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Cody Bear’s guess date was 1/22/10, and the week before, I had started to slow down on my walks, felt Braxton Hicks more often, and slept a lot more. He felt really low and big inside me. On Wednesday the 20th I woke up feeling mild menstrual type cramps off and on from 3am to 6am. I had a doctor appointment that day at 11am so I told her how I had been feeling and she said it was possible signs of labor but she wasn’t sure. I had an internal exam and she said I was 1cm dilated and that his head was very low. From everything I’ve read and heard, a baby can stay like this for days, even weeks, so I wasn’t convinced he would show up any time soon.

I went and got my hair done, and came home around 4:30 pm to walk my dogs. That evening Aaron asked me what I wanted for dinner and I was dying for the biggest, spiciest burrito so that’s what he brought me. I ate the whole thing in about 2 minutes! At about 9pm I asked him to read me “Visualize Your Birth”, which was a good one to start with since it’s so long. With him reading it slower than it is on the CD, it took almost 50 minutes, and the next thing I knew it was 10pm. We went to bed but I was having trouble sleeping.

I decided to go into the living room and listen to “Fear Clearing” because I had a feeling that the time was getting close. I had to pee constantly and the menstrual feelings were getting stronger. I had no idea these were pressure waves, as they didn’t hurt at all! I did feel some intensity but never thought that’s all it would be. By midnight I felt nauseous and threw up that amazing burrito, which made me sad.

I noticed some tightness in my back so I decided to text our doula, Kim. She suggested taking a shower, which was amazing! I stood in “downward dog” with my hands on the bench in our shower for 45 minutes and that felt great. When I got out, I felt my teeth chattering a little and a little shaky, so I decided to wake Aaron up. At that point I got out the birth ball and he continued to read from his “Birth Partner’s Guide”. We tried to time the pressure waves but I really couldn’t tell when they were ending, as they faded out so slowly and I was trying to stay in hypnosis.

During my birthing time, I never felt like I was in a deep state of hypnosis like when we practiced. During a pressure wave I found it more comfortable to get on my knees and lean on the couch or birth ball but I never felt completely limp, I wanted to rock a little or move around. I was concerned that I wasn't focusing enough, but then I realized that I was doing fine and didn't need to worry, I could just trust that it was working, even if it was different than I had expected it to be.

By 3:45am I noticed my mucus plug when I went to the bathroom, it was clear but then a little blood came out. I sent a text to our doula again and she said she’d start heading our way. By 4:30am, my water broke! It surprised me, but I still felt pretty calm because I had read that it could still be a while before anything happens. However, when my next pressure wave came, I felt a really strong urge to push. It really overwhelmed me because I didn’t realize I was that close! We tried to get organized as fast as possible, but it still took a while to get everything in the car, dogs fed, etc. and it was pouring rain. Kim said she’d meet us at the hospital at that point.

We got to Hoag at about 5:30am and I found it easy to walk in and get to the 5th floor. I kept my headphones on and listened to the “Affirmations” track, which was really helpful. When we got to the front desk, the girl saw me and said “Oh she’s doing Hypnobabies!”. I was so happy to hear that they were familiar with this. As we walked to our room I noticed another Hypnobabies sign on a birthing room door. Once in our room, there were 5 or 6 nurses fussing over me, which didn’t bother me the way I had once thought it might. They were all so nice and working quickly. I did allow them to give me a heparin lock, as my OB had asked me to allow it when we went over my birth plan a few weeks prior. Once nurse checked me and even though our birth plan had said “Please don’t inform me of my progress”, she announced “You’re at 8cm!”. I was happy to hear this.

At that point Aaron and Kim put on the Affirmations for me to hear out loud but I found it pretty distracting. They changed it to Relaxation Music and that was better for me. I was informed that my OB would not be able to make it in time and that another doctor would be available shortly. They checked me again and I was at 10cm already, so they had me start pushing to see how close he was. I didn’t feel any pain at all, just lots of intense pressure that I wanted to push out. They did give me oxygen because I was getting a little out of breath, I think because I was on my back with my feet up. But the position didn’t bother me at all, it felt fine at that point, but I wouldn’t have liked it if I hadn’t been ready to push.

The next pressure wave that came on found me pushing and I couldn’t control it. I felt amazed that my body just kind of took over and knew what to do! It was an incredible feeling. The nurse however, tried to push my knees together and she said, “You have to wait for the doctor!” I felt Kim rush to my side and push my knees back open. She told me if I had to it was ok. I think my eyes must have bugged out of my head because the nurse ran to the door and called for someone to get the doctor. He finally came in to the room, took a seat, and in a few big pushes I felt the baby arrive! It was 7:14am.

I did have a small tear and had to get a few stitches, but other than that, it was very easy, and dare I say it…even fun! It was intense but what an amazing experience! I found myself laughing a few times with the nurses. When they told me he weighed 8lbs, 9oz and was 22 inches long, I was amazed! My OB had thought he was about 7 ½ lbs.

The staff was so great about letting us have our time with Cody. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and they gave us 3 hours before they gave him eye ointment and his vitamin K shot. I did allow them to give me pitocin after the placenta came out, as the doctor thought it would help the uterus contract and our doula said it was common and if I wanted to it would be fine. I looked at my deflated stomach and said “OK give it to me”.

I am definitely not any kind of super woman when it comes to pain. I stubbed my toe badly a few years ago and that was SO painful for days. Giving birth was NOT painful! It's not something I would compare to being hurt, like I often hear so many people do. I knew in my heart that the love and connection between me and my baby was so deep and there was no reason either of us would harm the other in this process. And I was right!

We are so grateful for the Hypnobabies program! It was wonderful to have such a relaxed and happy birthing time, and I never once would have considered any of it to be painful or require medication. I am glad I felt so prepared for all the details of the birth as well.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Great story showing how Hypnobabies is beneficial for all moms, even those who end up choosing an epidural.  This Mom was induced after her water breaks and birthing time didn't start on its own after 8 hours.  Mom chose to get an epidural after 10 hours on pitocin and not much progress.  This allowed her to rest and have a vaginal birth.

On Monday 12/28 at 1:30 am my water broke and we were excited, knowing our overdue boy (guess date 12/19) was coming soon and would not have to be induced (we had been trying everything to get labor started for the past week). I listened to my hypnobabies and got ready for the hospital. Unfortunately, pressure waves did not start over the next 8 hours. Although at first we thought about giving it another 12 hours or so, our OB was VERY anxious about infection, especially since I am GBS positive, so at 1 pm we went to the hospital where I started antibiotics and where the on call doc said I was basically a C section waiting to happen if I did not induce NOW, birth had to be done within 24 hours of ruptured membranes (we fudged on when the water actually broke to give us more time), etc, etc,  and she had just finished two sections on women who had gotten fevers, etc. Although I measured only fingertip dilated and 40  percent effaced, we were really torn but eventually made the call to start on pitocin, hoping it would do the trick (my last appt showed my cervix still long and closed). Whether this was the right call we'll never know, but here's what happened next. I labored on pitocin for 10 hours, and with the help of Hypnobabies got through some pretty intense pressure waves. The last 3 hours were, I admit, challenging, but with my hypnosis, husband and our doula, made it through and stayed calm and focused; by the end of nearly ten hours my contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and I showed signs of being far along (vomiting, shaking, etc), so we were all hoping for good signs of progress.

BOP warning:  The doc on call (new one, much better bedside manner) measured me and to our dismay, I had dilated only to 1 cm. As you can imagine, this was pretty devastating after so much work, and at that point he suggested (of course) that a C section wouldn't be a bad idea, and that it looked like I simply wasn't progressing. We discussed this and our doula suggested that since both baby and I were doing fine (baby's HR was fantastic throughout and I had no fever) that we should wait, and that maybe getting an epidural would help my body relax and allow the intense contractions to do their work. Feeling I had nothing to lose at that point, and feeling like I couldn't get through another 10 hours of pitocin contractions knowing the last 10 hadn't done much, I agreed and although the doc wasn't sure it would help, he was fine with letting us try it as long as we both showed continued signs of being healthy.  The next hour, before the epidural was truly challenging--mostly because I had lost confidence in myself and in my body. This was the point where I stopped using hypnobabies and got a bit off track. I got the epidural and within a short time, was able to focus again on the task at hand.--END BOP

Although we had always hoped not to use pain relief, this was a good call in this situation, and I spent the next 6 hours using hypnobabies to relax and to focus on my cervix opening and allowing baby to move down. Throughout our baby was a trooper--his HR was steady during a total of 16 hours of pitocin-induced labor (which can often cause distress) and luckily I did not have any negative reactions from the epidural. I could still feel the contractions (esp as the epidural started to wear off and I didn't want to 'top it off') and at 6 am the doc came back to measure me--we were all praying for some progress, and to our delight and his complete surprise, it turns out I had reached 10 cm and was ready to push!

That was the best part--although the doc warned me that first time moms can take up to 3 hours, I felt totally in control (the epi was quite light by that point, which helped) and after my first push the doula said that I'd probably be done quickly, since I was being effective. (I admit I did not use the breathing down baby technique, I tried once or twice and couldn't figure it out, so just went with what felt effective).  45 minutes later, and with our own OB who came in for the birth, Ariel Alexander was born, weighing in at a surprising 8 lbs 15 oz (and for all those "too big baby' warnings--I am a small gal, 5'2" and 110 pre-pregnancy, and both my husband and I were under 7lbs at birth!--I pushed him out in under an hour with a tiny tear needing only 1 stitch).  I am very happy that we were ultimately able to have a good birth, even if it was not the "perfect" one we visualized and delighted with our healthy adorable newborn.

I believe that Hypnobabies allowed me to feel confident throughout pregnancy, get through an intense labor, and regain focus after disappointing news and relax in order to have a good, uncomplicated vaginal birth in the end and that we avoided a C section, which was my primary goal in preparing for this birth and in using Hypnobabies.
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It is hard to know exactly where to begin  . . .  I signed up for a Hypnobabies Class when I was 33 weeks pregnant for a personal home class with just my husband and I. I was a bit worried at first with me deciding so late in pregnancy that I needed to take the class but my wonderful instructor Katherine Stanglin convinced me it would still work and she was 100% right!!

This was my 2nd birth. My first birth was an induction 9 days past the guess date for high blood pressure.  I was hooked up to Pitocin and instantly had waves for 13 hours and somehow managed to birth naturally and vaginally but with tons of medical interventions: pitocin, breaking my water, internal fetal monitoring, episiotomy - 3rd degree and vacuum. So needless to say I walked away from my first birth disappointed mainly in myself because there were times I begged for pain medication and an epidural but my mom and husband knew how important a drug free birth was that they didn’t listen to my begging.

When I became pregnant with my second baby I was thrilled but nervous and I had lots of fear surrounding the birth but I also was convinced to do whatever it took to make this a good experience and one I was proud of. I hired a doula, changed OB’s, changed hospitals and took my hypnobabies course. So here the birth story begins. My guess date was 11/25 and by this point I was exhausted and worn out and so ready to meet the baby and wondering if I would get to experience going into my birthing time on my own – praying it wouldn’t be like the first birth.

My mom convinced my husband and I on 11/28 that we needed to get out of the house and go to dinner and see a movie and she would babysit our 24 month old little boy that evening. We live ½ a mile from a great shopping center with a movie theater so we decided we would walk up and grab dinner and a movie. We hadn’t walked more that 250 feet when I fell and skinned both my knees on the concrete sidewalk. I started to cry and told my husband I was so big I couldn’t even walk anymore :)

We went back in and got the car keys so we could drive and some Neosporin for my knees. Needless to say we saw a fantastic movie and during the movie I thought to myself – hmm this feels different than the Braxton hicks – I could feel them starting at the top of the uterus and working there way down. They were totally comfortable and I didn’t mention anything to my husband until we were getting the car. I told him I wasn’t sure but maybe these were the real thing but I only had a few.

We went home – I mentioned them to my mom but told her I wasn’t sure and just wanted to try and sleep. We went to bed about 10:30 and I put Easy First Stage on my Ipod – Fell asleep and realized I had been out for about an hour and half – I slept through the majority of all my scripts throughout the 7 weeks I studies hypnobabies so I was used to this. I woke up close to midnight and felt like taking a bath. Then I felt a little hungry and I went down and had 2 cookies that my hubby and I made that day testing a recipe for Christmas :) Then I decided to lay in bed and time my waves with the contraction master application on my iphone.

I started at 12:48 because this was truly the first time I believed that this was really the day my precious baby would be born. I laid in bed totally relaxed listening to my Birthing Day Affirmations and timing the waves for 1 hour – At 1:45 I woke up my husband and told him they were 2.5 minutes apart last about 1 minute and it had been 1 hour. We relaxed a bit more on the bed making our plan. We called my mom to return  to our house and our doula to make her way to our house. My husband took my 2 year old to my dads house once my mom arrived and then by 2:45am

My fantastic support team was all here at my home – My mom, my doula and my husband. By now the intensity of the waves had increased and I was having to move around a lot upright and when a wave began I would bend over my bed or chest of drawers for support and truly relax. I believe that I first moved into center when I was sleeping and stayed in center until my baby was born.

I told my team at 3:00 am that I thought I was ready to go to the hospital but I was wavering and couldn’t make up my mind and my doula said “I just want to make sure that if we go to hospital and you aren’t as far progressed as you are hoping for that you will not be defeated.” I asked her – “Do you think I am not that far? “She said she wasn’t sure but she just wanted me to make sure I thought timing was right and for me to know if I wasn’t far progressed we could turn around and come back to the house after being checked. I told her that maybe she was right  and to let me try to get through some more waves – My husband suggested I take a shower and I thought this was a good idea. The minute I entered the shower the intensity elevated tremendously and I became more vocal with the waves. My husband rushed down the stairs to start the brownies because we had made the plan to take them to the nurses – needless to say these didn’t make the trip to the hospital.

20 minutes later I got out of the shower and told my mom and doula that now I was positive and I was ready to go. I changed and we loaded the car and we listened to affirmations on the car ride. As we pulled up to the entrance I began to feel nauseated and this feeling I remembered – which I took to be a good sign.

We checked in at the hospital at 4:00am. We were given our room and put our hypobabies tracks on the cd palyer in the room. The nurse checked me and told me I was at 5cm but that she thought the baby might be breech – Which was Outrageous – Since my OB and I knew baby was not breech. Needless to say things moved along pretty rapidly – Between trips to the potty and waves it was non-stop.

Near 5:15 my water broke at the beginning of a wave and the nurse checked me again and said I was at 8cm. Once at the hospital I did experience some deep pressure in my lower back which my doula and mom applied counter pressure with each pressure wave, which helped tremendously. Also I stood from 1:45 – until birth time – laying or sitting was so awful I could barely stand it for the 2 minute vaginal check.

Once I stood back up from the check with the next wave I felt the urge to push. I tried very hard to breathe the baby out and I focused on keeping my mouth loose and my breathing AHHH AHHH’s but I found this very difficult. I must say that after watching Sheridan’s birth to Bryson and breathing him out I am so impressed. The nurse said if I was going to push since my doctor wasn’t there I had to get on the bed – I had envisioned birthing my baby on my side or squatting but since squatting wasn’t an option because the Dr. had not arrived – I tried side lying and that felt wrong.

So I moved to an all fours position with my head and upper body inclined and this felt right – Although thinking back on it my rear was just out there in everyone’s face because I elected not to wear the hospital gown  and keep my clothes on which was a T-Shirt and boy cut panties but somehow with all the trips to the potty the panties didn’t make it longer than 30 minutes J - Oh well.

It was about 20 minutes of pushing and the Dr. had still not arrived. I was facing a bed and a wall and could hear the # of people in the room increase but I wasn’t sure what was going on because being in center – I was totally unaware of chaos, commotion or really anything that would normally be a distraction. My baby’s head was already out when the doctor arrived and with a few more pushes a beautiful baby girl was born. Unfortunately her shoulder was stuck on my pubic bone so they told me to flip over on my side with the next push and literally with that move she slid right out but needed to get some oxygen.

Kampbell was born at 6:10am. I was a little sad because I wanted her directly on my chest and I wanted her cord to stop pulsating before clamp or cutting but the oxygen was medically necessary. I did have a 2nd degree tear but this was nothing compared to the episitotmy. It was about 10 more minutes before the placenta was born and these waves were very easy. They brought her to me just after that and she nursed perfectly. She weighed 9.1lbs and was 21” long.

I can honestly say this birth experience was amazing. I believe that hypnobabies trained me to believe that with birth there would be pressure but not pain and this is exactly how it happened. My instructor stressed that you have to choose to use your hypnosis and there wasn’t a minute of the 5 hours that I wasn’t listening to Kerry’s voice including Easy First Stage, Deepening, Birthing Day Affirmations and Pushing Baby Out. After my first class I truly believed this program would work for me and that I would have a pain free, fast, quick and wonderful birthing time and sure enough all my wishes and beliefs came true.  On a side note I continued to use my hypnosis after birth with the uterine contractions while nursing and anytime I felt like I needed some relief because it truly works wonders. Thanks to everyone in this group for all of the stories, questions, feedback, etc. – I truly believe they were very instrumental in my positive experience.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
My first birth was a typical, textbook perfect epidural delivery. Labor was 9.5 hours, pushing phase was 1.5 hours.  I decided for baby #2 I wanted to have a natural birth.  DH wasn't real convinced that it was feasible but he went along with me.

By Sunday October 12 I was 41 weeks and starting to get anxious about having the baby before my doctor wanted to schedule an induction.  But there were no signs of labor starting and everyone at church was surprised to see me.  The pastor included us in the prayer requests at each service, which made me feel great.

I spent the afternoon as usual, but was ravenous.  I must have eaten my way halfway through the kitchen.  I guess my body knew something was up.  :heehee:

At 9:30 pm I noticed that my back was aching but I couldn't tell if it was normal end of pregnancy aches or something more.  I heated up one of my rice heating pads and decided to finish the book I was reading (The Sonnet Lover -- a good story tied to Shakespeare's sonnets) and then do my Hypnobabies practice.  At around 11:15 pm, I felt a pressure wave  in my lower belly.  I told DH that I was going to take a shower to see if they waves would go away.  It didn't go away so I got out of the shower and told DH this was it.  He started getting all of his last minute things together and I tried to concentrate on timing the waves.

My waves never settled into a pattern.  Some were 1 minute apart and some were 5 minutes apart.  Some lasted 21 seconds and some lasted 1 minute.  At about midnight I told DH that we should call my mom to come be with Tom (our almost 3 yr old).  He asked me if I was at the point in labor when we should go to the hospital.  I said no, but we should still call.  He wanted to wait and I said OK.

During the next half hour, my pressure waves moved into my back and stayed there.  I knew this meant that the baby was probably posterior and I started trying things to turn the baby.  The discomfort did not change.  I told DH that he should call my mom now since it takes 1/2 and hour for her to get to our house.  He listened to me that time and called.  We also called the doctor and told them what was going on.

Mom got to our house at about 1:25 am.  By that time, I was sweating, the pain was in my back and not relenting, and I felt a little sick to my stomach.  We got in the car and DH could tell that he needed to go fast.  My water broke about 5 minutes into the drive (of course, I forgot to bring a towel to sit on  :rolleye:  ) and I told him that the pressure got more intense.  I told DH that if it stayed in my back like this I would have to get an epidural because I could not handle more of this type of feeling.  DH was going about 70 mph on a straight road and even ran a red light (after looking both ways).

When we got to the road the hospital is on I felt the urge to push.  Uh oh.  I didn't tell DH.  We drove up to the ER entrance and DH ran in to tell them what was going on.  Someone wheeled me up to L&D and DH parked the car.

At L&D the nurse (who helped at Tom's delivery -- she changed hospitals within the last year) took me triage and wanted me to put on a gown.  I told her my water broke and she asked if I was sure.  I told her that I was and she wanted to see the pad/liner I had on.  I then told her that I felt "pushy" and she said well lets get you to a room.

We got to the room, DH arrived from the parking lot, I got partially in a gown and the nurse did a vaginal exam.  She told me to lie down on the bed -- she did not want me standing up again.  The room was very busy because there were about 5 people pulling stuff out of cabinets, calling the doctor, etc.  DH asked what was going on and they told him that I was complete and the baby was coming.

I pushed once and felt the baby move down.  I told them that I need to push again and the baby flew out!  There was no crowning, no real stretching of my perinium, nothing.  I just felt this pressure and then a release.  She was sunny side up and DH got to announce that it was a girl.  Her head has almost no molding because she spent almost no time in the birth canal.

The doctor walked in 5 minutes later.  :heehee:   I arrived at the hospital at 1:42 and Irene arrived at 1:58 -- all 8 lbs 15 oz, and 20 inches of her.

I do have a 3rd degree tear but hopefully that will heal all right.  My tear from Tom tore again, basically.  But since she came so fast I'm not really surprised.  She did inhale a bit of merconium but that was suctioned out easily.  Because of her size they wanted to monitor her blood sugar so she did get heel pricks a couple of times, but those numbers are good.

So, I didn't get to use my birth ball, use my playlist on the ipod, work on any knitting, DH did not get to read or do any crosswords.  :lol:   I barely was able to use my Hypnobabies techniques because it happened so fast.  After she was born, I realized that I was in transition at home and just didn't recognize the signs.  Now I know what to look for and next time will be better prepared.

Hypnobabies really helped me get focused when I thought things were only beginning.  I was looking forward to breathing the baby down and at first was disappointed that I didn’t get the chance. Then I realized that I did it without thinking while in the car.  And I had no p*** during the one push that got her out.  I just felt the pressure of her head and then a big release.  Hypnobabies rocks!

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Great story of how Hypnobabies can help and work great in all different type of birth situations.

I am writing the story of Jonathan's birth to help anyone who may be having anxiety over induction, c-section or unforseen birth plan changes.

****As a quick disclaimer, I chose to be induced.  So don't read if induction/c-section is something you want to keep out of your consciousness.  This is a happy story though! : )***


I was very faithful in my Hypnobabies practice.  I came in like many of you, a bit worried that I wasn't doing hypnosis correctly, and then asking myself, would it really work?  But I decided to just trust in the practice even though I sometimes felt like I wasn't "going under".

Jonathan was 12 days overdue with no signs of coming out.  I know, I know, I could have let him come out when he was ready, but the fact is that I was waking at night and couldn't catch my breath.  It was very difficult to find positions that kept weight off the vena cava.  In my heart, I felt I was causeing him undue distress.  So we made the decision to induce.  I knew all the what ifs, but because I felt prepared and had listened to "Affirmations" a million times, I was comfortable with whatever was to come.

My hypnosis worked exactly as I needed it to on the inducement/birthing day.  I chose only to listen to the track for going to hospital, as well as "Deepening."    I had a plan to listen to loads of tracks in a specific order, but when I was actually living my birth experience, I found that letting go of what I "had to" do made things easier. The confidence to let go was a direct result of doing Hypnobabies for months prior to the birth. So I just listened to these 2 tracks because that is what felt comfortable.

I don't feel that I actually went into deep hypnosis, but I think it's because I chose to listen to Hypnobabies here and there, rather than really putting the effort into going into a deep hypnosis.   I was just so excited and having such a great time laughing and talking with my family, that I didn't want to stop to listen to my iPod.  So perhaps I actually was under hypnosis...I'll never know!

I labored for about 8 hours.  It was not pain free, but the pain was certainly manageable when I used my breathing and finger drop.  When I learned that Jonathan was indeed having difficulty in the womb (meconium present, difficulty breathing) my doctors were  supportive of whatever decision I wanted. He could have been born vaginally, but he would have had to go through a lot to do so.   In the end it was me who decided to receive a c-section.

I immediately put on "Change of Plans."    I did feel a bit panicked at first I admit, because I never visualized a c-section, but that track was really comforting.

When Jonathan was born, both eyes were full of blood, he had meconium that was a few days old on his little body, and a large hematoma on his head from straining to come out.  Again, I know many will say that this could have been avoided, and is just a natural part of the process and I truly respect that.  But I have to say that my reasons for a c-section were that I just wanted my little baby to have as few hurdles as possible in coming out.

After the birth, all the nurses marveled that I refused pain killers and left the hospital a day early.  I was not trying to be a hero, I truly felt well.  And baby Jonathan was/is just a perfect little miracle.

I just want to present this different perspective on birth because while I did not forsee an inducement or c-section, my experience was joyful, beautiful and full of love all around.   We all tend to focus on worrying what will happen during the birthing waves and transformation; "Will Hypnobabies work?  What if there's pain?!  How do I know the finger drop is working?"  And of course, these are extremely valid worries!

But, in my humble opinion, it's important to remember that Hypnobabies works in so many other ways during the entire birth experience.  Talking confidently to doctors, taking control of yourself and baby, and actually enjoying the birthing process are all part of the birth experience.   Additionally, all the physical benefits of meditation/hypnosis have been well documented.

So to anyone who is worried about inducement, just remember that Hypnobabies doesn't necessarily have to be an "either/or" choice.  It works very well with whatever type of birth experience you have.  The preparation helped me to be confident, joyful, positive and healthy.

All the best to everyone.


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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Zoe's EDD was September 19th, but her older siblings were both "early."  I just KNEW she'd be born around 37-38 weeks and had already been off work for 2 weeks.  I was growing more frustrated by the day since I set my expectations so early and OB was pressuring an induction.  But the baby knew EXACTLY what to do!

On Saturday, September 20th, I started having the first pressure waves about 1:00 pm after thinking all morning, "She's never coming out!" (talk about impatient!)  The waves were not steady, and I had negative thoughts about this not being the birthing time because I'd had pressure waves off and on for the past 2 weeks that never created a pattern and then fizzled out.  My parents had taken our other kids out of town that morning to let me "have some rest," so this allowed me to relax and clean the house.  I kept moving in hopes the PWs would pick up in intensity and frequency.

At about 2:30p.m., I called my close friends and mom and told them I was having PWs, but they weren't intense and were about 5 minutes apart.  I told myself that if they picked up, I'd bake brownies for the nurses at 4:00, and we'd go to the hospital at 7:00.  I called Andi, our hypno-doula to give her a heads-up but still didn't think this was "it."

They continued to progress, but I was not uncomfortable at all.  I didn't even use the finger-drop technique until around 4:45 when some PWs were still 4 minutes apart, but a couple were only 1 minute apart.  I welcomed each wave and still wanted them to come on stronger to convince myself I might see our baby soon. I made the brownies, and by the time they were finished, I decided I wanted to go ahead and go to the hospital so I could listen to my CDs and chill out without having to drive in the middle of trying to listen to my scripts.  Our doula met us at the hospital because I told her I felt like I just needed to get there and get settled in.  I was still somewhat nervous that the hospital would send me back home, but our doula assured me that if they did, that would be the best thing for me.  We got to the hospital at 6:00 pm.

I changed into a gown and turned in our pre-registration.  The nurses were very nice and allowed me to stop talking when necessary; I used the finger-drop technique several times during the check-in; DH and Andi were able to answer some questions.  Our doula was awesome!  She reminded me to "breathe in peace; breathe out tension" which helped immensely (I dealt with a lot of fear from my 1st birth throughout this pregnancy).  Still thinking I would be sent back home, the nurse checked me and reported I was at a 6 with a bulging bag of waters! I was so happy I got emotional and realized I knew I could do this naturally!  The nurse also asked me to rate my p**n level on a scale of 1-10.  Between PWs, it was a "1" and during, I rated it a "6,"--totally bearable.

DH went out to the car to bring in our things.  While he was gone, I had about 3 very intense PWs and couldn't get comfortable.  I made a quiet vocalization through two of those and worried he would get scared if he heard me vocalizing.  I told Andi I felt nauseated, and she got me a trash can.  DH walked back in the room, and I told him, "Don't be scared, but I'm about to make some noise now.  I'm okay though."  At that point, a leaned off the side of the bed, felt a huge pressure, and moaned loudly while holding the side-rail of the bed.  The bag of waters busted (it sounded like a water balloon!).  Andi said, "That was a push!"  She tried to find the call button, and DH just ran into the hall to get a nurse.  I immediately had another strong urge to push; I did, and her head was out!  Andi, the nurse, and DH asked if I could get back on the bed (I was still hanging over the trashcan--it was all so fast!) and asked if I could push again--oh yeah--pushing felt great!  Her body came out on that push, and she immediately started crying.  I was in shock that she was already out and that the "labor" was over!  We were all laughing and in complete amazement (especially DH and myself; our other daughter's birth took 50 hours!).

I did have some tearing along my previous scar from my two former medicated births (I didn't even feel this as it happened).  The doctor arrived about 20 minutes later to do the stitches (and I did get Lidocaine local anesthesia for this).  The baby had already been nursing that 20 minutes, and she continued nursing for almost 2 hours!  No one took her from me to weigh her or anything until about 9:00 p.m.

She weighs 7 pounds, 14 ounces
20.75 inches long

We were allowed to leave the hospital the next evening and are enjoying our Babymoon now.

I have to reiterate how awesome the Hypnobabies program is.  There were times I doubted it would work for me during the birthing time, but I recognized how well I had been sleeping during this pregnancy and how well it helped me with generalized anxiety and other fears about life in general.  I thought it was worth it if those were the only things I got out of it.

We took a live course with our hypno-doula, but I didn't do the practices perfectly, and I fell asleep EVERY time I listened to a CD.  I really doubted I could have a p**n-free delivery, but it actually was (I did feel pressure, but it actually felt somewhat good to push through it)!  This birth was very healing for me and DH, and I feel so extra blessed not only with our healthy baby but with the privilege of getting to bring her into this world in a natural, peaceful, empowered way.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I really loved reading this birth story, because it was from a mom who used Hypnobabies in a way that was best for her!   She says it wasn't a typical "successful" Hypnobabies birth.  But I disagree, every mom who uses Hypnobabies is a success, if she feels empowered and makes the best choices for herself along the way!

Let me begin by saying that I am not your typical HB Mom. I did not decide in advance that I wanted a natural birth, rather I believed that one would be chosen for me because my previous birth was so fast. I was concerned before I began this course that so many stories talked about how they were farther along than they thought that I worried I would not know when to get to the hospital, thankfully that did not happen to me. For anyone who happens to have similar concerns, I wanted to submit my daughter's birth story.

This was my third birth, my first two were fairly quick and easy, both with an epidural. My first birth was 8 hours but my second was only 4 hours total. For my second birth, I was at the hospital for less than 2 hours before he was born and barely had time for an epidural, which was only in place for about 15 minutes before I started pushing, so it was not at 100% effectiveness. Since my second birth went so quickly and I had heard that subsequent births get faster, I started to get worried. Going into this birth I had two primary concerns: 1. Not getting to the hospital in time, and 2. Not having time to get an epidural. So, with all that back story, here is how my birth story goes.

On Monday Morning September 21 around 7:30 AM (at 39 weeks exactly) I started having some consistent contractions, nothing too difficult, just noticeable and easily written off as BH. I had LOTS of false labor with my second birth, up to 5 hours at 3-4 minutes apart for weeks before he was born so I wasn't too concerned at this point. They varied from 10 min to 3 min, but were averaging around 7-8 min apart, but since I hadn't had any false labor at all with this pregnancy, I made note. I was at work and was timing them and decided that around one o'clock I should probably head home since they had been coming fairly consistently for about 4-5 hours and I should get closer to home in case this wasn't false labor and things got more intense quickly like they did for my first two labors.

I got home around 2ish and called my Mom to ask her to come over to watch the boys since I didn't know how long this would last or if it was the real deal, but again I anticipated that things could change quickly and I would feel better if she were here.

At home still having very manageable contractions that continued to vary from 3-12 minutes apart, still averaging around 6-7 minutes. I took a small walk (about 4 blocks) to see if it would pick up the contractions, but it didn't. After I picked my oldest son up from the bus we all went for a walk around the neighborhood to see if that would get stuff going more. After another 1.25 miles of walking, still no change. We ordered a pizza for dinner and I spent the evening going for walks and sitting on my exercise ball to see if anything would make them more intense or closer together, but nothing changed. We put the kids to bed and talked to Mom about staying or going. Since I had been contracting all day we were pretty sure that something had to be happening soon and she decided to stay. We got ready for bed and lay down to go to sleep around 9:45 and then finally things got interesting.

At 9:50 I was laying in bed and had a really intense contraction, one that was electric through your whole body and I knew then that we had finally hit productive contractions. 10:00 another one, 10:11 and another. By 10:21 I had another very intense contraction and woke up DH. We called the doctor and decided to head in to L&D. Even though they were still spaced far apart, things moved quickly with my second birth so we were still anticipating a potentially fast birth and wanted to be in the hospital in plenty of time. Plus, I was GBS positive and needed 4 hours of IV antibiotics so we needed to keep things moving as much as possible.

I listened to my hypnosis tracks in the car ride over and it made everything very comfortable and manageable. We got into the hospital and got settled around 11:00. They did some monitoring, and started my IV for the antibiotics. I continued to labor on the birth ball and standing and was having a hard time finding a comfortable place to be. I had my hypnobabies tracks on but I really didn't switch to off because I really needed to move through the contractions. After about 2 hours of some fairly intense contractions I was getting vocal and they were getting more difficult to manage. At around 1:00 AM I had the nurse check me when I was standing and was really surprised that I was only at 4 and a half at this point.

With my second birth, I arrived at the hospital at about the same time (11PM) and at about 1AM I was 7cm and had a baby in my arms by 1:35. I had expected this to be as fast or faster since it was a subsequent birth, but it became clear to me that this was not going to be a duplicate of my second birth. Both DH and I were getting really tired and I was losing my stamina so we decided to go for the epidural. It was put in place without incident by about 1:30 or 2AM and then we both kinda slept until about 3:15. The nurse came in to check on me around 3:15 and I had just felt a big pop and found out that my water had broken and I think they told me I was at an 8.

The nurse told me that my doctor was at home and I told her that in the past things move fast for me now so they should get her here. About 2 contractions later I was feeling ready to push and did my best to blow away the contractions. I think they called my doctor about 3 times to find out where she was, the nurse told me that they asked her to run, not walk down the hall. When the doctor arrived they broke down the bed and adjusted my mirror and we were ready to push.

Since this epidural was stronger than the previous 2 I had they needed to tell me when I was having a contraction so that I could push with it since the feeling of pressure was pretty constant. They had me push with the first contraction and told me that the baby would be born with the next contraction. They were talking and missed the next contraction on the monitor but with the next one I pushed and watched her head be born in the mirror. I saw her rotate and with the next push I delivered the rest of her. I heard everyone saying ohhh and knew before they even told me that it was a girl. All the nurses and doctors knew that we had 2 boys at home who really wanted a sister, but that we decided to be surprised. Sure enough they announced that it was a girl and set her on top of my chest while they dried her off. She was born at 3:44 AM 7lbs 5oz and 20' long. Her brothers are over the moon in love with her and we are enjoying every minute of our new little girl.

I do have a few tips for the DH's of Moms who have already had kids. My DH fell into old patterns (Lamaze mixed in with our version of Bradley) when things really got going. He didn't read his HB cheat sheet or any of his notes while I was laboring, and we fell into old patterns. For those committed to a natural birth, I would recommend you essentially force your DH to practice with you, a lot. We didn't practice together much at all, although he did read all the materials and listen to the scripts. It was just easier to fall back into old habits. He forgot all about the peace and relax cues and just asked about changing positions, or CD tracks and massaging my back etc. So for you ladies who are working with your DH for a natural birth, do your best to have him shake off his old habits and I imagine that practice with him will do wonders.

So while I know that this is not a standard HB success story, it is still a success for me. I had no false labor like I experienced with my previous births. I had plenty of "warning" that this was my birthing time, and this baby was born weeks later than any of my previous kids. I attribute all of these things to the HB course keeping my stress levels low and keeping me in tune with my body.

Like I said at the beginning, I never really wanted a drug free birth, but had assumed one would be thrust upon me. I was able to stay as comfortable as possible, and got the birth I was very happy with.

Best of luck to all the Moms waiting for their little ones!


DS 8/18/03

DS 6/1/06

DD 9/22/06
Tagged in: epidural
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I haven't posted much here but got such comfort from reading positive birth stories I wanted to post mine. This is really long but it was such a great experience I couldn't stop writing about it! The thing that really amazed me was how I never actually thought about my lightswitch once during my birthing time, but looking back on it I realize I was in center or off the whole time, it just happened automatically. Amazing!

I had been having prodromal labor for about a week before my due date, with pressure waves that started and stopped over and over again. I was trying to be patient but feeling very tired and was so ready to meet my little girl! I worked up until I was 39 weeks and three days, but over the weekend I really felt like I was too uncomfortable and exhausted to keep working, so called in and let them know I was done. That Monday was Columbus Day so my husband and son were home with me, and we spent the day just hanging around the house. The next day was my due date, I had a midwife appointment that morning and had my cervix checked, more out of curiosity than anything, and was 2 cm dilated and "soft". I had agreed for her to strip my membranes but my cervix was too high for her to even reach. I was a little discouraged but tried to keep in mind that things can change quickly! On the way home from the midwife, I stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on basics as well as some treats for myself. I planned to spend the day resting and focusing on listening to my body, and that's just what I did.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch, just having the sense that my body needed rest. I was actually having almost no pressure waves all day, which was unusual after the many days of prodromal labor, but I tried not to think about it and just go with the flow. I decided to download the "Come OUT baby" track, and listened to it at about 3 pm. My husband and son got home shortly after I finished listening to the track, and I noticed that my back was aching some, which wasn't unusual with all the prodromal labor. I fixed dinner and we ate, and by then my back was aching more, feeling just like period cramps, but I didn't notice any pressure waves at all. At about 6:15 pm we had finished dinner and I sat down on the couch with a warm buckwheat pillow on my back. Almost as soon as I sat down I felt a trickle between my legs, I stood up quickly and ran to the bathroom, and as soon as I sat down on the toilet there was a huge gush of fluid. I was so surprised and I yelled to my husband "I think my water just broke!" He was just as surprised, but brought me a dry pair of pants and underwear. I called the midwife who said I needed to come in since I was GBS positive, so I called my mother who was going to come up to stay with my son. She lives about an hour and 20 minutes away but I was feeling fine at that point and figured that would be plenty of time. I also called my sisters who were going to come for the birth. I wanted to get my son into bed before I left, so we started his bedtime routine and got him into bed by a little before 7pm. By then I was having regular pressure waves that were getting more uncomfortable and I was having to really concentrate through them.

I told my husband he needed to get things ready, and I went down into the living room and starting timing pressure waves, I was so surprised to realize they were 2 minutes apart. I put on my headphones and started the "Easy First Stage" track. I found the most comfortable position was on my hands and knees resting my head on the couch during each pressure wave, and found myself moaning through each one, which really helped me control my breathing and get through each wave. Meanwhile my husband was running around getting things into the car and calling my mother to make sure she was coming soon since things were moving so fast! Eventually, I told my husband I really needed him, and he came and sat with me, using the "Relax" cues which worked really well. I threw up once and was so proud of my husband for not getting sick himself (which he usually does!)

Finally my mother and sister arrived, I made it out to the car while having multiple waves on the way out. During the drive I mostly kept my eyes closed and my husband did the best he could with the "Relax" cues as he drove. My sister followed us to the hospital, and once we got there brought me up the OB floor in a wheelchair while my husband parked our car. I was concentrating so hard I was hardly even aware of where I was or what was going on, just going with the flow and breathing/moaning my way through each pressure wave. They had a room ready for me and as soon as I got in there they put the monitors on. The nurses were wonderful and had clearly read my birth plan in advance, they had the lights low, never asked me about my pain, called them pressure waves, etc. I still had my headphones on, and had been listening to "Easy First Stage" and "Birthing Day affirmations" alternating since things had really picked up. I could hear them commenting on how relaxed I was, they were so impressed! The nurse tried to start an IV for the antibiotics but couldn't get it, and after looking at both of my arms felt that the IV specialists would be more likely to get it in. Meanwhile, I finished my 20 minutes on the monitor, and was just reclining in the bed with my legs bent, eyes closed, with my husband right by my side, hand on his shoulder and whispering "Relax" with every pressure wave. I felt so supported and loved! I decided to try sitting up in the rocking chair but only lasted about 2 pressure waves because sitting up made things so intense. I moved to a chair next to the bed and tried leaning forward on some pillows but the waves were just getting more and more intense. As this was going on the IV specialist was trying to start another IV in between waves, but after a few tries the midwife asked her to stop because it was obvious things were moving too fast to make it worthwhile.

Suddenly, during a wave, my beautiful controlled moaning turned into a push, and I had the overwhelming sensation of needing to move my bowels. At the time, it didn't even occur to me that it was the baby! I ran to the bathroom, practically throwing my iPod at my sister on the way. I sat on the toilet and pushed without even trying to, and this was the only time I felt a little out of control, I yelled a little bit because the pressure was so intense and I couldn't stop it. My midwife was so great, and asked if she could check to make sure it was the baby's head coming down, and it definitely was! She pulled my pants off for me and said "We need to move out of the bathroom if you can." I basically jumped off the toilet and ran to the bed, and started kneeling on the bed on my hands and knees. I decided to try to lie on my side but after about one second in that position felt much more comfortable kneeling so went back to that. I was still panicking a little bit until my midwife said "You can do this, you're doing fine, push gently now to let yourself stretch". This was exactly what I needed to hear, and felt an immediate calm settle over me, I even said right out loud "Okay, I'm okay, I can do this". One push later and I had the most amazing feeling of release as she was born. The midwife passed her to me through my legs and I looked at my baby girl for the first time. 8 lbs even, 21 inches long, born with no tears less than three and half hours after my water broke.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
First time mom who always slept through her Hypnobabies scripts, had a wonderful hospital birth and amazed all who were a part of it!

My guess date was August 30th and I was starting to get nervous about my upcoming OB app’t on August 29th, not knowing what my OB would recommend.  I had been having Braxton Hicks for about 3 weeks that would progress throughout the day while I was at work, only to subside when I got home and rested.  I kept hoping and wishing that “today was the day” and kept telling “sweetpea” that we were ready for him/her whenever he/she was ready to come join us.

I woke on August 28th around 2 am with a different sensation in my lower back than what I had previously been feeling with the BH’s.  It was more intense and crampy feeling.  I layed in bed for a few hours and decided that this was probably the day we were going to meet sweetpea as things just felt different.  I went into the living room and started to time my contractions as well as listen to my birthing day affirmations.  I sat on my birth ball and tried getting comfortable between pressure waves but the birth ball wasn’t providing me any extra comfort.

At 6:30 I woke my husband up and told him he wouldn’t need to be going into work as we would be going to the hospital instead.  I got into the warm tub and then a hot shower before getting dressed, eating some toast and drinking lots of gatorade.  My pressure waves were about 1-1 ½ minutes long and about 4-5 minutes apart.  I called the OB’s office at 8 am and the MD on call didn’t get back to me - ugh.  I waited another ½ hour and called the office back again and they recommended I go to the hospital.

We arrived at 9am and they admitted me to labor and delivery.  At that point, I was having bloody show and quickly changed from my clothes into a hospital gown.  The pressure waves were intensifying but I was able to stay comfortable thru them.  The OB on call came in and we reviewed my birth plan and he said everything on it was fine - no hep-well/IV, able to eat/drink as I wanted, mother directed pushing, etc.

He checked me and asked if I wanted to know how far along I was - I was hesitant to say yes as I didn’t want to be disappointed but my curiosity got the better of me.  I had envisioned arriving at the hospital at 6/7 cm but he told me I was at 3 cm.  Although a little discouraged, I knew things were progressing quickly based on the increased intensity of my pressure waves and was encouraged that we were finally going to meet our little one soon.  I listened to my deepening cd mostly and turned my switch to off when a pressure wave started.

Quickly after arriving, I vomited (which I never visualized in my birthing day) and my nurse said that is typical for some moms when they are dilating between 4/5 cm.  My nurse was excellent - she had used hypnosis for the births of her 4 children and was amazing in helping me to relax.  I had thought that I would like to keep moving - walking, rocking in a rocking chair, sitting on a birthing ball, sitting on the toilet - but when I tried all of these I became more uncomfortable and so I settled into the hospital bed alternating between lying on my sides.  My husband read mini-scripts and used the relax cue throughout the first stage when needed.

Time frames escape me as the last thing I was interested in doing was looking at the clock, but my guess would be around 12/1 pm, I was feeling a little pushy.  My nurse checked me at that point and said I was at 8 cm - the intensity at this point was getting ahead of me and I was having increased trouble relaxing.  My husband kept reminding me that I only had to deal with one pressure wave at a time and that we were getting closer to meeting our new baby.  I found the peace cue to be helpful at this point during pressure waves and I vocalized in a low moan as I exhaled.

Another thing I hadn’t heard about or visualized as happening during my birthing time was involuntary shaking during pressure waves.  As much as I tried to relax, turn off and go to my special place, my entire body was shaking and therefor I had a harder time I think at this point dealing with the intensity.  I quickly told the nurse that I wanted to start pushing so she told me to go ahead (they never checked me again to make sure I was fully dilated - I guess they just trusted me that my body knew what it was doing and I was so thankful for this, especially being a first time mother)!

Pushing was by far the most comfortable part of my birthing day - it felt so good to bear down and get things moving forward.  I started to push on my side but wasn’t entirely comfortable in this position.  My nurse recommended trying kneeling with the head of the bed elevated so that my backside was facing out into the room and I was able to rest my arms and upper chest on the top of the elevated bed.  I stayed in this position for the entire time I pushed and my OB delivered with me in this position which I was impressed with.  It was helpful for me to be focused on myself and not on things going on around me out in the room.

I pushed for about 1 ½ - 2 hours and no-one ever started counting or directed me in any way in how to push.  My body just took over and pushed during pressure waves - I tried to push between pressure waves but it didn’t feel right to me.  I was able to converse with the nurses and my husband between pushing but was very focused and inside myself.  The nurse and OB thought I wouldn’t tear because of the slow descent of the baby but at some point, I think I had had enough of pushing, got impatient and seriously beared down so that I could meet my baby.  I felt intense stretching/burning at this point that lasted for a very short time and at 3:55 pm, Amelia Mae was born.

My husband was able to cut the cord and the respiratory therapist had to suction her stomach right away because of the presence of meconium.  After that was done, she was given to me and was allowed to stay with me for at least 2 hours while we breastfed and enjoyed skin to skin contact. Right after delivering Amelia, the OB was pretty funny as I was still kneeling with my butt facing him while watching the respiratory therapist attend to my baby.  At some point I said “should I change position?” and he said, “that would be helpful as I’m having a hard time trying to figure out your anatomy from this angle”.  I quickly delivered the placenta (don’t really remember it as I was holding my bundle of joy and staring into her eyes) and had to be sewn up as I had a 2nd degree tear.

I had a successful first time hospital birth with no interventions and I am so thankful to Hypnobabies for this.  I was surprised by the intensity of the pressure waves and did experience some discomfort but I feel that is because I wasn’t able to focus 100% when my body started involuntarily shaking.  I also wish I had a better plan for my birth day as to what I would listen to on my ipod (I just kept going back to the deepening cd as I was looking for more relaxation but feel like I could have benefitted from other tracks as well).

During my pregnancy, I listened to my scripts religiously but always (I mean always) fell asleep while listening to them.  I always looked forward to coming home from work, lying down in my bed, turning on my ipod and waking up 30-60 minutes later feeling refreshed.  The one thing I wish I had done was spend more time practicing my finger drops and directing my anesthesia as I wasn’t as religious about doing these.  I was so thankful for the daily pregnancy affirmations - they empowered me so much and helped me relax throughout the pregnancy.

My OB wanted to keep doing ultrasounds because I was measuring small throughout the pregnancy.  I started to decline them, knowing I was healthy and that my baby was safe.  Turns out she was born at 6lbs 13oz - definitely not too small and just the right size in my opinion :) We went home after 24 hours and every one was amazed at how well the baby and myself were doing.  Thank you Hypnobabies!!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Mom had a comfortable long birthing time, but some different issues necessitated a cesarean.  Hypnobabies was still very helpful despite the change in plans.

I hadn't taken the time to write up my birth story until just
recently, partly because my birth detoured from what I had planned
and I needed some time to grieve the birth that I had worked so hard
for but wasn't able to have, so I'll caution my fellow Hypnomommas
to read with your BOP.

I'll start by saying that my experience with Hypnobabies was
wonderful and a true gift to myself and my child.  I believe in
Hypnobabies so much that it is my goal to become a Hypnobabies doula
and eventually to teach.

I chose to birth with a midwife who is part of a OB practice in a
hospital.  On Wednesday, April 2nd, my birthday, I was at work and
remember, after leaving a meeting, having the distinct feeling that
I should be at home.  My birthing time had not begun (although I was
five days past my guess date at this point) and I wasn't feeling any
pressure waves but I just had this feeling and I remembered hearing
in our HB classes and in the discussions from the Yahoo Group how
important it is to listen to your body, so I did just that and went
home.  On Thursday, April 3rd, I was feeling the same so I called
into work.  I did venture out for my scheduled chiropractic
appointment and that evening is when I finally felt something
begin.  We started keeping track of my pressure waves but they were
very irregular and so we called it a night and began again the next
day.  It was the same story that Friday.  I was having waves but
they weren't regular and didn't feel like they were doing much.
Jeff, my husband, went ahead to work and I spent the day relaxing
and in Center.  I had been in Center since Thursday afternoon,
recalling that it is a good idea to begin using your hypnosis
early.  (As a side note, I have to say that I think this is one of
the two reasons that Hypnobabies worked so well for me.  This and
remembering to choose to use my hypnosis.)  It wasn't until that
evening, when Jeff arrived back home, that things finally began
kicking into gear and my pressure waves became regular.  In
hindsight, I think I was asking my body to wait until he got home
and then once he did I opened up and gave myself permission to go
ahead with the birth.

Things continued into the night and Jeff called Kathy, our doula,
and asked her to head our way.  She arrived at our house around 2:00
am.  I was comfortable through each of my pressure waves and found
that my favorite place to be was on the toilet, funny enough.  I
continued to progress at home until about 3:00 am when we decided to
head to the hospital.  We got checked in and per our birth plan Jeff
handled most of the questions while Kathy set up the room, dimmed
the lights, and posted the Hypnobabies sign on our door.  When they
checked me to see what my progress was, we learned that I was
between 5-6 cm.  I was so ecstatic!  I couldn't believe that I had
progressed this far at home.

Over the next four hours I changed positions, several times,
utilized the bathtub in my room, which was great, walked the halls,
hydrated myself and snacked.  When they checked me again, at 7:30
am, I was at 9 cm, which was great.  This is where my story begins
to detour.  An hour later they checked me again but my cervix was
swollen a bit on one side.  The midwife recommended that my bag of
waters be broken and that I move around for awhile to see if we
could bring Wesley's head down more evenly on the cervix and help me
finish dilating and effacing.  Kathy took the lead here and had me
pacing the halls, doing the belly lift, bouncing on the birth ball,
etc.  They checked me again about an hour later and unfortunately my
cervix wasn't thinning out but was swelling more.  We decided to try
Pitocin to regulate my pressure waves and to see if the baby would
come down more.  I was on Pitocin for a couple of hours and when
they checked me again the news wasn't good.  Instead of thinning
out, my cervix was continuing to swell and was getting worse.  They
weren't sure why but at this point I had been at 9 cm for 8 hours.
Their recommended a c-section.  This is where my beautiful birth
plan got thrown out.  Although we really didn't want a c-section we
decided to go ahead for our safety.

Wesley Aiden was born at 4:02 pm on Saturday, April 5th, 2008.  He
weighed 7 lb. 1.45 oz. and was 21.5 inches long (although in the
birthing room, which is what my wonderful midwife called the OR, he
was mistakenly measured at 23 inches.  What a long baby that would
have been!)  :)

In reflection, I am still so happy with my Hypnobabies experience
and really feel that it gave me all the tools to have a p*** free
birth.  I was able to make it all the way to 9 cm with no need and
no wish for any pain medication, before having to allow for a change
of plans.  I'm still so proud of my accomplishment, although
saddened that the birth didn't quite turn out the way I had
envisioned.  However, in the end, the only p*** I ever felt was when
the nurse was putting in the hep-loc (which she was having
difficulty doing) and when the anesthesiologist was putting in the
epidural, neither of those having anything to do with the natural
birth process!  And best of all I have my wonderful, healthy son.
Thankfully he was only exposed to the epidural for at most 20
minutes, as the epi was placed minutes before the c-section.  Beyond
that, I had a wonderful and complication-free recovery that I truly
believe was facilitated by my ability to stay clam, focused, relaxed
and at peace, allowing my body not only to progress through the
birth but to also continue it's natural healing power after the c-
section.  All this because of Hypnobabies!  My mother-in-law still
talks about how great I looked after the birth.  She says that I
didn't look like I'd been giving birth at all.  :)

I hope that my story will be an encouragement to all of you
wonderful moms who choose to educate yourselves and insist on being
an integral part of your births!

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I found this Hypnobabies Birth story that won an essay contest.  I thought it was pretty inspirational.  Mom overcame her fears of birth, moved forward with a Natural Birth, circumstances led to an induction, mom followed her intuition knowing that was the best choice.

Click on over and read!
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Well, Matthew is here – born 10/16 at 1028 pm, 8.5 lbs, 21 inches.

Here is his very very long story – sorry, just kept writing.

This definitely needs a BOP at times, but thought I'd share anyway.  Also, occasionally a possible TMI.

I have had two previous inductions that were very good.  I had some IV meds with both, but no epidural which was my goal this time as well.  This time, we are in the UK where they don't HAVE IV meds.  The only pain options are gas and air (laughing gas) and an epidural.  Again, I did not want to have the epidural, which is how I found the hypnobabies program – trying to find alternate pain management and stumbled across it.  I love the concept, so decided to give it a try.

Since I had two very successful inductions already, I was completely ready for my induction Monday morning, Oct 19th at 41+4.  Well, on the 16th at 530 pm he decided he was ready on his own and broke my inner bag of water which then started leaking.  I remember standing talking with my four year old and thinking "either my waters just started leaking or I have a bigger bladder problem than I thought."  So, I called the midwife who said come in and we'll check what is going on.  Meanwhile, I'm leaking every time I move so I'm pretty sure this is it.  Hubby got home, we had some dinner, said bye to our two girls and my parents who have been staying with us, and headed to the hospital.  At this point I still haven't had a pressure wave – the entire pregnancy.  I think I had ONE practice pressure wave this pregnancy.

We got to the hospital at 630 pm.  While checking to see if it was my water, the OB accidentally ruptured the rest of it – guess that was the water.  I was at a 2, same as I had been that week at my 41 week appointment (the only time I was checked).  I had declined testing for Group B Strep – assuming that I had it since I have twice before, so we decided to induce so he wasn't exposed to the bacteria for an extended period of time.  We could have waited to see if pressure waves started on their own, but there was no sign of any coming, so at 650 pm we started the drip and I got my antibiotics.

Well, I am now a firm believer that the drip meds in the UK are stronger than the drip meds in the US.  I was fully prepared for the induction, having had 2 very similar – one 17 hours, one 8 hours…..well, nothing had prepared me for this experience.  We turned on the CD and got situated.

About a half hour after the drip started I had the thought that I was going to need an epidural for this child – there was already no way I was going to make it through this without one, but I'd see how far I got.  I hadn't had a BM all day and I needed to go.  It was still early, and I knew it wasn't a push feeling, so they let me go.  I took a little longer than they would like, so they kept asking "are you ok" through the door.  About an hour later I had to go again – this time loose stools.  Again they were asking through the door.  Finally my midwife asked if I'd like her to come in – I said yes, told her what was going on – and she was ok with the fact baby wasn't coming, but body was cleaning itself out, so she left and told my OB and hubby that everything was fine.

Listening to my CDs were helping, but things were becoming very intense, and I was definitely starting to feel pain.  About 9 I told my husband "they are just coming so fast" – I couldn't see the monitor because it was on the other side of the bed, and it was just printing out on paper so he couldn't see it either.  He was VERY helpful with my relax cues.  By his watch he figured that the pressure waves were coming every 30-45 seconds and were lasting 45-60 seconds, so they really were coming one on top of the other.  It was so intense that I was starting to be in my own world trying to manage that I wasn't really hearing the CD, and definitely wasn't able to concentrate on it.  About the time I said that to DH, my midwife decided it was time for a check.  I told hubby if I was a 6 or less, I was having that epidural.  We agreed that I would try the gas and air first, but then I would have the epidural.  Turns out I was a 7, so that was good – I figured I'd try and hold out a little longer.  My midwife also decided to stay there during a pressure wave and help stretch a little – that was quite painful, but I was not exactly in control.

At this point I decided that the gas and air was a really good idea, so I started using it, learning how to manage the pressure waves with it, and I gained control again.  I felt I had to go to the bathroom again a little later – but just wet.  They kept asking if I felt pressure in my rear – which I didn't.  So, we were getting ready to walk across the hall to the bathroom again, but decided I couldn't leave my gas and air that long.  So, they actually did something creative – made a toilet on the chair putting a waterproof pad, then a bowl so it was more comfortable than using a regular bedpan.  While there I was also having loose stools – which my midwife kept saying was a sign of clearing out and getting ready.  This was about 1015 when I got back in bed.  I was working on getting back on my side but found I could not put my knees back together – and was really struggling.  They were still asking about pressure in my rear, which I still wasn't having.  However, after about a minute I realized that I couldn't put my knees together because there was a head in the way.  My midwife was already planning to check me when I got back in to bed, and I knew exactly what she would find.  Sure enough, there he was.

So, we started pushing.  It was a midwife/self led pushing.  I wasn't exactly using the breathing technique, but I was completely listening to my body.  Again I was at the point where I was out of control, even with the gas and air.  I could hear everything going on, comprehend most of it, but couldn't respond to anything.  So, I was trying to focus on what my midwife was telling me.  She was FANTASTIC!!  She let me lead, and simply told me when I needed to stop pushing – I'm assuming to prevent tearing.  After three children, I have finally learned the definition of the ring of fire!  There were several pressure waves that she said I could push when I felt like it, but I could feel myself about to tear so I stopped.  After about 7 minutes his head was out.  Then I could feel the rest starting to come – but everyone (midwife, DH, OB) were all yelling at me to stop pushing.  Well….I couldn't stop – my body had completely taken over.  I knew what they were saying, I was telling my body to stop, and it just was refusing.  So I am hearing "cut it now!" because they figured out that I wasn't going to be able to stop.  Finally after about 90 seconds he started to cry.  Apparently he had been breathing, so no one else was worried, but I hadn't heard him, so I was.  Come to find out they were yelling for me to stop because the cord was wrapped twice around his neck – so that was pretty scary.  Placenta delivery went great – apparently I have a very large placenta…no idea J  He was born at 1028 pm.

I did manage to make it without an epidural – which was my biggest goal.  Also, I had a VERY small tear that required no stitches – a first for me.  I was up and showering within 2 hours of the birth.  I feel absolutely incredible.  I understand now why people would want to leave the hospital within hours of birth, or have a homebirth.  I also understand why people are afraid of induction.  If this had been the experience with my first I'd never do it again.

******Hypnobabies assessment********
I told my husband later that night I felt like a hypnobaby drop out – it was definitely NOT a pain free birth.  However he made several very good points to me.  First, when I was listening to my CD and able to concentrate I was doing well.  Even as things spun out of control for me, whenever he would use the relax cues, I did so immediately.  He said it was amazing to watch me be completely tense and go to complete relaxation with that single action.  He had been very worried about the role he would play in the birth between the Hypnobabies CDs and my midwife – he was absolutely indispensable (as he has been at each birth).  So, those whose DH's are worried – really, they are needed.

I definitely learned that listening to your body is amazing!  There really is a recovery period between when you are fully dilated and when your body is ready to push. Hypnobabies helped me to listen to my body, advocate for myself, and be willing to try something different.

I firmly believe that if circumstances were different, hypnobabies would have been a great success for me.  It was the speed and intensity of the experience that caused me to lose control and be unable to manage the pain without the gas and air.  Had I known about hypnobabies my last pregnancy, I truly believe I would have been able to have a pain-free birth with her, even with the induction.  This time I went from 2 to delivered in 3.5 hours.  The pushing stage was listed in the notes as 8 minutes.  It was definitely the most intense experience of my life.  I think if I had been able to go on my own, this program would be wonderfully successful.  I am very grateful for giving it a shot – it did help me during the labor many times, as my husband lovingly pointed out.  It was simply the circumstances that did not allow me to have the whole Hypnobabies experience I wanted, and that's OK – it helped me with my biggest goal which was to avoid the epidural, which I definitely would not have been able to do without Hypnobabies.

Thanks to everyone for all your support, I've enjoyed being part of the group.

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I got an epidural with my first child and went natural with my second.  I debated the first half of my third pregnancy if I would have a natural childbirth experience again or if I wanted the epidural.  When I went natural with my second, the pain was unbearable and I thought I was going to die--literally.  Just thinking of the pain would sometimes make me feel panicky.  I was so hesitant to get the epidural, though, because I knew that it could really lead to complications and make the recovery a lot harder.

A friend of mine told me that she did hypno-birthing and that I should look into it.  I kind of wrote it off because it sounded expensive- you have to buy the program and possibly hire a doula- none of which insurance would cover, but insurance would cover the epidural.  After a while I decided that I would at least investigate on the internet.  I stumbled across the "Hypnobabies" webpage and I read what they had to say.  There were great success stories of women using self-hypnosis to control the pain of childbirth.  I found a video on "youtube" of a girl who used hypnobabies and when she was dilated to 9 cm and about ready to push, she looked like she was asleep. On the video she dubbed her voice in and said, "You can tell I am having a pressure wave here because I breath deeper."  I thought that was amazing because when I hit 7 cm with my second, I was shaking, screaming and squeezing my husband's hand so hard that he was squirming to get away from me.

I found a doula in Rexburg (Kelly McKamey) who was "hypnobabies" certified so I called and asked her all the questions I could think of. This idea of using deep relaxation and allowing my body to accept what it was experiencing was intriguing to me. I then made a pros and cons list of getting the epidural or learning the hypnobabies program.  I determined that if I was going to go natural again, I had to do something different.  I would need to go into the labor equipped with tools.  I came to the conclusion that the epidural would be the easiest way, but had the potential to create problems.  The more I considered hypnobabies I realized that it would be a lot of work and preparation, but would have the biggest payoff.  I thought about how proud of myself I would be.  I saved the money, scheduled my doula and ordered the home study program.

It took planning and effort to make sure that I did all of the practice and preparation, but I did it.  My original due date was August 9th.   In July Kelly called and told me that she had an emergency and needed to see her daughter in California and would not be back until august 1st.  She really apologized, especially because there is no one else in the area that is trained in hypnobabies.  I began to worry because my second came 8 days early and she wouldn't be back until 8 days before my due date.  It is very interesting to note that one small aspect of the program is to visualize your birth, down to when you would like to begin labor.  In my subconscious mind I always told myself "not any earlier than August 1st."

Saturday, August 1st I went into the midwives office and was checked.  I was dilated to 2 cm and 80 % effaced.  She stripped my membranes and told me she wouldn't be surprised if I went into labor that night.  I went home and worked as hard as I could to get the garden weeded.  I started feeling my pressure waves, but I kept on working hoping to get done.  My husband was out dirt biking but he kept texting me to make sure I was okay.  I didn't finish weeding before I realized if I didn't go into the house right then, I might not make it in because my pressure waves were getting pretty intense.

It was about 6:00 pm when I went in.  I laid down to do some hypnosis.  Jaron made it home with a pizza and he put the kids to bed.  I ate a little bit, but I mostly laid still on the couch down stairs and listened to my hypno-babies cds (on my I pod).  I tried calling Kelly to see where she was at about 9:30-no answer. I moved up to my bed and just kept listening my I pod.  I tried her again at 11:30 pm and she was home.  I was sooooooo relieved!!  I told her what I was experiencing and she advised me to get up and walk around every so often because sometimes when you are in hypnosis you don't realize how strong your pressure waves are.  I got up and walked from my bed down the hall.  I barely got to my daughter's room and had to sit on her bed because my pressure waves were so strong.  I called Kelly back and we agreed to meet at the hospital.

We got there about 1:00 AM and checked in. I was dilated almost to 6 cm. Kelly was such a strength and comfort to me.  Every time I had a pressure wave she would put one hand on my forehead and one on the back of my head and gently speak words from the hypnosis scripts.  We walked around and bounced on the birthing ball.  I laid in the Jacuzzi for a while. Kelly would pour warm water over my stomach each time I had a pressure wave and she had a sheet of paper that my husband could read mini scripts from.  It was cool to hear his voice.

At this point I kept feeling like my labor was slowing down.  I kept feeling like my pressure waves were getting further and further apart.  I was worried that my labor was stalling.  I got out and we walked around.  The midwife Rachel said that she had to assist with a c-section and after that we would break my water.  I knew once my water was broken that I would go really fast.  I started to get really nervous because I remember transition (in hypno-terms: transformation) with Hudson.  That was the part of sheer deathly pain.  I asked Kelly if she had any mini scripts she uses that were from the "fear release" session.  She said, Why don't you get comfy in this rocking chair with pillows and listen to the full "fear release" session on your I pod.  That was tremendously helpful for me.

Immediately after, my water was broken (I was at 8 cm, 5:30am).  The pressure waves became extremely strong, but there weren't as many as I thought and I was able to mentally control the pain.  I began pushing and I pushed the head out.  Kelly said, "Brooke, reach down and feel your baby's head."  So I did and when I brought my hands back up Rachel the midwife said, "Brooke, reach down and catch your baby."  I actually reached down and caught her and brought her up onto my chest!! Isn't that amazing?

Kelly was so wonderful.  She stayed to give me a foot rub afterward.  The midwife and nurses clipped the cord, but they didn't clean her or weigh her.  They just left (after my placenta had delivered, which was a piece of cake-with my second I had complications with my placenta delivering; another thing I attribute to hypnobabies).  I nursed and just held my baby for about an hour.  Kelly left shortly after, but came out to the house a week later to see how everything was going.

It was so fun to visit with Kelly about the birth and have her insight on things.  The whole time during the labor I kept thinking that the midwives and Kelly must think I'm not in real labor because my pressure waves were so short and far apart and not very painful.  In talking to Kelly afterward she said that quite often because of the hypnosis, moms don't actually recognize when the pressure waves start and end very accurately.  Kelly shared something with me that I didn't remember happening that I thought was so awesome.  Right before I was about to push, my midwife Rachel said to Kelly, "You're going to have to tell me when she's having a pressure wave, because I can't tell."  That is amazing to me because with my second, the minute they broke my water (at 7 cm) I was screaming and writhing in pain!  When I thought back, I was a mirror image of the girl I saw on "youtube"!!

Also, my after labor cramps and pains were un-noticeable, the nurses kneeding my stomach was something I remembered being horrible, but this time was nothing to speak of.  I was so alert and had so much energy! About an hour after, I was up and showered and feeling fantastic!  I give all the credit to hypnobabies!  I felt so good when midwife Helene was checking me out of the hospital the next day and she said that Rachel told her I was a perfect model of what a hypnobabies birth should be!

I used hypnosis to help with sore nipples from breastfeeding.  I continue to use it to get to sleep at night.I have such a special spot in my heart for this birth experience and Kelly for her help.  I am so proud of my self.

This was the equivalent of completing a marathon for me.
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Our precious baby girl was born 2:40 a.m. on September 29!  Here is the story:

I was working at my laptop at the dining room table until after 11:30 p.m. on the 28th (my "guess" date).  I was having some mild contractions, but I had been having them for two months due to an irritable uterus, so I didn't pay much attention.  I had also given up on all the pre-labor preparations -- making sure I got to bed early "in case she comes tonight," having last-minute stuff in the bag for the hospital, the treats for the nurses, etc.  I had been doing that for weeks since it was expected she was going to come early, and I'd had enough of the disappointment.

I remember finally going to bed that night not being able to get comfortable, even more so than usual.  Still, I didn't think I was going into labor.

Around 12:30 I woke up feeling like I had to go to the bathroom, and as soon as I sat up, I felt a gush.  I still didn't believe my water had broken until I got to the bathroom and knew that couldn't be pee.  It was a lot of fluid.  Based on my first birth experience, when I went from 2 cm to 10 in 90 minutes, I knew things would probably move quickly.  I woke my husband, who at first didn't seem to believe me since we'd had so many pre-labor signs the past few weeks, but the waves started coming right away.  I was hoping he'd help me time them,  but he got in the shower (!) so I got my digital watch and the log sheet out.  5 minutes, then 4, then almost 3.  I practiced turning my lightswitch off during the waves.   I called my nurse midwife, who had also been there for our first baby, and she said to get to the hospital.  My husband was on the phone with our friends arranging to drop off our son. I grabbed the last-minute things and the ipod and got in the car.

The waves started coming more quickly on the car ride, and my legs were shaking slightly.  I thought I might be starting transformation stage.  I was listening to Easy First Stage and was comfortable.  I switched to Center to say goodbye to our son when we dropped him off and then went back to loose and limp until we got to the hospital.

I remember the wheelchair attendant guy at the hospital trying to make small talk as he took me to OB (my husband was parking the car).  I think I may have put my hand up, like "talk to the hand," and asked him to please be quiet.  Poor guy. I was trying to focus!

They took me to triage, but I wasn't there long.  The waves were right on top of each other and the rest of my water released.  Still, I was using the lightswitch and Kerry in my ears, and I was ok.  I scooted to the bed and they wheeled me into the birthing suite.

Once there, I remember I put on Deepening (my favorite).  The staff was great about keeping the lights dim and not talking to me.  I marveled at what was happening in my abdomen!  The waves were really like a wave -- tightest at the top first, peaking like a wave, then gradually fizzling out.  They were intense, but I felt in control and never felt discomfort through transformation, which had been my greatest fear. My husband said later that as he was sitting there quietly watching, he could see my belly rise way up when a wave started.  I broke my lightswitch one time when I said "pushing" to my midwife during one of the waves, because I realized I was.  She lifted the blanket and they saw the head.  This was sometime between 2:15 and 2:30 -- less than an hour since we'd arrived.  I was getting more vocal, which made me self-conscious a bit, but it was working.

I only pushed a few times, and probably more forcefully than I should have, because I did tear.  Had I listened to my midwife more closely, I probably wouldn't have, but that was the only time I felt discomfort.  It was also the only time during the birthing that I wasn't using my hypnosis tools, so learn from my mistake!  Oh well, Elise was in my arms.  Again the staff was wonderful about following our birth plan and letting us bond.

The MP3 player was a godsend.  I highly, highly recommend it to anyone planning a Hypnobabies birth.  I knew we wouldn't do birth partner scripts -- why would I have my husband awkwardly reciting these when I could have the expert I'd been practicing with in my ears?!

The past two weeks, I've used the Peace cue and breathing during breastfeeding when she first latches on to tender nipples.  I miss practicing the scripts every day.  I'm very grateful for Hypnobabies.  The nurses the next day said they'd heard what a beautiful birth it was.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
On June 17th, a Wednesday, I felt homey.  The sky was gray in the afternoon and I took that as an excuse not to go to my yoga class.  This was unusual, as I really enjoyed my yoga classes, but I felt a little fatigued.  I went to bed, to rest, and started reading a new book: Una piccola bestia ferita, by Margherita Oggero.  I knew this was going to be a pleasant book, a lighthearted mystery.
At around 4.30 pm I went to the bathroom and lost my mucous plug.  I had wondered what this was going to be like, as my sister never realized when she lost hers for my two nephews.  Well, it was unmistakable for me.  It was like dropping an egg white in the toilet.
I immediately called Stephan, my husband, to the bathroom, and we took a good look at it.  We were both very excited, even though we had read it could be weeks before birthing time.  Still we were one step further.  His parents called a few minutes after, and were told the news, and I e-mailed my mom, just to keep her up to date on progress.  Then Stephan had the idea of brewing me some RRL tea, which was very relaxing to drink.  I did the Deepening script, with lavender aromatherapy.  It was the best hypnosis session I ever did!  I felt great afterwards and with some mild cramping.  I thought the cramping was from the RRL tea, so I was very relaxed and I practiced my off switch here and there.
At this point I started thinking that maybe birthing time could be closer than we expected, we could not be sure it would take another week.  And the cramping continued, still mild.  So I decided that for dinner I wanted to have a huge pasta dish, spaghetti alla carbonara.  This is the good pre-races carbo loading tradition.  If it worked well for rowing it would work well for delivery too.  I felt I needed to be prepared.  Stephan didn't think we were at all near the big day, but helped me cook the pasta, as I still had cramping and was practicing the off switch.  I ate dinner with gusto and we went upstairs to watch a movie, Sleuth.  Interestingly weird movie.  But I didn't get to see the end of it until a few days later.  Because as we were watching it the cramping got more intense and I needed Stephan to stop the movie to better do my off switch without missing what was going on.
Meanwhile we noticed that the belly was much lower, but that was supposedly normal with lightening.  I was also peeing a lot and losing some liquid.  But it wasn't like water it was still a little thick in consistency.  Stephan read on the internet it could take hours to loose the mucus plug completely, so we didn't think it was my water breaking.  We then tried to time the pressure waves, if that was what they were, but it was hard to do.  I wasn't able to distinguish a start and an end.  It was a cramping truly like a wave.  What I could determine was the peak of each wave.  So Stephan timed the peaks and they were 3 minutes apart.  Again we looked at each other and he thought it was not possible, since I was doing so well.

But I had a feeling the baby was soon to come, I thought maybe the following morning, like I had often envisioned in the birthing visualizations.  We got to the point that we were stopping the movie so often it seemed silly to continue watching it.  And the waves became more intense, so much so I could not sit still.  This was initially shocking to me, as I had most of my confidence in my off switch.  I thought it was pretty powerful, it worked with cramps in my legs, with needles, etc.  I was not happy not to be able to use it during waves.  But I had already figured out that the center switch was going to be important, to move around.  And the last days I had being practicing it more, following some suggestions from the forum.  So I went to center switch and instinctively went on all fours on my yoga mat and moved my hips in circles.  This was bliss and helped so much in "riding" the waves.  Meanwhile Stephan took a shower, shaved, packed all the pre-assembled items for the hospital bag (a huge travel bag on wheels really) and called a taxi.  I had originally planned to take a relaxing bath and a shower before leaving for the hospital.  But I didn't feel like taking either.  I thought it was funny that Stephan was all focused on showering, but in retrospect it was good he did, as he didn't see a shower for the following two days, camping out at the hospital.  When the taxi arrived I was circling my hips on my birthing ball.  I got up and off we went with the huge bag in the trunk and the ball in the front seat.  I was listening to the birthing day affirmations on my iPod at this point.  I really liked them, not just affirmations like the pregnancy ones, more like guidelines.  The taxi took off and Stephan immediately realized it was heading in the wrong direction, so he made it clear to the driver that we were going to Pennsylvania Hospital, not University of Penn Hospital.  I guess the driver was a little nervous: I had four pressure waves during the 8 minute cab ride.  I saw him running at least one red light (it was past midnight, so not much traffic anyway).

The driver left us at the emergency room hospital entrance.  Stephan took the bag, I took my ball and off we went.  The security guard didn't quite understand I was in labor, but opened the door for us to get in.  So I walked all the way: the first floor hallway, elevator, fourth floor hallway, to the PETU desk.  I had four pressure waves on our way there.  For each one I would put down my ball and sit on it, making circles with my hips.  Also, as soon as I was inside the hospital I switched to the Easy First Stage track.  I heard what I thought was an interference, like the iPod was breaking.  I told Stephan and he said that was the background music in the hospital lobby.  Just imagine… I was annoyed by it.  I was totally in my bubble.  The funniest wave was the one in the elevator: it wasn't quite past when the doors opened, I kept circling on my ball.  Stephan didn't move, just waited.  But as the doors were closing the wave was over, so I jumped off my ball, took it in my arms and squeezed through the doors at the last possible instant.  At the reception desk Stephan dealt with everything, I was just saying whatever came to mind that he may forget, like "low intervention room" and repeating a couple of times.

They got me in the triage room and wanted to have me on a bed to monitor me.  But I didn't want to move from my ball, so they put the monitor on where I was.  Soon a resident came for a check visit.  I managed to climb on the bed, but stayed there on all fours.  Now this visit was painful, and she didn't know where to put her hands in this position.  She said I was at 5 cm dilation.  So they let me go to the bathroom, which I had wanted to do since getting there.  In the bathroom I told Stephan I was a bit disappointed: the waves were now intense and if I was only at 5, then I didn't have a clue on how to go on for who knows how many hours.  And I felt like pushing.  He told the nurse so and the resident was back for another check visit.  I was now lying on the bed like they wanted me to, since I was a bit down and in between pressure waves.  The visit from the front revealed that I was actually at 9, so they rushed me to the delivery room.  This time I was on a wheelchair, but still holding on to my ball.  I couldn't see Stephan and was calling him and also saying "drink, drink" as I was very thirsty.

Since everything was so rushed they didn't manage to put in the hep-lock, which I didn't want but was hospital policy.  I was very happy about this.  In the delivery room Stephan put on the Pushing track on speakers.  Now the difficult part began.  I thought I knew how to push.  I had even practiced the last month, while pooping, the exhale pushing and I thought I got it.  Well I didn't have a clue.  Also I thought I wanted to squat, but that was a difficult position to hold (even though I had practiced this one also) and the nurses weren't too comfortable with me on the floor.  I really wanted to be on all fours on the bed but the midwife was not comfortable with this position either and they couldn't monitor the baby's heart beat.  The belt was picking up my heart beat, so they asked Stephan for permission to put the internal sensor on the baby's head, which we agreed to.  Since I felt a little lost at this point and thought the baby would be out quickly, I wasn't sure of what to do.

The midwife asked if she could direct me and I said yes, ending up on my back, doing the purple pushing.  This also seemed to me not to work.  The fact is I thought this phase was going to be fast and that I knew how to push.  I had read the article Pushing for Primips by Gloria Lemay http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?s=pushing+phase.  But I had somehow forgotten about it, or I thought the "head being shaped by the canal" had already taken place.  I should have memorized this article, not simply read it!  So I was really frustrated I couldn't push the baby out, especially since I am an athlete and am used to controlling my muscles.  All I kept thinking was that my face was going to explode and that I could feel my eyes popping out.  The nurses kept telling me to push against the pain, but I didn't feel any localized pain to push against.  The waves here were very intense and I could do only 3 pushes per wave, and they felt rushed.  In between waves I would calm myself, go back to center switch or off, rest and either apologize to the nurses for my screaming like a mad woman or complaining to my husband that I didn't know how to push and I felt like a failure.  But he was very reassuring and the Peace and Relax cues with hand on the shoulder worked wonderfully all the way, also while pushing.  Finally Stephan saw the head.  He asked me if I wanted to touch it, but at that moment I didn't feel like it, it was more about my overcoming this moment than thinking about the baby.

When I did feel the head right "there" the midwife said: "With the next contraction you can push the baby out".  But I remembered about pushing without a wave from the program and I also felt that the head couldn't possibly stay where it was as I was super stretched.  So I replied no, that I could now feel the "ring" and the baby and I would push him out.  And I did in 4 pushes, that I could control very well.  I took as much time as I needed in between, as I didn't have to fit them into a pressure wave.  It was very satisfying to feel back in control of my body's reactions.  And it was amazing to feel the baby come out, very gently, not all at once, and a bit slippery and warm.  Instantly it was about the baby again, not about me, and with a great sense of achievement, rather than relief.  I had my eyes closed and opened them only when I felt the baby on my belly.  First thing I saw was his head from the top: a head full of hair.  I touched it and it was so soft and silky.  And I caressed him.

I don't remember what I said, I was just in awe at this little red being that I thought I didn't know, but really I did.  And it was incredible I loved him, right then and there, without knowing where this love came from, it was just there all at once, all of a sudden.  Or so it felt like that.  Stephan was very moved and caressed him and then held him too.  He cut the cord.  We had about an hour to bond and try a first attempt at latching.  Then baby went for bath, etc and Stephan went with him.  I was alone for some time and couldn't believe how everything went, as I was sipping my Gatorade in the darkened room.  The pushing was 1 hour and a half, active labor overall was about 4 hours.  My perineum didn't tear, the midwife had been massaging it (Stephan had done a good job with the massage too in the prior weeks.  Not too often, but to a good point); I only got one internal stitch in the vagina, where there was a small cut and the midwife wanted to be sure it wasn't going to bother me later.  After a little while I got up and went to the bathroom by myself without a problem, not walking too fast, but certainly much better than I had imagined.  We kept the baby with us from the first night, he was born at 2.36 am.  Given the time difference with Italy I could call my mom pretty soon and tell her the baby was here: she couldn't believe it!  After all the phone calls by noon my husband and I went to the breastfeeding class.  We were the only parents who had had a baby that night to be there.

It was an awesome birth and much of it I owe to Hypnobabies.  If there was a video of my birthing time at the hospital it would probably not be as inspiring as the videos I had watched, so peaceful (I guess the peaceful part was at home).  However I feel hypnosis worked for me all the way.  I was very focused and confident.  With the exception of the frustration with the pushing I enjoyed the experience for what it was and while I cannot say it was comfortable, it wasn't painful either.  It sure was fast!  The sensation was intense and stretchy.  I was also screaming but it somehow went with the expression of the moment, it wasn't out of sheer pain.  I wonder if taking the Hypnobabies class with an instructor would have made me understand the pushing phase better.  If I had to do it again, I feel I still wouldn't know how to push without the sensation of where to push.  But I would be less impatient with myself, giving the whole process the time it takes.  Of course I was also lucky not to have any complications.  But I did everything that was under my control: I used the tool I had chosen to believe in, I was as well informed as possible and last but not least I was in excellent shape, having worked out throughout the pregnancy (I rowed in a quad with my wonderful team mates up to 31 weeks; after I stopped I did pre-natal yoga).  I now recommend Hypnobabies to all women who wish to have a natural birth.  And this forum was an excellent source of information, support and inspiration.  Thanks to all of you.

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Empowering birth for 2nd time mom.  She wasn't completely comfortable throughout the birth, but her Hypnobabies helped her have the natural birth she wanted.

I got a lot out of reading all of the birth stories of other mothers using Hypnobabies, and am happy to be able to share my own successful experience. I did not have a painless childbirth (so you might want to turn on the BOP here), but Hypnobabies allowed me to feel in control, keep a positive attitude, and ultimately to have the natural birth I really wanted. I’m still kind of in shock about how amazing the experience was, and that I really did it!

To provide some context, this was my second baby. The first, three years ago, was a less-than-ideal hospital birth. My water broke before labor began, and pretty intensive induction had to happen to get things going. This led to the classic cascade of interventions, and I only narrowly avoided a c-section. The worst of the interventions was the narcotics that I took, since they didn’t seem to help with the pain, but made me so out of it that I couldn’t communicate and felt out of control and isolated. I really wanted to avoid narcotics this time around, along with all of the other things (epidural, episiotomy, vacuum extraction, etc.).

This time around, I started hypnobabies at 28 weeks, and was very diligent about doing the scripts, affirmations, and daily finger-drop practices. During the maintenance phase, I slacked off on the daily affirmations, since I found them kind of annoying. My spouse (Michael) and I joked a lot about the bubble of peace since we were a little embarrassed about the new-agey-ness of using hypnosis, but we got over it eventually.

To get to the birth: I had been having practice pressure waves for weeks, some of which would get fairly regular and intense and lead me to think I was moving into active labor. So by the time I got to 41 weeks, I was getting pretty tired and frustrated with myself. At my 39 week appointment, my OB told me that he was going on a spur-of-the-moment two week trip to France on the day after my guess date. I hadn’t seen anyone in his large practice except for him, but he assured me that everyone was great. I had to take several very deep breaths at this news! I ended up having a doctor who I’d never seen before deliver Daphne, but since we were forewarned, Michael was ready to be assertive with our wishes.

I started having more regular pressure waves (or “tummy squeezes” as we referred to them with our toddler nearby the whole time) around 4:30 in the afternoon on the 17th of September, but I could tell it was very early on if it was the real thing at all. When visualizing my ideal birth as part of the practice, I had always visualized early labor happening during the nighttime, and doing it all by myself. I think that because I am a night owl, I really wanted the peace of being by myself during the night, and that’s exactly how it worked out. I went to bed that night as usual but woke up around 2am not able to sleep through the waves. I tried going into the “off” position while lying in bed, but found it too difficult (and, frankly, painful) to lie still through a wave. This made me discouraged about all the hypnosis practice I’d done, but I just decided to try all of the other tools before giving up. I got up then and started puttering around the house a bit, timed some waves, and then decided to make some cookies for the hospital staff just in case. Cookie baking is an ideal activity during early labor, it turns out, since you can go slowly and because it’s such a comfortingly familiar activity (at least for me). I did continue to time waves at this point, and they were pretty consistently 8 minutes apart, lasting about a minute. During each wave I would lean my forehead against the wall, say “peace” to myself, and pictured my cervix opening. It sounds cheesy, but it really helped keep the focus on what the waves were accomplishing, and made me feel good about each one instead of thinking of it as some kind of ordeal to get through. Others have described them as pressure moving up the uterus, or around the back. For me, I didn’t notice any pressure at all. Instead, all of the sensation was concentrated in my cervix, and it was almost exactly as if I was way overdoing it on a stretching exercise. I tried “painting” on my anesthesia, but it didn’t fully take care of the pain.

When my three-year-old and spouse woke up, I got dressed and we did our usual morning routine. He took her to school with her sleep-over kit since I was pretty sure this was it and that my friend would be picking her up from school that day. She was very excited and kept rubbing my back and saying “peace” during each wave, which was so sweet (but frankly, I wanted her out of there as soon as possible!). After she left, the waves continued at the same pace (6 min or so) but got more and more intense. I got through some in the cat position (on all fours); another handy position was standing in a doorway so that I could press the wall against my lower back. The most annoying thing was that the baby was so low that I had to pee after every single wave! My husband is really supportive, but I found myself still wanting to be by myself, and feeling the littlest bit self-conscious about having him there watching me through each wave. So I suggested that he go ahead and attend his theater rehearsal that morning, since it’s only a 10-minute drive away. I read a little bit in between waves, listened to “easy first stage” (which was great, except for during pressure waves I found it very annoying that the script was telling me that they didn’t hurt!). He was hesitant, but he went! I finally called him about 1pm and told him that I wanted him home again, but that I also really wanted a strawberry lemonade and to stop and get one (this is weird, since I don’t usually drink or even particularly like these!). At this point the baby felt really low, and one of the only positions that was comfortable was on my birth ball (which I hadn’t previously found to be comfortable at all).

When he got home with the amazingly tasty lemonade, we timed some more waves and found that they were about 4 minutes apart. Now I was really moaning through each one, and hanging on Michael, which felt good. I was really worried about showing up too early at the hospital, but started thinking that it was probably time to go.

I waited until a wave had passed while Michael loaded the car, then we shot out the door. Our small community hospital is only 10 minutes away, and I hoped to get there with only one pressure wave in the car. I turned on the “easy first stage” script, which really helped me feel calm and in control (one line that kept repeating itself in my head was “I am safe and my baby is safe.”). The one pressure wave was managed and we arrived at the hospital. I told Michael to leave the hospital bag in the car, since I was still worried that I’d get sent home (note: don’t do this! Take it with you, since you won’t want your support person to leave for an instant!). We made it inside after a few more waves (I had my ipod on the whole time and would just stop and hang on Michael), and I let Michael figure out where we were supposed to go. I had to take the headphones off to answer a few questions once we got to labor and delivery, and they sent me to the bathroom to change. I got into a triage room and the nurse came in and set me up on the monitor and checked me out. She quickly told me that I was staying, since I was 7 centimeters and she could barely measure because the baby’s head was in the way! I was elated! At this point (or maybe sometime before), I entered transition, and since I was hooked up to the monitor, I couldn’t use the positions that I wanted. The room seemed unbearably hot (it was…it’s an old facility and the AC couldn’t keep up with the central valley heat). Michael just held my hand and kept saying “relax” and “you’re doing a great job” with every wave, and began blowing on my face during each wave. It felt wonderful, both because it was cool and because it smelled pleasantly and familiarly of old coffee, just like always!

Somehow everything he did was exactly what I needed, and despite feeling like it was nearly unbearable, there was also a calm voice in the back of my head the whole time, telling me that this was transition, that everything was going as it should, etc. Several times I felt like saying “I can’t do this anymore,” but instead I found myself saying “I can do this” out loud. The calm voice inside my head kept repeating things from the scripts, too, like “relax your jaw, keep your bottom limp and loose,” etc. With this self-coaching, I was able to fully relax in between waves, which I think really helped. The nurse was gone much of the time (it turns out that there was a rush at the time we came in).

The oddest, and in retrospect the coolest, thing about transition was the calming “safe place” images that would flash into my mind during and between waves. I’d come up with a pretty generic safe place that never felt particularly meaningful when I was doing the scripts. When things really got going, though, my subconscious dredged up three or four images that I would never have thought of. For instance, I kept picturing my grandma’s pink and lavender floral bathroom that we used to lock ourselves in as kids and pretend was our own glamorous home, or a pond that I once went swimming in when I was 19 and visiting France. That strawberry lemonade kept reappearing, too, and every time I thought “wow, that was such a great drink!” The other strange thing that happened was that I realized that I could stay on top of each wave by singing (I know that others have reported this, but I am emphatically NOT a singer!). It wasn’t really singing, it was more a high-pitched “woo-hoo-woo-wooooooo” with some scales thrown in for good measure. Michael started giggling when I let loose with this, and kept saying, “it’s so cute!” At the time, I really didn’t like him laughing at me, but I certainly understand it now! The nurse asked Michael if we’d been doing some kind of Lamaze training, and he just said no (he didn’t mention hypnobabies, unfortunately), and she said, “well, you’re certainly doing something right!” She offered me something for pain, and it didn’t even cross my mind to say yes, and she didn’t ask again.

My water broke during a wave while the nurse was gone, and it was all I could do to say “Water broke! Water broke!” to her when she came back in, and then I had to resume my creepy singing. The pressure at this point, instead of feeling relieved, felt even more intense, and I thought, “I wonder if this is that pushing urge people were talking about.” Just as soon as I thought that, the singing abruptly changed to a low-pitched “Urgggggg” sort of sound, and I told the nurse I felt like pushing. She ran off and got another nurse, and there was some debate about whether to try to get me to a delivery room or to try to set up the triage area (probably about 12x12 feet in area) for the delivery. The other nurse said, “let’s go,” and they started pushing the bed out of the room. I felt great at this point; it was kind of cool to have a physical change of scene to mark the transition to the second stage of labor. However, the delivery room was kind of a shock. There was the usual bed, and then these two gigantic lights like what the dentist has, only larger. I think I said something about being at the dentist, and Michael laughed. It wasn’t very peaceful, but nothing seemed to matter anymore, as I was pretty deep inside myself. I somehow got onto the table (there was no discussion at all of alternative pushing positions, but at that point I didn’t care and just needed to push). I started to push and a new nurse, who was the only one I didn’t really like, told me sternly not to – right!

The doctor, who I’d never met, showed up then and introduced himself (although he never introduced or mentioned the two residents who were with him, which was weird). At this point it gets just a little blurry, although I remember the (nice) nurse telling Michael “your wife is awesome!” which made me feel great! The nurses and doctors started coaching me on pushing, holding my breath to counts of 10. I kind of feebly said that my body wanted to do little pushes, but nobody paid any attention (Michael says he didn’t hear me, so maybe I imagined saying something assertive!). The doctor was really great about coaching me on how to push (and to stop making noise and channel that energy), and at one point he stopped and said, “but what do I know? You’ve actually done this before, and I haven’t!” That also made me really like him!

I’m not sure how long I pushed, but there were what seemed like nice long breaks in between each session to rest. It was kind of awkward from my perspective, since I was lying there completely calmly, legs spread wide open with a bunch of people staring at my hoo-ha with nothing much to do. At one point, one nurse asked another if she’d gotten her flu shot yet, and I was reminded once again of being at the dentist and having the hygienist chat with the dentist over my gaping mouth. Basically, it was kind of surreal! The pushing itself didn’t hurt but was very intense and hard work. Finally everyone was cheering at the end of a count of 10, and he said that the baby had made it under the bone. I geared up for one more go, and one of the nurses said, “look at all that hair!”

Then I really gave it everything I had, and as the baby crowned I heard myself start screaming in a really loud and scary way, totally disproportionate to the pain I felt…it was weird how out of my control my voice was! I heard the doctor say “I’m just going to make some room here” and then felt him make an incision, which I was so disappointed about (although I was beyond worrying about much at this point!). They also put a catheter in at this point to drain my bladder and make more room, which I barely felt at all. With the next push, the baby’s head was born, and I could see her little face. I felt such enormous relief once her head was born, but I also felt that I didn’t have any energy left for the rest of her body! Luckily the shoulders and the rest of her came out almost without my trying, and there she was! The placenta followed soon after, and actually felt kind of good to deliver. The nurses whisked her off to be toweled off, and I heard the nurses exchanging guesses about the weight (one nurse said, “she’s at least an 8-pounder,” which amazed me, and the other nurse said, “we’ve got a shorty here,” which disappointed my basketball-loving husband!), but they quickly brought her back to me and put her on my chest. It was 4:30pm, just about two hours after arriving at the hospital. I couldn’t see her face much, since it was up so high on my chest, but she was incredibly calm and alert, and just looked all around. She looked like a baby from a movie, all plump and pink (she weighed almost 8.5 pounds!) I offered her a breast, and she did some nuzzling and licking, and just a little bit of nursing right away. It was so sweet! Michael gave me a big kiss, and we just looked and looked at her. Or at least, I tried to focus on her, because meanwhile the doctor and the two residents were working on stitching up the tear that I had gotten despite the episiotomy. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t pleasant, and my legs were so tired that they started shaking and I felt like I just could stay in that position any longer. And the doctor was patiently explaining the procedure to the residents, and one of them was manning the needle and thread, and was being (it seemed to me), incredibly slow about it.

I can’t say that the whole experience was pleasant, or that I even ever want to do it again, but at the same time it was incredibly powerful, and gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. I still am kind of on an endorphin high from the experience, over a week later, and feel like there isn’t much I can’t do! It was so much better being part of the experience instead of feeling so isolated and removed from what was happening to me like I was with my first birth. I also feel like I sort of undid the anger and disappointment that I still felt about that first birth by being so successful with this one – I’m sure there are lots of other reasons for this, but I can’t help but think that my lack of baby blues this time around have something to do with the Hypnobabies (I cried uncontrollably for days after my first baby was born). The Hypnobabies training didn’t work in the way that I expected it to, but it definitely worked!

The other big help was reading all of the other birth stories on the site, which made me so sure of myself and where I was in the process – I could almost hear reassuring lines from other moms’ stories in my head at different points of labor!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
A mom shares the birth of her third baby on her blog.  Her first two she had an epidural and with this one she used Hypnobabies and had a great, comfortable and unmedicated birth!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
You can read his mom's blog post here.  There is even a short video of her relaxing through pressure waves at 9cm.
Tagged in: 3 weeks to prepare
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Colin was born on January 5th, around 2:45pm.  He weighed 7lbs 13 oz and was 20 inches long.

Before going into Colin's story- I want to warn you that manageable pain is mentioned, along with a very unconventional birth (not on purpose!)

A little background... I was induced my first son, who is now 2y 3m due to GD 2 days past my due date.  This time, I did not have GD and was praying not to be induced.  My due date was January 1st, and at my last doctor's appointment, he made scheduled an induction for January 8th.  I had confidence that I would go before then until Monday January 5th when I started to begin to accept my fate of an induction.... little did I know!

On Monday, January 5th, I put my son down for a nap at 12:30pm.  At 1pm, I was just about asleep and heard and felt a pop in my stomach followed by minor discomfort in my lower abdomen.  I called my doctor, but did not get in touch with him until 1:15pm.  He told me to go into the hospital and get checked- it sounded as though the pop I described was my water breaking, but nothing was coming out, so he was a not completely sure. When I hung up with him at 1:18pm, I knew it was my birthing time, because the discomfort was becoming stronger- however, it was not rhythmic and I did not feel the waves as people had described them, rather I felt them above my pelvic bone into my back.

I called my husband and told him to come home, along with my brother and mother in law who work close by.  I sat on the ball and put my head on the coffee table which helped ease the pressure.  I tried to get into hypnosis, but the waves came so fast, that it was difficult to focus.  I continued to breathe deeply and on the exhale, said "peace" which helped tremendously.

When my brother in law came, I went upstairs because I only wanted my husband and if I couldn't have him, I wanted to be alone.  He thought I went to pack a bag, so he sent up my mother in law when she arrived.  I did not want that!  But I asked her to put pressure on my back for a minute (until she continued to talk to me- then I told her I'd meet her downstairs after I went the bathroom- which I had to do every couple of minutes).  I was on all fours and the pressure waves did not seem to be breaking, they were intense, but manageable.  I continued to exhale "peace" and did figure eights with my hips which helped very much.  I finally had a small break in the intensity, so I ran downstairs to be ready to go when my husband came home.

I was kneeling down with my head and arms on my couch.  I was relaxed, but was getting anxious about getting to the hospital.  I felt as though I needed to push, but could feel my baby's legs still up at my ribs and could feel that my birth canal was closed.  My mother in law assured me that it was just pressure of the baby starting to come down.  I did contemplate calling an ambulance for about 5 seconds, but knew they would not take me to the hospital I wanted to go to and I really wasn't sure how far along I was.  I knew once I was there I would be able to get into hypnosis more deeply and relax at a  greater level.

My husband got home, around 2:10pm.  My brother in law drove us into the hospital which is about 25-30 minutes from my house.  I was on my knees with my head on my husband's shoulders.  I stayed completely relaxed, but could not turn my light switch off because of my position.  I continued to say "peace" and breathe deep.  I was experiencing pain, but it was very manageable and not at all scary.

When we were about 10 minutes from the hospital, I began to get overwhelmingly strong urges to push.  I tried to breathe through them, but my body took over.  I could feel a large portion of my baby's head coming out.  When we were about 2-3 minutes from the hospital, the baby's head was out.  When we turned onto the street of the hospital, he was completely out without any pushing (it was probably around 2:40 when he came out- but my husband was asked to state the birth time and he said 2:45).  My husband and brother in law were very scared, but I was extremely calm- he had started crying immediately and I was psyched that I was  not going to have to state my case about delaying the cord clamping.

My husband ran into the hospital and a couple of seconds later, there were about 25 doctors surrounding the car.  We had wrapped Colin up in a blanket- they put him in warming blankets and took him into the NICU with my husband to warm him up and make sure he was OK.

I was then taken in to the L&D floor where they checked me out.  I did have a small tear, which I know I could have prevented if I was in a sitation where I knew it was safe to push!

Overall, Colin's birth story was certainly not how I had visualized it.  However, Hypnobabies kept me relaxed, confident and comfortable.  There were actually a couple times in the car where I contemplated tensing up so that he would not come out so fast! When people hear the story, their reaction is to say, "You must have been so scared,"
"How did you deal with all that pain?" etc.  But it was a very peaceful experience- even with all things considered.  If I have another baby, I will have full confidence in Hypnobabies and will camp out at the  hospital for a week around my due date!
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I was so bummed when I woke up Sunday morning to a warm, urgent gush of fluid. It was unquestionably my water breaking and I jumped up and ran to the bathroom just in time to avoid a mess on the carpet. Having tested GBS+, I had been hoping that my water wouldn’t break until well into labor, but I wasn’t having anything more than the same incessant Braxton Hick’s contractions when it broke. It was 2:30AM, and I debated whether or not to tell my husband, but decided to let him know that something was up. He thought we should call the hospital, but I wanted to wait since nothing was happening.  

About 3:00, some very easy contractions kicked in. I told Saki to go back to sleep as I was just going to try to rest myself and hope things moved along quickly. I knew I was on about an 18 hour time limit because of the GBS, and wanted to get through labor with as few risk factors as possible.  The pressure waves started out at about 7 minutes apart and stayed that way for several hours. I probably could have slept, but I kept having occasional, annoying gushes of amniotic fluid that kept me running to the bathroom because I didn’t want to get wet. 

When the pressure waves started at 3, I decided to start using my Hypnobabies tracks while I rested (and surfed the net). I began by listening to the Painless Childbirth track a couple of times, followed by Birthing Day Affirmations. At 5 I switched over to the Easy First Stage track, although in hindsight the first stage was almost over by then. Throughout this whole phase, the waves were not painful at all. After an hour or so I hit on the best description for how they felt: it was like I was on a long road trip and I had to use the bathroom really, really badly, but I had to hold it until the next rest stop. When I realized I was mentally and physically fighting the urge to pee, I was able to let go of that feeling and the waves got even easier. 

About 5 AM, I started spending more pressure waves sitting on the toilet, and by 6 when I decided to call my doula, they progressed quite quickly to 4-5 minutes apart, but still very comfortable and easy; so easy, in fact that I was a bit confused. I knew by the timing that things were moving along, but the peace and composure I felt seemed at odds with where I intellectually knew my labor was headed. All I could think was that either I was tricking myself into thinking things were moving more quickly than they actually were, or the Hypnobabies was really working like it was supposed to.  

I had been trying to wait until 6 to call my doula because I knew she would be up by then, and I wanted her to get as much rest as possible, especially since I was enjoying my solitary birthing time so much and didn’t really need anything from anyone else. When I got on the phone with her, I soon realized things were happening more quickly than I previously thought, so I told her we would probably head to the hospital around 7. I decided it was time to wake up Saki then so he could finish packing up and get ready to go.  

He suggested that we get in the shower, which sounded nice to me, so we did. As soon as I got in the shower, I immediately had a several strong pressure waves one after another. I was in a peaceful place and not timing them, but he freaked out. “Are you having ANOTHER ONE?” Yes. “That was only about a minute apart! We have to go!” I know. He hopped out of the shower and started rushing around gathering stuff. He told my mom to get ready to go and get Tommy up because we had planned to take everyone as long as it happened at a reasonable time of day.  

I reluctantly got out of the shower, sat on the toilet again for another pressure wave and called my doula to let her know we were definitely heading to the hospital. About that time, I also started feeling a little pukey…SURELY I could not be close to transition!? It was all too easy and peaceful! But the pukey feeling was enough to convince me I better get moving just in case my mind wasn’t playing tricks and Hypnobabies was actually working. (Although I guess technically, Hypnobabies working IS the mind playing tricks. ?) Ha.  

I got dressed, got my iphone and headphones and resumed listening to my Easy First Stage track and got in the van for the rainy drive to the hospital. That was about 7:05 AM. At that point everything became decidedly uncomfortable and it was a struggle to remain positive and not say bad words at every bump on the road. For the record, I was in transition during the ride, but I didn’t realize it. I believe if I had not had to get in the car and drive 30 minutes to the hospital, I would probably have experienced a virtually pain-free birth. As it was, it wasn’t really painful; just decidedly uncomfortable going through transition in a vehicle. Thank God it was Sunday morning and not a weekday, so there was no traffic to contend with. We got to the hospital triage unit about 7:30, and Mary, my doula arrived right behind us. The triage nurse told me to go into the bathroom and change out of my clothes if I wanted to.  

Fortunately Mary followed me into the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and suddenly felt the need to push—or poop—I wasn’t sure.  Mary knew though. She said I had that smell of imminent birth. She told the nurse I was feeling pushy, then she took my clothes off of me because I wasn’t capable of doing much of anything else at that point. When I got a little break, we went back into the triage room where the nurse wasted valuable time strapping a fetal heart monitor on me. I agreed to let her check me and she said something about a 9 and something-pushy and immediately sprang into action, calling for backup.  She handed me a blanket to cover myself and off we went down the hall to birthing room #3. I was relieved that it was a small number and I didn’t have to walk all the way down the hall.  

I walked into the empty room, and stood there wondering what to do next. The bed was not set up for any type of delivery position (nor was anything else), and suddenly people were directing me to get into it. I stared at it blankly thinking “um, HOW?” It just didn’t seem possible, as I couldn’t think of any way of getting into that bed that would accommodate how I was feeling right at the moment. In a second I decided the only thing I could do was kneel and start pushing. I clumsily dragged a pillow off the bed to kneel on and took up a prayer position at the bedside. A very nice lady introduced herself as Kit, my midwife, and said “If you can get on the bed that would be great because it would be softer for you, but if not, we’ll just have this baby here.” I wordlessly chose “here.”  

She said, “I’m going to touch you and see where the baby is. Oh, it’s right here! PUSH!” And then it seemed like everyone was shouting at me to “PUSH! One more push and you’ll have the head out!” I totally thought they were lying and just saying that trying to encourage me. There was no way the baby was coming yet. We just got to the hospital! Mary was kneeling across the bed from me and she was the one who convinced me that the baby really was coming out NOW! I was totally shocked. I think I even said “Oh, you’re not lying!” Then sweet Kit told me to spread my legs wider and push hard again and baby would be out…and she was! The time was 7:42 AM. Counting the pushes in triage, I think there were no more than 6 or 7 total and we were at the hospital for 12 minutes before little Maggie was born. 

Kit said “Ok, get ready, I’m going to pass the baby to you through your legs.” After untangling the basically useless fetal and contraction monitors, we accomplished the hand off and I finally made it into bed. The total time from start to finish was less than 5 hours. I sat there on the bed holding my new baby saying “Wow, that was amazing” for about an hour, I think. 

I keep thinking that if I hadn’t woke my husband up right when I did, I could have easily had an unassisted home birth. I wish I could have, but it still worked out great and I feel so blessed to have had such a totally amazing, empowering experience. 
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