Archive for July, 2009

Baby Will’s birth story is unusual because it spans about four days. But I’ve limited most of the story below to the actual birth, with a little background on how we got there.

I was hospitalized on July 19 (Sunday) for kidney stone pain at 39 weeks and given an NST. Baby was looking good and I was having minor pressure waves, but nothing productive. I was told I probably had a UTI so I was put on antibiotics and sent home the same day. I did OK on Monday, resting and taking my painkillers for the kidney pain and the antibiotics for the infection.

(In a previous post of mine, I talked about how I used the Hypnobabies “Deepening” track to get me through the pain and regular vomiting while on the 40 minute drive to the hospital.)

On Tuesday morning, the painkillers stopped working so I was instructed to return to the birthing center. When I arrived, the midwife told me my urine sample results had come in from Sunday and it showed I had a nasty kidney infection. I was put on IV antibiotics and more drugs for the vomiting and pain. I started doing much better within a few hours.

Around 4:30 pm on Tuesday we were told the OB would come in and talk to us about my condition. I didn’t really want to be discharged, but I didn’t see how I could stay overnight at this point because I was feeling much better. In the meantime I talked to my mom on the phone and she didn’t want me to be discharged because she was worried I would go into precipitous labor because of the kidney stones and infection and deliver really quickly overnight. That was exactly what had happened to her during her second pregnancy. (Unfortunate genetics…)

When the OB finally arrived at 9:30 that night, I told her that I expected her to discharge me, but she surprised us by saying she wanted me to stay overnight. She said I had a bad UTI and I hadn’t completed the course of antibiotics, so she wanted me to start them first thing the next morning. My husband left shortly thereafter.

Around 10:30 pm, I noticed I was having some pressure waves so I watched them for an hour. At 11:30 they were reliably 15 minutes apart. I watched TV for a while and made a note of how the waves were progressing. The lead night nurse checked on me close to midnight and I told her I was having waves about 15 minutes apart, so she said she’d come back around 2 am to see how I was doing. (She was a little skeptical that I was having productive pressure waves.) At 1 am I started listening to “Easy First Stage” of Hypnobabies to manage the waves since I was alone. I decided to call my husband Patrick at 1:30 am to tell him what was going on and he called the doula. Shortly thereafter the lead nurse came in and said with maybe some frustration, “I’m getting phone calls from people who say they’re coming in and you’re in labor, so we’d better move you to a labor room.” I replied, “Well, if I didn’t tell *them* what was going on, they’d get mad at me!”

I walked to the labor room, having intense pressure waves during the walk that forced me to stop and squat on the floor and breathe slowly. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and saw that I was having productive waves, so Blanche the midwife took me off fairly quickly. My husband arrived around the time they were monitoring my pressure waves. My doula, Julia, showed up around 3 am. I spent part of the time sitting on a birth ball and breathing the word “open open open” throughout my pressure waves. I only threw up once (that’s my typical response to p**n) shortly after Julia arrived, and I felt much better afterward. As they intensified, I put my arms around the shoulders of either my husband or my doula (whoever was closer) and breathed the word “open open open” very slowly.

It was at that time I thought, “Why am I doing this? I’ll never do this again!” But it was a fleeting thought because I began using what I’d learned from Hypnobabies. During every pressure wave I replaced my brief negative thoughts with an image from Hypnobabies: “My cervix is as soft as melting butter.” And I repeated to myself some key things from Hypnobabies: The more intense each pressure wave is, the more productive it is, and I was that much closer to meeting my baby. Because I’d given birth before, I knew that the baby would be here probably faster than I expected. I kept repeating these things to myself during every pressure wave and it made them so much more bearable. At that point the pressure waves were coming just a couple minutes apart.

My water broke at 4 am while I was holding on to my doula’s shoulders. Every pressure wave thereafter was stronger than the last and a big gush of water would rush out with each one. There was talk of filling the water birth tub around 5 am, but at 4:30 I told my husband and doula that they needed to get the staff to fill it right away. The midwife came in and checked me because she wanted me to be at least 5 cm before I got into the tub. After the cervix check Blanche announced quickly, “Oh yeah, she’s at least 5 or 6 cm, get that tub filled!” She instructed Julia how to fill the tub. The lining of the tub hadn’t been placed correctly but no one noticed until after it was filled, so the nurse and my husband had to pull strenuously on the liner and get it set up correctly before I could get in.

The birth report says I got into the tub at 4:55 am with my husband. My doula was sitting outside the tub. It was a weird experience getting into the water… it didn’t get rid of the discomfort, but it augmented it somehow. It felt very different and more relaxing. I faced my husband for one pressure wave, and then turned around and sat in his lap for the remaining pressure waves. The pressure waves began to intensify and I was having three and four in a row with no real break, just a very slight loosening of the tightness in between. I wasn’t able to talk, or hear, or focus on anything but the pressure waves when they were going on. After about 20 minutes, I had a wave that suddenly felt very intense and I had pressure in my bottom. Prior to that, I breathed the word “open” repeatedly during every contraction – but when things got intense I began to say “OPEN OPEN OPEN” much louder. I yelled to the nurse and midwife across the room, “I’m feeling pressure – it’s not time to push yet but it’s really close!” The nurse said, “OK, breathe through them, you don’t have to push, you can breathe your baby out. Let’s do two more of those contractions and then we’ll be right back to help you push.” They left the room.

With that first really intense pressure wave I began floating up into the water because I had no energy to hold myself down. Then another wave hit and I began to yell “OPEN OPEN OPEN” during it, then I couldn’t breathe at all. I yelled, “I can’t breathe!” My whole body was completely consumed in this pressure wave that was pressing hard against my bottom – I had no control over what was happening and I was floating at the top of the water. My husband asked, “What does Hypnobabies tell you to do?” And I yelled back, “I don’t know – I didn’t get to listen to that track!” My husband said, “Breathe faster!” and he began demonstrating a rapid breathing, which I copied. It was exactly what I needed to get through the pressure wave. Meanwhile my husband and the doula were saying they saw lots of little bubbles, like soda, bubbling up from the birth canal during the wave.

I was feeling scared at this point because I felt like the baby was coming immediately and the nurse and midwife had left the room. With my first birth, I had a small tear even though the midwife tried to apply pressure and protect my perineum. Now I felt like things were moving so fast that there was nothing to protect my perineum and I was afraid of tearing badly. Within a minute or two another pressure wave started just like the last one and I began the rapid breathing. The pressure against my bottom was more intense than ever, there were more bubbles coming up, and the doula yelled, “She’s crowning!” My husband desperately reached for the nurse call button on the wall next to the tub. Almost immediately the doula yelled, “The head’s out!” And then I felt a huge whoosh that I knew was an entire baby. My doula pulled the baby’s head out of the water and I immediately reached down and scooped up the baby’s body and brought it to my chest.

At this point I was completely shocked. I was floating in the water, panting, holding the baby while two nurses and the midwife came running in and announced, “5:30 on the dot.” I wanted to know what the baby’s gender was, but I was too shocked and exhausted to look. One of the nurses helped me hold the baby’s head above water because I was having trouble functioning. My husband eagerly said, “What is it???” The midwife took a peek at the baby and announced, “It’s a boy!” I slumped down in my husband’s lap, amazed that I was right in predicting our baby’s gender for the second time. Julia asked if she could take pictures and I said yes. The pictures are very revealing (besides the fact that I’m stark naked in them) – I look completely shocked and exhausted by what happened over the last few days.

After the cord stopped pulsating, my husband gingerly cut it and a nurse took the baby so I could get out of the tub. I practically collapsed on the delivery bed because I was so tired. They handed the baby to me and Blanche went to work to encourage the placenta out. I never saw the placenta, but it felt HUGE when I pushed it out. She said it looked great. Then she examined me for any tears and said I had a little skid mark, which she defined as being similar to road rash, and a very tiny tear that needed no stitching. I was relieved. I figure the 35 minutes I spent soaking in the warm tub softened up my tissues so I didn’t tear.

I’d gotten very little sleep in four days and I was truly exhausted. I gave the baby time to latch on to both nipples, which he did like a pro. Julia left around that time. Then I gave the baby to Patrick so I could rest for a while. I slept for an hour or two while my husband held the baby and called all the relatives with the news. During that time the baby was weighed and measured. I predicted he would be at least 8 lbs. before he was born, and he was! 8 lbs. 4 oz. and 21 inches long. After I was able to nap for a short while, Patrick went home to sleep a few hours and then went to pick up our daughter Laurel and bring her over to the hospital for a quick visit in the afternoon.

Just like my first birth, I was really nauseous for a few hours afterward as my uterus contracted. Breastfeeding aggravated it because it encouraged pressure waves. But when I was moved to my postpartum room, I took a shower and felt much better. Our baby boy was very drowsy the rest of the day and didn’t nurse much, but when he did he still had a great latch. When Patrick returned later that day he asked me what we should name our new little boy. I told him I really felt that “William” fit him, and I was fine with any number of middle names we’d discussed. Patrick chose “Zane” as a middle name for its unique sound and the creative reference to famous western author Zane Grey.

It was truly an exhilarating experience! While I felt some fear at the end during the pushing phase, my birth partners helped me maintain control and I remained calm enough to let my body do all the work. And miraculously, my body always knew exactly what to do. I wouldn’t change the experience at all!

mama to Laurel & baby Will

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Here is a Hypnobabies mom having a pressure wave.  I love her smile when it is over!  🙂

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I haven’t given birth using Hypnobabies yet, but I had the chance to use the program while dealing with intense kidney stone p**n just the other day. The Deepening track helped me maintain control of the discomfort on the 40 minute drive to the hospital and the “peace” cue helped me reduce the intensity while I waited for IV p**n meds. It was a great chance to practice for when baby decides to come!


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Winner of the MP3 Give Away!

Ashley, you won!  I wish you luck with your VBAC!   I will e-mail you with how you can get your MP3!

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Simple Power of Words

My sister in law was inspired to have a homebirth for her third (in part by me) but did not study Hypnobabies.  As she started her birthing time on sunday, I sent her a quick email simply saying “Enjoy your birth.”. These are words you gals so often say here.

It turns out that those three words transformed, in that instant, my SIL’s perspective on her impending birthing time.  She said it was so encouraging and gave her a helpful,  healthy perspective.  I can’t wait to hear the specifics.  It brought me to tears knowing that I could have such an impact on someone like that during such a major life event…and without even trying!

The trickle down theory at work with Hypnobabies…


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I really liked this Birth Preference List a Hypnobabies Mom shared with me.  Why?

1.  It is short and to the point. 

2.  Less than a page in length.

3.  Easy to read. 

Which means it actually will get read!

I got her permission to share with everyone, so here you go. 

Birth Preferences for _________

  • I will be using self-hypnosis to manage my birthing time and may not be immediately responsive to questions during pressure waves.  Please wait until my pressure wave ends and my eyes open to converse.  Or speak directly to my Birth Partner.  Because of the high level of concentration, I request low lights and quiet voices


  • I would appreciate being assigned a nurse who enjoys natural births.


  • Please refrain from any medical interventions not previously agreed upon.  I am happy to discuss any measures which may be deemed medically necessary prior to their implementations. 


  • Please no IV.  A Saline-Lock is fine. 


  • I would prefer intermittent monitoring.


  • Please do not offer pain medication or ask me if I am in any pain.  I will ask if I need it


  • I would appreciate a minimum of vaginal exams and do not want to be informed of my progress. 


  • Would appreciate perineal massage to help reduce the risk of tearing/episiotomy.  I do not want an episiotomy… but am willing to discuss its necessity should the occasion arise.


  • Please use a blanket (rather than towels) to dry off and clean the baby gently with.


  • Please allow me time (an hour or so) to get to know my baby before removing him from my chest for weight and measurement.


  • Please do not cut the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing


  • I appreciate your patience in waiting for the placenta to detach naturally

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The Hypnobabies Blog is 18 months old and we are at our 200th post. 

I have changed the look of the blog.  The searching is easier to navigate, there are new subscribe here links and of course great stories for moms preparing for a positive birth experience!

 Join us in our celebrating by leaving a comment about why you love Hypnobabies!  🙂

To help celebrate we are doing a give away of a free download MP3 script of your choice to the winner!

 To enter the give away:

You can earn an entry in these ways.

1 entry – If you have used any Hypnobabies products, leave a comment about why you love Hypnobabies! 

1 entry – If you haven’t but would like to win anyway, leave a comment of what product you would like to try and why! 

You can earn another entry by blogging about this give away and letting me know, you can either e-mail me at sheridan AT enjoybirth DOT com or leave a comment.

You can earn another entry by adding the Hypnobabies Blog to your RSS (new handy buttons at left) and letting me know, you can either e-mail me at sheridan AT enjoybirth DOT com or leave a comment. (What is this? Here is a great explination in video form.)

Also if you have used any of Hypnobabies Products you can earn 2 entries by leaving a review on the Hypnobabies Review Blog and let me know you have left a review in the comment section or by e-mailing me! 2 entries for each review left. 🙂

Have fun!

The Winner will be announced on July 27th!

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BBC Hypnosis Interview

BBC Interview on hypnosis

It was nice to hear a doc proposing that hypno-anesthesia can help make some medical procedures safer and save costs even, and that it should be made more readily available!

I am not sure I agree with this doc’s estimation that 25 percent of adults are ‘not hypnotize-able’ though. I have been taught by more than one instructor that anyone of average intelligence, who can follow verbal directions, and who wants to be hypnotized can be.
There is no difference between the hypnosis that this doc was talking about and what our Hypnobabies moms learn, since ALL hypnosis is SELF hypnosis, because we allow it to happen, and deepen, and accept suggestions or not.


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Hi – Just wanted to share that our daughter, Campbell, was born about 1 week ago! I had a successful VBAC and a WONDERFUL experience. While I had a wonderful birthing team – a fantastic nurse team, my mom, my husband, a hypnodoula, and my amazing dr – I did opt for an epidural after about 20 hours……… here’s my story. BOP may be needed…

39 weeks pregnant – the day prior had visited the dr and was 1 cm and 25% effaced. I was at work on Friday, getting ready to do my part of a student presentation for incoming college freshman when I noticed that I felt a little off – a little crampy and a slight backache, but didn’t give it much thought. I got thru presentation #1 and moved on to presentation #2. I then went to the restroom and noticed I had started losing my mucous plug which was significant to me b/c when I lost my plug during my son’s birthing time, things got started right away. Well I went on with my day but noticed some pressure waves. I decided to go back to my office to sit down and my friend/colleague suggested I consider going home. I agreed, though opted to pick my son up from daycare on the way home and go about our normal evening. My husband was not convinced it was time……. though my mother was ready to jump in the car for her 4 hour drive to me. I asked her to stay home for now b/c things were not really consistent. With my son I went from 0-60 in no time and I just knew that while things were starting, it wasn’t quite “it”. Went to bed – and woke up at about 5am with very consistent PWs – 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 30-45 seconds. My son woke up when I did and was acting very clingy with me as well. I called my mom so she could start her drive and started texting my doula. My husband took over things with our son and I focused on relaxing and getting in to hypnosis. I really enjoyed listening to my birthing day affirmations, though my doula encouraged me to listen to my deepening track, which was also helpful. I finally asked her to come to our house to help me work thru things. I knew that even though my waves were intense and close together, I had a while to go (with my son, it took me about 12 hours to dilate to a 6 before we realized he was frank breech and I had a c-section – pws with his birthing time started the same – 2-3 minutes apart lasting 30-45 seconds). My in-laws were also on their way (3 hour drive) to come take our son for the day/night out of the house……

So I spent the day at home – though called the hospital and asked them to page my dr to let her know that things were happening. I ignored all phone calls that day, esp those i didn’t recognize so little did I know that my dr was trying to call me all day! I was in the tub when we realized it and she requested that we go to the hospital just to be checked since I was a vbac. Around 4pm we were on our way. She did tell me that if I was not 4 cm, she would probably have me go back home – my dr knew how important it was for me to do things naturally and to have a vbac – in fact she was the one who encouraged me to hire a doula and to do hypnobabies!!!!!

Hospital monitored to me in triage and I was at a 3. Ready to go home when the charge nurse told me they were going to re-monitor me. I was not happy about this – but our son’s family dr was on call and came by to talk to me – he explained that since I was a vbac, anything less than perfect caused worry in everyone…..and so a slight decrease in baby’s heartrate during waves had some people concerned, but i knew everything was fine. Well they remonitored me (for what I found out later lasted 2 hours!!!) and during that time my water broke and I dilated to a 4. I was checked in. In the meantime I started losing it and wasn’t handling the situation well – things were very intense and I was tired. But the dr., doula, and my mom encouraged me along – they encouraged me to get to the room where i could relax more and get in the tub. by 7pm we were in our room and after about an hour, I opted to get in the tub. ahhh, it was WONDERFUL – I loved it. I spent FOREVER in the tub. Oh – and when we told the nurses that i was doing hypnobabies, they were really encouraging and excited!!!! I had left my bag in the car, which had our birthplan and hypnobabies stuff, but turns out I didn’t really need it. I explained my preferences to our nurse, and she was happy to go along with all of it without question – so wonderful!

Anyway – so I was in the tub for a few hours. Our son’s dr was monitoring me until our dr arrived (she needed to get her kiddos to bed- I love it!) and I was hoping that I had made a lot of progress, but as everyone kept reminding me, since this was my first vaginal birth, we were going to treat it as a first birth which meant that things may take a little longer than second births might usually……. Anyway my dr arrived (I was still in the tub) and after a couple hours (???) she requested that I get out so that she could check me (attempted to check me in the tub, but wasn’t comfortable with her evaluation of the situation). Argh, getting out of the tub was rough as it intensified everything A LOT! this is when I really lost it – thoughout the time in the tub my doula kept reminding me to be “limp and loose” and between my mom, husband, doula, and nurse – they were keeping me relaxed, somewhat in hypnosis (I wasn’t the best at remembering to do that…..), and dealing with my primal noises (as Ina May put in her book, I let my inner primate out during PWs). I think I was back in bed around midnight or so and at that point made a decision to get an epidural. I was feeling frustrated with my progress and so emotional and exhausted. I told everyone that I knew they would be upset with me but they all reminded me that this was my birthing time and that i needed to do what I felt like I needed to do. So i did. I then had about 3hours of rest while I fully dilated and effaced. By about 3:15am I was ready to push so we started. After about 20 minutes my dr asked me to stop b/c she was concerned about baby – we opted to let both me and baby rest again for a while. We started pushing again at about 4:15am – baby wasn’t really progressing down the canal, so my dr used the vacuum during two waves – maybe around 5am. That helped a lot. She was finally crowning but still at 6:15 wasn’t coming – I was feeling frustrated. Also the dr. thought she had swallowed some meconium so the nicu team was called in to the room. Dr cut a very very small episiotomy around that time and baby Campbell came out with my next push.

of course, b/c of the meconium issue, she was taken to the other side of the room, which didn’t totally please me – so I told my husband to follow that baby – and then started asking for someone to tell me if she was still a girl (even though the ultrasounds showed she was, I couldn’t believe it until we saw with our own eyes!!!) and she was! they finally brought her over so we could meet, but had to take her to the NICU b/c of how she was breathing. Turns out she was fine and I was able to go nurse her in the NICU for the 24 hours that she spent there.

All in all, while I ended up using medication despite the fact that I had hoped/planned not to, I am thrilled with the outcome of this birthing time. The MOST important thing, outside of a healthy beautiful child was having a successful VBAC. I visualized it and it came true! the day after her birth, my dr came by to discuss all decisions that had been made and see how I was with everything and honestly, I am 100% happy. I do not regret any decisions that were made or feel upset by any of my choices. Having a c-section with my son was very upsetting for me, so this time things were just amazing and wonderful. My doula also came by the next day to visit and commented to me that my dr was absolutely amazing – she was so impressed with her approach to my birthing time – from being with me ALL NIGHT, to using warm wash clothes to help avoid tearing, so respecting my intense desire to VBAC and therefore being okay with things taking A LONG time (remember, I woke up with PWs 2-3 minutes apart at 5am Saturday morning and didn’t have her until 6:20am Sunday!).

In addition to being grateful to my dr and doula, my mom and husband – I am blessed to have given birth in such a baby/mommy friendly hospital. Never once did they comment to me about my choices, offer me pain meds, or anything. They worked well with my doula, mom, and husband as well as my dr. Everything just fell in to place! I was encouraged by the nurses to keep my blood sugar up and to take things one PW at a time. I just had a wonderful wonderful experience. I was also thankful to the NICU resident for respecting my desire to get the breastfeeding relationship started ASAP and for allowing it and encouraging it.

Campbell is now about 1 week old and doing wonderful – she has surpassed her birth weight, and our home-nurse visit yesterday commented about the magic of mommy’s milk!!!!!!!!

Finally, while I used hypnobabies on and off throughout my birthing time – I am so glad I had this tool and will recommend it anyone interested in natural childbirth!


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I loved this story of a Hypnobabies Birth told from Dad’s perspective.  He felt like a partner, he knew what to do, it was enjoyable for him and mom!

Read it here:  Shaelyn’s Birth Written by her Dad

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