Archive for January, 2010

i posted last week about my breech baby who refused to cooperate with my
conservative methods to flip him. i tried webster technique, acupuncture,
pelvic tilts, and knee chest positions. i even tried a little bit of pulsatilla
20c. this afternoon was my ecv. i had my husband and doula there with me. it
was a long afternoon.

i started off the day a little stressed out with some time-sensitive errands.
my ob canceled our appointment at the last minute (38w appointment), because she
had a conference (that’s another frustrating story). then my husband picked me
up from our house to carpool to the hospital. i didn’t feel like eating much,
because i read from one of the ecv stories on hypnobabies that i shouldn’t eat
so much to give the baby more room to move. and my appetite wasn’t quite there.
i just listened to the breech baby track and then deepening.

we were on-time to the perinatologist. the ultrasound tech mapped out the baby
and measured his weight. he was 1/2 frank and 1/2 complete. what a funny baby!
that would explain why his kicks were in such weird places, always making me
guess where he is. the measurement was surprising since i measured small. he’s
estimated to be 39th percentile and 7 lbs. that really dumbfounded all of us in
the room since i didn’t gain too much weight, and i really thought he’d be 4-5
lbs. i was ecstatic that he wasn’t so small since that’s why i’ve been worried
for the last few weeks.

then i had the non-stress test done. the baby tried his best to get the
electrodes off of his head. he was so cute! then he gave up after 15 mins of
struggle. his activities looked great, so we met up with the perinatologist who
looked at the baby on ultrasound again. she explained to me gently that i had
about 2/3 chance to having this little guy flip. she encouraged visualization,
and i told her that i had that covered with my ipod. she seemed pleased, and i
was happy that she was already telling me to relax with visualization.

now this was the tough part. i was listening to the breech track when they set
up the iv line for the terbutaline in my left hand. i realized that i had to
quickly change over to deepening, because i needed anesthesia now! i started to
relax, but my hands were so cold and the veins weren’t cooperating. they spasmed
as soon as the needle when into the tiny vein. the nurse who was quite
experienced stuck me 3x including my radial vein (if you know where this is, you
know it’s not the most comfortable place). the sticks felt like they were
jabbing into my bones. i had a difficult time focusing and started to jump
whenever she took the needle out to change course. she got the perinatologist
to try in different spots. (the perinatologist typically does the tough iv
cases.) even she missed 3x further up the radial vein towards my elbow. i
thought it’d be less painful, but the pain was quite intense. it kind of felt
like somebody was breaking my arm. but i have to admit… i would’ve cried at
about the 2nd stick. i’ve had phlebotomists miss my vein before in my median
cubital veins, which are much easier to puncture than these tiny ones. and the
staff were trying really hard. so this was the hang-up.

the perinatologist told me that i can try the intramuscular injection, which is
less effective at smooth muscle relaxation. or i can return to labor & delivery
to have the anesthesiologist try and then proceed with ecv. she told me that i
can return if today’s efforts didn’t work with the first option. since she was
gracious enough to let a first-time mom try 2x, i wanted to go for it. and we
did spend a lot of time here already… with my listening to deepening and
breech tracks multiple times.

so i got the intramuscular terb injection, which did make my heart race. but as
i listened to the deepening track, my heart rate came down again. however, the
staff didn’t want to start until they saw that my heart rate was over 100, which
indicated that my body was seeing its effect. so i had to switch my ipod to a
fast song so that my heart rate can catch up. hypnobabies was so effective in
lowering my heart rate! i was fighting 2 forces here – relaxation vs. fast
heart rate.

i was finally ready at 100-102 bpm. after my very last restroom break and a
quick prayer on the toilet, i was finally ready. i laid down, and i think they
allowed me to relax listening to the deepening and breech tracks. i was going
back and forth between the two. the ultrasound tech and perinatologist got into
their positions and lowered the head piece of the bed. my knees were propped up
to relax the belly. i got another glob of warm ultrasound gel. then i was
ready to go. i took some deep breaths in and out while listening to the tracks.
i felt the doctor cup the baby’s butt with her left hand as she pushed down his
head in counterclockwise fashion. i felt him starting to move a little. i was
getting a little excited, but i made sure that i remained calm and relaxed. the
doctor was very gentle in her touch and used broad contact rather than digging
with her fingers.

it was just as other moms have described here. the move was very intense. i
felt the baby get stuck at one point when my uterus tightened. then i took a
big breath and felt the uterus muscle relax and melt as i expired. it was
amazing, because he completely flipped afterward. i heard the excitement in the
staff’s voice even through the scripts. when i heard the perinatologist say,
“good boy!” i knew we were done. after some cheers, congrats, and many thanks
from us, we were off to another session of monitoring. he was fine and still
kicking. he was getting used to his new position.

i pray that he will stay head down since he’s one active baby. the
perinatologist believes that he probably won’t since it was definitely a tight
turn. and i even had hard time turning him with other methods. but definitely
no more inversions and poor posture. i think the baby’s finally at peace with
his new position. in fact, i feel more his back now. so he’s occiput anterior
so far. i will try my best to keep him this way until he’s ready to come out.
i’m currently at 38w2d.

thank you all for your support and advice. the stories were absolutely
encouraging as people around me kept telling me how c-section wasn’t that bad.
my aunt said that i was lucky that had a breech baby so that i have to get
c-section. i had a difficult time keeping me bop during the last few weeks. i
was glad that i was able to get encouraging advice from the moms here. i
honestly believe that the breech baby script helped my baby prepare for today’s
procedure. thank you.


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Nancy Tortorice HCHI, CD (D.O.N.A)
HOME 619-435-2626
CELL 619-672-2858

Gentle Birthing Services can be a part of the miracle of life for you and your baby. As both a Childbirth Instructor and a Doula, I am dedicated to assisting expectant single mothers and mothers with birth partners achieve the birth they desire, in the most natural way possible.

My vision is that every new life will journey into this world through the gentle birthing that occurs when mothers are reminded of and guided into the inner wisdom they already possess. A gentler, calmer beginning means a gentler, calmer baby. Gentle Birthing is making a difference one birth at a time.    I teach on-going Hypnobabies Classes throughout San Diego offering both Group and Private Classes. Please call for a schedule of upcoming classes. Please call for a schedule of up-coming classes. County

I also offer Newborn Classes for mothers-to-be and mothers with newborns teaching both the Happiest Baby on the Block and the Dunstan Baby Language Program.

The Happiest Baby on the Block:

The Happiest Baby Program teaches parents how to turn on their baby’s calming reflex to soothe their babies’ cries, and also to help their babies sleep a little longer. You will be given step-by-step techniques to easily, effectively and quickly calm even the fussiest baby.

The Dunstan Baby Language Program

Through the Dunstan Baby Language Program you will learn to interpret your baby’s sounds and cries so that you will be able to respond to their needs. Your baby can and does tell you what they need from the very beginning. The sooner you recognize the sounds and their meaning, the quicker your baby’s needs will be met. Your baby will become more relaxed, confident and happy — and so will you!

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I found an interesting study looking at how Hypnosis can help moms with Preterm Labor.

To be honest, I am not the best Stats person, so I asked my friend Kathy if she would read and interpret it for me.  She was wonderful and did.  Here is how she translated all the stats into completely understandable language!

The study showed that from initiation of hypnosis until birth the average time was 3/4 of the way to 40 weeks — if she started hypnosis at 30 weeks and gave birth at 40 weeks, it was 100%, but if she gave birth at 35 weeks, it would have been 50% (halfway between 30 and 40); if she started hypnosis at 34 weeks and made it to 35 weeks, it was 1/6 of the way to 40 weeks, so it would have been 16.7%, but if she made it to 37 weeks, that would be 50%. The average time of the control group (who got only “standard premature birth” treatment) was 50% of the time from initiation of treatment to 40 weeks. Both groups had the same average starting gestational age, which is good, because if the “hypnosis” group started at 30 weeks and made it to 34 weeks, while the “control” group started at 33 weeks and made it to 34 weeks, then that wouldn’t seem to be an improvement, although the hypnosis group lasted 4 weeks, compared to 1 week in the control group — because the pregnancies would have still ended at the same time. However, I don’t know that “40 weeks” necessarily ought to have been the goal (although if that *weren’t* it, I don’t know what *should* have been), because many babies are actually read to be born at 37, 38, or 39 weeks, and preventing their timely birth should not be a goal. :-)

The birthweights also showed a better result from the hypnosis group (which is not surprising, since their pregnancies lasted longer, giving them more time for the babies to gain weight). So, that seems to me to be saying the same thing — birthweights tend to increase the longer a woman is pregnant; but it would have been odd had the hypnosis group had lower birthweights than the control group, while having longer average pregnancies.

One thing that might possibly be troubling is the higher incidence of birthweights under 1500 grams, but I’m not sure if it was statistically significant; and it certainly seems to be more than offset by the over-50% incidence of birthweights of 3000 grams or more.

The researchers tried to control for the known variables influencing preterm birth (table 2); and most of the variables were similar, or favored the control group — the one that did not, was in previous induced abortion.

As the researchers pointed out, it may be that hypnosis/relaxation alone helped to keep the women pregnant; but they also point out that social interaction alone (which was necessarily involved with the hypnosis itself, and the tapes the women listened to afterwards) may have been the key. This is interesting to me, in that midwives tend to have better results than doctors do, in regards to preterm birth [see this story and this CDC news release], and their hour-long prenatal visits may be a big portion of it, especially compared to the 5-15 minute OB visits.

What would need to be done, is a study undertaken of women who have hypnosis and continuing relaxation exercises, as described in this study, vs. women who had social interaction at the same levels described in the study, to see if there could be a difference attributable solely to hypnosis. At this point, (unless the study was later refuted, or a larger study was undertaken that found no difference) you can say that hypnosis and relaxation appear to have benefits in reducing preterm birth with a concurrent increase in birthweight. From what I know of Hypnobabies, the women practice the hypnosis/relaxation techniques daily (or at least, frequently), and/or fall asleep listening to the relaxation CDs. This seems to be very similar to what the study described, if not more “social interaction” than the study used, which would indicate to me that if the results of the study are accurate, then they would certainly apply to Hypnobabies.

Thanks Kathy!

You can download the Baby Stay In MP3 from the Hypnobabies Website!

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Turning Breech Baby Tips

I just wanted to post some helpful information on using hypnosis to turn breech babies:

While only about 5% of all babies are breech at term, for those planning a vaginal birthing, having their baby in a breech position in the last month of pregnancy can be challenging. There are many suggestions for turning a breech baby physically, such as swimming, using a slant board, massage, moxibustion, pelvic tilt, etc. http://pregnancychildbirth.suite101.com/article.cfm/turning_a_breech_baby

Another excellent resource is the Spinning Babies website at www.spinningbabies.com, which has information on turning babies in several challenging positions.

In addition to these techniques, we have another amazing tool that helps breech babies turn to the head-down position – our own powerful minds! Since the baby in utero is part of the mother, it is registered as so by the subconscious mind, which can be directed to make changes in the mother’s body. Release of fears that can constrict muscles is also used in hypnosis sessions, to help the mother relax and allow her baby to turn. The body is controlled completely by the mind, which is how our Hypnobabies moms can use hypnosis to stop-preterm labor, eliminate nausea and insomnia and of course, create a much easier and more comfortable childbirth experience. Using hypnosis to turn breech babies has been more successful than using other techniques alone. In a study done at a prominent university, 81% of the babies turned to vertex position with the use of hypnosis:

Design: Prospective case series compared with historical, matched comparison group.

Subjects: One hundred pregnant women whose fetuses were in breech position at 37 to 40 weeks’ gestation and a matched comparison group of women with similar obstetrical and sociodemographic parameters derived from databases for other studies from the same time period and geographical areas.

Intervention: The intervention group received hypnosis with suggestions for general relaxation with release of fear and anxiety. While in the hypnotic state women were asked for the reasons why their baby was in the breech presentation. As much hypnosis was provided as was convenient and possible for the women until they were delivered of the baby or the baby converted to the vertex position.

Main Outcome Variables: A successful conversion for the intervention group was scored when the baby spontaneously converted to the vertex position before delivery or successful cephalic version. The conversion rate of the intervention group was compared with the comparison group who received standard obstetrical care without the opportunity for hypnosis.

Results: Eighty-one percent of the fetuses in the intervention group converted to vertex presentation compared with 48% of those in the comparison group. This difference was statistically significant.

Conclusions: Motivated subjects can be influenced by a skilled Hypnotherapist in such a manner that their fetuses have a higher incidence of conversion from breech to vertex presentation. Psychophysiological factors may influence the breech presentation and may explain this increased frequency of conversion to vertex presentation.

From Archives of Family Medicine, Vol. 3, Oct. 1994 Hypnosis and Conversion of the Breech to the Vertex Presentation Lewis E. Mehl, MD, PhD Dept. of Psychiatry Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington

At Hypnobabies, we suggest all women consider how powerful their inner mind is and use it during pregnancy, birthing and postpartum, to enhance their own safety, comfort and health, as well as that of their precious babies. Your mind can direct your body in such a positive way – use it! If the baby is breech, it is wise to find a well-trained hypnotherapist in the area for sessions to help turn the baby, or visit our Hypnobabies website for information on our Turn Your Breech Baby Cd and Mp3 tracks.

Turn, Baby, Turn!

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

Founder/Director of Hypnobabies

714-952-BABY (2229)


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Here is a lovely letter a midwife wrote about Hypnobabies…

Despite the fact that I have been attending births for fourteen years, my first experience with Hypnobabies happened only a year ago…and I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to it.  Why not?  Because I’d had previous experiences with “hypno”-classes and the subsequent births were often MORE challenging as the parents were not only underprepared for what they were about to experience, they were set up for disappointments with unrealistic expectations of a “pain free” birth if they just did their hypnosis “right”.   It was not unusual for my client to feel labor becoming active (generally 3-4 cm dilated) and panic, thinking she was not doing things ‘right’ because of how it felt, losing all confidence in her ability and desire to complete the job at hand…the exact opposite of what you want in labor.

The upcoming birth was a first time mother and, as most people know, first babies tend to be the most challenging.  I was skeptical and nervous about it as I knew this was a “Hypnobabies” mother.  I braced myself for the false alarms I often saw, emotional breakdowns, the pep talks I was used to giving about how she was NOT failing or doing it wrong, that her body COULD do this, that nothing was wrong.  During our prenatal visits I would ask her if she had any questions this week about nutrition, signs of labor, questions about the birth – and I was always pleasantly surprised at the depth of her knowledge and she would always assure me that they’d just gone over that information in her Hypnobabies class!  My curiosity was peaked, but I did remain skeptical.

I got the first call early in the morning that the mother thought her water had broken, but they assured me that she was doing just fine and would keep in touch with me and let me know if anything changed or she needed me.  She planned to do what she’d learned in her Hypnobabies class…to eat well and rest until labor commanded her attention.  Plan for the day was to take naps and watch a DVD!  Alright…now I was impressed!  I didn’t have to tell a first time mom to take it easy in early labor, or calm a panicking family because her water had broken!  How refreshing!

We kept in contact throughout the day until I headed to their house late that evening.  Contractions were coming very regularly, but she was still calm and handling things very well.  I figured I’d be there for quite a long time as it still sounded like it wasn’t far into her labor.  I got to their home and she was listening to her CD’s, calm and happy – uh oh, more confirmation that I’d probably be there a long time.  Imagine my delight when their son slipped out into the world while his mom sat on a birth stool in her peaceful bedroom!  Tucked into bed, mom smiled and looked at me and said, “That wasn’t nearly as bad as so many people told me it would be!  That was AWESOME!”

I was thrilled beyond words – but figured that the chances were great that it was the parents that succeeded IN SPITE of the method, not because of the method.  Glad that they had such a positive experience, Hypnobabies hadn’t quite won me over yet – I would need more experience with it before making a final judgment.

Thankfully I wouldn’t have to wait long.  Another first time mother (who had attended the same class as the previous mother!) called me early in the morning with early labor.  Similar story as her classmate; she labored all day, finally calling me out late in the evening.  A smiling and happy first time mom greeted me from her rented Jacuzzi hot tub in her family room.  I commented to my assistant that we were probably in for a LONG night and after our initial assessment we laid down to rest.  One hour later, when I went to check on the baby, she was out of the water and going to the bathroom.  Still smiling and happy, we all agreed that an internal exam might be a good idea.  I prayed that she would be at least 3cm but braced myself for much less.  To say that I was shocked is an understatement: I found her to be 8cm dilated and her water broken around my hand.  Her response to finding out she was 8cm was a smile and a calm, “yay”!  She got back into her water and soon after she delivered her 10 pound baby girl in her bedroom.  Her response to the birth was that it was “beautiful”.

I could feel myself converting to being a Hypnobabies fan.  Not for myself, mind you, but for my clients who time and time again had similar experiences.  Calm labors, centered mamas, working hard and never complaining because they EXPECTED and PREPARED to work hard!!  Babies born beautifully by empowered mothers who soon-after say how wonderful their births were.  I found myself referring people eagerly to the Hypnobabies classes, and my reaction to finding out someone was a Hypnobabies family was, “AWESOME!”  It has totally shattered all of my previous misgivings that I had developed, as it became obvious how different the Hypnobabies series was from all other hypno- classes.  The main difference that I saw was the amount (and quality) of childbirth information given.  Family were given information on how to keep themselves healthy through the pregnancy, stages of labor, physiological changes and ways to help facilitate the birth through positional changes and movement – and also given information on ways to use hypnosis to assist them through the birth.  The parents were given realistic expectations so that they could prepare for what they were likely to experience, not false hope of escaping the experience.

As a midwife, my Hypnobabies births are easy on me as I am dealing with healthy and informed families ready for the challenges ahead – and they are a blessing to the families as the tools and information given to them through their classes help them have the best outcomes possible!!  Yes, Hypnobabies….you turned this skeptic into a fan!

Stephanie Soderblom LM CPM

Nurturing Hearts Birth Services

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One of our Hypnobabies Instructors, who is also a L&D nurse compiled a list of the questions the ask when a mom comes into have her baby.  If it seems like a lot, it is because they ask a lot!

If you want, cut and past these into a word document and answer them, print it out and hand it to your nurse when you get there!  That will help you be able to focus on birthing your baby, instead of answering questions.  :)

Typical Medical Questions for Admission to Hospital

  • Height & Weight (before pregnancy and currently)
  • Medication history: type of medication, dosage and frequency
  • Social history: use of tobacco, recreational drugs, or alcohol
  • Family medical history (Mother, Father, or siblings) for cancer, blood disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, pulmonary, stroke, TB, Other
  • Infertility/Gynecological problems: preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, infertility, IVF, vaginal bleeding, poly/oligohydramnios, fetal anomalies, precipitous delivery, DES exposure, VBAC, Genito-urinary infection, febrile episode in pregnancy, previous child with SIDS, IUGR, previous child with birthweight less than 2500g, greater than 4000g, postpartum hemorrhage, fetal arrhythmias, iso-immunization, shoulder dystocia
  • Surgeries: breast, cryo-surgery, LEEP, cesarean section, cerclage, any other major surgery
  • Heart or blood pressure problems: hypertension, pre-eclampsia, MVP, HELP syndrome, rheumatic fever, murmur
  • Circulation problems: phlebitis, varicose veins, DVT
  • Respiratory problems: asthma, recent cold/flu, pneumonia, lung disease
  • History of stroke, neurological, joint, bone or muscle problems: Stroke, headache/migraine, seizure/epilepsy, developmental delay
  • Endocrine problems: Diabetes of any kind (type 1 or 2), gestational diabetes (diet controlled or medication and diet controlled), thyroid dysfunction
  • ENT problems: Meniere’s, sinus infection, nosebleeds
  • Communicable diseases/Immune Issues: GBS, previous GBS infected baby, hepatitis B, genital herpes, GC, TB, chlamydia, syphilis, any partner with std, autoimmune, HPV
  • History of Stomach, Digestive, or Urinary Problems: Liver Disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, abdominal pain, recent change in bowel pattern, hyper-emesis, nausea, recent UTI, kidney disease/stones, pyelonephritis
  • History of skin issues/body piercings: rash, chicken pox/shingles, eczema/psoriasis, piercing
  • Personal or family history for patient or husband of the following congenital/genetic issues: Congenital hearing defect. Italian, Greek, Mediterranean or Asian background, neural tube defects, down syndrome, Jewish (Tay-Sachs), cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy,Huntington chorea, mental retardation (if yes, was pt. tested for fragile x), other inherited genetic or chromosomal disorders, patient had previous child with birth defect not listed above, 3 first trimester miscarriages, or still birth, patient’s husband had child with birth defect not listed above
  • Maiden name, occupation, highest level of education, date & time of last meal
  • Do you accept blood products?
  • Have you ever had a blood transfusion?
  • Complications with pregnancy
  • Pre-pregnancy weight, weight gain in pregnancy, baby feeding plan, childbirth education (yes/no and type), Pediatrician
  • Plans for Sterilization?
  • Advance Directives?  and information
  • Sensory Deficits (glasses/contacts yes or no)
  • Bedrest in past month?
  • Sleep aids?
  • History of abuse, safety in home currently, history of depression, postpartum depression, anxiety, family history of depression, postpartum depression, anxiety
  • Recent changes or losses to family
  • Religions, spiritual practices while in hospital

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Some midwives doubt that Hypnosis will work for moms.  This may be for many reasons.  Maybe they have never seen a mom use hypnosis for birth.  Maybe they have and it didn’t “work”.   Maybe they have seen moms use other hypnosis for childbirth programs and not had good experiences, Hypnobabies is different!

Here are 2 great resources to share with them.

Here is an article a midwife wrote about how she WAS skeptical of hypnosis for birth, until she had a few moms who used Hypnobabies have awesome births.  Now she refers moms to Hypnobabies Classes.

Here is an article written by Carole Thorpe, (scroll down to More Detailed Information).  Carole has been a doula at over 500 births.  The last 200 have been her Hypnobabies Students.  She has seen it work hundreds of times.  She gives a great explanation of why it DOES work!

Feel free to e-mail them these links or print them off to share them!  Your midwife is also welcome to call Carole and speak with her if she would like to.

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Noelia Waldo CD(DONA), HCHI
(480) 295-0895
Mesa, AZ

Serving the Phoenix Metro area

Certified Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
Certified Doula

I have always been interested in pregnancy and birth, but during my first pregnancy I became a true “birth junkie”. As a mother of three, I know how important it is to be nurtured during pregnancy and birth and how empowering it can be to have the birth you desire. That is why I became a doula and a Hypnobabies Instructor. Hypnobabies is an amazing and completely thorough childbirth preparation course and I am very excited to offer it to the families in my area.

Group and private Hypnobabies Classes are available. Please call for more information.

Hypno-Doula Trainings are available, for doulas and midwives who are interested in learning how to birth-assist Hypnobabies clients.  Please contact me for details.

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Hypnobabies is FANTASTIC!!! Warning — this story is long, because my labor was loooong!  (also use your BOP because mom did experience some discomfort after 40 hours of comfortable birthing time)

Contractions began on a Friday night, when I was 36w3d, at 2am and were strong enough to wake me up. They were 5 minutes apart. At 3am, I woke my husband up. Neither of us slept much after that. At 7am, I called the doula, and she suggested that I eat, drink, and rest because it was probably false labor. By 9am, the contractions slowed down, and didn’t pick up again until 5pm.I managed the contractions and took a bath at around 9:30pm, and started listening to the Birthing Day Affirmations. At 10:30pm, my contractions were very strong and painful, and had moved to my back. I got out of the bath and a couple of minutes later, they were about 2 minutes apart, very painful, and I thought I was going to vomit. I wasn’t getting a break between them. I called the doula to come over, and the babysitter. I also called the hospital to say I’d probably be going in soon. The doula arrived at around 11pm and we decided I’d stay home a while longer and see what happened. I continued to listen to the Birthing Day Affirmations while the doula and my husband helped me manage the contractions with the “Relax” cues and rubbing my back. I said “Peace” through every single one. the doula checked me and said I was less than halfway dilated. I took some Benadryl so that I could sleep, but I was still having very strong contractions 2 to 5 minutes apart. I continued to listen to Birthing Day Affirmations, while trying to picture my cervix opening.

The on-call OB called me back at 6am Saturday morning and mentioned that since the baby was a bit early, I might want to consider going in and getting checked. I thought about it and decided it was a good idea. I was contracting enough to know that this was real labor. The doula mentioned that the hospital could at least give me some temporary pain medication so that I could sleep a little. I started getting concerned about the baby and loved the thought of sleeping, so I decided it was time to go to the hospital. I was dehydrated and hadn’t eaten anything since dinnertime, except for a few spoonfuls of yogurt, so I knew I’d want an IV.

I arrived at the hospital at 7am and was hooked up to an IV and the monitors. I was checked by a resident and was only 1cm dilated. The IV didn’t slow or stop the contractions at all. My contractions were still strong and steady, but my husband and the doula did an incredible job helping me manage, still using Hypnobabies cues while I listened to Easy First Stage. I was able to shift the sensation from pain to pressure, and retained that shift for nearly all of my labor. My husband held his hand on my shoulder firmly and said “Relax,” occasionally also saying “ten times deeper” if it seemed like a particularly strong contraction. Someone rubbed my lower back through all contractions, too. That helped immensely.

Since I was early, the hospital had a policy of not doing anything to augment labor. This was a blessing in disguise, because I didn’t have to fight off any interventions! That had been my biggest fear. They still weren’t “committed to labor” until I showed signs of actually being in labor – meaning that my cervix was changing. An hour later, I had dilated to 2cm, so that that point I was officially in labor and got moved to an L&D room. I asked for Nubain so that I could sleep for a while. It was wonderful to sleep! And, my contractions held steady! I was worried that the Nubain would slow them down. After an hour or two of sleeping, I started feeling the contractions again. I didn’t need to wake my husband for a while because I was able to handle them by saying “Peace”… but eventually I needed his help again.

It was a very long and slow labor. My contractions were always 2 to 5 minutes apart, getting stronger, and radiating from my back. I changed positions a few times, walked the hallway, etc. I loved having my IV pole to lean against during contractions in the hallway. I found it soothing for some reason. I made an “Ohhhhhhhh ahhhhhhh” sound for the second half of labor contractions, along with “Peace” when I was able to say it. Sometimes I couldn’t, and relied on my husband to say it for me. His “Relax” cue was magical. I was also able to turn my switch to “off” a few times and have it work instantly in the middle of a tough contraction – and the pain disappeared on cue. That didn’t always work, but I was amazed when it did!

By 10pm, I was exhausted, and decided that if I was 6cm or less, I wanted an epidural just so I could sleep. I was checked and was only 5cm. By 11pm, I knew that the epidural wasn’t working and that I was in the worst pain of my life! It wasn’t contractions, it was ongoing, unrelenting pain. No middle hump, no wave… I wasn’t able to get back into the Hypnobabies groove. They talked about replacing my epidural, but I was begging to be knocked out and given a c-section. My husband knew I didn’t really want that, so we asked about other options. At 12:07am, they checked me and broke my water with my permission. I was still 5cm dilated. A few minutes later, I felt like I was having a bowel movement and pushed with all my strength… knowing that I shouldn’t push. They talked about involuntary pushing and checked me again. I was 10cm and ready to push!! They quickly got everything set up while I continued pushing. It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to switch to the Hypnobabies pushing track. I pushed three times initially once I was “allowed” to push, screaming at the top of my lungs. They asked me to wait so that they could catch up, because they could see the baby – he was right there! They told me to only push during contractions, and to channel the energy down instead of screaming. My husband was great at trying to keep me focused and I tried very hard not to scream. I pushed three more times during the next contraction and felt the ring of fire. I think there was only one more push and I felt relief – Caleb was born at 12:34am! They put him on my belly and I got to hold him while they checked him out. He was so small and purple. I loved it.

I felt the placenta squishily plop out a few minutes later. Then I felt them stitching me up (2nd degree tear on both sides)– the epidural still hadn’t taken. They asked me if I wanted to wait for a new epidural or let them go ahead. I wanted it over with so I told them to go ahead. It was quite painful and I had to make sure I didn’t squeeze Caleb too hard, and that I didn’t scream too loud. I tried singing and humming to him to take my mind off the surgery, and of course, Hypnobabies. They eventually used a local anesthetic and it was better after that. It didn’t seem to take too long. I still can’t believe I got stitched up without pain relief! And I couldn’t believe that I’d pushed him out, had a VBAC, and labored without pain relief. 46 hours of labor, including a very intense 27 minutes. Thanks to my husband, the doula, Hypnobabies, all the nurses, the doctors, everyone. We did it!

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Annette Rodgers HCHI, CMD, CIMI, LMBT
Cornelius NC

HCHI Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
LMBT Licensed Massage Therapist
CMD Certified Doula
CIMI Certified Infant Massage Instructor

I am a proud mother of 2 boys. I love focusing on women’s health. I learned about hypnobabies through my Doula services. After assisting several of my couples at their birthing time I knew Hypnobabies was a wonderful way to help couples enjoy their birthing experience. I watched the moms have peaceful, comfortable births medication free. I knew that this was something I wished I had known about for my babies and want to share it with as many people that will listen. To be a mom is a gift from God and I want to help couples always remember their special day in a positive way.

Please call me for dates and times of my Hypnobabies Classes.

I also teach infant massage classes. I also am a massage therapist and do pre-natal massage.

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