Archive for September, 2009

My pressure waves started Wednesday night about 9 or 10 PM, but they
were really inconsistent–up to 45 minutes (or more; they were so
inconsistent I didn’t bother timing them!) between waves.  This was
similar to my first birth, so I figured I’d be birthing my baby
sometime Thursday night/Friday morning.

Uh, no.  Wednesday and Thursday night, I listened to HB scripts for a
couple hours to help relax through pressure waves.  Probably around
midnight Thursday night/Friday morning, my water broke, but it was a
high break, so the small amount of liquid made me unsure that it had
broken.  Still, I was able to get a good amount of sleep both nights.

Friday afternoon, my mother and my sister arrived from out of town (I
wonder if, really, I was delaying my own labor for her arrival so I
wouldn’t have to worry about my 2 year old).  We went shopping for
curtains for the baby’s room and had dinner at my sister’s house.  (I
have a lot of sisters 😀 .)

By Friday night, my pressure waves still weren’t really progressing,
though I had finally gotten up to 3-4 an hour.  By then I was pretty
sure my water had broken (I don’t know why leaking water all day
hadn’t been my first clue….), and rereading the HB workbook section
on high breaks helped to reassure me, especially around 9 PM when I
realized that a doctor would give me a three hour deadline to have the
baby and I was scared to call my OB and be put on drugs to regulate my
pressure waves.

I listened to more scripts and was able to get a little sleep Friday
night (as much as I could, having to pee hourly or sometimes even more
frequently!).  After midnight, I was *extremely* uncomfortable, but a
few positions mentioned in the course really helped (specifically
leaning over against a counter, rocking my hips from side to side!).

At 2:30, I decided it was time to go to the hospital.  For some
reason, although we live 1.5 mi from the hospital, it always seems to
take an hour from the time I decide it’s time to go to the time we’re
admitted.  Okay, so I know part of the reason–my pressure waves were
too intense to walk and lasting several minutes.  I was pretty much
freaking out and seriously thinking I wasn’t going to be able to get
along without an epidural.

At the hospital, they asked first thing if my water had broken, and
they did a test paper that came back bright blue–definitely amniotic
fluid.  So they were very careful about internal exams ( 😀 !), but
they did an initial one–I was eight cm.  (Even better than I’d
visualized!)  The nurse asked if I was planning on having an epidural.
I said, “Well, I wasn’t *planning* on it. . . .”  She told me I
didn’t need one!

I was a little worried about this hospital, though I’d liked it okay
the first time around, I’d *heard* that other hospitals in the area
were more natural-birth friendly.  But they never mentioned an
epidural again!

I had a very hard time focusing through the last hour of pressure
waves (and got very annoyed at my MP3 player), but my wonderful nurse
helped me to focus.  She didn’t even know we were doing hypnosis, but
she used a lot of the same cues from the course–the same breathing
cues, telling me to relax specific body parts.  She also took hold of
my foot to give me another physical stimulus to focus on, which I liked.

DH was great, too, though I discovered that I hated the forehead relax
cue and couldn’t tell him to use my shoulder.  (A little busy, I was!)

The OB got there an hour after we did, and I was almost complete.
Because I had a high break and kept myself well hydrated, he actually
didn’t believe the nurse when she said my water had broken and still
had to AROM (uncomfortable!) and pushed the last little lip of cervix
out of the way.

They told me I could push, and while I wasn’t having any urge to push,
I was ready for my birthing time to be over.  I did have local
anesthesia (which is really good, since I had 2nd degree tearing),
but, incredibly, pushing did not hurt.  There was a lot of pressure,
stretching and a little stinging (probably from the local), but it DID
NOT HURT.  It was just a lot of work!

Rebecca Shae was born at 4:58 AM on Saturday, July 26.  She weighed 5
lbs, 13 oz and was 18.5 in long.  After they weighed her and wiped her
off, they gave her back to me and she nursed for an hour.  I declined
the routine pitocin, which my OB grumbled about a little as he sewed
me up, but for someone who I know is not very supportive of natural
birth, he wasn’t bad (and I realize now that his personality is just a
lot more gruff than my regular, superoptimistic OB).

Other than being small and a little cold, she’s done great!  We should
be released from the hospital any time now (once DH gets here) and I’m
excited to go home.

I don’t feel like I did very well at maintaining my focus on my own,
but HB did help me through two days of pressure waves and I was able
to give birth naturally.

My husband blogged about the birth (a much shorter account) on my
blog: http://www.mamablogga.com/first-guest-blogger-daddy-x-2/


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Singing Mom at 10 cm

I don’t know if this mom was using any special tools to stay so calm during her birth.

But this video demonstrates wonderfully how birth can be peaceful, calm and beautiful!

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Let Birthing Time Begin on it’s Own

6 Healthy Birth Practices.

1. Let labor begin on its own – lead author Debby Amis, RN, BSN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

I think this is one of the most important choices a parent can make.  Your baby knows when it is time to be born!  In Hypnobabies we learn that a due date is really just a GUESS month.  There is a 5 week window of full term.  We learn about the choices we can make before our births.  Starting from choosing a care provider that has a low induction rate (inducing only for valid medical reasons).

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Carole Thorpe, of Mission Viejo, California is the mother of four, and a hypnotherapist. Also, Carole is a Hypnobabies childbirth hypnosis instructor, a childbirth doula, and a lactation educator and counselor. She practices homeopathy and Healing Touch as well. Carole has assisted with over 500 sweet babies’ births in people’s homes, in birth centers and in hospitals all over southern California. She can be reached at 949.380.1681, or carole@hypnosis4birth.com. For more information, see her website:  www.hypnosis4birth.com


As a preparation for childbirth educator, I have taught hundreds of couples and assisted them at their births to reach their goal of natural childbirth. In the past, I taught an adaptation of the Lamaze and Bradley methods, along with what I called, “verbal relaxation & guided imagery.” I assisted with over 300 births that resulted in unmedicated, calm and peaceful babies, and I witnessed moms who were in control of their birthing bodies, but those moms were far from comfortable during their babies’ births.
Then I learned from personal experience that the power of the mind, while in hypnosis, can create desired changes in one’s perception and experience, and can even change the body’s physiological responses. I also discovered that hypnosis is a very pleasant state to be in, and not dissimilar to the deep relaxation achieved through the “verbal relaxation & guided imagery,” that I used to teach, BUT with a HUGE difference! It was interesting to me to know that a person in hypnosis is so deeply relaxed mentally and physically, that they are able to accept the post-hypnotic suggestion that they can create anesthesia in their bodies using “only” the power of their own minds!
“This is the missing link!” I thought, and I became a certified hypnotherapist through the National Guild of Hypnotists. Then, I observed a series of preparation for childbirth classes taught by the founder of Hypnobabies. I was so impressed with the thoroughness of the childbirth education portion of the Hypnobabies program, that I offered to assist couples from that class series as their doula. That’s when I witnessed first-hand that women can  experience natural childbirth using hypnosis, and be able to move around freely with their eyes open, awake and aware during the entire process, and be completely comfortable … most of them even pain free! I then became a Hypnobabies childbirth hypnosis instructor, and a “hypno-doula.”
I am also a lactation educator and counselor, certified through UCSD. I maintain my “CPR for the Professional Rescuer” certificate with the Red Cross, and certification through the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association for “Neonatal Resuscitation” in the midwifery/doula model of care.
I love my “work!” I am in awe each and every time I am privileged to witness the power of a woman’s mind to create such peaceful, comfortable birthings. I work with Hypnobabies couples exclusively now, and I am happy to say that I have assisted with over 200 Hypnobabies births.


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Dear Skyla
You lie next to me, milkdrunk, your body limp with the rush of the milkhigh, and contentment washing over your being. The fact that you are here is miraculous, I still can’t quite believe it, today is your actual ‘due date’, but as we know that means nothing, and you were going to come when you were ready, no sooner, no later. You have been in our world for five days now.
So here, my love is the story of your birth, written while still fresh in my mind, body and soul.
Your conception wasn’t planned Sweet Skyla, and I don’t really know how you came into being, it is a little miracle. However I could feel the winds of change as soon as you were conceived. I had no idea of your existence yet I felt all tingly inside, it felt like a premonition. I looked into my days with anticipation, nervousness and wonder, ‘What was this feeling? What lay on the horizon?’. I kept saying to people, “Something is going to happen, I can feel it, I don’t know what it is yet, but I know it”.
So when my period was slow to arrive, and then I started feeling a little nauseous, your existence was discovered. It was a shock for me and your Daddy, but under the shock we were both happy, very happy.
And it was a beautiful ride my love, growing you inside me felt so magic and full of such wonder. We were blessed with an easy ride too, you and me, a few weeks of nausea, but that soon passed, a bit of tiredness, which I took as my body telling me to rest, and that was all. We blossomed.
And I began preparing for your birth day. I wanted to bring you into this world in the best possible way for the both of us. Your Daddy too wanted what was best for us. So we made some birth choices, and your Daddy was amazing at helping me to stay strong in them, and in defending our choices to people who questioned them. We declined routine scans, it felt intuitively wrong to expose you to that for no medical reason (of course my precious if at any time anything was medically indicated then we would!). And we decided to have a birth at home.
I read books, I researched, and I looked for tools to help us have the best possible birth. Sadly in our culture birth is medicalised, rather than normalized, and so I wanted to counter that programming in myself, I surrounded myself with positive books, ones that empower women on their birth journeys, I read, I wrote. I started a Hypnobabies program to give me tools for the day, to embrace the sensations of birthing. I believed in and wanted a beautiful fearless birth. Your Daddy read the bits I asked him to read, did my Hypnobabies with me, cooked us yummy food, and gave me back rubs when I needed it. He looked after us well Sweet Skyla. And we found a lovely independent midwife, Debs, who would attend the birth, and be there to help us if we needed it.
So, I thought you were going to be late, I thought I would end up fighting the induction police, so I planned on hair appointments and massages in my last few weeks, and started tying up loose ends. On Tuesday I went to Oxford to visit my Goddaughter and her brother, Anna is 4, Will is 6, Anna chatted to you, and patted my belly and spoke about ‘the baby’ almost non-stop. I felt a bit crampy and ill when I left there that evening. But I had been feeling a bit ‘niggly’ the past two weeks, period like cramps, teary, and tired, so I didn’t think anything of it. The next day I felt a little ill, and my lower back was rather achy. And you were so so active, rolling and kicking all over the show. Your Daddy and I went out that afternoon, and had a massive argument in the street, I guess we were both feeling a bit hormonal! We got home that night, he went to bed around midnight, and I stayed up and cleaned the kitchen (which, my precious, is very unlike me, so perhaps I was nesting?). I had started to feel you do your head spins on my cervix, but the sensation had moved, and I was feeling it in my bottom, it felt a bit sharp and it rose and fell. Then I felt my first pressure wave, it was like a tightening from my lower back that radiated all round to the front of my belly. I hadn’t felt any Braxton Hicks throughout the whole pregnancy, so this was a new feeling, exciting! I timed them and they seemed 7-10mins apart. I got in a bath, to see if that would change them, they increased to 5mins apart, lasting a minute. By 3am, I called Debs to let her know, I wasn’t going to, as I was convinced this was just practice, but I thought I should call her ‘just in case’, she said get some sleep and call me back. I went to bed and woke your Daddy and told him what was happening, and asked him to get the tens machine, there was no way I was going to sleep through these waves! Don’t worry Skyla they weren’t painful, they were intense, and the best way to describe them is to say they are all consuming, they became everything and demanded all of my attention. I put my affirmations on, and the tens, and when a wave came I got on all fours and circled my hips like in yoga, and I said “ahhhhh” in a soft breath, and “open, open, open”, and I thought of you my lovely, I sent you love and energy and reassurance.
Your Daddy timed these for an hour, not realizing how all consuming they were getting, he tried to talk to me during one, I couldn’t answer and I think he realized then. During one, he put his hand on my belly (he often did this in bed at night). He said he felt the energy change completely, and he knew that this was it for real, he also said he knew you were a girl (I had had this feeling from this beginning, as did he, but then he changed and started thinking you were a boy).
There was a little show and we decided to call Debs back to see if we should start filling the pool.  She said ‘Okay I am coming now’, when Daddy described how things were, this surprised him he said later, as we must be further along than we thought. (We had plans of going for lunch, of hanging out watching dvds together during early birthing time). So he jumped up and got into action setting up the pool, I started helping, but got to the point where I needed to just focus on this. I returned to bed, on all fours, and put on my hypnobirthing “Easy First Stage” on and went within.
Debs arrived at 6ish, checked us, you were doing great, so was I, we didn’t want any internals, which Debs was fine with. Daddy did a quick dash to the supermarket (we didn’t have anything in the house!). Debs just left me to it, alone in the bedroom, which was what I wanted, to go within and let my body do it. I found myself covering my eyes during a pressure wave, and continued with the circling and ‘ahhh’s.  I also started saying “yes, yes yes”, I found this really helped me to embrace and surrender to them.
Debs said when Daddy got back I could get in the pool if I wanted, this surprised me, I didn’t think we were that far. I was only using the tens machine, putting it on ‘boost’ during a wave, and this really helped manage the sensation, I only had it on ‘2’ (it goes up to 20) as I wanted to keep it back in case I really needed it. The waves were intense, and becoming more all encompassing, it was such a powerful feeling, I would go right into them, and then once they subsided, I would return to the world.
Daddy got back from shopping and continued getting everything ready, but now I wanted him with me during a wave, so I would call him every few minutes and he would come running. He tried some hypno cues, but I didn’t want that, and told him to hush. He tried to give me some nice touch, but again, I didn’t want that and shook my head. He said he felt a bit helpless, but having him there was All and Everything that I needed.
Then I felt sick, I asked Deb to get your nappy bucket from the bathroom, and up came all the raspberry leaf tea and porridge your Daddy had given me. And I started crying, I don’t know why, it was like waves of emotion washing over me, I wasn’t upset, just a little confused maybe or overwhelmed.
This passed and we moved into the living room, where your Daddy had done an amazing job! The blackout curtains were up, and candles everywhere and the most beautiful fresh flowers, pink roses, and a massive bunch of lovely yellows and reds and oranges. He put the Rumi poetry and music cd on, and I got in the pool. The temperature was amazing, so hot and delicious. And you, my lovely, began your descent.
I found it hard to let go as I felt you press against my bottom, this is just a natural taboo of letting go in that area. I had asked Deb not to ‘coach’ at all, and only to give direction if I asked for it, so I asked her here, she said ‘just push through your bottom as if you are going to the toilet’, and I tried. Then I felt sick again, I leant over the edge and threw up into your nappy bucket, it was a bit of a yucky feeling throwing up and trying to let go in my bottom at the same time, but it obviously did the trick, with the next wave I felt that letting go, and I relaxed into that. There was a show at some stage and I think Debs said something about it being a good sign that I was fully dilated, somewhere I registered this, although words were gibberish at this point, I was just following my body. With each wave I went right in, still on all fours, leaning over the pool, holding on to your daddy’s hand, his presence meaning more than he will ever realize. The ‘ahhhs’ turned into a different noise, a really primal grunt/moan that I had no idea was in my vocab. I went with that, I could feel you moving down ‘pressure’ or ‘pushy’ or something I said to let Debs and Daddy know what was happening. It felt so good to surrender to this feeling, again hard to describe, still all encompassing and intense, but it felt a bit like throwing up in that my body just did it and I went with it. In between waves I rested, then circled and moved and said ‘come on baby, come on’, encouraging you on your journey down.  I could feel your head come a little further forward with each wave, but then slip back, this was hard and I felt impatient and wondered aloud if I could do this. Your bag of water hadn’t broken yet. Debs said to reach down and feel your head, I did and it was squishy, you felt so close and yet so far. Debs suggested breaking your bag of waters to help you down, I agreed. She was listening to your heartbeat after every wave, and it was taking a little longer to recover each time, Daddy and I could hear it a bit slower (we were using the sonic aid now, after a whole pregnancy free of ultra sound, once we were in the water we decided for ease to let Debs use the sonic aid rather than fetalscope). So Debs suggested moving into a squat, and said to direct the energy that was coming out of my mouth in my amazing primal sounds downwards. Basically she meant actively ‘push’, which I hadn’t wanted to do, rather I wanted to let my body doing the pushing, which it had been beautifully. But obviously, my precious, you were finding this part of the journey a little hard, and it would be better to get you out sooner. So I moved (Daddy was in the pool with me and you by now), and squatted and reclined, with Daddy next to me. The next wave came “here we go” I said to Debs and Daddy, and you moved into position, and I directed the energy down and I Pushed and Pushed and Pushed, and then there your little head was, I couldn’t quite believe it! We looked at you and we waited for the next wave. It felt like an eternity in coming. When it did I pushed again, and Daddy held his hands out and out you came, turning as you did, I felt your body slip out and your little foot last of all, Daddy caught you, the cord was around your neck a couple of times (this was why your heartbeat was dipping so much) and you still had the membranes covering your head, Debs removed both and Daddy brought you slowly up out of the water and put you on my chest. Daddy bent down to look at your face, and you opened one eye and looked at him. You were floppy, we rubbed your back, ‘hey, wake up baby’ we said, you coughed and spluttered a bit and then you were here. During the whole birthing we had been referring to you as ‘she’. Debs said, “Is it a girl?” and went to feel between your legs, but I lifted your leg so Daddy could look. He said, “Yes it’s a little girl”. We smiled and said “Hello Skyla”. It was 11.36am on Thursday 12th March 2009.
You had arrived, you looked a little funny, but of course we thought you looked absolutely beautiful! Your colour started coming, and you were quiet and content and we had a timeless hour in the pool getting to know you, waiting for your placenta to come. I was getting lots of cramping as my womb clamped down and released your placenta, but no movement, I wondered if some gravity would help, so we decided to cut your cord so I could move and you could stay in the pool with Daddy. Debs clamped it and Daddy cut it.
I went to the bathroom, and your placenta slipped out easily. I showered and while Debs checked me, you and Daddy had a lovely time in the pool. Daddy talked to you and you just listened and gazed at him, when I came back Daddy said he had fallen completely in love with you.
And now, with you lying next to me lost in your milky dream world, I can say we have both fallen head over heels for you. We intend to do our best by you. We know it will be challenging at times, and we don’t know all the answers, but we look forward to rising and growing with the challenges and exploring the questions with you Sweet Skyla.
With so much love, now and forever, to eternity and beyond, your Mama xx
I loved my hypnobabies practice, I would say I was a B student, I practiced, mainly at night, and I did more of what I felt work for me.
As our birthing time happened a bit quickly, I found it hard to get into the hypno zone I thought I would be in, I didn’t listen to all of easy first stage, or to second stage (I had intended to use both) as I was in that place where I just wanted to go within. This surprised me, also that I didn’t want to ‘listen’ to words, I just wanted to know them.
My main birth goal was to have a really intuitive birth, to really listen and go into my body, so words (both the cds and Pete’s – aka Daddy) felt kind of redundant. But also I felt like I had already embodied all the knowledge from all my hypno prep, so I didn’t need to be listening to the cds during birthing.
This really worked for me, this embodying, it allowed me to feel confident enough to let go and go with in and ‘let my monkey do it” (-Ina May!). I couldn’t have done this without the confidence and calm that hypnobabies gave me.
In the few weeks before the hypno tool I used the most was painting my cervix, perineum and all my birthing muscles with my silver blue anesthesia paint (I knew how well this worked for me when I did the icecube test thing, I was Amazed that it worked so well!!!). So every time I thought of it, I would paint it on. Naturally this worked so well during birthing time too, there was no ring of fire, or any uncomfortable sensations there. Also when I had to push her out at the end I tore my perineum a little, I didn’t feel this at all, and nothing when I was actually pushing!
When I visualsed the birthing I imagined it lasting 12 hours from start to birth, which it did, that it was mainly in the night with her born in the morning, which it was, and I saw myself surrendering to the sensations, which I did. The rest, being a first time mama, I wasn’t sure really what would happen. But hypnobabies really helped me to Trust my body and Trust my baby.
Having this Embodied Knowledge really allowed me to let go, go within, get primal and intuitive.
I don’t think I can get across how much Trust and Confidence Hypnobabies gave me, and that the three months of ‘training’ with it was SO important for Embodying it so it became something my body Knew, or rather ReMembered! As of course my body knows all of this, but to remember it, and to know it on all levels was vital to the Beautiful Birthing time of Skyla.
Thank you Kerry! Thank you Hypnobabies! Thank you Mamas and Mamasinthemaking on this forum for all your support! And thank you Sweet Skyla for coming into my world!

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6 Healthy Birth Practices

Lamaze has come out with 6 Healthy Birth Practices and also recently updated their website.  I want to touch on each of these in the next few weeks, as Hypnobabies teaches about all of these things in class.  They are all important!

Here they all are.

1. Let labor begin on its own – lead author Debby Amis, RN, BSN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

2. Walk, move around, and change positions throughout labor – lead author Teri Shilling, MS, CD(DONA), IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE

3. Bring a loved one, friend, or doula for continuous support – lead authors Jeanne Green, MT, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, and Barbara A. Hotelling, MSN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

4. Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary – lead author Judith A. Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE

5. Avoid giving birth on the back and follow the body’s urges to push – lead author Joyce DiFranco, RN, BSN, LCCE, FACCE

6. Keep mother and baby together – it’s best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding – lead author Jeannette Crenshaw, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE

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Avoid Interventions

4. Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary – lead author Judith A. Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE

My favorite class to teach is class 3, when we cover all the choices a mom may have before, during and after her birthing time.  We talk about the pros and cons and that way mom and dad will know when an intervention is necessary.

Often while birthing in a hospital, they offer interventions to everyone, whether needed or not.  It is just their routine.  If you educate yourself on your choices, it will help you to know what the best decision for YOU is!

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