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When I was pregnant, I used to love reading people's birthing stories on Hypnobabies. It would level up all the crap (sorry!) that everybody else tried to throw, and I know they were ladies just like me. The best ones were the ones that told me the whole story - I loved those, and felt like I was there with them, so this is what I'm going to do now...

My baby girl Bronte-Elizabeth just turned 8mths a few days ago (23rd March), and I thought it was time to let you all know how the birth went... because it was fabulous... and not because it was easy, or because I find birth easy - in fact, the complete opposite. I hadn't had a child since my first daughter was born, and she is now 16! The experience was so very harrowing, that I didn't have any more... until I decided to try with hypnobirthing - yes hypno 'birthing'. I only found hypnobabies quite a few months in with not enough time to really complete the course, so I pretty much just dove in with faith that it was for me, because (apart from my finding the vocals difficult to listen to often, due to feeling patronised - SORRY!!!! but I did, and it's important that any other ladies out there having the same problem knows that it still worked!) it was just about myself and my body. And over the years, especially with my first daughter, I learnt that it was important that I felt ok, and it wasn't so important what others thought or felt.

Now most or even all of you might not remember me, but I had lots of problems during the pregnancy. I was 37, and suffered with hypothyroidism. I had suffered a miscarriage 3 years ago, and then my periods were barely there, and even though no precautions had been taken, it seemed I could no longer become pregnant - WRONG! My baby had also already turned by month five, so they suggested a preemie, and was engaged by month six (by 2/5).

So. I was not allowed to have the baby outside of the hospital as i wished, as none of the homebirthing midwives or birthing centres would take me on. I even had my MOTHER tell me that it was not normal for women to have vaginal births nowadays, and especially concidering my age & condition, I should be open to induction and cesarian!??

My sister too, in fact, eventually, after the hospital called me in the day after my 'due' date, and pulled in 2 other doctors to tell me that if I didn't let them induce me then and there, I would likely be responsible for the death of my baby, I simply went home and took the phone off the hook! (After spewing out statistics about induction/cesarian v vaginal complications first of course!).

So, on Monday night (20th July 2009), at two weeks 'overdue' and my little bun still cooking nicely, I was driving home, with my eldest & partner in the car, when I looked up & saw three boys with their "things"  hanging over the flyover! "They're not going to!" I exclaimed. Yep they did - three streams of wee spattered onto the windsheild, and I promptly, screached up the next exit and back on myself, to find the little b*stards still standing there waiting for the next car. I jumped out of my car, and with my hormones raging, promptly chased them for nearly a quarter of a mile, screaming at the top of my lungs.... "you could've killed us.... you ****'s!... wait till I get my hands on you!" etc.

Well, to cut a long story short... I DID catch them! And made them clean my car with their hoodies! Then, feeling a bit worn out, I got back in the car and drove home. When we got there I told DD (my daughter) & Bal (my partner) that the tightening that had come on during my rage & pregnant marathon had still not abaited. "They've probably set me into birthing now!" I said jokingly.

Well, I was right. On Tuesday morning at about 8am, I awoke thinking... I think this is it. The birthing waves continued for about an hour or so, but then subsided. Hmmm. That night, I was really uncomfortable, and couldn't sleep again. I spent hours on the hypnobabies website whilst swigging my red rasberry leaf tea, reading birthing stories and Q&A, and then eventually zonked out (after taking my evening primrose oil both orally and topically of course!), wondering if she was ever going to be born... I was actually, I beleive, in the latent stage all of this time.

Wednesday I again awoke around 8am with stomach cramps and period pain type feelings, and again I wondered if the birthing time was iminent. Again I was wrong, and spent the day rolling around from one overburdened side of my whale-esque body to the other. Groaning and generally feeling sorry for myself as I did. Then Wednesday night, I had a sudden burst of energy. Did I save it? Did I relax and conserve my stores? No. I sat up all night; added some tunes to my ipod to accompany the hypnobabies tracks; looked on hmv and wrote down a list of cd's on offer at £2.99 with free p&p; searched for the term 'bloody show', as I reackoned I had just had mine but wasn't definate & wanted to make sure... then I stumbled accross a GREAT blog... which you all HAVE to read... I really did laugh until I pissed myself (which I know isn't difficult at 42 wks, but still!)... I just checked, and it's still there - along with the comment I left at the bottom (about pissing myself!) so check it out:


Anyway, a little after this extreme laughing state (which lasted pretty much for the whole blog!), I then found a game where you get to make choices at each stage of birthing, and kind of practice making choices you may come accross. I can't find the exact site now, which is annoying, as it was great fun and I played it for ages! (but if you can ignore the unhelpful un-hypnobabies vocabulary, here is similar one...


Anyway, I went to bed... at about 5.30/6am eventually! Then at 8am I awoke again, third day in a row. I began to wonder if this was my doing, as I had in my birthing visions, envisaged waking up at 8am with mild contractions, and wanted to have the baby at midday, and then enjoy her for the day (rather that having a horrid long evening - night - morning experience in a dark hospital as I did with my first, and then being so tired all day).

I kissed Bal goodbye as he left for work, and lay there for a while. After about ten minutes, I called my, then 15yr old daughter in and asked her if she would get me a drink. She did. I waited a little while longer, and asked her if she would get my ipod. She did. Then after another ten minutes, I asked her to time my 'period pains'. She did.... they were not particularly regular, but seemed to be roughly about every 10 minutes (about 7 -12 minutes apart).

I stay laying down in bed, and called all my cats in (we have rescue cats), lay with my hypnobabies on my ipod, and my drink in my hand for a little while. I thought I must be preparing for birth now, but after the two previous stalls the days before, and at the same time, I wasn't sure, so i just kept on breathing slow and relaxing - to be honest, almost enjoying it. I kind of saw it like an exersize, preparing me for when I really did begin the birthing time... I was having pretty strong period like pains, but I was also feeling very relaxed as well.

At 9am I called my daughter in again to time the waves. The first one was 7 minutes, the second one was five minutes... then we were chatting and she forgot to watch the clock! Then it was more like three minutes apart and pretty regular. I asked her to make my special drink that was ready on the side for birthing - with my bach rescue remedy, and telephone Bal to say he'd better come back home. Again, she did exactly as she had been asked, and then returned to sit with me and the cats.

At about 10am, Bal arrived home, and walked around the bed. He kicked of his shoes and was just about to get in with me, so I said "I don't think there's time, you'd better call the hospital". My daughter was timing my contractions at about two minutes appart, and pretty regular. He was shocked, he is my eldest's adopted father, and none of his sibling have children... this was a pretty new experience (as it was for me - COMPLETELY different from the first time!).

Bal called the hospital from by my bedside, and passed the phone over. I had a short chat with the midwife, who didn't seem to bothered, but I insisted that my waves were regular, and I was ready... I had even had two waves during which I felt - not the need to push - but something like it... Bal took a picture of me (See note below)to show how calm I was with my cats, ipod & drink, and then we picked up our bags (which had been packed for nearly three months due to my health and age likely producing a preemie) and yet another lot of cakes for the staff (they kept going off, and we had to keep relplacing them!), and of course not forgetting the stand-up copy, and additional copies of the birthing plan... ie: don't even offer me anything unless it's a medical emergency (with a page of papers and supporting evidence attatched for good measure), and got it the car.

NB: The photo & more are on the photos section of the Hypnobabies site.

My, what an uncomfortable journey. And of course, stopping and starting. Eeegh! "Barry, I really need to be there now" I was saying - very unhelpful I know. "Barry.... I need to get there ten minutes ago!", etc. Well, it only took a little while to get there, and we arrived at 11am.

I sat... well, leaned on a table, in the lobby area, whilst DD went to reception to sign me in, and Bal parked up the car and carried in DD's bag (her food/drink/snacks/magazines/phone/and... a copy of the birthing plan just in case, plus the LIST OF PEOPLE TO CALL!!!); his own bag... pretty much the same, but much more cola, and the cakes; and my bag (ditto); the birthing ball; my lavender heat up pack; my fluffy cussion which the cat's hairs still stuck on it; towels; three flannels; change of clothes; hospital stay bag; baby bag; bits bag (ipod/batteries/cd walkman/camera/etc); HUGE oversized beanbag; blanket from home; washbag; etc.... lol!

Of course, Bal was still lugging around bags, balls and sheets of paper when a nurse wandered up to me with a wheelchair. Hmmm I thought... I'm not ill? Still, I got in it, and she wheeled me into the maternity ward, and along the corridors to the little room that would be mine for as long as it took. DD went outside to make the phone calls, and then returned and waited outside on a chair - as close to the door as she could get it - and Bal trundled in, looking like he'd just birthed tripplets!

The nurse started talking to me, so I raised my hand as I was having a wave and couldn't really talk. She waited, and then said "I'll put your details up, and a midwife will be in to talk to you in a little while". I said OK, and she exited.... only to return again to say "I also wanted to ask if..... oh..... are you having another Con****tion?". I nodded. "Another one, since I walked out the door?". I grimmaced... She suddenly looked a little alarmed, and flurried out of the door this time. I turned to my partner and said "I told them I was ready... maybe I should scream a little?"

Then an older midwife came in, and as she began to talk to me - and I began with another wave - the first nurse was also present, the door was open, and then another two heads poked around the door!... "What are you looking at?" I snapped. The two heads dissapeared, and the nurse left. "I just want you here" I said to the older midwife. "I don't want to talk about any meds, I want a natural birth". She confirmed that she understood, and then we began.

At some point Bal gave the nurses the cakes, etc, but I'm not sure when. Everything happened very fast. The birthplans were'nt even taken out. Annoyingly, the midwife kept asking if she could check dilation. Eventually I said yes to keep her quiet. "Well, you're only at 5cm" she said "It'll be a while yet"... oh thanks I thought... now I feel better. As by now, I was not able to stay still, and the waves were on top of each other, and I was having to concentrate on breathing. She left the room, and when she returned, she wanted to strap me up to a monitor to check the babies heart. Again she pushed, and again I said yes to shut her up... "oh dear, the baby's heart rate is dropping" she said... "no" I managed to say "My first did this, and it's always been slow - so has mine"... a couple of minutes later, she said " I'm really sorry, I know you wanted a natural birth, but I'm going to have to go and get the doctor, the baby's heart rate is just too low".

It came as a surprise to Bal, but I just said "O.K". The when she left the room I said... "the baby will be here by the time a doctor gets here"... then ooompf! A deep-throated growling, loud long gutteral moaning sound escaped from my mouth... my daughter had said later, that she thought there was a wild animal in the room, and it sounded like a horror film - frightening! Well, she was right, I was letting my body take over and trusting it to do what it would do if I were in the wild, and the more I relaxed, the deeper and more gutteral the groans became... The midwife came running back in and exclaimed "we don't have time for the doctor... this baby's coming now". Then I got to the point of transition, and felt like I simply couldn't do it... but thankfully, I had told Bal that this WOULD happen. When it had happened in my 1st birth, I wasn't educated, and I honestly thought I was dying, so I had said to him: When I get to the point when I don't think I can do it... remind me that this must therefore be transition, and that meant that I had already done it, and the baby was now comming. He did, and it worked! One push, out came the head.... but only half way... then the second push, and there she was.

My partner helped make sure she was put straight to the breast and said to leave the umbillical cord until it had stopped pulsating to allow all the goodness to reach the baby, and the midwife followed his direction. Wow - perfect!

Annoyingly, when I was getting ready to pass the placenta a little later, she pulled it against my instruction, and some was left in there which saw me having birthing waves for another 16hrs whilst my body tried to get the rest of it out, but NONE of these things were down to my body... the "we need the doctor" and "oh your only 5cm's" and pulling the placenta, was all a show of the hospitals mistrust of my capabilities as a woman... but my body did exactly what it was designed to do, and Bronte was born at 12.05 (noon)... I even had nurses and midwives coming up to me after to ask if it were true that I had had her so quickly... and no tearing! Whoopie!

Now I'm NOT saying it was easy - Bal showed me bite marks on his chest and his neck from being my birthing partner (I didn't remember this!), but I did it all myself... I felt it all myself, and my body controlled the pace... not a pile of drugs. I am so very proud, especially after the first experience being so truely awful. My daughter apparently cried for the full hour outside, and my partner said it was the most wonderful, and most terrifying experience of his life... mmm... mine too... and I'm planning to do it again ASAP!

I'd like to add, that my partner was WONDERFUL throughout this whole experience, which I wasn't expecting, as I'd had an arguement with him only the week before, as he still hadn't read the Hypnobabies literature, and we had still not read anything together, nor practiced anything by the time birthing began. But obviously at some point he did read it, and pulled out the trump card on the day.

When my mum got to the hospital, she didn't speak - at all - it later transpired, that when my daughter had called her at 11am to say I was now in active labour, and then again an hour later, she assumed, when seeing the number that the call was to say that I'd died!!!

For the next week, all she said was... "these natural things really work don't they?"... they're natural - why wouldn't they work??? Well, that's my glorious Hypnobabies Birth story of how Bronte-Elizabeth came into the world, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and wish you all an equally wonderful birth... and it will be wonderful... naturally! xxxxxxxxxx
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
My EDD for this little girl, baby #5, was 3/25. All day 3/20, I contracted irregularly but steadily. At noon we went to a family picnic/bingo perty the kids had been looking forward to.  Then around 4pm, we headed 40 miles up to the city where I'd planned on birthing for a b-day party for my nephew.  Everyone kept asking me how I was feeling & I said "fine," not wanting to make a big deal about the waves I was still feeling. I was a bit concerned because the baby had felt posterior since I woke up & I wanted to go home & crawl around or spend some time leaning over a chair to encourage her to turn, as I had been doing for weeks.  By 8pm we left & I said I just wanted to get home to lay down & see if the waves were going to go away & to better time them.  On the drive, my waves were 10-12 min apart.  They still were completely comfortable, but were longer-lasting than in previous days.

Back at home, my husband put the kids to bed, showered, & packed a bag.  Bags for me & the kids had been in the van for a couple of weeks.  I listened to the Hypnobabies Deepening track while sitting on my birth ball, leaning over the arm of the couch.  Waves were still coming about every 10 min. It was almost 10pm, so before it got too late I thought I'd better called my midwife & my MIL, who would be watching the kids, to let them know this probably was "it."  Then I leaned forward over some pillows on the coffee table & watched some tv while sipping red raspberry leaf tea & timing my waves.  They became 5-7 min apart.  My 10-yr-old son said he was too excited to sleep, so I had him arrange the "nurse cookies" I had in the freezer onto a tray.  My husband came downstairs to check on me & I said "let's go." We put the birth ball & the sleepy kids in the van & headed the 40 miles back into town, me with my Ipod on the Birthing Affirmations.

I called my MW again & my in-laws, who met us in the hospital parking lot & hopped in our van to take the kids to their house.  We checked-in at midnite, with my Ipod still on.  My husband dimmed the room lights.  I gave the nurse my birth plan & she just said, "ok, no IV," like it was no big deal & didn't even place a heplock, though I'd offered.  She did a 20-min monitoring strip then only monitored intermittently after that. My MW, Donna, arrived around 1am, & said I was "a stretchy 4, and thin" & offered to break my water, but I said I'd rather wait a bit.  I knew things would get more intense once it was broken, & I wanted to be further dilated first.  She asked if I was hungry then brought me chicken soup & left us alone for a bit.  I knew I should try to sleep, but I was too excited.

At 2:30, 6cm, Donna broke a small trickle in my bag & waves very gradually began to increase in intensity & frequency.  I put the ball in bed with a pillowcase draped over it & knelt, leaning my upper body on the ball. During each wave I would use my peace cue, focus on relaxing my hands & listening to Kerry's voice on my ipod, & I would drop my hips limp & low & wide, envisioning, not the baby moving down, but just a general idea of downward motion, of a sort of a tidal pull.  I was still generally comfortable—the waves feeling about like strong menstrual cramps.  In between waves my husband, Donna, & I basically chatted.  I remember hearing my husband "warn" Donna that I'd birthed our last baby on all-4s, so she'd expect I'd be staying in the position I was in. Donna asked if I'd want to get in the tub or shower & I mumbled "too late."

After 2 or 3 stronger waves that came very close together, I suddenly said I felt pushy & heard Donna push the call alarm for the nurses.  With the next wave the baby's head started crowning & I remember saying "here she comes" & automatically pushing.  Donna said "wait, don't push yet" & I said "I'll try" but it was hard to hold back.  I pushed anyway & my husband said Donna had barely reached the end of the bed when the head was out.  I heard her saying "easy, easy" as I instinctively pushed along with 2 or 3 fast waves, & at 3:36am Julia Kathleen was born.  8lbs 4oz.  From feeling "pushy" to the baby in my arms could barely have been 3 minutes.

They lay the baby on the bed underneath me & helped raise her up to my belly/chest & slipped a blanket under her.  They rolled me over to my back so I could hold her on my chest.  She nursed & snuggled for an hour while I delivered the placenta.  Then my husband cut the cord & they took Julia to the warmer next to me & bathed her & did the newborn stuff.

Donna was happy with my birth position & said she's sure it helped the baby turn to a good LOA birth presentation herself.  My husband kept saying for days how amazing the birth was—how calm and quiet and fast.  I think my calmness is why Donna was so surprised when the baby suddenly appeared.  I was surprised myself. I mean, I could feel the intensity increasing, but I kept thinking, "ok, it's going to get bad soon," but instead it was like I just snapped my fingers & Julia was here.  The actual pushing-out was not p***less, exactly, but totally manageable & gentle.  I barely broke a sweat.  No stitches, no tearing, no hemorrhoids, barely even swollen-feeling afterwards.  Couldn't have asked for much better than that!

--Kerry Beth
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I want to start by saying I am 45 years old and this is my first child.  My pregnancy went perfectly and I only gained 30 pounds.  I ate healthy and continued to exercise through out my pregnancy.  I began using Hypnobabies at 18 weeks.  I have always been a big believer in the power of suggestion and positive affirmations so I was sure that this was going to work for me.

I was just 2 days short of 37 weeks along.  It was a Saturday morning around 3AM when my water started leaking.  At 3PM I called my midwife to speak to her about the best course of action (if any) since I had not really had any pressure waves yet and was still 3 weeks before my guess date.  She recommended I go to the hospital to get tested to ensure that it was in fact my water that had broken because it seemed like such a slow leak.

I arrived at the hospital around 5:30PM.  I was tested; my water was leaking and I was only 1cm dilated!  I was checked in to the hospital to monitor the baby to ensure he was OK.  He was doing great.  I didn't want an IV and originally agreed to a heplock but I consented to the IV with an antibiotic only because the results of my GBS test had not come back yet and my water had ruptured.

I didn't want to be induced so I requested that we wait to see if my body would begin pressure waves on their own before attempting any induction.  I put my headphones on and began listening to hypnobabies to try to get things going.  By 9:30PM there was still no change and no pressure waves.  My midwife and I decided to try cervidil to help my body move things along.

I got hardly any sleep on Saturday night because the LDR bed was really uncomfortable; I was hooked up to the monitors and had an IV in my arm.  In addition, I really don't like hospitals.  The next morning at 9:30AM I was checked again and I was still only 1cm dilated.  There was no change.  I was so disappointed that there was no natural progression even with all my attempts at relaxation.  Although my baby was still doing well my midwife was concerned because my water had naturally ruptured over 30 hours ago so we decided to induce with pitocin.

Immediately my headphones were glued to my ears as I listened to all my Hypnbabies tracks.  Pressure waves began slowly around 10AM.  At first they felt like I was doing a crunch without moving and as time passed they progressed.  Around 2PM the nurse told my husband to go get something to eat because "it was going to be a while".  I thought my pressure waves were progressing nicely but I was so exhausted after not sleeping for the last 2 nights that I needed a break.  So I pulled off my headphones and the pressure waves slowed a little to give me a break but shortly afterward they came on so fast and furious it was like a freight train barreling through my body.

20 minutes later I told my midwife I didn't think I could do this.  She said "lets just wait until your husband gets back from lunch and we'll check how far along you are".  I don't think they had any idea how far along I was.  I replied "I don't think I can wait".  She agreed to check me right away.  As she was checking me I recall her turning to the nurse and saying "Get her husband back in here NOW..SHE'S GOING TO HAVE THE BABY".  I was already 9.5cm dilated.  They called my husband, he dropped his lunch and ran back to the hospital and arrived just in time.  I was squatting at the edge of the delivery table hanging on to the bar.

I remember the nurse saying "Do you feel pressure like you have to move your bowels and I replied "it's time for me to push".  In 2 pushes the baby crowned…I don't think I was comfortable anymore as I was tired and cranky and just wanted to see my baby.  At this point I said to my midwife "just pull him out" and she replied "I can't grab his ears yet" (she's certainly has a sense of humor).  2 more pushes and my precious little munchkin was in my arms.  It was 2:44PM on Sunday.

It was the most amazing experience I've ever had and my baby was exactly as I had envisioned.  I believe that Hypnobabies was instrumental in a quick and comfortable birthing.  From the first contraction to the birth of my baby boy was 4 hours and 44 minutes.  I was calm and comfortable until just before the baby crowned. At which point I was still calm but I don't think I can say I was comfortable any more.

I hope my story is as inspiring to everyone that reads it as their stories were to me.  I am so thankful for having hypnobabies and an awesome midwife with a sense of humor.

New Mommy, Cheryl and little Austin James (aka AJ)
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Annabelle, my first baby and hypnobaby was born on Friday, March 12th.  I'm sorry, but my story is long!  I'm just not good at condensing these things!

I was feeling some cramping off and on Wednesday, which was my guess date, and I began to feel extremely excited.  Andrew and I made a spicy dinner and went walking afterward to see if we could help baby move down.  I had read something about "curb walking" (walking with one foot on the curb and one in the gutter), so I figured I would give that a try.  I don't think I'll ever do that pregnant again - my calves were still killing me during and days after the birth!  That night, I was having a hard time sleeping as I had begun having some more intense pressure feelings in my lower back, especially.  Sometime around 4am, I decided there was a definite pattern to them, and decided I would pay closer attention.  I picked up my ipod and put on the Easy First Stage script, using that as a timer.  My waves were consistently 6 or so minutes apart throughout the script, so afterward I decided to relax in the bath.  I soaked and got all freshened up, still timing my pressure waves at roughly 6 minutes apart - some coming as close as 5.  There had been a power outage in the night, so I knew Andrew's alarm wouldn't go off.  I woke him at his usual 6:45 and told him it was time to get up, but that maybe he should just stay home today.  He called and let his shop know he wouldn't be in and we had a bit of cuddle time.  We decided to get up and have some breakfast and take a walk.  I was starting to have discomfort in my lower back with each wave, so we stopped and Andrew applied counter pressure with each one, which was helpful.  We went back inside and I timed a few more waves.  By now they were closer to 3-4 minutes apart.  I decided to call the hospital to let them know I would probably be in sometime that day and to find out which doctor was on call so that I could mentally prepare for that.  No such luck - they wouldn't tell me over the phone.  My plan was to stay home as long as possible, so Andrew and I just hung around the house and prepared things all morning.  He had a quick 11:30 dentist appointment and things with me seemed to be moving along at a slow, easy pace so we decided he should keep it and I rode along just incase things should speed up.  I hung out in the car listening to my headphones and trying to stay relaxed.  Afterward, we headed home, had some lunch, and walked a bit more.  Things seemed to be speeding up, so we started getting excited.  I decided to clean the floors and get the house ready to come home to, so I set to work on that, with pressure waves 3-4 minutes apart the whole time.  By the time I got ready to mop, Andrew had tired of watching me stop to breathe through waves, so he told me it was time to stop.  We decided to head in the direction of the hospital and if things hadn't picked up any more, we would walk on the beach for awhile before heading all the way up.

*BOP* During the car ride, I started to lose focus.  I was really feeling intense pressure, which I had to admit was not at all comfortable, in my back.  I started to cry, feeling like I was failing.  Between waves, I put my headphones back on and tried to get back to a relaxed state.  When we neared the hospital, Andrew realized he had left all of my snacks at home, and I knew I would want some things to keep my energy up during the rest of my birthing time, so we changed our plan and went to the store across the street from the hospital to stock up on vegetable broth, juice, and Lara Bars : )  Instead of heading back down to the beach, we decided to go on base (military hospital) and just walk around the track for awhile.  After two laps, I was tired and hot, so we decided to head over and find out how things were progressing.

It was an incredibly, uncharacteristically busy time in the hospital, so the nurse I had spoken with in the morning had not prepared my chart and the staff did not seem happy to see me.  We waited awhile while they prepared a place for me in triage.  The nurse took us back and immediately handed me a gown (my birth plan said I would not wear a hospital gown) and gave hurried orders for me to change and give a urine sample.  When she walked out, I hugged my husband and cried.  I felt so frustrated.  They put me on the monitors to see how things were going and my pressure waves started to slow down - quite possibly as a result of the terrible feeling the hospital experience had given me so far.  They monitored for awhile and then checked my cervix to find me at barely 3cm.  They recommended that we take a walk and then come back in two hours, but after that experience and 12 hours with so little change, I just wanted to go home.  I was almost completely effaced and baby was at zero station, so I knew it wouldn't be long, but I needed some rest.

Back at home, I took another bath and then tried to sleep between waves while listening again to easy first stage.  Andrew made a heat compress for my back and that, too, helped me to relax.  We slept a bit together and at some point during the night I decided that I was, in fact, in pain, and that it was a signal from my body to do something.  I got out of bed and alternated between sitting on my birthing ball and laying my upper body across the couch between waves and actually getting up on the couch on all fours and doing pelvic tilts during them.  After awhile, I really began to sense some change and went back to bed to try to time a few more.  They seemed to be coming at 2-3 minutes apart by now and I felt things intensify.  I went to the bathroom, where I had my "bloody show", which gave me some reassurance that I was right - things were moving along.  I continued with my pelvic tilts while Andrew called the hospital and again got the car ready.  *End BOP*

This time, I intended to arrive relaxed and focused, so I started a script before getting in the car, where I curled up with a blanket, closed my eyes, and just focused on my relaxation.  Once there, I kept listening while my husband talked with the nurses and they readied triage for me.  This time, when directed to put on the gown, I smiled and let them know that I wasn't planning to wear one.  They seemed a little surprised, but informed me when they came back in again that they saw I had a birth plan and had read it.  From that point on, everything I had asked for was noted by every person who came into contact with me.  It was amazing.  I didn't even have to use the extra copies I had brought of my birthing preferences, because everyone made a point of reading the copy the doctors had put in my chart.

Once hooked up to the fetal monitors, my waves slowed down again, but I tried to stay calm, confident, and excited as I waited, and listened to Easy First Stage.  When the doctor came in to check my cervix this time, I was pleased to hear that I was 6cm and fully effaced.  I wasn't at the 8 or 9 I was hoping for, but that was okay.  *BOP* Upon confirmation that this was the real deal, the nurse who had been working with us wanted to insert my heparin lock.  I never wanted one in the first place, but this was an area where I agreed to compromise because it was very important to the doctors.  So, I didn't have an IV, but I did agree to have a hep lock in place.  I was feeling very uncomfortable, strapped to the chair and monitors in triage and really wanted to wait until I was a bit more comfortable to have the hep lock inserted.  The nurse, however, had a different plan.  Suddenly, she was sitting next to me, prepping my arm.  I asked if she could wait and she completely and totally ignored me and stuck the needle in.  I was furious.  The only other difficult part in triage was when the doctor came in to go over consent forms with me.  I had pre-registered, so I thought I was done with paperwork and was glad I hadn't been asked  to sign anything okaying the full range of interventions.  Apparently they save all that for when you're admitted.  The doctor started in with a statement about how childbirth is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do today, which I thought was completely inappropriate, and then went on to carefully go over everything he needed me to consent to.  I sat and listened as he explained the circumstances in which I might need a blood transfusion, a C Section, and so on.  He went into the risks of each, all things I knew and all things I really didn't need to be hearing right then.  If I birth in a hospital again, I will make every effort to take care of paperwork like this ahead of time, and to shush the doctors if a similar situation arises.  At least he paused when I was having pressure waves!  *End BOP*

The hospital was more full than it had ever been so I had to wait awhile in triage while they moved a mom from one of the birthing rooms to a postpartum room and cleaned it for me.  I was absolutely thrilled when change of shift came and a nurse who I know came on and asked for me.  She worked at the local birthing center prior to coming on at the hospital so she's very respectful of natural birth and is just extremely warm and caring.  When she came in and let me know she was going to be my nurse, I knew immediately that things were going to be so much better during the rest of my stay : )  Soon the doctors changed shifts as well, and I learned one of my favorites, a doctor who trained along with midwives, came on.  Everything was working out beautifully.

I was finally in my room sometime around 8:00am.  *BOP* Once there, I spent 20 minutes out of each hour on the fetal monitors and these were the most challenging times.  It was hard for me to work with the pain in my back when I was stuck in bed. *End BOP*  When the monitors were off, everything was wonderful.  It was just me and my husband in the room and he was so good.  He applied heat and pressure to my back, let me lean on him as needed, and reminded me to relax and breathe with every wave.  I can truly say that each hour felt like much less.  The time went very, very quickly.  I used the windowsill to squat, bounced on the birthing ball, stood and swayed back and forth, and also worked through quite a few intense waves in the ... restroom.  That turned out to be one of the most comfortable positions - I wish I could have pushed there!  I vocalized more than I expected I would, with rather loud mms and aahs as my waves peaked.  That and the breathing gave me something to focus on and was quite helpful.  I am so glad that I had the practice with deep breathing from each script, because that was really what got me through and helped me to stay relaxed and focused through the more intense waves.  My nurse commented a few times that I was "so relaxed and zen."

At around 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon, the doctor came in and checked my cervix again.  She said that I had only a slight anterior lip of cervix and could gently bear down at any time, but that I should let them know when I really felt the urge to push.  My membranes were still intact at this point, and the doctor explained that she didn't feel it was a good idea for a full term baby to be born en caul.  I had in my birthing preferences that I did not want my membranes ruptured artificially, because I did not want my pressure waves to intensify before it was time.  However, I had never heard of any concerns over the baby being born in the bag of waters.  I didn't have any background knowledge on the issue, and I was becoming quite tired, still with no urge to push, so I decided to trust the doctor on that one and sometime around 3:30 I had the nurse bring her in to break my water.  Either my waves didn't intensify all that much, or I had successfully brought myself deeper into relaxation, but the next bit was just very exciting.  I knew that the time was near.  I began feeling the urge to push several waves later, so the nurse checked my cervix and said she didn't think I'd be pushing for long.  She went to notify the doctor and the corpsman who would take care of everything for the baby came in as well.  Then, the nurse and my husband went about setting up the squat bar.  I started out trying to use that, but couldn't quite get the hang of it.  Instead, my husband sat on the edge of the bed and I squatted on the ground in front of him, using him as support.  Pushing was wonderful.  I just loved knowing that I was that close to holding my baby.  When it got close enough that I could feel her head, I decided to move to a side lying position, as it felt best to push hard, and I didn't want to push her out faster than my body could stretch.  I moved up to the bed and Andrew stayed right beside me while the OB literally sat on the end of the bed and waited.  She was totally hands-off, which I really appreciated.  The nurse held my foot up during pressure waves so I had something to press against.  At one point, I guess my leg got very near the doc, because she said I could feel free to prop my foot on her shoulder!  Such a wonderful doctor!  Up to this point, the baby's heart rate had been beautiful, but toward the end, the doctor grew concerned over how deeply it was decelerating and said that I needed to get her out with the next couple of pushes.  At this point, I really started pushing long and hard.  She was coming, but it took more than a couple of pushes.  Finally, the doctor calmly said I could either push really hard now, or we could cut an episiotomy.  I think she knew that was the motivation I needed.  My response was an exhausted, "Let's do the not episiotomy one!" and my beautiful daughter was out in the next two pushes.

It happened so fast that I didn't even fully realize she'd been born until she was on my chest.  She was perfect.  I was surprised to see a full head of dark hair.  She looked just exactly like her daddy.  I just enjoyed holding her skin to skin while the corpsman came over and started rubbing her vigorously with a very coarse towel. That part broke my heart and I got a bit protective.  I told him she was fine and he said she had to get dry or she'd get cold.  I told him to put blankets over her and she'd be fine.  I was too busy staring my baby to tell which, but either the doctor or the nurse backed me up on that one and soon I was snuggling my sweet girl without any other unwanted hands disturbing us.  We bonded while the doctor gave me a few stitches.  I gave the baby a few minutes to see if she would go to the breast on her own.  She inched toward it, but didn't show an interest in latching just yet.  Eventually, I handed her over to her daddy so he could take her over for her measurements.  I just stared - he looked so comfortable holding her.  She was a tiny 6lbs and 15oz and 19.25 inches long.  When I got her back, she nursed a bit and the three of us were left alone to bond.

I had to be moved to another room for the night as my room was needed for another birthing mom.  Unfortunately, because the hospital was so full, Andrew was not allowed to stay the night with us.  Around 10pm, he headed home to get some rest.  I kept my bed in a semi-reclining position, so that I could sleep with my sweet girl in my arms.  The next morning, we were both doing well enough that I was able to convince the pediatrician and the OB to send us home early.  Their general rule is to keep first time moms for 48 hours, so we were happy to be heading out the door immediately after Annabelle's 24 hour screening.

I believe I really could have practiced my hypno-tools more.  I never felt that I could really visualize my birth, and I very seldom practiced my finger drops.  I could have prepared myself better, but I'm so glad that I used the program.  I truly felt confident and relaxed most of the time and I was able to accept everything that my birthing time brought.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Lily's birth was amazing!  I was dilated to a 4 for at least a month before my birthing time began with a lot of irregular, but strong practice waves, so I was very ready.  I had been planning on having this baby on the 26th.  I was pretty relaxed all Christmas day, but come evening I really started nesting and getting my home in an acceptable condition.  I got showered and did my hair, just in case.  I think subconsciously I sensed it coming.

I got a good strong wave at 10:30 Christmas night and they kept coming, but they weren't regular and some seemed to never end.  It was weird.  I thought, there is no way this is real.  But my doula came anyway about 11:30 or something and she was totally patient and supportive.  Matt was great, too.  The minute he saw me get down on the floor at 10:30 he was right by my side.  That’s when I really began to focus on my hypnosis.  Then I went in to the bedroom and got my birthing day cd going in head phones and sat on my birthing ball leaning on the bed.  This was my favorite position.

I was worried about being too tired since I hadn’t really napped that day and we were getting into night time.  I think it was about 1 when I decided to try resting in bed.  The deal was I would either get some sleep or if that wasn’t working I’d do what I needed to to  get things really going.  I couldn’t sleep.  So I hopped in the shower to regroup and Matt got in with me because I didn’t want to be alone.  We tried some nipple stimulation and it seemed to help and I was able to lean on him during my birthing waves.  It was a really special bonding time for us and probably one of my favorite parts of my birthing time—just to be all alone with him, trusting my body to do it’s wonderful magic.  We didn’t need anyone but each other in that moment.  It was really neat.

Then I got back on my trusted birth ball.  ( I had done a lot of my finger drop practice like this so it was very familiar and comfortable for me.)  At about 2:30 I decided I needed to go to the hospital because I didn't want to be in the car when things were even more intense.  So we left at about 3.  Turns out the car was the most relaxing place for me during the entire birthing time.  I was really able to focus on my hypnosis (which worked quite well and kept me very calm).

We got to the hospital about 3:30.  They almost didn't even admit me to the Labor and Delivery unit because the monitor wasn't showing any contractions.  Weird.  Plus I was so calm.  I just listened to my birthing day cd with headphones and totally ignored everyone.  Matt answered all the questions.  The nurse was totally annoyed, but I didn’t care, I was having my baby and she was just getting in my way.  J  Anyway, they almost didn’t admit me, but the midwife on call (I saw 6 midwives who rotated being on call) took me anyway.

I thought I had to stay on the bed for the initial monitoring and it was torture to sit reclined in the bed---I just couldn’t focus very well and it was so uncomfortable.  Finally, I’m like, can I get off this bed?  The midwife was like, sure.  So I get on the birth ball again leaning against the bed.  Minutes later my water broke and there was blood.  I go in to use the bathroom and there was tons of blood in the toilet.  Not exactly normal.  So they watched things closely.

I sat on the toilet a while and leaned on Matt during waves, still listening to my cd.  Then my doula asked if I wanted to get in the tub.  It sounded like heaven.  I just ripped off my clothes and head phones and climbed in.  It felt so good.  The water in the tub was so relaxing.  Until I hit transformation.  My comment at this point was, I can’t get comfortable.  No screaming just uncomfortable.  I was getting really unsettled and couldn't find a comfortable position.

Soon after, I said, I think I'm pushing.  Then the next wave I said, I'm pushing!!  It was like I couldn't help it and really I wasn't consciously pushing.  My body was doing all the work.  My doula said I had to get out of the tub, because when she checked me she could feel the head.  I think I just knew, cause I got right out and over to the bed.  My doula said she was amazed at how fast I got out of the tub.  I never did get my headphones back on.  It was all too fast.  But I had imagined this part, visualizing my body just opening with ease, totally relaxed.

Pushing was amazing.  I laid on my side.  It just seemed like the thing to do.  My body did all the work and it was only 5 minutes of pushing.  It didn't hurt, I just felt stretching and then I never even tore!  Even though Lily was 1 pound bigger than Dianna and I did tear with Dianna.  So cool.   I never could bring myself to do perineal massage either, so I felt very good about this.  I did the aaaahhh breathing and imagined opening and that’s all I needed.

Lily Anne was born at 5:35, about 2 hours from the time we got to the hospital.  They placed her right on my tummy.  I was in heaven.  Lily didn't breath immediately, which isn’t normally a big deal with the cord still attached, but since there was so much blood when she came out, I think they were a little concerned and she wasn’t pinking up, so they took her for just a minute to get her some oxygen and stuff, then brought her right back to me.  Yay!

I was able to stay with Lily at all times.  They let me keep her until it was time to go to the nursery for a bath and then I went with her and Matt, and she stayed in my room the rest of the time we were there.  I went with her the one time she needed to go to the nursery to have her hearing tested. So perfect!

When we got to the room after her bath they were a little concerned about the amount of bleeding plus my heart rate was fast and my blood pressure was low.  They said they may need to check into it more if it didn’t change when they checked me next.  For the next hour or so I sat and used hypnosis telling myself that my bleeding was minimal and my blood pressure normal.  When they checked me next they were no longer concerned.  I really believe that my body just did what I told it to.

I feel so good after having Lily naturally, too.  The recovery has been way better than it was after Dianna (epidural, then pitocin and a1st degree tear).  I wouldn’t say the birth was painless, but it was fast, easy and very manageable.  And I can’t stop daydreaming about it.  I felt so calm and confident.  It was such a positive experience.  I am so excited to do it again.  But I would love a home birth, I think.  The transition from home to the hospital was the worst part of.

Another amazing thing about having Lily naturally is the intense attachment I have to her.  It’s just different than last time.  And she’s very attached too.  When we are asleep in bed sometimes I scoot away to giver her more room, and the next thing I know she’s smack next to me all cuddled up again.  I love it!

Anyway, I have to say, natural is the way to go and Hypnobabies is the best way to have an amazing birth experience!

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You may have read Trillian's birth story a few weeks ago.  If not, go read it!  I love it, because mom made the best choices along the way even though it was definitely not the birth she had planned, it was still empowering!   Induction at 35 weeks, epidural after 36 hours with pitocin.

Here is the video of when she was breathing her baby out.  YES, you can breathe out your baby, even with an epidural.  Mom even helped catch her own baby.

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Some background:  For my first birth, I had hoped to have a natural birth, but because I made this decision late in my pregnancy, I didn't have time to do a lot of preparation, and the birth was a little difficult—a pitocin induction due to ruptured membranes after I had been awake all night with contractions that only got me to 2 centimeters.  It was not necessarily a bad experience, but with my second pregnancy I wanted to try again.  I believe that childbirth usually goes more smoothly when you don't interfere with the natural process unless something is going wrong.  I been interested in studying hypnosis for my first birth, and I had read a book about it, but didn't have time to really learn it.  This time, I did the homestudy program from Hypnobabies.

I really enjoyed Hypnobaies during my pregnancy.  It includes daily relaxation practice, which I often used to help me relax and fall asleep.  It helped me bond with my baby, look forward to my hiss birth, had tools for helping me get rid of my fears, and helped me have more confidence in myself.

For those reading this who are unfamiliar with Hypnobabies, one of the concepts taught in it is that words have power.  Many words commonly used in pregnancy and birth have negative associations in many people's minds.  Hypnobababies replaces these words with other words, in an effort to help you be more positive.  I will be using these words during my story.  Instead of "contraction," I use "pressure waves."  I also avoid using the words "labor" and "delivery," calling it "birthing" instead, and I try to avoid using the word "pain" when talking about birth.

For those reading who are studying Hypnobabies, you may or may not need to use your bubble of peace.  I would label my birth "mostly comfortable."  Hypnobabies definitely worked for me, but there were times when I got off track and had discomfort, and I really struggled a lot during the pushing phase.  Honestly, there were times during my birthing when if someone asked at the time if I was having "pain," I probably would have said yes, but most of the time I was comfortable and felt very calm and relaxed.

On Friday, March 5, I woke up around 4:00 am having pressure waves.  I tried listening to my Hypnobabies tracks to see if I could fall back asleep, but after about an hour, I decided to get up because if the baby was going to come today, I was going to need to get a few last minute things together for my hospital bag.  I found the charger for my digital camera battery, and I sat on my birth ball at the computer, printed out some extra copies of my birth preferences, and plugged in my ipod.  I got on the internet and did some stuff and tried to time the pressure waves with the contraction master website, but they seemed to weaken while I was on the ball and were sort of hard to time.

A couple hours later, my husband Tiatia got up to go to work, and then my 2 year old Tehani got up.  My pressure waves had pretty much stopped by this point.   Tehani and I had breakfast.  I think we ate some of the blueberry muffins we had made as a project the day before.  I put on a few shows for her on the DVR and I did some cleaning.  I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen, including mopping the floor.  Then I felt tired, so I sat down and folded a load of laundry that I'd washed the day before.  Tehani and I had some chicken noodle soup for lunch.

Around 1:00 pm, after starting a load of laundry, I read Tehani some books and then I put a Hypnobabies  track on out loud and I laid down with her and we both had a nap.  I woke once during the nap to a pressure wave but went back to sleep and then had another one when I woke up around 2:30 and I think one or two more while I was lying down.  My pre-birth waves mostly came at night, so having waves during the day was unusual for me.  They were also strong enough that I was wondering if hypnosis was going to work.  I used my lightswitch and peace cue and it really helped me feel more comfortable during them.   I suspected that it would soon be time to meet my baby.  I got up and put on my headphones and listened to Birthing Day affirmations while I did some more cleaning and preparing.  I moved the load of laundry to the dryer, straightened up the living room, and got together Tehani's clothes and things she would need for staying with friends while we were at the hospital.

Tehani woke up and I think she played with toys for a little while.  I hadn't had any cervical checks from my doctor, but I had tried to feel my cervix myself.  It had felt soft and slightly open about a week before.  I decided to check it again and it felt softer and more open now, if I had to guess, I'd say about 3 cm, and I could feel how Teio's head was now against it.  I had noticed that he felt lower on Thursday morning, and at my appointment that day, Dr. I. felt my belly and said that his head was engaged.  A piece of brown-tinged mucus plug came out on my fingers when I checked myself.  I started to finish packing my hospital bag, but all the stuff I needed would not fit in the bag I had already started to pack.  I tried transferring it to another bag, but it wouldn't all fit in that one either.

I realized the waves were coming pretty frequently, so I decided to time them.  I got on the computer on the birth ball.  Pressure waves were about every 6 minutes apart.  I knew it was the real thing now.  My phone rang during a pressure wave and I wasn't able to answer it.  I was Tiatia.  He was probably calling to tell me he was getting off work and would be home soon.  I called him back, but he didn't answer.  I sent him a text saying I thought we'd be going to the hospital tonight, but I don't think he got it.

The idea of getting in the bath sounded really good to me.  I put on a DVD for Tehani (I normally try to limit her TV viewing, but I made an exception that day), and  I filled the tub and put in a few drops of lavender oil, which I had been putting in my scent diffuser during my Hypnobabies practice to help with relaxation.  I put my laptop in the bathroom so I could play my Hypnobabies tracks while I was in the tub.  I put on "Painless Childbirth" (which I think is called "Comfortable Childbirth" in the 6th edition) and lied down in the tub and relaxed.

I'd brought my phone in the bathroom and Tiatia called again.  He could tell I sounded different and I told him I was having pressure waves that were pretty intense.  He asked when I thought the baby was coming, and I told him either late that night or early the next morning.  I told him I was in the tub.  It turns out he had stopped at the Redbox on his way home and picked up a movie for us to watch that night.  Yeah, that didn't end up happening.  He got home a few minutes later and came in the bathroom to check on me and I told him I was coping fine.  He watched Tehani for a while and I guess he fed her macaroni and cheese and he also got together a bag with clothes and toiletries for himself and packed phone chargers, the video camera, the laptop, and the digital camera with it's now fully charged battery.

I listened to "Deepening" next, and continued to handle the pressure waves very well.  I really wouldn't describe what I was experiencing as painful, and I felt really in-control.  Doing the deep slow breathing and using the "peace" cue while imagining anesthesia going to my lower belly (where I felt the majority of the sensation of the waves) really helped.  I got into some different positions in the tub.  I sat cross-legged and I also kneeled .  After "Deepening" I listened to "Special Place" and Teio moved around during it, just like he did the first time I listened to it when I felt so connected to him that I got tears in my eyes.

Towards the end of the track, I lost my focus during a few waves and they started feeling really uncomfortable.  I called out that I needed help and Tiatia came in.  I told him it was really intense and I didn't know if I could do it.  I almost started crying.  I was scared.  He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I said I did.  He started making phone calls to get Tehani taken care of.  I got out of the tub and got dressed.  I divided the stuff I needed to take to the hospital between my two bags and put my lavender oil and my phone in one of them.  Then I got my ipod and my headphones, and realizing that I needed something more than the regular tracks, I put on the Birth Guide.  I regained my focus and was once again able to handle the waves.  I sat on the birth ball in the living room and leaned forward on the arm of the couch.  I told Tiatia I needed a drink, so he gave me a little bottle of apple juice and I took sips of it between waves.

Michelle came to get Tehani and she was crying and really did not want to go.  I went over to her and gave her a hug and told her it would be okay, but she didn't believe me.  Michelle asked if my water had broken and I told her it hadn't yet, then a pressure wave started, while I was still kneeling on the kitchen floor, and I had to close my eyes and do my deep breathing.  She asked, "How far apart are they?" and I couldn't answer her, both because I was still having the wave and because I didn't know, I hadn't been timing them.  Somehow Tiatia got Tehani into Michelle's car.  He came back and asked me how I was doing and I said I was feeling more in-control now.  I told him I wanted him to help me time the waves.

We went in the bedroom and I turned on a lamp instead of the light so that it wouldn't be too bright.  I sat on the birth ball and put pillows on the bed and leaned forward on the pillows.  Tiatia timed the waves with the stopwatch on his phone.  I told him I also wanted him to use the "relax" cue on my shoulder.  I once again lost focus during a few of the waves and made some noise, but the "relax" helped me relax and focus and I got back to feeling like the waves were only pressure and my anesthesia was working.  We discovered that the waves were between 2 and 3 minutes apart and were all lasting over a minute.  I was still able to talk calmly between the waves.  We decided it was probably a good time to head to the hospital.  I said we needed to call Dr. I. and told Tiatia where her number was.  At first, he wanted me to call her, but I told him to do it.  He called and told her we were going in and how close together the waves were.  She said she'd meet us there.

Tiatia loaded everything into the car, and I made sure we got the extra pillows and the birth ball. I also brought my apple juice.   I got in the back seat of our mini SUV and we took the headrest off the front seat put a pillow on top of it and leaned forward.  I continued listening to the "Easy First Stage" track.  I was actually quite comfortable during the 25 minute car ride, which was amazing because I remembered being very uncomfortable in the car last time.  When we left the house it was around 9:00 pm.

We parked and Tiatia carried a bunch of our stuff in.  We walked in and Tiatia told the receptionist at the ER admitting desk who we were.  She called the maternity center and told us they'd be coming to get us.  She asked if I wanted to walk or ride in the wheelchair, and I said I thought I'd be fine walking.  She put a hospital bracelet on me, during a wave, of course.  While we waited for them to come get us, I was standing there, drinking sips of juice between waves, and during them I'd lean on Tiatia and he'd say "relax" to me.  It felt wonderful to feel so relaxed and in control.  I remember telling Tiatia that they felt like they were coming right on top of each other now, since they were so close together and lasting so long, but I didn't say it like I was afraid, it was just an observation.  It seemed like it was taking a long time for them to come and we started to wonder what the hold up was.  The receptionist called them again.

When they finally came for us, they asked again if I wanted the wheelchair and I decided to get it because I remembered from when we came to preregister that it was a pretty long way and the waves were so close together I'd have to stop a lot.  Riding in the chair, I was able to keep doing what I had been doing.  We got to the LDRP room (not a triage room like I went to first at the hospital where I had my daughter, which I was glad of), and they already had the lights dimmed for us and Dr. I. was there.  Once the pressure wave I was having was over, I got out of the chair and was given instructions on giving a urine sample and how to wear the hospital gown.  I had another pressure wave and leaned forward on the cabinet that contained the fetal monitor machine.  Then I said I brought my own nightgown to wear, and they said that said was fine.  I told Tiatia which bag it was in, and he gave the bag to me.  I took the cup and my bag and gave the sample and got changed.

Dr. I. had me get in the bed so they could put the monitors on me and she could check me.  She said that if I needed to move during waves, I could.  It turned out I was able to use my hypnosis to stay comfortable in the bed (with the head of it raised) during pressure waves, which is something I couldn't do during the unmedicated part of my first birthing.  Dr. I. checked me and, drum roll, please…I was 8 centimeters!  I looked at Tiatia and said how happy I was to be so far along.  He had a big smile on his face.  Dr. I. showed me how big that was on the dilation chart.  She asked Dianne to get a birth ball (we'd left mine in the car—one man can only carry so much) so I could sit on it, which sounded great to me.  I sat on the ball and leaned forward on the bed.

Dr. I. asked what the results of my GBS culture had been and I said she'd never told me, so I'd assumed negative.  Someone came to take my blood, and I barely felt it.  Then Dr. I. said they were going to need to give me an IV for antibiotics because it turns out I tested positive for GBS .  At first I said "okay," but then I said I wasn't sure if I wanted the antibiotics because I'd done reading on it and there are risks to the antibiotic use, too.  Dr. I. said that the antibiotic they use is mild and that it would be to protect the baby.  I agreed to get it, and now I do think that was the right decision because had I known I was positive beforehand, I would have done natural remedies to make it less likely for the baby to be infected.  Dr. I. said that it was good that my water hadn't broken yet, since the membranes being intact for longer reduces the risk of infection, and she said it would be best to (as I'd requested) wait until it broke on its own.

It took at least 4 tries and 3 different people to get an IV in me.  Apparently the veins in my hands are deceptive—they look great, but when you try to put the needle in, it doesn't work.  They ended up putting it on my left forearm.  Getting stuck multiple times was really uncomfortable and quite frustrating, so I was relieved when they got it in.

After that, the memories are not completely clear.  I remember Dr. I. suggested some different positions.  I know I stood leaning forward for a few waves.  Someone was behind me with their hands on my hips, but I have no idea who it was.  I think after that she wanted me to try kneeling, so she adjusted the bed so that I could kneel on the foot of it and rest my head and arms on the middle part.  I think that when I went to get into that position is when I vomited all over the floor, but I knew that was a good sign, a sign that I was nearing full dilation, and I also had read that the act of throwing up can help your body open up faster.  I remember saying that I felt better after throwing up.  I also remember saying I felt shaky, and Dianne said that meant I might be in transition.  The kneeling position was comfortable, and I was still very focused and relaxed, using my hypnosis, restarting the "Easy First Stage" track on my ipod whenever it ended.  I think Dr. I. checked me in this position and I was 9 cm.

Soon I started to say "Ah" at the peaks of the pressure waves, and Dr. I. asked if I was feeling rectal pressure and I wasn't yet.  Then a few waves later I said I was starting to feel it.  Sometime around this time, "Easy First Stage" ended again and I let "Pushing Baby Out" start playing.  Dr. I. had me get back in the semi-seated position and checked me again, and she said there was a lip on my cervix and the baby's head needed to rotate a little more.  I continued to "Ah" all through the waves, and that felt good.  I think Dr. I. had me get on my side.  She told me that if I really felt I needed to push at the peaks of the waves, I could.

After a while, she checked again, and the lip was still there, so she tried having me push while she held back the lip.  That was very uncomfortable and it didn't work.  It was during this that my water finally broke.  She told me to try not to push for a while.  Now that I had pushed, I felt like I needed to keep pushing.  From this point on, I was never able to really get back in the peaceful place I had been before.  It also didn't help that I had never actually listened to "Pushing Baby Out" all the way through to make sure it was okay and it turns out the track on my iPod was incomplete, so it would just stop in the middle of something.  I felt panicked and very out of control and was not comfortable at all.  As the waves would peak, I'd yell "I CAN'T NOT PUSH!" and would try to push only as much as I absolutely had to.  Dianne had to tell me to slow down my breathing so I wouldn't hyperventilate.  At one point, Tiatia kissed me (if you're unfamiliar with why this is helpful, read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin), and that did help me relax some. I was touched that he thought to do that, that he actually had paid attention to some of the stuff I'd shared with him from my reading.  I also switched from "Pushing Baby Out" to "Deepening" because I wasn't supposed to push yet, and then I never went back to "Pushing Baby Out."

Somehow I got past the really intense part of not being able to push and moved on to the really intense part of trying to push.  Dr. I. said I could change positions if I wanted (I was now back to semi-seated), but I didn't want to move.   Dianne pulled some handles up from underneath the bed and told me I could hold on to them while I pushed.  I started pushing, but the way I was pushing wasn't working.  Dr. I. noticed I was tightening my pelvic floor, so she and Dianne had to tell me to relax that area and focus on pushing with my abdominal muscles.  Not everyone has to push like that, but apparently I do, or at least did with this baby.  Dianne got right in my face and Dr. I. told me to look at her.  She told me to hold my breath and push.  She did count to 10 during some of the pushes, but for most of them she didn't count and I only pushed as long as I felt I could, and for some of them I did breathe out instead of holding my breath.  Dianne also told me not to start pushing when the wave started, but to wait until it built.  I was not able to relax the rest of my body while pushing, and as a result, I was very sore the next day.  I also burst a blood vessel in my eye.

At some point during the pushing phase, Dr. I. said something about wanting to put in an internal fetal monitor because the external one wasn't doing a good job of tracking his heart rate.  At first I said "okay," but then my inner advocate kicked in and I said I didn't want the monitor screwed on my baby's head.  Dr. I. told Dianne to adjust the external monitor and it picked his heart rate up better.  I was glad I stood up for my baby.

Once I got pushing figured out, it wasn't too long before I felt him in the birth canal.  The feeling when he crowned was very, very intense.  It didn't feel like burning to me, though, it felt like the gentle version of  perineal  massage I had done a few times, only about 10 times more intense.  Looking back on it, the feeling was kind of cool, but at the moment I really wanted it to be over.  I wanted to keep pushing, but Dr. I. told me that my perineum would stretch better if I waited for the next pressure wave.  His head was out with the next wave and I had to keep pushing his body.  I remember Tiatia reminding me to breath in, because I just wanted to keep pushing.

Teio was born at 1:47 am.  I reached down and pulled him up onto my own belly, which is something I had wanted to do ever since I'd seen it on a video.  They put a towel on him and I talked to him and rubbed is back.  He was a little purple and not crying.  The other nurse, whose name I didn't get, told me she was going to have to take him.  Dr. I. clamped the cord and Tiatia cut it.  Tiatia took a video of Teio getting deep suctioned and being given oxygen.

Dr. I. had me push out the placenta.  Then, she and Dianne started doing uterine massage ,and my uterus wasn't firming up and I was bleeding too much.  Teio wasn't ready to breastfeed yet, so they put pitocin in my IV.  A little while later, I was still bleeding more than they like to see, so Dianne gave me a shot of methergine in my thigh.

When Teio was ready, the nurse brought him back to me before dressing him or anything so I could hold him skin-to-skin.  He latched right on and has done a great job nursing ever since.  After we had some time to nurse and bond, the nurse weighed him and he was 7 lbs 10 oz—7 oz bigger than his sister was.  She diapered and dressed him.  Dr. I. showed me the placenta, which was really cool.  She showed the maternal side and the membranes that held Teio as he grew.  This was really interesting to me.

I felt amazing after the birth.  The hormone rush was really awesome feeling.  I was so proud of myself for doing it unmedicated and for feeling so in control for much of the time.  I really believe I couldn't have done it without Hynobabies.  Dr. I. told me that she thought I should get certified to teach the program like I had told her I was considering doing if I found it helpful during my birth.  I was up taking a shower soon after.  It felt really good to be able to shower.  It was a little difficult still having the IV attached because I wasn't wearing a hospital gown, so I had to leave one strap of my nightgown around the IV line, and when I tried to put the nightgown back on, it got all tangled around the line and Dianne had to help me fix it.

Because of my positive GBS status and only getting one dose of antibiotics (you're supposed to get 2 doses, 4 hours apart, but I wasn't at the hospital long enough), they wanted to keep Teio in the hospital for 48 hours to watch him for signs of infection, since about 80 percent of newborn GBS infections show up during that time period.  I loved that I didn't have to switch rooms at all during my hospital stay and that, because the same nurses who help with the births also do postpartum care, on our last night we got to see Dianne again.

Dianne said she had read my birth preferences and I could tell she really made an effort to follow them.  She told us that the reason she left us in the ER so long was because my birth preferences said I didn't want it loud and she wanted to do all the noisy room set up before they brought me in.  She also said how surprised she was when Dr. I. said I was 8 centimeters, because I wasn't acting like it.  We talked about how difficult my pushing phase was, and Dianne said that it looked like I was actually pushing right, and Teio just wasn't coming down.  She said normally women don't need to push with their abdominal muscles.  She said she was actually thinking they were going to need to use the vacuum extractor, but she hadn't suggested it because she knew I wanted minimal intervention.  Tiatia mentioned that he'd actually yelled "relax" at me when I was panicking, and Dianne said that caused me to suddenly focus.  I don't even remember that, but I guess my subconscious recognized the cue, so my hypnosis training did help more than I thought it did during pushing.

Teio is a very cute and so far is a good baby.  His birth was an amazing experience that taught me so much about the capabilities of my mind and body.
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Lily’s Birth as told by her daddy, Trevor...

Lily was born Monday at 8:24am. All natural, a healthy Hypno-Baby! Kendra was absolutely amazing!!!

3am, Sunday night - Kendra felt some pressure. More of a "menstrual cramp" type of pressure. I timed her waves and they were 2 mins. apart! But she was so relaxed. We went to the hospital. She had her headphones on : ) and the nurse looked her over and said Kendra was 2.5 cm and (you are not going to believe this) "If you were really in labor, you would not be so relaxed." I laughed when I heard it. She was going to send us home!

Because her waves were so close together and Kendra's explaining that they were pretty intense actually, she asked us to walk the halls for an hour. So we did. 6am...About 35 mins. into the walking Kendra's waves got pretty intense. She'd stop and hang on me and I'd say, open...open...open...Release. And then after a few times it happened. Kendra vomited (is that a word?) and her water released simultaneously. Wow! Then I ran and got the nurse and into the room we went.

I put on the CDs and Kendra listened to the “Fear Release” and “Deepening” CDs and waited. She was very relaxed and quiet. The waves would come and I'd relax her more. At about 8am she felt what we thought was an intense wave and the nurse came in. I told her that they were getting pretty intense and that she felt a little "pushy." This same nurse that almost sent us home said "Don't worry, she's got a while to go."

A new nurse came in about a minute after and began to examine Kendra. She said "You're at 10 cm and I can see the head! Kendra pushed for 5min-10min and there Lily was! Kendra went from 2.5cm to 10cm in an HOUR! Lily had the cord around her neck and her heart rate went down to 60, but she was fine, Kendra was healthy and I was in shock : ) It happened so fast that I didn't even get the on-call doctor's name until after. We didn't even get a chance to use the birthing ball (I carried that thing in with pride!).

We are home now and Lily and Kendra are doing fine. The Hypnobabies birthing was a success! We are so grateful that we found your class.

Thanks again Carole. We'll keep in touch. Trevor

Lily's birth as told by her mama, Kendra...a few days later

Hi Carole,

I just wanted to give you an update and thank you for helping us through such an amazing event.  I am so glad we were able to take your class.  I felt so prepared and calm.  The things that really helped were:

*Understanding the natural process my body was doing to prepare before and during labor:  The baby dropping down, the birthing waves, the baby pushing herself out with her feet, positioning.

*Practicing the “finger drop” to enter hypnosis instantly, and having Trevor tell me "relax" and "open".  The "open" really worked since I went from 2 cm to 10 in an hour.   : )

* The idea of a birthing “wave” was perfect for me.  My stomach was actually moving like a wave.  Also, I grew up swimming in the ocean.  When a big set would come I would just dive down deep under each wave and relax, knowing it would pass over me.  I'd come up and do the same for the next wave.  Fighting the wave would only make things bad.

*Because I had the attitude that everything was going to be fine and my wonderful baby was coming helped me stay totally calm and focused even when things got crazy (cord around the neck, lowered heart rate). *I can't say I didn't feel some discomfort but it was totally manageable.  I was concerned when I thought "Okay, a centimeter an hour.  I have 8 more hours!"  The words Epidural Express went through my head; that's too catchy of a phrase.  That's when they checked me and said "There's the head and you're ten centimeters"  So 8 hours was only 5 minutes.  The pushing was actually more comfortable than the waves.  I think that's what everyone is afraid of and it's really not a big deal.

Anyway I am so grateful to you.  There is no way to thank you enough.  Everyone says I was so lucky to have such a quick and easy birth.  I was, but it wasn't luck alone.  They were all so skeptical of Hypnobabies, but now they're not.


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I just wanted to quickly write down my story because I enjoyed reading other people's birth stories on here -- and hopefully inspire those who are contemplating Hypnobabies, because I believe it truly worked for me.

First of all, I had my doubts. Not of the efficacy of the Hypnobabies method, but rather of my own diligence in practice and the amount of support I received by those around me. I fell asleep during scripts, I fell asleep during practice when I did practice at all, I hardly did any of the prenatal exercises recommended, never got around to inflating my birthing ball, packed my hospital bag and wrote my birth plan at the very last minute, I wasn't detailed in my visualization of the birth, my husband never practiced with me, I took a long hiatus in my listening to the scripts when we moved during my 37th week, when I also had to find a new OB, baby was posterior despite visits to chiropractor... the list goes on. I was the quintessential worst student ever. And yet somehow everything came together and I had the most amazing experience!

It started on Wednesday when I started to lose bits of my mucous plug. This continued into Thursday and along the way, I was experiencing BHs every evening. Come Friday evening, as my husband was giving our 2 yo son a bath, I felt a small gush. When my husband was done with bedtime, I told him I was suspicious about the fluid leak but that it seemed to be just a one time deal. However, to be on the safe side, let's start putting together the crib, pack my hospital bag and finish tweaking the birth plan to email my OB (we had just moved into this house 3 weeks ago and everything was still in boxes!). This was about 10 PM. I told my husband I was experiencing small PWs but I wasn't sure whether these were the real thing or just more intense BHs. So we decided to time it. The PWs were coming on at 5-7 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds. He told me to rest while I can, so I put on my Pregnancy Affirmations to head to sleep at midnight.

I managed to sleep about 2 hours before deciding these PWs weren't going away. So, I went down to the kitchen to get something to eat at 2 AM. The PWs made it difficult for me to eat much. I decided it was time to inflate that birthing ball, but didn't get very far in that either. I timed myself for an hour before deciding it was time to wake my husband -- now they were coming consistently at 5 minutes apart and lasting 50 seconds. I woke my husband and he suggested I try taking a bath before we called the OB and his parents (luckily my mom came the day before to take care of our toddler). I breathed through about 5 PWs in the bathtub listening to Birthing Affirmations while my husband shaved, when I got up and said "I'm feeling a bit shaky, I think we should go to the hospital sooner rather than later." He seemed a bit shocked that I didn't want to stay home longer, and I attribute that to my outward calmness betraying the increasing intensity of the PWs.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:15 AM while the first snow fell. My OB was already waiting for us in the room they had set up for us. First the hospital wanted to monitor baby's heart rate. We did this for about half an hour because the monitor kept picking up my lower heart rate instead of the baby's. Then my OB wanted to check my cervix. Everyone, including myself, was surprised to find out that I was 8-9 cm dilated and almost completely effaced. Baby was at -2 station floating about in there because my bag of waters was still intact. So, they let me do my thing: continue listening to Kerry's voice on my iPod. I loved the Peace cue and I found Kerry repeating "relax the face, hands and pelvic muscles" extremely helpful during PWs. One of the nurses suggested that I drape myself over the back of the bed in a kneeling position, since I was favoring the hands and knees position on the bed. It was such a great position! I was whispering/moaning "peace" with each PW and imagined myself as that surfer riding each wave (thanks to someone's post on this list with that analogy -- sorry I forget who -- I love that analogy!). Then with one of the waves, there was a huge POP! and this time there was no doubt that my bag of waters broke. :)

I had a few more PWs, where I thought, "how will I know it will be time to push? I wish someone could tell me when it's time." [side note: I was induced with my first pregnancy and had an epidural, which numbed my sensation to push and therefore made me dependent on one of the nurses to check and tell me when I was fully dilated and for the monitors to tell the nurses when I was having a contraction.] Well, no sooner did that thought cross my mind, when a powerful PW hug rise up and I had an URGENT NEED to push. I remember saying something like "she's coming!" and hearing one of the nurses repeatedly scream "stop pushing! stop pushing!". And I just shook my head and said "can't." This power within is so incredible and so amazing. There's just no stopping it. I reached between my legs and felt her head. I couldn't help but smile. Then another PW rose up and the rest of her body slid out onto the bed behind me at 6:39 AM. (I found out later that the nurses wanted me to stop pushing because they wanted to come check whether the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. It wasn't.)

Kaya was placed on my chest skin-to-skin and nursed hungrily. The uterus then expelled the placenta that kept Kaya healthy all those months inside of me. Amazingly, I had no tears. Everything happened so quickly and so perfectly. As my husband said, "Better than if we could've scripted it. Except next time you get the urge to push, could you at least wait until I'm out of the bathroom?"

Thanks Hypnobabies for giving me the gift of experiencing childbirth the way it was intended. I felt like a conduit for one of Nature's most awesome powers. It was truly truly the most amazing experience of my life. Thank you to everyone on this list for contributing your knowledge, support and inspiration to people like me.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I had my beautiful baby boy on Friday 20 Nov at 7.30 pm. I have fully enjoyed being part of this group and reading many birth stories.. I have decided to share mine first Birthing Experience with you.

It was a great experience for me.. it was not exactly how I planned ..but it turned out well in the end and I am truly happy about the whole experience.

TO begin.. I have allways been nervous/scared about the process of “ Labour” and never knew how I was going to have kids just at the thought of going through it…

When I found out I was pregnant .. I immediately started to look for ways to have an “ Easier/less painfull Experience”  I came across Hypnobabies and immediately after listening  to the Relax me Script I was hooked… I don’t think I could have managed my Birthing time without it…

So here we go..

I woke up on Thursday 19th and noticed some liquid trickling.. I wasn’t sure if it was urine or my water leaking.. I checked my doc who noticed that the amniotic fluid around the baby was less than should be..told me that I would need to be induced in the morning ( I was very disappointed as I planned an all natural birth)  I came to terms with it and later that night  ( around 10 pm)I started experiencing Very Light PW’s  ( no pain ..jsut slight pressure) I was soo excited as I thought I would get to do it naturally.

5.30 am came and I needed to be in the hospital to get induced.. the PW’s didn’t get any more intense so I still had to be induced…  the doc used a tablet ..which didn’t speed things up any.. I was still giggling and laughing through each Light Wave.

He then gave me pitocine at approx 1.30 pm .. My Pw’s began to become a bit more intense and closer togther.. ( still no pain only pressure) and I breathed through them and Felt amazing after each one.

At approx 5pm the nurse checked me and said I was only 5 cm..  ( this is my first time so I didn’t know whatt to expect) I swore that I was more dialted than that… The PW’s were powerful( not painful) and I was hoping that I was more dialated ….( my  mum told me not to get discouraged as things could speed up and that I could go from 5- 10 in no time….  I was very tired and for some reason didn’t belive her.. ( she was soooo great and helped me sooo much..love her!!)

I think at this point I began to lose a lil control over my breathing as I thought that I would be in “labour” forever.. and I had no sleep the night before…

The Waves started to come A lot Stronger and closer together and I noticed that I was feeling more pain as my breathing was not controlled…. I requested pethodine and got a dose..( wish I didn’t because it didn’t help ) About  1  ½ hours later the doc checked me and I wass already 9 cm.  ( my mum was rigght I dialted quickly)   I began to feel the urge to push.. the doc told me to breath through them as I wasn’t fully dialated… I started to gain back control of my breathing and breathed through them.. I quicly was fully dialted and began to push… I was SOO tired at this point that I found it a bit difficult to push… I pushed for about 30 mins and my baby was out…

I didn’t have a Pain Free experience.. but I did have an amazing experience.. I remained in control through most of my Birthing Time.. I was relaxed and I Enjoyed the Powerful Waves that I experienced ( once I was Breathing Deeply)

I look back on how I could have done it differntly and the advice that I have is that ..DONT give up control…Even though it may not turn out the Exact way or you may hear something  discouraging.. just know that once you contiue to breath and relax .. you can let your body open up more quicly and have a quick birthing time..

All in all ..The Real preesure waves and push time was approx 6 hours.. I enjoyed it and I know that next time I will benefit even more from hypnobabies as I know the power of my mind and capablity of my body

Hypnobabies hasn’t only helped me have a great birthing time .. it relaxed me tremedously during my pregnancy and is helping me be a more relaxed mother

Thanks for all the suport and good luck... You can choose to have a great birthing time.. just have to believe in yourself...no matter what arises

God bless

Tagged in: pitocin
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We had our 5th baby, Ava on Thursday evening 7:22pm, just about 2 1/2 hours after getting to the hospital at 40 wks 4 days.

While the birth was not completely pain-free, it was manageable and I was amazed at how well I was able to handle the pushing, which is my most difficult part.

I had been having alot of prodromal labor since Saturday, so when I woke up Thurs. morning with slightly stronger pressure waves, I wasn't alarmed because they were about 20 minutes apart.  I listened to my affirmations and some other hypnobabies CD's and slept well.  We got up and started our day, the pressure waves were stronger, but I pretty much ignored them when they came and didn't worry about timing them.  I lost alot of bloody show throughout the day, so I knew the pressure waves were doing their work.

About 2 pm we went outside to clean off the carport and let the kids ride their bikes, at 2:30pm I started to feel stronger pressure waves, maybe 5 minutes apart now, but nothing serious, so I laid down to listen to the easy first stage and mostly slept and didn't really feel much at all except some pressure from time to time.  By 3:15, I felt the pressure getting really regular, so I got up and my husband and ten year old realized the pws were about 3-4 minutes apart.  I didn't want to get to the hospital too early, so I called my doctor to see if I could get checked and make sure this was it, since it just seemed way too easy.

I got to his office at a little after 4pm and was fully effaced and at 4 cm.  I was a little disappointed and really didn't want to go over to the hospital, but in the Dr.'s office my pw's were a steady 3 minutes apart and getting harder to walk through and he insisted that he thought I was moving fast and would have this baby quick.  I kept telling my husband there was no way it could be this easy and quick.

We took our time checking in and walked around a bit.  By 5 pm we were in a room, I let them do 30 minutes of monitoring while sitting on my birth ball and consented to the heplock, to make them feel better.  I snuck drinks when the nurse was gone.  At 5:30, I got off the monitor and started walking around and changing positions, as I was getting more uncomfortable.

By 6 pm, I knew without a doubt I was entering transformation.  I was amazed at how much more connected with my body I was this pregnancy. I really did know what was happening and could feel her coming down, so I just kept visualizing her sliding down.  I started to lose focus a little as things got intense and asked my husband if it would be bad to take just a little shot of staidol, but he talked me out of it and told the nurse to stop talking to me and let me focus.  So, I tuned everyone out and turned up my MP3 player.

My doctor came and checked me at 6:30pm and I was at 9cm, he asked me if I wanted my water broken and I said no, I wanted as little intervention as possible, so he said he'd wait in the halls and when I was ready for him to call.  15 minutes later I felt the urge to push, so I put on the push your baby out track and started listened.  My husband told the Dr. so they could set up, since the bed wasn't broken down.

I have congenital hip dsyplasia, which makes the pushing a little tricky and I have torn ligmanents, and broken and bruised my tailbone with my other deliveries, because of delivering on my back.  I tried to lay down, but couldn't. I turned up the push your baby out and really focused on listening to my body and what it needed to get this baby out and through the tight squeeze.  My Dr. said you do what you need to do and tell me when you're ready.  So, he sat in a corner, I climbed off the bed and squatted next to it, pushing gently betwen contractions.  Then I got on all fours for a couple contractions at which point my water broke and the baby crowned.  At that point, I turned over on my back and started pushing gently before the next contraction came, when the contraction came I gave a harder push, got her head out and then one more and there she was on my tummy looking around.

My doctor was great, he waited for the cord to stop pulsing, he waited patiently for the placenta to deliver naturally.  I had a small tear, but it wasn't bleeding, so he didn't think stitches were necessary.  He told the nurses to let me keep my baby and nurse her as long as I wanted and to not give me pitocin unless I had alot of bleeding (which I didn't).  After 5 babies the after pains were a little intense, especially with such an ardent little nurser, and that was probably the worst part of it all.

The funniest thing was that after I had Ava on my tummy for a few minute I realized I stll had my ear buds in and push your baby out on. I asked my husband to please take them out for me so I could stop visualizing my cervix as a soft gold ring!  The Dr. and nurse asked if that is what it really said and I said yes, they just laughed and said well, it worked!  I came home in less than 24 hours and have been feeling pretty good!

All in all it was a great experience, it was hard work, and I lost focus a few times, but just for a moment and then refocused (with my husband's help) and did it!  I joked with the Dr. and was able to laugh and be calm between waves, it really was great!  I have been recommending Hypnobabies (and my Dr.) to all my pregnant friends and relatives.  I got the After Your Baby CD and am loving it!

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Hello cool Hypno-moms!!!
Walif, my third child made his entrance into the world last 7 Jan 2010.

It was the best birth I had - fast, easy and comfortable.  I felt so fresh after the birth I could run for a marathon.

Everyone complimented on how calm I was in the birthing room and how fresh I looked after.

Thanks to Hypnobabies and all you supportive Hypno-moms!!!

Below is the recap of the eventful day from DH's perspective.

So he finally arrived.

At around 3pm Thursday she felt her contractions getting closer. She called Andrea the doula, and she told me to monitor it closer and of there's progress we should go to the hospital. We had packed two bags and I was checking the list to make sure we had everything when she suddenly said we had to go.

I told Minion One (Nabil) to get the bag and Minion Two (Rayhana) to get the birthing (exercise) ball and shove it in the boot of the car. Before we knew it we were in the car heading for the hospital. The ride is only about three minutes and it must have been the longest three minutes of our lives. I jumped out of the car and went straight into the Emergency Room and I was just about to shout out when I felt the stare of a thousand pairs of eyes on me. So I just asked the nearest nurse -softly- for a wheelchair for my wife who is in labour. She was wheeled into the ER and I jumped back into the car.

While I parked I saw Andrea the doula walk in with her bag-o-goodies and I felt a little bit better. I didn't know it then but apparently while seated on the wheelchair with the baby's head just about popping out of er... where babies come out from, Kolin was being interviewed According to her, shepolitely asked him if he could do this later. (There might be a different version of this story if I should ask the admissions clerk)

When I walked in I bumped into Andrea the doula, and she asked me where she was, which puzzled me because she was there the whole time while I was parking the car! Of course, the do-not-panic-under-pressure-while-the-underwear-is-being-soiled training came in and I calmly walked into the ER to ask where my wife is. "She's up in the labour room." So there we went. They must have crossed paths when she was wheeled onto the other elevator!

At this point of time I thought I would know exactly what to do having done this before. Some... time... before...

I tried to be busy. I tried to read the birth plan again - which I thought I would have time for! But nothing would register!

To cut a long story short... actually... hang on! The story is short! Kolin was in the labour room for maximum 30 minutes when he popped out. When we arrived at the hospital she was FULLY dialated. Imagine that! Any longer in the car I would have to name him Honda!

The Hypnobabies stuff works! No drugs! Not even time for an IV line to be put in -just in case. And Andrea the doula was fantastic! I had no idea what I was doing. More precisely, I had no idea what I was supposed to do! But Andrea the doula did it all!

Dr. Shiva was cool too! Kolin had discussed with her the Birth Plan (which we were to rename Birth Preference - because almost nothing goes to plan in a labour room). She kept to it. The nurses too! Thank God for that... because like I say, I thought I had time to be refreshed but I didn't!

When everything settled I realised that I only had time for one bag. I left one bag at home (which had the babies clothes in it) and my camera bag as well. We were rushed. It was mad. But we made it in time.

My wife was wonderful. Her decision to do this drug free was the bravest thing to do. It was good for the baby and it was good for her too.

Getting a doula to help us out was a great idea too. She was mainly there just in case I was at work when this happened but by the grace of God all this happened the day after I finished my last flight to start two weeks off. And she turned out better than I expected!

Thanks Andrea.

And thanks to Dr. Shiva for honouring our wishes.

The bundle of joy came out to this world at 4.05pm (Dubai time) on the 7th of January 2010 (21 Muharram 1431), weighing 2.665kg.

We've named him Walif Za'eem.

In Arabic:

Walif وليف (origin ولف) means companion, associate,comrade; friend, pal


Za'eem زعيم means leader, chief, head, boss, strongman.

I pray that my son becomes as he is named, a friend and a leader and be an asset to his brother and sister, his parents, all that he is related to and to his Ummah. Ameen.


Tagged in: birth story dad dad
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I learned about Hypnobabies from a friend, and heard of other friends who used it successfully. I received the news that with this pregnancy I was GBS negative, I was ecstatic! It meant that I didn’t have to have an IV or get to the hospital 4-6 hours before the baby went through the birth canal. This meant that I could stay at home as long as I wanted and listen to the Hypnobabies scripts. It also meant that, if possible, I wouldn’t even be given the option of an epidural.

The Appointment:

As the weeks progressed so did my body. At 40 wks +5 days the doctor told me that we had to do something, and suggested that we schedule an induction for the next day (she would be on call). One of her main concerns was that I was “all baby”. She felt the baby and she said, “He is 9 pounds.” I didn’t believe her. I looked at my husband and I didn’t want to have any medical interventions, so stripping the membranes seemed an ok suggestion. During the procedure, I tried to use my Hypnobabies’ techniques to just relax. The doctor asked if I was ok, and I said, “Yes.” She said, “You have a high pain tolerance.”

Before we left the doctor’s office, my doctor suggested we meet the mid-wife that was on-call for the night. She came in and talked with us and I told her that I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, use my Hypnobabies and then come in when I was ready. She mentioned that one time she had almost been hypnotized herself after listening to scripts during a nighttime birth. Awesome!

The Waiting:

After the appointment I went to the store to buy some last minute groceries and to fill my car with gas. Once home I worked on the computer and talked with a friend via facebook, asking her for some “natural interventions”. My four year old and I also walked down to the bus stop to pick up our six year old. Back at home, I let the girls just play together while I worked on the computer.

Around 4:50 pm the pressure waves were in the back and I decided to start timing them. They were every 5 minutes so I called my husband and told him. Then I called my neighbor and I told her that it would be soon. My husband made it home by 5:45 pm and I turned over responsibility for the kids to him. I finished up a few odd tasks.

While my husband fed the kids, I listened to the “Deepening” track. During the half hour of the track, I had about five pressure waves. During one of them I truly blocked the pressure wave’s sensation. This gave me great confidence! I reported to my husband that it worked! The Hypnobabies had worked!

The Exodus:

At 7:00 pm, I stopped timing the pressure waves (they had been 5 minutes, lasting one minute and had gone for at least 2 hours). At one point I called for my husband during a pressure wave, because I couldn’t move and I needed him in his support role. He called back and I called even louder, he came and gave me the “relax cue”. (The relax cue is when the support person puts his/her hand on the forehead and says “relax”. I’m so glad that I taught him that one thing about Hypnobabies. That would become vital later on.)

We piled all the stuff into the car. We drove to a friend’s house. My husband told the girls to pile out, and then my husband just pretty much threw the stuff at our friend. I remembered at this point (7:43 pm) that I better call the doctor’s office.

The Drive:

(BOP): As we drove out of the neighborhood, I turned to my husband and told him that I didn’t think that I could do it and that I needed to have an epidural. We had talked about this beforehand what he should say or do. He just put his hand on my hair and told me to “relax”. I kept my eyes closed and listened to a script. (end BOP)

At 7:53 pm the mid-wife called and opened my eyes long enough to tell her that we were in the car on the way to the hospital and the contractions were definitely 5 minutes apart, maybe even 3.

The Hospital Entrance:

I did have pressure waves on the way to the hospital. I tried to breathe through them and listen to a Hypnobabies’ track. When we rounded the bend at the hospital and pulled up to the Mother-Baby entrance, I saw how quiet everything was and one lone woman inside. I hoped that she would hurry and bring a wheelchair out. She did, and I was on my way, however, I didn’t feel like she was moving very fast and the wheelchair really was not the most comfortable of chairs. I didn’t say anything to the woman and she didn’t say anything to me.

The Check-in:

At the Mother-Baby desk on the third floor, I immediately stood up. (It was about 8:07 pm at this point.) The two young women standing there looked like they had all the time in the world. They asked me to fill out a form with some important information, name, date and all that stuff. Wasn’t that in the computer? I had to get away from them and focus again. So I asked where the bathroom was. They responded, and I made a beeline for the bathroom. On the way over I saw my husband out of the corner of my eye. He was fast! (He had to park the car.) Once inside I waited for him to come and finally yelled his name, maybe two times. He finally came in and I felt three rapid downward pressure movements.

The labor and delivery supervisor came over and told us that we had to get me moved out of the bathroom. (I guess she came back from where she had gone initially. When she asked the two front desk clerks where the patient had gone, they replied, “Into the restroom.” This put her into high gear. Apparently when a patient asked to see the bathroom that means the birth is not that far away.)

Outside the restroom they offered the wheelchair to me. I decided to walk and we headed to room 1. I walked fast until a pressure wave hit and my body was stalled even though my heart wanted to move. I had my IPOD in my ear. Mentally I was thinking secondarily about the questions that the nurse was asking me.

Inside the room:

BOP: Once inside the room, I asked for an epidural. A nurse said she was going to check me. There was no way that I was going to lie down so I stayed on all fours. At about that same moment a big pop happened, and my water broke. After a check, the nurse said, “You are complete.” I thought, “Complete, what does that mean?” I think I asked again about the epidural and the nurse said something like, “No, you’re not going to have an epidural, you’re going to have a baby.” (end BOP)

The Delivery:

After getting turned around on the bed so the doctor could actually deliver the baby, there was a point when my earbud for my IPOD fell out. I scrambled to get it back in and discovered that it was the “breathing my baby out” Hypnobabies’ track. I do not know how that happened but I do know that God must have made it work out such that it was there.

During the pushing my husband put counter pressure on my hips. I kept asking the nurse questions about whether they could see the head. Apparently there were about 5 or 6 pressure waves total until Kameron came out. Between the pressure waves I asked for drinks of water and was able to refocus myself. The first couple pushes I was vocal but then the last few I didn’t need to make any sound.

The Grand Entrance:

Kameron was born at 8:31 pm. When I turned to see him for the first time, I was surprised to see this large baby. He had a lot of vernix, his face was large, and he had lots of rolls of chubbiness. They took Kameron over to the weigh machine. The first report was in grams...the nurses sighed, then the result in pounds: 10 pounds 2 ounces.

The doctor did not say much but the nurses told us later how cool it was to be a part of that birth. They told me that I was so calm and controlled and they had not seen that in their many years of delivering. I told them that I had used Hypnobabies (hypnosis) and they said that it worked.

We are in love…all four of us! We feel so blessed!
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Michael is a Hypnobabies Instructor and had a beautiful home birth with her 1st and 2nd baby.   She was hoping for another home birth with her 4th, but due to true medical need a hospital induction happened at 35 weeks.

I read Michael's birth story and was impressed with how being an educated consumer, choosing your care provider wisely and standing up for yourself during your birth (even in less than ideal circumstances) you can still have a lot of freedom.

After 3 days with little or no sleep Michael did choose to get an epidural.  Her mind just couldn't stay focused enough to use her Hypnobabies.  But honestly I am in AWE of her.  And how awesome she got to catch her own baby!

You can read the whole birth story here with great pictures too.   Be aware you may need your bubble of peace.  But I think it is an inspirational story to see how moms in less than ideal birthing situations still can benefit SO much from Hypnobabies!

Congratulations and welcome to Trillian!
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My son arrived on August 17th (6 days after the guess date). This was baby # 4 for me. I did not have a natural childbirth. Here's my summary:

My last 2 children arrived the day after my doctor said that I was dilated 1 cm. I expected the same thing to happen this time, but I was dilated 1 cm for 3 weeks and there were numerous times when I thought my birthing time had started. I became very frantic and could not sleep the last 2 weeks or so of pregnancy. Both my mom and mother-in-law were very ill, which added to my anxiety. I was wondering who would keep my other 3 children while I was in the hospital.

I woke up on the morning of August 16th with pressure waves (about 7:00 a.m.). They weren't painful, but not comfortable to sleep through. I didn't think much of it since this happened so many times before. The pressure waves were steady all day...ranging from 9 to 11 minutes apart and they seemed to get stronger. I had some bloody show starting in the evening and the pressure waves got as close together as 3 minutes for a couple of hours. But, they were not long enough to make me feel as though I should call the doctor. I did not sleep that night.I had an appointment with my doctor at 10:45 on the 17th. I was only 3 cm, but 80% effaced. My doctor said that I could go to the hospital or wait at home...my decision. The pressure waves were not coming together as I had hoped and I thought I would labor all day without assistance.

I decided to head to the hospital and agreed to pitocin since I was so wiped out and just wanted to see my baby. I checked in at 11:30. I kept refusing the epidural. I had decided to get one, but not until my water broke. I was warned that I would deliver extremely fast after my water broke, so I consented to the epidural at 7 cm/100% effaced.

Although I did not have a natural birth, Hypnobabies helped me greatly. I am extremely afraid of hospitals and medical staff. I was able to use my lightswitch and visualize aneshesia during contractions and to block out my fears. I was amazed at how well it worked. My epidural did not work and I was 9 cm with just my Hypnobabies techniques. The aneshesiologist shot some type of meds into the line and I could no longer feel contractions. It was kind of a waste since my doctor arrived shortly after and my son was born. He was born at 3:48 and was 8 lbs 10 oz and 22 inches. Note-I was warned of a huge baby for months and I don't consider this big....all of my other children were about the same size.

Although my birth did not go the way I planned, I am very greatful that I discovered Hypnobabies. It helped me to sleep better (I've had insomnia since childhood) for most of my pregnancy. I felt healthier and more fit than in my prior pregnancies. I feel like I am recovering extremely fast also. It definately helped with pain relief also...like magic.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Kaylee decided to take her time to come into this world. The order of events and days are fuzzy in my head, it was a long week, but this is close enough :P  To get to the "real" birthing, skip to the ***.

On Sunday, August 10th, pressure waves came, slightly stronger than BHs and about 8 min apart.

I baked some cookies.

By Monday, there was no change in time or intensity, so I tried to go about my day, but didn't get much done. I had an upset stomach and loose bowels, so I spent the whole day wondering, is this it?

I ate some cookies...

Tuesday was the same. My doula, Amy came over to do some massage and I
had my last day of work.

I baked some more cookies...

Wednesday morning, bloody show. Alright, things were moving! I let Amy
know and she came over in the afternoon. She left about 5pm (pressure
waves still 7 min apart).  At nine, things started to get more
intense. Pressure waves were stronger, so I listened to deepening to
get myself into a deep hypnotic state. They were very manageable, but
I couldn't talk through them. Called Amy around 12, when pressure
waves were about 3 minutes apart.  She arrived around 1 and we did
massage and hypnosis. A migraine then came on and we switched to
focusing on that -- pressure waves slowed down to 5 min apart and we
decided to get some rest.

I woke up Thursday morning, pressure waves still 5 min apart, no
change in intensity. Amy went home and I went back to sleep. When I
woke up, they were practically gone, so the hubby and I tried to go
about our day -- went to home depot and food store.

I ate more cookies...

Thursday evening we went out for dinner, but the pressure waves came
on strong and close together, so we had to leave the restaurant.  We
promised ourselves we would sleep and knew if it was going to be
birthing time it would intensify.

I didn't get much sleep, but alas Friday morning came and the
intensity was down again.

Who knew in a few hours, things would actually pick up!


Friday night, pressure waves returned, but started getting more
intense and closer together. We called Amy, and she came over around
9. At this point, she was the only one of the group to think the baby
was on her way. We listened to easy first stage in the background.

We called Matt's sister, Vanessa (who is also a massage therapist), to
let her know tonight was the night around 9.

By midnight I decided I was ready to go to the hospital -- pressure
waves were quite intense and I was getting shaky. I took a shower,
which felt incredible and slowed the pressure waves down -- had I know
that, I would have gone in sooner!

After the shower I was feeling a lot better, but still wanted to go to
the hospital. The five minute drive was easier than I was expecting --
heated seats are awesome during birthing time :)

Once we got to the hospital, we went to the L&D floor where we were
told we needed to wait for a triage room. This is where 2 MTs at
birthing is great. Vanessa did my feet while Amy massaged my neck as
we waited in the hallway. I was able to really deepen and stayed off
the entire time.

We finally were brought into a room, about an hour later, and I was
greeted by a man telling me to undress and get on a table. I told him
no, I want to go over my birthplan with the midwife on call. He seemed
completely confused by my refusal (thank you Hypnobabies for the
encouragement to say no) and put me in the room with Matt.  I had a
bit of an emotional breakdown at this point -- I had spent too much
time in the hospital with my father (who is no longer with us) and
hadn't been back since. My bubble of peace couldn't keep it in... so I
cried a bit and my husband was great at comforting me and giving me
the peace cue.

A few minutes later the midwife, Susan, came in and she reviewed my
birthplan while the guy from the hall hooked me up to monitors and
asked me a lot of questions.

I agreed to an internal to check progress and then Susan went outside
with Matt to go over our options. Matt returned to the room and said
we can be admitted or go home. I was at 5 and happy to know this was
the real deal, but decided I'd rather go home until I started to feel
pushy, since the hospital was so close by.

At home, I went directly to the shower, where I stayed until it no
longer kept pressure wave frequency down. They were about 2 min apart
and over a minute long and I tried to go back into deep hypnosis
downstairs. The pressure was too intense to stay in off, so I would be
off in between waves and then work through the waves on all fours,
while Vanessa massaged my sacrum. This worked for a bit, but soon, I
was shaking so hard and the pressure was so intense, I had to really
vocalize to get through each wave.  Amy and Matt had been getting some
sleep during this time and we woke them up and I said we need to go now!

It was about 2 hours since we left the hospital and this time the car
ride was a lot less fun -- I vocalized through the waves and everyone
in the car would give me relax cues. This time when we arrived, they
sent us directly to a delivery room. I went right from the wheelchair
onto the bed on all fours. I told Susan I felt pushy and she said,
push -- I'll watch and let you know if you need to stop.

I was so relieved that she was following my birthplan closely -- the
lights were out, there were only whispers and no coaching. Anyone who
entered the room was given my birthplan to review.

Pushing was by far my favorite part. It was quite a long time though
-- I was so tired I could not get the strength to change positions and
all fours was not working well. For two hours I stayed there, baby's
head would crown and then go right back in. My pressure waves were
pretty far apart in this position, and I welcomed the break.

Susan's shift was over and a new midwife came in, Marie, who
recommended squatting, which I had been thinking I wanted to do the
whole time, I just couldn't imaging holding myself up. But they moved
the bed around, put on a birthing bar and had Matt sit behind me and
support my weight. This was awesome -- I felt so much love and support
from my husband -- it was like we were birthing together.

On my next wave, I could feel a big difference, and she really started
crowning. I did "ah" pushes during and between pressure waves and if I
felt too much stretching I would hold back. Marie wasn't doing
perineum massage, but some kind of general stimulation of the entire
area and it was bringing on pressure waves back to back. Once I heard,
we see a nose, I gave it one grunting push and she popped right out.

It was about 20 min from changing positions to her being born. It was
absolutely incredible -- she was born in the caul (my water never
broke), but had meconium in the waters (made for interesting green
head crowning pictures), so they needed to call the NICU. They still
put her directly on my chest, where she immediately breastfed and the
NICU team checked her while she was on me. She was a healthy, 7lb 5oz,
20 inch girl and her apgar was 9 and 9.

I birthed the placenta a few minutes later and had a small tear (2
stiches). I was happy about the tear because I was quite sore and the
idea of some numbing sounded nice :)

Everyone in the room said that was the most amazing birth and they couldn't believe that I smiled the entire 2.5 hours of pushing. They asked if they could use my birthplan as an example to show mom-to-bes and staff because they were trying to add more focus on natural births and options at the hospital.

Thanks Hypnobabies and all the hypnomoms out there! Reading people's stories and being so prepared helped me achieve the beautiful birthing of my daughter.
Hits: 85
Background: My first DD was a hospital induction, epidural, pushing on my back, significant tearing, OB attended, very medicalized birth.  While it was not an awful experience, I wanted something much different for this birth.  I found hypnobabies and started studying when I was about 26 weeks.  I was not the greatest student... I did my scripts regularly (always falling asleep / in hypnotic amnesia) but was pretty bad about practicing finger drops and such.

Juliet's birth: I had been having practice waves for about 2 weeks on and off and was getting a little tired of it.  Around 2am on 8/6 (I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant) the waves started again.  They were between 10-15 minutes apart for the rest of the night and I slept a little in between waves.  In the morning I told my husband it might be the day and I decided I wasn't going to work.  Around 8 I took a nap and between 8-10 I only had 2 or 3 waves.  I was a little bummed because I thought that maybe they were fizzling out again.

Once I got up from my nap though, the waves came back and were varying between 7 minutes apart when I was sitting down to 3-4 minutes apart when I was standing up.  I mostly sat around, played on the computer, listened to the Birthing Day Affirmations and concentrated through the waves with the peace cue.  Around 1:00 I told DH to call his mom and have her come over.  I called my midwife and told her we would be heading to the hospital once my MIL arrived.  My MIL, not realizing that this was actually it took her sweet time getting to the house.  They finally arrived around 3:00 and by that point, the waves were really intense and only a couple minutes apart.  I was managing them mostly alone because my DH was watching our 3 year old.  That part was a little tough because the waves were not pain-free and my DH was occupied with other things and couldn't help.  However, they were still manageable and I never had a moment where I thought, "I can't do this".

We finally got in the car and on our way around 3:30.  I put on the easy first stage and it made things so much better.  In hindsight, I should have put on my scripts much earlier.  The car ride was fine for me, I was still having waves 1-3 minutes apart but they were much more manageable with the easy first stage running in my ears.  I chanted "peace" and "safe" a lot.  I found that reminding myself that I was safe really helped me manage the intense power of the waves.

I knew I was in transformation because in the car my muscles were shaky, I was getting hot then cold, and the waves were really close together.  At one point, I remember opening my eyes to see three lanes of stopped traffic on the highway and calmly telling my DH to get in the breakdown lane and keep driving so we could get there.  He was a little stressed but I was perfectly calm and I knew we would get there on time.

We got to the hospital and went up to maternity.  They started to ask me questions in admitting but I had my headphones on and was chanting peace through waves so they decided to send me in.  My midwife met us and told us that we were skipping triage and getting me straight into a room.  I asked to get in the tub and they started filling it for us.  Once in the room they had me sit on the bed to get a baseline fetal strip.  I was on the bed for about 5 minutes (had 3 waves) then I had a wave that ended with me starting to push.

I couldn't believe it, I looked at my midwife and said, "I have to push".  She said, "Okay, let's take your pants off then.".  I pushed once sitting on the bed and told them I needed to get on my knees.  I got onto my knees and leaned over the back of the bed.  Pushing was crazy.  My body completely took over.  There was no directing or ahhing for me, my body bore down and each push ended in a gutteral groan that I couldn't have controlled if I wanted to.

After 2 or 3 pushes the midwife said she saw my water bag.  It popped with the next push and I felt the baby slide down.  Two more pushes and she started to crown.  I wasn't focused enough to direct my anthesia and at that point I think I said, "oww, this hurts!"  I instinctively slowed down and eased her head out with the next push.  Then with the the final push the shoulders were out and she slid right out.

My midwife passed her through my legs to me and I turned around and we snuggled skin to skin for about an hour.  She latched on after about 10 minutes and nursed for quite a while.  The cord stopped pulsing and my DH cut it.  Then about 20 minutes later I pushed the placenta out.  My midwife checked and I did not have any tearing!  They finally weighed her and she was 6 lbs, 12 ounces.  A whole pound less than my first DD!  She was very calm and alert for the first couple of hours.  I got to spend my time in the labor room answering all the triage questions, a much better time to do it in my opinion, LOL.

Ultimately, I was thrilled with my birth experience. I was able to give birth completely naturally without any direction from anyone.  I did not have a hep lock or an IV, there was almost no monitoring, no one told me how or when to push, I never even had an internal exam!  While it wasn't totally a pain free experience, it was completely manageable.  Hypnobabies really gave me the tools to meet birth with a positive frame of mind and with the confidence in my body that I needed to have a good experience.

Looking back, I think if I had started listening to my scripts early in my birthing time, it would have made things even more comfortable.  Even without listening to the scripts though, I was able to use my peace cue and have DH use the relax cue and keep myself completely calm and feeling in control, even when things got really intense.  Even during pushing, I felt like I made the conscious decision to allow my body to take over and do what it needed to do, even if it felt like I was out of control.

Everyone we tell is so amazed by my birth story.  Thank you Hypnobabies!!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
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 there birth stories. Several women had natural childbirths, several women had the epidural standard births, and two women sobbed as they relayed their non standard 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.  I have a worrying temperament by nature and the thought of enduring a similar birth as Duncan's was overwhelming.  Along the road, I decided that I was going to look into natural childbirth and this belief was cemented by a discussion with my doctor that indicated it was likely that epidural would be largely ineffectual again.  I went on a researching campaign and read at least seven books about natural childbirth including several midwife textbooks.  While reading these books, talking with a local midwife, and watching videos of births on you tube, I cried several times because I realized that many negative aspects of Duncan's birth could have been different.  I wished that I had a doctor, family, or friends that could have educated me about my decisions for childbirth.  I learned about hypnobabies through you tube videos and was astonished at the peace that these births portrayed.  My husband and I decided to make the commitment to hypnobabies and I started practicing at 26 weeks and almost did everything exactly as written in the books.
My birthing time started after 41 weeks.  I was ready for the birthing time and really confidant in hypnosis because I had an external version at 37 weeks and used hypnosis 100% effectively for the procedure (story told in the file section).  I woke up the morning of July 30th and noticed that my practice waves had started coming at regular intervals.  I had been having practice waves for at least a week and had been using several home strategies to try to regulate me and push me over the edge.  When my husband woke up I told him that I thought it was the day and we were very excited.  The pressure waves were a little more intense than the practice waves, but still easy to handle.  We dropped Duncan off at daycare two hours later and told several people that we thought it might be the day.  When we got home, my husband started working and I went into the bedroom to practice different positions with the birthing ball.  At this point, the pressure waves became wildly erratic and at one point a full 20 minutes went by without any.  My husband found me crying in the bedroom and was very supportive.  I decided to do a fear release and when that was completed we went on a walk.  We walked around the neighborhood for at least an hour in ninety degree heat with our contraction master application for our I Pod touch.  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.  At this point, we returned home and my mother and father brought lunch.  Throughout lunch, I would have to get up during the pressure waves.  My favorite position was being on my knees and elbows with my stomach in the middle.  At this point, I was feeling greater discomfort in my back.  So I would tell my husband that a contraction was coming, put myself in deep hypnosis and he would press really hard on my hips.  At this point, 3:30 pm, the pressure waves were between four and six minutes apart and we decided to head to the hospital to avoid rush hour traffic.  I put my ipod on in the car and listened to easy first stage.  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, we reconvened with my family minus my father who was watching Duncan.  I remember a lot of talking and joking while entering the hospital.  We would stop every time a pressure wave started so Kevin, my husband, could apply pressure to my hips and I could count 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 labor that lasted over a day.
When we got to labor and delivery at the hospital, the natural childbirth rooms were unavailable.  One was being used for a two day inducement and the other was being cleaned.  I requested to wait for the available room.  It was really important to me because the natural childbirth rooms had super deep tubs.  We were shown to the antepartum room where I was checked and a fetal test strip was done.  While being hooked up to the machine, the nurse asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10.  I informed her that I did not want anyone to mention pain to me. After a couple more exchanges I informed her that I would be glad to talk about intensity and frequency.  She insisted that she had to write down a number and I know at one point she asked if she should just make one up.  I told her that in between pressure waves, the intensity was 0 and during the pressure waves it was four.  At this point, she insisted that she had to review pain medication options with me.   I informed her that I had a birth plan and I was not going to be using medication. After some more debate, I informed her to write down that the patient indicated that she knew available options and wished to delay talking about medications until requested.  When the discussion finally ended with the nurse, I used the easy first stage track during the fetal monitoring. The nurse did the initial cervical check and I believe I was dilated 2.5.  I didn't really pay attention and I wasn't concerned about the number.  We then had a lengthy debate between family, nurse and my doctor on the phone about whether I wanted to leave the hospital and return in a couple of hours.  Pressure waves had maintained at three to five minutes apart and 1.5 minutes in duration, but the nurse was fairly confidant that I would not be delivering for several hours.  Then because of black, black clouds outside the window we decided to stay.  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.
Around 6:30 pm, we went back and were hooked up for a five minute fetal monitor strip and Dr. Martin came in.  He was very nice and talked to me about how things were going and did another cervical check.  I know that it progressed, but the number was not substantial higher, maybe 3.5 or 4.  His arriving on the scene seemed to open up the delivery room and we were packing and moving into the next room by 7 pm.
Then I was in the tub.  At this point, the birthing waves were coming pretty close together roughly between two and three and half minutes apart.  I'm not sure how long there were lasting, but it had been pretty consistently 1.5 minutes from the beginning.  Kevin stayed in the bathroom with me and managed the contraction master (wrapped in a Ziploc bag supplied by the nurse) and applying pressure to my hips or my lower back.  I spent the majority of the time on my knees leaning forward against the wall of the tub.  At one point, I was sitting cross legged facing the back wall so Kevin could still push on my back.  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 not to tense my abdominal muscles during contraction 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.  She had me stand up in the tub while she found Violet.  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 and doubting if I could keep it up and looking into the labor room.  Again, I wasn't in any significant pain.  It is still an arduous experience without pain and the hypnosis takes a lot of mental energy.  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 commands.  I had at least another birthing wave on the toilet before I realized that going to the bathroom was not going to be possible. Following this was a seemingly, endless 10 foot walk across the delivery room to the bed.  This was truly the most difficult part of my birthing time.  I wanted to be at my final destination so badly that I don't think I was patient and relaxed enough to use the hypnosis.  I think the rest of the family got caught up in the excitement of the move including helping me walk so there were not a lot of applied cues.  I finally made it to the bed became terrified of lying down and ended up on my hands and knees.
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 for you.  My mother clarified and I said that I didn't think I could be at the push stage since my water hadn't broken.  But I was happy to be entering in the next stage.  Just doing nothing wasn't working for me so I began to push using exhale pushing.  Oops, I didn't really share this plan with my sister and my mother and apparently they became terrified that I was in a lot of pain.  They hid it well.  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 dramatic 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.  I informed my mother that I was frightened of the pain lying down caused and didn't want to it.  However, my mother and Dr. Martin convinced me to trust him.  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.  They had to give her some oxygen, but she was soon in my arms and nursing like a champ.  The doctor waited for the placenta to come out naturally and we successfully delivered without any tears or abrasions!
Dr. Martin and the labor and delivery nurse were amazing.  The nurse did not follow hospital policy by putting a heplock in my arm.  The nurse monitored the heart rate in the tub and while I was pushing she personally held the baby monitor device against my stomach.  Dr. Martin 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.
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Great story for moms who sleep through the CDs and whose birth partner isn't totally supportive of Hypnobabies.

Welcoming Alexander on December 5th.  8lbs 6oz 20 inches  1st PW to baby in less than 5 hours!

Ok, so I ordered the Hypnobabies home study program for the birth of my second child because our hospital was 45 minutes away in perfect conditions.  I was truly a skeptic, but felt I needed SOME tools and techniques to get through that ride in the car...at least to get to the hospital and have the option of an epidural if I needed one.  I was not great about doing my CDs, though I tried to do 1 most nights (and slept thru most of them!)  I did very little practice as life with a toddler was busy enough, and I think I only did the affirmations once.

I did not have my Dh's support...he just knew I was using a "relaxation" program on my own to help me.  Despite all this, let's just say, I am now a believer!

Here's my story...

On Saturday, December 5th, around 1:30 am, I was lying in bed awake, as usual, with a "to-do" list in my head.   After 5 weeks of "prodromal labor" with PWs 3-5 minutes apart, but not progressing...(and after 20 hour of birthing time with my DD 2 years ago) I didn't think much of it when they started up again at 2am.  But soon, I could tell things were different.  I started timing them...and they quickly went from 10 minutes to 7 minutes, to 5 minutes apart.  At 3am, I was ordering Christmas presents on the computer to distract myself, at 4am, a shower and shave and things were getting intense, got Dh up and had something to eat, fully expecting to be starved all day at the hospital as my birthing time progressed.

By 5am, we were in the car and on our way to the hospital.  I called my doc and told him we were on our way, and hung up on him basically as a PW started.  I then put on my "Easy First Stage" track on my IPOD in the car and that's when the magic began!!!

I quickly closed my eyes, entered hypnosis and let go.  I couldn't believe it...the 45 minute ride felt like to took about 15 minutes!! Before I knew it we were at the hospital.  The best "suggestions" I kept repeating to myself were that "I was safe and baby was safe..." and that I was feeling only intense pressure and tightening and stretching...that alone took any pain out of the picture.  It was wonderfully intense!

We got to the hospital and I walked into the ER entrance (the only entrance open at that time) and breathed thru PWs as they got my "escort" to Triage/L&D...I refused a wheelchair and preferred to walk, stopping every few minutes against the wall with my pillow.  Between PWs, I smiled, chatted a bit, but was totally relaxed.  I don't remember ever actually using my lightswitch, but simply "went inside" during each PW.

Made it to Triage, and as they checked me, and I just prayed they wouldn't send me home!  Well, I was 8cm dilated!  They almost had me RUN to my L&D room, haha!  They didn't believe it as I was calm and quiet, smiling at staff between PWs and joking with my husband.  The rest was a whirlwind...my doctor arrived after they called him repeatedly, they got me on the monitor, an IV started, I was at 9 1/2...he ran to put scrubs and when he returned, I was complete.

They didn't even have time to get an ID bracelet on me and I was signing consent forms during and after the fact!! (including the epidural consent if I needed one, though they all looked at me funny and I realized it was too late).  I put on the "pushing track" and I began to push...a combination of what my body told me and a bit of coaching from my nurse and doctor.

I've never felt anything so intense!  I wouldn't say it was comfortable at all...and yes, it did hurt (but my main complaint was  "cramping spasms" in the back of my legs since my legs were held up!) but it was totally manageable, and I NEVER felt like I couldn't do it.  I knew I could and I was confident and felt great!

According to my husband, I never yelled or vocalized except for some mild moaning/humming and mentioning that my legs were cramping.  5 pushes, and our 8lb 6oz little man arrived.  I felt every sensation, of his head and his body sliding out...before they put him on my chest...so alert and perfect in my eyes!  I had no tearing/no episiotomy.  I was up and to the bathroom in no time at all...and felt amazing.

Here we are one week later, and I feel great!  I'd recommend Hypnobabies to anyone who is interested and would like to reassure those who haven't been "perfect students" that it really can work for you!  I have no doubt it helped me enjoy that amazing day to the fullest!
Tagged in: sleep through CD
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I've been trying to think of how to explain my experience, but there really aren't logical words to describe it all. This was my 5th child-birth and was BY FAR the best one.

I was well trained in un-medicated child-birth through two other methods and had 3 un-medicated births before Hypnobabies.

The whole Hypnobabies class helped my mental state and prepared me for my birthing time. I faithfully listened to my cd's and I really embraced the affirmations for pregnancy and birthingtime.

When my birthing time started, I put in my birthing day affirmations cd and then my other cd for birthing time. The pressure waves were so managable that I wondered if I would know when to go to the hospital. I had to time them and was surprised when they were 5 minutes apart.

When we got to the hospital, I had my affirmation cd on and when the nurse checked my dialation, she had to get another nurse to confirm what she found. I was between an 8 and 9 centimeters dialated when I arrived and was completely relaxed during each pressure wave. I felt a lot of pressure, but NO PAIN.

I had been concerned about the pushing time because even though I'd had 3 un-medicated births before, I had always struggled to push my babies out. There was always a lot of coaching from the Dr. and nurses and it always had felt so frantic and long before. I listened to the cd's that said that birthing my baby was easy and that I deserved a quick, easy birthing time.

Soon after I got to the hospital, it was time to push. The doctor decided not to break the bed down because pushing usually took me awhile. She told me to get started and she turned to leave for a minute. I gave one good push and my baby started coming right out. She was born in about 5 minutes or less. She actually just slid out onto the bed! The doctor was scrambling for gloves!

It was AMAZING! I know that it was the Hypnobabies. Everything was so much easier than it had ever been before. Even with my 4th baby, I had struggled to push him out.

I can only say to faithfully follow the home-play and listen to your cd's and I'm convinced that it will be way easier than it would have been without it. My nurses acted like I was their hero after that. I told them it was just the Hypnobabies!

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