, and proud moment of my life.

Zia is an amazingly aware and healthy baby. I healed up in just days and was out and about with her right away. Although we weren't strict with our Hypnobabies training, I believe that it was an amazing success!
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I was using Fertility Awareness Method to concieve, so I knew when I er, I mean WE concieved so the EDD (Oct. 18) was amusing to me. When anyone asked, "When are you due?" I would say "October...," when pressed for a day I would say, "oh I dunno, babies are on there own schedule." Well, I did not know then how much truth was in those words!
Well, I had an absolutely amazing pregnancy; I started the self study at 8 weeks! Just a couple waves of mild nausea during the first trimester, I taught yoga up to 38 weeks, I practiced yoga up to 40 weeks. Then at my 41 week appointment my midwife started talking to me about going to an OB-GYN and getting a check up at 42 weeks. I still wasn't concerned because I was born 2 weeks "overdue" and so was my younger sister. I thought surely I'd start birthing by that Monday.

Well, Monday came and we found ourselves in the doctor's office. I was trying to tell myself it didn't matter how our baby came to us, but I was sick with worry; I didn't want to be induced. They gave me my second ultrasound of my pregnancy. The doctor said everything looked good and they were measuring our baby at 39 weeks so I could go back under my midwife's care. They also did a cervical sweep, which was not any more uncomfrtable than a pap smear but everyone kept asking me if I was ok with the p**n during the procedure.
After the doctor's visit I was elated I had more time, but more determined than ever. I ramped doing everything I had been doing; acupuncture, chiropractic, sex, walking, and listening/practicing Hypnobabies. I also tried going up in the mountains hoping the altitude would move things along (btw, it just made me have to pee more than I already had to and I only had two good pressure waves), and I purchased and began listening to "Baby Come Out!" I listened to it for a couple days and thought, "Ugh! NOTHING is working!" So I stopped everything.

Then another day passed and I decided to try the "Baby Come Out!" track one more time because I truly believe Hypnobabies had made my pregnancy so easy up to that point. There is a part of that script that directs you to have a conversation with your baby about being born. I distinctly heard "I'll be out tomorrow, Mama," and I started crying hysterically. Just about that time my husband came home and asked what was going on. I told him I was hallucinating and I probably wasn't even really pregnant! To which he replied, "Oh, honey!" I'm sure that must have been hilarious to see me with red swollen eyes and a giant belly saying I didn't think I was pregnant!

The next day I woke up and went about my business as usual but crabbier than ever. I was so resentful to have to do laundry with my big belly! My husband came home in the afternoon and we decided to watch a movie. Then, I had a pressure wave that made me moan and get up and rock my hips, then another, then another! I told my husband I couldn't possibly go to our midwife's appointment like this, so he called her. She said she would call and check in a couple hours -if we didn't call her first.

We continued to watch the movie, pausing more and more often for me to moan and wiggle; not because of p**n, but kind of like when you have to lift something REALLY heavy. Then I wanted to take a bath, the PWs started getting closer together so I decided to get out and move around some more. My husband and I decided to get the birthing tub going. I thought, "Well even if I'm not in my birthing at least I'll be in a bigger tub!" A short while after we started setting up I had to stop to focus, and I was shaking during PWs.

My husband called the midwife to tell her. She had given us explicit instructions to call her about shaking, vomiting or water breaking (she had missed a hypnomom's birth before :D ). I thought, "Is this transition-it's only been an hour and a half?" She said she was on her way!
Her assistant arrived first-two hours  after our first phone call. I told her, "I don't want you to be here for nothing," she said "Um, it doesn't sound like nothing!" The midwife got to our house 30 minutes later, and I said the same thing, so she offered to check me-I was 9 cm. She said I just needed my water to break so the head would engage.
Well, I normally took a nap the time of day when my birthing began, so I ran out of steam and began to nap between PWs. This slowed things a bit, but I believe my body knew what it needed to do. A few hours passed and it really only felt like one hour. My midwife suggested I get out of the tub and try a change of scenery, but when I began to get out I said no way! I really was so sick of being heavy the water felt so nice.

Then, a few minutes later-POP-my water broke. The midwife told the assistant, "Hmm, a 42 week baby with vernix." I remember thinking,"That's because I'm only 40 weeks and 5 days!" Then I was ready to get out and get in the shower. After showering for some time I said I wanted out, so out I came and my midwife began to talk to me about pushing.

I'm glad she did because I never had any overwhelming urge to push. So I pushed on the bed for about four pushes-hated that! Then I gripped a sheet they threw over the door and squatted and pushed for some time and said I wanted to dosomething to push where I didn't feel like I had to stand back up, so my midwife suggested my husband sit on the edge of the bed and hook his arms under mine while I squatted deeply. This was the magic position!

I pushed a few more times, my midwife said to give it all my Mama Bear strength I pushed again. I pushed one more giant push expecting to just get his head to crown, but WHOOSH! He came out all at once and suddenly there was a baby in my arms! All I could say was, "HOLY SH*T!" over and over again. I was so surpised-I think I really think part of me believed I wasn't pregnant and the other part (that actually believed I was pregnant ;D ) was so surprised he came in one giant push! Maximos was born November 6th 2010 at 12:31am!
It has now been two months of the most amazing experience in my life. I'm so proud of my body for growing a baby and pushing him out without drugs or medical intervention! In addition, I LOVE the look of awe on people's faces when I tell them I had a natural childbirth and only felt uncomfortable when he crowned!

Thank you so much Hypnobabies!

So if you are still reading this, particularly if you are "overdue," your baby will come, and your birthing will be beautiful!
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36 hours of labor!  That's right 36 hours of labor and I would do it all over again!  With the help of the Hypnobabies program and my awesome husband, my birthing time was very manageable and even enjoyable.

So many people before I gave birth were asking me what I was planning for my birthing time.  When I told them about Hypnobabies they thought I was crazy because they had been through labor cursing their husbands and screaming for drugs; there was no way it could be a positive peaceful experience.  They also just didn't think I could be mellow enough to accomplish self hypnosis.  My "Bubble of Peace" became the goal to prove them all wrong and I did!

On Friday March 12th I had my weekly checkup appointment scheduled for 11am.  At 10am, while putting my makeup on I noticed some mild contractions.  On the way to the doctors office I watched the clock as I drove and realized they were 7 to 10 minutes apart.  When I got to the office my doctor was running behind so I sat down and practiced my Hypnobabies.  At this point I wouldn't allow myself to believe this was it!  When my doctor asked how I was feeling I told her about the pressure waves so she set me up on the monitors to make sure I was in active labor.  I was instructed to go right home and go to the hospital when the pressure waves were 5 minutes apart because I was already dilated 3 cm.

I'm not very good at following directions. I was listening to my body. I knew the process was going to take a while so I ran a few errands on my way home and baked a dessert for the nurses.  That evening the pressure waves had progressed to 5 minutes apart but I was reluctant to go to the hospital.  My family has a history of long labors and I didn't want the doctor on duty to get antsy and suggest altering my labor or breaking my water.

I called my wonderful Hypnobabies instructor, who is also a Doula, at about 9 pm and asked for her advice.  She reminded me to listen to my body and go when I felt the time was right. Up to this point I had been using self deepening techniques for the contractions and taking long slow deep breaths.

My labor slowed down through the night.  I put on the deepening CD and listened to it while I slept between contractions. At around 3 am Saturday morning the contractions started to become regular again at 5 minutes apart.  I stayed in bed and tried to rest a bit more.  I got in the shower at 5 am and sat on my birthing ball while using my deepening techniques.

At this point the contractions were becoming more difficult to talk through and I had to concentrate on my techniques.  After getting breakfast we decided it was a good time for me to go to the hospital.

On the drive to the hospital I listened to the Birth Day track.  I loved it!  After I went through admissions I had to sit in triage until the doctor could check me out.  During my stay there I made sure I told the nurse I was using Hypnobabies to birth naturally.  She was happy to learn this and told me she would get me assigned to a nurse who was conducive to my birthing choice.  The doctor on duty, whom I had never met and I soon discovered I didn't like her personality or lack there of, came to check me and I was 5cm.  She told me they were going to start me on an IV of fluids.  I told her I would like to wait and she reluctantly agreed.  Let me take this opportunity to say in my experience the doctor you have doesn't matter, it is the nurses that add to your experience.

I was then lead to my birthing room and introduced to the first of my awesome nurses.  Much to my dismay she connected me to the monitor.  I was not allowed off of the monitor unless my doctor oked it.  My understanding was that it was hospital policy.  The good thing is I could sit on my birthing ball the bad part was the baby was moving constantly making monitoring difficult.

During my birthing time I was allowed off of the monitor for two half hour stints.  I walked the halls and listened to my tracks.  I would stop and lean on my husband during pressure waves.  At the end of my last walk I decided it was going to be my last.  I was having a difficult time standing and I was getting uncomfortable.  I went back to my birthing ball.

This was the point that I really had to focus on my deepening techniques.  If I didn't the pain would take hold and I would feel overwhelmed.  My mantra became, "I'm in control.  It's just pressure.  Control, control, control."  All while my husband was talking in my ear telling me I was doing great. With the help of my mantra, my husband and my tracks I was able to turn the pain into pressure an not become overwhelmed.  It is amazing what your mind and body can accomplish when they work together.

Seven hours or so into being at the hospital, 31 hours into labor, I was bored.  I wanted my birthing time to be over just so I could do anything else!  This is when my birthing time kicked into high gear.  I was still listening to my Birth Day track and using my mantra.  The doctor came back to check on me when I was 8 cm.  She told me she would be back in about an hour to see how I had progressed.  This is when I started whining.  I wasn't sure I could do it anymore.  I was tired and I just wanted to close my eyes for 5 minutes.  My nurse reassured me that I was doing an awesome job and I could do it.  It was the end of her shift and she saw to it that I got another nurse that was open to my birthing style.  The second nurse was just as good.  She was very positive and reassuring.
My water still had not broken but I was feeling the need to push.  I listened to my body and pushed.  The pushing track was on in the background but I don't remember hearing it.  I was inside myself at this point and didn't notice much around me.  The doctor came back in again to check on me and yet again said she would be back later.

Just after she left the room my water broke.  Pushing became a relief!  I was just doing what my body wanted and it felt great.  I felt three stages during each push and made a different noise for each stage.   The nurse put the mirror up for me to see my progress.  When I pushed she told me to look.  I could see the baby's head crowning.  That was all the motivation I needed.  The doctor came back in and within 10 minutes.  I had a beautiful, peaceful baby girl in my arms.

Annalise was born on March 13th at 10:08 pm.  She entered the world calm, alert and wide eyed.  I didn't curse my husband and I didn't cry for drugs.  I had a positive peaceful experience that I hope to have for any other children I may be so blessed to give birth to.  The nurses both told me, after watching my birth, they will be using it for their next babies.

I've been asked why I thought Hypnobabies worked for me.  I think there are a few reasons.  I wasn't fearful of giving birth.  I've known since I was a teenager that I wanted a drug free birth.  I trusted the program, did my homework and practiced.  I can't say I kept 100% to the schedule but I kept practicing long after my classes were finished.  I visualized myself swimming in water and the feeling of weightlessness as I descended with each count during the tracks.  I was able to make the program my own.  Hypnobabies isn't something to be scoffed at.  It's legit.  Trust in the program and trust in yourself.
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She talks about her birth using Hypnobabies and how it worked for her.

Hypnosis, Pleasure and Pain - My Story
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Posted by on in First Time Moms
A bit of back story first. I struggled with infertility for three years before conceiving a baby. The cause of the infertility was hypothyroidism, which I began treatment for five months before conception. Unfortunately my hypothyroidism was not well managed during my pregnancy, and I miscarried at 9 weeks. I then had another miscarriage at 5 weeks right after that. The main lesson these experiences taught me was to not simply trust doctors. After doing hundreds of hours of my own research, I started my own treatment program of diet, exercise, and thyroid treatment, supported by a naturopathic thyroid doctor. Five months later I conceived.

Though the pregnancy by all indications was progressing perfectly, I nonetheless was experiencing a great amount of fear. The miscarriages had been really hard on me and my husband, and it was all I could do to keep myself in a state of mind that was best for me and my growing baby. A friend of mine had mentioned hypnosis for childbirth (Hypnobirthing), and since I knew I wanted a natural childbirth I went online and found the Hypnobabies program. I started the program at 22 weeks, and it really helped calm my fears and teach me to really relax. I loved my daily training sessions! I started sleeping better (I had had major sleeping problems ever since my first pregnancy) and learned techniques to deal with my (often irrational) fears.

At 10 am, 40w4d, my water broke. My whole pregnancy I had been terrified of being induced, and as the day went on and no signs of labour appeared I began to think I would not be having the natural childbirth I wanted (I had an OB/GYN and was planning a hospital birth). I had been listening to birthing day affirmations and ‘baby come out’ for about a week already, and that day I listened to ‘easy first stage’ as well. I talked to my doula, who is also a labour and delivery nurse and first time hypno-doula, and we decided to wait it out until the next morning and then reassess. I ate some spicy food and went to bed.

At 10 am the following day, still no sign of labour! I called my doula, who suggested that I call this wonderful midwife with a home-birth practice that we had happened to meet the previous week. I called the midwife, who was full of advice and gentle encouragement, and she said she had never had a problem with infection in women who did not give birth within 24 hours of their water breaking. I called my doula who had done more research, and she also thought that waiting it out would not pose too great a risk. It seemed that the key was avoiding germy hospitals and constant cervical checks! We also agreed to lie to the hospital about when my water had broken so that I wouldn’t be treated as high risk (I justified this to myself in part by the fact that in England, women can go to 72 hours before being induced!). Since I was willing to lie by 24 hours but not by 48, I wanted to get things started. At 12:30 pm that afternoon I tried castor oil. I went to bed and listened to ‘easy first stage’ to wait it out.

By 3 pm I was having major diarrhea. By 3:30 I was having pressure waves and thinking “this might be it!”, but still in major doubt about whether my birthing time was actually starting. The diarrhea was very unpleasant; the pressure waves felt like practice waves + menstrual cramps. I decided to call my doula to give her a heads up, and she decided to come over. By the time she got to my house, around 4:30, it was pretty clear that this was in fact it! I put on “easy first stage” and mostly used my ball. In the next hour or so it also became clear that I was experiencing a lot of pressure in my back. I was really only comfortable in hands and knees and on my birthing ball. My husband and doula took turns putting counter pressure on my back. It took a great deal of concentration to get through each wave, since I was not mentally prepared for the back pain (the baby had been anterior since 29 weeks and I had done a great deal the whole pregnancy to ensure proper positioning, but he must have turned posterior just as it started to descend). By 6:30 pressure waves were coming about 3 minutes apart and lasting around a minute. I think it was 7:30 when we decided to head to the hospital, since I had become fixated on getting in the tub.

In the car, I used the off position to great effect, since I had 3 pressure waves on the 5 minute drive. In the parking lot I and on the way in I used my ball. By this point I had my iPod on playing hypnobabies tracks. A nurse was asking me questions, and when she asked how I envisioned my labour and delivery experience, I said, “I just want to be left alone.” After the nurses had read my birthing plan, they indeed did leave me alone (which was perfect)! I spent about 2.5 hours in triage, and when they checked me I was 4-5 cm dilated. In triage I insisted on my ball, even for the monitoring, since the back pain/pressure was so intense. The one time I swore was when I tried to lie down for a while! Though I was able to use my hypnosis just fine to have my cervix checked. By this point my arms and legs were getting pretty tired, but I just had to be in forward leaning positions. I was using centre switch but longed get into a fully supported position and switch off for a while. My wonderful husband and doula continually applied counter pressure and used the ‘relax’ cues. My doula started to suggest positions that would help move the baby out of posterior position, but I was too uncomfortable to use them.

Around 11:00 we finally got to my birthing room. The nurse promptly started in on the drug spiel, and she was referred to my birth plan. When she came back she had adjusted her attitude and was great from then on (I hardly remember her being there in fact). I got in the tub and hated it! I sat on my birthing ball in the tub and my husband used the shower to spray water on my back. I was still in control as long as my wonderful, amazing birth partners were both there with me, but I was beginning to think that I just wanted a break. I had expected the pattern to be pressure wave, then break, but instead it was pressure wave with intense back pressure, then intense back pressure. About midnight I got out of the tub and laid on the bed for a bit to rest. I then remember standing by the bed and telling my doula that I didn’t think I could do this. She immediately went to get the nurse to put my saline lock in, since she expected that I was in transition (my doctor had insisted on one, and we prolonged it as long as possible). The nurse checked me and in fact I was 9 cm, and feeling pushy, though I knew I couldn’t yet push. I remembered (I think from Alexander Technique for childbirth) that panting helped to keep one from pushing, so I immediately switched to ‘hee hee ha ha’ breathing during waves. I did this for at least half an hour, but it felt like just a few minutes. Then the doctor was there and saying I was complete and could push!!!

At first I used the ‘aahhh’ breathing technique to move the baby down. Other than the constant back pressure, pushing felt great! I vocalized with grunts and sometimes my ‘ahhh’s would turn into lion’s roars. Then my doctor suggested that I hold my breath in while pushing, because she thought it might be more effective. Since she physically checked a few times to see how I was moving the baby with each push, I thought I would try it, though in principle I was against “purple pushing”. The nice thing was that it was still very “mother directed”, since no one told me when to start or stop. Occasionally the doctor would ask if I had one more push in me, which I found encouraging, since I usually wanted to push once more anyways. I had been pushing for about 2 hours when I all of a sudden felt a real loss of energy. Though I had been physically very tired for a while (especially my arms and legs), this was different. I said so and the doctor suggested that I rest during the next wave of pushing. I did that as much as possible, and was able to go back to exerting myself with the next urge to push to my fullest capacity. I tried to ignore the gigantic clock they stupidly put right at the foot of the bed. At this point my husband was holding my leg (I was side-lying) and then my hand (the nurse took over my leg), and my doula was lightly rubbing my back. I watched the whole thing in the mirror which was so encouraging! I saw my doctor stretching my perineum with each push, and my baby’s hair, and I could see exactly what I was doing with each push. I kept thinking “see how much ROOM there is that the doctor is making?” When the baby crowned I indeed did feel ONLY stretching! Amazing! The most vivid thing was the feeling of bulk as the baby sat completely in my birth canal and with his head crowned at the opening. A few pushes later, 12 hours after my first pressure wave, he was out, and I heard “it’s a boy!” He had turned in the birth canal to anterior. It took a few seconds to work out how to get him onto me, since he had a very short cord. It felt like an eternity, though my husband says it was only a few seconds, and I started to cry out “let me see him!” I then let out four years of pent-up emotions with a few sobs when they put my beautiful baby boy on me.

We let the cord pulse out, and then my husband cut it. When they moved him up from my lower abdomen to my chest, I spoke to him and he lifted his head and looked straight at me, and then did the same when my husband spoke! By far, the greatest thing about having a natural childbirth in my view is having an alert baby who is totally him- or her-self from the very beginning. He was a whopping, shocking 9 lbs. 8 oz. (my husband and I are not big people!), and 21 inches. He was in great health all through birthing and after (though he had a bit of quick breathing for about 12 hours after birth). I nursed him for an hour and felt great—like I could get up and walk home! The two nurses that had attended our early morning birth were raving about how well I did, as did all the nurses I saw (they had heard about my hypnosis) during my 36 hour hospital stay. I did tear and needed stitches.

While I didn’t end up with the pain-free childbirth I had been preparing for, without the hypnosis I definitely would have been climbing the walls! Instead, I was able to keep in control the whole time, maintain my demeanor, get through what was necessary (car ride, medical procedures), and not be tempted into using drugs. I was also able to really fight the urge to tense up during waves, and just relax into them as much as possible. One of the most useful techniques my first-time hypno-doula used was reminding me to relax my face. I think this really helped shorten my birthing time. Pushing felt great (other than the constant back pressure and very distracting hemorrhoids) and so did crowning! I really can’t remember what the pressure waves even felt like, since the constant back pressure was all consuming. My only experience of pain was the back pain. Looking back, the only thing I would have changed would have been my mental preparation for and early first stage physical management of my back labour. The “change of plans” script would have helped me I think. Also, though I had not been envisioning a middle of the night birth, I really ended up liking the peace and quiet. I did end up with the maximum 12 hour labour I had imagined!
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I am so pleased to be writing this post.  I haven't posted anything since my introduction but the Hypnobabies Home Study Course and all of you have been my daily support system.  I am writing this story in complete gratitude and love for all of you.  I now know that your babies can and will be birthed in peace and love, as my Maya was.

My Maya Isadora chose last Sunday, May 30th, as her birthday.  My birthing time started exactly at the time I had imagined during my HB work.  I felt a gush of water while I was lounging in bed around 7 AM.  In the latter part of my pregnancy, I had taken to listening for birds.  I could swear that all of the birds around our house had somehow come to see Maya into the world and this gush occurred while I was doing that.

When I stood more water gushed out and I walked to the toilet to see what was going on.  More water was coming out and I wasn't able to control it, so I knew that this was likely my birthing time.  The water was clear, as I had imagined, and I was so pleased to see that.  I told my husband and we both were remarkably calm.  I expected to be calm but my husband had initially concerned me.  While he read all of the materials and practiced scripts with me , he didn't do any of the fear clearing sessions but in the end, he was a remarkable birthing partner and didn't need them.  I was GBS positive and we suspected my water had broken so we didn't choose to labor at home.  We did, however, take our time packing and I had breakfast.  I talked to my doula and she gave us great advice on how to handle checking in at the hospital so we could get the midwife we wanted to deliver our baby.

I listened to positive affirmations on our way to the hospital in the "off" position and I even knew when we had arrived and opened my eyes perfectly as we turned in.  We arrived at the birthing suites and a sweet nurse named Stephanie helped us out that first hour.  This was another good omen as my sister's name is Stephanie and I have several other important women in my life with that name.  Stephanie was again another element I had visualized during my HB sessions.   I was told that it was indeed my birthing time so we called my doula.  Before she arrived, we were shown into our room.

I kept listening to affirmations and enjoying my husband's company until my doula arrived.  The early hours of my birthing time were very special and sweet.  My doula knew that I wanted to move as much as possible and we combined her methodologies with whatever HB I wanted to incorporate.  We walked a lot and I sat in the rocking chair.  At some point, I wanted to listen to "Easy First Stage" so I did that.  My husband has a great video of me doing that--I was so proud when I saw it.  I truly looked like the fantastic UTube Hypnomoms I had been watching all these months.  My doula and husband thought I was asleep--I am pretty sure my husband still thinks I was asleep.

*BOP Warning* I was at 1.5 cm around this time so it was recommended that we try a low dose of Pitocin.  I asked the nurse to leave the room and talked it over with my doula and husband.  Something inside of me told me I could handle the Pit, that my body would combine with it to get my baby into my arms,  and that this was the right route for me.  So, I elected to start on a low dose.  *BOP Off*

I still moved a lot up until transformation: birthing ball, dancing with my husband, rocking chair, etc.  My pressure waves were becoming more regular and strong.  My doula talked me through most of my pressure waves but I also heard lots of affirmations like "good strong pressure waves help my baby come into the world" in my head.  After a while with the strong pressure waves, I was checked.  Everyone expected me to be around 4 cm because of the way I was acting--but no, I was 7 cm!  A classic HB moment!  We all agreed that Maya would be here soon.

I knew when I was entering transformation and I do remember being remarkably calm.  I had done a lot of fear clearing about this phase and it truly paid off.  I was happy to start pushing although I chose at that point to go with my midwife's instructions.  In the end, my favorite midwife had come to help me birth my baby (as I had visualized), and I leaned on her knowledge.  In between pushes, the room was happy and calm and I ate ice chips.  I even laughed at some point at something funny the doula said to my husband.  In between pushes, I was able to completely surrender and rest and I completely credit HB for this.

At 8:06 PM, my body took over and I pushed so hard that Maya came into the world in one push (from head to toes).  It was very intense but the feeling of relief and joy I immediately felt was overwhelming.  I said to everyone "That was crazy!  That was crazy!" and everyone started laughing.  You have to know me to know that wasn't a bad thing--I was wondering if everyone else noticed the natural wonder that had just occurred and I couldn't even believe it myself.  Maya was placed on my stomach immediately and she remained skin to skin with mom and dad for her first couple hours of life.

Maya is truly a Hypnobaby.  From the beginning, she was sweet and calm far beyond what I imagined.  She even looks exactly like the baby I had imagined in my special place.  I truly believe that her entry into the world is part of why she is so sweet and calm.  We (baby, husband, and I) chose how she would enter the world--even in a hospital setting, with GBS issues, and Pitocin. Oh, and did I mention that my OB had mentioned induction during my previous visit (?) but I believed that in the end, Maya would choose her birthday.   HB helped me remain confident and calm and those little hospital concerns literally melted away.  My doula told my husband that this was one of the most amazing births she had ever witnessed.

And by the way, I now hear birds chirping at night when I feed Maya.  I have never heard them at night before.

Love and peace to you Hypnomoms--you need only to visualize, believe, and surrender.
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