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Thanks to Maggie from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.


Hello everyone!

Thought I'd share a quick birth story of our fabulous Hypnobabies water birth. Early Thursday morning at 6:40 am on November 3rd, 2011 our little girl, Maysie, glided out into a pool of warm water and up into our arms all while sleeping peacefully.

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It all began when noticeable regular pressure waves started (after much walking and spicy food) on Wednesday, November 2 around 4:30 pm. I had been out all day Christmas shopping, but upon returning home I started to notice what seemed to be regular waves about 1hr apart. I continued with my normal evening activities like dinner and putting my 3 year old to bed, but I did notice I didn't feel much like eating dinner. I had hopes that these waves were the real thing, and after bouncing on my birth ball awhile and watching TV with the in-laws, around 10pm I decided I had best try to get some sleep. Ha! I might have dosed on and off for an hour or so.

The waves were starting to grow progressively closer and while I did continue to listen to the tracks, I found myself struggling to fall deep into hypnosis or the off position. No worries though. Everything was manageable in "center" especially the frequent bathroom trips that accompanied each pressure wave. By 2:00 am the waves were roughly 15min apart and I was cuddled on the bed with my husband using the "relax/release" command and debating going to the hospital so we could set up the pool. I didn't want to go too early but we did need time to set up the birthing pool and this was our second baby.

Finally when my legs started shaking I decided it was time to go. We were out of the house and on our way to the hospital by 3:00 am. I listened to easy first stage on the way to the hospital and had a couple of mild pressure waves along the way, but really I wasn't sure I was that far along. I even told my husband that anything under 5 cm we were going back home.

The middle of the night proved the opportune time to drive to the hospital and we were in the ER checking in within 15 min. of leaving the house. The hospital was quite and no one thought I was actually in labor as I was walking around and joking with my doula as my hubby did the paperwork. Even when we finally got a room the nurses were all very relaxed about getting things started which made my relaxing easy. No one was in a hurry and they were all very receptive of our birth plan.

When they finally got around to checking me... I was 7 cm ( thank you birth visualizations) You see, 7 cm had been my goal all along when visualizing my hospital arrival. After that shock for my delivery nurse, the birth pool went up in a flash (15 min really did feel like 5 to me). All the while I was managing each pressure wave with the "release cue" and some counter pressure on my lower back and chatting away with my doula. I was surprised I didn't want to listen to my hypno tracks at that time as that had been my plan all along, but I guess things change. I was soaking in the nice warm waters in no time.

Warm water is absolutely fabulous during labor, and once I was in the pool I was nearly 9 cm in no time. The nurses even joked that they had best call my midwife again to make sure she was on her way and wouldn't miss the big event. (She missed my first child's birth a few years ago.) Once she arrived she just told me to relax and that she'd be back in to check on me in a bit.  I must have just look ready cause she didn't bother to check me again, but instead told me to let her know when I felt like pushing. We listened to quite music and I floated, changing position with each wave, now very close together. At some point she did come back and everyone else did too, but I barely noticed.

They were getting everything ready for the baby's arrival, and again she told me to push whenever I thought it was time. Yeah. Well even though this was my second baby I had no clue. I remembering asking "really?" over and over between waves. The last cm was a bit intense but manageable. This was nothing like my first birth, and I'll spare you all that story as it needs a BOP. (*)

I knew my little girl would be swimming into my arms very soon. I pushed whenever I thought I should (though really I thought I just needed to go to the restroom). The pushing the baby out track was playing out loud in the room and while I could only really hear it between the ahhs I know my subconscious was listening. My body did what it needed to do since I was relaxed and I owe that relaxation to Hypnobabies. With gentle continual encouragement and reassurance that everything was OK and "yes you can do this" from my doula, my husband, and my midwives, I AAHHHH'ed her out. The midwives passed her to me and she lay sleeping on my chest for a few moments before we woke her up while drying off.

Hypnobabies helped me have a great birthing experience. I had amazing support from my husband, my doula, the midwives and nurses. All involved were really impressed with the Hypnobabies techniques we used even me. And before we checked out of the hospital even the nurse who teaches the typical hospital childbirth classes came to talk with me about the program  in hopes of sharing it with others. Hypnobabies is great if you choose to use it!
Best wishes to all,

Maggie
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Liam's birth was planned to be a waterbirth, but as it turned out there wasn't even enough time to fill the tub! Throughout my birthing time, we made the choice to "proceed with caution," knowing that as long as the answers to "is mom doing well?" and "is baby doing well?" were "yes," we could proceed with our birth plan.

For those of you wondering, waterbirth really isn't as mysterious as it sounds. It's simply natural childbirth's version of an epidural, and I saw it as one more tool available to me to help aid the process. Especially because I'd had a prolonged pushing phase with our daughter (also a Hypnobaby), I was looking forward to the soothing nature of the water which would help Liam to be born more gently. I did a lot of research about what happens in a waterbirth, making sure that it would be safe for him. Essentially he is unable to take his first breath until he is gently lifted above the water. It's quite fascinating to read about the way it works.

Liam's "guess date" was Friday, October 8th. I had started having a few pressure waves Monday, October 3rd indicating he might be thinking about making his arrival, but then they stopped. The next time I remember noticing some mild pressure waves was Friday, October 13th. They stopped again.

Liam scored an 8 out of a possible 8 on the biophysical profile at my visit on Monday, October 10th. It was also revealed that he was facing out (posterior) but at the time I didn't think much of it. Looking back I realized that using a wait and see approach was not the way to go.

It was clear by the time the following week had nearly come and gone that Liam wasn't planning on exiting any time soon. I was doing kick counts and knew he was happy as a clam in there, which generally means he needs a bit more time to cook. We even walked around the entire zoo Sunday the 9th, and it felt awesome to be out in the sunshine.
Friday, October 14th, things finally started happening! We were so excited to meet Liam, but he was going to make us wait a little longer still.I awoke at 7 AM to a small gush of fluid, which quickly turned into more gushes and lots of trickling. At my 10:30 AM appointment the midwife used a speculum to see that my water had indeed broken.


Since I wasn't yet having any consistent pressure waves (the ones I'd had throughout the night had barely been enough to keep me awake), we decided we'd request to go home, relax, and try getting things going naturally with brief walks, bouncing on the yoga ball, and just resting up. The midwife was cool with that, and said to call her that afternoon to check in, but indicated without saying it outright that we might be admitted that night if nothing had changed.

The good thing about her role in my birth is that she used her experience regarding infection to guide her advice to us. Knowing me as a patient told her that it wasn't very likely that I would get an infection, especially if I was declining cervical checks, which I did have to do once with the nurse upon arriving at the hospital, not having sex, etc. Sure, infections are still possible, however the good thing is the baby's head had created a seal which eventually stopped the fluid from leaking and created a protective barrier. I was still leaking some fluid though, which was causing me anxiety.
Our decision to go the hospital was the right one. But it could have very easily taken another direction if the waterbirth midwife had not been on call at the time. As I review the details of everything that happened, I truly believe she was a God-send.

We called the on-call staff at the hospital on Saturday night, approaching 24 hours since my water had broken. I spoke to the doctor who was on duty, who explained that typical hospital policy calls for induction 18 hours after the water breaks. She knew having spoken with my regular midwife, that as someone who wanted a natural childbirth, this wouldn't be my preference, but she informed me of the policy which gave me more anxiety. She also said, "you should talk to the midwife on call."
Although I would have appreciated a little more reassurance from her over the phone, I am grateful to the doctor for respecting our plan and not pressuring us to come in for an induction right away. This is an example of doctors and midwives working well together. Job well done.We knew that the decision to be admitted probably meant the dreaded Pitocin.


However, entering the scene is now our wonderful care provider who I had never met before because she sees patients in the other office. She has a wonderful, supportive philosophy which is completely no-pressure. The patient's body is their own, and she is just there to advise. She is highly skilled and competent in her job, and immediately we know we're in good hands. When the doctor handed over the phone, the midwife said, "Darn! I wish they had sent you to me earlier!" She started me on a breast pumping regimen, once every hour for 15 minutes. This was 10 PM. Our doula reminded us to REST in between. The pump allows your body to produce more oxytocin naturally, as opposed to Pitocin which is the synthetic form.

Pressure waves are still sporadic and not intense. We rested some until 6 AM, but not well. Trying to stay aware of Liam's movements kept me pretty anxious and awake.

October 15, 2011 at 8 AM we arrived at hospital with Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits. I was in tears, feeling like we were walking into prison. But when we got admitted, I knew that things were going to be alright. Much to our delight and surprise, the midwife recommended continuing on the pumping regimen for awhile, and if it didn't work, then we could talk about starting a low dose of Pitocin with the goal of getting my body in a pattern and then turning the Pitocin back off. She also recommended an antibiotic as a precaution. I felt good about the decision to have that administered, and it was given every 6 hours and didn't take very long so that I could be up and about as I wished in between. (I have a suspicion it might be causing us a case of thrush right now though, since an antibiotic can upset your natural balance.)

Even though I hadn't slept well the night before, I had gotten fantastic sleep the week before being off work, so I was really ready for this with plenty of sleep in my "bank." Really grateful for that.
We also ate (peanut butter sandwiches) much to the surprise of our nurse (who would later play a crucial role in this story). She was supportive, but I sensed not very used to patients breaking the rules so brazenly. :-)

Our doula and I walked the L&D floor for about 30-40 minutes and it was way boring. We actually thought about checking ourselves back out. (Basically signing a form saying "against medical advice," we're outta here.) Looking back, I'm glad that we didn't do that. Really glad. The midwife checked in again at 1:30 PM and suggested more breast pump stimulation. With intermittent monitoring we were still confident Liam was doing great.

Our nurse had been watching us from afar, and must have seen me gazing longingly at the sunshine outside. Bless her soul, she suggested to the midwife that we be released for a walk outside. (YAY!!!!) Best news EVER. I honestly didn't believe they were serious when they came in to tell us. And I gave her the biggest hug and was nearly in tears. We had a great time on our walk, went across the street for a milkshake and walked until it got REALLY warm out. I felt like a freak in my PJ pants and IV lock, but whatever. We were outside enjoying the day!

We came back to the hospital for an afternoon nap. Liam still looks great on the monitor. His heartrate dipped momentarily as I was on the breast pump, because I'd started having pressure waves one on top of the other, which we attributed to the calzones we ate for dinner. The body's natural response to fuel and yet another reason to eat.

As our doula and I discussed the events of the week, it dawned on me that the biophysical profile had shown that Liam was posterior. Thankfully she had some tricks up her sleeve to try to turn him. We did "figure 8s" on the yoga ball, pelvic rocks, and Rebozo sifting which is a gentle scarf shimmy under the belly while the mother is on all fours (which felt great)! I felt a little ridiculous during all of this but I'll try anything at this point to get this party started! I just want to meet him! It's things like this that make a doula worth her weight in gold!

Also worth noting that a nurse shift change occurred at 7 PM. Time to bid farewell to our heroine nurse and little sad that we could not yet introduce her to our new baby. Enter nurse 2, who immediately said she had read our birth plan and had a very positive, "let's do this" attitude. Honestly I think these nurses were excited to be seeing something a little different. The midwife would later thank me for doing a birth plan and giving them the chance to support it. That made me feel so good!

When my pressure waves stopped yet AGAIN, I knew it was my body telling me to rest. So we talked with the midwife and I was about to fall asleep as she was saying that she would check in again at 5 AM and that we'd get serious about the low-dose Pit at that point, approaching 48 hours since my water had broken! In another hospital, this scenario would NEVER have happened. Major props to the care providers for their confidence and knowledge in what the body can do. She was completely trusting that since I had no fever, Liam was getting antibiotics and was looking great on the monitor, that there wasn't a need to rush it. Again, cannot stress enough what a blessing this was!
I went to sleep with the thought in my mind that Pitocin was probably not going to be necessary, but that if it did, I would be fine with the decision. Boy was I right! Enough already.

At 1 AM I got up to pee, and was feeling intense pressure in my back and saw some bloody show. I relied on our doula for counter pressure and double hip squeeze which felt awesome, and rocked on the ball which was bringing the baby down very quickly. I could now feel him making direct contact with my pubic bone. This baby was finally coming and coming fast!  When your baby says it's "go time," there is very little that can be done to slow it down. And heck, we'd been waiting ALL weekend for this moment, so most of what I felt was joy and excitement!

Our doula suggested side lying as a way that I could start to use my tools. That worked for about 2.5 seconds when I began vocalizing loudly. "Ahhhhh" nd blowing air out my lips like a horse. I was completely surprised by my involuntary ability to make these sounds and how awesome they felt.

However I was so excited that with Liam's birth, I was really able to tune into my body in a way that I hadn't with my first birth. I used hypnosis very successfully with our first birth. Almost so much, that at times I wasn't listening to my body because I was so relaxed and felt as though I was in a dream-like state.

With Liam's birth, I experienced it to the fullest, knowing the whole time that my body was doing what it needed to do, and that gave me so much confidence and was so empowering! And I was able to choose my own positions which helped not only to relieve discomfort, but to give me even more confidence that I was doing this correctly.

At 1:50 AM after a brief time lying on my side, I exclaimed "I have to poop!" And truly I did. To the potty I go. TMI, sorry. Our doula reminded me while I was on the potty that I should use my uterine muscles to push Liam out rather than go with the pressure I was feeling in my bottom. Babies don't come out of bottoms, in case you hadn't noticed. :-)

Miraculously I was able to achieve both efforts nearly simultaneously. LOL. But the important thing is that I immediately felt a difference when she reminded me to push Liam out by pretending to "push the seat belt" away from me. When I said "do you think I could get in the tub?" I needed some relief. I thought surely I'm at least at 6 cm. They want you at a 6 before you can get in the tub. I believe that is to avoid having to get in and out, if it relaxes you so much that your birthing time stops, which has been known to happen. Kinda silly if you ask me.

The nurse came in to check me on the potty (how rockin' is that?!) and said I was NINE centimeters! I cannot tell you what a moment this was and how grateful we were to her for not requiring me to get on the bed for the exam. I knew that Liamwould be here soon!
After getting cleaned up I moved to the foot of the bed, desiring to get up on all fours. The nurses were hurriedly changing the sheets and getting the bed set up for me to get into, while the other folks in the room were scrambling to fill up the tub. The hot water was BROKEN!

I swayed and rocked through the next several pressure waves which was a nice little break from the inevitable, while the nurse came and checked Liam's heartbeat. Still perfect. The midwife was still not here; she had been resting at home and had just gotten the call. She was rushing into the parking deck by about 2:20 AM.

As soon as they finished changing the sheets I moved up on the bed on all fours which felt so great, and Baby Liam was beginning to crown! My doula whispered to me to remember the pushing technique (push as though you are pushing away your seat belt. Do NOT bear down like you are having to poop) and that it was not important to 'resist' or wait for the midwife or the nurses to deliver Liam, but to relax into it and gently guide Liam out. His head was gently born at 2:35, so quietly that we hardly knew what had happened. But we heard his first cry and that was an AWESOME moment, especially for me because I couldn't see him yet. But I could hear him! At 2:36, just as the midwife ran in the door, Liam was born into Daddy's arms!!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

He weighed 6.74 oz, 19 inches long and his head was 13 inches. He was born anterior, facing my back, with his hand up by his face.
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I started having close and strongish pressure waves that woke me up at about 4am on my baby's guess date. Not really anything before that. I decided to start timing them and see if they continued. During the weekend I was having a lot of what I thought were early birthing waves about every 10 minutes, but they kept going away. But these didn't stop and were a bit more intense. I started listening to by birthing day tracks and trying to relax and use my peace cues through the PWs. They were intense enough that it was sorta difficult to do. During every PW while I was sitting/reclining the pressure on my ribs bothered me the most. After about 4 PWs in 15 minutes I woke up my husband to get him to help time them so I could still relax. They were about 2 minutes apart at this point and I had been awake for about 30 minutes.

So we started getting ready to go. I was anxious to not jump the gun too early. I didn't want to hang around triage too long if I hadn't progressed much. Also thinking, that since they just started and they were strong but not terribly I felt that we had some time. So I took a shower and got ready, he packed up. By the end of the shower I was needing to stop what I was doing more and bend over and lean against a counter or wall to relax and breathe through the pressure waves. So I started feeling a little more anxious to get on our way. We got out the of the house eventually at about 5ish. Luckily my Mother was there already and to watch the other kids.

The hospital is only about 5 minutes away, luckily. So we got there a little after 5 and they put me in the triage room to get checked and monitor me. At about 5:30 I was at a 6 and they didn't take took long after that to put me in a room, while we were getting settled the pressure waves started getting stronger where I felt like I needed my husband for support. I liked to bend over a lean into him with my arms around him while he supported me by my arms.

I started needing to make noises as I breathed and soon I started having little pushy urges once or twice.  I asked the girl helping us (not a RN, but really helpful as a few times she pressed in on my hips during a wave and that felt nice) to have our nurse come and check me again since I was feeling a little pushy. She finally made it back in (I guess a lot of other women showed up around the same time) and checked me and I was at an 8. This was about 6:30. She tried to put in a saline lock, but I wouldn't hold still for long as I didn't want to be on the bed during a pressure wave. A PW or two later, my water broke while I was standing. Then the next one I really started pushing and felt like she was going to come out very soon. The nurse really urged me to get on the bed at this time and I did, the next one I pushed out her head and the next the rest of her. It felt so good to get her out. It was very intense and I know I was fairly vocal and cried out when she crowned.

Cara was born straight out onto the bed at 6:37. It was basically just the nurse and my husband who helped me deliver her, the doctor was on his way.  He showed up about 10 minutes later. She was a healthy 8 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long with a full head of hair.

It was an interesting/cool experience and I'm really glad I planned to go natural/unmedicated. If I hadn't I wouldn't have had time anyways to have an epidural and I would have probably had a much harder time dealing with the pressure waves.

I wouldn't say it was pain-free or comfortable, but I wouldn't say that it was painful either. It was "intense". I felt prepared to deal with the PWs knowing that they'd come and go and eventually end.   I had expected to be more sedate and of course having more time to relax and turn off my lightswitch like I'd seen in a lot of videos. I am really glad I used the Hynobabies home study course to prepare myself.
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Jenna and Chris contacted me while they were still living in Boston. They were planning the move to Birmingham (for Chris’ residency at UAB) and were wanting to go ahead and interview a doula for their upcoming birth. Thankfully, they hired me and the waiting began. Jenna also decided that she wanted to do aHypnobabies birth. I went to their last class (taught by fellow doula, Kaleigh Naylor) so that I could learn how support them in that effort (since I was new to Hypnobabies). It all seemed pretty interesting and I was excited to see it in action. **there is a lot of "reframing" in Hypnobabies, so in honor of that, I will refer to contractions as pressure waves (pw's) for this birth story** ;-)

Click here to read the rest of the story.
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I had an OB appointment the day before my due date at 10am.  I was 3 cm and 70% effaced.  After, I had some spotting that never went away.

Around 4pm, I began having some pressure waves.  They weren’t that uncomfortable, like mild menstrual cramps.  But they were different than the Braxton Hicks I had been having non-stop.  They were every 5-10 minutes.  I was able to go about my daily business (pick up DD from daycare, make dinner, play with DD, etc.)

I put DD down for bed around 9:30PM.  The pressure waves were beginning to get a bit stronger by 10PM.  However, I didn’t have to concentrate through them.  I thought my birthing time was near, but I wasn’t sure since I had prodromal labor several nights the past week.

Around 10:30PM, I told DH I was going to try to get some sleep.  I put on my Early First Stage track and tried to sleep.  I got through the whole track and then did Fear Release.  By then it was almost midnight and I could tell it was definitely my birthing time.  I told DH I was going to the living room (where we have a computer) to time the pressure waves.  I continued to listen to more tracks, although I can’t remember which ones.

At first the waves were 6-7 min apart, and by 12:45, they were 5 min apart.  We decided we should head to the hospital soon.  I was feeling pretty good because the pressure waves were completely manageable.  We did some last minute packing and woke up MIL to come upstairs to be close to DD.  In the car, I listened to Birthing Day Affirmations, but I chatted with DH between pressure waves.

We got to the hospital around 1:45.  They couldn’t find my paperwork, so we had to give them all of our information, which was kind of annoying to do between pressure waves.  The pressure waves were more intense, but completely manageable.  I requested to use the Jacuzzi, but I had to be hooked up to a monitor for 15-20 minutes first (then she said I could get in.)

She checked me a little after 2 am and said I was 7-8 cm!  I was shocked I was so far along considering how “easy” things were.  I put on Easy First Stage and zoned out.  I ended up on my hands and knees on the bed with a birth ball (while they monitored me.)  After a bit, I felt like I had to pee, so she unhooked me and I went to the bathroom.  I wasn’t able to pee but I felt like I had to poop.

Suddenly the pressure waves got really intense, and nothing seemed to help me get through them.  The nurse checked me and I was a 9+.  My OB still wasn’t there.  Each pressure wave was really intense, and soon I felt the desire to push.  I was still on my hands and knees.

I began pushing, and the nurses were yelling at me not to push (since my OB wasn’t there.)  I yelled back at them that I couldn’t not push.  On one of the pushes, my water broke.  I kept pushing with each pressure wave and DH said he could see hair.  Eventually my OB arrived, and I pushed the head out maybe 2 or 3 pressure waves later.

On the next pressure wave, I pushed the rest of the body out.  My OB instructed DH to catch the baby and put him on my tummy.  Baby Clive was born at 2:51am…about an hour after we got to the hospital and about 10 minutes after my OB arrived.  (I never even got around to listening to the Pushing Baby Out track…since I was still listening to Easy First Stage when he was born.)

Clive was 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 20” long.  I was shocked his birth was so quick and easy.  (DD’s birth was really long and difficult.)  Although his birth was not pain-free, I would say only 30 minutes was really intense, and the rest was completely manageable thanks to Hypnobabies.
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Thanks to Kari from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her story with us!

Wow...I can't believe the time has come for me to post my very own birth story!  I wasn't sure I was going to have a very exciting birth story to tell... it was!!!

 

This was my third baby girl, but my very first all natural hypnobabies birth!  I'm so happy to be apart of the elite woman who have a natural birth, it's very empowering!!

 

Chloe's ETA was September 22nd, but I had anticipated her arrival to be the weekend before, sometime between the 17th and the 19th.  I even told my best friend the month before to make her trip out from Utah that weekend... so she did. We usually have our babies on weekends and I couldn't imagine her coming the weekend AFTER her guess date so it had to be this weekend!

 

I kept myself SUPER busy all week walking with friends,doing pre-school stuff with my 4 yr old, and making hair-bows for my THREE girls!  I decided to make the last days nice and fun! I'm SO glad I did.

 

I had a Dr. appt. on Friday the 17th, where the doctor checked me and I was 60% effaced and 2 cm (nothing different for me during the last weeks of pregnancy).  I ran some errands with my mom, Home Depot, health food store, etc. (We live in the SanBernardino Mountains in California, so trips up and down the mountain take about 45 minutes,  so we do major shopping when we're down there). I had been experiencing lots of Braxton Hicks all week (as well as other changes in my body that told me she was coming soon) nothing to complain about, but they were starting to change a bit while walking around with my mom.  I didn't think much of it though, didn't want to get my hopes up. I wanted Chloe to come when she was ready...even though I had felt readyfor a while!  We got home about 7 pm. On the drive up I felt the PW's had more of a pattern and they felt a bit more like real PWs, but still didn't think this was it. I picked up my two girls from my dad and took them home to get ready for bed.

 

Once home I just did all the normal stuff, feeling the wavesbut not really giving them much thought. After my girls were in bed, my husband and I watched TV and I told him that maybe we should get some stuff packed because I was having waves about every10 minutes.  So I started getting my things ready.  I decided that I should try to sleep a little and listen to Hypnobabies. I did for a bit, but I had to keep going to the bathroom.  I was also more uncomfortable.  So, I decided I should get my kids bag packed.  As I was walking around getting things together for them I started feeling them very close together, but thought it was just because I was walking a lot (they felt like a side ache from running, just in the front lower part of my abdomen.)

I still was unsure if this was it! I told my husband I was going to call his mom, he told me to wait because he didn't think it was time yet either.  But, I called her anyway around midnight  she is a Labor and Delivery Nurse and I told her I wasn't sure if I should go down to the hospital or not.  She asked how close together they were and I told her they felt about  1-2 minutes apart.  I was starting to have to focus now.  She told me she would come to sleep with my babies and that we shouldn't wait around any longer.  She lives 5 minutes away, but in the meantimeI decided I should try to make the nurses some brownies to keep my mind off of the PWs.  She arrived and told me she would finish the brownies for me and we needed to go. I called my sister and parents and told them we were going down, that my waves were about 1-2 minutes apart and I'd call once I knew if this was it or not.

 

My husband and I left about 1 am.  The car ride down was a little rough with all the turns, but I listened to Hypnobabies and held my lavender and chamomile pillows to my face. I remember feeling SO good once a wave had passed and making sure my body was nice and loose during them. I told myself to "open".

 

We arrived at the hospital about 1:45, they checked me and I was 5 cm!  "What,really??"  I still couldn't believe this was it!  My parents and sister arrived about 10 minutes after us, then soon after them my brother and his wife showed up. (Even though I told them all we'd call them... oh well, it was good they got there when they did!)  My PWs were starting to come one after the other.  I was so proud of how I was handling them. I felt a little agitated with my family just sitting there starring at me I really only wanted my sister and husband in there but I felt bad because I didn't want to hurt my mom's feelings (she'd been there for my other two, so just put the pillow over my face and stayed inside myself.

At one point my mom said, "You can always change your mind and get the epidural!" Annoyed, I told her to "Shush or get out!"  I wasn't in that kind of pain, I was just focused and occasionally moaned and whispered "relax, peace, peace, peace,peace".  I told my mom that the moaning was helping me feel better.  I could feel my body trembling a bit and knew that my body was entering transition. I was looking forward to it, but not sure what to expect. The nurse came to check again, I was a 6 with a bulging bag.  She asked how I felt about having my water broken because sometimes things can slow down because the baby's head can't get into the birth canal with the bag in the way. I was starting to feel like I wanted this to be over very soon so I said sure.

 

The Doctor came in and checked me about 5 minutes later, I was a 7 and the water broke, *BOP* Right when that happened my body went from having PWs to a HUGE pushing feeling which was extremely intense.  I had never felt what it was like to feel the pushing waves and I got a little scared. Right after the 1st pushing wave the doctor still had her hand in there and said, "Whoa, this baby wants out NOW!" She said I was now a 9 and she was stretching things out...it was VERY uncomfortable and I told her to get her hand out of there!  She apologized and began getting ready for the birth. 

With each pushing wave my body just pushed on its own.  With the first one I lost my focus and never really got it back because everything was happening so fast.  (editor's note:Since her second stage went so quickly they didn't have time to play "Push Your Baby Out" out loud in the room for her...and it sounds like next time she'll know to have it cued and ready to go sooner!) My husband, sister and mom had never seen me birth this way so they didn't really know what to do or say so I had no one to bring me back and try to relax me more. The sensations were very intense and I definitely was not able to stay quiet throughout them, I have to admit I let out a few choice words (and I'm not a "truck driver" kind of person)and about 3-4 pushes later Chloe was out! 

I was very happy it was over, and VERY happy that I had her naturally.  Actually even though it was quick and intense I was happy it was quick rather than LONG and intense.  MY husband joked that he'd stood in longer lines at Disneyland!!

 

Chloe was born at 3:36 am on September 18th,just two hours after we arrived at the hospital!  She weighed 8 lbs and was 21 inches.  She's the perfect mix of her older sisters Madison(4) and Riley (2).  She's the sweetest little baby...  We're all obsessed with her! Everyone was amazed that I predicted her birth so well,especially my friend who drove all the way out from Utah!

 

I loved Hypnobabies! Everything happened almost EXACTLY how I had visualized it.  Funny enough the only thing I had trouble visualizing throughout my pregnancy was the pushing phase, which ended up being the part where I lost focus.  Even though I couldn't think and get myself back once pushing it was a godsend during my pressure waves and made my entire pregnancy much more enjoyable.  I couldn't believe how relaxed I was, which made everything move so quickly. For my next birth I NOW know what it's like to FEEL the baby coming out and I can focus more on making that experience a little less intense using my hypnosis.  I still feel it was a WONDERFUL experience and a GREAT birth!




I loved being a part of this group and hearing all of your wonderful birth stories!  If I could offer any advice it would be to really practice your visualizations and know that they make all the difference. 

Love, Kari











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Thanks to this mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story!

I have only lurked here (on the Yahoo Group) previously looking for inspiration, but I had a wonderful birth with my second child and wanted to share my story with others!

I had a rough first birth with what I now know were some unnecessary interventions, so I decided to have an unmedicated birth this time around! I happened upon Hypnobabies late in my pregnancy (35 weeks), but was able to get an accelerated schedule to ensure I would complete the program in time.

I was still a bit nervous... I had a doula, but she'd only worked with 2 clients who used Hypnobabies, and my husband didn't make the time to familiarize himself with the birth partner info or run through scripts with me... (I don't recommend doing things the way I did, but I do want to reassure people who can't do things exactly like you are supposed to that the program may still work, anyway!). Although, I had a fast, easy birth, not sure what might have happened with a longer labor.

The day before my daughter was born, I saw my midwife, who asked if I wanted my membranes stripped. I was going to decline, but it was 5 days after my guess date and they said they would have to induce at 42 weeks, so I decided this was preferable to being given any drugs. It worked!

After cramping all night, I had bloody show and pressure waves began at 8:30 the next morning. They were 4-6 minutes apart. We called our doula, who said it sounded like early labor and asked me to call back if they intensified. My husband and I went for a walk, pressure waves intensified and we called the doula again at noon. She advised me to eat some fruit( I also had miso soup) and she arrived at 12:45. She still said it was early labor, so I put on my birthing day affirmations and kept walking up and down stairs and around the house.

I needed to lie down, so I listened to the easy first stage track and tried to relax. Pressure waves were 1 1/2 to 3 minutes apart. Our doula agreed it was time to go. My midwife said we could come to her office first. The car ride was hard, but I was listening to the easy first stage track during the half hour drive, which helped. The midwife said I was 7 cm dilated and we went to the hospital. Our nurse was great, dimming the lights, avoiding any mention of pain and at no point was I offered an epidural. Absolutely everything went according to my birth plan -- I even skipped the IV and got to drink an electolyte drink -- although I threw up as soon as I got in the room, so I didn't want that much of it.

They had to monitor the baby for 20 minutes when I got there. My water broke, they said I was 10cm. I only had a few moments of panic( then I realized it was because everything was happening so fast, I forgot to listen to Hypnobabies!). Once we put it on, I literally felt all of the tension disappear and was very relaxed! I never needed to use eyes open hypnosis because I didn't have the time to get out of bed! The midwife showed up, I needed to push, and after an hour total in the hospital, my daughter was born!

It was the best experience of my life! I keep reliving it and I feel really lucky!  We were all doing so well that we left the hospital after just 24 hours!
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Thanks to RaeAnna from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her inspirational birth story with us. 

I hope it's an encouragement to anyone who has a disbelieving midwife or OB.  YOUR BIRTHING TIME CAN AND WILL HAPPEN!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nicholas “Christian”
Hypnobabies Birth
July 14th, 2009 2:50am

To start this story, here is a brief explanation of some “red flags” in my health during the last trimester of my pregnancy.  I put “red flags” in parentheses because those were the words from a midwife concerning my risks of a natural birth.  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and although I always controlled it well and had wonderful NSTs (measuring the baby’s heartrate) and BPPs (ultrasounds to make sure everything was ok) they still had to be on the cautious side of the risks in my pregnancy.

The midwives in the Vanderbilt practice are required to work under a board of doctors who usually recommend gestational diabetes patients to be induced at 38 weeks.  My midwife was able to approve a hold on any induction until 40 weeks since everything was well controlled and looked great.  I hoped all through my last  trimester that my baby would come early and we would never have to consider an induction. However, my due date of July 6th came and I felt it was the safest to oblige their recommendations and go in for an induction 2 days later.

(July 8th at 7:30pm.)

Induction Attempt #1


We arrived at the hospital that night and I was given an IV of Pitocin.  I had to spend several days preparing myself and   my fears of an induction because it really was going against everything I wanted for a natural childbirth.  After months of  preparing for a natural childbirth with Hypnobabies, I felt that I was letting myself down by going through with the  induction – but I also knew I needed to be responsible to my baby and listen to the advice of the midwives.

My Bishop’s score was between an 8 and 9 so I felt like I had a lot going for me and we would be able to work everything  out for a great birth – even if it meant I had to have Pitocin.  I was a good 5cm dilated and 70% effaced when we started the drugs.  For 10 hours I was hooked up to the medicine and the nurses were increasing the dosage every 30 minutes.

At 5:00am I was maxed out at 20mL and nothing was working. I was not in active labor although I was having a few  pressure waves (contractions.)  The advice from the midwife was to basically start from scratch and give me the Pitocin at smaller dosages again to see if something would happen.

Fast forward to 7:30am.  There was a shift change in midwives and my new midwife came in to talk about what we needed to do since NOTHING was working!!!  I never felt any strong pressure waves (contractions) the WHOLE NIGHT!  The midwife began talking about how sometimes this is common.  She recommended that we stay and continue to try other methods – breaking my water, continuing the Pitocin – but that realistically that would probably lead to a C-section since I was no more dilated or effaced.  She also talked about how she had a patient try an induction 3 times before the Pitocin worked.

When she mentioned that patient I perked up and said “so you let her go home all those times?????”  I knew right then I would NOT stay at the hospital and that we would all go home and wait for my little man to come on his own time!!!!

Heading Home To Wait


We were discharged from the hospital as a “failed induction” against
the board of doctor’s recommendations to stay.  I just knew I was not
putting my baby at any high risk by waiting a few days to see what
would happen.  To please the doctor’s and midwives, I scheduled follow
up appointments to keep monitoring the baby’s well being.  This was
Thursday morning, July 9th – my next appointment would be Monday, July
13th to check on the baby.  I did kick counts every day to make sure
the baby was still active.  (Of course he was!!!)

Now it’s Monday afternoon – I’m 41 weeks pregnant.  I went to my
ultrasound to check on the baby.  The ultrasound did pick up some
calcification of the placenta and low amniotic fluid.  These are
pretty big concerns in the health of the baby.  The technician also
said my baby was weighing in at 9lbs 14oz although measurements can be
off a pound or so.  The midwife that discharged me from the hospital
last week called several hours later very concerned about the reports
on the ultrasound so I decided that it would be best to go back in
that night for another induction.

We left our house at 8:00pm Monday, July 13th – this time we would
come back home with a baby……..but in my mind I felt that it probably
would be by a C-section.  My heart was broken.  The only consolation I
had was that my pressure waves were getting stronger over the weekend.
I was taking a homeopathic to help bring the pressure waves on
stronger and I also took a dose of castor oil earlier in the day to
try to help things along on their own.  I thought maybe there was a
chance I could still have a natural childbirth – I just felt like I
was running out of time! :)

Refusing a Cesarean - Trying Induction 1 More Time


The midwife on call that night was pretty doubtful that I would go
into labor on my own – or even that I could have my baby naturally.
She highly recommended we go ahead and schedule the C-section but I
refused.  She agreed to let us wait a little while before starting
Pitocin and allowed me to try nipple stimulation while hooked up to an
NST since I was having pressure waves at 6-7 minutes apart.

Awesome Hypno-Doula Heather



Fortunately, there was another couple in their birthing time down the hall that needed the midwives more than I did so we didn’t see the midwife for 4 hours!!!  The nurse with us was wonderful at keeping track of my pressure waves and allowing me just to focus on my own.  I had my mom, husband and doula in the room with me and everything was very quiet and peaceful.  I was able to remain mostly “off” (a hypnosis term) during those 4 hours.  Since things were progressing, no one ever came in to start Pitocin!  I was finally in my birthing time on my own!!!!

The last part of those 4 hours were the most intense.  The pressure waves were coming one right after the other.  I didn’t realize, but I was actually in the transformation stage (transition) at that  time!
The nurse helped me into the shower to let the hot water help relax
and calm me.  The only position that allowed me to remain “off” was on
the toilet, in the shower or walking around.  At one point, my doula
came into the bathroom when she heard me grunt.  I thought I was
pooping from the castor oil, but she could tell it was more than just
a bowel movement!  She called the midwife in to check me.

Having to lay on the bed was very difficult – laying down was NOT comfortable!
When she checked me, my husband said she had a very puzzled look on
her face!  She didn’t say anything until my doula called out “what is
she??????”

The midwife looked around and said, “well, she’s complete!  She’s
dilated to 10, all the way effaced and thin, the baby is at a +3
position and I can feel the bag of waters!”

That’s all I needed to hear – I immediately said “I need to turn
around!!!”  I got on all 4s to be comfortable and the pushing urges
started!  It took only 40 minutes to push my baby out!  All the while
we had the Pushing Your Baby Out CD track playing.

Everyone was ASTOUNDED!!!


My mom said it became like a circus in the room.
Several different nurses and doctors were standing at the back of the
room watching everything happen.  They were very respectful and quiet
– I never heard a sound.  I think my mom was able to help keep the
atmosphere calm and relaxed to match the music and talking on the CD.

I loved being able to listen to the cues while I was pushing out my
baby.  I never felt any pain or discomfort.  It was actually a feeling
of relief to push out my baby!!!  I was the first to touch his head as
it came out!  The student midwife kept warm compresses on my perineum
and the midwife helped coach me if I was pushing too hard.  They never
had to tell me to push because my body knew instinctively when it
needed to happen.

To the astonishment of the whole room (and later to find out – pretty much the whole hospital) was that my baby boy was 10lbs, 10oz and 21 and ½ inches long!!!

I credit Hypnobabies to the incredible success of my birthing story!!!

The best part was being able to relax myself during the difficult
transformation stage and allow my body to go limp and loose.  When I
did, I could feel him drop down farther into my birthing canal.  It
was not a pleasant feeling, but it was empowering!  

I just can’t believe I was able to have the birth I’ve dreamed of when there was so
much stacked against me with the gestational diabetes complications
and previous failed induction!

This was the best experience of my whole life!!!  I truly believe that
the Lord answered the many prayers that we prayed over the past week.
I also think my little boy’s guardian angel must have been working
extra hours to make sure the doctor’s didn’t mess up his entrance into
this world!!! :-)

The student midwife that was attending my birth came to me the next
day to check how everything was going.  She told me that the she and
the midwife thought the other couple they were attending to would
certainly have their baby a lot sooner than I would – which is why
they never came back into my room until my doula called on them!!!  I
think this experience was great for her as she enters her field of
midwifery practice.  Now she can recommend the program after seeing
such a successful Hypnobabies experience!

THANK YOU HYPNOBABIES for the education and empowerment to have an easy, comfortable, safe and fast childbirth!  I can’t wait to do it again!

We now have a beautiful, healthy little boy!

Nicholas “Christian”
10lbs, 10oz, 21 ½ inches long
Born: 2:50am at Vanderbilt Hospital
NO DRUGS OF ANY KIND!!!!!  PRAISE GOD!

--
RaeAnna
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Well, things didn't go quite as planned but thanks to Hypnobabies and a bit of concentration and focus, my new baby and I had a wonderful birth experience.
I came into hospital 12 days overdue on Tuesday evening and my birthing time began almost as soon as the first dose of prostaglandin gel went in (about 8pm) with birthing waves coming every 7 mins. I put on easy first stage and deepening and slept between waves  until 1am when i woke to the pop of my waters breaking and waves at 2 mins apart, lasting 40-50 seconds each.

 

The midwife came and checked me and I had gone from nothing to 4cm in 4 hours so I thought he was going to arrive soon! Waves stayed close together, increasing in intensity from then on.

At 6am I was up to 6cm, OB came in at 10am and I was 8cm.   Still completely in control although i was experiencing quite manageable discomfort, no worse than diarrhea type cramps i didn't think, although much more intense. My 2 midwives (and 2 medical students) were amazed that I was laughing and joking in between waves and even asked for a copy of my birth video to show "how it can be done" and if I could speak to their antenatal classes! They were all very interested in Hypnobabies all of a sudden and said I was so focused and in the zone and 98% of women they've seen could not do what I was doing. All of this was making me even more confident.

I managed 22 hours active labour without medication very well, ahh-ing through contractions and leaning on my husband, but when I had stayed at 8cm for 7 hours we knew something was wrong and a quick ultrasound showed his 36cm head was flexed backwards and posterior and not going to come out of my pelvis the way it was. I'd been feeling intense downwards pressure with my waves which it turns out was his head pressing down on my ishcial spines but he would then go back up and couldn't engage even with my 7 hours of powerful pressure waves. So it was decided after all this that a c-section was necessary to save both our lives.

I had previously been quite worried about a cesarian but when it all happened I was completely at peace that that was the way my birthing had to go for us and it was ok. I had a pressure wave while they were putting the spinal block in and the anesthesiologist could not believe I had been at 8cm for 7 hours and could just breathe the pressure out. I had also essentially been in transition for alot of that time too (shaking/shivering and vomiting) because my body was trying so hard to push baby down.

When he was born, he cried straight away, they bought him right over for skin to skin after they let my husband cut the cord and he latched onto the breast straight away. His name is Charlie and was born 8 pound 10 ounces at 6.40pm

Thanks to Hypnobabies, Charlie and I had a wonderful birth. I can almost guarantee that if we hadn't done Hypnobabies, we both would have got distressed during the labour and I would not have been able to make such calm, informed decisions even in the event of an emergency.
Thanks Hypnobabies! Our birth video will be on YouTube in the next weeks and I'll post the link here. I think I'll be the only first-baby, induction, cesarian birth video on the web! :)

Thanks to Cindy from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her story with us!
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I have not posted here since my first pregnancy when my 1st daughter was born in 2009 and I was using Hypnobabies but wanted to share the birth story of my second daughter because I found the power of Hypnobabies so helpful both times and especially with this birth.  And hope that it encourages all of you mamas in waiting to stick with the Hypnobabies program.

I was due on February 26th but towards the end of my pregnancy I was feeling like this baby might be coming sooner than that- I was having regular contractions during the night most nights from 37 weeks on- nothing painful or even very uncomfortable but definately noticeable.

 

This inspired me to focus on my Hypnobabies scripts even more.  I started listening to at least two per day and also listening to all the affirmations.  I even listened to the "Easy First Stage"  and "Birthing Day Affirmations" from 38 weeks on so that I had those ideas in my head.  I might say that I became a little obsessed with having a easy, fast and comfortable birthing.  I am thinking that this is my last pregnancy and birth and while the first hypnobirth with my older daughter was a really wonderful, fairly comfortable and natural, I knew I could be even MORE comfortable, relaxed etc.

One thing about my first birth was that when I had pressure waves I HAD TO be on my hands and knees.  My body just wanted to be in that position.  This was fine and I think it helped me dilate faster but I couldn't be limp and loose as the scripts recommend so I had a harder time fully relaxing at the beginning of my birthing time.  Therefore this time I really focused on telling myself that when I felt pressure sensations I would turn my light switch off and go limp.  This ended up being a HUGE help.

On the night on Feb. 21st my husband had a cold and I suggested he take some nighttime cold medicine to help him sleep.  He wasn't sure if he should because he didn't want to be out of it if I went into labor.  I told him it was fine- I wasn't really feeling anything and I had been swimming and walking that day in hopes of encouraging baby to make an appearance but really wasn't feeling anything.  So he made the medicine, drank it and as soon as the last drop went down I felt my first pressure wave.  NOT painful or intense at all but just enough to let me know that this might be real- oops.

It was about 9 pm so I thought he should just go right to sleep and I would try to as well.  We both laid down and I started listening to the Hypnotic Childbirth Script #1 and #2, then I put on the "Easy First Stage"  My pressure waves were at least ten minutes apart but they were definately real.  I focused on Kerry's suggestion that each wave was like a big warm hug and I pictured my 18 month old daughter hugging my belly tight with each one and I was actually smiling through these because it did feel loving and exciting.

Sometime around midnight I fell asleep- truly a testament to how relaxed I felt while listening to the scripts.  I woke up sometime around 4 am and had to go to the bathroom several times in between pressure waves that was a strange feeling because I thought about pushing later.  By now I knew this was real but I kept listening to the "Easy First Satge" and waiting to wake up my husband because I figured we still had a long time.  I wasn't timing the pressure waves but thought they were fairly short despite being intense.  Eventually the pressure waves were only very low in my abdomen and started feeling strong in my lower back as well- but I still thought they were short- maybe too short for me to far along but I decided to use an online contraction calculator.  I was surprised to see that it was already after 6am at this point and after timing four pressure waves in a row I realized that they were lasting 1 minutes and 30 seconds at least and were consistently three minutes apart.

I woke up my husband to say that we needed to go the hospital.  He immediately started getting everything ready.  Including calling our friend to babysit our daughter and calling the doctors answering service to say we were on the way.  I made him call back and tell them to page my doctor specifically because the baby was coming soon- I suddenly felt- and we wouldn't have time for them to page her once we got there.  By the time we got everything together and our friend showed up I was getting a little worried about actually getting down the stairs and into the car- the pressure waves were very low in my pelvis and back and I thought that I might be in transition already.

We made it into the car with me stopping four times along the way to lay on the floor on the pillow I brought from my bed.  The ride to the hospital was about ten minutes and by the time we got there I was already feeling like I wanted to push.  We got into labor and delivery- I was already 7cm and they started setting up the table for delivery.  My doctor got there and I told her how much I wanted to push.  She suggested that they break my water bag, so I agreed.  She did and within a minute or so I was complete.

4 contractions/pushes later I was holding my baby girl!!!  Less than an hour after arriving at the hospital.  Two days later I feel great- I haven't been very sore at all and I still can't believe how wonderfully that went.  The last hour was intense but to think I slept through half of my labor is amazing!

Thank you Hypnobabies and best of luck to all you mamas.

Thanks to Meghan from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.
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I have loved reading the birth stories of other Hypnomoms as I prepared for the birth of my daughter, Miranda, who arrived January 9th.  Thanks to everyone on this list who posted questions, encouragement and birth stories.  At last, it is my turn to share my Hypnobabies birth story.

She was born at 39 weeks, 5 days on a Sunday night during a snowstorm.  For the previous two nights I felt what I thought were PW’s in the evening but they always stopped when I laid down for bed at night.  So, on Sunday when I felt the sensations again, I did not think it was my birthing time yet and just continued cleaning up the dinner dishes.  However, the waves continued to come so around 7 PM I started timing them with an app on my iPad.   I laid down to turn my lightswitch off and immediately moved to center position so that I could track the waves.

I handled them beautifully for the first hour and a half—while listening to Birthing Day Affirmations I played with my son, folded laundry, sat on my birth ball and rocked side to side, and logged each PW into my iPad.   I also used the “open, open, open” cue a lot.

There was no consistency to the length or interval between waves so I assumed I had a long way to go even though they were getting stronger. I contacted my doula at 7:40 PM and she said to keep watching them until they were consistently one minute in length.  I didn’t call the doctor yet. I switched to Easy First Stage when they got stronger.

Around 8:30 I couldn’t play with my son any longer—all I wanted to do was lay on the bed in the dark.   I also longed for the support of my doula—my DH did not learn any of the Hypnobabies cues and I wanted some help from someone who knew how to help me stay relaxed.

Since things were happening so fast, we couldn’t wait for my mom to come get my 3 year-old son.  All three of us got in the car and stopped to pick up our doula on the way to the hospital because of the snowstorm.  (My husband had to put my son's boots and coat on since I was focusing only on myself by that time.  I was so calm during my early PW's that I had gathered and laid out all of my son's winter gear--which my husband never would have found since it was scattered all over the place!)

We must have left our apartment around 9:30 or so.  I couldn’t walk to the car without stopping for each PW—I would get down on my hands and knees and sway with the wave, I also used “open, open, open” and “peace” cues.  I was so proud of myself for handling it on my own and knowing to just do whatever my body needed to get through the wave.   My doula called my doctor in the car and she said she was on her way.

It was a tough ride to the hospital because the waves were so strong and I was kind of scrunched up in the front seat in an uncomfortable position.  My water broke in the car and then again in the wheelchair they used to bring me inside.  My doula escorted me to a delivery room and protected me from questions and monitoring devices while I finished getting through a PW.

Then, she helped me into a gown and as I sat on the bed I told them the baby was about to come out.  They didn’t believe me and my doula had to literally show them that the baby’s head was crowning.  (Afterwards, one of the nurses said “you were so calm!”).   Obviously, my doctor was not going to make it in time due to the weather and the speed of my birthing.

A second year resident ended up catching the baby.  The pressure was incredibly strong, but I was OK.  I felt each part of her come out of me and it truly was like she was sliding out.  The entire time I knew I was safe and had no fears.  Positive thoughts were in my mind, even at the most intense moments I could hear positive messages comforting me and giving me everything I needed to deliver my baby.  My doula was amazing—there was no time for scripts but she helped me with the peace cue and also encouraged me to blow out during the strongest pressure waves so that I wouldn’t have the baby in the car.  She was born at 10:01 PM, just five minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

Another awesome thing was that I was able to say everything I wanted when I got to the hospital.  I told them I only wanted a hep-lock and not IV fluids; I told them I wanted to wear my hospital gown open in the front so that I could hold the baby right away when she was born on my bare abdomen.  The number one thing I wanted, if nothing else, was to hold her immediately, and I was able to express that and it happened!

It was the most incredible feeling and I have Kerry  and Hypnobabies to thank for this most precious moment.

Miranda breastfed within 20 minutes or so and did it twice on both breasts before we left the delivery room.  It was magical.  Thank you Hypnobabies for a beautiful birth!

Thanks to Kate, a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her story with us!
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Summary of my fast easy birth:


I have to start out by saying I feel elated! Giving birth was one of the most amazing experiences of my life :o) I can honestly write a birth story without mentioning a lot of pain, because I didn't feel much discomfort. My labor was fast, easy and enjoyable. I used Hypnobabies to prepare for labor. It’s medical grade hypnosis for childbirth.

Sunday night I made spicy eggplant Parmesan to try and jump-start labor. It worked and my water broke at 11:45PM that night! 15 mins later contractions were 3 mins apart. I labored at home for the next 5 hrs. Around 5am Todd and I left for the hospital. We arrived at labor and delivery and I pushed for 55 mins. At  6:55AM Grayson was born!

Early Labor at Home:

Contractions came on so fast after my water broke. I thought I’d be able to sleep for a few hours; instead Todd did the sleeping for the both of us. I labored downstairs for 2 1/2 hrs on my own.

I had a funny conversation with my sister over the phone in early labor. She asked if I'd wanted my Doula to be at home with me during these strong, early contractions and I said no. I was spending most of my time in the bathroom. I didn’t care that I spent hundreds of dollars for the Doula service; I did not want an audience in the bathroom!

As labor progressed I felt most comfortable on all fours in the family room and was handling labor really well using my hypnosis queues. The one thing that was really bothering me was my feet, they were freezing! It was cold downstairs! Contractions were coming closer together and I couldn't stand up to get a sweater or socks. I was amazed how immobile I became in such a short time.

Todd woke up to my hollering for socks and half asleep ran downstairs to help. He got one long black sock on my foot when another contraction hit. I had a feeling things were progressing fast. I told him to start packing the van, call the Doula and get my Binsi skirt. The Binsi skirt is an article of clothing that’s hospital friendly and easy to labor in. It’s comfy and a lot prettier than the hospital gowns. I wanted to look good while in labor lol.

As he raced around the house collecting our bags, the most intense pressure wave hit and I felt this incredible urge to push. I lost my hypnosis focus and screamed. My body took over and I began involuntarily pushing with all my strength. I yelled, "We waited too long, I’m pushing, I can't move!" I continued to push and feel panicked. Interestingly the more scared I got the more discomfort I felt.  Todd rushed to my side and calmly said “relax” placing his hand on my shoulder. This put me back into a calm state of mind and I could handle the pressure waves again. Todd then instructed that I had to get up. We attempted shoes until I started to push again and Todd said, "Screw the shoes!" we forced myself onto my feet and hurried to the minivan.

Drive to the Hospital:

On our way to the hospital, I continued to handle the contractions really well with Todd’s help. He’d repeat my hypnosis queues and labor was surprisingly tolerable. Pressure waves felt like a stomach ache.

I remember a car slowing us down. It wouldn't let us pass. I could sense Todd's panic and I remember saying, “Todd it’s ok, this is only labor, we'll be ok". I was thinking my recent Google search would come in handy on how to deliver a baby in the car. Looking back I’m amazed how calm I was! I definitely feel Hypnobabies had something to do with it.

While we drove to the hospital, each pressure wave made water gush out of me, soaking my Binsi skirt! I was a mess, dripping wet, shoeless, with one black sock on and freezing by the time I got to the hospital. The skirt was quickly dumped into the corner of the hospital room. I could care less on how I looked. The hospital gown was a welcomed comfort because it was dry! My entire body continued shaking. I thought I was still cold but the shaking was from all the hormones. I was in transition.

Hospital:

Once I was situated on the bed in my dry hospital gown, the Midwife checked me and I was already 9 cm!  I felt so much relief and excitement.  Nurses came in and set up the baby warmer. I couldn't believe how wonderfully fast everything was happening. They didn’t even give me an IV or heplock.

After hearing how far along I was, Todd was smiling ear to ear. I was beaming and he said, "Great job honey, we're going to have our baby soon!"

I was relieved to see my Doula (Annette) show up in the nick of time. The Midwife gave me the ok to continue pushing. I kept raising my shoulders up to my ears with each contraction and Annette would remind me to relax them. This made the contraction even more powerful and effective. We played the Hypnobabies scripts out loud on my iPod and everyone in the room listened. Annette said, “You’re so calm and controlled”. It was great hearing how well I was doing. The Midwife said, “You look like you had an epidural”.

The Doula was incredible. She not only is a Doula but a Hypnobabies instructor. Annette was very familiar with all the hypnotic queues and easily made any pressure I felt, melt away by pushing on my hips and reminding me to use my Hypnosis techniques. She gave great tips on effective breathing and pushing; I can’t stress how awesome it was to have her there.

Sweet moments, it was so helpful hearing Todd say that we're going to be great parents and I am going to be an incredible Mom. Todd was so helpful and read me positive affirmations between pushes. I was scared I was going to have a huge baby. Todd would repeat that this baby is the perfect size for my body and the contractions are giving him a warm hug.

I remember how funny it was that pressure waves spaced out to 7 or 8 mins apart. While waiting for a pressure wave everyone would just sit there and relax. I even told my body "Ok I'm ready for another pressure wave?!" I thought how bizarre this all is, so relaxed and quiet.

My hair done up in a mess, teeth not brushed, I had envisioned that I'd be laboring for hours at home. I thought I'd get a shower in and brush my teeth before heading to the hospital. How wrong I was! While laboring at the hospital I asked for mints. The nurse thought that was funny and assured me I didn’t have morning breath. I wasn't convinced and ate mints between contractions.

I rested my eyes between pushes and sometimes talked. My way of dealing with the pressure wave was to just breath through it. Before the final few pushes, it was mostly peaceful and calm.

The baby started crowning and I reached down with my hand and felt the top of my baby's head. I remember saying, “wow it feels squishy” and everyone laughed.
To help prevent tears, the midwife placed warm washcloths on me and I was surprised to feel nothing. She also did some perineal massage, using baby shampoo. Todd helped by applying the shampoo to her gloves. That entire area was numb! With another strong pressure wave I pushed baby out. I felt a warm, slippery, wet, 7lb 8oz body pulled out of me and placed on my tummy. Grayson was wiggling around and screaming! Todd cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and Grayson scooted up my stomach, past my chest and started to latch onto my chin lol! I couldn't stop laughing, I felt amazing!
Nurses were all impressed and continued to tell me how great of a job I did. Shortly everyone left and Todd, Grayson and I were alone. For the next hour and half, I held Grayson skin-to-skin and nursed. We ordered a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast while streaming music from my iPad. It was a really sweet moment in time. We spent one night at the hospital and went home the next day.

Todd and I are ecstatic on how well everything went. Grayson is an adorable sweet baby and is bringing us so much joy! We can't stop staring at him and loving every second of being his Momma and Daddy. :o)
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Bridget Amber was born on July 7th at 3:13 am, weighing 9lb 13oz, 20.5 inches long.  The birth was completely natural, intervention and medication-free, in a hospital with a CNM.  Bridget is my fourth baby, my first hypnobaby.

Here are some details.  At my first prenatal visit, at around week 10, the midwife informed me I would not be permitted to birth under water this time, due to my history of big babies.  Inside a felt like launching an arguement against this ban because I really like birthing in water and I felt like I've already proved myself with my last under water birth of a surprisingly heavy baby at 11lb 5oz.  "It went smoothly, so why the ban", I wanted to argue.  I decided it's way too early in this pregnancy to get vocal about how I wanted to birth.  So much could happen still before the birth that could sway the midwives decision.  I decided to hold my tongue.  But this "ban" is what made me interested in hypnosis.

Fast forward to weeks 35 and on.  I began having PW intense enough to really slow me down.  I was still working full-time and doubted that I'd be able to finish working through week 38 as I had planned.  The mornings were always when I felt normal, but after 3 or 4 pm, I struggled to keep appearing unaffected by the cramps, pinching down there, short breath, and general squeezing sensation.  At 38 weeks my cervix was 3.5 cm open and 50% thinned.  The result of these early and annoying PWs.  During this time I was totally useless at home in the evenings.  Trouble moving around to cook and bathe and put the three young ones to bed.  Finally I finished my last day of work and I could just wait.  I waited and waited, very much expected the baby to come any day.  This was my mindset every day for a week and a half.  My guess date was July 8th (but my midwives had it documented as June 29 based on early US).  These were some of the slowest days of my life.  I felt like I was living in limbo.  These are the days when artificial induction, something I'm strongly opposed to, becomes tempting.  But thanks to Hypnobabies I had confidence to just keep waiting.

During the waiting week-and-a-half, my PW established a pattern of coming on at 4:30pm, still random and just annoying.  Every day, though, they subsided while I slept and I felt normal again in the mornings.  Also during this time I had copious amounts of mucus discharge.  It didn't look like a mucus plug (brownish, old-looking mucus).  Also, toward the end of my waiting week-and-a-half, my stools were a lot looser than ever during pregnancy.  I took these as signs that I was getting ever closer.

Then one night I awoke at 12:38 to a PW that got my attention.  It was pretty powerful AND it didn't follow my regular pattern of subsiding after going to sleep.  I lay awake and felt two more after a half-an-hour.  At 1:10 am I woke my husband to say, "You need to go get a cab."  Then I called my midwife.  I felt like I had to defend my case for "now" being the time to go to the hospital.  What do I say, "I've had 3 PWs  in the last 1/2 hour?"  Most midwives would say go back to bed.

I reminded my midwife how fast my last two birthing times were (under an hour each) and how this activity was not my pattern.  She agreed to meet me there.  I then called our au pair, who lives in our basement, to tell her we're going to the hospital.  She'd be in charge of the kids in the morning when they woke-up.  I packed a bag and sat on my birthing ball while my husband lined up a cab.  We left the house at 1:45am.  I remember a PW hit while getting into the cab.  I had to pause for this to pass.  Another PW hit while at a red light on Michigan Ave.  Somehow, we hit all red lights going up Michigan Ave. through downtown Chicago in the middle of the night!  We get to the hospital... PW hits while getting out of the cab.  A hospital employee sees me and gets a wheelchair for me.  So nice of her since she was off and heading home.  We arrive to the hospital at about 2am.

In triage I sit and wait for the nurses to ready a triage room.  No other patients are around.  This is a busy downtown Chicago woman's hospital that delivers an average of 30 babies a day!  The nurse motions me into a room.  I have to stop to lean against the doorway through another PW.  The nurses are patient.  After giving a urine sample and changing into a gown, I get in bed and get an internal.  They're used to screening woman who 1/3 of the time get sent home because it's too early.  They declare me 7cm open and 100% effaced.  They role my bed toward the elevator to admit me to L&D.

A nurse asks me how I'd like to deliver.  Under water, I say.  She tells me the tub was recently used and there's no time to clean it.  Unfortunately I will not be getting a water birth.   I'm admitted at 2:15am.  In the L&D room, I at first sit in bed and chat with my widwife between waves.  Eventually I ask for a birthing ball.  I sit on the ball with my head rested on the elevated bed and a couple pillows.

Eventually I'm needed so much concentration for these PW, I've tuned out my environment.  Then I feel super hot.  I recognize this from my last birth.  I know I'm getting close.  The involuntary vocalizations start.  The "cave woman grunting."  "Lower the bed." I manage to say.  Now I climb into bed on my knees leaning forward on pillows propped over the elevated head of the bed.  This position is  close to the hands and knees position I had visualized birthing in.    In this position is where the vocalizations escalate and so does the intensity of the PWs.  I involuntarily push.  I'm totally concentrating on relaxing and following my body's urges.  During the pushing stage, my midwife asks for permission to break the bulging bag of water to avoid the mess of an explosion.  I agreed to it.  In a matter of minutes the baby is out.

She was born at 3:13am, only an hour after being admitted.  The baby's nurse asked permission for the eye ointment and the vit D shot.  I consented.  I liked how she asked first.  These treatments as well as other aspects of the baby's exam were done while I held her.  So nice to see these changes in the hospital treatment vs. separating baby and mom for these treatments and not even including mom in the decisions.  I'm also so pleased with my midwife for being so 'hands-off.'  She allowed me to do it my way and in my time.  I'd like to have the tub to deliver in, but since it wasn't available at the moment I needed it, I could handle that news since I'd been preparing for a dry birth from the start anyway.  If I wasn't prepared mentally, that would have made it harder to accept.

I benefited from the readings and the affirmations from Hypnobabies and the boost to my confidence the overall program gives.  I think the positive mental perspective alone are beneficial, since the physical feelings of PWs and birthing are so welcomed, nothing I couldn't deal with.  Never did I feel fear or panic as some describe, just empowered and a sense of marvel at the whole process.  The female body is a masterpiece!
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Saturday April 23rd after our 40W+ doctor's visit where we got to know her heart beat was strong, amniotic fluid ok, that she was still super low in my pelvis (as she had been for several weeks already) and that some braxton hicks were going on (though most times I wouldn't notice them), we had lunch in the neighborhood with an insurance lady to discuss Leona's future insurance plan. During lunch I suddenly noticed I was having noticeable PWs, and after timing them for half an hour they were consistently around 3-4 min apart. By this time I was done dessert, and mentioned to Judge that perhaps we should wrap things up and get going, just in case (shocked looks on both Judge and insurance lady's faces).

I got up to use the restroom - and the PWs slowed apart to about 6-7 min as they had been during the monitoring at the doctor's office. We decided to head back to the birthing center anyhow, as the doctor had asked us to go do a penicillin skin test (I was GBS positive and would need antibiotics during labor for the safety of Leona). [Turned out I was a bit allergic~ Never knew before]. And then we headed home.

There was no further birthing-time action that afternoon, evening, night, or next morning, so we decided to go mountain cruising. 'Just in case' we kicked into gear we did the cruising in the car (which, by the way, is not even a fraction as wonderful as scooter cruising - but still invigorating and refreshing to see all the lush greenness). During the drive home I felt some kicks towards the left-front of my stomach and I was worried she had moved further around (she had previously been left posterior forever, then the day before switched to right posterior).

We ended up going to bed a bit late - 12:30am (so technically April 25th), and I decided to do two hypnobabies tracks - two I had been doing regularly for a while: 'Baby come OUT' and 'Visualize your birth'. In the visualization track I always envisioned the birthing time to start at night, with a lot of dilating PWs going on during my sleep, and waking up around 5am or so and then us heading out around 6am, arriving at the birthing center at 6 or so cm dilated (but not having any internal exams done), would walk along the stone path with stone-wall waterfall and gazebo with Judge and when a PW occurred would 'slow dance' through it with him, after a while would head in and jump in the tub, and a total of 4 hours after arriving (so that the antibiotics could kick in) Leona would be born.

During the 'baby come OUT' track we are asked to feel that baby is ready to be born. During the previous couple weeks of doing the track I had never really felt this one fully, but that night I truly felt it.

So, at around 2am I finally went to sleep for reals. 3am I woke up because of PWs that were giving me discomfort in my back. After a couple of these that were not so far apart I decided to get up and go downstairs to track them on the computer. After about 45 min they were consistently about 7 min apart, and the intensity was strong all along. I texted my doula [BOP] "Pressure waves every 7 min or so, the kind I have to concentrate for. Powerful back cramping...kind of toe curling." [END BOP]. She called me a bit later and asked if we wanted to head up to the birthing center to beat morning traffic. I thought that sounded like a good idea, and woke Judge up.

We were in the car around 4:20 am, and the PWs got closer together (around 4-5 min apart) during the 40 min drive - where we got to enjoy the sky-lightening that comes with day-break.

When we arrived at the birth center around 5 am I was first monitored (flat on back with bands around belly). PWs were not as strong for most of them except one which felt like the ones I'd been having up until then - and that was off the chart (the chart only goes up to 100...). I also ended up having an internal exam as it was a choice between that and more frequent 'band' monitoring. Using Hypnobabies skills the internal wasn't uncomfortable at all. Pleasantly surprised. Also measured at 3 cm dilation - not the 6 I had visualized, but enough that they felt I was in my birthing time and let me check in.

Then a marathon of PWs started, where the majority of them were off-the-charters and other than powerful cramping in my back (not the sacrum area but rather in a band between the top of my hip-bones) I didn't feel any discomfort. The back cramping kind of immobilized me though, and instead of being able to walk around and change positions a lot I was on the birthing ball, with Angie (my doula) providing counter pressure on my back and Judge helping me with my hypnobabies' cues, and them switching places once in a while. Unfortunately I wasn't in a fully supported position so wasn't able to go into full relaxation, which I believe would have helped. In any event, without Angie, Judge and Hypnobabies I believe I would have quickly lost it.

After a couple of hours of these powerful PWs I felt like I wanted to get in the tub. The birthing center has a rule you have to be 4 cm dilated to get in, so we did another internal and I was sure I'd be at 6 cm by then. [BOP] But alas, I was still at 3! This is why internals can be bad...quite disheartening. [END BOP] A while later we did another one and I was finally at 4 cm, and so they took 10 min to sterilize the tub, and then we had to monitor Leona's heartbeat through PWs to ensure it didn't dip. Unfortunately it did dip a few times (though I'm not sure if it was because I moved or whatnot) and so there was no tub action for me. Instead Angie took out her TENS machine and hooked me up to that to help with the back-pressure.

At one point I threw up and when got back on the birth-ball had the shakes. Judge was super worried, and asked if this was normal, and I told him if we were lucky this was me going through transformation and things would get busy soon and baby girl would be born. Angie said she had been thinking the same thing. But alas, the nurse came in and we asked her to do an internal (I think we asked for one - a lot of things are fuzzy for me) and I was only at 5 cm. Hrm.

It went on like this for a long time. With just Angie and Judge and I as I had requested limited coming and goings and so the nurses would only come in to check Leona's heart-beat once in a while - sometimes hooked up kind, sometimes with a hand-held doppler. At one point my doctor came in to check on me, and we did an ultrasound and found that Leona had moved back to left posterior. Somehow this knowledge helped with the back cramping (shows a lot of it is in our heads~~) but didn't eliminate it.

Finally at one point when I was 7 cm dilated I decided to lay propped on the the bed as Angie said she thought I was far enough along that Leona wouldn't slip to anterior. This allowed me to finally use the 'release' cue and go fully and deeply into relaxation, hypnosis and hypnoanesthesia. It helped immensely with reducing the power of the back cramping that was still there - but I still needed Judge or Angie, as I needed one of my legs propped up as I had it bent in order to be in a better birthing position.

Throughout the birthing process I went through three 'transformations' - vomiting and the shakes - but didn't mind them as I knew they were helping me dilate.

Then, finally, I was in the last few cm of dilation. By this time it must have been around 7 pm or so. Having only had 1 hour sleep the night before, off the chart PWs for about 16 hours, no food, and most of my liquids coming up again, one can safely say I was exhausted. Judge no less so, as he had only eaten a small thing, and had stood by my side the whole time very worried about me - and Angie as exhausted as well as she had not left my side either. So I got into a self-supported position on the bed, Judge lay down on the couch, and Angie rested a bit while keeping a watchful eye on me, and Judge and I both napped. I actually woke up during most of the powerful PWs but was so peaceful that Angie thought I slept through them all.

When I got 'stuck' at 9.5 cm, I decided to have the nurse manually rupture my membranes to see if we could finish this journey up sooner rather than later. When the nurse came in to check my dilation, I think she must have touched the amniotic sack and intentionally or accidentally ruptured the membranes as she had said she was first going to just check, but in any event my waters finally broke. This may have been around 9 pm.
Up until this point I had had "Easy first stage" playing out loud almost the whole time. Both Angie and Judge got a bit hypnotized/sleepy because of it (the birthing room lighting was low and comfortable as well) ;P  Once I was at 10 cm I put on the pushing baby out track.

I had planned to just 'breath' Leona down and out, but I got powerful bearing down urges, and so - well, still breathed her down, but also pushed with my breaths, kneeling on the floor supporting myself on the bed and tub, using the positions I had learned helped relax the perinium and lower muscles the most (learned from the Pink Kit - quite interesting information in there!). There was no discomfort or pain, just a lot of effort.

For the bearing down two nurses joined my little team, and they would check her progress once in a while, as well as often check her heart-rate. When she had about 3 cm to go I got on the toilet to work through some PWs, and I felt her head with my fingers. I couldn't believe it was my little baby!

Finally it was time to call in my doctor for the catching of the bebe. I removed the gown as I felt it was just in the way, and found the best position was kneeling on the floor on both knees, supporting myself on the bed (so I was still as vertical as possible) [later Angie asked the doctor if she had assisted in this type of birthing position before - she had never]. I decided this had gone on long enough and it was time for Leona to come out, so I pushed both during the bearing down PWs and between them. My doctor tried to help a couple times (stretch my perinium or something) and I quickly told her 'no' and she thankfully backed off. Angie kept encouraging me with my progress ('silver dollar', egg sized - shown with fingers) but I was instead rather "what? that's it!?" :P

Finally I felt if I just pushed a few more times strongly she'd come out, so I did. There was a bit of stinging, but nothing terrible, and suddenly out she slipped. It was 11:01pm and she later measured at 3400g and 51cm long.

The nurses passed her through my legs so I could hold her, and then I was to climb back on the bed to birth the placenta. A nurse held Leona so I could climb up, but wasn't used to the umbilical cord still being uncut so I had to quickly remind her that Leona was still attached to me and couldn't move that far away from me! She then slowed her movement so I could catch up, and once I was on the bed Leona was placed on my chest.

The doctor then started to make like she was going to help with my placenta, so I reminded her that I wanted it to come out naturally. After Leona was suctioned more thoroughly she started the breast-crawl as I birthed the placenta.



Throughout the 20 hours of labor I have to admit there were a few times where I felt it was just taking too long. I was too exhausted. Not to a point I wanted to give up, but frustrated and perhaps on the verge of break-down.   I know Judge was worried and thinking I was in a lot of p**n sometimes as I would become a little stressed when I felt a PW starting, needing them to help me through it using the cues. Without them (and Hypnobabies) I know I would not have been able to handle it, but with them it was just strong, manageable discomfort.

So though the birth did not go exactly as planned - I consider it to have been the right birth for us.
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My wife asked me to write this so that more prospective fathers could look at Hypnobabies from a kindred point of view. I hope this helps in your decision-making process. You can contact me by leaving a comment on this post if you have any questions.

The Origin


My wife had our first son the standard way, lying in a hospital bed with an epidural, as expected. We'd attended and paid close attention during birthing class, and even memorized and rehearsed the breathing exercises. That was a fortunate decision on our part, as the epidural didn't work. Those breathing exercises provided the only slim relief during the very long process. Throw in a large regimen of pitocin, serious back labor, and many many hours of misery and you have our wonderful baby boy exiting his wrecked mother after 34 hours. Clearly, medicine was not the way forward. We decided to find a structured alternative to what was both expensive and miserably ineffective.

The Decision


My wife is a researcher tried and true, and after weighing all the options she could find, we came down to Bradley versus Hypnobabies. My mother had seven kids using Bradley, so we didn't doubt its efficacy. However, the schedule for the instruction programs available were probably the primary thing pushing us towards the latter, as my wife worked an odd schedule. How fortunate. Hypnobabies is designed based on clinically-developed therapeutic methods for people with allergies to anesthesia, and the program in general seem quite well presented and structured. So we ordered the packet.

The Preparations


The course was remarkably straightforward, with reading assignments for both mom and me. While I procrastinated both due to some skepticism and a lingering aversion to homework (what, I'm an Engineer, I've done my time), it really was a quick read. We slowly worked hypnosis rehearsals into her daily schedule and also before bed for both of us. We learned that even if you don't hypnotize yourself like me, lying in bed with the CDs playing knocked me right out. Do figure out how to play the tracks singly, otherwise you'll be waking up every thirty minutes. Over time I really began to appreciate the calming effects it was having on my wife, both in general and when I read the scripts for her. She even tried to hypnotize me and several other family members. I'm glad that it worked better on her than others, but I kept my faith in her.

The Version


Our daughter decided that she wasn't about to turn head down in the last month before birth, and we decided that she was wrong. The obstetrician recommended an "external version" in which he would basically crank on that belly until baby flipped, a procedure normally done with an epidural due to the significant pain involved. The very experienced and skilled doctor was skeptical of this hypnosis mumbo-jumbo, but recognized that an epidural was just a waste of good drugs and tubing on my wife. He brought all the student nurses he could find so that they could see both this somewhat rare procedure and whether Hypnobabies was worth its weight.

  1.   This procedure was ridiculous to watch and left my wife with one very beaten-up belly

  2.   She was perfectly calm and comfortable the whole time

  3.   The medical staff was dumbfounded. I'm not exaggerating. Our doctor was sold on Hypnobabies.


The Baby


Our daughter came on her own time, which was clearly foreshadowing, but regardless we spent the first nine hours of birthing waves at home, doing a lot of walking. Since my wife is very short-waisted, I would apply pressure to the top of her tailbone/hips if the intensity was significant. Learn how to do this.

Once the timing got down to below five minutes, we headed to the hospital so that we could walk around some more for three hours waiting for a room with a tub. The ONLY time there was any pain is when the hospital insisted that she lie on her back for fetal monitoring. Learn how to say "no" to this, make them do it in a comfortable position for MOM, not the tech.

I held a briefing for the staff that was to be assigned to us, describing our comfort management plan. "Oh, she's the hypnosis lady... I heard about her!" That was nice to hear.

Once in the room we spent a while on the birthing ball, about 90 minutes in the tub, and then the OB showed up for a pelvic. To our surprise, it was time to push!

20 minutes or so later, the water finally broke and out came baby with a lot of noise from mom's super-omming but again, no pain. Again, a very impressed medical staff and a healthy baby after a mere 16 hours of basically completely comfortable labor.

The Recovery


What recovery? My wife was up moving about on her own, packing up to move to an overnight room within 30 minutes. She had basically no ill effects that a few ibuprofen couldn't handle. Bring your own, as it is far cheaper.

Lessons Learned



  1. There is no reason to be skeptical or daunted. This program is very straightforward but genuinely rooted in sound practice.

  2. Be a man and take charge of the room. Mom has her business, everything else needs to revolve around her plan, and that's your job. Keep the negativity out of the room, keep the noise out of the room, keep the lights low.

  3. Eat ahead of time. Mom can do the same. The only reason they push that fasting nonsense is in preparation for general anesthesia during surgery, and even that is a ridiculously small risk. But seriously: eat.

  4. Learn about back-labor relief if your wife is short waisted. Do it.

  5. Really learn and memorize your cues for her. Let everyone know that they don't need to assume that she's in pain, because she'll tell you if she is. Noise does not equal pain.

  6. Bring your own ibuprofen.

  7. Have some way of playing the birthing day tracks on hand... speakers are good but an iPod in a ziploc baggie is as well.

  8. Be prepared to be amazed.

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Here is a great birth story, where mom shares how Hypnobabies and her hypno-doula helped her achieve a wonderful birth.

On the day I went into labor, I was so surprised at how well Hypnobabies worked for me. I didn’t even believe I was in labor because my birthing waves felt so wonderful and amazing. Nothing like I remembered feeling 14 years ago with my first.

Click here to read the rest.
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My husband and I decided to try Hypnobabies because I had two tramatic births previously. We started the classes and I wasn't sure if it would work for me. My first birth was terrible and during my second my blood pressure dropped which almost caused an emergency c-section. Very unstable to say the least.

After we finished the classes and we started the 'maintenence' portion of the program, I didn't have much time to do the hypnosis with two kids and home schooling. I did listen to the cd's every night and while napping.

My birthing time started around 4:30 on a Saturday evening. By 6:00 I was soaking in a hot tub, feeling very relaxed and secure. I kept listening to Early First Stage the whole time. I never got tired of it. I found the most comfortable postition was to be on all fours rocking back and forth. I never experienced pain, only pressure. It was wonderful to be at home for all of this.

We left for the hospital around 7:30. I had to go to Triage first and be checked. The midwife wasn't available for about an hour! When she finally made it in to check me, she said she didn't want to disturb me because I looked to relaxed and focused. Of course, she did and I was dilated to 9.

Cage was born within 15 minutes of her checking me. They took me straight to delivery and I started moving him out. It took a total of 8 minutes! He weighed 8lbs 5ozs and was 21 inches long. My husband was right there the whole time protecting me and our special place. We also had a Hypnobabies doula that was awesome.

This way far the best birthing experience I have ever had!!

Wishing you mothers to be all the best! Melanie

written and shared with permission from a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.
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I wanted to thank you sincerely for such a wonderful site and offer my Hypnobabies story. I love hearing birth stories but once I started my Hypnobabies self study course, I found myself steering clear of all birth stories.  I was worried I would hear something negative and my bubble of peace wouldn't do it's job.  I came across your website when I was about 30 weeks pregnant and it was a breath of fresh air.  I needed to hear those positive and beautiful stories.  Thank you for sharing them!

If you are still collecting stories for your website, here is mine.  It was not an entirely painfree childbirth but it was very close to it.  This was my 2nd birth and my first hypnobaby.  With my first child, I was in labor for close to 11 hours and it was not a very good experience (except for the beautiful outcome - my son!).  My birthing time with this birth was the complete opposite.

I woke up on my due date about 2:30 in the morning and just didn't feel right. My stomach hurt and I was uncomfortable so I got up and started walking around my living room a bit. I realized I was having pressure waves and they weren't very consistent but I could really feel them. About 3, I decided to get together my things and take a shower before I woke up my husband.   When I woke him up at 3:30, he wanted to know how far apart my ctx were and I had no idea. He started timing them for me while playing in an online poker tournament. I would say, 'write down the time' when I felt one start. And he'd write it down and go back to his game. (BTW, he finished 7th in the tournament. lol)I walked around my living room and when I would feel a pressure wave, I would kneel over my birthing ball and rock back and forth, concentrating my mental anesthesia where I needed it. At 4, my husband told me my pressure waves were really inconsistent. I said, I'd rather them be inconsistent here than at the hospital! I decided to listen to my Easy First Stage cd from Hypnobabies to regulate them.

I flipped my light switch to the center and continued leaning over my birthing ball.  I would say to myself, open open open and I really could feel my cervix opening. At 4:30 when my pressure waves were consistently 4 min apart, I had my husband call his mom to come watch our son. He said Why? I said because I don't wanna have this baby here! I was kind of hungry and trying to listen to my body so I ate a couple bites of toast. Not as delicious as I had hoped. His mom got there about 5:15 and my pressure waves were 2 min apart at that point. I was ready to go!

We left for the hospital and I put on my birthing day affirmations cd. It was relaxing and positive but being in the car for 20 min was tough. I just closed my eyes and focused on the cd.  My husband actually asked me if I was still having contractions! He then went by mcd's but they were closed so we stopped for a few minutes at the gas station while he bought a paper, donuts, and a breakfast sandwich.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00. I walked in and they said yes? I said yeh I'm in labor. They got me back into a triage room  and the tech guy was getting me hooked up to the ctx and fetal monitor. I was getting really pissy about having to lay down. My husband was just bsing with the guy while they tried to get the monitor in the right spot. The baby was freaking out about the monitor being on her and all of a sudden she kicked REAL hard and then I heard POP! And my water broke everywhere.

I said "oooh. My water broke"...And that was the end of my pleasantness! I don't know if I suddenly lost my focus or what but my pws went from being completely manageable to being very intense. I started to feel really pushy and they wanted me to lift up to put a pad under my butt. NO! They wanted me to lay on my back to be checked. NO! I started to puke up my couple bites of toast, yum.

The nurse agreed to check me on my side while I was still in triage and I was complete and +2. No wonder I was feeling pushy! They rolled me down the hall to a delivery room and asked me to move beds. I said NO once again. But I had to....so I finally just sucked it up and moved. Right away the dr came in and they set everything up for delivery.

The dr insisted that I push the traditional way and I was trying to tell him no, my dr had said it was ok to push how I wanted but he didn't care and I just wanted the baby out. I used the Hypnobabies suggestion and 'talked' to my baby, assuring her that we could do this and that she was just fine.  Out loud, I was saying "I can do this I can do this I can do this." So I put my legs in the stirrups and they said push when you feel like it. I used the Ah technique suggested by Hypnobabies and it was incredibly effective!

3 pressure waves later at 6:57am, Nora Christine was born. She weight 8lb 3oz and was 21 inches long.


The nurses and my husband were astonished!  The nurses kept telling me, you make this look so easy.  My husband is a bit ornery so he wasn't quite as vocal about his surprise at the ease of my birthing time.  He did tell me he was disappointed he hadn't gotten to read the paper!  He had misjudged how my birthing time was progressing because he expected it to be similar to my first child's birth.

In addition to having such a wonderful birth experience, I fully credit Hypnobabies for the length of my birthing time and the timing itself.  I had used imagery to picture my birthing time from beginning to end during my last few weeks.  In my mind, my husband would be home (he often works out of town), I would comfortably "labor" at home, arrive at the hospital at least 8cm dilated, and have my baby within 4 and a half hours from my first pressure wave.

The mind is an incredible thing!  And Hypnobabies truly works.  Once my children are older, I'm very interested in becoming a hypnodoula myself.  In the mean time, I just want to share my story and let women know that childbirth does not need to be a terrifying and painful event.

You are certainly welcome to share my birth story if you so choose.  Otherwise, thank you again for you website.  I hope other women find it as positive and inspiring as I did.

Lauren
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In my Hypnobabies study, I visualized going into labor on a Friday, at 38 weeks plus 5 days.  With both of my previous non-induced births, I went into labor on a Friday, so my mind naturally went to the same day of the week.  Then, a few weeks out from that date, I mentally set a goal to make it through 1/23 before going into labor.

  • I needed to finish up a major project at work that week

  • I had a three hour spa appointment (a Christmas gift from my employees) scheduled for that morning

  • My husband and I planned to take our twelve year old daughter out to a nice dinner that night.

  • I literally told myself that I had permission to have the baby after dinner on Friday night.

  • I even put the date of 1/24 on the birth announcements that I mocked up a few weeks before.


The mind is a very powerful thing, so 1/23 is when our birth story began…

On Friday morning, 1/23, I started my massage at 10 AM.  It was a wonderful time to relax and contemplate that we would soon bring our fourth child into the world.  The massage was followed by a facial, a spa lunch, a pedicure and a manicure.  It was blissful!  I came home and took a nap around 4 PM.  During the hour long nap, I was woken up by a few waves of pressure in my back.  I had experienced many rounds of “false” labor prior to this time, so I mentioned it to my husband, but wrote it off.

While getting ready for dinner, I felt several more waves, but nothing consistent.  We went out to a lovely dinner with our oldest daughter at a fondue restaurant.  This was an important time for us to spend with her to celebrate some incredible decisions that she is making in her life.  We all joked about the pressure waves that were coming every 7 to 9 minutes.  When I felt a wave coming, I would put some meat in the fondue pot, turn my switch to off, and rest my head on my hands.  When I turned back to center, my meat was done!

On the way home, we called my hypnodoula to let her know that we might be in early labor.  I actually started getting excited!  I got the birthing ball out, set up my laptop to contractionmaster.com, covered up in a blanket and set out to start timing things “officially”.  At 11 PM, the contractions stopped completely!  I couldn’t believe it!  I was fooled again!  I called my doula to let her know that things had stopped and that I was going to bed.

I drifted off to sleep, but was awoken with pressure waves again at 5 AM.  The waves were very random ranging from 5 to 12 minutes apart.  I lay in bed timing contractions and trying to get some work done on my laptop until 9 AM.  At that point, I figured that if a pattern wasn’t organizing itself, that it was probably false labor - AGAIN!  I made a joke about it to my husband and started my day.

I decided to stay home from work because – even if it was false labor – I was mentally frustrated and would probably be a distraction to my coworkers.  I called my doula around 11 AM because I was very frustrated.  The waves wouldn’t go away, but yet, they wouldn’t get closer together either!

  • She told me to make a conscious decision that this was my early birthing time and to start listening to my birth day affirmations.

  • She recommended that I release the fear that the waves may stop again.

  • Finally, she recommended that I stop frustrating myself by timing the waves and just trust that my body would know if they were getting closer together and getting more intense.


All of that advice allowed me to relax and at that point, I turned on the Birth Day Affirmations, turned to center and started nesting.

That bath felt so good and was so peaceful!  I turned on the jets and leaned on the side letting the water hit my belly during the waves.  I was enjoying being totally quiet and totally by myself.  About ten minutes into the affirmations, I realized that I had already had three or four waves!  I decided to time a few on contractionmaster.com.  I had the laptop on the floor right out of the tub, so when a wave would come, I would lean over the side of the tub, press the space bar, and turn off.  The waves were coming 2 ½ minutes apart and were lasting 90 seconds.  I was still so calm, relaxed and comfortable that I had a hard time believing that they were that close.  I didn’t want to get out of the tub… REALLY didn’t want to get out!

But, I knew that if I didn’t, we could end up in trouble.  I didn’t think that I was in transition, but I knew that if I hit transition, we might not make it to the hospital since in my last birthing time, I progressed from 5 cm. to delivered in 20 minutes.  I hauled myself out of the tub, got dressed and went to wake up my husband.  Upon telling him how close the contractions were, he hurriedly loaded up the car!

We took off for the hospital, but had to turn back about 5 minutes into the trip since we forgot to leave our car keys with my mother in law!  I was joking with my husband that it seemed like the waves were spacing out and would probably stop before we got there. I put on my makeup in the visor mirror and just turned to off for my waves.  I was still very comfortable and assumed that if this was my real birthing time, I was probably at 4 or 5 cm.  When we got to the hospital at around 5:45 PM, my husband dropped me off at L&D.  I walked in and waited for him at the elevator.  I realized things had picked up when I had three waves just waiting for him to walk in from the car.

When we checked in at L&D, I was still answering questions, walking on my own, and turning to off when I had a wave.  I didn’t even need to lean on my husband.  I just stood in a wide stance, dropped my head, closed my eyes and swayed.  The nurse took us to triage, but after watching me turn off a couple times, she said that we were going straight to a room.

I got on the gown, and gave her a urine sample.  Thank goodness my hypnodoula arrived at that time!  I was having more trouble turning off while they were putting the heplock in and strapping on the monitors to establish a baseline.  She was great at reminding me to release and saying scripts to me to help me go deeper.  The nurse checked me once the monitors were in place and to everyone's surprise, I was 8 cm!!!  Wow!  Walking, talking, calm and collected at 8 cm!  I love Hypnobabies!!!

My doctor came in about that time.  I asked if he would let me get into the jacuzzi tub.  He laughed and said that he didn't think so, since I was already at an 8.  I begged him, so he agreed if he could check me first.  He found that I was completely dilated, so the jacuzzi was definitely not an option!!!  I was instinctively moaning through my waves at that point.  My doula was encouraging me to "breathe the baby down" pushing as I felt the need.  We did that for a few minutes and then I had the urge to turn on my side.  She held my top leg up to open up my pelvis, while my husband held my hands.  I got a strong urge to push, and my water broke spraying three to four feet across the room!  That relieved a lot of the pressure for a few minutes.

I could then feel Jillian's head move down.  Honestly, that was the only time that I felt any fear or trepidation.  I was scared that pushing would hurt so I tensed up which made the pressure more intense.  My husband, my doula and my doctor all encouraged me to slow down, relax my bottom and breathe.  It was hard to relax, but I focused very hard, gathered myself and gave a couple huge pushes.  I think I sounded like a momma lion during those pushes!  That was all it took!  Jillian came sliding out at 6:47 PM - less than one hour after arriving at the hospital!

Jillian was pink, alert and nursed immediately for over 45 minutes.  Her apgar scores were 9 and 9.  She was more alert than my first three, because she was completely unmedicated and because it was such a peaceful birth!

After the doctor checked me out, he found that I didn't tear at all, even though I had scar tissue from two previous episiotomies and a previous tear!  All it took was delivering on my side instead of on my back and my ob using olive oil and perineal support as Jillian crowned!  Because Jillian was able to nurse so well immediately following birth, my ob was able to skip the pitocin shot – my uterus was already contracting very well on its own.  All said… my only medical intervention was a heplock which we agreed to.  That’s not bad for a hospital birth with an ob!

In summary, this was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! It was not scary, painful or out of control.  I was able to have my 8 year old son and 12 year old daughter present for the birth, and was able to give them the wonderful gift of watching a peaceful, comfortable birth, which is something they will remember for the rest of their lives.  I was also able to give Jillian the gift of an unmedicated start to life!  It was everything that I hoped for!  Thank you Hypnobabies!!!

Jennifer
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Hi all, well my bubba was born on Monday morning (20 September) at 7.11am, weighing 9lb 7oz and 54cm long.  It was after a very intense 3 hours but an experience that I am appreciating more and more each day as I reflect upon and process my feelings.



Owain (pronounced 'owen') is our 3rd baby but first Hypnobabies birth.  I prepared for my second birth using hypnobirthing.  We now have 3 beautiful boys.



The birth:
I was past 41 weeks and beginning to worry that (for the first time) I would be faced with the decision of whether or not to accept an induction at 42 weeks.  Nothing seemed to be happening.  I tried to relax and trust that my baby knew exactly when to come.  On Sunday (after eating a VERY hot Indian meal for dinner on Saturday), we thought things had started in the morning when I felt a bit 'off' and the braxton hicks seemed a bit stronger than usual.  So we stayed home from church (which was great because I was not looking forward to all the comments about how 'overdue' baby was!) and waited.  And waited...and waited...nothing.  It completely fizzled out.  But I had hope that this was a signal that my body was preparing.  I went to bed hoping that I would have a baby the next morning after a decent night's sleep.



At 3.30am I woke to go to the bathroom but soon realised that I would have some trouble going back to sleep.  I lay in bed timing the pressure waves to see if they had a pattern.  They were about 5 mins apart but did not seem very long at all.  I felt a little discomfort during the peak of each one but was able to stay completely relaxed.  By 4am though I didn't want to be doing this on my own and I didn't want to be lying down.  I woke up hubby and told him I think things had started.  He sleepily said "that's nice dear" and almost went back to sleep!! lol



Anyway, I stayed on the birth ball for a little bit while my husband woke up properly then took the CD player into the bathroom to begin relaxing in the bath.  We messaged my sister (4.17am) to be ready to pick up our 2 boys soon.  At 4.37am we messaged my midwife that my birthing time had started and continued with my hypnosis and relaxation while listening to the birthing day CD.  I breathed through each pressure wave with my eyes closed in centre-switch and repeating the mantra "open, open, open".  At first there didn't seem to be much of a pattern with the pressure waves but timing was difficult because I was having trouble determining when a pressure wave started and finished.  There were definite peaks where I felt discomfort but I felt my tummy tightening a lot (without any discomfort) and wasn't sure if that was part of the pressure wave or not.  The discomfort I felt in the peaks, I imagined was my cervix stretching open quickly and easily and welcomed the sensation.

At 5.37am my husband thought that we were about 2/2.5 mins apart and messaged my midwife to tell her.  She called back and I said I wanted to come in asap.  The pressure waves were definitely starting to become overwhelming and, for me, that is the sign that I needed her.  We began preparations to leave (I had a list of everything that needed to go in the car, e.g. hospital bag, towels in case my waters released in the car, apple to snack on etc.).  While my husband was attending to that, I called my sister into the bathroom to help me through the pressure waves and told her to tell me to "open".  This visualisation/affirmation was very effective in my second birth (6 hours) and I was pretty determined to "open" quickly this time as well.  At some point before we got in the car, I did start feeling the need to vocalise a little during the pressure waves as they were feeling more intense but I tried to stay loose and limp by blowing raspberries (see "Sphincter Law" from Ina May's Guide to Childbirth).  By 6am we were in the car and on our way.  The ride in the car didn't seem too bad and I wondered if my body knew to slow down just for those 10 minutes.  I think I only had 1 or 2 pressure waves and I was able to stay relaxed, quiet and limp.



During the car trip I expressed to my husband that I was scared I wasn't as far along as I thought.  I felt that it was important for me to express my fear as a way of releasing it.  I told him that I wanted him to keep reminding me that it would be over soon and we would meet our baby.  I said that he should tell me that even if we find out I am only 4cm, because it was still possible that I could fully dilate within an hour or less (I have attended a birth where this happened and have read of such instances in birth stories also).  We met the midwife in the car park and I was so glad to see her I nearly cried!  I hugged her and told her my fear as well.  Just at that moment a pressure wave came and I felt the urge to push!  My midwife gently laughed and said that she didn't think my fear would be a problem.  My husband and midwife had to support me (under each arm) while walking to the birthing suite (it's a long walk at the other side of the hospital!!) because I was really zoning out now with each pressure wave.  I was groaning and grunting/pushing too.  I was very focused and in my own little world.



Once in the birthing room things continued to intensify.  I was feeling very overwhelmed by the sensations and vocalised to release tension/energy but I was sure to keep my noises low to stay loose and limp.  My visualisation of a calm, quiet birth had gone out the window but I was still very focused and dealing with the sensations instinctually.  I felt inside myself hoping to feel a head.  I was pretty sure I could feel the head, but there was something else there that felt smooth and hard (the head has a squishy feeling).  I thought it might be a lip of cervix.  I asked my midwife to confirm that the head was definitely there.  She said it was the head and that there was a lip of cervix there too and that was what was slowing things down a little.  "I knew it" I thought.  Damn.  I went through a couple more pressure waves and then asked if she could do something about the lip (I had read birth stories where the midwife pulled it out of the way - it sounded uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as it was pushing against cervix!).  She said she could but I would need to move over to the mat (I was in the bathroom where hubby was showering my back to relieve the discomfort in my back).  I thought, "ok,...I can do that..." I started thinking about how I could crawl to the mat but soon realised that I did not want to move.  I focused on relaxing more during the next pressure wave and imagined the cervix melting away.  Then I reached inside, it had thinned some and I gently pulled at it and felt it slip away to the side.






Anyway, I had told myself (in my head) that once the lip was gone, this baby was going to come FAST (in fact, I had resolved in my mind that this baby was going to come out in one go even if the midwife had to pull it out!  The sensations were so intense that I was determined that the baby's head and shoulders would be born in the same pressure wave).  So once the lip was gone I really focused on pushing. I matched the intensity of the sensations with my grunting/pushing and just followed my body.


[Following my body was not something I thought about though, I just did it.  It was very instinctual.  It was very primitive.  Rationale and reason did not exist.  Nothing existed in that moment except for the task of bringing my baby into the world.  At some point I did manage to say "camera!" to remind my midwife to take photos.  It was not a demand, nor was it a request, it just "was".  Societal rules of "politeness" do not exist in this state.  In hindsight, it's an incredible state of mind to be in.]



So I ended up on my hands and knees pushing and visualising my baby shooting out of my butt like a canon-ball (that's where it felt like it was coming from)!!  I was so focused on birthing the head that I didn't realise that no one was behind me to catch the baby!  Just as the head was emerging, I called out "head! head!!" and my midwife rushed around to the baby.  I continued to follow my body's pushing urges and heard my midwife call to my husband (our birth plan was that he catch the baby).  I was just focused on pushing and then I felt that amazing release as the shoulders emerged and the baby shot out of me!  My husband got around to the back just in time to take over from the midwife and catch our son.  Instantly, I was turning around and my husband was handing our son to me.  It was a magical moment.



Owain let a short cry out just as he was being born and then he peacefully snuggled against my chest.  His cord was not clamped until it stopped pulsing.  I birthed the placenta around the same time and it was intact and healthy.  On inspection, we realised that Owain had lots of vernix on him and it was quite thick in some places.  So all that worry about him being overdue was unnecessary.  My ultrasound dates were probably about a week out.  He came when he indeed was ready.

Reflections:

At first, I felt that I had not implemented my Hypnobabies tools very well because I found the experience quite overwhelming and intense.  I was quite distracted during my pregnancy with study and did not really get into the hypnosis practice until the last couple of weeks.

However, I have realised that whilst I may not have been in a deep and calm/quiet hypnotic state I was still using my tools to help me in the way I needed for this birth. I was very focused throughout and used visualisation, my lightswitch (in the first half of the birth), breathing, affirmations (particularly 'open') and the cue words 'release' and 'relax'.  All of those tools, I practiced with Hypnobabies.  So I guess it did help immensely.  I particularly think that Hypnobabies helped me to listen to my body, focus deeply, and face the challenges of my birth instinctually (i.e. the intensity of a fast birth and the lip of cervix).  I had intentionally visualised a fast birth (2-4 hours) without realising that this could mean an intensity that I had not before experienced.  Next time, I still would like a fast birth, but with more mental preparation to feel calm and positive during the birth.

Thank you Hypnobabies, I had a wonderfully empowering birth experience!

If you've made it to the end, I hope something I have shared will help and empower you on your hypno-journey!

Love Christa :)


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