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HypnobabiesTwinCities in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN shares another wonderful HBAC waterbirth story with us:

My journey to Carter’s homebirth after cesarean (HBAC) began when my daughter Kaylee was born on September 1, 2011.  I was induced at 38 weeks for pre-eclampsia with cytotec, pitocin, and an epidural which led to a cesarean section under general anesthesia.  After her birth, I was determined to do things different the next time.  I was needed to be the first person to see and hold my baby.  I joined the Twin Cities chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and learned that I was not alone.  That other women had traumatic births as well, but they went on to have beautiful vaginal births after their cesarean.  This is when we decided that when we had another child, they would be born at home.

We spent a lot of time doing our research on natural birth, homebirth, birthing classes, midwives, and more!  On October 31st, 2012, we found out we were expecting our second child.  We went on the hunt for the perfect homebirth midwife, doula, and childbirth class.  We quickly found our midwives and decided to use Hypnobabies for this birth.  We couldn’t attend in person classes due to scheduling conflicts, but we were able to do the home study course.  We went back and forth on hiring a doula.  One thing I really regretted in my daughter’s birth was not hiring a doula.  Even though I had 2 wonderful midwives attending my birth, I didn’t want to have any regrets this time, so we went ahead with finding a doula (we hired Lindsay McCoy) and are beyond thankful we did.

I spent my pregnancy preparing myself for this birth.  I needed to make sure I did not get pre-eclampsia and I needed to stay healthy.  I completely changed my outlook on pregnancy and birth.  I ate healthy, stayed active, went to prenatal yoga, received chiropractic care, bodywork, and massage, did my daily spinning babies, listened to my Hypnobabies tracks and practiced my Hypnobabies techniques, read more birth books, attended ICAN meetings (and joined the board), met more homebirth families, and really took an active roll in preparing for this birth.  I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way of having a successful HBAC!

lindsay m doula katie-carter2Fast forward to July 2013.  My guess date was July 13th, 2013.  This day came and went with no baby.  So did 41 weeks and 42 weeks!  I was growing impatient, but my husband kept reassuring me that I would not be pregnant forever and that babies come when they are ready.  Thankfully, my doula had gone to 43 weeks herself and assured me that I would go into my birthing time. 

At 42 weeks we started trying all the old wives tales to get birthing started.  This little guy must not have been ready, because none of them worked!  At 42 weeks 4 days, we went in for a biophysical profile (BPP).  This showed low fluid, but nothing my back up OB said was urgent.  He encouraged us to keep trying to get birthing started and come back in 2 days for a follow up BPP and we would go from there.  He was pretty confident that it would happen soon and was not concerned that I was nearing 43 weeks.  We were very lucky to have fabulous, supportive midwives, and a wonderful back up OB!

Read the rest of Katie's healing HBAC birth story here
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Hamburg, Germany The 6th of February 6, 2013

Dear Hypnobabies,

This is the birth-story of Alexander-Johannes born on the 24th of December 2012.

I was so sure in the beginning of this pregnancy that I want a different experience than last times. My first child was a mini-preemie of 700 grams born at 27 weeks. What a miracle 17 years ago! But the experience of the birth was so traumatic (it was treated as an abortion) and the hospitalization was so long that I’ve said to myself that I would never have children in my life again…

My second child was born in 2010 by C-section. I was preparing all of my pregnancy for a water birth. I’ve chosen a hospital and all my plans were falling apart. From the fist visit they told me I will be induced on the Guess Date (due date). I was not so happy about that, knowing that this can be extremely painful and can lead to other interventions. I’ve asked for another consultation expressing my concern and wishes (that I want everything to start of its own), they made me another ecography telling me this time that the baby is already too big, weighting more than 4300 grams (9 1/2 lb) and I won’t be able to deliver her vaginally. And I’ve believed them! The next day I had the C-section. The baby girl was 3900 grams (8 1/2 lb), not 4300 and we had a real hard time to breastfeed (she was bottle-fed with my expressed milk until she was 15 months) and to recover after operation.

So… the next child was coming and this time I wanted to make everything right. I did a lot of research and ate good vegetarian food (last time I was so fat and close to gestational diabetes). I’ve realized how manipulated I was the last time and how much damage has this done to me and to my family. Even though I’ve been seeing the same Gynecologist as last time, I was not so afraid anymore and I was not always listening to the “risk – stories” she always told me. I remember that in the last part of the pregnancy she asked every time if I was sure I want to have my baby in a Birth Center.

I was so thrilled when I’ve discovered Hypnobabies! I live in Europe and I’ve ordered the Self-Study Course. The positive feedback of the other moms made me trust Hypnobabies so much, that I didn’t what to try the Mongan method that was more known in Europe. The precious package was coming exactly 6 weeks before my Guess Date and I was so anxious to start right away. My toddler girl, 2 years old, made this many times impossible, but I was trying hard, even if I was falling in sleep most of the times when listening before bed.

Unfortunately, my husband was many times gone and it was so hard for him to tune up with me, doing his part of the practice. Even when he was home, we hardly found time to practice together because of our little daughter. So, I said to myself that if single moms can do this, I can do it. Nevertheless, I’ve explain the concept and the techniques to my husband. The sessions relaxed me so much and gave me so much confidence.

As the time was passing by, I was anxious to meet my baby and to live a nice birthing experience. We visited the Birth Center as I was 36 weeks and they told me I can have my baby there starting next week... I’ve explained to the midwives that I want to use autohypnosis and they were familiar with it. They had 33% of the births – water births.  I was so happy.    

So… the day comes…It is 4-5 am, I am sleeping. The water breaks. Hmmm, I feel warm and wet in my dream but I don’t wake up. Mild, but different as before contractions start and I wake up at 6.30, realizing that this is the real thing. I am 39 weeks and…it’s Christmas Day. Wow… we used to joke about getting the baby for Christmas, so, be careful what you wish for! I went in the living room and started to listen to the Birthing Day Affirmations, Fear Clear Session and Your birth guide, Easy First Stage having contractions every 10 minutes. They were pretty strong and in a short time they became more frequent, even to 4-5 minutes. 

When my husband woke up I told him the news and he was jumping for excitement. He called the midwives at 9 a.m. and after another half of hour I was speaking with the one in duty that day. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t the same midwife I had the previous meetings, but I was calmed down by her warmly voice. I said to her that I feel that it’s going fast this time and she said we should better head on to the center. I’ve called my friend to take care of my little girl and I was hoping that I won’t be gone too long because she wasn’t used to stay without me. We were at the Birth Center at 12 am. When we’ve arrived, I’ve found out that the room with the bathtub was taken, there was another woman birthing there. I was a little disappointed again, but being prepared that things like that could happen I said “ok” and they put me in the smaller room.

The midwife was young, nice and very positive; I’ve resonated with her from the first minute. She asked me what do I listen to on my iPod and I’ve explained and she was open to it. She checked me and I was 2 cm but my cervix was very soft, “butter-like”. I’ve asked her if I could go home ( I was thinking all the time of my daughter ) and she said that things could go really fast sometimes, considering that I was so relaxed, she wouldn’t recommend it. So, I let my husband go, hoping that he would come back in time  Anna ( the midwife ) wasn’t all the time with me and I could listen to my CDs, but from time to time she came in and disturbed me to make some procedures, I wasn’t so happy about this. In this very moment I’d wished I had a doula or my husband there reminding her to let me alone in my trance.

I’ve realized that I couldn’t concentrate enough. The pressure waves were sometimes painful, but supportable. Anna came in around 3 pm telling me that I can move because the other woman had to go to the hospital. Wow… so I can get my water-birth after all! That was great news (but I felt compassionately sorry for the other woman). She went to prepare the bath for me, letting me again alone with my CDs. When the things became pretty intense I told her I want to get in the bathtub. She asked me if I want to know how dilatated I am and I said “No, I don’t want to know because I feel my baby will be here soon”. It was 4 pm when I got in the water and that was so nice! My husband was there too, just in time. I’ve tried to listen to Your birth guide, Pushing Baby Out on my iPod, but I wasn’t so successful because I had always to move, to change positions during the pressure waves. So, here I am, holding my husband’s hand closely to break it, completely “on another planet”. I try to use anesthesia but it’s not working so efficient. I say to myself: “You should have been more consequent with your daily practice…” But I don’t complain, once I say “Please baby, come out!” and everybody is laughing.  I just make an aaaaaahhhh loud sound during the pressure waves. Actually, this is good; as the mouth is opened the cervix is opening.

simona pickhardtAnna is very supportive and tells me how good I am. In no time (seemed to me like 20 minutes after I was in the bathtub) I feel the urge to push. I instinctively stand on my knees and protect my perineum with my hands. The pain is gone, it’s just pressure. I know that soon I will meet my baby but I am not in the hurry, I use only the power of the pressure wave and I remember to breathe for my baby. 1, 2 and with the third the baby’s head comes out. One more and I feel the baby’s body coming out; I catch him with my hands and bring him on my chest. “Wow!” -  says my husby.Anna didn’t get the chance to touch the baby. It is 5.17 pm. I cuddle with my baby and shed a tear saying that “I cannot believe I did it”. But he is there, in my arms, looking straight to my eyes like saying: “No, we did it, mummy”. Three hours later we drive to home.

This was the best gift I could ever get for Christmas! Thank you, Hypnobabies! I’ve got the birth that I wanted, almost exactly as I’ve imagined. And not only that I’ve got a baby, I’ve got my dignity and power back, I’ve got confidence and I am transformed human for the rest of my life, I’ve found myself! Even if I didn’t have a completely painless experience, I am sure that the method is working perfectly when practiced as recommended, not as I did.

Discovering Hypnobabies and the entire natural birth movement made me realize that I want to be a part of that, I want to help also other women to lose their fears and wake up, stand up for themselves, take their lives in their hands. During the pregnancy I’ve signed up for a doula course in 2013 and I know that someday I would fly to St.Louis to take the Hypnobabies Instructor Training. THANK YOU! God bless you all! You bring peace to this world.
Sincerely yours, Simona Pickhardt

[Note from Hypnobabies: Simona did indeed take our Hypnobabies Instructor Training in 2013 and now teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Hamburg, Germany!]
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This wonderful birth story was shared with us by Kelly Colvin who teaches Hypnobabies Classes in St. George, Utah:

Hypno-Mom Karen - Mathew's Birth Story

Before I share my HBA2C, I need to give some background information on my first two births. My first baby was born c/section because he was breech. I found out a few days before his birth that I have a uterine septum, meaning that my uterus is heart shaped. The septum in my uterus causes my babies to turn breech in the last few weeks of pregnancy.

My first experience with birth was very painful. I struggled with a long physical recovery and it was also emotionally painful. I wanted to give birth normally. No one seemed to understand why I was so upset because I had a healthy beautiful baby. That is what every mother wants and expects but I wanted a healthy baby and a good experience too! When I found out I was pregnant the second time I wanted to do things differently. A repeat c/section was out of the question. I even switched doctors when the first one I went to wasn’t supportive of a vaginal birth after cesarean (vbac). I recalled talking with a friend about her birth and that she had used hypnosis. I did an online search and found Hypnobabies and was immediately intrigued.  I knew that this was what I wanted. I loved the hypnosis scripts and did a good job with my practicing. I also read a lot of books on natural childbirth. I felt very confident and prepared to have this baby normally. I knew I would have to fight for what I wanted in the hospital because it would be a vbac, but I was up for the challenge.

During my 38 week OB appointment my doctor informed me that my baby had turned breech. My heart sunk. I broke down and cried right there in his office. I went home and tried all kinds of things to get my baby to turn during that week, but when I went back a week later he was still breech. I had felt so ready and prepared for this birth, and I wasn’t even going to be given the opportunity to do it my way. So with a heavy heart I went into the hospital and had yet another c/sec.

I knew that we still wanted more children and I couldn’t face preparing for another vbac to have my hopes dashed. I told myself that I would just schedule a repeat c/sec and try not to feel bad. But my heart ached. I wanted that beautiful natural birth experience. I was angry at the situation, and at my body. Women’s bodies are made to birth babies vaginally and I felt cheated! A year after Jason was born I started reading more birth books and was put on the path to become a doula. I learned that I could have the birth experience that I yearned for and I would do everything in my power for that to happen. When I became pregnant for the third time I was ecstatic but soon after was faced with the challenge of finding the right care provider. I wanted a midwife for the quality of care and in the event that this baby turned breech then I could still birth normally.

I spent hours searching out midwifes and then driving around all of Utah and Salt Lake County interviewing them to make sure we were on the same page. I interviewed twelve midwifes. In the end I chose a wonderful midwife and felt very confident in my choice. I loved her and her assistant. They spent so much time in my home getting to know me; they listened to my hopes and fears for birth and gave such wonderful support.  Then eight weeks before my due date my family and I moved 4 hours south of our home in Springville to St. George. Not only did I have the huge responsibility of packing up and moving our family but also finding a new midwife. Luckily I found two wonderful midwifes that work as a mother daughter team just one hour from my new home. They were very supportive of my wanting a vbac after 2 previous cesareans. They also had assisted in many breech births. So I felt confident in them, and they were confident in me. Sure enough, much like my last two pregnancies, when I went to my 35-week appointment my baby had turned breech. I spent the following weeks trying to get him to turn with exercises, chiropractic, hypnosis, energy work and more. I finally came to the conclusion that I had done everything in my power to get him to turn and it would be okay if he were born breech if that’s how he needed to be born. When I would listen to the Hypnobabies Turn Your Breech Baby Track, I was asked to visualize my baby being born in the vertex position, and I just couldn’t do it, it didn’t feel right.  I really felt like he was supposed to be in a breech position.  So I stopped worrying about it and just visualized my uterus having lots of room in it for my baby.

kelly colvins sister karenI went to my last midwife appointment at 38 weeks, a Monday. I was tired but excited that I only had a few more weeks left before I would meet my baby boy. I had been having Braxton Hicks for about three weeks and I was hoping that would make for a fast birth.  Tuesday was a very busy day and the Braxton hicks felt different. They were stronger and more consistent. I was feeling them 10-15 min apart. After dinner I finally had a chance to rest and they slowed down. Wednesday morning I woke up a little disappointed to still be pregnant, but also glad I was because I still needed to fold and put away the baby clothes. I spent an hour listening to my Hypnobabies Birthing Day Affirmations and putting my baby’s room in order. I was very relaxing and enjoyable. I was really hoping that tonight would be the night, but I wasn’t having any Braxton Hicks or pressure waves. I took the boys to swimming lessons and then my friend came over and took my oldest son to play for the day. I tried to take it easy, but by the time Mike came home for dinner I was exhausted and cranky. I went to bed at 8:00, and Mike went on a bike ride.

By 8:15 I had two huge pressure waves (contractions) and I knew that something was different. I called my sister Kelly, who was also my hypno-doula at 8:30 and told her that I thought it was the night and asked her to come over. I tried to relax and sleep. Mike got home the same time Kelly showed up and I told him we were going to have a baby. It was so laid back and comfortable. Kelly would time my PW (pressure waves) and Mike and Kelly would take turns pressing on my back. We all got to work putting my house in order; I really wanted it to be clean for the midwives and after the birth. My pressure waves were coming about every 7 minutes and by 9:30 they hadn’t slowed down so I called Vickie, my midwife. I showered while Kelly and Mike put clean sheets on my bed. We continued to just hang out, relax and laugh. I tried to sleep but couldn’t because my PW were getting stronger, and I think I was afraid I was going to miss out on something. I went into the living room to sit on my birth ball, and have Kelly press on my back. It wasn’t very long when Vickie and Camille arrived (my midwives). I remember feeling grateful when they walked in that I was in the middle of a PW, so they would know that it was for real. After they got everything set up they came and checked my vitals and the baby with the doppler. Everyone relaxed and we chatted while I did my thing.  My pressure waves were so easy that I was worried that I wasn’t really in my birthing time. Vickie wanted to check me around 1am. I was super nervous that I would only be 1 or 2cm dilated and I almost asked her not to tell me what number I was but I was curious. To my surprise I was 4 centimeters! I was so happy that I cried. Everyone was a little worried when I came out of my room with red eyes but I assured them that I was okay, that I was happy. I was a 4! Never in my life had I been dilated 4 centimeters.

Kelly made me a delicious chicken sandwich loaded with fresh veggies. It felt weird eating so much in the middle of the night, but I knew I needed it for energy later. We all just relaxed, talked and laughed. I spent a lot of time by the kitchen sink, I had just bought a padded mat and it felt so good to lean over the sink and have someone press on my back during a PW. At one point I was in the middle of a PW and my dad made a joke and I couldn’t help but laugh. (both my parents had come over) I was having so much fun. Vickie told him to stay and I would just laugh my baby out. After a while I decided to try to get some rest. I didn’t sleep but I rested in bed while listening to my Hypnobabies Deepening Track. Mike finished up some work on the computer while everyone slept. I was probably in my bed for an hour when things really started to pick up. I had Mike wake up Kelly so that she could read me Hypnobabies Birth Scripts and Prompts. I sat on the floor next to my bed while Mike massaged my head and my Mom and Kelly sat on the floor beside me. Camille and Vickie were in my room and checking on the baby and me but mostly they just took a step back and let me have my space. The lights in my room were low and we would talk between waves and Kelly would read me prompts. It was so easy and relaxing. My PW were starting to get stronger and I had my mom call my sister Katie to come over so that she could take pictures and video my birth.

My birthing time was so enjoyable. I loved feeling the light pressure of the waves and feeling my body relax when Kelly would read me scripts. I knew that my body was working just the way it was supposed to and that I would see Matthew soon.

After sitting on the floor for a while I started to get uncomfortable, not from the waves but from sitting on the floor. I decided to try the bathtub, and it was awesome. I was in the tub for hours, my body got so wrinkly but I didn’t care, I was so relaxed. We all just chatted and it was so much fun. We would be in the middle of a conversation and I wouldn’t want to stop for a PW so I would try to just relax on my own and keep listening and then the wave would peak and I would have to ask Kelly to read me another prompt and immediately my body would relax and it would be so easy. After the wave would end we would just continue our conversation where we left off.

When the sun started to come up I thought, “Wow, I’ve been up all night!” Vickie checked me again and I was 7 centimeters dilated. That was really exciting. I was progressing so well. I absolutely loved the way I was treated during my birthing time. I was surrounded by so many wonderful women that were all there for ME! I felt so loved.  So many times I would just start crying because I was doing it, I was finally accomplishing what I had wanted for so long.

After a long while I got out of the tub.  The water was getting cold and I needed a change of scenery. I sat on the birth ball for a while but found that it was more comfortable to stand and sway and then lean over the closest person during a wave. My boys woke up and knew that the baby was going to be here soon. It was nice to have them there but really distracting at the same time. They wanted Mike’s attention but I needed his attention too. So my Mom made us breakfast and then took them to her house and my dad was so great to play with them. Vicki checked me again and I was complete. I was so excited and thinking I would see my baby very soon. But I didn’t feel the urge to push. My midwives thought that he was still breech and posterior so we decided to try the rebozo while I listened to the Hypnobabies track “Turn Baby Turn.” I loved this, it was so relaxing having the movement of the rebozo and talking to Matthew asking him to turn to make his birth easier. I felt him rotate into an anterior position, but we all still thought he was breech. I tried a few pushes but still no urge so Vickie suggested I rest in bed for a while. Kelly stayed close and read me scripts while Mike pressed on my back.

I slept between waves, which was awesome. I rested for about an hour and then told Camille I was ready to start pushing. I was so tired at this point and ready to get things going. I tried pushing in bed on my side but that was really uncomfortable. I had wanted to have a pain free birth and so far I had, but now I was hurting and exhausted. I got out of bed and tried different pushing positions and that helped so much. I tried to stay upright to help him descend better. My bag of water was bobbing and not allowing Matthew to descend so Vickie broke my waters, to get some off the pressure off. The first few contractions a little water leaked out and then a huge gush! That was awesome. It felt like the hot water faucet had been turned, and it was coming out with that much pressure too. It would stop and then with another wave more and more water. I felt instant relief.  That’s when my pressure waves changed and became more productive. I continued pushing in a squatting position. My pressure waves had picked up so much that I every time I had a wave I would ask Camille to look at me. It helped so much to make eye contact with her. I will always remember Camille’s beautiful brown eyes. She was so patient and loving with me during such a trying time. Vickie and Camille sat on my bathroom floor in front of me and would press on my knees while I pushed on the toilet. Kelly was there reading scripts to me but at this point all I could concentrate on was pushing and Camille’s eyes. I just wanted to get into the bathtub. Someone started filling it up again. When the water turned off and the bathtub was full Camille said that I could get in after 5 more contractions. I wasn’t keeping track but after awhile it was finally time to get in the tub. The warm water immediately helped relax my muscles. I was feeling a lot of backpressure so I asked Mike to press on my back.  It helped tremendously; I even wanted him to keep it up between pushing. 

I could feel my baby move down my birth canal, and it was very intense.  I finally had gotten into the swing of things and I knew my baby would be here very soon, and then I could stop pushing. I kept thinking that I was feeling the “ring of fire” and any minute he would emerge and Camille would announce that my baby was here, but it kept on going. I was picturing his body coming down through me and I knew I had a lot of work to do. It hurt to push but I knew I couldn’t stop because he was almost here. I would compare how I was feeling to when you are working so hard with every ounce of your being to finish a really important task and it’s almost complete. You are more exhausted than you have ever been in your entire life but you just have to “push” through all the pain and exhaustion because you know the finish line is right up ahead. You just have to keep going, even though you want to stop, you can’t because you’ve worked too hard for this moment. So yes pushing hurt, but not so much that I even considered quitting. I had worked so hard for this moment, SO much prayer, research, time and tears to have my baby the way I wanted him to be born there was no way I was going to quit. I was doing it. I pushed with every bit of strength I had and Camille would reward my efforts with praise that really helped keep me going.

When Camille said that she could see hair and that my baby wasn’t breech, it took me a few minutes to register or even care what that meant. (Looking back I think he must have turned head down when I did the rebozo and listened to the Hypnobabies Turn Baby Turn track.) First that Matthew was coming headfirst and second if she could see hair then I was almost done! I continued pushing on my hands and knees for a while when all of a sudden I wanted to sit back in the tub. The room was full of excitement and I wanted a better view.  All I could see was a head full of dark hair. I don’t remember hurting anymore, I was so motivated to meet by baby, I only pushed one more time and his head was all the way out, and then a little more to get his body out. Camille handed him directly to me. I cried. It was amazing, Matthew was here and we had done it together! 

Matthew’s birth was so empowering. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done physically and emotionally. The past 9 months have been very emotional and life changing. My journey to Matthew’s birth has been long, hard and very lonely at times. Since Matthew’s birth Mike has expressed many times how great it was not to have surgery, and that I am home recovering so quickly. It has been easier for us to bond with the new baby as a family since I didn’t have a long hospital stay. Mike is amazed at what my body was able to do. He understands more of why it was so important for me to birth at home.  A few days before Matt was born Mike and I were discussing the birth and some of his fears. He told me that my first OB had told him that because I had a heart shaped uterus that I would always have to have c-sections. It was pretty cute the way he announced very shortly after Matthew was born, “Don’t ever tell my wife that she can’t do something, because she WILL DO IT!”

I am so glad that I found Hypnobabies. I loved the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations. I feel that they helped me to be more confident during pregnancy and during my birth. The Hypnobabies program is fantastic! I love telling people that I loved my birthing time, and I really did. I was actually sad when it was all over. I highly recommend taking the Hypnobabies course. The live class is so great because you can ask questions and get to know other couples who are making similar choices for birth, much like a support group. I also encourage a hypo-doula. Kelly was such an asset to my birth team. She allowed Mike to take much-needed breaks and support me on a level that only a woman can. Even when she was just sitting next to me holding my hand I felt her strength.

I am so happy with this birth experience. It was better than I imagined. And even though my first two births were not ideal I wouldn’t trade them because I have learned so much. I would have never sought out anything different. I would not have become a doula or sought out the care of a midwife or had a homebirth. I believe that birth challenges us and changes us. And we can do hard things!
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Posted by on in VBAC Birth
The Birth of Jane, by Kelly C.

Kelly Colvin
I didn't choose to educate myself about pregnancy and birth when I was pregnant with my first two children and I had very challenging births as a result.  My first son was born via cesarean.  My second son was a VBAC in the hospital with an epidural.  My second son, Sam's birth was particularly difficult and led me to a different path when I became pregnant with my third son.  I knew I wanted to do things differently, so with baby number three, I hired a midwife, took the Hypnobabies course and gave birth at a free standing birth suite.  My perspective on birth completely changed after he was born.  I experienced how birth is meant to be--gentle, kind, and peaceful.  It transformed me in such a powerful way.

This is the story of Jane's birth; my forth child, third VBAC, second Hypno-baby, and first home birth.

The night before my sweet baby Jane was born, my husband Jake and I stayed up late watching TV.  I was having pressure waves when I went to bed and even woke up during the night with more pressure waves, but then I would fall back asleep.  This was typical of the past 3 weeks, so I tried not to get my hopes up about this being my actual birthing time.  But, around 5:30 a.m. they were starting to regulate and at 7:00 a.m. they were about 7-10 minutes apart and over a minute long. I decided I should maybe call Cyndi, my midwife.  I also sent my doula a text.  She told me earlier in the week that she was going to be out of town.  I asked her if she had left town yet.  She had already left, but I wasn't worried; everything happens for a reason and I knew I was in good hands.  I sent my mom and sister a text telling them that it was finally time!  My midwife arrived around 8:30 and my mom and sister shortly after. 

It also just so happened to be my 6 year old, Sam's birthday.  I asked him, before everyone arrived, if it was okay if his little sister was born on his birthday.  He thought about it for a minute and then said, "Yeah."  I was glad he was okay with it--because I don't think he really had a choice! My mom got to work making Sam his birthday breakfast and Cyndi got set up and timed my pressure waves, did counter pressure and rubbed my back.  She told me that my waves were much closer than 10 minutes apart and more like 3 minutes apart--I was surprised, but was glad that things were progressing  and that I was enjoying my birthing time.  I really was too.  I had a massage appointment scheduled for that afternoon and I remember thinking, “Would I rather be getting a massage right now or be doing this?”  And I thought—“Giving birth for sure!”  I guess I really do love birth!  Cyndi's assistant, April came about an hour later and she took over doing counter pressure and rubbing my back.  The mood was still pretty light and we would talk a little bit in between pressure waves and Jake would come in and make jokes and sit near me.  The house was unusually quiet that day, especially with 3 little boys at home--I think they must have sensed the special event that was in progress.

I spent most of my birthing time rocking on the birth ball on my hands and knees.  As Jane dropped deeper into my pelvis, I had to empty my bladder more often.  After a pressure wave ended, I would get up and hurry to the bathroom and then before I would make it back to the birth ball I would have another pressure wave--they were that close together!  So I would drop to my hands and knees--it just felt so much better to be in that position.   I had my Hypnobabies Easy First Stage playing out loud on my phone right next to me during my whole birthing time--it was a huge comfort and I felt so much more relaxed when I could hear it.  At around 11:00 a.m. I decided to get into the bath tub.  I floated on my belly and worked with the pressure waves.  April showed Jake how to massage my back and it felt so good! 

The pressure waves were getting stronger and I could feel her moving down my birth canal.  Cyndi, my midwife, would say just the right words at just the right time.  I hadn't really discussed any of Hypnobabies cue words with her because I had planned on having a doula, but she picked up on them and would say, "Release."  That really helped so much to keep me relaxed and focused.  Sometimes as I could feel a wave approaching, I would say, "Talk to me Cyndi."  Her voice and words really helped.

At one point April asked me if I felt like pushing.  I told her "No, not yet."  But sure enough, with the next pressure wave I started to feel pushy and I told her so--it's pretty amazing how a good birth team can become so in tune with a birthing woman.  After a couple of pushing pressure waves my water broke.  Wow, what a cool thing to feel under water!  Soon after I remembered to change my Hypnobabies track to Pushing Baby Out. Looking back I am so surprised how clear headed I was.  Once this track started playing it really helped me to relax and stay focused even more through the pressure waves.

I could feel my baby moving down even more with each wave.  I could feel how close she was and it made me emotional, knowing how long we had waited for this day and now she was almost here!  Soon I could feel her crowning--I reached down and could feel her head.  When the pressure wave ended, she would slip back up--in a two step forward, one step back fashion.   Cyndi's words were so encouraging.  She said things like, "Perfect pushing."   "Good job, just like that."  "You're doing it just right." 

After a while I turned from floating on my belling to sitting reclined against the back of the tub.  After a few more pressure waves in this position her head slipped out.   A moment later her body slipped out--I don't even remember pushing, it just happened.  Then I gently pulled her up to my chest.  It all seemed to happen so quickly and it took me a little while to process it all.  I looked down at her, all snuggled against my chest--so perfect!  I told my sister to go get my kids so they could meet the new baby.  They were there almost instantly.  They all came in so quietly-- they somehow just knew how to reverence the blessedness of her arrival.  It was so sweet and wonderful to have them all there.  They have all responded so well to the new baby and I know it is from having them present immediately after her birth.  Just minutes after her birth, Jake said, "That was so easy!"  Everyone laughed and Jackson my oldest, said, "Dad, you didn't have to do it!"  But, he was right--it just seemed so simple and natural to be at home, surrounded by those that I love.  It didn't feel like a big, dramatic affair--it did just seem easy.   

Jane's birth was so beautiful.  It was better than I had ever hoped or imagined.  She was born on her brother Sam's birthday.  It was such a tender mercy that she decided to come on that day because his birth was so challenging.  The difficulties of that day, 6 years ago, is what propelled me to seek for something better and so I am now grateful for that experience.  Jane and Sam's birthdays will hold an entire new meaning for me.  Birth is a great teacher and all of my children’s births have taught me much about myself and helped me to grow as a woman and a mother.  I love that the Hypnobabies program helped me discover the joy of birth.



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Here is another wonderful Hypnobabies VBAC birth story! Our Hypno-Mom chose supportive birth care providers, used Hypnobabies and trusted her body, mind and baby to journey through her birth experience with confidence. How did she do it?

Violets vbac birth story

"Previous birth was a planned c-section because of a breech baby.
At 39 weeks of pregnancy, pressure waves arrived in the middle of the night about 10 minutes apart.  I thought “this is it” but after I got up and ate, they stopped.  I went to my 39 week exam a few hours later.  
I was still dilated to “almost” 2 cm and effaced 50%...no change from my 36 week exam.  At this point, I started mentally preparing...thinking it could be any day!  I continued go to work a few days but tried to work from home most of the time.  Thank goodness for my flexible job.   I listened daily to my hypnosis scripts and joyful pregnancy affirmations.  I wrote down some of my favorite affirmations to bring to the hospital on a little card.  "I will birth my baby peacefully, naturally, joyfully".  "My job is to simply relax and allow my baby's birth to happen".  "The thought of birthing my baby makes me feel powerful".  "I focus on all going right during my easy birthing time"....
Read her full birth story here
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My name is Veronica. I have 4 children. Each have come to me in a different way. We are blessed to have experienced adoption, a birth center water birth turned c-section, a hospital Hypnobabies VBAC, and a beautiful home water birth Hypnobabies VBAC. My youngest daughter was born at home in what I have said is our perfect birth. This is our story. … 

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Our cleaning lady didn’t show on Thursday – not sure why.  So, my house was a bit of a mess.  I was feeling kind of crampy and tired on Friday, so I stayed home from work.  Nesting kicked in full force – I cleaned the kitchen.  Including the revolving spice rack and the cabinet doors.

Later that evening, pressure waves started and were 10-12 minutes apart.  They weren’t coming any closer together, so I went to bed and tried to get some sleep, which didn’t really happen.

At 7am on Saturday, I got up.  Timed pressure waves again and they were 5-7 minutes apart.  I ate breakfast, made Morgan some french toast and called my doula.  Brian called his mom to come take Morgan.  I was initially feeling like the Hypnobabies program wasn’t working, until I talked to Jean (my doula) and she remarked how calm I sounded. 

She showed up about an hour after I called her (9:30am or so).  We labored at home until waves were 2-3 minutes apart – 11:30am.  They never increased in intensity – I felt them as pressure/tightening sensations. … 

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I used hypnosis while having Bryson. He was my 3rd baby and 2nd VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I wanted a natural childbirth, but was nervous about the pain. I used Hypnobabies www.hypnobabies.com and had a completely un-medicated AND comfortable birth. It was so empowering.

Originally posted on February 11, 2008

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I wrote this for broad consumption so I used colloquial terms, not Hypnobabies terms. I plan on sharing this story  far and wide as I advocate for the safety and beauty of natural VBAC deliveries.

This is a very long story, not because a lot happened, but because I experienced a lot while it was happening.

I want to note that I do not mention God in the course of this telling, not because He was absent from the event, but because His presence permeated the event. Conception is a prayer. Birth is a prayer. The closeness of my relationship with my husband is a prayer. I tend to pray physically and emotionally rather than verbally, so when I speak of calming, of embracing the power within myself, it is all rooted in my connection with God. I believe that God was and is present in all, and so I chose not to be redundant in the telling of this story.

First, I have outlined some of the events that took place before labor started:

Starting after week 20 when I’ve had an ultrasound to confirm a happy, healthy resident within my womb, I begin the Hypnobabies Home Study course. I am a firm believer in the power of a positive attitude, and that our state of mind has more to do with our physical well-being than we tend to give it credit for.  While practicing the Hypnobabies course, almost without fail I slip into deep hypnosis and experience what is termed “hypnotic amnesia.” This means that I remember starting the session, going into the relaxed state, then can’t remember much else until …

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Q) “I am trying to decide whether to attempt a VBAC or schedule a repeat c-section. Is the Hypnobabies course worth my time and money if I end up opting for a c-section?”

A) From our experts; our Hypno-Moms:

Melissa B: I did the homestudy course (no classes in my area), and had a VBAC. I was dead set against a repeat c-section unless I had an emergency. Yes, it was very helpful. I would do it again, and will if I have another baby.

Jennifer B: I did the home study course, too. I think Hypnobabies is useful for ANY aspect and approach for childbirth (and everything leading up to it and following!). I have continued to use my “peace” cue regularly.

Erica L: I have never had a c section. But I have found Hypnobabies to be extremely useful even in non birthing areas. Just relaxing and feeling like I do the task at hand. I am terrified of c sections, so …

Tagged in: VBAC
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Lyla was born on April 16th 4:13am weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and was 20 inches long! I would definitely call this a Hypnobabies success story!

A lot of people have been curious about Lyla's birth story especially since I used hypnosis to have a completely natural birth. I hope that in sharing, this will encourage more women to trust in their body's ability to give birth naturally and not be so quick to accept interventions that are unnecessary (and which lead to more interventions and c-sections). Also, I wanted to add to all the other positive stories out there of successful VBACs- and for everyone to know that a VBAC after 2 c-sections is not only possible but can be such a great experience! Those who know me know I tend to be wordy, so yes, this is long and detailed. Also it is a birth story- so expect it to be just that! …
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Here is a link to a local new story about two amazing doctors in our little state! I just delivered my 2nd VBAC baby with them on the 24th. They have extremely low cesarean rates, and high VBAC rates. Also, when a cesarean is truly necessary, it is now the birthing culture at this hospital for moms to have immediate skin-to-skin contact with minimal separation, birth visualization through maternal propping, a calm environment with no extraneous noise or unrelated conversation by the medical staff, delayed cord clamping, presence of multiple support staff for mom and her birth partner, and breastfeeding in the operating room, if the mom desires! AND...these docs support Natural low/no intervention birth. They've supported several of my Hypnomoms!

Here's a link to the story.

http://www2.turnto10.com/lifestyles/2012/mar/07/health-check-gentle-cesarean-ar-957137/

It also aired yesterday in Boston, Louisville, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Miami and San Francisco. I hope you'll share it with any moms who may be facing a necessary cesarean and all care providers! If moms know it's a possibility, they'll start asking for it. Wouldn't it be wonderful for mom's who NEED a cesarean, that this would just be the standard of care in the OR... "the norm"? I wish this was an option for my first daughter, I think it would have made my experience and postpartum period so very very different!

Amanda Santo, Hypnobabies instructor in Warwick, Rhode Island
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Brief background: 1st c-section for twin boys - scheduled due to baby positioning; 2nd c-section for youngest boy - scheduled due to my own misunderstanding of VBAC risks; successful VBA2C at 41 weeks, 1 day on 9/20/11 using the Hypnobabies home-study course for Persephone Maria … 

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Our third son and first hypno-baby was born on November 17.  I've been wanting to share our birth story with the group ever since, but I had no idea how long it would take me to finish writing it now that we have a newborn, a two-year-old, and a not-quite-four-year-old!  Anyway, I finally finished it...only two months later!  I remember our Hypnobabies instructor joking that hypno-birthing videos weren't very exciting to watch, and when I go back and read my story it really doesn't make for very interesting reading...the birth was so easy and uneventful.  :) So here goes.  … 

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I was told 19 years ago that I could never have a vaginal birth. This was told to me when I was pregnant with my first child by my doctor. Everyone told me I was just too little and I was just not made to birth a baby. She was a c-section and I had 3 more c-sections after that. Laboring with all of them. One, failure to wait. Two, frank breech. Three, breech. Four, because I didn't know any different. I knew in my heart I could be normal. I believed this. I just needed someone to believe in me.

I was pregnant with my fifth child. There was only one physician said he would let me try. That's all I needed to hear. I even scared the midwives and they wouldn't take me. I finally was going to have a vaginal birth. Well, shortly after that I was devastated to find out I had suffered a miscarriage.

After I got the o.k. we tried again. After trying for one month we were pregnant. I did every thing I could to stay and keep healthy. I took my vitamins, ate healthy, walked 3-5 miles a day and started to see my chiropractor. I also started with Hypnobabies at 13 weeks. (I listened while sleeping at night & used the VBAC cd) Nothing and no one was going to stop me. Thanks to Hypnobabies and my big 'bubble of peace' I fought everyone off including my husband.

Here's my story: … 

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My 40 week visit with my midwife was on Thursday 9-24, at 40 weeks 4 days. We were doing bloodwork and a 24 hour protein as I had had continued high BP since 32 weeks and we wanted to rule out pre-eclampsia. I had my midwife check me and asked her to do a membrane sweep if she could. It's not something I normally would have asked for but with my BP so high and the potential to risk out if I was indeed pre-eclamptic and our home induction methods failed, I felt it was worth it. Initially I was found to be 1.5 CM and 90% effaced. When she went to do a stretch and sweep, a small thin band of cervix let loose and I was suddenly 4CM. She said she thought it would stay at 4CM since it stretched on it's own. She also moved my cervix over so it was completely midline and not slightly off to the side as it had been. This wasn't a fun feeling, let me just say.

Later that night, I was crampy and was getting brown mucus on the TP but thought nothing of it because I'd had a pretty good exam and figured it was all from that. I got brown on the TP all night and most of the morning. I was feeling a lot of braxton hicks with no real timing to them so I thought nothing of it... Another day, another chiro visit, etc.

That morning, I piled the kids into the van and went to the chiropractor. She assured me my pelvis and hips had spread nicely and everything was even. I asked her to work on the acupressure points for me again (she had done so Monday and Wednesday) as I'd had contractions after she did it Monday and I was willing to take all the help I could get. I left the chiropractor at 11am, the whole time having what I thought were braxton hicks (I'd been having them all morning). I stopped by Popeyes for lunch and noticed while sitting in the drive thru line that the braxton hicks were timeable... Every 5 min, lasting nearly a min! I didn't want to get too excited because they didn't feel 'real'. They really felt like BH!! … 

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My baby girl was born March 5 at 11:26pm in a natural, drug-free VBAC!

After dropping my son off at Montessori on Wednesday, I went walking at the mall with another Montessori mom. Just as we were finishing, I got a message that Ian was sick so I went to pick him up early. He had a gastrointestinal thing happening and slept most of the afternoon.

I went to the chiropractor for my final planned adjustment at 3:00pm and then I started feeling badly, like I was getting what my son had. All through the night, I had a kind of crampy feeling and had to go to the bathroom a lot,--every hour. The next day, my son was better, but I just wanted to lay around. I still had some crampy gastrointestinal feelings and they got worse over the day.

 My husband decided to come to Erie, PA from DC that night instead of Friday night as planned since I wasn't feeling well and thought something might be happening. He left DC at 4pm for the 7 hour drive to Erie. But, by about 5:45pm, I told my mom that I thought something was happening. She told me to time the "happenings" and they were three minutes apart. We decided to jump in the car and head to Pittsburgh (2 hours away). Unfortunately, my husband did not have a cell phone with him so we couldn't contact him.

I laid in the back of the van on the floor and listened to my Hypnobabies. I called my doula and midwife, but my midwife didn't call back. I called again and the nurses answered because he had left his phone at the hospital, but they said he was on his way to the hospital to pick up his phone. I told them to tell him I was coming.

We arrived at the hospital at 8:45pm or so. I was put in a triage room and checked a little after 9pm and was 8cm dialated! … 

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I wrote this for broad consumption so I used colloquial terms, not Hypnobabies terms. I plan on sharing this story  far and wide as I advocate for the safety and beauty of natural VBAC deliveries.

This is a very long story, not because a lot happened, but because I experienced a lot while it was happening.

I want to note that I do not mention God in the course of this telling, not because He was absent from the event, but because His presence permeated the event. Conception is a prayer. Birth is a prayer. The closeness of my relationship with my husband is a prayer. I tend to pray physically and emotionally rather than verbally, so when I speak of calming, of embracing the power within myself, it is all rooted in my connection with God. I believe that God was and is present in all, and so I chose not to be redundant in the telling of this story.

First, I have outlined some of the events that took place before labor started: … 

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With my first child, I planned to have an out-of-hospital birth at a birth center. At 41w 5d, the midwives decided that my blood pressure was too high (160s/90s) to be out of hospital and referred me to a practice of midwives in a hospital for an induction that night.  Cervadil was followed by magnesium sulfate (given to prevent siezures if I developed eclampsia - but also used to stop preterm labor) and then pitocin.  Though I was treated well by the midwives and nurses, I ended up with virtually every intervention, including a c-section 36 hours after they started the cervadil after being stalled at 7 cm for 6 hours.  My baby was healthy, though suctioned a lot and I didn't hold him during that "magic" first hour as I was waiting to regain enough feeling in my breasts to feed him.  He was 8lbs 4oz with a 95th percentile head that showed signs that he was asynclitic and posterior.

My second was a planned VBAC. I needed a change, and ended up with new everything - new doula, new hospital, new midwives.  There was a lot of monitoring of my blood pressure and after one very high reading (which I lowered with the help of hypnosis) I ended up having 3 biophyiscal profiles.  Going to my appointments was no longer fun as was always worried that they'd find some reason to tell me that I needed to go in for a repeat c-section.  But this baby came on his own, either 2 days after his due date or on his due date, starting with my water breaking.  My response was to go downstairs to bake a birthday cake for the baby, and then sleep for a few hours.  After about 5 hours, we arrived at the hospital to find I was 5 cm - so exciting since I was only …

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I started having some PWs around 9 last night. Nothing too intense, so I thought they were just more Braxton Hicks. I was tired and decided to lay in bed and watch TV at around 10. PWs were still coming, but they weren't that strong. At about 10:40, I felt a pop. I knew it was different than anything I had felt before. I laid there for a couple more minutes and stood up. Water just poured out. Called for my husband and he was able to come in and get a towel underneath me. He started to get a little frantic as I stood there laughing, pouring water out. We called my parents b/c they were coming to stay with Will since he was sleeping. The midwife had told me on Thursday that as long as I was at the hospital within a couple of hours, it should be fine (I had tested positive for Strep B and needed antibiotics administered during labor). My parents left right away and live an hour from our place.

As soon as my water broke, the PWs became stronger and more intense. I bounced around on my birthing ball, put my scripts on my IPod and got into hypnosis. I felt really good then. Lots of pressure, but no pain at all.  … 
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