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Archive for February, 2010

I just wanted to quickly write down my story because I enjoyed reading other people’s birth stories on here — and hopefully inspire those who are contemplating Hypnobabies, because I believe it truly worked for me.

First of all, I had my doubts. Not of the efficacy of the Hypnobabies method, but rather of my own diligence in practice and the amount of support I received by those around me. I fell asleep during scripts, I fell asleep during practice when I did practice at all, I hardly did any of the prenatal exercises recommended, never got around to inflating my birthing ball, packed my hospital bag and wrote my birth plan at the very last minute, I wasn’t detailed in my visualization of the birth, my husband never practiced with me, I took a long hiatus in my listening to the scripts when we moved during my 37th week, when I also had to find a new OB, baby was posterior despite visits to chiropractor… the list goes on. I was the quintessential worst student ever. And yet somehow everything came together and I had the most amazing experience!

It started on Wednesday when I started to lose bits of my mucous plug. This continued into Thursday and along the way, I was experiencing BHs every evening. Come Friday evening, as my husband was giving our 2 yo son a bath, I felt a small gush. When my husband was done with bedtime, I told him I was suspicious about the fluid leak but that it seemed to be just a one time deal. However, to be on the safe side, let’s start putting together the crib, pack my hospital bag and finish tweaking the birth plan to email my OB (we had just moved into this house 3 weeks ago and everything was still in boxes!). This was about 10 PM. I told my husband I was experiencing small PWs but I wasn’t sure whether these were the real thing or just more intense BHs. So we decided to time it. The PWs were coming on at 5-7 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds. He told me to rest while I can, so I put on my Pregnancy Affirmations to head to sleep at midnight.

I managed to sleep about 2 hours before deciding these PWs weren’t going away. So, I went down to the kitchen to get something to eat at 2 AM. The PWs made it difficult for me to eat much. I decided it was time to inflate that birthing ball, but didn’t get very far in that either. I timed myself for an hour before deciding it was time to wake my husband — now they were coming consistently at 5 minutes apart and lasting 50 seconds. I woke my husband and he suggested I try taking a bath before we called the OB and his parents (luckily my mom came the day before to take care of our toddler). I breathed through about 5 PWs in the bathtub listening to Birthing Affirmations while my husband shaved, when I got up and said “I’m feeling a bit shaky, I think we should go to the hospital sooner rather than later.” He seemed a bit shocked that I didn’t want to stay home longer, and I attribute that to my outward calmness betraying the increasing intensity of the PWs.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:15 AM while the first snow fell. My OB was already waiting for us in the room they had set up for us. First the hospital wanted to monitor baby’s heart rate. We did this for about half an hour because the monitor kept picking up my lower heart rate instead of the baby’s. Then my OB wanted to check my cervix. Everyone, including myself, was surprised to find out that I was 8-9 cm dilated and almost completely effaced. Baby was at -2 station floating about in there because my bag of waters was still intact. So, they let me do my thing: continue listening to Kerry’s voice on my iPod. I loved the Peace cue and I found Kerry repeating “relax the face, hands and pelvic muscles” extremely helpful during PWs. One of the nurses suggested that I drape myself over the back of the bed in a kneeling position, since I was favoring the hands and knees position on the bed. It was such a great position! I was whispering/moaning “peace” with each PW and imagined myself as that surfer riding each wave (thanks to someone’s post on this list with that analogy — sorry I forget who — I love that analogy!). Then with one of the waves, there was a huge POP! and this time there was no doubt that my bag of waters broke. :)

I had a few more PWs, where I thought, “how will I know it will be time to push? I wish someone could tell me when it’s time.” [side note: I was induced with my first pregnancy and had an epidural, which numbed my sensation to push and therefore made me dependent on one of the nurses to check and tell me when I was fully dilated and for the monitors to tell the nurses when I was having a contraction.] Well, no sooner did that thought cross my mind, when a powerful PW hug rise up and I had an URGENT NEED to push. I remember saying something like “she’s coming!” and hearing one of the nurses repeatedly scream “stop pushing! stop pushing!”. And I just shook my head and said “can’t.” This power within is so incredible and so amazing. There’s just no stopping it. I reached between my legs and felt her head. I couldn’t help but smile. Then another PW rose up and the rest of her body slid out onto the bed behind me at 6:39 AM. (I found out later that the nurses wanted me to stop pushing because they wanted to come check whether the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. It wasn’t.)

Kaya was placed on my chest skin-to-skin and nursed hungrily. The uterus then expelled the placenta that kept Kaya healthy all those months inside of me. Amazingly, I had no tears. Everything happened so quickly and so perfectly. As my husband said, “Better than if we could’ve scripted it. Except next time you get the urge to push, could you at least wait until I’m out of the bathroom?”

Thanks Hypnobabies for giving me the gift of experiencing childbirth the way it was intended. I felt like a conduit for one of Nature’s most awesome powers. It was truly truly the most amazing experience of my life. Thank you to everyone on this list for contributing your knowledge, support and inspiration to people like me.

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I had my beautiful baby boy on Friday 20 Nov at 7.30 pm. I have fully enjoyed being part of this group and reading many birth stories.. I have decided to share mine first Birthing Experience with you.

It was a great experience for me.. it was not exactly how I planned ..but it turned out well in the end and I am truly happy about the whole experience.

TO begin.. I have allways been nervous/scared about the process of “ Labour” and never knew how I was going to have kids just at the thought of going through it…

When I found out I was pregnant .. I immediately started to look for ways to have an “ Easier/less painfull Experience”  I came across Hypnobabies and immediately after listening  to the Relax me Script I was hooked… I don’t think I could have managed my Birthing time without it…

So here we go..

I woke up on Thursday 19th and noticed some liquid trickling.. I wasn’t sure if it was urine or my water leaking.. I checked my doc who noticed that the amniotic fluid around the baby was less than should be..told me that I would need to be induced in the morning ( I was very disappointed as I planned an all natural birth)  I came to terms with it and later that night  ( around 10 pm)I started experiencing Very Light PW’s  ( no pain ..jsut slight pressure) I was soo excited as I thought I would get to do it naturally.

5.30 am came and I needed to be in the hospital to get induced.. the PW’s didn’t get any more intense so I still had to be induced…  the doc used a tablet ..which didn’t speed things up any.. I was still giggling and laughing through each Light Wave.

He then gave me pitocine at approx 1.30 pm .. My Pw’s began to become a bit more intense and closer togther.. ( still no pain only pressure) and I breathed through them and Felt amazing after each one.

At approx 5pm the nurse checked me and said I was only 5 cm..  ( this is my first time so I didn’t know whatt to expect) I swore that I was more dialted than that… The PW’s were powerful( not painful) and I was hoping that I was more dialated ….( my  mum told me not to get discouraged as things could speed up and that I could go from 5- 10 in no time….  I was very tired and for some reason didn’t belive her.. ( she was soooo great and helped me sooo much..love her!!)

I think at this point I began to lose a lil control over my breathing as I thought that I would be in “labour” forever.. and I had no sleep the night before…

The Waves started to come A lot Stronger and closer together and I noticed that I was feeling more pain as my breathing was not controlled…. I requested pethodine and got a dose..( wish I didn’t because it didn’t help ) About  1  ½ hours later the doc checked me and I wass already 9 cm.  ( my mum was rigght I dialted quickly)   I began to feel the urge to push.. the doc told me to breath through them as I wasn’t fully dialated… I started to gain back control of my breathing and breathed through them.. I quicly was fully dialted and began to push… I was SOO tired at this point that I found it a bit difficult to push… I pushed for about 30 mins and my baby was out…

I didn’t have a Pain Free experience.. but I did have an amazing experience.. I remained in control through most of my Birthing Time.. I was relaxed and I Enjoyed the Powerful Waves that I experienced ( once I was Breathing Deeply)

I look back on how I could have done it differntly and the advice that I have is that ..DONT give up control…Even though it may not turn out the Exact way or you may hear something  discouraging.. just know that once you contiue to breath and relax .. you can let your body open up more quicly and have a quick birthing time..

All in all ..The Real preesure waves and push time was approx 6 hours.. I enjoyed it and I know that next time I will benefit even more from hypnobabies as I know the power of my mind and capablity of my body

Hypnobabies hasn’t only helped me have a great birthing time .. it relaxed me tremedously during my pregnancy and is helping me be a more relaxed mother

Thanks for all the suport and good luck… You can choose to have a great birthing time.. just have to believe in yourself…no matter what arises

God bless

sarah

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We had our 5th baby, Ava on Thursday evening 7:22pm, just about 2 1/2 hours after getting to the hospital at 40 wks 4 days.

While the birth was not completely pain-free, it was manageable and I was amazed at how well I was able to handle the pushing, which is my most difficult part.

I had been having alot of prodromal labor since Saturday, so when I woke up Thurs. morning with slightly stronger pressure waves, I wasn’t alarmed because they were about 20 minutes apart.  I listened to my affirmations and some other hypnobabies CD’s and slept well.  We got up and started our day, the pressure waves were stronger, but I pretty much ignored them when they came and didn’t worry about timing them.  I lost alot of bloody show throughout the day, so I knew the pressure waves were doing their work.

About 2 pm we went outside to clean off the carport and let the kids ride their bikes, at 2:30pm I started to feel stronger pressure waves, maybe 5 minutes apart now, but nothing serious, so I laid down to listen to the easy first stage and mostly slept and didn’t really feel much at all except some pressure from time to time.  By 3:15, I felt the pressure getting really regular, so I got up and my husband and ten year old realized the pws were about 3-4 minutes apart.  I didn’t want to get to the hospital too early, so I called my doctor to see if I could get checked and make sure this was it, since it just seemed way too easy.

I got to his office at a little after 4pm and was fully effaced and at 4 cm.  I was a little disappointed and really didn’t want to go over to the hospital, but in the Dr.’s office my pw’s were a steady 3 minutes apart and getting harder to walk through and he insisted that he thought I was moving fast and would have this baby quick.  I kept telling my husband there was no way it could be this easy and quick.

We took our time checking in and walked around a bit.  By 5 pm we were in a room, I let them do 30 minutes of monitoring while sitting on my birth ball and consented to the heplock, to make them feel better.  I snuck drinks when the nurse was gone.  At 5:30, I got off the monitor and started walking around and changing positions, as I was getting more uncomfortable.

By 6 pm, I knew without a doubt I was entering transformation.  I was amazed at how much more connected with my body I was this pregnancy. I really did know what was happening and could feel her coming down, so I just kept visualizing her sliding down.  I started to lose focus a little as things got intense and asked my husband if it would be bad to take just a little shot of staidol, but he talked me out of it and told the nurse to stop talking to me and let me focus.  So, I tuned everyone out and turned up my MP3 player.

My doctor came and checked me at 6:30pm and I was at 9cm, he asked me if I wanted my water broken and I said no, I wanted as little intervention as possible, so he said he’d wait in the halls and when I was ready for him to call.  15 minutes later I felt the urge to push, so I put on the push your baby out track and started listened.  My husband told the Dr. so they could set up, since the bed wasn’t broken down.

I have congenital hip dsyplasia, which makes the pushing a little tricky and I have torn ligmanents, and broken and bruised my tailbone with my other deliveries, because of delivering on my back.  I tried to lay down, but couldn’t. I turned up the push your baby out and really focused on listening to my body and what it needed to get this baby out and through the tight squeeze.  My Dr. said you do what you need to do and tell me when you’re ready.  So, he sat in a corner, I climbed off the bed and squatted next to it, pushing gently betwen contractions.  Then I got on all fours for a couple contractions at which point my water broke and the baby crowned.  At that point, I turned over on my back and started pushing gently before the next contraction came, when the contraction came I gave a harder push, got her head out and then one more and there she was on my tummy looking around.

My doctor was great, he waited for the cord to stop pulsing, he waited patiently for the placenta to deliver naturally.  I had a small tear, but it wasn’t bleeding, so he didn’t think stitches were necessary.  He told the nurses to let me keep my baby and nurse her as long as I wanted and to not give me pitocin unless I had alot of bleeding (which I didn’t).  After 5 babies the after pains were a little intense, especially with such an ardent little nurser, and that was probably the worst part of it all.

The funniest thing was that after I had Ava on my tummy for a few minute I realized I stll had my ear buds in and push your baby out on. I asked my husband to please take them out for me so I could stop visualizing my cervix as a soft gold ring!  The Dr. and nurse asked if that is what it really said and I said yes, they just laughed and said well, it worked!  I came home in less than 24 hours and have been feeling pretty good!

All in all it was a great experience, it was hard work, and I lost focus a few times, but just for a moment and then refocused (with my husband’s help) and did it!  I joked with the Dr. and was able to laugh and be calm between waves, it really was great!  I have been recommending Hypnobabies (and my Dr.) to all my pregnant friends and relatives.  I got the After Your Baby CD and am loving it!

Stephenie

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Hello cool Hypno-moms!!!

Walif, my third child made his entrance into the world last 7 Jan 2010.
It was the best birth I had – fast, easy and comfortable.  I felt so fresh after the birth I could run for a marathon.
Everyone complimented on how calm I was in the birthing room and how fresh I looked after.
Thanks to Hypnobabies and all you supportive Hypno-moms!!!
Below is the recap of the eventful day from DH’s perspective.
So he finally arrived.
At around 3pm Thursday she felt her contractions getting closer. She called Andrea the doula, and she told me to monitor it closer and of there’s progress we should go to the hospital. We had packed two bags and I was checking the list to make sure we had everything when she suddenly said we had to go.
I told Minion One (Nabil) to get the bag and Minion Two (Rayhana) to get the birthing (exercise) ball and shove it in the boot of the car. Before we knew it we were in the car heading for the hospital. The ride is only about three minutes and it must have been the longest three minutes of our lives. I jumped out of the car and went straight into the Emergency Room and I was just about to shout out when I felt the stare of a thousand pairs of eyes on me. So I just asked the nearest nurse -softly- for a wheelchair for my wife who is in labour. She was wheeled into the ER and I jumped back into the car.
While I parked I saw Andrea the doula walk in with her bag-o-goodies and I felt a little bit better. I didn’t know it then but apparently while seated on the wheelchair with the baby’s head just about popping out of er… where babies come out from, Kolin was being interviewed According to her, shepolitely asked him if he could do this later. (There might be a different version of this story if I should ask the admissions clerk)
When I walked in I bumped into Andrea the doula, and she asked me where she was, which puzzled me because she was there the whole time while I was parking the car! Of course, the do-not-panic-under-pressure-while-the-underwear-is-being-soiled training came in and I calmly walked into the ER to ask where my wife is. “She’s up in the labour room.” So there we went. They must have crossed paths when she was wheeled onto the other elevator!
At this point of time I thought I would know exactly what to do having done this before. Some… time… before…
I tried to be busy. I tried to read the birth plan again – which I thought I would have time for! But nothing would register!
To cut a long story short… actually… hang on! The story is short! Kolin was in the labour room for maximum 30 minutes when he popped out. When we arrived at the hospital she was FULLY dialated. Imagine that! Any longer in the car I would have to name him Honda!
The Hypnobabies stuff works! No drugs! Not even time for an IV line to be put in -just in case. And Andrea the doula was fantastic! I had no idea what I was doing. More precisely, I had no idea what I was supposed to do! But Andrea the doula did it all!
Dr. Shiva was cool too! Kolin had discussed with her the Birth Plan (which we were to rename Birth Preference – because almost nothing goes to plan in a labour room). She kept to it. The nurses too! Thank God for that… because like I say, I thought I had time to be refreshed but I didn’t!
When everything settled I realised that I only had time for one bag. I left one bag at home (which had the babies clothes in it) and my camera bag as well. We were rushed. It was mad. But we made it in time.
My wife was wonderful. Her decision to do this drug free was the bravest thing to do. It was good for the baby and it was good for her too.
Getting a doula to help us out was a great idea too. She was mainly there just in case I was at work when this happened but by the grace of God all this happened the day after I finished my last flight to start two weeks off. And she turned out better than I expected!
Thanks Andrea.
And thanks to Dr. Shiva for honouring our wishes.
The bundle of joy came out to this world at 4.05pm (Dubai time) on the 7th of January 2010 (21 Muharram 1431), weighing 2.665kg.
We’ve named him Walif Za’eem.
In Arabic:
Walif وليف (origin ولف) means companion, associate,comrade; friend, pal
and
Za’eem زعيم means leader, chief, head, boss, strongman.
I pray that my son becomes as he is named, a friend and a leader and be an asset to his brother and sister, his parents, all that he is related to and to his Ummah. Ameen.


Regards,

Kolin

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I learned about Hypnobabies from a friend, and heard of other friends who used it successfully. I received the news that with this pregnancy I was GBS negative, I was ecstatic! It meant that I didn’t have to have an IV or get to the hospital 4-6 hours before the baby went through the birth canal. This meant that I could stay at home as long as I wanted and listen to the Hypnobabies scripts. It also meant that, if possible, I wouldn’t even be given the option of an epidural.

The Appointment:

As the weeks progressed so did my body. At 40 wks +5 days the doctor told me that we had to do something, and suggested that we schedule an induction for the next day (she would be on call). One of her main concerns was that I was “all baby”. She felt the baby and she said, “He is 9 pounds.” I didn’t believe her. I looked at my husband and I didn’t want to have any medical interventions, so stripping the membranes seemed an ok suggestion. During the procedure, I tried to use my Hypnobabies’ techniques to just relax. The doctor asked if I was ok, and I said, “Yes.” She said, “You have a high pain tolerance.”

Before we left the doctor’s office, my doctor suggested we meet the mid-wife that was on-call for the night. She came in and talked with us and I told her that I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, use my Hypnobabies and then come in when I was ready. She mentioned that one time she had almost been hypnotized herself after listening to scripts during a nighttime birth. Awesome!

The Waiting:

After the appointment I went to the store to buy some last minute groceries and to fill my car with gas. Once home I worked on the computer and talked with a friend via facebook, asking her for some “natural interventions”. My four year old and I also walked down to the bus stop to pick up our six year old. Back at home, I let the girls just play together while I worked on the computer.

Around 4:50 pm the pressure waves were in the back and I decided to start timing them. They were every 5 minutes so I called my husband and told him. Then I called my neighbor and I told her that it would be soon. My husband made it home by 5:45 pm and I turned over responsibility for the kids to him. I finished up a few odd tasks.

While my husband fed the kids, I listened to the “Deepening” track. During the half hour of the track, I had about five pressure waves. During one of them I truly blocked the pressure wave’s sensation. This gave me great confidence! I reported to my husband that it worked! The Hypnobabies had worked!

The Exodus:

At 7:00 pm, I stopped timing the pressure waves (they had been 5 minutes, lasting one minute and had gone for at least 2 hours). At one point I called for my husband during a pressure wave, because I couldn’t move and I needed him in his support role. He called back and I called even louder, he came and gave me the “relax cue”. (The relax cue is when the support person puts his/her hand on the forehead and says “relax”. I’m so glad that I taught him that one thing about Hypnobabies. That would become vital later on.)

We piled all the stuff into the car. We drove to a friend’s house. My husband told the girls to pile out, and then my husband just pretty much threw the stuff at our friend. I remembered at this point (7:43 pm) that I better call the doctor’s office.

The Drive:

(BOP): As we drove out of the neighborhood, I turned to my husband and told him that I didn’t think that I could do it and that I needed to have an epidural. We had talked about this beforehand what he should say or do. He just put his hand on my hair and told me to “relax”. I kept my eyes closed and listened to a script. (end BOP)

At 7:53 pm the mid-wife called and opened my eyes long enough to tell her that we were in the car on the way to the hospital and the contractions were definitely 5 minutes apart, maybe even 3.

The Hospital Entrance:

I did have pressure waves on the way to the hospital. I tried to breathe through them and listen to a Hypnobabies’ track. When we rounded the bend at the hospital and pulled up to the Mother-Baby entrance, I saw how quiet everything was and one lone woman inside. I hoped that she would hurry and bring a wheelchair out. She did, and I was on my way, however, I didn’t feel like she was moving very fast and the wheelchair really was not the most comfortable of chairs. I didn’t say anything to the woman and she didn’t say anything to me.

The Check-in:

At the Mother-Baby desk on the third floor, I immediately stood up. (It was about 8:07 pm at this point.) The two young women standing there looked like they had all the time in the world. They asked me to fill out a form with some important information, name, date and all that stuff. Wasn’t that in the computer? I had to get away from them and focus again. So I asked where the bathroom was. They responded, and I made a beeline for the bathroom. On the way over I saw my husband out of the corner of my eye. He was fast! (He had to park the car.) Once inside I waited for him to come and finally yelled his name, maybe two times. He finally came in and I felt three rapid downward pressure movements.

The labor and delivery supervisor came over and told us that we had to get me moved out of the bathroom. (I guess she came back from where she had gone initially. When she asked the two front desk clerks where the patient had gone, they replied, “Into the restroom.” This put her into high gear. Apparently when a patient asked to see the bathroom that means the birth is not that far away.)

Outside the restroom they offered the wheelchair to me. I decided to walk and we headed to room 1. I walked fast until a pressure wave hit and my body was stalled even though my heart wanted to move. I had my IPOD in my ear. Mentally I was thinking secondarily about the questions that the nurse was asking me.

Inside the room:

BOP: Once inside the room, I asked for an epidural. A nurse said she was going to check me. There was no way that I was going to lie down so I stayed on all fours. At about that same moment a big pop happened, and my water broke. After a check, the nurse said, “You are complete.” I thought, “Complete, what does that mean?” I think I asked again about the epidural and the nurse said something like, “No, you’re not going to have an epidural, you’re going to have a baby.” (end BOP)

The Delivery:

After getting turned around on the bed so the doctor could actually deliver the baby, there was a point when my earbud for my IPOD fell out. I scrambled to get it back in and discovered that it was the “breathing my baby out” Hypnobabies’ track. I do not know how that happened but I do know that God must have made it work out such that it was there.

During the pushing my husband put counter pressure on my hips. I kept asking the nurse questions about whether they could see the head. Apparently there were about 5 or 6 pressure waves total until Kameron came out. Between the pressure waves I asked for drinks of water and was able to refocus myself. The first couple pushes I was vocal but then the last few I didn’t need to make any sound.

The Grand Entrance:

Kameron was born at 8:31 pm. When I turned to see him for the first time, I was surprised to see this large baby. He had a lot of vernix, his face was large, and he had lots of rolls of chubbiness. They took Kameron over to the weigh machine. The first report was in grams…the nurses sighed, then the result in pounds: 10 pounds 2 ounces.

The doctor did not say much but the nurses told us later how cool it was to be a part of that birth. They told me that I was so calm and controlled and they had not seen that in their many years of delivering. I told them that I had used Hypnobabies (hypnosis) and they said that it worked.

We are in love…all four of us! We feel so blessed!

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Michael is a Hypnobabies Instructor and had a beautiful home birth with her 1st and 2nd baby.   She was hoping for another home birth with her 4th, but due to true medical need a hospital induction happened at 35 weeks.

I read Michael’s birth story and was impressed with how being an educated consumer, choosing your care provider wisely and standing up for yourself during your birth (even in less than ideal circumstances) you can still have a lot of freedom.

After 3 days with little or no sleep Michael did choose to get an epidural.  Her mind just couldn’t stay focused enough to use her Hypnobabies.  But honestly I am in AWE of her.  And how awesome she got to catch her own baby!

You can read the whole birth story here with great pictures too.   Be aware you may need your bubble of peace.  But I think it is an inspirational story to see how moms in less than ideal birthing situations still can benefit SO much from Hypnobabies!

Congratulations and welcome to Trillian!

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My first son was born nearly 6 years prior to Abram’s birth.  He was exactly 14 days overdue by the time he was born.  I used Hypnobirth (Mongan method) during my pregnancy to prepare and also hired a Hypnobirthing doula.  My birthing time began in a freestanding birth center.  I stayed there for 24 hours.  By the time I transferred to the hospital I had been “birthing” for about 30 hours.  I was physically exhausted and desperately needed some rest.  I received pitocin and an epidural.  I was finally able to rest and sleep some.  My son was born after 46 hours of total labor.  It had been difficult due to the exhaustion, but was overall a very pleasant experience.  I really enjoyed the actual “pushing” and felt absolutely elated when he was finally born.  Although I really dreaded going to the hospital, the experience was still very wonderful.  My doctor did not insist that I have a c-section even though many other doctors would have at that point.  He gave me time and allowed me to rest and I was able to successfully push out a 9 lb. 4 oz. baby boy without even a tear or episiotomy.  My recovery was wonderful and easy.  I truly believed that without the hypnosis preparation I had my very long first birth would have been unbearable and probably ended in a c-section.  My ability to cope with the difficulty had definitely been improved by my relaxation practice throughout pregnancy.

My second birth was starting out much the same way as my first.  This time I had prepared with the Hypnobabies program since about the 20th week of pregnancy.  I used the homestudy course.  The preparation was much more thorough and I felt much more prepared and confident.  I hired a Hypnobabies instructor to come to my house and go through a “birth rehearsal” with my birth team.  It was really helpful for all of us.  I think it really helped my birth team feel comfortable and prepared.  My friend Kathleen served as my “doula”.  She had not ever had a homebirth or used hypnosis, but she was very willing to be supportive and help me however she could.  My husband served as my main support and helped throughout the pregnancy reading me scripts.  My friend Jason was also on my “birth team”.  My hypnosis sessions and visualization of the birth always focused on having a “comfortable and quick birth”.  I was especially focused on this because of the long first birth I had experienced with my first son.

My son was “due” on May 29th.  He did not arrive until 17 days later on June 15th.  We planned a homebirth with a CNM.  I was getting very tired of waiting and the pressure of needing to get the baby out due to him being so “overdue” was getting to be very emotionally difficult.  Our midwife said that on the 15th we would need to start encouraging him to come out.  We decided that a prostaglandin gel on the cervix would be the best way to do this.  Our midwife is also a Naturopathic physician so she was able to use the gel at her office and then send us home.  We had been trying any other means possible up to this point to encourage him to begin his birthing time.  However, I did absolutely refuse to use castor oil!  I am still very glad that I did.

At 1:15 p.m. she applied the prostaglandin gel on my cervix and told me to roll over on my side for 15 minutes to let it stay there for awhile.  As soon as I rolled over I saw my belly “drop” about six inches.  It was astonishing.  I saw my husband’s eyes get big and I asked, “Did you see that?”  He said yes and we both sat in wonder of what would happen next.  By the time I got off the table I was starting to feel pressure waves.  The waves were coming about every 2 minutes.  This was shocking and I got a little nervous about making it home.  The drive was about an hour to our house.  I listened to the hypnosis tracks on my MP3.  The car ride was slightly uncomfortable, but my hypnosis put me right into a relaxed state.  When we got home I relaxed in bed and listened to my MP3.  My husband had called our birth team and his parents. By the time I got in bed the pressure waves were already becoming more sparse and less intense.  I became a little discouraged and wondered if this was the beginning of another long birth.

My friend Kathleen arrived at 4:15.  She documented the birth and in her notes she wrote that when she arrived I was leaning over the exercise ball and my pressure waves were consistent, but she and my husband were having a hard time of knowing how intense they were.  I was very relaxed and my hypnosis practice seemed like second nature.  The pressure waves were easy and I sometimes talked right through them or just breathed through them.  I ate a little bit and about 5:30 we went for a walk.  The waves were about 2 minutes apart and 40 seconds long.  We kept in touch with my midwife regularly on the phone.

By 7:00 p.m. we went for a walk again.  The waves were becoming fewer and seemed weaker.  This was very discouraging.  My midwife suggested that I use the breast pump she had sent home with me in order to stimulate the oxytocin and encourage the pressure waves to come on stronger.  I ate some dinner and by 8:15 I started pumping.  By this time my mother-in-law was there too.  We all sat down and watched a movie while I sat on the couch and used the electric pump on my breasts.  I used the pump for 20 minutes and then rested for 20 minutes.  I had a little bit of “leaking” so I got some towels to sit on.  By 9:56 I felt a huge “pop” like a balloon had burst inside of me.  We called the midwife again.  I definitely felt the pressure waves become stronger.  This was the start of my “active” birthing time.

I went to the bathroom and checked the fluid.  My husband met me there and gave me my “relax” cues which cued my hypnosis.  I remember saying I felt a little pushy.  He told me, “No you’re not”…. “Just ‘relax’”.  I was a little confused because things seemed to be happening fast.  I asked to get the birth tub filled up at 10:24 p.m…  I leaned over my birth ball in the living room while my friend read my scripts and rubbed my back.  I used my “finger drops” and relaxed beautifully.  By 10:45 I was in the pool.  It was hastily filled up.  It wasn’t quite full enough with air or water, but I really wanted to get in and relax in the water.  I leaned over the sides and tried to relax, but the sides were so low and that position was just not comfortable.  I was feeling nauseous.  At 10:54 I asked my husband to get in behind me so I could sit and lean against him.  This position was lovely and really comfortable.  The midwife was on her way.  They said she’d be here in two minutes.  This helped me feel confident.  I knew my “lifeguard” would be here soon.  My husband faithfully repeated phrases which helped me in my hypnosis.  I stayed in “center switch” and kept repeating my “peace” cue to myself.  This really helped me stay calm and comfortable.  I could feel myself pushing.  It wasn’t something that I could stop.  My body knew exactly what to do. My husband could hear me pushing and was afraid it was too early.  Of course he was also afraid because the midwife had not arrived yet.  His calm and steady repetition of the word “relax” began to get more impatient and loud.  He was basically yelling at me to “relax”!!  It didn’t matter to me because my body was just doing what it had been trained to do.  I knew everything was okay and felt confident that I could trust my body.

At 11:00 Abram’s head was out.  The only way I knew that for sure was that my friend Kathleen had jumped into the pool to support his head with her hands.  She said something comforting to me and spoke in a really calm voice.  I’m not sure exactly what she said, but her eyes said everything I needed to know.  In a single instance Kathleen and I communicated something that will never be able to be articulated in words.  She passed on comfort, strength and confidence in a single eye to eye gaze.  That look is probably a look women have given to each other for millennia as they leaned on each other for support during those moments when a child’s birth was eminent.  It’s a look that is a cheer and a hug and a prayer all at once.  I can never adequately describe it nor will I ever forget it as long as I live. I wish every woman could have a moment like that.  That moment was transformative and healing.  It is one of the many gifts I received during this birth and I feel blessed that I could have that kind of experience.

Kathleen held the head until my midwife arrived.  She arrived at 11:01 p.m. and about two pushes later Abram was born at 11:05 p.m…  He was 9 lbs. 14 ozs. And 21 inches long.

The entire “active” portion of my birthing time was about one hour long.  I was very thankful that I planned a homebirth because I’m not sure I would have made it in time to deliver at a hospital.  I truly believe my hypnosis and my visualization made my birth very quick and easy.  I had an intact perineum and never felt any discomfort, only pressure.   Evidently it was so peaceful and calm that my birth team really had no idea how quickly my birth was progressing.  They were shocked when the head came out because I was so calm and relaxed.  It was the ideal birth.

I am such a believer in hypnosis.  I think the Hypnobabies program really prepared me for my ideal birth.  I had a safe, peaceful, and life changing birth that I will always remember.  I wish that every woman could have this kind of experience.  It is an experience that makes you thankful to be a woman.

I look forward to attending my friend Kathleen’s birth next May.  She is having a homebirth and using Hypnobabies. We will again get to experience the amazing journey of birth together.  What a gift!!

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