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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!!!

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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.


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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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I'm proud to say that our daughter Phoebe Marie came into the world on labor day at 9:07AM weighing 7lbs9oz. I had been feeling like the time was coming most of the day on Sunday. I had random PW's all day but nothing consistent. I went to bed that evening and woke around 3AM with waves coming every 15 min or so. They weren't very strong so I listened to my easy first stage and tried to sleep. Finally around 6AM they were stronger but not really a great deal closer, but I knew this was it. I called my parents to come stay with my boys because they are 45min away and our hospital was 45 min away also. They arrived around 7AM. I was able to say goodbye to my three boys who had just woken up and we were on our way. While waiting for them, things seemed to almost stop so I thought I  hope I am right about this.

I listened to my tracks on the way and got in a really focused position. The waves came every 5-10min but I was doing ok with them. When we got to the hospital the nurses were like "are you in labor" and I was like yes. When I got to the room in L and D I told them I wanted to be checked, but not admitted if I wasn't far along. Well I was 5cm and 90% effaced so I was thrilled that I was doing so well and so far along. This was around 8AM. We decided to stay, but I had to be monitored for about 20min. This was probably the worst time especially towards the end because I couldn't really move much. My doula arrived about 30min later and I was losing focus some. She helped me to get back and I was able to flip over on the bed and rest my arms up on the top of the bed. This seemed to help. I wanted to get in the tub so I was checked again and was 8cm! I was able to get in the tub (it is a small therapy type, not for birth) and was on my knees with my head on my arms on the side of the tub. This helped some, but things were starting to heat up. After about three more waves, I felt pushy, then the next wave I had to push so I had to get out of the tub.

I managed to walk to the bed where I leaned over for the next wave and said I'm going to have a bowel movement and they were like ok whatever. The next thing I knew my water broke in a huge gush. I climbed on the bed on all fours and pushed on the next wave and her head came out. I pushed once more and the rest of her was out. I didn't have a tear or mark.

It was such a beautiful surreal experience. They handed me her through my legs and I rolled over and just looked at her and couldn't believe I had done it. I was so happy and proud. My body knew just what to do.

Overall, Hypnobabies allowed me to stay in controlPh and focus pretty much to the end. There were some definite intense parts, but I think the Hypnobabies allowed it to go really quickly and for me to relax through it. It was well worth it and was such a wonderful experience.
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I was 39 weeks and 1 day on Christmas Eve and had been having Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for the past few weeks, but on Christmas Eve they started up in the morning and kept up inconsistently all day long. I was even timing the contractions while we were sitting in Christmas Eve church service. Then after church we went and walked around and looked at lights and the contractions kept coming.

 heart bellyDavid and I were contemplating whether we tell James that Santa is coming the next day or not as we were really wanting to be there with him when he came down and saw all his presents. We decided to just go for it and he went to bed all excited to see what Santa would bring him in the morning. We went to work and set up all his toys around the tree and then headed off to bed.

Right as we are getting ready for bed, the pressure waves (what Hypnobabies, the childbirth hypnosis program I used, calls contractions) started up stronger. Then they started becoming consistent so I started listening to my Hypnobabies Easy 1st stage track and using all the techniques I had learned. I was pleading with Kylie to stay in until James woke up!

I tried going to sleep but the pressure waves were too strong and I needed to focus on my Hypnobabies techniques and just ride the waves through. I had moments where I would start to panic and feel fear but then I would just use my light switch and turn it off and use my 'peace' and 'relax' cues and tell myself that I can do this and I'd make it through.

David was awesome and stayed up with me and helped me with the relax cue...putting his hand on my shoulder made a huge difference and helped me stay relaxed and calm. At around 1:30 am they were around 8-12 minutes apart and so we decided to call my doula...she had told me from the get go that she takes Xmas off so that was another concern - that I wouldn't have her there at the birthing either! She had a back up but I didn't know her. She told me to call her when I thought it was time and she'd contact the back up, so that's what we did. She just said keep going and to call and give her updates throughout the night.

Long story short, at 4 am they were definitely strong and about 7 min apart but then we heard James start singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" in his bed and we were so happy that he was awake so we got him up and we went down and had our family Christmas - while I lay on the couch and used my cues and breathing to ride out each pressure wave.

They got to 6 min apart and we called our doula who said we could either go now or wait until they were 4 min apart...I wanted to have an all natural, intervention free birth so I didn't want to go to the hospital too soon so we decided to wait a few minutes...then my mother in law got there to take over and watch my son and then I started feeling very cold and had the shakes and I realized I was in transition so David called the doula and she said to go now.

She said she was going to meet us there, that the back up doula wasn't on until noon! I was very happy. So we get in the car and there's a terrible fog and barely any visibility...luckily we live only 10 min from the hospital, just 2 exits up the freeway.

During this time I also started feeling lots of pressure in my bottom like I had to go to the bathroom...We got wheeled up to l&d, checked in at 6:04, went into triage, and were standing there maybe 2 min when I feel a pop and wetness and I realized my water broke, then I had HUGE pressure in my bottom and we yelled to the nurses that I needed to go NOW! So they took me to a room and I peeled off my clothes and got in the bed. We were very lucky to get a nurse who knew something of hypnobirthing and was very respectful and helpful with our wishes. We didn't even have time to go over our birth plan at all, we just told them we'll make our wishes known as we go along.

The nurse, Cammy, made sure the other nurses weren't all coming in and turning on lights and she got me the squatting bar for the bed.  Cammy checked me and said I was complete - 10cm! The on-call doc came in and she told him I wanted to do 'mother-directed pushing' and not be coached and it may be a few minutes so to come back...at this time I am panicking a little and really wanting my doula there to help guide and direct me. As it turns out she was trying her hardest to get there, but she lived further and the fog was terrible!

I started allowing some fear in and I told David to get my phone with my Hypnobabies 'pushing baby out' track to try to help me to refocus. I couldn't listen to it and listen to the nurses at the same time and was getting a little frustrated because I just didn't really know what to do...I did know that I wanted to try to squat to birth to avoid a tear and to make it as easy as possible; then my body completely took over and I sat up and yelled "SHE'S COMING" and sure enough my body involuntarily pushed her head out in one push...The doctor ran in and the told me to lie back and to push out her body and I pushed so hard and out she came at 6:11am.

She was gorgeous and amazing and they put her right on me (their hospital policy is to allow skin to skin contact for at least an hour after birth) and we just savored the moment and enjoyed our precious Christmas miracle. My doula got there in time to help me relax through getting stitched up after a 2nd degree tear.  Soon after I tried breastfeeding and she did pretty well... Then they took her and weighed her and did all the normal newborn stuff. She weighed in at 8lbs 8oz and was 19 1/2 in long. Breastfeeding was tough the first few days... but it has gotten a lot better and we are getting the hang of it and now I'm really enjoying the bonding...I didn't get to breastfeed my son so I'm really enjoying this experience.

She's a sweet heart and I'm just loving being a mommy to 2!!
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I have to say for a pitocin induction and not having the time to really practice this time (this is my second hypnobaby) I had a pretty decent birthing time.  There are a few point you may want to use a BOP, but for me it was just how my labor decided to progress.  I do have to credit all of my nurses for helping me have a natural childbirth that could of easily taken a different course without them.

I had been having problems during this pregnancy with swelling of the face, hands, and feet and towards the end started having higher blood pressure so we decided to schedule an induction for 41 weeks.  I was scheduled to go in Monday night for cervidel and start pitocin on Tuesday morning.  I get to the hospital Monday evening, after stopping for a bite to eat, and after several attempts finally got an IV started and got all of the paperwork done.  I was going to have a hep lock, but decided that it would be better to have an IV that way we knew that the line would stay open or we would know if it stopped working.

At my last appointment, a week before, I hadn't had any cervical changes and the head wasn't engaged when they checked be before starting the cervidel we found out I was 3cm and 50% and she could feel the head.  So they call my doctor to find out what to do.  He told time to just let me rest for the night and we would start the pit in the morning.  So they ordered me up a supper tray, with a snack for later, and then I did a few laps around the floor to see if we could encourage things to progress.  Didn't really change anything, but it was worth a try.

Then next morning we start the pit on the lowest dose and only bumped it up every 30 minutes.  The nurses weren't really supposed to let me off the monitors while the pit was going, but they would let me walk as long as I would be monitored every once in a while.  So I would be monitored for about 10 or 15 minutes for every increase to make sure that we was tolerating the increase and then I would walk the halls.  While I was monitored I could stand by the bed or sit up, but I didn't have to lay down.  At this point I didn't feel any contractions as long as I was laying flat, sitting straight up, or walking, but I couldn't sit in a semi-reclined position.  So a few hours later I get checked and there is a little progress, but not much and they can't feel the head anymore.  So more walking and still slowing increasing the pit.

Everything was fine until we hit level 13 on the pit, which was increase number 7, at that point we started losing the heartbeat during contractions.  Everybody stayed calm and we just shifted gears a little bit.  We just figured that the cord was getting squished a little, and that she had the cord wrapped.  They had me lay down on my side with oxygen going to see if that would help, and we still were having trouble with the heartbeat.  So they turned off the pit completely and let my body recover for a while.

At that point my doctor came and tried to break my water and get the pit started back up again.  Well, we didn't get my water broke after a few attempts but we started the pit again with increases every 15 minutes this time.  I didn't get to be off of the monitors this time because of what happened last time, but I could stand or sit or whatever I wanted to do.  My doc came back a couple of hours later and finally got my water to break with a bit of effort.

At this point I don't really remember much because I put in my mp3 player and fell asleep for the next hour.  I guess they still came in and turned up the pit because I sort of remember Kent talking to the nurses and I remember the contractions getting stronger, but still not much pain.  Kent says that I was relaxed enough that I started snoring and he got bored and watched two game shows on TV.  He would still pay enough attention to help me relax through the contractions if he could tell I was tensing up.

After I woke up I lost control a bit, but I was in transition.  When the nurse came in to check on me I begged her to turn down the pit and after checking my progress, she did but not by much.  After a while my body just took over and started pushing on it's own, which sent everybody scrambling (I had warned them ahead of time that this would happen).  So everybody came running in and got everything setup and paged my doctor.

This whole time I am pushing and nobody is telling me to stop or wait (last baby they tried to get me to stop).  They do lay me flat on my back but I tell them that I am not pushing laying down so they help me setup while pushing after they get my legs in the stirrups.  Of course by this time I am completely focused and not hearing a word that they are telling me.  Next thing I know my doctor is there and I am at station 0 and everybody can see the baby coming.  So my husband and my mom grab my legs and pull them back while I am pushing.  Three good pushes later she was here and she had the cord wrapped once around her neck.

The nurses put her directly on my chest after all initial observation was done, but they waited on all non-crucial procedures.  They helped me take off my hospital gown and get her latched on for the first time within a few minutes of birth.  Then after a while I gave her back and they did the eye drops and stuff.

The whole induction and birth lasted about 10 hours and my water was broke about 2 hours before the birth.  Lizzy was my biggest baby at 7lbs 3oz and was 20 1/4 inches long.
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Thursday November 4, 2010
I woke up Thursday morning around 2:30am again with some light contractions and decided to move downstairs to lay on the couch and listen to my Hypnobabies tracks.  At 5:00am my water broke with a gush.  It turns out that it was more likely just a tear higher up in the amniotic sac because labor did not get started right away and I continued to leak fluid all the way through delivery.  At that point I called Peg, the midwife and she thought things might get going in the next couple of hours.  Tony had to do some urgent tasks at work, so he headed out around 5:30am.

I had sporadic and mild contractions for the rest of the day--they increased in intensity only when I was walking.  At 6:30pm we went into the hospital to meet Peg and start IV antibiotics because I had tested positive for Group B Strep.  At this time I was still only 1 cm dilated and so we decided to start Pitocin.  Peg felt that this was less likely to lead to a C-Section and feared if we waited until morning to decide, and labor did not pick up on its own, I would be too tired to push the baby out.

I was on Pitocin through the night with some improvement in the regularity of my contractions, but little increase in the intensity.  The external contraction monitor indicated strong contractions, but I was rating them only a 2-3 on the pain scale and so Peg and the Nurse were not sure what to do.  They were hesitant about increasing the Pit because the contractions looked so strong on the monitor.

Friday November 5, 2010
Friday morning around 6:30am we decided to put an internal contraction monitor into the uterus to get a better read on how strong my contractions were by directly measuring internal uterine pressure.  While inserting the lead, Peg discovered I had a "bag" above my cervix.  I was still only 1.5 cm dilated, but the cervix was more effaced and very soft--Yay!  The stage was at least set for dilation!  She broke the bag, hoping that would also help move things along.  At this time, they also cut the Pitocin in half hoping my body would kick in better.  This is when labor got going a little more regularly.

Around 12noon I would say I  went into more active labor, where I used my Hypnobabies tracks and tools.  During each contraction I would turn my light switch off, breath deeply and close my eyes.  Peg was finally happy to see me actually laboring!  Hypnobabies worked very well--no one could believe how well I was managing the contractions--they couldn't even tell when I was having one except for by looking at the monitor.

Around 2:30 I started feeling pushy and so Peg checked me again.  She later said she was crossing her fingers that I was at 5cm.  I was 9.5 cm and ready to push!!  Finally!  We were going to have a baby!
My contractions slowed down to about 5 minutes apart, but they were reluctant to increase the Pitocin.  I pushed using the squat bar---my husband and a couple of nurses would help me get my arms over the bar for each contraction and then I would sit back down to rest between contractions--often falling asleep.  I also pushed some on the toilet, which was the most comfortable and productive for me.  Eventually both of these positions caused a drop in the baby's heartbeat, and so I ended up delivering in a semi-reclined seated position.


I tried using the "Pushing Baby Out" track and had it playing out loud two times through (it's only about 30 minutes) but then I got too frustrated because it says you don't really have to push, just breath the baby out.  This was not my experience at all---I had to push long and hard!  I ended up pushing until 5:53 when little Lane Anthony was born.  (Editors Note:   It doesn't say you don't have to push.  Instead it says to follow your body.)

Overall, I was extremely pleased with Hypnobabies--I enjoyed the preparation ahead of birth and really believe that it helped me to experience the entire labor and delivery process in the most positive way possible.  My midwife said of the thousands of births she's attended, in very few have the women been as calm and relaxed as I was.  Thanks to Hypnobabies!
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I started losing pieces of the mucus plug Monday November 29. For the most part I had a normal day. I organized a bit and finalized my hospital overnight bags. We had a home-cooked dinner and went to run errands afterward. While shopping my pressure waves were getting stronger where I had to pause and work through them. They seemed about 15-20 minutes apart at the time.


Then we made another stop. As I waited in the car I realized this was getting real and regular which triggered an emotional breakdown when we got home. I felt overwhelmed by the things I still had left to do, and frustrated by this biological timer that would disable my efforts every 10 minutes. With DH’s help we did a thorough house cleaning from 10pm to 1am. Unfortunately all while releasing my frustrations on my husband. Then at 1AM I put on my Hypnobabies tracks while he studied the birth partner's guide for the first time till 3AM.


He slept while I worked through the waves on my own for another hour but I increasingly felt pressure in my tailbone and rectum where it was becoming uncomfortable to sit on the birth ball. I loosely timed my contractions but enough to see that they were coming 3-4 minutes apart.


Around 3:30 in the morning I knew I needed my doula's help. When DH stirred next I asked him to call her. He was now awake. He started applying counter pressure on my tailbone for each wave and using Hypnobabies lingo! He had suddenly stepped in as my birth partner.


We called our doula at 4AM and she sounded bright and cheerful as she was expecting our call. She assessed my condition over the phone after timing my contractions and stated there wasn't time to drop off my firstborn at his grandparents house. I was going from cold to hot through each rush and they were getting closer together as we spoke. We had to head to the hospital, especially before LA traffic began. We agreed to meet our doula at the ER entrance. DH got our sleeping toddler in the car seat and all our bags in the car, and I waddled to the car as well, hoping not to hit a pressure wave on the short walk there.


The freeway was beautifully empty and lit with the yellow freeway lights. We called our parents to let them know we were on our way to the hospital. My inlaws were on their way to meet us there. DH left me in my doula's care and he went to wait for his parents at the hospital to hand our son to them. (It turned out later they were all awake and dressed to go to an early morning church meeting- how fortunate)




Pre-registration and triage took about 30 minutes. The triage nurse took her time- perhaps thinking I wasn't far along. But when she discovered I was 10cm and fully effaced she hustled to get us a room. So quickly in fact that when my in-laws came looking for us at the main front desk it took several phone calls to find which room we were in! At that time I also lost the rest of my mucus plug and ended up throwing all the bloody clothes away.


We met our nurse midwife in the room. I had never met her at any prenatal visits. She introduced herself to us and announced straight away that she had read our birth plan and would deliver this baby however I wished. Wow.


Our baby nurse however was trying to get an IV in me when I preferred to be without. I can't remember much except there was some intensity in the conversation between the doula and the nurse. A few minutes later we had a wonderful new nurse! (We found out later that the nurse switch was owing to our doula's tact and advocacy! She respectfully suggested to the angry nurse that perhaps *someone else* could read our birth plan- and the nurse got it and voluntarily switched with someone who was on board with our plan!)


All this time I was listening to my tracks lying in the hospital bed and vocalizing my "AAAAAAAH's" at the peak of each wave. They meant a lot of different things. Sometimes it meant, "Please let this be over soooooon!" and sometimes they were courageous and calm, and sometimes they were self piteous "HELP ME’s" and sometimes they were embracing and surrendering to this powerful experience. All the while I hoped on the promise that if I kept doing this I would "breathe the baby down" and the baby would magically slide out as I had read in so many Hypnobabies stories. I found there was a difference in relaxation when I AAAAH'd from my throat and when I AAAAh'd from deep down. At one particular moment I felt the baby internally moving down. It was incredible.


I had been doing wonderfully up to this point. I was handling my pressure waves. But emotionally I was inhibited about pushing. There was still fear inside of me about the sensations I would feel and the shift in gear. I started to say self affirmations aloud, "I can do this. I am courageous. Jesus help me." I knew it was up to me to assent with my body, mind and emotion in order to open up. My fear kept me from wanting to try other labor positions that might make the baby come any faster. I was in transition and I desperately wanted to hear that it would be okay. I was able to reach that peace quickly. Thankfully, it was because God had graced me with this wonderfully safe environment. I had a nurse midwife and baby nurse who had not left the room the entire time, and my husband and my doula beside me. I was in a private and dimly lit room that allowed me to feel dignified and focused. I just needed to say yes and surrender.


I agreed to try the suggested positions, such as forward leaning in the seated position. That was when I felt the need to pee. Once my bladder was emptied the baby descended still lower. My doula suggested we work through a few waves sitting on the toilet and then turn around on the toilet and face the wall. The rim of the seat provided very good pressure where I needed it and I would have loved to stay there but I felt if I did I would be birthing the baby into the toilet. We came back to the room and my midwife suggested I try kneeling on the bed facing the wall leaning over the back of the bed. This set the stage for the beginning of phase two.




The early blue light of morning was just beginning to show through the blinds. My headphones came back on with the Fear Clearing track. My husband began applying counter-pressure to my back once again. My doula came to the head of the bed giving me support and courage. And my midwife encouraged me to push if I felt any urge. With the next few contractions I engaged with some timidity. Then about the third one my body took over and I pushed and my water bag just exploded with that completely surprising "Pop" sound. All I heard at that moment was my husband exclaim enthusiastically, "WOW. That was good" I couldn't see what he was seeing but he later shared he saw my water bag bulge out and the first glimpse of the crown of baby's head. From here we count 4 pushes.


Push #1 The baby's head emerged to about the forehead and retracted. I asked my doula, "How much of the head came out?" hoping it had been the widest part. She answered, "Only to about here (the top of the eyebrow)"


Push #2 Half the baby's face appeared and stayed suspended between my legs. It felt like the longest minute of my life. I remember wailing "Help me get this baby out!!" I heard my doula and husband reminding me to relax and breathe. So I did some light breathing and panting.


Push #3 Baby's head was stretching me open. I yelled with the effort till the baby's head was out. I felt a warm compress and My doula said, "It's okay to cry. Your hormones are in. It's a happy day. Just cry" And I did. I sobbed till I was calm from that intense moment and then rested. I could feel the midwife gently shifting the baby's head left and right. She said, "This is a great photo op!" And again I heard DH's exclamations of awe. Then she said the magic words, "One more push and the body will be out!"


Push #4 Baby's entire body slid out. The sensation was so strange. The body felt as large as the head but that pressure gave way very quickly to a slippery feeling. I screamed but really due to nervousness mixed with adrenaline.


Then the baby was here. I heard a momentary cry and then silence. I was still on my knees facing the wall. They all said, "Turn around and look at her!" I looked around and down and she was lying between my legs on the bed. Her eyes were open and she had such a calm countenance. She was a tiny, beautiful little girl! I took her in my arms and cried with gratitude for everyone in the room who had shared, created, and given me this beautiful, redemptive birth experience.


One of the things I was most grateful for was when my doula spoke to me about crying with happiness. She knew how important it was for me not to feel terror or to feel out of control due to my first horrible birth experience. She put the correct significance on that powerful emotion that could have easily been remembered as trauma, to what it truly was: Joy.


Our nurse midwife also thanked us afterward for a beautiful birth and mentioned the Hypnobabies was working well. She said she wished I had allowed residents and nurses in training to attend the birth so they could have seen an alternative birthing position!


Josephine Elise was born on November 30 at 7:11AM, 4 days before her guess date, weighing 6lbs 8oz at 18.5" long. She arrived 2 hours after checking in to the hospital and 4 pushes after my water broke. I sustained a very small first degree tear and minor laceration. the placenta was birthed about 15 minutes later. She is our first hypnobaby, and our second unmedicated birth.

My Hypnobabies doula was Lysa Quealy! She was wonderful!


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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Nathaniel Alexander
January 12 at 6:11am
7lb 12oz, 20 in long

Nate has been in our hearts forever but made his appearance in flesh early on a Monday morning after about 8.5 hours of birthing time.  He is our third son.

During the preceding weeks, I had many practice pressure waves, some of which felt like they could be the real thing, but they always ended up fading away after a few hours.  I started to lose my mucous plug so I knew that these waves were beginning to dilate and efface my cervix to prepare for the big day.  Our guess date was January 18th.

Our second son Sean was born almost 2 weeks before his guess date and had a very fast birthing time.  This set up the expectation, or at least the possibility, for my husband and I (and our families) that this third little guy would come early and fast.  It is January in the northeast and we've already had our fair share of snowstorms.

Additionally, my husband works a distance away with a commute time of up to 1.5 hours each way during rush hour.  I had a real concern that my husband wouldn't make it home in time to see his third son be born – and this really stressed me out!  I had to work on releasing this fear and trusting that our little guy would be born at the perfect time and under the circumstances that were right for us.
Sunday January 11th was unremarkable, except that we spent some extra time doing nesting activities (laundry, taking down Christmas decorations finally(!), organizing baby's things, etc).  We were still a week away from our guess date and I resigned myself to the fact that this baby might come after his guess date like his oldest brother, and that was okay.  In the meantime, we might as well have a clean and organized house, which was a rarity with two toddlers running around!

After the boys went to bed that evening, I put the Golden Globes on TV to watch while my husband started dozing off next to me.  I noticed at around 9:30pm that I started having some pressure waves.  They were definitely stronger than BH, but not unlike the others I had been having before this.  They seemed to be coming every 10-13 min or so.  By 11pm I noticed one that felt like "whoa, I think this could be it".  With that I had to run to the bathroom and saw the bloody show (a lot of it!).  This was confirmation for me that it was definitely my birthing time as I had not seen bloody show until well into my first two birthing times.

Almost immediately, the pressure waves started coming closer together, maybe every 4 or 5 min, but they were very short (30-45 sec) and not so intense.  I didn't have to concentrate through them.  Because my second son was born only 3 hours after my first pressure wave, we decided it was best to head to the hospital now and get settled in, even if it was very early in the birthing time.  We called my mom over to watch our boys while we were gone.

We got to the hospital around 12:30am and checked in.  I was still extremely comfortable and guessed that I was at about 3cm.  The nurse checked me and I was about 2-3cm but still pretty thick.  She could feel something "fleshy" so wanted the doc to check to make sure the baby was in the right position.  About 10 min later when the doc checked me, she confirmed that baby was head down and it was a bulging bag of waters that felt fleshy and that I was now 5-6cm.

They expected things to move quickly, but I had a feeling otherwise.  These pressure waves were still very comfortable and still pretty short (less than a minute).  It was okay with me to continue on at this pace!  I could do this all night and day!  I hung out on my birthing ball in between the 20 min fetal monitoring we had to do every hour and the waves were still not increasing in intensity.

When they checked me around 2am, I was 6-7cm but very thin.  I was pretty happy to hear that progress because this was easy!!!  I kept thinking that slow and steady wins the race.

By 4am I started to feel some rectal pressure, not like I had to push, but just more pressure.  I also started to feel shaky and nauseous so I thought I might be entering transformation.  My water hadn't broken yet.

The doc came in around 4:45am to check me and I was still only 7cm.  She did a very aggressive cervical exam (it was painful, the only pain I had experienced so far!) and my water "spontaneously" broke.  Can you sense my sarcasm?  She called it a spontaneous rupture of membranes because she didn't use a needle to break the water.  My husband, the nurse, and I all agreed that it wasn't spontaneous!

I knew I was in for it now, and I was.  Things got much more intense and they now wanted me on continuous monitoring because my water was broken.  I hated being stuck in the bed!  Gratefully I was able to change position as much as I wanted to, so I was either on my hands and knees or squatting and holding on to the top of the bed with my husband rubbing or applying pressure to my lower back and hips – at this point I had a ton of back and pelvic pressure.

I started getting very vocal but was able to make it through each wave fairly comfortably.  I never felt like I needed drugs.

I eventually started a deep moaning which prompted the nurse to ask me if I was involuntarily pushing.  I told her yes!  It certainly wasn't intentional.  It wasn't an overwhelming urge (like I had with my second very speedy delivery) but it was happening.


She told me I could start pushing but I wanted her to check my cervix first since I felt like I wasn't quite complete. My intuition was right - I still had a lip left but she told me I could push past it and I did.


I later learned from my husband that the two nurses thought the doc wouldn't make it in the room in time for the birth since she was stuck at a delivery next door.  But she did come running in and made it just as the baby started crowning.


This pushing phase was tough for me!  It didn't happen as quick and effortlessly as it had with my second son and that made me nervous and made me question my ability.  But my husband was holding my hand telling me what a great job I was doing and that the baby is almost here.  I reached down to feel his head and there he was!  That gave me the motivation to kick it into high gear and get him out.  I gave it a strong push and out came his head but they told me to stop pushing while they unwrapped his cord which was around his neck.


They told me to continue and I pushed the rest of him out, and he had the cord wrapped around his arm and his torso too!  He was blue but as soon as they untangled him he pinked up and had apgars of 8 and 9.  They had to cut the cord quickly to untangle him so my husband wasn't able to do that.  We were ok with it since we just wanted a healthy baby!  Anyway, what was the little bugger doing in my belly to get himself all tangled up like that?! I had a sense that we may have issues with the cord but I didn't let that consume my thinking or make me fear the delivery.  I'm happy that I was able to let it go because everything worked out fine.


He was 7lb 12oz, 20 in long.  He nursed immediately!


I couldn't be happier with the way this birth went, and I have to thank Hypnobabies.  The program was so valuable to me in my second and third pregnancies and birthing times.  I had three unique experiences each teaching me lessons, and producing three very different but very beautiful babies!  Thank you Hypnobabies!!!

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Davis was born on my birthday, September 27th at 6:34pm. Weighing 7 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches. (The exact same measurements as our first born).

Not sure exactly when to say my birthing time began. I wasn't feeling the greatest on Friday, so I told my mom and DH that I had a feeling the baby was going to be coming the next day. So I went to bed early that night hoping to get some extra rest just in case. Thank god I did, I'm so thankful I got those extra hours of sleep before everything began.

DS#1 crawled into our bed about 6:45am on Saturday morning. I noticed I was having some mild cramping in my tummy and back every 4 minutes. So after lying there for 30 minutes, I decided to get up, and felt much more comfortable. I went to the bathroom and noticed some spotting, so I knew that this was probably going to be the day.

I went about the morning as usual. Made breakfast and got things packed for the hospital and for DS#1. I called my mom at 9am to come and get DS, even though I was feeling fine, I figured it would be nice not to have any distractions. I tried sitting down all morning, but had so much pressure in my bottom and back, that I could just not do it. So I stood or walked around the house most of the morning.

The pressure waves were fairly consistent but extremely manageable. Around 11:30am, I was getting disappointed things weren't picking up, so DH and I went for a walk to see if that would get things moving. We walked for 30 minutes, and I only had one mild pressure wave the whole time. I was completely confused if this was actually my birthing time.

I actually remember contemplating if DH & I should go out for Mexican for lunch for my birthday, since I was feeling fine and thought it was false labor. But decided Mexican   might not be a good idea if this was really my birthing time and decided to take a nap instead. I put my headphones on and laid down from noon until 1:30, I had mild pressure waves during this time, but for the most part was able to sleep.

I got up at 1:30pm and called my mom and told her maybe this wasn't the time and said maybe I would still go to this wedding with her at 3pm, that we had planned on going to. I told her to call back in an hour and see if I'd be ready to go. Well we didn't go. Shortly after the phone call things picked up, and I was have consistent pressure waves that started to pick up in intensity.

DH was great during this time, we listened to soft music, my CDs, he read scripts, and described my special place. I sat on my ball, the toilet, relaxed in the shower. By about 4:30pm, I got out of the shower and felt as if I still had a long way to go, since I still felt great and was handling everything well.

After about 15 minutes, I started to feel nauseous and dizzy and thought maybe we should go to the hospital just in case, even though I didn't want to go since I figured I wasn't far enough along. The whole way to the hospital I visualized myself being at least at 6, but hoping I was at 8.

We arrived at the hospital at 5pm. Right before we walked into the hospital I almost had a moment of panic and started crying as I knew what I had ahead of me. I took a deep breath and said "Bubble of Peace" and all my anxiety lifted.

The nurses I had were great and so supportive of a natural birth, unlike my first birthing time. They knew I didn't want to wear the fetal monitor and put it on for 10 minutes and then just monitored me with the portable doppler. When the nurse checked me I was a 7. Yay! Right in between where I had hoped.

The nurse told me they could break my water but recommended they didn't so that the pressure waves didn't get too intense. I got into the tub, upon her recommendation and loved it! The pressure waves started getting more intense and I remember saying to myself "Pressure, Tightening, A Big Hug" every time I had a pressure wave, it helped me remember exactly what I was feeling. When DH would use his relax cue, my body would just melt and instantly relax.

Not sure of the time, but about an hour later I told DH I did not want to sit in the tub anymore. I came out of the bathroom and the nurses were setting up the room for delivery. I wasn't sure why since no one had checked me, and I still figured I had a long way to go. But apparently I had become more vocal, mostly making a low humming   sound and they could just tell.

I had 2 or 3 pressure waves which must have been transition because that was the only time I had felt somewhat out of control. Mostly just the last pressure wave, I think because the doctor wanted to check me while I was having one. I did not want him to do that, and remember being very vocal that he did, but I think he was holding back the last little bit of cervix so I could start pushing. With the beginning of my first push my water broke.

Things got really intense and I couldn't quite relax. Baby was coming fast and I had
an epidural last time I had to push, so this was a whole new experience for me. My CD was playing and DH was saying relax but I don't think I listened to anyone. I tried to gain some composure after the first push and did a little better on the second one, but I was so eager to get this baby out I pushed too hard and fast and ended up tearing up. Baby came out on the third push. What a relief!

Recovery this time has been amazing. I still can't believe I did this and that Hypnobabies worked, I was a little skeptical, but glad I stuck with it. My only regret was not staying relaxed during the pushing phase. But all and all I am so pleased how it went. My DH was an amazing birth partner. I never wanted him away from me especially if I was having a pressure wave. It was as if I couldn't get through it without him. He made me feel so calm.

Davis is a great baby, and the bond was so instant this time
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Okay...here it is.  I realize that it came out pretty long for such an "uneventful" birth (aside from the beautiful baby, of course!), and parts of it feel all over the place, as I tried to remember everything in the right order, etc...but it is what it is, I guess.

Late Friday night/Saturday morning I woke up and made my way to the bathroom, thinking that I literally didn't think that my body could  handle getting any "more" pregnant.  At a couple of days short of 39 weeks (also the time that I had my son), I felt like I was stretched to capacity.  Hoping it wouldn't be too much longer, I went back to bed.

A little later on (still during the night), I noticed pressure waves that finally felt like waves, cramps that would come on, increase slightly in intensity, and then fade away.  Could this be it?  I relaxed during each one, practicing a technique that I liked from my first birth - counting backward from 10 on each deep breath, exhaling to the word peace.

At about 4:00 am, after a little while of these PWs, I finally looked at the clock to try and "time" them…I also spent a little time in the bathroom, took a shower, and listened to easy first stage.  At some point I mentioned to Brian that I thought this might be it, but we both went back to sleep.

We woke up "for real" around 6:00…the waves were still coming and I was pretty sure that I wasn't having prodromal labor like I had been for weeks before…the "waves" were unmistakable.  I called my parents…my Dad answered and I told him, "I think today is the day."  He said he'd wake up my mom and they'd come up from San Diego.

Since I knew it would be at least an hour before my parents were up to watch Nathan, I suggested we go to Starbucks to get a little something and kill some time.  Brian seemed very pleasantly surprised at my suggestion, and off we went.  I was amused at the fact that I was out for coffee, "secretly in labor."

When we got back home, Brian wanted to wash the car (he mentioned to my mom when she arrived that he couldn't take his daughter home in a dirty car!...so cute), and I figured it would be a good idea to go online to figure out the parking at the hospital, since they're doing a bunch of construction near the main entrance.

When we were ready, we hopped into the car and drove to the hospital (it's a nice, easy 10 or 15 minutes from my house).  Riding up in the elevator, Brian asked me, "So what happens if L&D is full?"  "Oh, they put a bed in a closet and you get stuck in there," I answered, but I reassured him that this had *just* happened 2 weeks earlier during the full moon (I have a friend who's an L&D nurse there), so we should be okay.

We got up to the L&D nurses station around 8:15 and I told them that I thought I was in labor and was there to have a baby.  They asked if I was someone specific (who had obviously called before hand), but I said no and that I hadn't called ahead or anything.  Ironically, they were "out of beds."  Of course they were.

So they put us in the "surgical birthing suite," a non-private room that had no bathroom, but luckily no one else in it…for the time being at least.  No bathroom had me worried, though, since I spent so much time in the bathroom when I had Nathan. The closest one was down the hall.

I gave my birth preferences to them, and they checked me and I was 4-5 cm along. They did some external monitoring and started me on the IV antibiotics for my GBS (at about 9:00 am).  Once I was hooked up, I took another trip to the bathroom, wheeling my IV pole along with me.  The one weird thing was that something was making me cough - just a superficial, fake-sounding cough, but I couldn't help it.  I asked the nurse if the abx might be the cause, but she said she'd never heard of that happening.  It didn't last, though, which was good.

Luckily, it wasn't long before they said that a room had opened up and was being cleaned for us.  I was grateful to be going to my own "real" room, and the nurses were grateful that I had been so understanding despite the situation.

We moved into our new room, and the nurse asked me all the required questions and put me in the computer system.  I ended up getting a different nurse than I had had at first, which was too bad, because I really liked the first one (and I think the second ended up never bothering to read my birth preferences…she always seemed a little out of the loop on everything).  My doctor came by to see how I was doing, and commented that I didn't seem like someone who was 5cm dilated and in active labor (I think she may have even said that I looked cute :p)…the PWs really didn't phase me at all at this point.  One of her sons had a soccer game nearby, so she left to go to that until I was further along.

Meanwhile, I continued having pressure waves, and in addition to my breathing/counting/peace technique, I found that I really enjoyed standing and swaying my hips side to side during each one, with my hands low on my belly.  It was funny, but turning completely off just didn't appeal to me at all…somehow "dancing" through them just felt so comfortable, and let me feel so close to my baby.

I laid down and listened to deepening for a while, and then turned on the TV for a bit, for Brian's entertainment as much as mine.  I didn't mind the background noise at all; I really liked that everything felt so relaxed and low-key.

Around 11:30 or so, my doctor had called and wanted to see how I was doing.  The nurse did an internal exam, which was actually pretty uncomfortable.  As she was doing it, she asked, "Are you having a contraction right now?"  I was, and answered yes.  She stopped and told me to let her know when it was over, and then she re-checked me.  6 cm.  Didn't seem like a lot of progress, but it made sense since I wasn't feeling that I had hit transformation yet, since everything was still quite comfortable.

Not much later, things started picking up.  I was in the bathroom more, and even moaned or hummed through many of the PWs.  Brian must have been getting very anxious, because he kept encouraging me to hook back up to the monitors, which I wasn't particularly interested in doing.  During a few waves, I would lean into him while standing, or while I was on the ball and he was sitting on the bed.  The increased intensity told me I was getting closer and closer to meeting my baby!

At 1:00, it was time for my 2nd round of abx, and the nurse asked me to get onto the bed so she could put the IV back in.  I didn't really want to be on the bed, but she said she wanted to check me also, so I agreed, knowing that I probably wouldn't be getting back up out of the bed again until after my baby had been born.

She checked me and said there was just a little bit of cervix on one side, so I was a 9.  She went to call my doctor, and said she'd be there in 10 minutes.

Things really started getting intense during waves as my baby started to descend.

My doctor arrived, checked me and I was complete, and the baby was at about a +1/+2 station.  She broke my water and told me that I could start pushing whenever I felt ready.  I told her that I was getting there!

The final half-hour of my birthing - second stage - was very intense.  I was listening to the birth guide, both the end of easy first stage and the beginning of push your baby out, but mostly just gave in to what my body was doing.  I vocalized a lot, making deep moaning sounds and some screams, just letting them come naturally and not care.  Between waves, though, I was quiet or talking and smiling.  When a wave did come, Brian would often come to my side and touch my arm as in the "relax" cue, and it always felt so good - loving, reassuring, and relaxing.

I felt like I couldn't get any leverage to push her out, so when my doctor asked if I'd like some help on what to do, again, I answered, "yes!"  At this point she had Brian and the nurse help to support my legs, and suggested that I grab the backs of my thighs to shorten the birth canal and give me some better leverage to push.  The doctor was using oil to help massage and stretch my perineum. Everyone assured me I was making progress; "she has a little hair, not a lot, though," my doctor remarked and I got more excited to meet my baby.

At one point I got a leg cramp in my left hamstring.  "Ack! Leg cramp!" I said, almost laughing at how ridiculous that must sound during childbirth. Brian had the leg with the cramp; he straightened it for me, I flexed my foot and it went away quickly.

As my baby started to crown, the doctor asked if I wanted to feel her head, and I did!  I reached down and was surprised to feel all the fleshiness of it, like the skin was all coming out ahead of her skull.  Very cool, and very encouraging, even if my hand was all slimy (which made it hard to hold onto my thigh as I pushed).  It was "Oh, wow!" moment #1.

A few more intense pushes and her head was out.  I then pushed her shoulders out one at a time, and felt the rest of her body slide right out. "Oh, wow!" moment #2.  They announced the time at 1:43 pm (which I instantly thought was cute because of 143 being "I love you" in old-school pager code)!

Just enough time to hear that she was cute and pink, and she was up on my chest, covered in tons of vernix (seriously, it looked like she had been spread with cream cheese on her cute buns and in her ears!). Dad cut the cord, and we ended up bonding for about an hour, first feeding and all.  Getting to bond for so long was thanks in part to my doctor, who pretty much told the baby nurse not to bother waiting around to do all the newborn stuff yet because I was busy breastfeeding!  She ended up leaving and came back later when we were curious how big she was!  Holly Paige weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz…over a pound bigger than her big brother!  Her apgars were 9 and 9.  My parents brought Nathan to meet her while she was being "cleaned up;" we're all in love with the newest member of our family.

Everything went so smoothly, and really a lot like I visualized, particularly the timing, which I worried a bit about due to the need for abx.  I decided that I just needed to get to the hospital, get the first dose, "birth" for 4 hours, get the second dose, and push baby out - and that's exactly what happened!!!  Pushing was fast and furious, and not really pain-free (certainly not comfortable), but the dilation was so comfortable/manageable, I find it hard to believe that anyone finds *that* part painful!  Yay hypnobabies!!!
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Lise was born Saturday, April 25 at 10:47am.  It was not a P@ !n-free experience, but Hypnobabies really helped me relax through the pressure waves and allow myself to 'give in' to them and open so much more quickly than I did with my first daughter's days-long labor. My husband also said he could barely tell when I was having pressure waves because I was handling them so well.

At my appointment on Tuesday I was 2 cm, without having felt anything up to that point besides BH. Friday - I was having pressure waves that evening, lasting close to a minute and about 5 min apart for a few hours. They weren't painful at all though, (but they weren't BH either - I can't really explain it, but you'll know when it happens.) I also knew though, that they weren't strong enough to mean that I was having the baby soon, and since my first experience lasted days, I didn't get too excited and both my husband and I slept pretty well that night.

Saturday morning ~6:30am my water broke. Over the next 45 min the pressure waves (which might have continued all night or might have stopped, I don't know because I was asleep!) picked up in intensity very, very quickly. I don't think that I was ever really able to switch off or go into hypnosis, but I was listening to easy first stage the whole time and it was definitely helping me.

We arrived at the hospital at 8:30am, mostly because I really, really wanted to get into the whirlpool tub there. I was 4cm upon check-in. (this was disappointing to me because things were so intense I thought I was farther along. Plus, with my first labor, I arrived at the hospital at 6cm and it took another 12 hours...) After checking the baby on the monitor for a while (she was fine) I got in the tub (cordless headphones were well-worth the cost here, I don't think I could have done it had I not been able to listen to the script anymore). Pretty quickly I felt like I needed to push, I ended up pushing for only ~20-30 min and Lise was born. I listened to the "pushing baby out" track, but didn't breathe her out - I wanted her out NOW! Still, the words in my ears were really nice.

Lise was 8lb 3oz and I had absolutely no tears or anything (I did NOT do the perineal massage, btw). She was born less than 2.5 hours after arrival at the hospital and only a little more than 4 hours after my water broke.

Bottom line: I was surprised at how quick everything went and I think that contributed to my not being able to really 'turn off' or get into hypnosis very well, since I had always pictured a much more gradual entry into labor. On the other hand, the Hypnobabies was still very, VERY helpful and I think helped me go quickly, as well as be able to handle everything very calmly. (so, maybe I was in hypnosis I just couldn't turn off the p@ !n like I would have liked???)

The doctor (on call one, not my normal midwife) asked the nurse what I was listening to and she told him "Hypnosis - it's really helping her." Several nurses later asked me about it too, and my husband claims he couldn't even tell when I was having a pressure wave (unlike my first natural (non-hypnobabies) labor.) So even though I think I could have done better at using the tools, I'd say it was a success. The intervention-free, no-drug labor, with a super-fast recovery is awesome!

And it was also probably Hypnobabies that let me relax enough to sleep Friday night so that I could go into labor well-rested, which makes things so much easier! Oh yeah, and not to mention that I got a beautiful, amazing little baby girl out of the deal, too. Definitely a success.
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We are truly blessed and graced!

Isla Raeann was born to us Tuesday the 28th, at 2:57 in the afternoon.  I woke up early and just knew that my birthing time had arrived, there was a peacefulness about the house and my heart.  My husband was at work (or on his way), and my girls and our dog were all still asleep in bed.  I lay in bed for just a short while and soon thereafter (about 5:30 am or so), my first contraction came.  I remember just smiling and taking a deep breath.

I spent the morning and early afternoon at home, relaxing, meditating, and enjoying my time knowing that I would soon meet our little girl.  I hadn’t listened to my scripts because I was alone at home, with my two girls (ages 2 and 4) and our dog.  They needed me to be “present” for them, I relaxed, used my cues when a pressure wave came, and was peacefully comfortable.  My husband was on his way home from work, and my parents on their way from Spokane (about 5 hours away), and his parents on their way from Oregon (about 3 hours away). So, me and the girls and our dog just took it easy, they all gave me solace when I needed it, and serenity when I asked.

My husband and his parents arrived around noon or so, so I was then able to focus on myself and keeping peace and began listening to Easy First Stage, while I sat on my birthing ball.  It was amazing.  Every so often I would stop the script and listen to Psalm 23, as recorded by Temple and Brent (I downloaded it off of Amazon onto my I-Pod).  Listening to it brought me to tears with happiness that I would soon be holding my little girl – it restored me and lifted me.  Then I would return to listening to Easy First Stage.

Around 1:00 in the afternoon I could sense that everyone, except myself, was getting nervous, so I took a moment, then decided to let my husband take me to the hospital.

We arrived and made ourselves comfortable in the room (about 2:00 in the afternoon).  The nurse didn’t believe that I was in labor, though she humored me about it.  To her surprise, I was 8 centimeters and fully effaced.  I knew my baby would soon be coming, and I was completely comfortable, at peace, and filled with love and happiness.  I was happy to just sit on the bed and listen to Easy First Stage on my I-Pod.  It was the most intimate experience that I have ever had…just me and my baby with each other.  I had to tell my husband that I wasn’t trying to ignore him (grin), but I was so at peace and he was happy to just let me ‘be’ where I needed to be (emotionally, spiritually).

The remainder of my birthing time was amazing, I was blissfully happy and felt pure love the whole time.  We were at the hospital for less than an hour and Isla was in my arms.  Words cannot even describe the elation I was feeling throughout her birth.  To be so blessed, to enjoy every moment…took my breath away and brought my husband and I to tears before I even gently pushed her out.

After about 45 minutes or so, I knew she was ready to come out.  I calmly told the nurse and my husband that our baby was ready to meet everyone, and moments later, my family doctor came in.  It was perfect timing.

The room was intimate, just myself, my husband, our family doctor, and one attending nurse (the nurse proved to be an amazing soul and provided wonderful comfort).  At first, I was lying on my side, listening to Push Baby Out, but all at once I abruptly felt that I needed to be on my hands and knees; so I got myself comfortable on my hands and knees and gently pushed her out in less than 5 minutes.

Now, we rest and enjoy life.  I couldn’t have experienced birth, in such an miraculous way, without Hypnobabies.  My heart is full , her birth was perfect.

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I am so excited to post today!  Our little man was born last Wednesday, and I'm so grateful for Hypnobabies!  I was having a few minor contractions at the end of the day at the school where I teach, but nothing major.

I went to my weekly appt. with my OB at 4:00, and he said I was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced.  He predicted that we wouldn't last much longer.  My husband and I drove home (with pressure waves getting stronger and about 18 minutes apart) and picked up our 3 year old.  We ate dinner, and by that time my pressure waves were about 12 minutes apart.

We decided to take showers and prepare to go to the hospital (the doctor said things were going to move fast, and we should head in when the pressure waves were about 7 minutes apart).  We live an hour from our hospital. :)  By the time I got out of the shower, pressure waves were 4 minutes apart, and we all jumped in the car.  Through all of this I was using the finger drop technique and was very comfortable.

We dropped off my 3 year old and rushed to the hospital.  The receptionist was taking a very long time, working on other paperwork, and joking with coworkers while we were waiting to be processed.  I was very calm and focused, so I'm sure he didn't think there was any urgency.  By the time we got to triage, I was 8 cm dilated, still very comfortable during pressure waves.  I got onto all fours due to some discomfort in my back, but was very calm and relaxed, listening to my hypnobabies tracks.

We were moved to a labor/delivery room, and after another 4-5 contractions, I was ready to push.  There was no time to even switch to the pushing track of my CD.  Owen was born within ten minutes of very intense pushing.  It was amazing!

I had an epidural with my first, and I was amazed at how powerful it was to experience natural birth.  Owen was born at 9:53 pm, just an hour after we arrived at the hospital.

Throughout my admittedly short labor, I used my Hypnobabies CDs and the finger drop technique to keep me focused and calm.  It was incredible how effective they were.

I was very grateful for the nurses, who were very supportive of my decision to have a natural birth and helpful with the entire process and for my OB, who didn't question my desire to labor on all fours, which was much more comfortable for me.  The whole experience has been amazing, and I can't say enough about how Hypnobabies made this possible for me.

Our sweet boy was born at 9:53
7 lbs, 1 oz
21 inches long. :)
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Forewarning! Successful Hypnobabies program was used in the following birth story, but there is mention of *P* in one instance when my program was not in use. I think my story though will be helpful to those facing less than ideal situations surrounding their birth. We had no natural birth midwives in this area (I interviewed the one in this area who had fully medicated births), and no birthing centers.
Without further adieu:
I had a scheduled induction for April 9, at 8AM. I was 10 days overdue and my OB's office was refusing to go longer, though I guess I could have fought them. I almost skipped my induction. I loathed the very idea.

At 37.5 weeks I had prodromal labor, with 4 hours of pressure waves that came on at 2-3 minute intervals and 1 minute a piece. For some reason they fizzled out. I had so many symptoms that said to me "this night is it." I had unusual energy and nesting for a couple days. My body was flushing itself out an hour after the first pressure wave woke me up. I found out at my OB appt that I had made it to 3cm/50% effaced. We were so sure I'd go early then. There was at least 2 more times that my birthing day seemed imminent with patterned pressure waves, but the last time at 41 weeks I went to L&D and found I was at 4cm/80%, but again my pressure waves fizzled and I elected to go home.

I tried everything from big wheel riding and sliding/ swinging at the park, walking to intimate things, and castor oil to no avail. I also used the "Baby come Out" track, as well as getting a start on Birthing Day Affirmations, and Easy First Stage tracks.
Up until the night before my induction I was still unsure if I was going to show for it. Using my hypnosis to do some soul searching and baby communicating, I found my peace with going to the induction, and that being the right road to take at this point. One of the tracks, I think "Baby Come Out" has you ask the baby if there is anything or any reason they weren't coming out or it wasn't time. I had an intuitive feeling that for some reason my body was sticking at a certain point, and it was time to help. April 9 was chosen to be my baby's birthing day, and I told him he and I would be just fine but we needed a little help.
I checked in at 745am but my room wasn't done until 830AM. Lots of babies all poured in that night/morning... 15+ naturally occuring labors.

I got a chance to chat with the nurses in the entry way though and inquired about requesting a nurse who is partial to and experienced with natural births. One sweet lady "looked" into it for me. She apparently knew who the right person to ask, because despite the nuttiness of the labor floor I got what had to be the best nurse on the floor. My OB and nurse were very respectful of my Hypnobabies needs and my birth plan hopes.
I met the doc by 9am to discuss the plan and we were going to break my water and go from there, as soon as they were done getting me set up. Well, the OB went MIA until 1130AM in which I had the AROM. There was merconium staining, but not too bad. By 2pm I hadn't made a lick of progress despite contractions, which were consistant but 10 minutes apart.
At 2:00pm we agreed to start a low dose of pit. It came on hard and fast then. I did really good using my hypnosis stuff, and I think a lot of nurses were impressed. They did best to keep quiet and not disturb me. It was mainly just Alan and I, who was my rock, petting me and whispering relaxation cues. I would even smile and sometimes have a giddy laugh between waves as I was so excited to feel my baby coming to me.
Sometime after though- maybe 1.5-2 hours, I hit transition. I thought my blood sugar was crashing (which it may have a bit since you don't get to eat much), though they assured me it was just transition symptoms. Shakey, disoriented, weak, panic: It was like I sat out of a deep deep relaxation/hypnosis in a frenzy. I wanted just a "little something" in my IV to take the edge off.

(Editors note:  A few different simultaneous distractions and mom looses focus - soon nurse will come back and help her get re-focused.  If birth partner had stayed calm, it may have helped mom stay calm.)

At the same time I was htting transition, the BP cuff kept getting weird readings and beeping loudly. It broke my concentration, and Alan got pissed off that it was taking so long to come and fix, and that it kept happening, and thus I became very unrelaxed. My nurse was busy delivering next door and so I got some fill in, loud, obnoxious nurse. I freaked, Alan freaked because he can't handle seeing me in distress and be powerless to fix it.
Lucky my nurse came back when she did. I was screaming for help and that I couldn't do it, and please give me just a "little" something in my IV to help me relax.
Gloria, RN, said, first we need to check you and see if you are ready to push, and second of all, OB will NOT give you anything in your IV, and thirdly, you CAN do this. And oh, by the way, you are 9cm. Gloria was there for me at just the right time in just the right way.
Well, I put on my "pushing baby out" hypnosis CD, and went right back into my hypnosis, and found it felt better to push just a little during my pressure waves. I begged for a popsicle incase my sugar was low, which I got, and between pressure waves and starting to push, I got a bite of popsicle. Alan kept them coming, and for some reason it just seemed to be a little piece of heaven.

I'd just go limp and completely relaxed in between pushing sensations. Deeper and deeper...

I pushed him out fast and hard and yes, that second for shoulders and head, I screamed one short loud scream. This is the only instant I'd deem as pain, and I was not using my hypnobabies at this point. I was unprepared for him to come out so fast! I didn't even have time to think or "relax". But it was no big deal... it was quick.

I delivered at 4:44pm, so not even 2.5 hours after true labor started. He weighs 6#11oz, and was 20" long. He has smokey blue eyes, and light brown hair.
The sensations I had (even with the extremely powerful pitocin induced pressure waves, which also don't give you the benefit of your body's natural rest and recover time between stages) I'd describe as intense and powerful feelings. I know pain, and this was NOT pain.

It was incredible and a truly an amazing birth experience. I can't tell you how many random nurses and attendants saw my sign on the door and came to ask me questions about my birth later and if Hypnobabies worked. Of course I tell them yes and gladly share the happy details. (but I admittedly feel a little embarrassed at my momentary lapse during transition.) I hoped to have the perfect tale to tell in the end.

But all in all, I managed to have pretty much my ideal birth with what I was given to work with. I received so many compliments on how bright eyed, alert, healthy, and well tempered my little one is and was at birth. I felt great afterwards. I am having a lovely baby moon this go around, compared to my first. I avoided the broken coccyx that I had with my first "electively induced" colicky baby girl. I remember all the wonderful details of my birth and look at them fondly instead of what most people view as horror.
I thought this would be my last baby, but now I dream of having my ideal completely painless, and hopefully home birth in the future. (although I'd have to go out of state to find that option if I wanted an attendant)
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
My 2nd child, Lucas, was born October 16th 2010 at 2:32 a.m., using Hypnobabies self-hypnosis techniques, he was born naturally, without any pain. He was born with his bag of water intact!

I am so grateful for Hypnobabies training with deep relaxation, my special safe place, holding my baby, my positive affirmations and knowing that I could choose to feel only warm loving pressure waves during my birthing time. When I was at home, I was distracted with the arrival of my aunt to care for my 2 year old and I had to "choose" to use my techniques no matter how distracted I would be. I told myself that I will make this work, I have confidence and I want to feel the birth of my baby. So, no epi for me.

I never gave it another thought, this was nature and I willing accepted it. I gave birth in a hospital, when I arrived at 12:10 a.m. I was completely comfortable and dilated to 6 cm 90%. With each wave of pressure I would completely relax, going deeper to my special safe place, my husband, mother or doula would put their hand on my shoulder and remind me to relax more and more.

During transformation after one strong wave of pressure I said out loud "that was beautifully strong".

I felt pushy after about 10 mintues of transformation and my body began to push. It was such an amazing feeling. I would take a deep breath in at the beginning of a pressure wave, hold it for the peak and exhale saying "ahhhhh", but it sounded different from "ahhhhh". What was amazing is that I did not "push", my body would take a strong hold and push down and out. I tried to "push" once and I knew that it was wasteful, because my body was doing such a great job.

Lucas was born in 15 mintues, about 3 strong pushing pressure waves, where my body did all the work. It was beautiful and I am so very grateful that I had chosen to study a course that reinforced such positive thoughts about childbirth.

I would recommend natural birth to everyone and especially using Hypnobabies.

Thank you for read my story :)

It was amazing and let yourself "choose" to relax and enjoy your birth.
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I'd like to share the hypnobirth of my second daughter (and first hypnobirth), Sadie. She was born Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 9:29pm at a nearby hospital.

I woke up Saturday at 6am feeling light pressure waves. However, I didn't think much of them because I was 10 days "overdue" at that point and had been in pre-labor for a couple weeks. I had learned not to get too excited. I got up and went about my everyday routine and noticed, about four hours later, that they were not letting up. They weren't getting closer together however so I continued to ignore them. About 2 in the afternoon after putting my 3 year old down for a nap, I decided to time them. They were about 5-8 mins. apart and they were getting slightly more intense. I was beginning to get excited and listened to Easy First Stage. I became really relaxed and was fully rested. I then soaked in the tub for a while and thats when I told my husband that I thought I was in labor. I don't think he really believed me because I looked so calm! I really enjoyed the first stage of labor. I focused on the positive affirmations and scripture that reaffirmed my faith and strength in God.

I am not sure when I entered active labor. All I recall is that about 5pm, I was getting more and more uncomfortable and by six pm I was starting to think, "I think I should go to the hospital soon." I timed the pressure waves again and was dissapointed when they were still 5-6 mins. apart. (My goal was to leave at 4 min. apart so as not to get to the hospital too early). However, at about 7pm my husband got back from the store and was about to fix supper when I told him, "We need to go to the hospital now!" I felt a lot of pressure in my bottom and new something was going on. The waves were still 5-6 min. apart but I didn't care. Something inside me said, "GO NOW!" Once we were well on our way to the hospital (20 min. commute). We noticed that the waves were now 2-3 mins. apart and I really had to concentrate through each wave. I almost felt like I was sitting on the baby's head! But, I breathed through them and visualized all the positive scripture and affirmations that I practiced with Hypnobabies.

Once at the hosptial, the ob checked me and said I was at 7cm! I was so happy because it was what I had visualized. He asked me what I wanted to do for pain and the nurse chimmed in, "Oh, but you are so close!" That gave me the confidence to say no to the epidural. An hour and a half later I felt the urge to push and everyone gathered around and just stood around me. It was totally mother directed pushing and I was not hooked up to the monitors. I pushed for about 20 min and pulled my baby out myself!  I held her close as they cleaned her up and breastfed her right away. She was perfectly healthy and content. I felt so alert and great afterwards and was very happy that I didn't tear. The doctor and nurses were all very impressed and supportive of my birth. One nurse said, "If everyone labored like this, we would be out of business!" And the doctor kept commenting on how in control and calm I remained through each pressure wave.  We left the hospital under 24 hours. It was an amazing and thrilling experience.

Thanks to all the wonderful support and emails- they were so imformative. I am so glad I used Hypnobabies!

Tagged in: hypnobirth
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(I started using the Hypnobabies CDs at home around 24 weeks pregnant.  I used them nearly every single day, usually at night before going to bed. I never did get good at using all the Hypnobabies terms, so this contains all the 'traditional' birth language.)

To start off with, a brief recap of my past births.

My first daughter came on her due date, I arrived at the hospital at noon with some mild contractions coming semi-regularly.  Looking back, I obviously went in too early, but my family has a history of lightening quick labors, and my Mom was freaked out I'd have the baby in the car if I didn't get in there soon.  Triage determined I was dilated to a 4, and had a 'bulging bag of waters' that was going to break any second.  So, I was checked in and immediately a nurse came in and said I needed to get the epidural now.  I had planned on getting one, but was surprised they were pushing it now, as my contractions were basically just uncomfortable cramping, and I wasn't having to 'do' anything to get through them.  But, the nurse told me if I didn't get it now, there was no guarantee the anesthesiologist, who had time right now, would have time for me later.  Scare tactic worked, and I got the epidural, and they broke my water right after.  (I remember being surprised by that, because they hadn't mentioned they were going to do it, and all I could think of was "I thought it was going to break any second . . . why did you have to do it?")  Despite that though, with the epidural, my labor basically stopped.  So, on came the pitocin.  Within minutes my baby's heart rate was freaking out, and they shut off the pit and several nurses were working to turn me and move me into a favorable position to ease the stress to my baby.  I had never felt so helpless . . . my baby was in trouble, they were talking emergency c-section, and I felt like a beached whale who couldn't even roll on to my side on my own.  Finally, the baby's heart rate normalized, and they checked me again, told me I was at an 8, but the baby was really high so I'd 'be pushing for hours.'  Thirty minutes later, the nurse checked, the baby was coming, and I pushed her out in three contractions.  Once things got going, I did end up going really fast, but I hadn't felt a thing.

With my second pregnancy, I wondered a lot about how things would've been different if I hadn't gotten that epidural so early.  With further study, I determined that natural labor was the way to go.  I was also very terrified of ever needing to use pitocin again, almost to the point of mild PTSD (I'd wake up with nightmares of being frozen in the bed, unable to move while I watched the monitor show ever decreasing heart rates.)  I took a Lamaze class (unfortunately, just one offered though the hospital though), and 'prepared' for natural childbirth.  Two weeks before my due date, my water broke and we headed into the hospital at my doctor's request.  All night I walked the halls trying to bring on contractions, but nothing worked.  In the morning, my doctor was 'no longer comfortable waiting' and started pitocin.  I was terrified of the pitocin.  I sat, frozen, in my bed hooked up to all the monitors.  A contraction would come, and rather than relax or breathe, I'd end up so tight and stiff that my muscles were starting to hurt.  I was terrified of the pitocin causing horrible problems for my baby.  Of course, fear is rather unhelpful in these kinds of situations, so I soon agreed to an epidural when I was dilated to a five.  (In retrospect, it hadn't even been 'painful' yet, I was just so fearful of the whole situation.)  Fortunately things went smoothly, and less than 2 hours later I was pushing out another baby girl.  Again, in three contractions, and again, I didn't feel a thing.

My third pregnancy I knew was going to be different.

  • I was going to actually educate myself this time.

  • And not just about birth practices and the politics of birth.

  • I was determined to study and research actual coping methods beyond just breathing.

  • One thing that kept coming to mind was the fact that with both of my labors, I'd gotten to 4 and 5 dilated before receiving the epidural, and I hadn't ever been in 'pain' at that point.

  • Maybe, just maybe, I could cope with labor more than I thought I could.

  • And maybe, just maybe, labor wouldn't be as bad for me as it looked on TV.

  • Also, with a family history of fast labors, and my last only lasting 2 hours from when they got contractions going, I wasn't expecting a very long labor.

I came across Hypnobabies and decided to give it a try. I started listening to it nightly at around 24 weeks pregnant.  First thing I noticed was I was falling asleep, and sleeping better, than I ever have during pregnancy.  My husband and I often joked that even if labor was a horribly painful experience, the program had been worth EVERY cent just in good sleep!

My experience with the CDs, besides loving how they totally relaxed me and put me to sleep each night, was my nightly ritual of putting on my headphones and falling asleep.  Usually within minutes.  My husband teased me that when I went into labor I wouldn't know anything past the 'don't operate a vehicle' portion of the CDs!  :-)

I practiced my finger drop technique for weeks, but never did do the 'center' thing . . . for whatever reason, it just never 'clicked' with me.

I worried I wasn't getting enough from the CDs, because I was sleeping through most of them.  On rare occasions, I'd listen to the CDs during the day (difficult with a 2 and 4 year old running around), but even then they usually put me right to sleep.  I remember the first time I listened all the way through a track that used the 'release' cue.  I was shocked when I heard the word 'release' and my entire body suddenly just melted into the bed!  Apparently even fast asleep my mind and body were picking this stuff up!

Anyway, moving on to the actual birth.

I was five days overdue, and two days away from an induction my midwife was pushing when I started having really, really mild contractions for a few hours around 6PM.  They were so mild that my husband (who excitedly insisted on trying to time them) finally gave up timing them when I kept forgetting to mention when they'd start or stop.

But they started to fade away after 10PM, as I knew they would, since I felt strongly we'd have the baby the next day ,so we went to bed.

When my water broke around 11PM we decided to go straight to the hospital -- I put on my headphones for the first time at this point to start focusing on relaxing, since I was nervous about the water breaking bringing on intense contractions.  When we got to the hospital I was having the same very minor contractions I'd had earlier.

The nurses there had no idea I was contracting, and were pretty surprised when I was almost 6 centimeters dilated.  They moved me to my room, where I found out my midwife was out of town, but was excited to meet the other midwife in the practice, who I'd heard a lot about.  She told the nurses I didn't need an IV, so she became my hero (my midwife had pretty much insisted on a hep lock).  I'd been more fearful of an IV than almost anything about labor, so this was a huge relief!  Except that after a half hour they decided to give me fluids ('cause they were concerned about the baby's  heart rate and lack of amniotic fluid -- still ironic to me that I couldn't drink any water though!).  :-)  So, I ended up with an IV.  Oh well.  The nurse was actually really sweet and amazing doing the IV, since she knew I had a phobia about them.

And it didn't end up bugging me, because I found that once I was in my room the only thing I wanted to do was curl up on my side and block out everything else and focus on the tracks on my iPod . . . to the point that I made my husband go lay down on the couch and get some rest and just leave me to myself.

What amazed me at this point, is that the contractions had started to become more intense . . . but not much.  They had my attention, and I couldn't always relax through them anymore, but I could relax between them.  I don't think they were showing up much on the monitors.

I had my husband come rub my back through one, and that felt great.  Then I had him do it during the next one, and it was distracting and made the contraction feel more intense, so I had him go lay back down!  :-)   At this point, I was starting to get a little worried about how I would deal when labor really got going.  I was still doing great through them, I was barely even changing my breathing or anything for them, but they had my attention. I wouldn't describe them as painful though.  I kept thinking that the contractions were so 'small' (I was only feeling any pressure in a fist sized area above my cervix) and they didn't feel that strong or like they were coming that often, so I was worried I had a long road in front of me.

I suddenly felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and had the nurse come in and help me get unhooked from everything so I could go in and pee. I went in and had few more contractions sitting up on the toilet, which convinced me I wanted to get back to bed!  Having my headphones off, and sitting, seemed to make the contractions more intense, so I wanted to get back in bed and curl up on my left side again where I was more comfortable.

Once I got back too bed I paged the nurse to come in and hook me back up, but suddenly turned to my husband and said, "I think I need to go to the bathroom again."  While in the bathroom I had one contraction that was fairly uncomfortable, and thinking back, I realize there was blood that came with that contraction.  I came back into the room, where my nurse and husband were waiting.

I didn't put my headphones back on, as we were talking with the nurse. She mentioned that they felt like maybe I needed to get up and walk around, the get these contractions coming stronger and more often.  Seems I wasn't the only one thinking I had a ways to go.  I politely declined though, saying with it being the middle of the night, I'd rather get some rest for a little bit.  (It was 1:30AM at this point).  I had one contraction while we were talking about the privacy/safety policies of the hospital.  I had a second one just a few seconds later, this time I could hear her and follow the conversation, but the contraction had the majority of my attention.  Then I had a third one right after.  I remember she was talking about making sure I filled out the menu/meal request forms while we were thinking about it. :-)  This one made me whimper a little, and change positions.

She suddenly looked at me and said, "I wasn't going to check you yet, but maybe I should . . . "  I agreed, and as she came towards me I suddenly cried out, "I think I'm pushing!" Sure enough, she checked and he was crowning.  I couldn't believe it, she hit the nurse call button and was calling for anyone who could come, but there wasn't even time for her to drop down the bed or anything . . . and for all my stressing about what position to push in, turns out all I could do in that case was just lay back on the bed and push, it happened so fast -- he came all the way out the next contraction.  Right onto the bed, with the nurse just sitting at the foot of the bed.

He was born right onto the sheets in front of me (no pads or anything down), and I sat up immediately and the nurse helped me pick him up and I held my beautiful new baby against me.  It was amazing. She had said there'd be a lot of pressure and then burning -- the pressure was definitely there -- I screamed out for a few seconds, (out of effort and surprise though, not pain), but there was no real burning. It was literally over in a minute or so, it was crazy.  I was immediately hit with this realization of, "that was it . . . I did it and it was so much easier than I thought it would be."

It was intense there at the end (but really like the last 20 minutes was all I had that felt even uncomfortable, and it was just those few contractions in the bathroom, then those three back to back that turned out to be transition that were intense.)  It was over so quick and it had never gotten anywhere near what I thought it would be like.  It was suddenly just over and it had actually been painless.  And the second he was out, I couldn't even remember it being uncomfortable.  It was just an amazing thing to experience.

It was intense for a few minutes, sure, but never really anything I'd describe as painful.  But then we were there and it was over with and I was struck by the idea that I could do that again, (I actually turned to my husband within 20-30 seconds of pushing the baby out and said, "Wow, I could do that again!  Like, right now!") And I felt almost silly for having had two epidurals in the past when it was that 'easy' for me to give birth!  I had to have a few stitches (old episiotomy scar tore a little), but other than that, everything was great.
My baby boy was 8 lbs. 1 oz., with a 80th percentile head.  He was a full two pounds heavier than my last baby, and a pound and a half bigger than his oldest sister.  And yet he just slid out in one contraction.
The nurses who all gathered were shocked by our birth.  My baby and I were kinda 'famous' during our hospital stay -- we were the ones who'd had no doctor in the room for delivery.  Many of the nurses had wrongly assumed it was a natural birth on accident, but I proudly corrected them that we had planned and prepared for that natural birth, and it had been amazingly easy.

It still amazes me that a labor and delivery nurse with more than a decade of experience was chatting with me literally minutes before my baby was in my arms and she had no idea I was nearing the end, and didn't seem to think I was really even in active labor (remember that 'get up and get these contractions coming' suggestion?  That was seconds before my last three contractions that apparently were transition.)  I'm still curious about how those last several minutes, when I was in the bathroom and then talking to the nurse, would've felt different if I'd still been doing my Hypnobabies and listening to the tracks.  Those several minutes were the 'intense' portions of labor, but they were also almost the only time I didn't have my headphones on.  Who knows, it could've been even easier, if that's possible, if I'd still been focusing on relaxing and my cues!
As much as I put into preparing myself for this birth, I never, in a million years, would've ever even hoped for such an easy, quick or comfortable birth!
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This is baby #5 for me, my second all natural birth, and my first Hypnobaby.  I had started the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program around 22 weeks, I wanted to  be fully prepared this time, since my last birth was anything but calm and natural.

I had a guess date of July 27th, but in my mind July 16th stuck out. Thursday July 15th, about 10 pm I started having pressure waves but panicked because my mom, who was suppose to watch my kids, was still on vacation and wouldn't be home until Friday afternoon. I had been achy all day and the waves meant something was happening!

My Hypnobabies training helped so much, I felt tightening, hardness, but no discomfort. I knew this was the start of my birthing time and had my bags ready. For hours I was on my birthing ball- rocking, swaying, bouncing, laying. It was the best $13 I've ever spent!!

My waves were 5-6 minutes apart, getting really intense, but with my peace cue were totally manageable. I could feel changes, the baby was getting lower and pressing back, causing a bit of discomfort in my lower back. I listened to Easy First Stage and Deepening until 4am.

Then everything stopped. Totally and completely stopped. I went to bed totally frustrated, but slept.

Friday morning my husband stayed home from work, thinking I'd start back up and we'd have our baby. Nope. I walked, rocked, did laundry and housework. Not a pressure wave all day. My mom called to tell me she was home and ready when I needed her. I relaxed a bit after that, knowing my little ones would be taken care of by grandma.

About 8pm I convinced my husband what got us into this would get us out and I had a few pressure waves, but not enough get labor going. About 11 I went to bed.

I woke up about 4am to intense waves, 3 to 4 minutes apart. These were low and really hard. I was using the release/relax cue which helped, but I was surprised how hard and fast these were coming. I called my mom about 6am and jumped into a hot shower which felt so good I swear I didn't have any waves at all, and that made me think that maybe I was wrong and labor would stop again.

After I got out it hit me that I needed to get to the hospital- NOW!! Thankfully my mom was there and hubby and I were off. We got to the hospital about 7am, where he went to admitting (even though we'd done all the paperwork and had already delivered three babies there) I went to L&D.

I knew I was close to delivering, but no one seemed to take me seriously. I was told to "give a sample and then we'll see where you are." I told the nurse for the second time I was close to having my baby. She just looked at me. I went into the bathroom, stunned, knowing there was no way I was peeing in a cup, then went back to the desk and said again that I needed a room, I was close.

Instead I was taken to triage. I was told to get undressed and lay down, and was hooked up to a monitor. I started getting a bit mad when 2 interns came in asking stupid questions. I told them again- not very nicely- that I have had 4 babies, I know when I'm close, and I needed a room so I could get back into my hypno-groove. The first one asked me when I had my first menstrual period. It was like the Twilight Zone, no one was listening. I was having hard waves that I probably could have controlled better if I was listening to the CD's, but by that time I was just doing my best not to rip off the intern's head.

Then she asked how far apart my waves were. I remember yelling that I didn't have a clock, they were on top of each other and I could feel his head getting lower. The intern did a internal check and her eyes popped. She said I was 9-10 cm, the baby's head was really low and I was ready to deliver. Gee, I told them that 20 minutes ago.

After being wheeled into a room, I got my angel, dressed as a nurse. She was pro-natural birth, having done it 3 times herself, and knew that I needed the squat bar, she rubbed my back, she told me I could do it, my body was made for birth. All that time I was swearing like a sailor, yelling 'peace' , and trying to breathe. My waves were more like one long wave with many peaks, and after 3 peaks everything changed.

My body was pushing, and while the intern was yelling 'don't push- your doctor's not here!'  my angel-nurse calmly told me to do what my body wanted. There was no stopping, and honestly it felt good to push. After 2 or 3 hard waves/pushes my water broke. The nervous little intern was freaking out, calling the resident OB and making all kinds of noise.

In walks my doctor ordering everyone out, dimming lights, and telling me to relax and just do it. By now my legs were done so I sat back and for the first time I was in a position to see my son's head come out, he was crowning and I pushed between waves- worked like a charm! This was the first time I didn't need an episiotomy, didn't tear.

His body slid out and he was placed on my chest with a warm blanket over us. Everyone stepped back and let my husband and I get to know our little man, who let out a few cries, looked up at me, then stuck his hand in his mouth and sucked on his fingers. There was no rush, everything was calm.

After about 10 minutes, my husband cut his cord, and he took him to be weighed, I delivered the placenta and was cleaned up. Braxton was 6lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long, and born at 8:08 am, about an hour after getting to the hospital.

Every nurse that came into my room knew I was the one who "came in complete and went natural." I was told that 1 or 2 women a month actually have a non-medicated birth, and the nurses all brag about the ones that accomplish it. My hubby did a bit of bragging himself!

I felt that I could have had more control if I had gotten to the hospital sooner, but all that matters is that I did it. No interventions, no IV, no meds. And I felt great. My recovery has been a breeze!
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Teagun Rex was born Monday, June 14 at 9:15pm. He weighed 7lbs, 2oz and was 21.5 inches at birth. He looked like a skinny tiny old man :-D. He has huge hands and feet, a small head, and gets his ears from his daddy and his blue eyes from his mommy's side.

I think I recall somebody asking the experiences of second (or subsequent) moms who didn't use HB for their first babies, so, if you're interested, here's DD's *very* different birth story. BOP needed.  http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=17849803&blogId=393080457

Our birthing day started around 8:00 in the morning on June 14 (one day and 1.5 hours earlier than I had been visualizing). I started feeling mild PW that seemed almost indistinguishable from the Braxton Hicks I had been having for months, except that that they seemed to be coming about every 10 minutes.

We already had a non stress test scheduled, because we were 41 weeks, so we headed to our appt at 11. The PW had gotten less consistent, but never stopped. The test and following ultrasound showed that Teagun's heartrate was dropping with the waves, and his fluid levels were low. This concerned the doctor, and while she was very supportive of our desire to have a natural, intervention free labor, she felt this necessitated a Pitocin induction, and she sent us to the hospital. Before we left she did a cervical check (only my 2nd with this pregnancy; the first was kind of a surprise), said I was 3 cm dilated. I agreed to having my membranes stripped, and she said that got me easily to a 4.

We meandered over to the hospital, after getting some lunch and snacks. I was sure to drink a lot of fluids in an effort to help out his fluid level.

While I know that the health of our baby is paramount to my emotional well being, it still didn't mean I was happy about the idea of a medical induction. We brought our breast pump on the off chance they'd let us try natural means first. On the ride to the hospital, I listened to one of my Birthing Day Affirmations, and that really made me feel better about the impending induction, even though it was not what I had wanted.

We got to the hospital around 2ish, got admitted and hooked up to the monitors. Julie, our first midwife, came in and went over our birth plan with us. She was very supportive of our preferences, and even said we could try natural methods of augmenting the PW, since Teagun's heartrate was looking good! I was so excited. It was as much her general attitude as not having to jump right into Pitocin. Even though I had come to accept the idea of Pit, I was very happy to have a second shot at something resembling the birth I had visualized.

I got hooked up to the IV and my GSB antibiotics around 4:30. The IV was terribly uncomfortable and continued to bother me until they removed it the next morning. While they ran the antibiotics, I tried the breast pump to augment the PW, which, I think, were about 6-7 minutes apart at that point, and still relatively mild.

After the antibiotics were done, around 6ish, we decided to walk the floor a bit. My mom, DH's mom (Sue) and (2 year old DD) Kismet had joined us at this time. We hadn't been walking for more than 10 minutes when the PW really started to pick up, in frequency and intensity. They were coming about every 3-4 minutes, and required a little concentration at this point. We walked for a bit, stopping for the waves and when we found a play area for Kizzy.

We made it back to the room about 7, to find we had wandered too far, and security was looking for us! =-O We apologized profusely.

Around this time the waves started getting really intense, and I thought I should try listening to my scripts, because if I couldn't get the PW under control, I was worried pain meds were in my future, as they were starting to feel like when I had Kizzy, and I was certain we had several hours of that ahead of us.

I tried listening to Easy First Stage, but was having a hard time concentrating because Kizzy kept telling me to wake up, so Sue took her for a walk. As long as things stayed quiet, the CD helped a lot. Especially between waves, I was able to relax and rest.

I planned on spending the next few hours laying down, listening to my scripts, so I told Tony it was time for Kizzy to go home. He called his mom to bring her up to say good-bye, and my mom called her friend to come pick her up.

Sue brought Kismet up, and her and my mom went down to get Kizzy's carseat, around 8:55. Shortly after that, I had a wave where I felt a little like I wanted to push. I called Maureen, our second midwife, and she checked, said I was 8 cm, and I could give little, grunty pushes with the PW if that felt good.  She reminded me I could stay on my side if I wanted, or do whatever felt comfortable.

I don't remember if it was the next wave, or the one after that, but it was certainly within 10 minutes of the first "pushy" feeling, but whichever it was, the wave took over, and Teagun was born, in about one long pressure wave. My mom and Sue didn't get back until his head was half way out. Tony ended up holding my leg with one hand and Kizzy with the other.

Teagun was born in the caul, which is to say that my water never broke, and he was still in the bag of waters when his head came out. It's apparently quite rare, and is supposed to be a good omen. :-) Maureen broke my water as his head made its way out (from my hazy recollection, there really wasn't any crowning; there was no baby, then his head was half out).  His cord was wrapped around his neck twice, which the midwife quickly took care of.

He was placed on my chest immediately, and, as per our request, they waited to clamp the cord until it stopped pulsating.

We made it home late Wednesday, and are enjoying learning to juggle 2 kiddos and getting to know Teagun: so far, I can tell you he has a squeaky little cry, crazy strong neck muscles, and an obsession with trying to eat his fists. <3 <3 <3  My recovery has been ridiculously swift; I only had mild burning with peeing for about 1.5 days, and then I felt pretty much completely back to normal (as opposed to still being in pain 8 weeks after DD's birth).

I could hardly be happier with my experience.

  • On one hand, it wasn't p**nless (the pressure waves were definitely causing some p**n near the end),

  • but I didn't think to really utilize my tools until it was almost too late.

  • I think, thanks to the reprogramming of Hypnobabies, I didn't realize how advanced I was pretty much until he was born.

  • I thought we had hours left.

  • If I had taken more time to get into hypnosis during my birthing time, I feel like I would have been more comfortable.

That being said, this was a walk in the park compared to my DD's birth;

  • it was *significantly* less p**nful, for one.

  • My Hypnobabies training helped me stay relaxed and calm through my PW, even when (during transition, apparently; at the time I thought I was maybe halfway done) I started to doubt myself briefly.

  • I felt so much more in control of the situation and my body.

  • Ironically, the HB tools I was never particularly fond of (the 4-in, 8-out breathing and Special Place (I never felt comfortable trying to visual a baby I hadn't met yet)) were the ones I ended up using the most.

  • DH had no idea I was experiencing any discomfort throughout our entire birthing time.

  • The staff was apparently impressed as well;

  • the midwife told me I restored her faith in childbirth.

  • I'm ready to do it again!  :-D

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Hannah's birth story began eighteen months ago with the birth of my son Silas. Because I am cross posting this story, I will be using Hypnobabies terminology. I'll put definitions in parentheses for explanation. For those in the Hypnobabies group, please use your Bubble of Peace while reading the story of my son's birth. (Bubble of Peace: an imaginary bubble around yourself that allows only positive messages about childbirth into your mind. If reading something will create negative feelings in you, you use your BOP to read the story without it causing you to have negative thoughts about your own upcoming birthing.)

Although I had prepared for his birth using the Hypnobabies program, I had done a poor job of managing my diet, getting exercise during the pregnancy, and doing what I could to get him into a good position for birth. My birthing time with him was very long and exhausting, with eight hours of transformation-like pressure waves and the desire to push. I lost control of my emotions and went pretty crazy. I got an epidural, and was pushing him out 15 minutes later. He was quite large and was posterior, so pushing him out while completely numb from the waste down was no easy task. He had meconium and substantial deccelerations in his heart rate, my doctor cut an episiotomy, and pulled him out. He was whisked away to be assessed by the peds team. It was long time before I heard him cry. Meanwhile, I started bleeding pretty profusely and my blood pressure dropped quite low. I was placed flat on my bag and fluids were squeezed in (quite literally, I saw the nurse standing over me squeezing the bag of pitocin to make my uterus clamp down and stop bleeding). I couldn't hold my son when he was pronounced healthy and brought back out because I was too weak and we were all afraid I'd drop him. I looked and felt terrible for days.

When I learned I was pregnant again, I knew there were things I needed to do in order to make this pregnancy and birthing better and more comfortable. I exercised as much as was healthy and I could squeeze in. Although I didn't do a perfect job with a healthy diet, I did a much better job of eating healthy foods and didn't splurge nearly as much as I had before. I sat in forward leaning or straight up positions to help encourage Hannah to be head down and to put her back towards my front (known as occiput anterior, the best position for birth). I slept almost exclusively on my left side and used a pregnancy pillow to help me stay on my left side. I did my Hypnobabies practice in the day time rather than evening, because I wanted to make sure I stayed awake through the tracks and actually thought about what I was doing on a conscious level (even though sleeping through the tracks is okay, I felt better about my hypnosis practice if I stayed awake).

As my pregnancy progressed, I felt like Hannah was getting quite large. I never felt like Silas was big when I was pregnant with him, but I felt like I was carrying a big baby this time around. I palpated my belly daily and she consumed so much space with little room leftover. I felt great, but I also felt like I was about to "pop" any minute. I felt like my intuition was telling me she would come early, so I prepared myself mentally and physically for this. My house was clean at all times, the bags were packed, the car seat in the car, the diapers washed and folded, the bassinet set up next to the bed...

Everything was ready and all I needed was a baby. The days turned into weeks and people began commenting, "You're still pregnant?" "You mean you haven't had that baby yet?" "When was your due date again?" "Are you SURE it isn't twins?" "Are you having any contractions yet?" "Are you dilating at all?"
I tried to just smile and brush off the questions and comments, but after preparing myself for an early baby, a fast easy labor, and a smaller baby (my son was nine pounds and 22.75 inches at birth), my confidence started waning. I was tired. I wasn't tired of being pregnant, per se, but just tired. I never felt or said anything resentful towards my child or my body, but I slowly became anxious. What if something were wrong with my baby and that's why she hadn't been born yet? Her movements had slowed down, and I found myself anxiously watching the clock in order to do kick counts.

My doctor never voiced concern over the size of Hannah until my guess date (aka "due date") passed. I already had two guess dates: the guess date according to Naegel's Rule for dating pregnancy, which is what they use in obstetrics, and the day that I knew to be my real guess date based upon the Fertility Awareness Method. The guess date on my chart at the doctor's office was a week before my FAM determined guess date, so actually, my doctor didn't even bring up Hannah's size until I was a week past what they believed to be my guess date. She said she was concerned that since Silas was a nine pound baby and he was born with some difficulty that continuing until the time I thought would be 42 weeks (which would be 43 weeks by their numbers) could potentially result in a C-section. She said it was ultimately my decision, but she was very concerned. My doctor is a very caring person and I do believe she was legitimately concerned about our safety. We discussed scheduling an induction for later that week, but I changed my mind and was able to buy myself a little more time, thinking it wouldn't even be an issue.

Another week passed and she voiced her concerns again. By this time, I had already been having anxiety. I knew that having an induction could potentially lead to a cascade of interventions that ended in C-section. The thought of a Cesarean made my anxiety intensify. I too, was concerned about Hannah's size, though, and had been for a while. I discussed my fears with my doctor. She agreed that they were well founded fears, and assured me that she doesn't encourage anyone to have an induction unless she is seriously concerned about safety because she knows that un-necessary induction increases risks to moms and babies. I asked her if it would be possible to do a "slow induction." I told her I preferred to have my water break on it's own, and to have the pitocin drip titrated slowly over a longer period of time. She thought it sounded like a good idea and was willing to write her orders that way. I left the office feeling good because we had discussed my options and I was empowered to make choices for myself and influence my own care. Most of all, I felt at peace with the decision.

I checked into the hospital on Monday, July 5 at 6:00 PM. We had gone out to dinner at Applebee's with my parents and left Silas with them. I was nervous all through dinner and had a hard time being social. I had spent the day picking up loose ends around the house, playing with Silas, a lot of time praying, and doing Fear Release sessions. As the time drew near, though, I became a bit withdrawn. I had determined ahead of time that even though I was going in for an induction, that this was going to be a beautiful birth. I knew that if Hannah was as large as we all thought she was, I was going to have to be positive and stay focused in order to avoid an epidural and be stuck on my back paralyzed in the bed. I knew she'd need me to be mobile in order to get her out. So I thought about brave mothers in the Bible who made huge sacrifices for their children. I thought about Jochebed, and how she put baby Moses in a basket in the Nile to protect him from being murdered by the Egyptians. I thought about Hannah dedicating Samuel to the work of the Lord at such a young age. Of course, I thought about Mary, riding on a donkey as she labored and then giving birth in a stable, of all places. I thanked God for these women and knew I could do what needed to be done to give birth to my own child just as He had designed me to, even though the process was being started artificially.

We looked like a couple of tourists checking into the hospital. I had my suitcase, my pregnancy body pillow. Dan had his laptop bag, a backpack, his pillow, and my camera. The hospital was quiet and I asked the clerk checking us in if they had any patients. She assured me that they did. The nurse that took us to our room and got us settled was the same nurse who was present for Silas's birth. We chatted for a while, mostly about her sister, whom I used to work with. Then she was off at 7 and my angel nurse, Karen, came on.

Karen reviewed my birth preferences and seemed excited that I had chosen to have a natural (pain-medicine free) birth. She told me she had C-sections with both of her children, but thought natural childbirth was wonderful. Because I was being induced with Pitocin, it was necessary for me to be continuously monitored. Knowing the risk of hyperstimulation of the uterus and fetal distress if the Pitocin is turned up too high, I agreed that continuous monitoring was a good idea. I told Karen I wished to be out of bed as much as possible, and she assured me that the cords are very long and I could walk around the room as far as the cords went. She even offered to re-arrange the furniture in the room if necessary in order for me to sit in a glider next to the monitor. I told her that wouldn't be necessary quite yet, but I'd like to try the ball. She brought a ball for me (which was a nicer ball than the one I have at home!) and then positioned the bed with lots of pillows so I could lean forward onto the pillows as I sat on the ball. It was quite comfy. Then she went about the business of making sure the belts and everything were positioned correctly. She always told me to get comfy first, then she'd position the monitor. She assured me she would re-position the monitor as many times as necessary in order for me to be comfortable.

The Pitocin drip was started at 7:30. I hung out on the ball and listened to Birthing Day Affirmations on my ipod while Dan played a game on his laptop. We would occasionally look at the monitor and the strength of my pressure waves (contractions). They weren't too strong but they had developed a nice pattern. I was very comfortable and relaxed. Karen came in around 9 PM with the resident. He checked me and I was at 4 centimeters, can't remember the effacement, and a -3 station. Karen helped unhook my wires so I could walk to the bathroom. Dan helped me change back into my nursing tank and skirt because the hospital gown was uncomfortable. Then Karen put the bed into an upright chair position and helped me get comfortable with lots of pillows behind my back and under my knees. I put the ipod back on and relaxed while listening to the Painfree Childbirth track and Karen turned the Pitocin up. Dan called my doula Dee Dee to let her know what was going on while I was in hypnosis.

When I finished the Painfree Childbirth track, I was ready to use the bathroom again and get back on the ball. We decided to watch a little TV and settled on "Last Comic Standing." Coincidentally, the comedian was talking about big babies. He was pretty funny and he had me laughing out loud. My doctor came in with the resident shortly after that. I think it was about 9:50. She wasn't on call, but she likes to see her patients through. She's only missed one birth in her entire career (she's family practice, not OB, so she doesn't deliver as many as an OB does). She checked me and I was at five centimeters, but still at the -3 station. We chatted and laughed about the show on TV and then she went to hang out at the nurses station. I got back on the ball and put the deepening track on. Karen turned my Pitocin up again.

I went into deep hypnosis with the deepening track. Deepening was my favorite track while preparing for this birth. I could really feel my pressure waves picking up in intensity as I relaxed through each one. Karen came in and adjusted the monitor because she was having trouble picking up the heart rate. I decided to re-start the deepening track since I paused it while she adjusted the monitor. I continued relaxing as the pressure waves grew stronger and more frequent. Dan took a few photos, and it looked like I was asleep on the ball, but I was very aware of everything going on. As the track continued, I could tell I was going to need my doula soon. I was a little torn. I wanted Dan and my doula to support me through the intensifying waves, but I also wanted to finish the deepening track because I was enjoying it so much. I opted to finish the track, and the moment Kerri (the woman who guides you through hypnosis) counted me back up, I put my light switch (mental light switch: off=deep hypnosis and anesthesia, center= alert, but anesthesia to midsection of body, on= no anesthesia, no hypnosis) in center and asked Dan to call Dee Dee. He wanted to finish his game, but I told him things were getting serious and I needed Dee Dee to come soon. He called Dee Dee and then he called Karen to come in and turn the Pitocin down since I wasn't getting but about a 30 second break between pressure waves. I stood up next to the bed and leaned over the bed, relaxing as much as could while standing. Dan rubbed my lower back as I swayed back and forth through the waves.
Karen came in to turn the drip down and I decided I was ready to lie in the bed on my left side. She helped me get into the bed, and she and Dan helped position me on my left side with my pregnancy pillow and the pillows on the bed. I was feeling pretty comfortable, but I was no longer interested in laughing or much conversation anymore.

It was around that time that Dee Dee arrived. She sat in front of me and we talked a little. I would stop mid-sentence to turn my switch off through the waves. She told me I didn't even look like I was about to have a baby. She said I just looked "blissed out" during each pressure wave. The waves were very intense. I would picture myself at the top of a roller coaster and then I would ride each wave like you would the drops and twists and turns of a fast wooden roller coaster. I felt a little rush of adrenaline at the beginning of each wave, and would say inside my mind, "Here we go!" just like you would if you were on a roller coaster. It wasn't scary, or particularly painful, just intense pressure and tightening in my abdomen and back. I reminded myself to keep my face and my hands relaxed at all times.

Dee Dee's apprentice Molly came in and I welcomed her right before another wave came on. Shortly afterward, Karen and the doctors came in. They wanted to check me again and put an internal monitor in since the pressure waves were pretty intense. My doctor didn't want to continue going up on the pitocin because she was afraid she would over-stimulate my uterus, but they were having trouble monitoring the baby's heart rate since she was descending pretty quickly. Knowing that they would have to break my water to do this, I went ahead and okay-ed it even though initially I wanted my water to break on it's own. I asked if I could stay on my side since I was so comfortable and my doctor said that would be fine. When they checked me, I was at 6 cm, completely effaced, and she was at a 0 station.

I'm not sure how long it took them to break my water and put the monitor in, but it took a lot of focus to relax through the waves as they did what they needed to do. Dee Dee rubbed my belly, Dan rubbed my feet, and Molly rubbed my back. It all felt wonderful, but I started shaking and getting nauseous. My doctors stood at the bedside after the monitor was in. In hindsight, I think they knew things were picking up and they didn't want to get too far away. I told them I wasn't opposed to some Zofran, only pain meds. They kind of laughed as I told them I wanted 4mg of Zofran, or 8, whichever they felt like ordering. Karen got the Zofran for me and my doctor helped pile warm blankets on my back and my legs to help with the shaking. Shortly after I got the Zofran, my pressure waves intensified some more. I began doing a low moaning with each wave and it helped me keep control of myself. At one point I felt myself starting to lose control, and I said, "Stop it!" pretty loudly. Everyone thought I was talking to them, so all the wonderful massage stopped. At the end of the wave, I apologized and assured everyone I wanted them to continue what they were doing and I was telling myself to stop freaking out. The massage soon resumed, much to my delight and I regained composure.

I felt like time was moving very slowly at that point, and I started to get what my mom calls a case of the "jim-jams." I felt like I just had to get out of the bed and asked for help going to the bathroom. Karen and Dee Dee both agreed enthusiastically that going to the bathroom was a great idea, so Karen unhooked me and they helped me walk to the bathroom. I had to pause a couple of times between the bed and the bathroom because I continued having pressure waves. As soon as I sat on the toilet, I was stricken with panic, as my waves intensified to an all-new level. I felt my belly get so hard and I began pushing involuntarily. I just couldn't stop. I began having flashbacks to Silas's birth, where I had felt the urge to push for nearly eight hours. I was almost in tears and said, "This is just like Silas" but Dee Dee stopped me mid sentence. The waves were right on top of each other and I can only describe the feeling as sheer panic. I was moaning very loudly and cried, "Please help me!" Karen and Dee Dee kept reassuring me and helped me back towards the bed. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw that my doctor and the resident had already gowned and gloved and had the table pulled up to the bed. I was in complete denial that I was about to give birth and I remember thinking that they were just wasting all the sterile supplies and they'd have to open up a new sterile table when it was really time to push the baby out. I kind of perched myself on the edge of the bed because another wave hit me right as I got to the bed. I was holding onto the rail and pushing (not realizing that's what I was doing). I thought I was just yelling like a cave woman because I had officially lost control of my emotions. Dee Dee, Karen, and my doctor kept telling me over and over again, "The baby is coming, Summer. You're pushing the baby out right now." but I didn't believe them. My doctor crouched down on the floor next me. She was seriously prepared to catch the baby as I stood at the side of the bed. Suddenly there was a gush of fluid as I yelled through another wave and then I felt a stinging sensation. I was able to gasp, "Stinging, stinging!" Someone said, "Summer, the baby is coming OUT!" and I suddenly became a believer and decided the bed was where I wanted to be after all. I couldn't lift my legs up, though, and all I could say was, "Legs! Legs!" and everyone kind of picked me up and put me into the bed. I don't really remember much once I got into the bed. I don't think I even put much effort into pushing, I think my body was just kind of doing it on its own. Dee Dee said I only pushed through three total contractions, but I don't know if that included me pushing at the side of the bed. I think it does because everything happened very, very quickly. I heard the resident call out that they needed peds team to come in stat, but I just felt like everything was okay so I didn't panic. I felt her come out and Dan announced, "It's a Hannah!" (We didn't know if we were having a boy or girl). They took her to the little resusitation room, but she was crying before they even got her there. Apparently she was meconium stained and her heart rate dropped drastically when I was pushing. Dee Dee told me it's actually pretty common for the heart rate to drop like that when a baby goes through such a rapid descent.

I remember thinking it was amazing how one moment I was having the most intense experience of my life, and the next moment I felt perfect. I laughed when I heard her crying, and Dan went into the rescusatation room to be with Hannah. He brought her out to me pretty quickly and I got to hold her right away. She didn't really cry that much. She cried when she was first born, but then she quieted right down and was just very mellow. I had some bleeding issues again, but didn't lose as much blood as last time and my blood pressure didn't bottom out. The nurse had to "massage" my uterus, which is definitely not massage at all. I didn't want to turn my switch off for it because I wanted to be able to look at my beautiful baby, so I just had to deal with it. I told my doctor it was worse than the actual birthing time (labor).

Dee Dee said that it was only about twenty minutes from the time they checked me until Hannah was born. That means I went from six centimeters to ten and a 0 station to baby completely out in twenty minutes, which Dee Dee said was "crazy fast." Everyone kept telling me how awesome of a job I had done and not to worry about my cave woman moments in the last five or so minutes because anyone that went through transformation and pushing that quickly would be a cave woman too. My doctor said she has patients that scream like that at just 2 centimeters.

I can't believe it's been almost a week since she was born. I was on this incredible adrenaline high for two days, and people that saw me said I didn't even look like I'd just had a baby. I feel so much better this time, and I feel like I'm healing faster. I truly believe the difference is that I didn't use pain medicine and my body's natural pain killers, endorphins, were not suppressed so I have less post partum pain. I'm not any less "injured" this time around, I'm just feeling much, much better.

Hannah has already grown and she's filling out her wrinkles. She's even getting a double chin! As far as her being a big baby goes... She was 8 pounds and 4 ounces... not that big after all. She did have us all fooled, though, because even Dan earlier on in the pregnancy said he thought this baby was going to turn out to be a ten pounder because I got so big.

I guess my conclusion to Hannah's birth story is pretty simple. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made" by God. He created the entire birth process. It's not something to be feared or dreaded. I know the apostle Paul didn't have birth in mind when he wrote the book of Phillipians, but the passage in chapter four and verse eight "... whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." definitely applied for me in Hannah's birth, and I know it can for others too. I'm so thankful to God for blessing me with a husband that supported me through me decision making and the entire pregnancy and birth process. I'm thankful for my wonderful doula Dee Dee who helped bolster my confidence and helped keep my focus. I'm thankful for a doctor that was willing to listen to me and supported my decisions while respectfully giving her input. I'm thankful for a program that helped me focus on the positive and helped remind me that pregnancy and birth are "natural, normal, healthy, and safe." Most of all, though, I'm thankful for a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
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