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Archive for March, 2008

I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and preterm labor at 31 weeks and was told that I would likely be having my baby within 1-2 weeks at that time. My blood pressure was elevated at my appt. with my midwife, my uric acid was a little high and I had some protein in my urine. I had to transfer from the free standing birthing center with our midwife to an OB/GYN-Dr. Hall and a hospital birth. We were disappointed but wanted what was best for our baby and I so we decided we needed to make the best of the situation. We had appointments with Dr. Hall twice a week to check my blood pressure, labs and monitor our baby on the external monitor. We were very fortunate to have a wonderful Dr. that we both liked and trusted.

My blood pressure was never elevated except for that one time at my appt. with our midwife and my labs stayed pretty close to where they were in the beginning so my preeclampsia never really progressed. Dr. Hall actually sat us down and asked us what we were doing so he could tell his other patients who were diagnosed with preeclampsia. I told him it was my herbal program and the power of the mind (Hypnobabies). The perinatologist-Dr. Grey, had recommended trying to keep me pregnant as long as possible and if I made it to 37 weeks to induce me in order to prevent me from getting any sicker (allowing the preeclampsia to progress) because the worse it gets the harder it is on the baby and me. They said moms with preeclampsia generally don’t tolerate labor very well.

Anyway…I made it to 37 weeks and got induced at 37 weeks and 2 days. I was taking Evening Primrose Oil orally and vaginally for a week before the scheduled induction and had my friend come over and give me some light acupunture the day we went to the hospital in hopes of going into labor on my own. We went to the hospital on Sunday night, Feb. 10 and they gave me 3 doses of prostin (vaginal suppository to help ripen/soften the cervix) and I was 60% effaced in the morning. On Monday morning at 9 am they started the Pitocin and I was having pressure waves by 11 am. They were having a difficult time with the external monitor for my contractions and had to keep repositioning it. They had to turn the Pitocin way down  because I was having pressure waves every couple minutes.

They were not very strong…just felt like menstrual cramps-I used the Hypnobabies tools a few times but didn’t really need them yet. At 5pm I was 1.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. At 10pm I was still 1.5 cm and 90% effaced. When the nurse checked me my water broke. She wanted to put in an internal monitor to monitor my pressure waves since they were not getting a good reading and my water was broke. I agreed since they were going to continue to monitor the baby externally. She turned the Pitocin off, inserted the internal monitor and she wasn’t getting a good baseline reading and had some blood return in the tubing. She ended up replacing it and the same thing  happened. I started bleeding and they were not sure what was going on. They called Dr. Hall in and he wasn’t sure why I was bleeding either. They were questioning placental abruption but I wasn’t showing the clinical signs of that. At 11pm he took the internal monitor out and checked me and I had another bag of water…he broke it with the hook and said to leave the pitocin off and the internal monitor out and to let’s see what happens.

My husband and I (although we didn’t say it to each other at the time) were very worried that I was going to end up with a c section because of the bleeding and not knowing what was causing it. It was pretty scary. I stopped bleeding after Dr. Hall broke my water. I went to the bathroom and my husband told the nurse that we were going to be doing some Hypnobabies scripts so she didn’t really come back in and bother us. They came up to draw my blood to check my clotting factors and blood levels. I was having frequent pressure waves and they were much more intense than they had been.

We put on the early first stage and I laid on my side and used my Hypnobabies tools (we listened to it 1.5 times). My pressure waves were pretty much back to back-I don’t think I was even getting 30 sec. in between. My husband didn’t even know how frequent my pressure waves were because he could only tell when I was having more intense ones because my breathing was heavier. He was wonderful and used the shoulder/relax cue on my intense pressure waves along with massaging my back. The nurse hadn’t come in since 11 pm and it was a little after 1 am and she came in and I was having an overpowering urge to push. I told her I had to push and she was slow to check me and I was 9.5 cm with a little lip. She sent someone to get Dr. Hall and he got there a few minutes later and checked me and I was 10 cm.

They were scrambling to get everything ready for me to push. They broke down the bed and had me put my feet in stirups and I was Ahhh pushing and the nurse was encouraging me to purple push. I pushed 3 times 2 Ahhh’s and one purple push and Taylor was born at 1:18 am! We didn’t even have time to put the Pushing stage script on. I went from 1.5 cm to 10 in 2 hrs. My husband got to cut the cord and they put Taylor on my chest. It was so amazing! I couldn’t believe how fast it was and I know I couldn’t have done it without Hypnobabies!!
 

It was very intense but I was able to stay completely relaxed and focused with the Hypnobabies techniques and my husband helped to keep me in hypnosis with the shoulder/relax cue. It was awesome!! The PA student, Dr. Hall and the nurse were all very impressed. Dr. Hall was telling me how proud of me he was and the PA student said “that was so amazing!” I don’t think they even knew I was close to having a baby as my pressure waves were not showing up on the monitor and the nurse hadn’t been in since everything started. I was actually kind of glad that she hadn’t been in as it allowed me to stay relaxed and focused without having to deal with any distractions. I  didn’t tear at all, wasn’t even that sore and feel great.

Taylor was 6lb 14 oz and 19.5 inches. He is adorable and breastfeeding well. We were soooo happy that the pitocin was turned off and my body took over and I was able to have our baby naturally and we are both healthy and happy! Thank you Hypnobabies!!

Heather

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I just read this wonderful book review of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth. 

Then I read the reviewer, Molly’s other insights about the book.  She says, ” In the opening chapter, they identify a concept that I have *felt* for some time, but hadn’t really put a finger on. The authors refer to it as a “climate of confidence” and a “climate of doubt.” I love this way of articulating the messages swirling around pregnant women in our society.”

I think this is wonderful observation as well.  I also think it is one of the great things about Hypnobabies, it helps mothers develop that climate of confidence within themselves.  In the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group they are surrounded by other women who have that same positive attitude.  This has helped encourage mothers to make more empowered choices during their births.  They refuse to buy into the climate of doubt that is so pervasive in the birthing world right now. 

Thanks for the great review and insights Molly!

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 I just wanted to say what an awesome program Hypnobabies is – and encourage anyone trying it for the first time.  I haven’t posted on the group really, though I enjoy reading.  So I thought I could share my Hypnobabies journey and maybe help others like you’ve all helped me.

My first, ds, was a typical hospital birth.  We took a generic relax and breath type course which did very little to help me during birth.  Then a 3 1/2 week early leaking of amniotic fluid sent the doctors into a tizzy.  They tried to give me pitocin at the hospital but the rest of my water came out and my birthing waves were suddenly regular and steady.  I convinced them to give me an hour to see how I progressed.  I went from a 1 to a 4 cm dilation when the nurse came in saying “The Doctor” (a resident I never met) said I needed Pitocin.  They bullied me into it, hooked up the IV over my protests, and the next 3 hours were horrible with intense surges that would overlap and continue without any release.  The birth went way too fast and I tore severely.  I vowed to not be intimidated by a doctor again, and to find some other way to give birth because there had to be a better way.

With dd, I found Marie Mongan’s book and tape and practiced with them.  I found the techniques helped, and the first parts of birthing were immensely better than the first time around.  But everything sort of “went out the window” when transition hit and I lost control.  I was the typical screaming mom you see in the shows.

I decided I was on the right track, but I needed something more specific and directed.  The one Mongan script was too generic for me with vague relaxation cues and different colors of mist.  I needed something for my mind to focus on – specific details of what I was supposed to be concentrating on during birthing waves.

I searched further and finally found Hypnobabies.  I joined this group with all the moms looking for the same thing I was, and found a bunch of script documents.  I read those and knew this was exactly what I was looking for.  I had my husband read them onto the computer.  I listened to them and practiced the last few months of pregnancy.

Finally, I had the perfect birth.  My husband prompted me through each wave with specific directions that I could really focus on. This kept my mind from being able to let in any sensations of pain or panic.  For me, it required much the same intense focus and concentration that a tough test in school would.  But, if I could keep everything relaxed and positive, it would work.  And it did.  No drugs and no pain (other than a bit of the ‘ring of fire’ at the end), and I had a beautiful boy nursing happily minutes after birth.

Then I went into birth #4 cocky and sure of how easy everything would be.  I didn’t practice as much and he was 2 weeks early.  Just to show that every birth is different – there were a few factors that made things more challenging.  This boy was 10lbs 3oz, and facing up so his head was pushing back against my spine.  But, I think the most difficult factor was that I was COLD!  (This is why I’m looking for a doula for this birth)  It goes to show how important a mother’s comfort and peace affects her ability to relax.  I was shivering through the whole birth, and no matter how they turned up the “individual  room” thermostat, the room remained artic at 3 am during a Michigan October.  I’m sure, now, a doula would have figured out that behind the closed and secured blinds a window was gaping open from earlier that day.  The cold hampered my ability to relax which I feel slowed the baby’s descent and caused me pain.  In fact, I could feel that many of the birthing waves weren’t `working’.  It felt much like the baby was being pushed against a brick wall and wasn’t moving.  My body was working against itself.

In the end, my son also got stuck with a `severe shoulder distocia’, but thankfully, my midwife flipped me over to my hands and knees before trying more drastic measures and he was born almost immediately afterwards.  Despite my difficulties, I still gave birth with no drugs and I’m sure much, much less pain and difficulty than if I hadn’t used hypnosis.  After all, birthing a 10 lb baby, sunny side up, still only took 5 ½ hours.  I can’t imagine what the birth would have been like without Hypnobabies.  It would most likely have resulted in a stalled labor and/or C-section.

Now, I’ve finally got the official Hypnobabies Home Study set, and am on Week 2 right now.  I love how much more positive I feel about the end of my pregnancy.  I should have started the course – or at least the affirmations – months ago.  It’s easy to get in the tired doldrums of how difficult it is to be pregnant and how you can’t wait for it all to be over, especially with everyone around you reinforcing that. Practicing Hypnobabies every day, I find myself smiling about being pregnant and enjoying the beauty of it all.  Things like back pain, heartburn, tiredness, etc., seem a lot less significant when compared to the beauty of a child growing inside me and the excitement about the awesome birthing day I have coming soon.

In my opinion, every pregnant woman should use the Hypnobabies course no matter whether she is planning on an epidural, C-section, etc.  It is such a refreshing change from the typical negative mindset about pregnancy and birthing.  In fact, hypnomoms are the ones with that “pregnancy glow” you hear about but hardly ever see.  Growing and birthing a child should be a celebration and Hypnobabies helps make it happen.

I only wish I could convince more of my pregnant friends and family to give it a try.  Now when I hear all of the horror stories, I keep thinking – the affirmations would help this, the fear release would help this, the finger drop would help this, etc.  :-)

Thank you Kerry.

Submitted by Misty M.D., currently staying home with her 4, soon to be 5, children

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Let me start by saying thank you to this group. I feel like I learned so much from you. I read the posts faithfully right up until my daughter’s birth. I didn’t post at all, but still feel like I ‘know’ most of you.

I also have to admit that I was a horrible student. I rarely practiced my finger drop technique and I hated being ‘off’ ever. I intentionally only ever listened to the CD’s in my sleep after the first time. I was not comfortable in off, so I would program my iPod to play the pregnancy affirmations and then whatever script I was supposed to listen to. Then I would fall asleep during the affirmations and stay asleep through the script. Well guess what. It totally worked. I had such a peaceful, easy birthing time. I am so grateful to hypnobabies for making me believe this was possible. :)

I am not sure when her birthing time actually began. I had been having contractions for about two months, lol. But seriously, over the past few weeks, almost every night I would have some pressure waves. I think that over time I just began to anticipate them and know that they were not the real thing.

Friday night was no different; I had regular pressure waves all night long, probably about 10 minutes apart. Of course in the morning, they went away. We went about our day as usual. They started again during the boys’ nap on Saturday, maybe around 2 pm (we have two sons, both age 2 – Antonio & Ignacio). They were also about 9-10 minutes apart. Then after the boys woke up (3 ish), I still had some pressure waves, but I thought they would eventually dwindle as they had always done.

They continued, but I was not convinced that this was it. I thought – maybe we will have our daughter by tomorrow night, how exciting! But at the same time, I didn’t let myself think that too much because I had the feeling the pressure waves would go away like they always had. I told Carlos (my husband) that I wanted to go to the Vigil Mass – just in case we would be in early birthing time tomorrow morning.

So I bathed the boys & got them ready for Mass. I meant to time the pressure waves before Mass, but things got busy with bath time and we I also wanted to stop at the store on the way to Mass because we were out of a few essentials at home.

We attended the 5 pm Vigil Mass at our Parish. I definitely felt pressure waves during Mass, but I wasn’t able to time them during Mass obviously. We left Mass around 6:15 and got home around 6:30. I told Carlos that I felt that we should give our Midwife the heads up that we may be calling her much later that night or early tomorrow morning. She had asked that we give her ample time, even before we wanted her there. So I prepared dinner for the boys and started feeding them while Carlos called the MW. He told her that we thought the pressure waves were about 6-7 minutes apart, but that things were slow going and that we would not need her any time soon.

Within minutes of Carlos hanging up the phone with the MW, I started feeling the pressure waves more frequently. So I timed a few of them and found that they were about 2-3 minutes apart. I thought that was good, but let’s just see if they stay this way or if they go back to being less frequent.

So I decided that I would time some again after we put the boys down to bed (bedtime is 7, we were a little late – so this was about 7:15). During their bedtime routine, I felt the pressure waves get more intense. I am not sure if this was because Ignacio was nursing the whole time or not. But as soon as we closed the door to their bedroom, I told Carlos – please fill up the tub & call the MW. So he started with that. He called the MW by 7:30 ish & asked her to come. I spoke with her on the phone & told her that I was not sure if this was it, but that I felt like she should come just in case. We told her to take her time.

We also called Jackie, who was our designated person to watch the boys during the birth. Since they were in bed already, we told her to take her time coming over & to bring a book to read.

Jackie & the MW both arrived around 8:15. The MW started setting up her things and asked if she could check me around 8:30. I was 100% and an 8! I was so worried that I would not be dilated at all or just a 2 or something. The MW later told me that she thought I was going to be about a 3 or a 4 based on how COMFORTABLE I was. Note that my MW is a HypnoBirthing instructor & she thought that I looked very comfortable!

I asked her if that was good enough to get into the pool. She said that I could but that if things slowed down, I would have to get out. So I changed into my bathing suit, waited a few more minutes for some hot water to be added & got into the pool around 8:45.

I was chatting with Carlos, Jackie, and the MW in between pressure waves. When I felt a wave, I just put my head down on the side of the pool and closed my eyes & relaxed. Eventually the birth assistant arrived & the MW went upstairs to talk to her. I felt that the waves were starting to come very frequently, almost one on top of the other. Then I felt my water break around 9:15. I asked Carlos to go up and tell the MW. I felt the waves change immediately & felt like she was moving down. So I made Carlos run up and tell her that.

The MW and Birth Assistant came down to our room. I stared breathing the baby down (without pushing at all). I dod do the “ahhhhing” thing & it worked so well! Within a few minutes, her head was out and in Carlos’s hands. The cord was around her neck once. The MW removed it. Her shoulders were not turning like they are supposed to. The MW told me that I was going to have to push her out NOW. I was worried by her voice and I tried to push really hard, but she did not turn. So the MW told me to stand up & turn around & squat. I did that & she slid right out into Carlos’ hands (no pushing). I thought she went back underwater after that, but Carlos said that was just a bunch of other `stuff’ that went under, lol.

I was soon holding her in the pool. Her official time is 9:26 pm, although it was actually a few minutes before that. I can honestly say that her birth was so PEACEFUL and EASY that I would do it all over again right now. I feel so good.

She is nursing well; the only thing she doesn’t know how to do is latch off, haha. The boys love her. They keep asking to `hold it’. When she squeaks, Antonio says, “she’s sad” and Ignacio says, “Feed it”. Um, boys – it’s a girl, not an it

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This is a wonderful tool for moms who have to have scheduled cesareans! 

Planning a Cesarean birthing? C-Section moms are Hypno-Moms also! You can use hypnosis too, allowing you to feel so much more confident and secure about having major surgery, and how to recover quickly. Hypnosis for surgery is very successful, since the mind and body..are one!

2 CD Set, 3 hypnosis scripts:

1) Birthing My Baby the Cesarean Way: This deep hypnosis script provides many effective suggestions for accepting the decision to have a cesarean birthing, getting ready for successful easy and safe surgery, and feeling positive as well as recovering easily and quickly. Your main-“Hypno-Tool” here is the amazingly effective post-hypnotic cue word for instant relaxation, physical comfort and fear clearing that you can use anytime, to automatically feel confident and relaxed about all events, feelings and outcomes relating to your cesarean birthing. Invaluable!

2) Fear Clearing for a Cesarean Birthing: A fear release session specifically for having a cesarean birth, this allows to you to relax deeply, and instantly release fears and concerns that you may have regarding surgery, your body’s response to it, your medical caregivers, bonding with your baby, etc. Very helpful and comforting.

3) Visualize Your Cesarean Birth: This is a mental Cesarean Birthing Rehearsal! You get to literally walk through your preparation time, pre-surgery, cesarean surgery, seeing your baby for the first time and your recovery period, in deep relaxation using positive hypnotic visualization, boosting your confidence level, creating a “comfort zone” for your baby’s beautiful birthing.

This CD set also comes with information making a cesarean more family-friendly!

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 I woke up at 5am that morning thinking “here we go again, another false alarm.” I had  been having prodromal labor for a few weeks at this point and was getting frustrated and  emotional by it. I just wanted things to be real already! I got up and went to the bathroom.

Things felt a  little different but I wasn’t going to put any merit to it yet. I went back to  bed but couldn’t get comfortable so I decided to take a bath. It didn’t go away. Infact it became more wonderfully intense, 5 mins apart suddenly became 2 mins apart. Could this seriously be it?? My mom had flown in from Texas a week or so prior when we thought things were really going. She was asleep in my son’s room, so I let her know that I “thought” I may actually be in labor, but that she could stay asleep longer until I figured it out. I knew if I was, I wanted to eat now instead of later, so I went downstairs and ate breakfast and drank some red raspberry leaf tea. 2 mins apart stayed 2 mins apart for over an hour so I just decided to call my midwife. Midwife Amy was on call that day and she’s an hour away so she just decided to start her trip over, because she’d rather go and be here for a birth that we had all decided would be relatively quick, then not leave and miss the whole thing!

I went ahead and called my support team, my friend Maria and my doula Emily and they headed over as well. I woke up mom and told her things were “on” but I still wasn’t  positive that this was “it” and needed lots of encouragement. I had been disappointed by 2 – 3 min apart waves being nothing at all several times before. But thankfully things became more intense. Things were going great. Intense, powerful, I was vocalizing and laughing my way through some of them. There’s a film called “orgasmic birth” and that’s what I felt almost. Wonderful, no pain at all. Discomfort at times but that was easily dealt with by getting on my hands and knees, rocking and rotating my hips and of course using my Hypnobabies, but what’s so wonderful is after practicing for so long and for so often I didn’t feel the need yet to recite to myself my peace cue, I just knew things were working and they were!

I was very aware during this birth and very active. I have video of me laughing through birthing waves and enjoying them. My friend Maria was laughing right along with me from behind the camera and you can see it shaking from it. Very different from my son’s birth to which I chose to rest and sleep as much as possible. Even though I had eaten eggs and toast earlier that morning, my mom was making pancakes for everybody and it smelled so good. So I ate! And I drank more tea and loots of ice water… with lots of ICE. More ICE!

Click here to see picture. 

So most of the birth went like this. With me on my hands and knees enjoying my very intense waves. Vocalizing and feeling so good. My son who is 15 months, snuggled and slept in with daddy. And when he awoke, played on the floor, and when I’d have a birthing wave and would instinctually drop to the floor drawing circles with my hand to help me “open” my cervix, he would come crawl over to me and laugh and play some more. It was exactly what I wanted during my birthing, to be with friends and family, and welcome our newest into a loving atmosphere.

To read the rest of her story and see more pictures click here

This birth story was shared by a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.  Come join us if you want to learn more about Hypnobabies!  (You must send an introduction to be approved to the group) 

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