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Violet's Birth - My First Hypnobaby
by Rachel M.

When I was pregnant with my first child, Duncan, I went to La Leche League meetings to learn about breastfeeding. In one of the meetings, women shared their birth stories. Several women had natural childbirths, several women had the epidural standard births, and two women sobbed as they relayed their nonstandard epidural births. I truly felt for those women and also believed that the natural childbirth women were a little too far onto the zealot scale for my taste. What an interesting experience to be able to reflect on when I became pregnant with my second, Violet. 

My first birth was one of those horrible nonstandard epidural births. I had an epidural that didn't work and a long birthing time (34.5 hours). After the three month mark of my pregnancy with Violet, I became terrified. The thought of enduring a similar birth as Duncan's was overwhelming. Here I was three months pregnant and looking at a  C-section or natural (zealot) birth.  I went on a researching campaign and read at least seven books about natural childbirth including several midwife textbooks.  I read these books, talked with a midwife and then watched amazing births using hypnosis on youtube. I cried many times because Duncan's birth was scary and filled with my ignorance while these birth videos were so beautiful.  I wished that I'd had a doctor, family, or friends that could have educated me about my decisions for childbirth.

I had to have the hypnosis birth so I called Kerry Tuschoff at Hypnobabies and purchased the Home Study course.  I started practicing at 26 weeks and almost did everything exactly as written in the books.  The Home Study requires self-motivation and luckily I knew what "unprepared" could look like so I was obsessed.  An unexpected benefit from Hypnobabies was the astounding ability of the scripts to remove all of my fears and anxiety about childbirth while instilling in me the confidence that I could do it differently.  I will also add that the daily affirmations really did help me feel that my pregnant body was beautiful.  The materials really cleared out all of my other concerns and allowed me to love pregnancy fully.

My birthing time (labor) started after 41 weeks. I woke up the morning of July 30th and noticed that my body was having pressure sensations at Rachael McNamara Relaxing during active labor in Birth Centerregular intervals. When my husband woke up I told him that I thought it was the day and we were very excited. I went into the bedroom and tried out different positions with the birthing ball, but it seemed like I "lost" the birthing waves (contractions).  My husband found me crying in the bedroom and was very supportive. I decided to do one of the scripts that works on removing fears and then we went on a walk. 

We walked around the neighborhood for at least an hour in ninety degree heat. We decided to go home and call my family who was planning on attending the birth when the pressure waves were fairly consistent between five and eight minutes apart and lasting a minute and a half.  My sister came over immediately and we again went out walking. It seemed as soon as I walked into my house the intervals would get wider apart and I wanted to help my body to shorten the labor time. After another hour and half of walking, the pressure waves were getting more intense and I would have to stop walking and concentrate. We went home for a late lunch.  My favorite position was being on my knees and elbows with my stomach in the middle in deep hypnosis with my husband pressing on my hips.

We headed to the hospital when my pressure waves were between four and six minutes apart. I put my ipod on in the car and listened to the easy first stage script (a Hypnobabies track). I counted 8 pressures waves in the twenty minute drive and was increasingly astonished that I was feeling no pain. Let me be clear, it was definitely my birthing time. My stomach would round into a hard ball, and I could feel my muscles pulling at my hips and my lower back more than I have ever noticed before. After parking the car, I remember walking to the hospital with my family joking and laughing. We would stop every time a pressure wave started so Kevin, my husband, could apply pressure to my hips and I could count myself into hypnosis. The receptionist at the hospital seemed astonished when I refused a wheelchair and asked where the stairs were. I refused to have another birth that lasted over a day.

Rachael McNamara Shoulder cue and offWhen we got to labor and delivery at the hospital, the natural childbirth rooms were unavailable. We were shown to the antepartum room where I was checked and a fetal test strip was done. I used the easy first stage track during the fetal monitoring. Then we started walking the halls. We would walk and then stop with a pressure wave. I would lean on the walls and then my husband would apply pressure to my back. Occasionally I would return to the antepartum room to chug some water and go to the bathroom. I was really trying to avoid the IV.

After two hours of waiting, I was admitted and then I went into the tub. Oh boy, do I love the tub during childbirth. At this point, the birthing waves were coming pretty close together roughly between two and three and half minutes apart. I spent the majority of the time in hypnosis on my knees leaning forward against the wall of the tub.  It required all of my concentration at this point to be on top of the waves so they would not become painful. I remember telling Kevin that I needed him to remind me to fully relax my abdominal muscles during waves and asking him to help me with the "peace" and "relax" cues. The nurse came in a couple of times to check on us and Kevin did all the talking. My sister and mother would come and go. The nurse only checked the baby's heart rate once for a minute. It is always amazing and wonderful to hear the heartbeat and to be assured she was doing fine. Violet was pretty motionless during the birthing time unlike her brother who was trying to kick his way out.

A couple of times, the wave would start painfully, but we were able to catch up using the cues. I remember one time wondering how I was doing.  My mother and sister were sitting on chairs, drinking coffee, chatting, and knitting. It was comforting to know that this birth was going so peacefully they could relax. I took their behavior as a sign that everything was working perfectly and it rejuvenated me.

I know that at some point, I started saying "peace" aloud and "open open open". Soon after that, my mother came over to check on us and I told her something was happening and I need to move. I could feel my body changing and even a sense of bearing down even though I wasn't actively pushing. As my mother and husband were trying to help me out of the tub, the nurse came. They explained what was happening as I tried to sit on the toilet. This was a bad move. I wasn't able to concentrate enough when leaving the tub and while attempting to sit down I had another powerful and this time painful birthing wave. My husband could not immediately apply pressure and I was unable to use my hypnosis cues. I had at least another birthing wave on the toilet before I realized that going to the bathroom was not going to be possible. Friendly advice: every mom that I know who thought they had to go to bathroom at this point really had to deliver a child.      

I made it to the bed became terrified of lying down and ended up on my hands and knees and was immediately began to use hypnosis again. Almost miraculously the doctor appeared and did a cervical check. I guess he said "you can push." I asked my mother if he said "the baby is never going to come." I guess that's transformation (Hypnobabies word for transition) for you! I was happy to be entering in the next stage  so I began to push using exhale pushing and I had no problem using my voice. Oops, I didn't really share this plan with my sister and my mother and apparently they became afraid that I was in a lot of pain. 

Shortly after beginning to push, my water burst. Thankfully, my thoughtful husband had put a towel over my legs. He informed me that it was as Rachael McNamara Violet eats moments after birthdramatic as any Hollywood video if not more dramatic. I continued pushing with the addition of my birthing ball to lean onto. At one point, the doctor told me the position wasn't working and wanted me to lay on my side. Once I laid down, Violet's head was out with one birthing wave. I had to stop because the cord was around her neck and impeding her progress. She wasn't purple, it just wasn't long enough to let her all the way out or long enough to slip over her head. The doctor had Kevin cut the cord and she was out in what seemed like a second.  She was soon in my arms and nursing like a champ. We successfully delivered in comfort without medicaiton, tears or abrasions!

Dr. M. and the labor and delivery nurse were amazing. Dr. M. never suggested pain medication to me, did not break my amniotic sac, and apologized for having to cut the cord.

It was an AMAZING birth.

[Hypnobabies note: Rachel was so happy with her Hypnobabies birth that she has since become a Certified Hypnobabies Instructor and teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Charleston, SC. Rachel has also had another Hypnobaby - Eliza! Read Eliza's birthstory here]

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Hypnobabies Instructor, Jenn King Lasek who teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Vancouver BC, Canada shares this birth story with us, from a mom that is also a physician!

My birthing time started on my guess date. By suppertime that day, I started listening to the early birth time CDs (the fear clearing one first really helped set a positive tone). Í had a wonderful team at home with my hubby and my sister (who is also a doula). She had purchased the doula workbook from the Hypnobabies website and it was so useful for getting her familiar with the approach.

Using the CDs, the exercise ball and the bathtub-- things progressed smoothly and (by my definition) quickly. When we arrived at the hospital at 3am, I was fully dilated! Apparently, I'm the first physician in a long time to arrive fully dilated with a first baby-- way to go Hypnobabies!

The staff were great & very supportive of our approach. My GP was amazing-- fully on board with Hypnobabies and she was with us continuously from our arrival at the hospital until we welcomed our sweet pea (thankfully without the need of any interventions).

A special thank you to Jenn-- HypnoMammas (Hypnobabies) had an incredibly positive effect on my pregnancy, our birthing experience and life in general (I even used some of the tools last night to fall back to sleep after a particularly activating middle-of-the-night feeding!). We plan to use the program again if we are lucky enough to have another pregnancy and we've recommended HypnoMammas to many expecting couples.
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Linda Cummings, who teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Foothill Ranch, CA sent us this birth story from one of her Hypnobabies students:

Hunter is here!! He was born 1/13/14 at 7:57pm, 6 lbs 8oz, 17 1/2 in.

Here's the birthing story:

I started my "bloody show" 1/3/13, saw my doctor that Monday and she told me I was 2 cm dilated, 90% effaced so I had to lay low and try to make it until the following Monday when he would be 37 weeks. I started my early birthing time mid-Saturday (1/11/13), and it picked up pace a bit on Sunday. I just kept turning off (Hypnobabies technique) and listening to multiple of theaudio  tracks to stay relaxed. It wasn't particularly "fun" but completely manageable and not "painful".

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Monday I was seen at 3pm at the office and my doctor said I was 6cm and my water bag was leaking so I should head to the hospital, but to take our time. We went to grab a bite to eat and made it to Hoag (Hospital) by 5ish. My birthing waves were 3-5 mins apart and very pressure-full. We made it to the room just in time to watch the sunset which was so awesome. After that special moment I laid down, listening to my deepening track and felt my birthing waves change.

I got up to use the restroom and felt my water bag completely break and immediately felt pushy. At that exact moment my doctor walked in, checked me quickly, told me to let two more birthing waves come and go then follow my body's lead. At first I pushed on all fours then moved onto my right side with the nurse holding my left leg. The staff just quietly encouraged me and I pushed for about 30-40 minutes before he completely emerged! I was able to view the whole thing which was incredible. Jason was great and took his water duty very seriously. I think he was slightly disappointed that he didn't have time to read me any hypnosis scripts but is thankful that it all happened so fast!

Hunter's birth was truly perfect in every way from being at the hospital only 3 hours to not having a saline lock or even exam by the nurse before he was born! I felt a lot of pressure and some burning at the very end but didn't tear nor need an episiotomy. Dr. Lai and all the nurses were amazed at the ease of my birth and I give all the credit to God and Hypnobabies! It was an amazing, empowering, and wonderful experience. Hunter is the most precious thing I have ever seen. Thank you immensely for everything you taught us and helping us make this such a wonderful birth!

Thank You! April C.

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Baby Ayla’s Hospital Hypnobabies Birth, by her mom, Dawn B.:

As a first time mom, I was greatly looking forward to my birthing time starting naturally! I planned on having a natural childbirth all along and thankfully the hospital I work at had an in-hospital birthing center. (The only one in the state!) I started studying the Hypnobabies techniques at around 28 weeks or so and was really looking forward to labor and a water birth!

At my 38 week appointment, the midwives checked me and I was 1-2 cm, 70-80% and my baby girl was low as usual. My due date was July 5th and I knew the next full moon was July 3rd! (I work in the NICU and see often how busy the labor and delivery unit gets around the full moon!) Around 39 weeks (Thursday), I started having some pressure waves but they didn't stick around. Sunday night I listened to the track "Baby come OUT" just ONE time and went to bed listening to the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations! On Monday July 2nd, I woke up around 4am realizing I had been having pressure waves and they started waking me up. I finally got up around 6:30 am and started timing my waves (just for fun mostly :-) ) They were typically every 3-5 minutes apart lasting around 30-45 seconds, some spacing out to 8 minutes but never farther than that. I listened to my Easy First Stage track and my Birth Day Affirmations a few times.

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I labored all day with the pressure waves staying in the same pattern, and around 10pm I started getting a little frustrated because they weren't progressing, but they weren't stopping either and I had also been losing my mucus plug all day. I called one of the midwives and she said it did sound like early labor and to try to rest overnight and see where we were in the morning.

I went to bed around midnight, although sleep was difficult, waking up with each pressure wave. At around 4:30 Tuesday morning I finally got up and moved to the couch because laying down to sleep was getting too uncomfortable. I finally gave up trying to sleep at all and got up around 6:30am. My husband, Nick, got up and went to work to finish a few things he had to get done and I continued laboring at home.

My pressure waves were closer to 3 minutes apart, about 30 seconds long. I called the midwives at 8:30, she said it didn't sound like my labor was far enough along to come in and to labor longer at home. It was pretty easy to get through the pressure waves so I was fine with that. My mom and sister and brother came over shortly after that and Nick came home around 9:30. I did have some slight discomfort in my lower back and I joked that could provide my own counter pressure to take away the discomfort. Around 10:30 I talked to a nurse at the midwives office when it got more difficult to walk and talk through the waves and she said to go ahead and come in.

I got to the (hospital) birthing center around 11am, and was disappointed to find out I was only at 3cm although I was 80-90% at least. I labored on the birthing ball like I had at home. My dad and my other sister had come too so we all played a game of Phase 10 in between pressure waves. The midwife came in around 3 and asked me to walk around a while to try to get things moving. I walked around the birthing center and my pressure waves definitely picked up, requiring me to lean on my husband or back against a wall to help with the tightness in my lower back. At 5pm, the midwife wanted to check me again and unfortunately I was only 5-6cm! I was very disappointed hearing this and was surprised my labor wasn't progressing more quickly. I continued laboring back in my room and this is where time started getting a little fuzzy. At some point I got into the birthing tub which was as amazing as I had heard it would be! Later in the night I realized I started sleeping between contractions which at times was not a good idea because I wasn't able to use my Hypnobabies techniques as I felt the pressure waves coming on. I used the Peace and Release cues constantly throughout my birthing time!

Around midnight, I asked if we could break my water or something to get things moving more quickly. The nurse got me out of the tub and checked me and I was dilated 8-9cm. The nurse talked to the midwife and reported back that the midwife didn't want to break my water yet because the baby was posterior! POSTERIOR??? Why are you just NOW telling me my baby is posterior?!?! I knew I had some lower back discomfort like a posterior labor would but it was manageable and not nearly as hard as I had heard a typical "back labor" would be, so I didn't think she was posterior. So my nurse and I spent the next few hours trying to turn her using various positioning techniques and I tried to really focus on relaxing and visualizing her turning. We FINALLY got her turned using the Rebozo technique! I was surprised we were actually able to get her turned! At this point I was quite exhausted, it was around 3-4 am on Wednesday morning July 4th. 

I never once felt like I wanted an epidural or that it was too intense or overwhelming for me. I did want it to be over though because I was so exhausted! I asked the nurse a couple times in my daze if we could just cut her out and be done. Obviously and thankfully there was no need for that! They asked if I would like some "therapeutic rest" and I had no idea what that was so I asked. The nurse said "Well, we give you some Nubain and let you get some rest before trying again later", I immediately said no and continued laboring.

At various times through the night I got in and out of the tub and tried many laboring positions. The nurse had me start pushing when I thought I might have a slight feeling to push. She had me make this odd grunting noise during the pushing which resulted in only a sore throat the next day! The midwife and her student came in to check on me asking what I wanted to do and I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do, I was so out of it. They decided to go ahead and break my water and gave me an IV bolus of fluid since it'd been a long time since I'd eaten anything. Once they broke my water I still had a small anterior lip on my cervix so the midwives left again to let me labor some more. My pressure waves picked up in intensity and frequency, although I still tended to sleep in between.

Around 5:30am the nurse had me push through a pressure wave while she tried to stretch my cervix back and push around the lip. I got through that and stood up to push with one leg up on the bed at the suggestion of the midwife. I had lots of family at the birthing center and everyone started coming in the room at that point although I had no idea they were in there because I was in such a daze. I went into the water shortly after and my pressure waves spaced out a good little bit allowing me to rest in between. As part of my birthing preferences, I wanted to catch her and bring her up to my chest so the midwife reminded me (as I had requested) and I told them to remind me to open my eyes :-)

I pushed through a couple pressure waves, feeling her come down and slide back up a little. I held a little pressure to keep her down between pressure waves and pushed her head most of the way out with the next pressure wave. When I saw her head I was like "Oh my God." as in, wow there really is a baby in there coming out! The fourth pressure wave I was determined to get her head out so I pushed and delivered her head and her little body slipped on out after it and she was put directly onto my chest. I never felt the "ring of fire". I continued to say "Oh my God." I leaned back onto my husband’s legs (he had them in the tub supporting me) and just sat there relishing in the amazement of having just given birth to this amazing little baby. We waited to cut her cord until it stopped pulsating, I got out to deliver the placenta and get checked out. My little Ayla weighed 7lbs 15oz and was 20 inches long born at 6:05 on the 4th of July! I had a wonderful experience giving birth surrounded by lots of loving and supporting family! (I had around 8 people attend my birth not including the staff!) I had a small tear requiring one stitch and some small lacerations just inside the vaginal opening that they weren't worried about. I laid skin to skin with my new sweet baby, breastfed her and settled in with my husband for a little shut eye!!! It was wonderful!!!
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Hypno-Mom Karen, a Hypnobabies mom that used our Home Study Course shares her birth story:

twincities karens story2
"Hypnobabies encourages you to think about what kind of birth you’d like. Down to even how long you’d like it to be. I knew my mom, sister, and her kids were going to be in town so I pictured laboring at my in-laws, who I also knew were going to be out of town. I wanted to labor during a week day because then I knew my son would be in daycare, a routine and familiar place for him. That was comforting to me. I also wanted the whole labor and birth process to take 6-8 hours.  And so, this is how it happened.

 My family arrived on Saturday, 2 days before my guess date. (I went 11 days passed my guess date with my son, so I was expecting for this one to go long passed the date as well).  I wasn’t feeling a thing. Sunday I started to see a bloody show, but nothing else. Sunday night, I woke up every hour to use the bathroom and I was feeling pressure, but nothing strong.

I noticed in the morning that pressure waves were 10 min apart. My husband and I were both planning on working since it was Monday, but I decided to drop our son off at daycare and then go to his parent’s house to see if they were going to progress. I wanted to be alone with my husband in an air-conditioned house - we don’t have a/c and it was a HOT July 23rd day. I started listening to the “Fear Clearing” CD, and then the “Birth Day Affirmations” CD. I was feeling really calm and relaxed. Pressure waves were getting stronger, but lasting only 40-45 seconds long. They were about 5-9 min apart, but with no pattern. I labored on birthing ball, practiced yoga moves, and I would breathe through every wave. They all felt great and I felt strong and positive, as I listened to the hypnosis CDs. I labored like this from 9:30am-12:30pm. I ate and drank in between and walked around the house as well; letting my body go limp whenever I could. My husband read a book he was totally into, so we were both happy."

(Editor's Note: One key to getting the most out of Hypnobabies is actively using the tools, just like Karen did!)

Read Karen's wonderful hospital birth Hypnobabies birth story here
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Our Instructors at Hypnobabies Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN shared a birth story with us about a first time mom who smiled in between each "birthing wave" she had, and she needed a reminder to use her Hypnobabies techniques!

This mom says:  

twincities smilingmom 1
"Up until this point I was not really using much of my Hypnobabies and was sort of struggling with my waves. I kept trying different positions but nothing was very comfortable. Jason finally said to me, "Why don't you listen to one of your Hypnobabies tracks." So I got on my birthing ball, set up a bunch of pillows, got all situated and listened to the "Deepening Track" (my favorite one!). I did put my switch in the center position so I was able to talk to Jason and wiggle around. The track absolutely relaxed me and put me into the right mindset. I felt I was in control."

(Editor's Note: This is key.  In order for Hypnobabies to help you have an easier, more comfortable birth, you have to choose to USE the tools during your birthing time, just like this momma did!)

Later on in her birth story our Hypno-Mom says:

"I started getting "pushy" feelings shortly after getting into the water, around 11 am, so I got out pretty quickly, the midwife checked me (this was only the second time I was checked) and said it was time to have the baby! Jason switched my track to "Pushing Baby Out." I didn't have anything to play the tracks out-loud, I just stuck with my headphones. I listened to the track about 5 times, I kept saying to Jason "Babe, repeat the track" and at one point the midwife said "I really want to know what she's listening to." They were all very surprised at how calm I was in-between waves. I would just completely relax and drink water.I  made jokes and didn't stop smiling when I was between my waves. I was told it is unusual to see someone still happy and relaxed in between waves once you near the end of your birthing time but I didn't see any reason to be worked up in-between waves. That was my time to relax, drink water, prepare for the next wave and get excited because my baby was on his way!"

Read her entire birth story here
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth

megan marshall 2012 2Megan Marshall, who teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Las Vegas, NV, shared a blog post of hers with us about one of her Hypnobabies families that had their second Hypnobabies Birth. This Hypno-Mom arrived at the hospital 8 cm dilated (very common for Hypnobabies moms) and had her baby 20 minutes later! The benefits of Hypnobabies hypnosis techniques are many, as Megan shares:

In one of my first Hypnobabies classes nearly three years ago, I taught the sweetest couple.  This momma was kind enough to bring her baby over to meet me after he was born and share his birth story with me.  Things didn’t go quite the way they planned, but she had used her Hypnobabies tools beautifully and made informed decisions during her birthing time (which is what I always love to hear from my couples, regardless of how the rest of the birth story goes!).

Fast forward a couple of years, and I got a Facebook message from this sweet Hypno-mom that they had had their second Hypno-baby!  Even better, it was everything she had hoped it could be.  I was walking through the grocery store as I was reading her birth story, and I’m sure anybody who saw me thought I was a little off my rocker because I had the biggest, goofiest grin on my face.  I couldn’t help it–I couldn’t stop smiling.

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She was gracious enough to let me share their story with you (along with some beautiful photos)! 

She said, “After my first birth, I almost felt like it wasn’t possible to have the kind of birth I wanted! It feels awesome to know that my body works great and I did it! I’d love for others to know they CAN have the birth they want.

Things went so quick! I was only at the hospital 20 minutes before Isaiah was born.  Having my first was incredible, but there’s something about natural un-medicated birth.  Amazing!”

Click here to read all of baby Isaiah’s birth story!

Click here to read Baby Sophie's Hypnobabies Homebirth Story

Read other testimonials from Megan's Hypnobabies students here.

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We just love when our Hypno-Moms share their birth stories online to educate and encourage other families and birth professionals!

Yet another Hypnobabies mom, Alayna shares:  "I had a pain-free natural birth. Even through 20 hours of birthing and three hours of pushing, I didn’t feel any pain at all, only pressure! My Hypnobabies birth was the most beautiful and amazing experience I have ever had!"

"My story starts 4 days past my “guess date.” I decided I needed some fun to distract me from anxiously awaiting my baby’s arrival. I saw Blooma was hosting a Belly Mapping and Belly Painting night with Spinning Babies and thought it would be perfect. During the class we found out our baby was ROT (Right Occiput Transverse), which is considered a posterior position. I was shown a couple of exercises I could do and left feeling a little worried about the position. The next night I headed back to Blooma for my usual Sunday night yoga class with our doula, Lindsay. She gave me the Hypnobabies track “Turn, Posterior Baby, Turn.”

That night I gave it a try before going to sleep. Two hours later I got up to go to the bathroom and used my new belly mapping skills to find out that my baby had turned! She was now on the left side of my belly and therefore better able to put pressure on my cervix. I went back to sleep excited that my baby was in an optimal position and astonished at how powerful the mind really is (what a confidence boost for birth!).

Only two hours later, at 3 a.m. I awoke to what felt like a very small gush of fluid and what I was pretty sure were waves. They were 7 minutes apart and about 30 seconds long. I tried my best to get back to sleep and by 6 a.m. they were five minutes apart. I woke up Lance and told him to keep sleeping but that today would be the day! Then I called Lindsay to let her know. She recommended the Deepening and Fear Clearing tracks. I listened to Fear Clearing and Birthing Day Affirmations while lying in bed..."

Read Alayna's full, wonderful, pain-free Hypnobabies birthstory here:

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It seems Hypnobabies Twin Cities in Minnesota is going strong! Here is the latest in a long line of their wonderful Hypnobabies birth stories, where our Hypno-Mom arrived at the hospital fully dilated:
"Starting around the week of May 15th, I started noticing some signs that my body was really changing and preparing for birth (pressure, mucus changes, increased Braxton hicks). I guess you could say, however, that Phil and I have been preparing for the last 3 months for the birth through our "Hypnobabies" class. As I'll explain later, this was likely the reason for the birth experience I had this time. During April and May I was able to really create a calm and content attitude towards pregnancy and was able to really meditate and focus on a positive energy. My previous two birth stories had included more interventions than I had hoped for, so clearing the negative thought process was a must. This was a main reason for my choosing Hypnobabies to prepare for birth. And as a part-time doula, I have seen how beneficial hypnosis can be during childbirth..."

(Editor's Note: The deep hypnosis skills taught in Hypnobabies are more than just deep relaxation and are the reason our hypno-moms have easier and more comfortable births. Our moms literally produce "hypno-anesthesia" in their body using the power of their minds, which allows them to be so much more comfortable, even with the sometimes intense sensations of birthing.)

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     I believe our Hypno Pregnancy/Birth started long before we found out that we were growing our very own little life in my womb.  I knew about four years ago that I wanted to seek out more information about the practice of hypnosis for child birth once I read an article in a random dental office magazine about hypnosis for successful natural childbirth.


      Although I knew that I would utilize hypnosis for childbirth techniques for the then “someday,”  I had no idea where to find more information or where to start; and I really had no idea how much more wonderful the practice, education, and relaxation techniques HypnoBabies has to offer would really be. 


      Fast forward a few years, and just one month after my husband Chris and I got married, to the very beginnings of nausea, heart burn, not being able to stomach the thought of the smell of anything barbecued and all the questions that come with first time pregnancy and childbirth.


      Luckily for us, my brother and his fiancée were about five months pregnant with their beautiful baby boy and had stumbled across a link to HypnoBabies in the reference section of a psychology book. They too felt that natural childbirth fit them, so I didn't have to look far when I was ready to start educating myself about all my options, alternatives, and decisions my husband and I would be needing to make in the next thirty eight weeks.


     Also, in the back of my mind were the stories my mother, all five feet two inches of her, had shared with me about her experiences birthing her three children (including me and my little sister who weighed upwards of ten pounds) naturally, and as my pregnancy progressed, I found out that my mother-in-law also birthed all three of her children naturally. At that point I was more and more convinced that I had to seek every avenue and find every technique I could to try my best for a natural childbirth. I had no excuse why I couldn't at least try, if both of these very small but strong women in my life could do it!


     Chris and I didn't start our official Hypnobabies classes until October of 2010 with our instructor Jill Tanner (Seal Beach, Ca.) whom we can't say enough about, but again, luckily for me, I was able start my HypnoBabies education earlier than October as my brother and his fiancée had already gone through their HypnoBabies classes, and they were generous enough to lend me all their materials.


     Not to mention that I got used to watching them leave once a week in the evening with their pillows and blankets in arm, and coming back a few hours later looking completely relaxed and ready to fall asleep. It was definitely something I was looking forward to.


      When our turn came around to start our classes, I was already semi-informed on some of the major issues in pregnancy and birthing, including the importance of healthy nutrition (The Brewer Diet was my favorite nutritional recommendation guideline to follow.), getting regular exercise, and avoiding negative birthing stories and/or people who were not supportive of my decisions to keep a healthy and positive outlook on birth.


      The one person that I totally forgot to make sure was completely on board with me was the most important person to include in such a huge decision in our lives, my husband! Whoops!


At first when I mentioned the idea of hypnosis for childbirth and the Hypnobabies classes that I'd signed us up for, Chris seemed a little leary and wanted more information on what the classes would be like. He was afraid it would be a bunch of hippie type women wearing tie-dye and chanting in circles, something similar to what we'd seen in a recent Jennifer Lopez movie, “The Backup Plan."


      It wasn't until our first meet with Jill and the other Hypno couple that we shared the class with that Chris realized what a magnificent tool hypnosis for birthing could be for us and that it was nothing like he'd imagined. He was impressed at the extreme state of relaxation we both seemed to reach with even our very first practice of guided imagery in class.


     Following suit, the days, weeks, and classes flew by. Before we knew it, we were at week 38 and the anticipation to meet our little girl was building. I remember telling myself that she was going to be difficult and hang around until week 41 or 42.


      Then on Thursday December 9th I had my 38 week appointment, and my O.B. asked if I would be okay with a cervical exam to see if there was any sign of activity, and being as anxious as I was, I agreed to one, but I did ask for no stripping of the membrane. I wanted her to stay warm and safe for as long as she wanted. I knew she'd come at her right time.


     Little did I know that she'd be coming much sooner than I had anticipated! That night I remember waking up once about every hour with pretty strong but brief pressure waves. I got very excited and exhausted!


     By the time dawn broke and the pressure waves stopped, my excitement faded, and I chalked up the nights insomnia and pressure waves to more practice. Nevertheless, I asked my husband to stay home “just in case,” and he took me on one of my daily walks with an added bonus to the local coffee shop (I stuck to some of the seasonal hot chocolate of course).


     After we returned, I decided to relax and try to catch up on some of the sleep I lost during the night but then started to notice a little bit of nausea (which I hadn't felt since the early months of pregnancy) and the need for my body to clear itself out, if you know what I mean?


      During one of my bathroom trips, I noticed what I thought could be my mucus plug, but I wasn't completely sure that's what it was so I just continued about my day. We ate dinner like normal, had a couple of chocolate chip cookies, and by 9 p.m. decided to go to bed.


     We said “good night”....


     Around 11 p.m. I was rudely awakened by a powerful pressure wave that lasted about ten minutes. At this point in my pregnancy, I'd been experiencing practice pressure waves since around 6 months, but this pressure wave was nothing like I'd ever felt before, nor had they ever lasted that long. Thankfully my Hypnobabies practice kicked in right away as I leaned over the bed and breathed the relaxation to center of my body.


      It took me by surprise, and I knew right away, for sure this time, that Holley was on her way, but I still waited to wake Chris up until the next pressure wave came about 20 minutes later. Again it lasted about 10 minutes. I calmly woke him up, told him it was time and that I was going to get in the bath while he gathered all our stuff to pack in the truck.


      He kindly played an appropriate Hypnobabies cd for me while I took my bath and got us loaded for our trip to Long Beach Memorial (where I was born), which happens to be an hour from our home in Lake Elsinore, Ca (I'd spoken to my OB a few times to make sure it was okay to plan Holley's birth so far from home, and he assured me it would be fine, and that he even had previous patients in the area).


     I finished my bath, We made a last check to make sure we weren't forgetting anything, called my mom to let her know we were on our way to her house, and left by about 1:00 a.m.  Chris already had my positive pregnancy affirmations track playing for me while he was driving since WE COULDN'T FIND MY MP3 PLAYER WITH ALL MY TRACKS ON IT!!! 


       When we left, my pressure waves were about 10 minutes apart. By the time we were 20 minutes into our ride to Long Beach, they became 5 minutes and shortly after that, 3 minutes apart. Chris was helping me time the pressure waves, and the closer they became, the faster I felt the truck move!  That's something we both laughed about later.


      We still had to stop by my mother's house to pick her up, as we asked her to be there for Holley's birth for support. I also thought for sure I'd find my Mp3 player at her house. After we got there, I lay down on the couch while everyone else frantically searched to find that precious little Mp3 player to no avail. Then we decided to try and bring a portable cd player so I could at least hear my tracks out loud, and it could provide a little extra calmness for all in the room too.


      As it turned out, we couldn't find a working portable cd player, so after about 45 minutes at my mothers, I told them that I was ready to be at the hospital as I would be more comfortable, in case I would need to push soon.


      We got to the Long Beach Memorial L&D ward around 3:00 a.m. and by the time a nurse came in to check me, I was at 5cm dilated and ready to check in to the room where I would birth our baby girl. We made sure to make the triage nurse aware of our plans to have a calm, relaxed birth so she could help set us up with a nurse that may have had experience with natural births or interested in working with us.


      By this time I was still very calm, relaxed, and almost sleeping through all my birthing waves.  Since there had been a change in plans and I didn't have my tracks/music to listen to, both my husband and mother took turns reading me scripts from the scripts booklet to help keep me focused.


      We asked for intermittent fetal monitoring, a hep lock, low voices, low lighting, and a calm relaxed environment.  Our birth hospital, nurses and staff were great and very supportive of our requests which made everything that much easier.


      Each time our first night shift nurse came in to check on us, she could hardly tell I was having a birthing wave, as I would almost sleep through them! It was all going great, greater than expected after I knew I'd be working without my wonderful tracks.


      As I got closer to a full 10cm dilated and transition, I admit that it did become challenging to stay focused, as we found out that my OB was not on call after all, and that I would be working with the resident doctor and/or another doctor.


      Also, at this point, when the birthing/pressure waves were at there strongest, my bag of waters still hadn't burst on it's own so the resident doctor came in and decided to gross out my husband and stir things up a bit more for me. I had to remember that with “every breath I inhaled, I would be deeper and deeper relaxed”!


       After the resident doctor burst my bag of waters, I still wasn't completely dilated or ready to start pushing so staying focused and going as deep inside myself as I could was the only thing on my mind.  I sort of tuned everything else out and focused on breathing in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 8. That helped me tremendously.


       Although, I requested limited to no vaginal exams during my birthing time, my L&D nurse was wonderful and very supportive and asked if I would be okay with a check to see how far dilated I was, so I agreed.  Looking back now, I wish I wouldn't have agreed and just asked to wait for me to feel ready to push because I believe that our bodies push when they're ready even if full dilation hasn't occurred at the beginning of the need to push. At least I'll know what I'd like to do differently next time around.


     Either way, as she did the final exam, she found I was at full dilation and decided to call for the head doctor who was to fill in for my OB, and he was nowhere to be found!  Then I could hear the nurses calling for the resident and he came in and looked at me. Then the head doctor finally walked in! LOL! What a fiasco! 


      I know, had I not been as equipped as I was with all the hypnosis for relaxation and breathing tools, I wouldn't have been able to stay as relaxed and calm as I was while in the process of bringing my first child into the world. 


     After all was finally settled, I pushed for about a total of 30 minutes in a semi-upright  (c-position) sitting position (that again, I now wished I would've done differently because I've had a hard time with the healing of my bruised coccyx), but at the time I was just so focused on pushing that I did forget a few details that I wanted to stick to. If I could go back, I think I would have stuck to side lying pushing or maybe squatting.


     I didn't do as much of mother directed pushing as I planned on either (which I'm disappointed about because I feel like I wasn't quite 100% ready to push yet, but since it was my first time, I didn't know exactly how to listen to my body, and I feel like pushing before I was ready, and pushing on their command slowed Holley's descent slightly), but at the end of day, it was my first time birthing, and I had my beautiful baby girl on my skin before I knew it. I couldn't even cry out loud, I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I'm glad I was in a drug free, clear state of mind to feel it all.


     We were also very persistent on reminding the doctor/nurse that we wanted to let her cord pulse for as long as needed, and then daddy cut the cord. That was something I wasn't sure he was going to be able to do! (Can you say vasovagal?)


     All in all, our family's first birthing experience together was beautiful, calm, relaxed, and transcendent to say the least. My husband and mother were both completely relaxed and supportive through all the madness as well, as they focused on reading the scripts to me. I wouldn't have done it without them.


    There are a few things, that I plan on doing differently whenever Holley's brother or sister decides to make his/her grand entrance, but I can't imagine our experience without the tools we gained from our Hypnobabies/hypnosis for childbirth classes. Birthing my baby and becoming a mother, in my opinion, truly is the greatest gift I've experienced in my life. Can't wait to do it all again! :)



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I had been told at my appointment at 39 weeks 4 days that I would need to be induced if I didn't deliver by 41 weeks due to my blood pressure creeping up over the last few weeks.  I was concerned that an induction would lead to other interventions and possibly a c-section.  My midwives asked me to come back that Friday to check my blood pressure, but that they thought there was a really good chance I would go into labor before that appointment.  I wasn't so sure.  Everyone had been telling me the whole pregnancy they thought I would go early.  I had a feeling that either my baby would come even earlier than my last pregnancy (37 weeks 3 days) or be past my guess date.  I have no idea why I thought that, but I did.  At 36 weeks I had very regular pressure waves for most of the day and throughout the weekend, but we were able to get them to fade out by getting off my feet.  I ended up on modified bedrest after that.  At that point I figured I would go late, but everyone else thought it would be any day.  So you can imagine everyone else's surprise when the guess date (Thanksgiving 11/22/12) came and went and my baby was still not here.  I didn't mind though.  I wanted her to have all the time she needed and secretly appreciated not spending Thanksgiving in the hospital, but I would have done it for her gladly if that was what she needed.  

On 11/23/12 we went to our appointment and my blood pressure was the highest it had been all pregnancy.  I believe it was 136/90 (not crazy high, but very high for me).  They took it 3 times just to make sure it was accurate.  I burst into tears as I knew that meant we were on the clock at that point.  The nurse tried to comfort me and so did my husband.  The midwife I was seeing that day came in and told me to not worry.  She told me they would retake my blood pressure at the end of my appointment and that this didn't necessarily mean I would have to be induced at 41 weeks (she had felt differently than the midwife I saw earlier that week since I didn't have any other pre-e symptoms and my blood pressure was not off the charts).  We listened to the heartbeat which was perfect.  She asked me about the baby's movement and I realized I wasn't sure.  I had been so preoccupied with worrying about he high blood pressure that I hadn't done my kick counts.  The midwife said she would hook me up to the monitor just to see how everything was going.  They took my blood pressure again before hooking me up and guess what….it was back to normal!  I had been making my blood pressure rise with my worries!  Then within minutes of being hooked up to the monitor I started feeling pressure waves.  They were pretty strong and to my surprise started coming about every 5 minutes.  This happened for the next hour. The midwife said she would go ahead and do an an internal exam to see if the pressure waves were doing anything.  She said I was about 3-4 cm, 60% effaced and station -1.  I had made a little progress so she stretched me to a 4 and said maybe that would be enough to get the pressure waves to continue and put me into active labor.  

My pressure waves did peter out by the evening.  I talked with the baby and let her know we were in this together and that I was ready if she was.  I was really hoping she was ready because my favorite midwife was on call at the hospital, but only for another 24 hours.  We went to bed and I woke up about 3:30 am to use the bathroom.  I felt a little funny and by 3:48 am I was having pressure waves about 7 minutes apart.  They were pretty strong and felt like a combination of braxton hicks and menstrual cramps.  They felt different than with my son's labor, but they were strong enough were I felt like this could be it.  I decided to listen to a Hypnobabies track (Easy First Stage).  I was very comfortable at that point even though the pressure waves were strong.  At about 5 am my husband woke up and I told him I didn't want him going to work.  I started to feel sick and threw up in the bathroom.  I had gotten sick with my son's labor too so I figured this had to be it.  So we got up and finished packing the bags.  My husband ran out to get treats for the nurses at labor and delivery while I continued to pack.  The pressure waves were getting closer together which was making it hard to pack the bags.  I called the midwife at about 6 am and she agreed I should come in.  I told her we would be there about 7 am.  We didn't end up leaving until close to 7 am because it was taking me so long to pack with the pressure waves being so strong and so close together.  In fact we ended up not quite finishing because we realized that the pressure waves were getting closer and I couldn't talk through them and I got sick and couple more times.  I listened to Hypnobabies through headphones on the car ride to the hospital.  When we got to the hospital I was feeling a lot of pressure. 

Our midwife met us at L&D.  I had to stop a couple of times on the way back to the delivery room due to the pressure waves. Luckily Patty brought be right to a room and I didn't have to be checked at triage.  When we got into the room at 7:30 am she checked me and said I was 8 cm.  Everyone started rushing around to get the delivery cart ready.  Patty said she could either break my water or I could get into the tub, but if she broke my water I would probably be ready to push right after.  I told her I wanted to try the tub.  I wanted my water to break naturally if possible and I had been really excited to use the tub for labor.  On the way to getting to the tub I got sick again.  Not fun, but I knew that meant I was getting closer to seeing my baby.  As soon as they started lowering me into the tub I feel a pop and a lot of pressure.  My water had broke.  I started saying "I can't do this" meaning I can't be in the tub, but my midwife thought I meant I can't do a natural labor.  I clarified what had happened and that I needed to push and they quickly helped me get out of the tub.  I thought I was going to delivery the baby on the tile floor since the pressure had gotten so intense!  They helped get me to the bed and I started to push.  WIthin about 15 min my baby was born.  They  put our baby girl right up on my chest and I just couldn't believe she was here.  She was born at 8:11 am, just 40 minutes after we got to the hospital!  The nursed hadn't even fully checked me in yet!  I did have to get a shot of pitocin after she were born just because they were a little concerned with the amount of blood I lost right before delivering the placenta (all was fine though).  I also did have a 1st degree tear and needed stitches (I didn't feel the tear happen nor did I feel the stitches and it didn't bother me in the least during my recovery). 

My first hypnobabies experience was 12 hours of labor (only about 4 hours of active labor and 15 min of pushing) and this time it was only about 4 hours of labor total with 15 mins of pushing.  Not bad.  I don't really feel like I ever had any pain, just pressure.  The pressure was very intense, but it was all manageable and the relief you feel when the baby is born is amazing. I really can't say enough good things about Hypnobabies.  The relaxation during pregnancy alone is amazing, but having such an empowering birth is beyond words!

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Baby Ryleigh Claire Barron

I do not know where to even begin because everything about the birth was such a great experience. I don't think I would have gotten through the whole pregnancy without Hypnobabies.

I went to see Joanne (ob/gyn) at 38 weeks and...

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Thanks to Monica for sharing her story!
Okay, so I know that Juneau is now three months old, and who writes a birth story when three months have already passed?  The problem is that I have been trying to figure out how to put into words what an amazing experience Juneau's birth was, and I feel like no matter what words I choose, I won't be able to do it justice.  But I figure, if I don't write it down now, it may never get written.  So, here I go....

Where do I begin? We found out we were expecting in late August 2011. Juneau is our second child. We had our son, Phoenix, in May 2010. In preparing for Phoenix's arrival, I studied the hypnobabies program.  It was great in helping me to relax and enjoy the pregnancy.  I think that with the aspects of being a first time mom and not being sure of what it would be like to actually give birth, I wasn't 100% confident in what I was doing and was very willing to defer to the medical professionals in terms of what needed to be done.  This led to a cascade of interventions that led to me giving birth to Phoenix in the operating room, completely numb from the neck down, unable to feel or see anything.  After he was born, I was so shaky from the medication that I couldn't hold him and then he was taken for his newborn cares to the nursery and away from us for a few hours.  All of these things really traumatized me and I knew that I did not want a repeat of that experience.

With this pregnancy, I was determined to have a natural birth. I studied the hypnobabies program again and armed myself with as much knowledge and support as I could.  We decided to hire a doula to help us achieve our desired birth experience and I am so glad I did.  Mandy was our doula and she was phenomenal.  We met with her several times before Juneau's birth and she helped me to work through the issues that I had after Phoenix's birth and let those go and realize that this was a new birth and a new baby.  She helped me to gain confidence in myself and the fact that I could have a natural birth.  The hypnobabies program again helped me to focus myself and relax during the later stages of pregnancy.  I read up on different natural birth books and websites.  I read as many natural birth stories as I could gaining inspiration and motivation from the fact that all of these women had been able to do it.  I knew that I could do it too.

On one of Mandy's visits, we practiced different positions to help ease the discomfort of pressure waves.  This made me excited to be able to put into practice all of the different tools and in a way I couldn't wait to use them.  Little did I know that practicing them would be about all I would get to do.   My due date was May 2nd and I knew from the start that I would most likely go past that.  Everyone around me was saying they were sure I would have an April baby, but I remained calm in the fact that my baby would come when she was ready (and it would most likely be after May 2nd).  This helped me not to feel pressured or anxious when May 2nd came and went.  We went for our weekly doctor's appointment that day just to be sure that baby was doing okay.  On the ultrasound we confirmed she was a girl (thank goodness otherwise her pink room would've needed a quick paint job) and they guesstimated she was 6lbs 13oz.  Fluid levels looked okay and I was contracting when they hooked me up to the monitory.  The doctor never pressured me for induction but said that if she didn't arrive on her own, he didn't feel comfortable with me going more than two weeks over.  Even though he talked about it, I was never phased because I knew that she would come when the time was right.

I was hoping for a Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) baby and the fact that there was a supermoon that night was inspiration.  May 5th came and went and still no baby.  Early the morning of May 6th, things started happening...I felt more intense pressure waves that were gaining strength and not going away with a drink of water or resting.  I felt so excited and sure that today was the day.  I kept in touch with Mandy through the early morning hours (sorry for the 3AM texts, Mandy!) and waited to see what happened.  It was cute, because I woke Nevada up and he wanted to know right away if we had to go to the hospital.  It wasn't anywhere near that point yet, but it was nice he was so concerned.

By mid-morning the pressure waves were continuing and some were coming as close as every 6 minutes.  I didn't know how things were going to progress so I asked Mandy to come over, just in case.  Grandma had come to pick up Phoenix earlier in the day.  Once Mandy got here, things started to slow down and they weren't as regular.  I would still have to concentrate on them, but it wasn't anything that was unbearable.  Mandy was calm and supportive, never second guessing what I was feeling.  By about 5:30, things had pretty much fizzled out and I was disappointed.  Having never experienced my body begin the birthing time on its own, I felt kind of defeated.  Again, Mandy was reassuring saying that my body was definitely working and just preparing for baby.

The next few days passed without incident.  There were pressure waves here and there, but nothing too serious and while I was anxious for her arrival, and for people to stop checking into see how I was doing and if the baby was here yet, I was still at peace with knowing she would come when she was ready.  I had been sleeping on the couch for the last few weeks of pregnancy because it was where I could get the most comfortable and most nights I stayed up watching tv because sleep wasn't easy to come by.  On May 9th, Nevada sat up watching tv with me for a little bit and headed up to bed around 10:30.  I was still awake watching American Pickers when I felt a strong pressure wave.  Hmmm...that felt a little bit different than before.  I figured I would just lay there and see what happened and if any more pressure waves wanted to make their appearance.  That was around 10:45 or 11. Sure enough, another one came along not too long after.  I had to close my eyes and focus on my hypnosis to feel comfortable during it.  I didn't want to jump the gun, so I continued to lay there and see what would happen.  Around 11:30, I thought this is the real deal and I started timing the pressure waves.  They were between 6-8 minutes apart and definitely intense.  Around midnight, I headed upstairs to get Nevada up.  This time he could tell things were more serious and he asked if he should call his mom to come and watch Phoenix.  I told him to do that and call Mandy.  I tried to talk to Mandy but the pressure waves were intense enough that I didn't want to do that, so Nevada talked to her instead.  She suggested I get into the shower to see if the waves would continue or if they would fizzle out.  So around 12:20 I got into the shower.  The pressure waves continued and seemed like they were coming faster.  The warm water felt good on my stomach, but it was hard to stand in the shower without holding on to something.  After I got out of the shower, it was difficult to get dressed, but with Nevada's help I managed, having to stop every few minutes to work through the pressure waves.

By the time I got downstairs, Nevada's mom was there.  Mandy was on her way, but figured it would take her about an hour from the time we first called her at 12:15ish.  Nevada's stomach was upset so he was looking for some Pepto and talking to his mom about where it could be.  At this point pressure waves were coming every 2-4 minutes and were super intense.  I told him to forget about the Pepto and that we needed to get going to the hospital.  I made it into the minivan and put my ipod in with hypnobabies playing.  Nevada called Mandy and told her there was a change of plans and we were headed to the hospital.  She would head there too.  We also called the hospital to let them know we were on the way and found out that the one doctor from the practice that I didn't care for was going to be delivering babies that night.  I took in the information and then let my concerns about it go.  She was going to be there to catch my baby and that was it, the rest of it I was going to be in charge of.

I listened to hypnobabies the entire car ride and did a lot of deep breathing and was starting to make some low noises to help get through the pressure waves.  What seemed like the longest 15 minutes passed before we made it to the hospital.  Nevada dropped me off at the entrance and I stood holding onto one of the posts for support.  He zipped in the parking garage to park the car and didn't even have time to grab the bags.  We figured if we needed something, he would have time to run back out.  It was then that I saw Mandy running across the parking lot too.  My entire team was in place...it was time to have a baby!

I tried walking to the entrance, but that wasn't going to happen so Nevada ran and got a wheelchair for me.  I was still doing lots of breathing and low moaning and working through the pressure waves which felt like they were right on top of each other.  Nevada started to wheel me through the lobby and took me to the green elevators.  At this point I was with it enough to tell him he was at the wrong ones and had to go to the blue elevators.  I remembered from our tour 2 Blue.  We zipped around and got to the right elevators and headed up.

Arriving at L&D makes me laugh when I think about it.  We pulled up and of course they started asking me questions.  I was able to answer some between pressure waves.  "What are you here for?"  Umm...I was thinking I really wanted to eat some good hospital food...I'm having a BABY!!!  Mandy crouched next to me and kept reminding me to breathe and to lower the sounds I was making to help keep in control.  Nevada helped by answering some of the questions and they took me to a triage room.  Things were super intense at that point and I just kept on focusing to get from one pressure wave to the next.  They told me to get undressed and I'm still not sure how I managed to get my clothes off and get up on the bed, but I did.  They checked me and said I was 8 cm.  Thank God!  Things were so intense that had I been at a 4, it would've been hard.  While there, the nurses were asking if I wanted an epidural and I was confident in my decision to tell them no.  After I was checked, they took me over to the L&D side of the wing (I guess now they believed me that I was having a baby?).

Once in the L&D room, I was checked again and found to be 10cm and complete. Mandy and Nevada were by my side with water and helping me with peace cues and touching my shoulder which I later found out really helped me relax.  In the moment, I wasn't realizing it but Mandy said when she would do that, she could visibly see me relax into the pressure waves.  Once the doctor came into the room, she was getting ready to break my water.  Mandy noticed what was happening and asked me if I consented to it.  I said no, and the doctor stopped.  I think it made her a little bit mad because it was 2 something in the morning and she probably wanted to get this show over, but it was my baby and we were going to have it my way.  As I worked through the pressure waves, I had my eyes closed most of the time to help me keep my focus, but I did open them at one point and saw the doctor kind of statnding at the end of the bed with her arms crossed looking at me frustrated.  Too bad, this was my birthing experience.

After just a few minutes, I started to feel like I wanted to push.  This was intense pressure.  Not pain, but pressure.  According to Mandy's notes it was around 2:25 that I told them I wanted to push.  The pushing phase is kind of a blur.  I know that was pushing for a few minutes when my water broke.  While pushing, I still had my eyes closed and I know there was a time or two when I didn't think I was going to be able to do it.  The nurses and Mandy and Nevada all cheered me on.  Then all of sudden the pressure changed and I could feel Juneau moving down and out.  I never experienced a ring of fire as they call it but just a lot of pressure.  Finally I heard someone say the head was out, and I gave another push to get the rest of her out.  They had to remind me to open my eyes so I could see my baby girl.  She was immediately put on my chest and I looked down in wonder at the little miracle that had just been inside of me.  Juneau was born at 2:50AM, approximately 1 hour after arriving at the hospital.  She weighed 6lbs 3oz and was 20 inches long.  She had a full head of hair and the most perfectly shaped head.  (At the pediatrician's office they asked if she was a c-section baby because her head was so round).  It was love at first sight.

When the doctor was stitching things up, she was going to give me a shot of Pitocin.  Mandy again asked me if I consented to it and I asked the doctor if I needed it.  Her response was well, we routinely give Pitocin after birth.  I again asked her if I needed it and if I didn't, I wasn't going to consent to it.  So, guess what, no Pitocin!  It was amazing how powerful it felt to take my healthcare into my hands.

After Juneau's birth, we told the nursing staff that we wanted all of her newborn cares to take place in the room.  So she was bathed, monitored and taken care of where we could see what was going on and only after we had been able to cuddle for a significant amount of time.  It was fantastic never having her leave our side.  Such a different experience than the first time around.

After I was stitched up, I was up and walking around within about 20-30 minutes and surprisingly felt great.  We transferred to our postpartum room and as opposed to the first time around, I could walk and move and had no issues.  When the nurses came in and asked what I wanted for pain management, I told them that I felt okay and I would let them know if that changed.  So after Juneau's arrival I didn't have ANY pain medication-not even tylenol or advil.  I just felt like I didn't need it.  Things were a little bit sore, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.  I felt like SuperWoman!  I think the nurses thought I was crazy because they never had moms who didn't need pain meds.

The adrenaline from the experience still gets me today when I think about it.  When discussing with my doctor my desire to have a natural birth, his advice had been to stay at home as long as possible and come to the hospital when you are ready to push.  I didn't think that I would actually do that, but sure enough, I came in at an 8, progressed to a 10 within about 10 minutes and was ready to push baby out within about an hour of arriving at the hospital.  I couldn't have imagined a better scenario.

I credit the awesome experience to my Hypnobabies hypnosis studies, my awesome doula, and my ever supportive and loving hubby.
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I just wanted to quickly add my testimony of the effectiveness
of Hyponobabies to the thousands that have already been shared.

All day on Thrusday I'd been having 'soft' birthing waves. We went to
bed that night and about 12:30am I woke up in pain. I decided to sleep
through what I could because I was comfortable and warm. I woke up at
5:30am exhausted and jumped in the shower. After I got out my husband
went to get my Cds. I put in the Easy First Stage and I relaxed.

I remember really having to concentrate on relaxing through 4 waves. When
the CD ended 2 hours later (I think it played through more than once??)
I woke up and thought when am I suppose to go the hospital? I feel

Then it hit me...HARD...I needed to go NOW!

We called the sitter and took one kid to school on the way. I showed up
to the hospital complete and delivered 15 minutes later.

I couldn't believe it! I have to admit I was a little skeptical of the
whole process. I'm a believer now!! I plan on using Hypnobabies with all my
births from now on. I just wish I discovered this 7 years ago!!

I sound like an infomercial, Haha!! But it really was that simple :-)

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You will love reading this fantastic hospital birth story! Our Hypno-Mom has a great nurse, uses the tub and her hubby is great at helping her with Hypnobabies cues and techniques. There are many excellent photos that show her using Hypnobabies, and she just loved it.

Maizy's Beautiful Hypnobabies Birth with great pictures.
We were talking and joking and enjoying our selves the whole time.  When a pressure wave would come, I'd just turn off my light switch, focus and then go back to the conversation.  There were a couple times when someone was talking to me when a pressure wave would come and I tried to talk to them rather then turning off my light switch.  Those couple times I felt my body start to tense up and as soon as I turned my light switch off, I'd relax and be much more comfortable.  It was amazing to me!  I also used my peace cue and that was very  effective and helpful in staying calm and relaxed.

Click over to her blog to read the rest of the story and see the pictures!
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 Vanessa’s Story

I had a mostly easy and uneventful pregnancy.  Even the morning sickness was almost nonexistent, except for a general icky feeling in the early evenings for the first few weeks.  I was incredibly tired and hungry throughout the pregnancy, and during the last 2 to 3 weeks I was nearing exhaustion.  It was impossible to find a comfortable position and I was unable to sleep.  My mental and emotional states were suffering in those last couple of weeks.  I arranged to start my maternity leave from work a week before my due date in hopes of having time at home to relax.

About half way through the pregnancy I started practicing Hypnobabies, a self-hypnosis program for a comfortable childbirth. I had decided I wanted to have a natural drug free birth and put my faith in 6 CDs with suggestions to help me relax through labor and experience childbirth as an easy and painless event.  Listening to a CD every night was a great way to relax and it also gave me confidence in my pregnancy and my body’s ability to birth a baby. 

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Amberle was born at 6:25ish on Tuesday, May 6.  I woke up Monday morning around 4 with cramping thinking to myself, if I don’t get back to sleep I’m not going to have a very good time!  I plugged in my easy first stage track on my iPod and didn’t wake back up until about 6:30.  Between 6:30 and 7 though, I had about 5 contraction/cramps and started wondering just how fast this birth was going to be!

As I went about my day I made sure I got some of my last minute things done such as grabbing some receiving blankets from the store, and picking up my Medic Alert bracelet from being repaired.  Monday went along pretty normally save the every 20-60 min cramps.

Although by Monday evening I was pretty sure this baby was coming out, off to bed I went at my normal time after a nice long hot bath. I managed to sleep from about 22:00 to 0:30, so I got recharged a bit.  By 1:30 I decided I’d better wake up my husband, and get him to write down the wave times so that I could focus on my training.  With my first birth, I used meditation to take my mind off of the waves, and found hypnosis to be more effective, but similar enough that it was an easy journey. 

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Victor Emilio (“Vito”), our 5th child, arrived at 3:58 am on May 31.  Interestingly enough, when I would visualize my birthing time while listening to the Affirmations track, I always saw myself as birthing at 4 am.  The power of the mind is amazing!

My pregnancy, despite my age (41) went very well.  I was active and working throughout.  I exercised 5 days a week, doing spinning, dance and Pilates classes up to a couple of days before birth day.  My husband and I have 4 other children, ages 22 to 13, so my last birthing prior to this was almost 14 years ago. 

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After a long and tedious pregnancy, where I was on some form of bed rest for half of it, we have a beautiful baby boy born on Monday, March 31! I’d been having Braxton Hicks for most of the pregnancy. I started my home study course sometime around week 25, and had been in maintenance for about 2 weeks. I practiced finger drops every day, and recently started really focusing on center after reading what some of you ladies experienced. My husband did the relax script a few times, and I was very clear with him that I needed him to help me with that during our birthing time. 

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Last Wednesday the 26th of March, I woke up in the morning thinking that I had just had the worst night of sleep of my life! Nothing exciting happened, just couldn’t get any good sleep for the life of me. I had been in to see the nurse practitioner the day before for my 38 week, really 37 week 5 day appointment and everything seemed good. She gave me “a prescription” to eat ice cream every day because my weight gain was on the lower end of the spectrum, 22 pounds and I am average weight to begin with. She didn’t do an internal because I told her it didn’t really give us an indication of anything, she agreed but made a comment that most women like to know where they are at. I said not me, this baby will decide when it is done baking!

Back to Wednesday, about 8:15 am I was playing with my 22 month old son on his climber toy with slide wearing my bath robe, when I bent over to catch him come down the slide and “gush” my water broke and a puddle was forming at my feet. Funny side note, we are in the midst of potty training and my son has accidents on the floor here and there. When my water broke, he looked at me, looked down at the floor and looked back at me and said, “Mommy peeing! 

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