Archive for January, 2009

Free Photo Memory Book

at http://www.MemoryEscape.com/

One of my Hypnobabies Mom’s husband works here and says I can share this with everyone!  Thanks Jen and Chad!

The Coupon is good for a Free 5×7 Photo book with 20 pages – Three covers to choose from, Photo cover, Leather Bound or Linen with 6 different colors of linen to choose from to customize your photo book.  Each page can have multiple pictures. Additional pages cost $0.99 each up to 48 pages.  Shipping and Handling fees apply, typically under $5.  The coupon can also be used for up to $11.99 off any product on the website.  Other products include Photo Calendars, Custom Photo Greeting Cards and Photo Posters.

Enter the following code at checkout:


Read Full Post »

Hypnotic Amnesia Vs Sleeping

Here is a great example from a mom on the Yahoo Group, who always thought she was sleeping, but now has proof she really had hypnotic amnesia!

I know there are lots of questions on here about sleeping through the tracks, and I just wanted to share my experience . . . . I thought I was one of those people who was sleeping through her tracks almost every time except for the first listen. Last night, DH & I were listening to Creating Anesthesia, and I “woke up” during center of the last time Kerry has you do the fingerdrop exercise in the track. I remember feeling all freaked out b/c I had been asleep, and I was thinking, “Oh shoot, I missed it all again.” But, I went ahead and followed Kerry through flipping back to Off, and then counting up to 3. After it was over, I asked DH how long I had been asleep (I have started snoring pretty badly when laying on my back in the last couple weeks, so it’s pretty clear when I’m sleeping v. just having my eyes closed). He was like, “You weren’t asleep–don’t you remember talking to me?” Apparently, after one of the times on the track when Kerry counts you up to 3 after doing a practice fingerdrop, DH asked me something, and I looked at him with my eyes open and said, “Shhhh, you’re not supposed to be talking.” I have NO RECOLLECTION of that conversation at all. None–I don’t remember anything after hearing Kerry explaining the idea of the switch until that final going into center when I “woke up.” Anyway, I just thought I’d share. Although I was taking comfort in hearing that lots of people sleep through the tracks with great results, this makes me feel even better to know that maybe sometimes when I think I’m sleeping, I really am just experiencing hypnotic amnesia.


Read Full Post »

Micah’s Birth

Another Great Blog post of a mom who used Hypnobabies.  🙂

Read Full Post »

I feel like I hit the jackpot when I found this blog.   I actually have met this mom!  🙂  She was one of our couples who came to share her story at a recent Hypnobabies Open House

Here is their newest baby, Levi.    There are links to the 3 boys birth stories in the upper right of the blog.

Read Full Post »

Calm, Peaceful, Powerful

It’s Friday, August 22nd, 2008, and I am a lumbering giant of a woman. I have enjoyed this second pregnancy, filled with wonder and awe and excitement, but now, after 39 weeks and two days of wonder and awe and excitement, I am tired.

I almost decline an invitation to Tony and Michelle’s barbeque at their Laguna Beach home. Today, I’ve noticed copious amounts of mucus and an increase in Braxton-Hicks. But not wanting to miss a summer evening hanging out with some of our best friends from college, my husband John and I decide I can manage one more night out. We get to their house, and within the hour, Jenn and Eric and their kids arrive from Arizona. The kids play well together while the women make beach plans for the next day and the men play Guitar Hero.

As we pack up to leave at 10 p.m., Jenn speculates on my condition. “I don’t know if we’ll see you guys tomorrow-you’ll probably go into labor tonight.”

“No way-this baby is in no hurry,” I say. I’d expected that things would get moving around the start of Week 38, like they had with my now three-year-old son. But when that didn’t happen, I mentally committed to the full 40 weeks and settled in, trying to stay patient.

We roll the windows down on the drive home, letting in the cool ocean air from the Pacific. Our son falls asleep quickly and peacefully in his car seat. Upon arriving home, my husband turns on the TV, and I finish off some delicious tortellini pasta salad my friend Coleen had dropped off earlier. Then I head up for bed and fall asleep quickly.

Suddenly it’s 1 a.m., and I am startled awake by a feeling down low, almost a stinging feeling. It is different. It is strong. I know right away that this is it. I take a trip to the bathroom and return to bed, but the feeling is not subsiding.

A moment of fear, of apprehension, seizes me, a moment that I don’t remember experiencing last time. Perhaps it’s because this time, I know what I’m in for. The first time around, I didn’t know what to expect; I had no reference point. But as a second-timer, I know the intensity and the hard work and the focus that’s required.

Also, this time, I’m not going to the hospital. The recent ban on midwives in local hospitals forced my birth paradigm to shift and expand and now, I was about to join one of the most misunderstood and even reviled collection of women out there: the home birthers. My big pregnant body was the starship Enterprise, boldly going where no woman had gone before-well, no one that I knew, anyway. Could I really do this?

I quickly accept that it’s time to board the train now, and that I can’t get off until the ride is over.

“I feel funny,” I tell my sleeping husband, and grab my pillow and blanket and waddle into the guest room. I’m lying in bed there for a couple of minutes when I realize that I’m wide awake and absolutely cannot sleep anymore. So I go downstairs to sweep the floor and do the dishes so we will have a clean house when my birth team arrives. Every five minutes, I lean over the kitchen counter for 45 seconds during a wave, taking deep breaths and focusing on staying loose, and then when it’s over, I resume cleaning. The waves are like clockwork, and by 2 a.m., I wake up John.

“Time to fill up the pool,” I say.

He lifts his head groggily. “Uhhh… Are you sure?”

I’m sure. The tightening of my insides is consistent, regular. So I call my certified nurse-midwife’s pager. Fifteen minutes later, no response. Thirty minutes later, no response. Mildly panicked, I get online, search the name and number of my student doula, and call her immediately. She is surprised to hear that my midwife hasn’t responded to the page and gives me her direct number.

I quickly place a call to my midwife, and thankfully, she picks up. She advises taking a hot bath to determine whether this is the real thing. If the waves speed up, she says, I’m surely in labor. If things slow down, then we all might have a ways to go. I head to the guest room and get into the almost-full AquaDoula. But the high, thin sides of the pool combined with the deep water make it impossible for me to relax and release my body during waves. I get in my bathtub instead.

While there, John is timing my waves on contractionmaster.com. By 3:30 a.m., the waves are coming every three minutes and lasting for about a minute. I can’t ignore the sensation of my body opening up. Discomfort is present but distant as I use my hypnosis tools. I am peaceful, calmly turning off my light switch during waves, confident that I’m doing everything right. The breath I slowly exhale through my nose is bright orange anesthesia that courses through me from top to bottom, deadening the nerves throughout my body. I pay attention to my jaw and facial muscles, making sure they remain slack, dead. I find myself thinking about the physiological reality of what is happening, picturing my abdominal muscles tightening and squeezing while the rest of me remains loose and limp and stretchy. And mentally, I remind myself how good this process is for my baby.

As part of my Hypnobabies study, I had often visualized a Special Place, but to my surprise, I don’t choose to visit it during the waves. Instead, a brand-new image keeps coming into my mind. During waves, I close my eyes and see myself on a ship. The ship is in a storm, bucking wildly. My job is to hold on and outlast the wild wave I’m riding and not get tossed into the ocean. My job is to hold my ground, to face it all bravely, and to do it while I keep my face and jaw relaxed.

In my mind, I also find myself unexpectedly chanting the chorus of “Ong Namo,” a song by Sikh musician Snatam Kaur that I had come to love after hearing it in yoga class. Saying the words to myself gives me something wonderfully repetitive to focus on while I ride out the storm.

The student doulas arrive at 4 a.m. My husband goes downstairs to let them in and I get out of the bathtub, wrapping myself in a big fluffy towel and retreating to the bed in the guest room. For a half hour, I cycle between sitting on the bed chatting with them and lying down on the bed during waves. After a while, I decide to sit on my birth ball and lean over onto the bed, hoping that this would provide as much comfort as it had during my last labor. One of the doulas massages my lower back with warm oil during waves. It feels great, but the bed I’m leaning onto is too low. My belly can’t hang forward the way it needs to. The pain starts fighting with me, so I give up on the ball and climb back into bed.

Things are changing. I grow serious and can no longer talk or joke around between waves. I just want to close my eyes and focus everything I have on my breath and this image of a triangle with one of the points at the top. It’s the way I’m envisioning my body opening up and releasing my baby.

It’s 4:45 a.m. My midwife arrives. She asks how I am, and I tell her I’m really cold and shivery, a sensation that I remember accompanying transformation (transition) during my last labor. She checks my dilation and finds that I’m at 8 centimeters with a bulging bag of water, which confirms my suspicions about my progress. I decline her offer to break my water and decide to get back on the ball to encourage my baby to keep heading down. As I’m sitting there, I start feeling “pushy” during the midpoint of each 90-second wave. It’s involuntary. I go with it and let myself bear down as my body dictates.

By 5 a.m., the haze begins. I can barely communicate anymore. I am unaware of the comings and goings of the two doulas, my midwife, the home birth assistant and my husband. But I am not afraid. On the contrary, I feel strong. The end of this physical challenge is in sight. I feel safe and know that my only job right now is to surrender to this force that is so much larger than myself.

I manage to ask someone to turn on my Snatam Kaur CD. The song “Ong Namo” plays. A spirit of peace hangs heavy in the dim room. Somehow I get into the birthing pool and on my knees, I lean over the side of the pool that’s been padded with pillows and towels and rest my head on my forearms. The water is warm and soothing. One of the doulas is holding my hand. Her constant presence helps me focus. She is my rock. She tells me what a great job I’m doing. The only thing I fear at this point is that she will leave. I quietly beg her to stay. She does.

As a wave comes roaring in, I suddenly remember an awesome water birth I’d watched dozens of times on You Tube (“Anya’s Water Birth”). In it, the hypno-mother emits a low, quiet, steady guttural hum during waves. There’s no screaming, no swearing, no writhing around, just humming. So I try it. It proves extremely effective for me. It gives me something to do, a way to push back against the force without tensing up my body.

It’s 5:30 a.m. During a wave, I am breathing my baby down, pushing gently and holding my breath occasionally, and I feel a pop. My bulging bag of water has finally broken. My midwife advises that things could really start ramping up now. I remain calm and just keep doing what I am doing. During the waves that follow, my midwife reaches into the water and touches me somewhere down there, saying, “Push right here.” It helps me focus. The room is silent except for “Ong Namo” quietly playing on repeat and the soft rustling of clothing and shuffling of birth supplies. My midwife asks if I want to turn over and sit down in the pool. I try between waves, but it just doesn’t feel right. So I stay on my knees.

By 5:50 a.m., I feel like it’s time. I turn around and sit down. It is so wonderful to be alone in the pool, alone with my body and my breath and my baby. The wave comes, and I start my hum. And then midway through the wave, I have to hold my breath for just a few seconds and push like crazy. My body wants me to. And then I feel…full. My baby is coming. I reach down and feel a soft, slimy head sliding into my hands. It is otherworldly. I feel so stretched, like I might rip from front to back, and a moment of panic hits me.

“I don’t want to tear,” I whisper.

“Just go slowly,” says my midwife.

I do. I breathe deeply and relax into the discomfort. And then I feel my baby’s head slip back inside a little, literally feeling it slide back under my pubic bone. Darn, I think. I notice that that reggae version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is playing. I wonder what happened to “Ong Namo.”

A few minutes pass, and then it’s time to push again. I go for it and push like hell. My baby’s head pops out. My midwife is right there, checking for the cord. It’s wrapped around the baby’s neck once. I try to push the body out with the next wave, but I’m not making much progress. A minute passes.

“Let’s have you stand up,” my midwife says gently, and she helps me to my feet. Trepidation washes over me. Is something wrong? But my trust in my qualified care providers, these wise women, smothers my disquieting thoughts. I smile with my eyes closed as I stand unsteadily, feeling my baby’s heavy head dangling between my legs.

I squat a bit and push and push and start feeling off-balance. No baby. I’m scared.

“HELP!” I yell. One of the doulas rushes to my left side as I push again. And then my baby, my sweet baby girl, slides out of my body in a gush of fluid and the home birth assistant catches her and shuttles her up between my legs so I can grab her.

“I did it! I did it!” I clutch her to my chest, yelping over and over again. The room is swirling around me as I scream with joy, flooded with euphoria. I have never felt so high.

Dim morning light trickles through the shutters. The warmest smiles I have ever seen surround me as I am helped back into a seated position in the pool. I look at my baby for the first time and start to sob, taken by how beautiful she is. John comes behind me and is equally smitten. Then I notice my son gingerly creeping into the room, peering curiously at his sister.

After about 15 minutes, my midwife reminds me of one final task: pushing out the placenta. Grudgingly, I get out of the pool, lie on my back on the bed and easily push it out. A quick exam tells my midwife that I have not torn, even though my little girl weighs nine pounds, one ounce and is 22 inches long.

Cat Stevens’s “Morning Has Broken” is playing. I nurse my daughter for the first time with my son snuggled next to me. The palpable after-birth high keeps rolling over and through me for days.

I am moved by Susan McCutcheon’s observation that “like water taking the shape of its container, experiences often take the shape of expectations.” I expected to have a joyful, spiritual, and life-changing birth experience, and with the help of Hypnobabies and caregivers who shared my vision, that is exactly what happened.

Read Full Post »

Hypnobabies Classes in Portland Oregon


Read Full Post »


Read Full Post »

Interesting question.   There is a good article on Associated Content that asks this question.

My thinking is that if moms are listening to affirmations throughout their pregnancy then they are more empowered and stand up for their rights and trust their bodies.  All of these things help a mom make more informed choices and hoepfully have better births! 

There is a great comment about the Birthing My Twins Naturally CD on the Hypnobabies Review Blog, where a mom felt that her affirmations really helped her stand strong in a discussion with her care provider. 

Here is a blog post from a mom who uses affirmation in her pregnancy and how it helps her.  It includes her long list of affirmations!    Good for her! 

I wish all moms would listen to affirmations.  Hypnobabies has a great Affirmation CD for pregnancy and birthing.  They are also now available as MP3 downloads!

Read Full Post »

Hello everyone!  I have finally found some time to sit down and write my birth story.  It was an incredible day!  But first let me tell you a little about my pregnancy.

At 33 weeks, I started having some strong contractions.  I went into the doctors office and I was dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced.  They also did a fetal fibronectin test that came back positive.  Because of that test, they had me go up to labor and delivery to get medication to stop contractions and they wanted me to get the steroid shots for his lungs.  I did both of these things.  Contractions continued but mostly when I was active so the nurse told me to stay off my feet.  I was on a modified bed rest for 3 weeks and that helped a lot.  After I was taken off bedrest, I thought for sure he would come any day.  It caused a lot of emotional ups and downs, as I’m sure those with false alarms can attest.  It continued like this for 4 weeks!  The week before he was due, I started having very regular contractions.  I went in to labor and delivery and after a couple of hours of monitoring, they said that because these contractions were dilating me (slowly) that I could choose to stay.  The nurse explained that with “regular” or “normal” patients, they would start an iv and pitocin along with an epidural.  But because I was going natural, I had the choice to stay or go because it could mean a long labor.  I decided to wait one more hour to see how much I progressed and when she said there was no more change after that hour, we decided to go home and hope it progressed there.  I thought for sure we’d be heading back in the middle of the night and I’d be waking up to labor pains.  Well, I woke up the next morning with nothing and was disappointed.  I decided to just continue on and wait until he was ready.  So when he decided it was time, I was very ready.

On Oct. 11th (my due date) my husband and I were getting ready to go to church.  I was standing in the bathroom when I felt a little trickle.  I thought for a second that my water broke but because of all the emotional ups and downs and being in and out of the hospital, I didn’t fully believe it.  The last thing I wanted was to go to the hospital only to be sent home again.  My worry wart DH kept telling me he wanted to go to the hospital.  I said even if it was my water, we could wait a while.  He didn’t feel comfortable with that, since the doctors said if my water breaks to go right to the hospital.  So he convinced me and we got ready to go to the hospital.

We got checked in and set up in a room.  I was about 4.5 cm when I arrived.  The nurse checked the fluid coming out and it was indeed amniotic fluid.  So this was it!  I was very excited.  But nothing was happening!  No hard contractions or anything!  We waited and waited and walked and walked.  Because labor stalled with my first baby, they decided to start a pitocin drip.  I asked if we could start it very low and turn it off if things started to progress because I still wanted a natural birth if I could.  The continuously upped my pitocin level little by little, hoping it would start something.  I walked the halls and tried everything but I was moving so slowly.  After hours and hours, I had only dilated to a 5.  (half a cm!).  After about 10 hours, the doctor said he would like to change my plan.  He wanted to start an epidural to calm me down and insert an internal monitor to make sure the pitocin level was enough to change my cervix.  He also said they needed to start antibiotics because it had almost been 12 hours since my water broke.  I read this on the monitor before my nurse came in.  I looked at my husband and said “I don’t need an epidural.  I’m calm.”  My nurse overheard me and understood my concern.  She sat down and calmly talked to me about my options.  She also said that if I didn’t start to change by 24 hours, they would do a C-Section.  I asked if we could start with the internal monitor and then up my pitocin and if that didn’t work, I would have the epidural, if it was what was best for my baby.  She okayed that with the charge nurse and so we started on that path.  The charge nurse placed the internal monitor and immediately I started to feel the pressure waves.  I concentrated through them but they were incredibly intense.  I looked at my husband and said if the contractions are going to continue to get stronger and closer together, I didn’t think I could do this without an epidural.  My nurse came in to check me 30 min to an hour later and I had dilated to a 6+.  The plan was working!  I told her my concerns.  I was not prepared to deal with these contractions just lying in a bed.  I had wanted to use the jacuzzi and birth ball and if they were going to get any stronger, I wanted an epidural.  She looked at me with a concerned look and said, “I know how much you want to have this baby unmedicated.”  She then looked at my pitocin levels and said they were actually stronger than they needed to be.  She lowered my pitocin and got permission from the charge nurse to allow me to sit on the birthing ball.  That helped TREMENDOUSLY!  I was able to sit on the ball and relaxed through each wave for about another hour or 2.  My husband would apply counter pressure on my lower back and that helped a lot too.  I would just listen to the scripts and try to relax.  It felt so intense inside my head during the waves.  I thought I was moaning through them very loudly but when my husband captured a couple on camera, I looked completely calm and relaxed, my face even looked serene.  My nurse came in to check me and said I was a 7+.  She also said that one side of my cervix was dilating faster than the other.  She said if I lay down on my right side, that would help to dilate the other side of my cervix.  I layed down and immediately had an INTENSE wave.  I almost lost control at this point.  The nurse said to try and get through 3 more and then she’d check me.  She left the room and during the very next contraction, I shouted “I need to push!!”  My body couldn’t stop.  This might sound weird but it felt like when you dry heave, you can’t really control your body.  I couldn’t control the urge to push.  My body just took over.  The nurses must have heard me from down the hall because they all came running in and started getting things set up.  My nurse checked me and said, “its time to push”.  I looked at my husband and was so relieved.  Betsy, my nurse, took my hand and helped me breath through a wave or two until the Nurse Midwife arrived to deliver the baby.  I had never met this nurse midwife before, she was the one on call.  But she was great.  She allowed me to direct my pushing and didn’t do the counting thing (thank goodness).  She told me when to stop (to avoid tearing) and just basically sat back and watched.  My sister arrived in the nick of time.  She held my hand (my DH had the other) and maybe 5 minutes later, she looked at me and said “The head is out.” I was so happy because I understand what people mean when they say “Ring of Fire”.  It was intense!  After another good push or two, his body came out and he was finally here!  They layed him on my tummy and he was so warm.  I just kept saying “I did it.” and “I love you baby, thanks for coming out.”  I felt an immediate bond with him.

Afterward, my husband asked if I would do it again.  At that time, when the **pressure/pain** was so apparent in my mind, I said I didn’t know, probably not.  But 2 days later, I was sure I would.  The only part that was almost too much was 3-4 contractions before I could push.  But I did it and I am sure I can do it again.  I know what to expect now and I think if I prepare even better next time, it will be an even better experience, which is hard to say because this one was incredibly amazing!!

Asher Alexander was born 12:32 AM weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz and 20 in long.  He scored a 9/9 on the apgar and is doing so well!  To be honest, I am excited to do it all over again!

Read Full Post »

I am so happy to share that my body, which was labeled CPD when I had my
first child who weighed 6 lbs 2 oz and I was told would never give birth
vaginally, after having 3 C-Sections gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at
home. We named her Leilani Rain. She was my biggest baby weighing in
at 8 lbs 14 oz, Head Circ. 14 inches, Length 20 inches, and Chest 14.5

I went into pre-labor on Sunday and by Tuesday I was in active labor for
about 13 1/2 hours. I had a great birthing team who pretty much stood back
and watched to only give me reassuring words when needed.

It was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced and can not even
begin to describe how empowering it was. Having her at home made all the
difference in the world. I felt comfortable and safe there. My “broken
body” (gosh I have to laugh at that) produced exactly what I needed when I
needed it. Be it endorphins, strength, a new wind to keep going, etc. etc.
etc….. It was GREAT! No medication was ever needed, requested or thought
of. I owe that to you great people and all the books recommended and read.
Through it all I new I could do it naturally and I DID! I trusted My Body
and My Body did a great job!

This will probably make me sound a little bratty, but I honestly want to
write a letter to all those doctors who told me I could not do this.
Especially the one who made my son cry all the way home because he told us
that I was crazy and looking to kill myself and my baby. Well I did it with
no complications to baby or me. We are both fine and healthy (just a little

Ladies, I am the biggest chicken in the world and if ICAN do this, so can
you. Trust your bodies. We were created to give birth. I will always have
you in my prayers and will always be rooting for you.

GOD Bless you,
Jennifer Lopez ~
Wife to my Best Friend and my Rock Gregory Lopez
Mother to:
AnaMaria – 12/11/92 – C/S due to FTP and CPD,
Wizdom – 07/29/06 – another
unnecessary C/S,
and Xander 03/27/04 scheduled C/S when told I could never
birth vaginally.
And now *Leilani Rain – 06/25/08 HVBA3C!!!!!*

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »