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On April 5th I started having consistent and different pressure waves beginning in the morning, which is not the usual for me.  My body likes to prepare ALOT so I had pressure waves every evening 3-5min apart and lasting a min to 1.30 for about a week and a half now…..talk about teasers!  So this time I thought it must be it.  I just went about my day and would time them every now and then to see that they were still very consistent.  Well, that night I couldn’t sleep.  They were stronger and it didn’t feel comfortable to lay down through them anymore.  I popped in my easy first stage and tried to sleep through them, but was excited about what was coming :) I finally decided around 1am to call my midwife and tell her that I thought I was in my early birthing time, but that I could still manage the pressure waves pretty good so she didn’t need to come yet just giving her a heads up.  An hour later I felt like I needed to call her and see if she wanted to come set up.  So Mary Anne ended up arriving around 2:15am and checking my vitals and asking questions.  The minute she walked in the door everything sllllooowwed down!  I was so confused….she said that I was normal when they show up for things to stop progressing as much for a little bit almost like my body was nervous to perform, lol.  She talked me into to going back to bed and if this was it my pressure waves would wake me.  4 hours later…….I woke up completely fine and pressure waves gone!  Sooo embarrassing! Lol Poor Mary Anne stayed up all night at my house but assured me that this wasn’t her first rodeo with false alarms :) which brings me to April 6th.

I was pretty bummed about last night since I was a week over my guess date and was starting to get anxious about if I would get to have a home birth or not (you can’t have baby at home past two weeks).  Around 2pm I started feeling the same kind of pressure waves that I did the night before.  I described them as more “firery”….I know that is not a word, but it’s the only thing that came to mind.  A slight warming sensation when they would come on. (Editor’s note: “like a big warm hug for you and your baby?!”) So I decided to go about my day and just see what happens.  I even had an out of town friend that I hadn’t seen in a couple years come by around 2:30pm to hang out for a few and catch up.  I warned her that I was probably in my birthing time but it was no biggie and I would let her know if she needed to head out ha.  So about an hour of talking and walking around with her I calmly told her that it was time for me to call my midwife that this was happening tonight….needless to say she jetted out of here!  Mary Anne showed up about an hour later and my mom, husband, and her quickly started preparing the birthing tub and getting set up while I listened to my early birthing tracks, rolled on the birth ball, and swayed around the house breathing through waves.
The timeline of everything is still pretty fuzzy to me, but after what seemed like an hour the tub was finally ready!  Ohhhh was it soooo worth every penny!  The birthing tub was amazing and was just what I needed.  I stayed it the tub for a while skipping around through birthing day tracks and positive affirmations on my iPod.  Things started getting more intense and I felt the need to low moan and have pressure on my back.  I was drinking lots of water so I had to get out of the tub about three times to use the restroom.  I didn’t mind this even though it was awkward at times because I was determined to not feel “stuck” this time and I knew the more I moved the better chance of Cole moving down and out.  I could tell when I hit transition because the pressure waves were closer together and I started feeling like I was getting the break I needed between them.  I quickly realized I needed to just stay in the present and focus on getting through one pressure wave at a time and using low moan and ooooopen.  Finally my body started pushing which felt so good! I wish I could have pushed through transition lol.  My water quickly broke and I just went with it and pushed as my body allowed.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I felt a sense of urgency fill the room to get the baby out.  Later I found out that Cole’s heart rate had dropped and they didn’t want him in there long.  So I flipped to my back and pushed like it was my job until Mary Anne said okay we are getting you out are next push and on to the bed! I was like whaaaat, lol.  You want me to move? Lol. So of course I did and a few pushes later he was out!  Bright eyed and bushy tailed and 9pounds 23 inches :)
I am so happy that I did hypnobabies……it really helped me become mentally prepared for everything :) my techniques worked amazingly.  The tracks and finger drop were my savior in this birth for sure.  So happy how it all turned out and I would do it all again in a heart beat!

Since I know that you all love Hypnobabies.  I feel certain that you will understand the importance of voting for Hypnobabies in the small business grant contest:

 

https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com

 

Please vote now, and put the link on your Facebook pages, Twitter feed, Linked in groups and contacts, e-mail groups and lists, etc., it would make a very strong showing for the decision makers that Hypnobabies is worth giving the grant to.

 

Please help us. Please vote and pass this link along today, We need this grant to help spread the joy of Hypnobabies so more moms can enjoy their births!

 

Thank you so much,

 

Kerry

Baby Annaleah Nancy was born Thursday May 10th, 2012 at 5:38am. She is
absolutely perfect, weighing 7lbs 10oz at birth, and  20in  long. Our
doctor even called her, “the perfect specimen”. She is a truly beautiful
baby, with dark brown hair and blue eyes, and was totally worth the 25
hours of birthing time it took for her to arrive.

My pressure waves started Wednesday May 9th at 4:30am. They started out
strong and fast, 2-3 minutes apart, at a minute long! They did slow down
after the first few, but stayed mostly at 2-5minutes apart the entire
time. I had very few that were a bit longer. So it was definitely
tiring.

The first 12 hours were amazing. I used the Hypnobabies techniques, and
they worked. I went into my doctor’s appointment at 11:30am Wednesday,
smiled and said, “I think baby is on the way.” She checked and I was 3cm
and 80% effaced. She suggested we go home, have lunch, and go to the
hospital. I’d wanted to wait to be further along, but with testing gbs
positive, also wanted to be sure I had enough time for antibiotics.

We got to the hospital at 2:30pm. So far, I still felt great. I was
talking and smiling through every pressure wave. The nurses kept looking
at the monitor, and asking, “Don’t you feel that?” They also told me
that when my doctor called to tell them we were coming in, she told
them, I’d probably seem like nothing was happening because I’m usually
pretty calm and quiet.

Shortly after we arrived, one of the nurses checked my progress. She
estimated me to be at 7cm already!  It felt amazing to hear I’d gone so
far, and had not even the slightest bit of discomfort. Unfortunately, my
doctor arrived shortly after, and a bit later, had to reluctantly tell
us I was not at 7cm, but at 4cm.

That set me back a bit. I’d been really calm and relaxed, and feeling
positive about everything. Suddenly I felt how slow things were going. I
started feeling more of the waves now too. I did manage to get
refocused, but it was hard after that to be as positive as I had been.

(editors note – this is a good example of why sometimes it is better not to find out how dilated you are.)

I was comfortable most of the night, though I had to spend way too much
time on the monitor, because baby girl kept moving. We walked the halls
some, slow danced, and I spent some time on the ball to try to get
things moving. Sometime in the night I started having some back
pressure. At that point I started using the shower. It actually helped a
lot. I wish our shower at home was that nice!  Mostly I tried to stay
relaxed and patient. I knew baby would come in her own time.

Around 3:30am Thursday, I lost my mucus plug. I was now at 7cm. Starting
at this point, my waves became very powerful and intense. I also started
having uncontrollable shaking, which lasted until after baby’s birth. I
kept repeating to myself that, “the stronger and more powerful my
pressure waves feel, the closer I am to holding our baby girl.” It
worked, as despite the intensity I managed to be able to sleep through
some waves right up until it was time for baby to be born.

About an hour later, maybe a bit less, my water broke. I was still at 7,
but progressed very quickly. I had a sudden intense urge to push in less
than half an hour. In fact, my body started trying to push on it’s own.
So they checked me again, and I was between 8 and 9 cm, but still had a
water bag.  My water had definitely broken, so this was strange. They
called for my doctor because regardless, things were going quick now!

A few minutes later, my doctor got to the room. She checked, and there
was a second bag of completely intact waters. She asked if I felt like I
could push with my next pressure wave. I told her, “I’ve been trying not
to push for the last half hour!” So on the next one, I pushed and my
second bag of waters broke with an explosive gush.

I felt baby’s head drop immediately, and was told to keep pushing.  I
used the ah breathing techniques in the Hypnobabies course to push. I
could hear one nurse telling me to hold my breath and push, but I just
stayed in my bubble of peace and kept doing what I knew was right for me
and baby. Our doctor never once gave me “how to” instructions. She
patiently sat on the edge of the bed, and stayed positive and
encouraging for us.  I did make some yelling sounds with pushing, which
surprised me. I’m usually very quiet, but it felt good to make a bit of
noise. After a few pushes, I tearfully declared I couldn’t do it because
I was too tired and wanted to sleep. My doctor knew just how to motivate
me though. She suggested I reach down and feel baby’s head, which was
crowning. So I did, and that was enough to give me that last bit of
energy needed. I said, “Come on out now baby girl”, then  I moved from
my side to a more upright, not quite a full squat position. I wanted to
be able to see her be born, and have gravity working for us as well. In
just a few pushes more her head was out. I moved one leg the slightest bit, and out slid our baby
girl.  She had a perfect shaped head, and wasn’t the least bit wrinkled.
Along with two bags of waters, she’d had a larger than normal placenta
to work with.

I will never forget what it was like to both feel and see her being
born, or how it felt to first hold her in my arms. The way she looked at
me and her Daddy so lovingly, is permanently etched in my mind. She
didn’t cry at all. She just looked around the room and smiled. Her Daddy
touched her hand, and she immediately grabbed onto his finger. It was
the most intense, most powerful, most beautiful experience of our lives.

I experienced so many powerful feelings and emotions during my birthing
time. I laughed, I cried, I sang, I even yelled a bit. Each one felt
good. By the end, I was exhausted. I’d had 25 hours of frequent, fairly
intense pressure waves. I am so thankful we decided to take the
Hypnobabies course. It really did help me to get through such a long
birthing time in an overall easy and comfortable way.

I remember telling Jeff, as I pushed her out, that this might be our
only baby. Truth is, I changed my mind about that the minute she was
born. I will never forget the way she looked at me, so happy, loving,
and peaceful. That alone made it all worth while. If we do have another,
we will be using Hypnobabies for that birth as well.

During my last pregnancy I really enjoyed reading positive birth experiences so now I want to share mine.

I have given birth twice before, if you call having a baby cut out of your stomach “giving birth”. I don’t want to go into details about my negative experiences so I’ll summarize to give you an idea of where I was coming from. During my first birth I was progressing surprisingly fast for a first time until a nurse accidentally hurt me badly and caused my body to go into shock which slowed my labor to an almost stop. After many, many hours of labor the doctors refused to wait any more (I was 9cm at this point), even though my baby’s heart showed no sign of distress, and I  received a very traumatic Cesarean. Second birth was a forced c-section because the baby came about 6 weeks early and I was 4 hours from my hospital, the one I ended up at wouldn’t allow me to have a VBAC (I threatened to give birth in the parking lot if they wouldn’t let me just push him out but I wasn’t able to waddle out there. lol.)  Both babies were perfectly health though!

Both times everyone told me “Just be thankful you have a healthy baby.” Of course I was dearly thankful for a healthy baby (I love my two little boys with all my heart) but I could have and should have been able to deliver them in a healthy way.

I was very discouraged, especially since I had planned a natural birth with both of my pregnancies. So when I became pregnant with baby #3 (another precious boy) I did extensive research and became determined to do hypnobabies, I started the course very early in my pregnancy, ate super healthy and after much prayer my husband and I felt very confident in giving birth at home. The midwife we chose had a lot of experience and also happened to be a good friend that lived only a block away.
Hypnobabies was such a HUGE help in being able to overcome my fears and as my birthing time approached I grew more and more confident in my ability to ease my baby into this world. I had many people who told us things like: “Since this is your first vaginal birth it will be a long, hard labor and many hours of pushing.” “Having it natural is great but it should be at a hospital since its a VBAC.” etc etc. Not to mention the “Your crazy!” comments from random people. But it didn’t matter what they said we were confident and knew what was right for us.

At 3:33 pm on Feb 8th, not long after my husband got home from work, I began getting mild pressure waves. I knew they were simply practice waves since I had been getting a lot of them this week but as we gathered in the kitchen to eat a late lunch the waves were getting progressively stronger and I found it easier to rest my head on the table through each one. My husband knew it was ‘that’ time but I still wasn’t convinced. It must have concerned my precious 4 year old because he reached over occasionally and tenderly rubbed my hand to offer his comfort.
My husband finally convinced me to call the midwife. She brought over her equipment and my husband filled up the birthing pool while she checked me at 4:30. I was completely effaced but only dilated to about a 4 1/2. She offered to stay but voiced her desire to return home and shower first. The kids had now gone with the babysitter so I thought it would be nice to just enjoy this time with my husband and I encouraged her to go. Not long after my midwife left I made a trip to the restroom and found it difficult to get comfortable then on my return I spotted the birthing pool. The warm water was so inviting and instead of changing into the birthing skirt and swim top I had planned on wearing, I lost any sense of modesty and stripped completely then sank into the water. It was so soothing!

The pressure waves were rapidly becoming a LOT of pressure and at one point the fear of this lasting for hours caused me to tense up and I lost my focus but my sweet husband brought me back and I can testify that relaxing makes a HUGE difference! Then for the first time I actually tuned into the hypnobabies cd that was playing in the background and it eased things up too. I tried the belly lift technique (from the book: Back labor no more) through a few of my waves but it seemed to make me more uncomfortable instead of less. I suspect that it still sped things up because suddenly I realized that my body was pushing! In complete awe I told my husband and he quickly called the midwife (good thing she was only a block away!). It was now 5:31 and my sweetheart kept telling me to stop pushing until she got there but there was no stopping my body, it had taken over.

Our midwife arrived minutes after. She moved back a slight cervical lip and gave me complete permission to push. WOW! I was amazed at the incredible power my body put into each push. I had read that in your birthing time it is very relieving when it comes time to push and I now know what those women were talking about. After a few pressure waves my midwife suggested that I reach down and feel my baby’s head in the birth canal. That was another WOW! moment. With each push I could feel his head move closer and closer, it was so amazing and exciting!! We didn’t have enough hot water to fill the birthing pool very far so it only reached up my tummy when I was on my hands and knees. My midwife had me get into a squatting position so that my bottom would be submerged for the crowning but that position stopped the baby’s progress so after a few pressure waves she had me get back onto my hands and knees. From there the babies head was soon crowning. As I was trying to slowly ease my baby’s head out I could really feel the stretch so when my midwife asked me to push I obliged her and in two pushes I felt his beautiful head emerge (I still didn’t tear at all. YAY!). It was strangely incredible to feel his head protruding from me. I could feel his wet hair and his tiny ears. I was then told to go ahead and push out his body even though I wasn’t having a pressure wave. I was surprised at how easy it was to do so with one quick push. He was born at 5:50. I immediately turned over onto my back and my little angel was placed onto my stomach. He lay there looking around at his new world, occasionally making the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard.

In less than 2 1/2 hours from when my pressure waves began and almost 20 minutes of pushing I had given birth to my baby. It was the most empowering experience of my life! He weighed exactly 6 lbs and measured 19.5 inches. I’m so in love!

~Crystal

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

A lot of people have been curious about Lyla’s birth story especially since I used hypnosis to have a completely natural birth. I hope that in sharing, this will encourage more women to trust in their body’s ability to give birth naturally and not be so quick to accept interventions that are unnecessary (and which lead to more interventions and c-sections). Also, I wanted to add to all the other positive stories out there of successful VBACs- and for everyone to know that a VBAC after 2 c-sections is not only possible but can be such a great experience! Those who know me know I tend to be wordy, so yes, this is long and detailed. Also it is a birth story- so expect it to be just that!

To tell the story of the birth Lyla, a little bit needs to be said about the births of our first two children. Having a natural birth has always been important to me. My mother had 5 kids and it wasn’t until her last baby that she experienced the rewards of a completely natural birth in Japan with the help of some amazing midwives. That was enough for me to want it. However, my first birth ended in a c-section. From the very moment I walked into the hospital, nothing was going my way. Although I didn’t want an IV or to be monitored constantly I was told I had to and I eventually gave in- and I ended up laboring uncomfortably in a hospital bed. By 8cm it was just too much to handle and I asked for an epidural. When I hit 10cm I was immediately told to push (unnaturally) and pushed for 3 hours with no progress. Never once did I feel an actual urge to push. My tired doctor finally convinced me I needed a c-section and I gave in. With my second baby, I approached the same doctor about a VBAC. He told me my pelvis was too narrow for natural birth and that I would need a scheduled c-section. He was very convincing and I trusted him again.

When I got pregnant with my third, I knew I had to do what it took to get my natural birth. A birth where I was alert, aware and in complete control of my body. From the very start odds seemed to be against us. I was worried that after 2 c-sections it would be impossible to find a care provider who supported my wish. But with encouragement from my husband and close friends, I started searching, and my search led me to Melissa Courtney- a midwife who had just started her own practice at Womankind Midwives. I remember feeling so nervous walking into her building to talk to her- and I RARELY get nervous over things like that! But the moment I met her I felt at ease. She was kind and sweet and took a lot of time to listen to my story and the reasons why a natural birth was so important to me. She calmed any fears I had about uterine rupture and other complications. Even as I got really emotional she was so sweet and understanding. I knew immediately that I wanted her to deliver my baby. BUT. There was a catch- she had to get a doctor who would back her up just in case. Thankfully that was Dr. Campbell- a high risk OB who supported midwives and their cause. I had to wait for Melissa’s call that day that he had agreed to give it a go. I was so nervous. Then the call came. He was on board! There were a lot of “what if’s” but at that point I didn’t care. I had faith that things would work out and I wasn’t going to give up.

In our quest for a natural birth, we decided to take a Hypnobabies class. My best friend had used Hypnobabies with her VBAC and raved about it. That led my sister-in-law to use it for her birth and she also had a great experience. The class was taught by Julie Six, who was also my sister-in-law’s doula. I decided to contact her to see if she would be a good fit for us. In talking to her, she was very experienced and passionate about what she did. After texting back and forth we also discovered that we knew each other already! From high school! Small world… no wonder she felt like an old friend! We decided to hire her as our doula and I had every bit of confidence she would help me in every way possible to get the birth that I wanted. I also learned early on that finding the right people to support you during birth is so important!

As my due date got closer and closer there were a few concerns. My first 2 babies were apparently considered close to the “large” side at 8 pounds (Joselyn) and 8 pounds 10 oz. (Landen) The policies at the hospital don’t allow for VBACS of babies looking to weigh more than 8 pounds 14 oz. (let alone a VBA2C!) So Dr. Campbell wanted to make sure that my little Lyla wasn’t going to be close to that number. At 37 weeks she was already calculated at weighing 7 pounds 3 oz and with babies growing about half a pound a week, we would be cutting it close. At this point I should also mention that apparently there were 2 due dates floating around. Dr. Campbell had been going by my April 6th due date (calculated according to the first day of my last period)… but according to an early ultrasound, her due date was actually projected to be April 11th. The latter was the date my midwife had been going by. We went back for another ultrasound 2 weeks later and were relieved to find out that she had only gained 4 oz!! This was such a blessing!! With that, Dr. Campbell pretty much said we were good to go!! My only concern after that was that she would come fast so there would be no more questioning her size.

So then we just waited. And waited. April 6th came and went, nothing. Easter came and went. I was for sure she was going to be an Easter baby. April 11th came and went and nothing. I was starting to get a little concerned… but Melissa was reassuring as was Julie. Babies come when they are good and ready- and Melissa didn’t seem too concerned over the weight of the baby. I was a little anxious so I had Melissa strip my membranes twice, both pretty much only causing a few pressure waves here and there with some minimal cramping.  Over the course of the 5 days leading up to Lyla’s birth I would get periods of pressure waves that were getting closer together and stronger. I would think “this is it!!” but then they would stop. That was so frustrating to me!! Not to mention a little embarrassing since I felt like the boy who cried wolf every time I called Julie or Melissa. On Saturday night April 14th, I just had a feeling I would be going into labor the next day. It was approaching 4 days past my latter due date which is when I went into labor with Joselyn. I knew for sure I wouldn’t feel up to going to church so I called for a sub. At 1 am in the morning the pressure waves started. They were 5 minutes apart. I wasn’t going to cry wolf this time, so I timed them for 2 hours, I took a nice warm bath and listened to my hypnosis tracks to relax myself. When they didn’t stop, I finally called Julie and Melissa to give them a heads up- but told them I would call them later on in the morning.  I tried to get a little sleep in between pressure waves and at this point everything was very manageable. Nothing painful at all- I wouldn’t even call it discomfort.  I was actually enjoying them! Really! I knew it meant that I would finally be getting the birth that I wanted and that I would finally get to meet my little Lyla Jane. When everyone woke up at around 8am, pressure waves were still coming 4-5 minutes apart lasting about 1 minute long. Melissa had told me that’s when I would want to be going to the hospital- but when I called her she wanted me to wait a little longer. The more I labored at home the better.

Julie came over around 9:30am and we took the kids over to my in-laws. I got out my trusty birthing ball and did a lot of my laboring right there in my living room. I listened to just about every hypnosis track in my possession. We went for lots and lots of walks. I have fond memories of these walks. It was incredibly beautiful outside- a light cool breeze and sunny skies. It was the kind of day I had imagined in my head when I thought about Lyla’s birthday. We talked and laughed in between pressure waves- I was so excited things were happening!! We were going to do this!

By around 4:30pm things hadn’t really progressed much- pressure waves were still about the same or ranged from every 2-3 minutes apart to 4-5 minutes apart.  We decided to go meet Melissa at her office just to check on things. I had said early on that I didn’t want to know my progress in numbers- I was afraid knowing would discourage me if I hadn’t made much progress even though I had been taught in my classes that those numbers could mean anything. Well, it really was a good thing I didn’t know. After laboring all morning and afternoon, I was apparently only 4cm. I was 100% effaced though and the baby was at 0 station so at least that was all in place! We were sent back to labor at home some more. We tried to all get a little nap in when the evening came and even took another nice long walk just as the sun was setting. I really was starting to get a little discouraged. I kept on waiting for Julie to say “ok! let’s head to the hospital! It’s time!” but she never did. I personally felt like things were going SOMEWHERE because I felt different.  I went through a period of chills and shook for a little bit as I was laying down and at one point couldn’t stop crying I was just so emotional. I was laughing through the tears because I honestly had no idea why I was crying. Of course it was the hormones- things were progressing- but still not enough for Julie to think I was ready to head to the hospital. I was afraid that if something were to happen fast we wouldn’t get to the hospital in time, but Julie reassured me that everything would be ok since we lived only about 5 minutes from the hospital. As far as “pain” or discomfort goes, everything was still manageable. Intensity had definitely picked up though especially in my lower back. Julie and Adam both took turns with massages and hip squeezes (took a lot of muscle on their part!) that relieved a lot of the pressure I was feeling. By midnight I was just ready to have the baby. It had almost been 24 hours since I started my labor and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel discouraged. I felt that by staying home I was somehow keeping Lyla from coming- that I needed to be where I was going to give birth. In a lot of cases, going to the hospital can slow things down though- so really we had no clue what was going to happen once we got there. But I wanted to be at the hospital. So we went.

When I first walked in to the room, the nurse immediately told me she supported what I was doing 100%. Not only was that a confidence booster, but it made me feel a lot more comfortable. Because it was a VBA2C, I was supposed to immediately get a heplock and be monitored the whole time. I was also supposed to get a dose of antibiotics because I had tested positive for Group B Strep. But Melissa still felt I had a way to go and that I would possibly want to go back home if I didn’t make any progress so they held off on the IV. I was checked- and once again, it’s a good thing no one told me. I was only 5cm!!! After laboring ALL DAY LONG!!! But as you will see, you really can’t birth by numbers!

The nurses were so wonderful. They respected my wishes to labor on the birthing ball where I was most comfortable and tried really hard to get the monitor to work for me on the ball. It was difficult- they weren’t picking up much. So finally they said if I would lay in the bed for 10 minutes and let them monitor the baby they would let me back on the ball without the monitor.  I will say trying to labor at the hospital WAS a lot more difficult. It was a lot harder for me to get into that relaxed state of mind that I needed to be in. Nevertheless, I know that the hypnosis was working because every time I heard certain cue words such as “relax” I would immediately feel more relaxed and my breathing would slow down. Things were getting pretty intense. Still manageable but definitely got me wondering if I could do it- especially when everyone around me seemed to think I wasn’t really close. I felt like the pressure waves were coming back to back at that point. I think it’s at that point when women think “I can’t do it” that things are actually happening. It was right about then that I felt a pop- and I said “I think my water just broke…”  I stood up to “confirm” and sure enough my water had broke. They took me to sit down on the toilet- and I felt like I had to pee- and the nurse checked me again. I was an 8. Then all of the sudden I had an urge to push. I had never felt it before but it was very powerful. I remember it being really intense but I loved that my body was doing what it was supposed to be doing! It almost made me giddy inside. They moved me to the bed. I had told myself I would never push on my back again (which is what I did with Joselyn)  but it was strange that it was what felt right and most comfortable. Things moved pretty fast from there. I couldn’t hold back my urge to push- and Melissa was called. An IV was put in quickly so I could get my dose of antibiotics as well. I must say I felt pretty silly- I was trying to breathe her out as much as I could but sometimes what came out of my mouth was making me laugh inside. With each push I could feel Lyla making progress. It was incredible! I would get a small rest in between the pressure waves and those were relaxing. I would get enough energy to push again. I was glad at this point that I had labored mostly at home- eating and drinking as much as I wanted so I would have energy for that moment.

Things kind of get complicated from here. I was really focused on what I was doing so although I was completely aware, there’s apparently a lot I missed. We had learned earlier on that Dr. Campbell was on vacation. Melissa wasn’t there yet so a laborist (on call Doctor) was called up to deliver my baby. Although I was having the urges to push, I was apparently not “complete” and the nurses were trying everything to get me to that perfect 10 to “avoid interventions”. I later learned the laborist was completely against VBACS and was telling the nurses I needed to have a c-section. Thankfully, the nurses were successful in getting me where I needed to be before the Dr. had come up to deliver the baby. I pushed for about 15 minutes- and then she was here at 4:13am! Words can’t describe the feelings I felt at that moment. I couldn’t believe I had done it! It was exhilarating! Adam and I were both very emotional as they pulled Lyla onto my chest. She cried for a minute, then with her big dark blue eyes just started looking around taking in the new world around her. She was so sweet and I was so in love. I just got to cuddle with her there as Adam helped clean her off.

About 5 minutes after the delivery, Melissa walked in. I am so sad she missed it- she was the reason I had been able to do this in the first place. I had a 2nd degree tear- nothing major at all- but the doctor apparently wanted to take me to the OR for better lighting to give me stitches. That seemed odd to everyone in the room, but I initially consented. When it was apparent that was an odd thing, I asked Melissa if it was necessary and she said it wasn’t. It wasn’t a bad tear, I didn’t have bleeding… so I decided not to get stitches. That apparently made the DR pretty upset. After talking to Melissa, he came back into the delivery room and said I would have to sign a waiver. I told him I would calmly and thanked him for all that he did. I could tell he was upset. I later learned he was not a huge fan of midwives or VBACs. He told Melissa she hadn’t followed protocol and was trying to write her up. The nurses would not consent. She had done everything she was supposed to. To me, this was a blessing in disguise. Even though I would not have consented to a c-section, I can imagine things would have been tense and stressful had I not progressed the way I had and he had walked in even saying the C word.

I’m so glad we didn’t give up along the way. I got exactly what I had wanted. Even looking back- knowing things did get hard at one point, I can’t remember being in pain at all. All I remember are the overwhelming feelings of joy when Lyla was born. And the feeling of accomplishment. And gratitude for the experience and to all that sacrificed their sleep and time with their families to help me. I’m amazed with what our bodies can do- really- even after 2 c-sections my body still knew what to do when it came time to giving birth. It was all a miracle! In the hospital, the day I gave birth, a nurse walked in and asked if I was the patient. She couldn’t believe I was up walking around doing things so shortly after my birth. The day we got home from the hospital I took a short walk- it felt nice to be able to move around freely.

Again, choosing Melissa as my midwife and Julie as my doula was essential to my success. I am a big believer that choosing the right care provider during a VBAC or VBA2C will greatly add to it’s success. Laboring at home as long as possible also helped me to stay focused listening to my hypnosis tracks. I ate a lot of crackers and apple sauce and drank lots of water during labor- that gave me the energy that I needed to last through my 26 hour labor and delivery. I’m so grateful that Hypnobabies helped me to have a relaxing and enjoyable birth experience void of fear and pain. I won’t say it wasn’t ever hard for me, but the intense moments were short lived and easy to get through because of all the techniques we had learned in class.

I’m in love with my birthing experience and the bond it has created between me and Lyla. Even my relationship with my husband was strengthened because we worked together through it all. I will shout praises about Hypnobabies the rest of my days!

Molly’s Birth story

Molly Jane was born at 2:58 am on April 21, 10 days after her guess date, and after a short, ENJOYABLE birthing time. Here’s the story of Molly’s birth (long version).

After three weeks of maternity leave and several weeks of preparing our home and TRYING (as best is possible) to prepare our two year old for his new sister, I was starting to get just the slightest bit impatient (though I tried hard not to be!) I had had lots of “toning” contractions in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and I knew when it happened that it would be a quick one! Hypnobabies helped remind me that she would come when she was ready, and that our birth would be a wonderful experience.

A little stress heading into my birthing time: both my midwife and my mom were going to be out of town for the weekend (we were just over a week past the guess date at this point). This was a bit stressful for me since we’d planned that my mom would watch our two year old during the birth, and of course I wanted my regular midwife to attend my birth! But no point in allowing too much stress in. We had my dad who could come watch my son if needed and of course the midwife had a back up in place.  I think my Hypnobabies training really helped me let go of any stress this situation may have caused, and I felt very sure that things would happen in the exact way they should. And, of course, Molly decided she was ready to be born the very night both my midwife and mom were out of town!

Friday afternoon I got my fluid levels checked (41 weeks, 2 days), and all looked good. My husband took the afternoon off, we had lunch and walked a bit. I had been feeling tons of Braxton Hicks that afternoon, but that was normal for me in the last couple weeks, and I didn’t really think it meant anything. I was hoping she would at least wait until the next day when my midwife would be back.

We got our son from school, went home and had tons of fun playing in the sprinkler with him. We had our usual “Pizza Friday” dinner and put our son to bed. All along, I had a few Braxton-Hicks here and there, but nothing more than any other evening, so I didn’t think anything of them.

I went to bed early, as usual, around 8:30.  Read a little, listened to a Hypnobabies track. I woke up to go to the bathroom around 10:45, and felt a pressure wave that felt a little more “real” to me. A little while later I felt another one. At 11:00 I texted my husband (out in the front room watching tv still), “hey, can you come back here, I think my labor is starting.” Of course he ran back, and we discussed our options, waited through a few more waves.  Pretty quickly I had the “this is it” feeling, so we called my dad to come over and tried to call the on-call number for the Birth Center. Turns out they were already there for a birth, so they said come on in to be checked, especially since I had a fast birth for my first birth.

The car ride was quick and easy, I listened to my Birth Day Affirmations and felt really positive and relaxed. We got to the Birth Center around 12:15 or so, and got to meet the on-call midwife who would be attending our birth. She was really great and warm and funny, which immediately took away any residual stress about our usual midwife being out of town! She checked me, and I was 4cm, around 80%, and -2, which is pretty much where I had been at my appointment on Tuesday. I was told that I could go home and labor some more, or I could stay if I felt like I needed to (incidentally, for my first birth the dr at the hospital told me to go back home when we checked in at 1:30am; I listened to my gut, we stayed, and our son was born 4 hours later!). We chose to stay, walk around a bit, and see where we were in an hour or so.

My husband and I went out into the cul-de-sac to walk. We walked and chatted, and I listened to more affirmations. I had more waves as we walked, nothing to regular, and I could still walk and talk through them. But I was still sure our birthing time was close.

We went back in around 1:30. I sat on the birth ball, listened to Easy First Stage, and ate some dried apricots and hydrated myself. I had several more waves while sitting on the ball, and my husband used the “release” cue with his hand on my shoulder to help me relax and breathe through each one. Felt amazing. At this point, they asked about filling the tub, and I wasn’t sure because it still felt so comfortable and I didn’t want to get in too early and slow things down. We decided just to fill it and I’m glad we did.

Around 2, my pressure waves picked up, and I began kneeling over the top of the ball while my husband squeezed my hips during each wave, using the “release” and “relax” cues.  He was amazing, reading my signals and giving me just what I needed. I also kept repeating “open, open, open”during each wave, which helped me focus on what my body was doing.  All through this, the midwife, nurse, and doula were coming in and out to set up and to check on us, but they were really hands off and just let us do our thing, which was just what I needed.

Soon I was feeling like it was time to get into the tub. The midwife wanted to check me first, and I was a little discouraged to hear I was “only” at 6 (this was just after 2:30).  A few waves later I was in the tub, and it felt amazing! I tried a few different positions to see what felt best, and finished listening to Easy First Stage. My husband wondered what to put on next, and suddenly I felt like he needed to put the Pushing Baby Out track. He put it on but I don’t think I heard a word of it, I was in my “zone” at that point!

I was really focused.   I flipped onto all fours, which felt the best to me, and about two waves later I felt that urge to push. That was intense, but I knew our baby would be here soon and tried to focus on letting that happen!  My husband was right by my head as I leaned over the tub, letting me squeeze his hand (and even bite it through the last intense wave as I pushed her head out!!) I think I pushed through two or three waves, and maybe a few minutes, and then I was holding our little girl!!

She had a short cord, and it actually tore as they handed her up to me, so we had to clamp it and get out of the tub right away. Everyone seemed calm about it, so I didn’t stress, just climbed onto the bed and snuggled my baby as they massaged my belly and delivered the placenta. She cuddled a bit skin-to-skin, then she latched right on and nursed really well!

I felt amazing, despite missing most of the night’s sleep. We stayed for about 3 and a half hours, and both of us were doing great. We got to go home around 6:30, stopped for breakfast, and were home just about 30 minutes after our 2 year old got up for the day. This was a relief to me, since I really wanted to make the transition as easy for him as we could. We got to introduce our son to his baby sister, which was such a precious moment, and just spend a nice relaxing day at home with our new little family! And this recovery has been SO nice and easy too!

I loved our birth, and even feel a little sad it’s over! I can’t say enough great things about Hypnobabies, which helped me stay positive and relaxed and prepared me for a quick and easy birthing time. I also wish more women could have access to the birth center model of care, because it was just fantastic and such a nice way for our baby to be born!!

My sweet love, our five week old son, is on my lap as I write this. Jackson is our first child and his birth was amazing, in large part thanks to Hypnobabies. From the time we found out we were expecting, I had the date of March 9, 2012 in mind as the day our sweet baby would join us. Our actual guess date was March 13th, but I suppose mother’s intuition knew our little one would decided to come a few days before his guess date. Our birth story unfolded throughout the week culminating with our most precious gift joining our family on March 9th.

We are so fortunate to have a wonderful birth center in our city with two amazing midwives. They were our primary care providers throughout our pregnancy, with the exception of two visits to an OB required by state law. I think it’s worth stating that my BOP and Fear Clearing were invaluable on my second visit to the OB. He basically mocked the fact that I told him I was intending to enjoy our natural birth and felt it necessary to tell me horror stories to try and scare me. I used my BOP to block him out as much as possible during the visit.  That evening when I returned home I did a fear clearing session to try and (successfully!) get the stories he told me out of my head.  The experience with the OB made me all the more thankful to have our birth center and fabulous midwives.
On Monday morning I woke up and felt a little trickle when I got out of bed. It was just the smallest amount, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t amniotic fluid so I went in to see my midwives. It turned out to be nothing (or the beginning of the mucus plug) and she said I didn’t appear to be dilated yet. She did say that baby was in optimal fetal positioning, which I was thrilled to hear as our little one was constantly swimming around in there (lots of fluid for him!) and changing positions almost weekly.
Tuesday morning I woke up and went to the restroom and discovered that I had lost my mucus plug. I was 39 weeks and some change and was excited that things looked like they were getting started toward our birthing time! I went on about my day and felt a periodic pressure wave, but nothing that really grabbed my attention. Apparently I did have practice pressure waves toward the end of pregnancy, but I never felt any of them. The only reason I knew they were going on was the midwife pointed it out to me at an appointment. Being aware of them at all was a change, so I knew this was a positive sign that we were progressing.
That evening around 7pm the waves began to get more frequent, but again nothing to really grab my attention. After we went to bed they began to ramp up and I became more aware of them and ended up getting out of bed and spending the evening listening to my deepening track over and over on my birthing ball. Although my sweet baby was in OFP, I began feeling the waves in my back quite strongly. As the evening progressed the waves in my back became stronger and stronger. I wouldn’t use the word (pain), but they were definitely becoming intense. I didn’t feel the waves anywhere other than my back.
When my husband woke up the next morning, I told him I thought things were progressing so he decided to stay home with me. I was supposed to have my weekly appointment at the birth center at noon, but we waited until later in the day as the waves were progressing in intensity and frequency and I thought we may end up going to the birth center that evening. The pressure on my back was very intense throughout the day and my husband was a champ and pushed on my back during each wave to try to help ease the intensity. I was unable to lay down as the pressure on my back was too great and made me need to throw up. I just kept thinking of something my midwife had told me “remember you can do anything for a minute”. So I took each wave as it came and made it through the day with my husbands help and Hypnobabies tracks. I wouldn’t call any of this “painful”, but it was definitely intense. I think I would have been in a very different frame of mind if I hadn’t had my Hypnobabies tools.  We ended up going to the birth center around 5:00pm and once I was checked, we found out I wasn’t dilated! Quite disappointed we headed home.
The waves continued in intensity and I spent Wednesday evening on my birthing ball with my husband holding my back through each wave. We did the tuck and lift multiple times to help our sweet baby descend further. Thursday progressed much the same as Wednesday had in intensity and back pressure. I took a couple of showers which were delightfully wonderful. Mid afternoon the waves began to get lower with quite a bit more pressure and I knew our birthing time was imminent. We called the midwives and headed to the birth center. I listened to my Easy First Steps track with my eyes closed the entire trip to the birth center.
When we arrived around 5:30pm they check me and found I was 7 cm dilated. My husband and I walked around the birth center, bounced on my birthing ball and tried all kids of different positions to help our birth progress. Time becomes very foggy to me at this point, but I believe around 7:30 I wanted to go ahead and get in the tub. It felt AMAZING. I’m not sure how long we were in there, but all of a sudden the waves became very intense, low and almost pushy. I didn’t realize it at the time but this was transformation. y water broke and one of the midwives fished out the sac which was almost completely intact (apparently this rarely happens). I hadn’t used the restroom in a while so the midwifes wanted me to go before we began pushing. I was unable to go and they felt it would be safest if we moved to the bed. I hadn’t decided if I wanted a waterbirth or not, but I knew I would know in the moment what was the right choice for us and the bed turned out to definitely be the right choice.
The tracks that say 20 minutes feel like 5 are totally accurate. I began pushing around 9:30pm. The midwifes were amazing, massaging me to make sure I didn’t tear, giving encouragement when needed and just in general being completely fabulous. My husband, my rock,  was up on the bed with me (a nice queen size) holding my hand when needed, letting me grab on to him and doing the release cue on my shoulder. I LOVED the release cue, it was probably the most powerful tool for me. I pushed for what felt like 20 minutes to me, but was in reality, three hours. I was in multiple different positions to try to help our sweet baby descend and join us.
I had watched amazing Hypnobabies videos online, most with the women being completely quiet and calm. I was certainly calm, and pain free, but I was not quiet! I had no idea I would make as much noise as I did, but it was involuntary, almost primal and it was just right for our birth.
Once his head was low enough for me to touch, I felt my sweet boys full head of hair for the first time. I just kept saying “come on sweet baby, come on sweet baby” and rubbing his wonderful, warm, soft head. Sometimes my husband will look at me and say “come on sweet baby” and it’s a lovely reminder of our fabulous birth. After three hours of pushing, our amazing son joined us at 12:32am on March 9th, the day I had always thought would be his birthday – all 9 lbs 4 oz and 22 1/2 inches of wonderful, snugly love!
The midwives immediately placed our baby on my chest and he picked his head right up looked directly at me, turned his head looked at his Daddy, back and me and back at his Daddy. He kept picking his head up and quietly looking around at his new world. We picked him up briefly to find out he was a boy and then he snuggled down on my chest. The placenta was out almost immediately, I barely noticed as I had my beautiful baby in my arms. It only took two minutes for the chord to stop pulsing and my husband was able to make the cut. We snuggled skin to skin for quite a while and nursed for 45 minutes before he decided he was finished! My husband called my Mom and she came to the birth center to meet her first grandchild. Since it was the middle of the night, we decided to enjoy our son and tell the rest of the world the next day. The midwives weighed him and I couldn’t believe he was over 9 lbs! We settled down for the night around 3am and the three of us slept together in the bed for five hours.
We never did an ultrasound, but at several appointments throughout our pregnancy my midwives had said “I think we have a thumb sucker here”. My boy wasn’t born sucking his thumb, but he was born sucking his hand! Thus the three hours of pushing this 9 lber and his hand out. :)  I had talked to my baby and told him “head down, facing back, chin to chest!” many times. It never occurred to me to add “hands down!” haha As it turns out, baby does indeed know best. I had no tearing as his somewhat slow progression allowed me to stretch and the midwifes to massage me etc. keeping me completely intact and comfortable.
I’m so incredibly proud of myself and of my son for our birth. It wasn’t easy, but it was perfect. I know Hypnobabies proved invaluable throughout our pregnancy and birth.  I enjoyed the program so much that I’ve been thinking I would like to become an instructor to help other moms.  Yes, the birth was intense (and the 48 hours of back pressure waves leading up to his actual birth) but I wouldn’t use the word pain for any of it. Bringing new life into the world should be intense, beautiful, and an experience. We got everything we wanted from our birth and ended up with the most precious gift of all, our son.
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