PregTASTIC is an online radio show about all things pregnancy, birth and babies.
They just did a podcast titled Hypno-Curious about Hypnobabies where they interviewed Kerry Tuschhoff, the founder of Hypnobabies. It is a great show!
Micky is one of our newest Hypnobabies Instructors. Please take the time to vote.
In Sept I asked you to vote – well we made the OCTOBER FINALS!!!
Here’s the update – I need you to vote again please!!! And blog about
A while ago, I entered my business, 9 Months & Beyond at Ideablob.com.
Well, I finally got enough overall votes to make it into the finals
for October. That means I have to get the MOST votes between now and
Oct 31st to win $10,000 for my business. The money is given by
Advanta, a credit card company, but it is truly a check for 10,000
that I can use to grow my business however I see fit.
If I win, it will change my life. I will be able to get a site of our
own and expand the programming and hours/availability for classes.
There is NOTHING like this in Nashville (where I live) and little like
it in the Southeast. As you know, this is also the part of the country
with the most abysmal breastfeeding rates. I want to change the world.
I have big dreams and a big vision. I can SEE it on the horizon.
Will you please help me make this dream a reality? It will take just a
few minutes to register at ideablob.com and to vote for my idea. You
can even launch one of your own. I don’t think a birth related
business has EVER won!
Lastly, please pass this on too. If you blog, twitter, or just email –
tell EVERYONE who has computer access to vote for 9 Months & Beyond,
LLC. This contest is about getting the most votes. Ideablob doesn’t
spam you or email you every day so it is no hassle to sign up.
This is the link:
If you know someone with a blob that would support a
birth/breastfeeding/parenting focused business please ask them to blog
about it too.
Thanks so much for your support and prayers!
Micky Jones, BS, CLE, CLD, CHBE, HCHI
9 Months & Beyond, LLC
Hypnobabies classes, Breastfeeding consultation and Medela pump
rentals, Birth Doula services and more
…helping you enjoy the most precious years of life
Vote for us on Idea Blob.com
There is a new website out of the UK with information for moms worried about having a big baby.
So many moms go to a late term ultrasound and are told their baby is going to be so BIG. I loved this quote from the site.
I heard a great analogy from an obstetrician once, that likened trying to predict the size of a baby before birth, by ultrasound, to trying to guess the weight of a man, sitting in a bath full of water, in the room next door by measuring his waist and thigh bone. When you look at it like that it really does become apparent how ludicrous these gross measures we use are!
I had a mostly easy and uneventful pregnancy. Even the morning
sickness was almost nonexistent, except for a general icky feeling
in the early evenings for the first few weeks. I was incredibly
tired and hungry throughout the pregnancy, and during the last 2 to
3 weeks I was nearing exhaustion. It was impossible to find a
comfortable position and I was unable to sleep. My mental and
emotional states were suffering in those last couple of weeks. I
arranged to start my maternity leave from work a week before my due
date in hopes of having time at home to relax.
About half way through the pregnancy I started practicing
Hypnobabies, a self-hypnosis program for a comfortable childbirth.
I had decided I wanted to have a natural drug free birth and put my
faith in 6 CDs with suggestions to help me relax through labor and
experience childbirth as an easy and painless event. Listening to a
CD every night was a great way to relax and it also gave me
confidence in my pregnancy and my body’s ability to birth a baby.
My due date was 09/09/07 but I was really hoping to have my baby on
09/08/07 because numerically I thought it would be a fun birthday to
have. It was rumored that eating eggplant parmesan would cause
labor to start, so we went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner
on 9/7 and I ordered eggplant parmesan. I also had the leftovers
for lunch on 9/8. I was having contractions on 9/8, but
unfortunately they were not regular or strong enough to make me
think that would be the day. On the morning of Sunday 9/9 I woke
up, and after using the bathroom I noticed some pink spotting. I
told DH I thought this would be the day. I continued having
contractions that gradually…. very gradually….. got stronger and
DH’s parents called and invited our 4-year-old daughter E to go out
for the day to visit my sister-in-law and see their new house. E
was excited to go and spend the day playing with her cousin, and I
was glad that she would have the opportunity to do something fun
rather than sit around the house watching me have contractions all
day. At one point, DH went out to run some last minute errands and
I was enjoying the peace of having the house to myself for a couple
of hours. My dog wouldn’t leave my side; she must have sensed that
something was going on.
Around 6pm we decided it would be best for DH to call his parents
and tell them to keep E overnight. A couple of hours later he drove
out to their house with some overnight things for her, and also to
drop our dog with them so we wouldn’t have to worry about taking
care of her either. At this point I was having hot flashes, so DH
positioned a big fan in front of an open window and pointed it
directly at me. I was lying on the couch with my eyes closed,
focusing on relaxing through each contraction, while I waited for
him to return home. I was feeling confident that I could handle it,
I wasn’t experiencing pain or fear, though I did repeat to him
several times that he shouldn’t dilly-dally over at his parents’
house. I didn’t know how quickly things would progress and I wanted
him to be home.
Later in the evening I was feeling hungry so I ate some soup. I
remember thinking how nice it was to be at home and to be able to
eat when hungry. After eating, I decided it was time to start
listening to some of my hypnosis CDs. I listened with headphones,
trying to find a comfortable position on the couch. Then I switched
to sitting on the exercise ball with my head resting on the arm of
the couch. Through each contraction I focused on relaxing
completely, repeating the words “relax” and “peace” (hypnosis cues
that I had been practicing for weeks) over and over in my head.
Around midnight my contractions were about 3 – 4 minutes apart and
finally I agreed to let DH call the midwife. After talking with
her, he told me she seemed surprised that we hadn’t called her
sooner and she instructed him that we should head for the hospital.
I was glad to be on the road during a time when there wouldn’t be
any traffic to worry about. The hospital where my midwives are on
staff is about a 30 minute drive without traffic, and who knows how
long during heavy traffic times. The only aspect of my labor and
birth that I was slightly nervous about was the drive to the
hospital, so it was a relief to know that heavy traffic wouldn’t be
an issue. As it turns out, the drive was not a big deal at all. I
sat in front with the seat reclined and my eyes closed, and
continued to listen to hypnosis with my headphones. Before I knew
it, we had arrived. It was about 1:00 am.
DH dropped me off in front of the emergency room while he went to
park the car. We walked in the doors together and he talked to the
man behind the counter. The man came out and got a wheel chair for
me, but I told him I preferred to walk. He looked surprised, DH
looked slightly amused, and the man made some comment about never
arguing with a pregnant woman. He led us to the labor and delivery
I got set up in my room, changed into the sexy hospital gown, and
the nurse came in to strap me up to the monitors and ask a bunch of
questions. One of the questions the nurse asked was what my plan
was for pain relief. I answered that I was using hypnosis for a
comfortable and pain free birth. She also asked what my pain level
was on a scale of 1 – 10 and I answered, “zero.” I was expecting
those questions and had prepared the answers in my mind ahead of
time. She checked my dilation and I was disappointed to learn it
was only 4 cm and 50% effaced, but I told myself not to get
Over the next several hours I continued to listen to the Hypnobabies
on my headphones, repeating “peace” and “relax” to myself during
contractions. I tried several positions during labor – on the bed,
walking around, in the shower, on the chair, on the exercise ball,
even on the toilet. I changed positions every so often, but mostly
preferred sitting on the bed with the head of the bed raised
completely upright. The midwife and the nurse both came in and out
of the room many times to check on me, always asking “Are you SURE
there’s nothing you need?” I guess they were surprised to see a
woman in labor who was so relaxed and comfortable. Since I was not
hooked up to an IV, they both continued to encourage me to drink
lots of water and juice every time they came to check on me. Every
time they reminded me I obediently took a sip, then promptly forgot
about it until the next time one of them came in and reminded me
All night long I labored in the hospital, not sleeping. At 8:00 am
the shift was changing. The midwife and the L & D nurse who had
been there all night were leaving. Another midwife was starting her
shift. During my prenatal visits I had seen both MW’s several
times, so I was comfortable with both of them and glad they were the
ones on call during my labor.
I was very tired and was starting to think I would be pregnant
forever, that I’d never actually give birth to this baby. MW told
me it was important not to get discouraged, and suggested breaking
my water to speed things up. I was afraid. I had been handling
contractions so well up to that point and I was afraid that breaking
my water would be too intense for me to handle. She had to go and
assist someone else with a cesarean section and said she’d be back
to check on me again afterwards. While she was gone, I discussed my
fears with DH. He said whether she breaks my water now, or we wait
for my water to break on its own, it’s still going to be intense and
I will still have to get through it. Might as well have her do it
and get it over with that much sooner. That was an enlightening
observation, which made perfect sense to me. When she came back,
she asked again what I thought about having her break my water. She
said she had another cesarean section in a few minutes, and I
reluctantly, and bravely, told her I’d be ready for her to break my
It seemed like no time at all had passed before she came back to
break my water. It was around 11:30 am. Before doing so, she
checked my dilation. I was 8 cm and fully effaced. I had to lay on
my back for this and as soon as my water was broken I felt this
incredible rush of energy, and I half moaned / half yelled “I HAVE
TO TURN OVER!!” Somehow I wound up on my hands and knees on the
bed, which ended up being the only possible position for me. I
can’t explain it, in fact I had consistently imagined myself giving
birth in the squatting position, but hands and knees is the way my
body positioned itself, and so that’s the way it was. It was right
around this time that I lost my headphones. They were getting in
the way and I just couldn’t be bothered to fuss with them. Until
now I had been listening to the Deepening track over and over and
over. The odd thing about this is that I didn’t really care for
Deepening during my practice, but it was the only thing I wanted
during my birthing time.
The next 50 minutes were unimaginably intense. Looking back, I
wonder if I caused it to be so intense because that had been my
expectation, that once my water was broken things would get
intense. In fact I have read birth stories in which labor became
less intense after the waters break, so I don’t know why I
necessarily had this expectation.
I clung to DH during this time. I sweated and drooled on him. He
sat straddling the bed, facing me, and I wrapped my arms around his
waist and buried my face in his chest. I howled with every
contraction. I felt the energy of a freight train through my body,
but I have to say it really wasn’t painful, just incredibly
powerful. In between contractions there was nothing but waiting,
then suddenly the freight train feeling would be back. I was
waiting for the famous urge to push, but it never came. Gradually I
realized I had already been pushing for awhile. Once I had that
realization, my next thought was that the also famous ring of fire
would surely be coming soon, but that never happened. There was no
ring of fire, there was only stretching.
At one point the midwife commented that the baby’s head was moving
down, then back up again. She said this was good because it meant I
was stretching slowly. Then she was telling me to push a little bit
more, and I did. I pushed with no contraction and noticed how weak
and wimpy my pushing felt without the freight train energy helping
me. I felt the stretching, stretching, stretching almost as though
the baby’s body was squeaking from the tight squeeze as she inched
out of me. Then the midwife said we needed one more big push to get
the shoulders out. I obliged and felt her big shoulders come free,
then felt the relief as her soft belly, legs, and feet slid right
I had done it! All I wanted to do next was collapse on the bed, but
our midwife was telling us to reach down because she was going to
pass the baby through my legs and she wanted us to take her. DH
took her, and time stood still for a few moments as we marveled at
what had just happened and looked upon our beautiful daughter. I
think DH summed it up right then by saying something profound
like “Wow!” We both were surprised to see how much she resembled
E. DH touched her face, and she turned toward his finger and
started vigorously sucking on it. We were in awe.
After a few minutes we handed her over so she could be weighed,
diapered, and whatever else they do. Absolutely everything was done
in the same room as me. Finally I was able to collapse on the bed!
I was whining about my leg muscles being cramped. After spending
the most intense hour of my life on my hands and knees, of course my
legs were tired! I looked over at DH and said, “So… what’s her
name?” We agreed he would have the final say on naming her, since I
had named E. He smiled and said, “Vanessa Lois…?”
Without warning, the nurses began to “massage” my uterus. This is
nothing like having a relaxing massage at a spa. They were pushing
down on my belly with quite a bit of force and I made no secret
about not enjoying it. The placenta came out without incident.
Then MW cleaned me up and repaired a small tear, which I also didn’t
enjoy. Before long, I was being helped off the bed and to the
bathroom. I felt great!
After returning to the bed, Vanessa and a lunch menu were handed to
me. Someone said, “You must be really hungry! Order anything you
want.” Hungry? I hadn’t really thought about it, but realized it
had been quite awhile since my last meal. I ordered, and then
latched Vanessa on so she could have her first meal while I waited
for my lunch.
My whole experience was wonderful. Labor was long, and I was tired
from not being able to sleep much, but I can honestly say it was not
painful. My midwives were supportive, as well as the hospital
Before leaving us alone, MW said she was so glad I gave birth on
hands and knees. At the time, I didn’t think to ask why. Later I
began to wonder. Did she have reason to believe it would have been
more difficult in a different position? Would her shoulders have
been stuck? At my 6-week post partum check up, I finally asked.
No, the baby was not stuck; in fact I had plenty of room for her to
come out. The reason MW was so glad is because I am only the second person she has ever seen to give birth on hands and knees. As a midwife, she tells women how important it is to listen to our body
and do what feels right, but still almost everyone ends up on their
back for pushing. I was surprised to hear that. I certainly didn’t
do it for the sake of being different. In fact, I am one of the few
women who actually followed the instructions to listen to my body.
Vanessa was born 9/10/2007.
She was 8 lbs. 10 oz.
On Tuesday, May 13th, I went for my 41 week check-up. 20 minutes of fetal monitoring showed the baby was doing very well, and that I was aving some pws (I had no idea). I had used the 20 min to get into hypnosis, since I figured the doc would want to do an internal exam. I was right, but she mentioned the “i” word even before checking me. At this hospital, they like to induce at 41 weeks and 4 or 5 days. But since that was a weekend, she wanted me to come in on Friday if the
baby hadn’t been born yet. Her internal exam determined that my cervix was dilated 1/2cm and “wasn’t favorable,” though the baby’s head was far down.
Now I should mention that doctors here (Estonia, in northern Europe) really only deal with high-risk and overdue situations. I had only been seeing my midwife until this point, and my pregnancy had gone extremely smoothly. Naturally, I wanted to avoid inducing if at all possible. I asked the doctor to write down the name of the tablets (Cytotec) they use for inducing, and I’m so glad I did. I looked it up first thing once I got home from the appointment and decided that if they did induce me, it would NOT be with Cytotec. Also, the idea that I’d induce on Friday so they could have a nice weekend is crazy.
I wasn’t at all worried about being “overdue,” but I was worried about not having the birthing experience I desired. So, that day I went for a walk or two, had lots of raspberry leaf tea, spent some time on mybirthing ball, and tried nipple stimulation with my manual breast pump (15 minutes on each side, twice, with a 30 min break between). I also made an appointment with an acupuncturist for the following morning. Then I took a nap, and when I woke up I could feel that my stomach was getting hard all over now and then. I assumed these were the pressure waves everyone talks about (I hadn’t had any Braxton-Hicks). They were really sporadic, and I didn’t feel anything more than a tightening. I then took a trip to the bathroom and there it was the mucus plug. I didn’t take either of these two occurrences as evidence that I was actually entering my birthing time, as I know some women have these “symptoms” for days or weeks before giving birth.
The pressure waves continued on and off for the rest of the day and night. They didn’t get stronger, so I didn’t take them too seriously or time them. DH and I are night-owls and we went to bed around 1am. I don’t remember if I slept at all, but by 2am the pressure waves had gotten stronger and I wasn’t able to sleep. I got out of bed and spent about an hour on the birthing ball in the living room, while listening to Hypnotic Childbirth 1 and 2. At 3am, I woke my husband so he could
time the pressure waves. At that point, they were lasting close to a minute each time and were 3 or so minutes apart, but they still weren’t entirely regular. I thought I was in my early birthing time
still and that the baby would be born sometime in the evening (judging from all the birth stories I’ve read and how long first births often take). Around 4:30, DH called the midwife. She didn’t believe I was as far along as I actually was, and she said that maybe we’d meet at the hospital around 8am (and to call her again if things got more intense).
DH had arranged a huge stack of pillows from the sofa on the bed so that I could lean over them and rock back and forth during the pressure waves. He was really awesome with the hypnosis cues and definitely kept me grounded. Still, I was so shocked to be in my birthing time all of a sudden that I wasn’t able to get into hypnosis as I had intended. It was some time between 5 and 6 that I couldn’t remember for the life of me why I had been so anti-epidural throughout the pregnancy. The thought that I had many, many more hours of this was not a pleasant one. The waves in all of my birthing muscles I could handle and I don’t even remember feeling much there; it was the
entirely unexpected and intense feelings in my thighs that made me think I might throw in the towel. But, once again, DH was encouraging me that I was doing really great and that my body knew what to do.
DH was saying very encouraging things all along and got the shower going for me. The hot water felt sooooooo great during the pressure waves. Everything was getting more intense and the waves were closer together. DH called the midwife again at 6 saying that he thought we should head to the hospital. He wasn’t timing the waves still, but we think they were around 2 minutes apart and lasting at least a minute (consistently). Except for the calls to the midwife (at 4:30 and 6), we entirely lost track of time. The plan all along had been to walk to the hospital (we live very close), but we never expected things to progress so quickly. DH called his brother for a ride (we don’t have a car). I was frustrated because I hadn’t finished all of my packing preparations (I couldn’t find my ponytail holder!) and I didn’t really want my BIL to see me in my birthing time. After gathering our things, we went downstairs to catch our ride, but he hadn’t arrived yet. I
didn’t want to wait, so I began to walk towards the hospital. I had to pause every few minutes to deal with a pressure wave, but I found the cool morning air really refreshing. DH caught up with me after a few minutes (he really wanted to wait for the ride) and we were about a third of the way to the hospital when my BIL picked us up. We arrived at the hospital, walked in the door, and down to the floor I went. I just HAD to be on my hands and knees during waves. DH went to the
registration desk and they were asking, “So, where is she?” I was still in the hall on the floor. I got up when I was able. There was another couple that arrived just before us, but the woman didn’t look like she was even in her birthing time, so they had to wait. I had a few more waves in the registration office (on the floor, again), and because it was obvious that I was so far along, they decided to forgo the usual steps and get me to a room right away. Fortunately, the room with the birthing tub was free. I remember feeling annoyed that it wasn’t already filled with water when we walked in! Our midwife arrived and wanted to monitor the pws and do a quick internal exam. She had to wait a bit because she wanted to check between waves, and they were coming so close together. I was 7cm. I got into the tub and things relaxed a bit. The pws stopped for a few
minutes, but then picked up with greater intensity. I was feeling pushy, and the midwife removed the monitor straps. It was at this point that I needed to be frequently reminded to relax and breathe. The perineal massage didn’t feel anything like what I was feeling then. After about 20 minutes of pushing (and an hour after arriving at the hospital), at 8:15am on May 14th, Massimo Eli was born underwater.
Once his head was out, I was expecting his body to just slip out like I’ve read about, but the rest of his body was almost as tough. Turns out that he had a hand on his cheek and his chest and head measured the same. DH caught and pulled him out of the water. After their initial eye contact, our son turned his head and looked at me. DH placed him on my chest. I don’t remember him crying, and he was alert and calm. The midwife and DH helped me out of the tub and to the bed. After waiting for the cord to stop pulsing, cutting the cord, birthing the placenta, and getting one stitch, my husband and I spent the next 45 minutes alone with our baby. Then they did all the usual stuff, and we discovered that he was 7lbs 11oz and just over 20 inches. Our midwife commented on what a beautiful birth it was and that I obviously had educated myself well. We spent one night in the hospital and then walked home the next day.
While I wasn’t able to get into deep hypnosis, Hypnobabies definitely worked for me. I didn’t feel a thing until I was quite far along AND was able to give birth to my son without drugs (and without seriously wanting any) AND had such a fast birthing time (about 6 hours in all). I also credit Hypnobabies for having such a positive impact on my pregnancy and during these post-natal weeks. He’s eating really, really well and is already over 11 pounds. Everyone comments on what a
calm baby we have, plus my body has recovered super-quickly. Also, I have felt so incredibly empowered by my birthing experience �€” I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do!