Archive for December, 2010

This was my second hypnobirth and my 1st homebirth.  It’s a long story of a fairly short birth. 🙂


On Monday the 15th I started feeling contractions that were definitely stronger then braxton hicks but they came with about the same frequency as I’d been having braxton hicks so I didn’t think much other than my body was getting ready to have the baby, but it still could be anytime.  I’d also been feeling sharp pains in my cervix for a while but wasn’t sure if it was just baby poking me with her little hands, or if it was my cervix dilating as some thought those pains were.


On Monday I also felt more mucus when I wiped after going to the bathroom, but it was just clear or whitish so I didn’t think it was my mucus plug.  On Monday night when my husband, Mike, and I were in bed, I had an emotional breakdown and accused him of not remembering what it was like to have a newborn.  He’d made some comments about things we could do after the baby arrived that I thought were ridiculous.  I got everything out that I’d been thinking and voiced some of my concerns about having a new baby.  At first it turned into kind of a heated argument and I cried a lot and Mike was mad but then we had a good discussion and both of us went to bed happy.  Sometime in the middle of my crying I had the thought that maybe this was an emotional release I needed to do to be ready for baby and for the first time thought that maybe the signs were pointing to it happening pretty soon- maybe even the next day.  I didn’t say that to Mike, though.


I woke up the next day, Tuesday the 16th (3 days before my guess date) and felt the same as I had the day before.  I had sporadic pressure waves that were like strong Braxton hicks but I hardly gave them a thought.  I dropped my daughter off at preschool at 9, stopped at a favorite coffee shop and got tea and coffee cake and then headed home to start on some projects that I had planned for the morning.


By the time I got home around 10, I realized that I probably wasn’t going to get anything done because I was having pressure waves that were still really sporadic but I felt best just relaxing on the couch.  After I got home I went to the bathroom and when I wiped I had a bunch of tan, bloody mucus.  Definitely my mucus plug.  I called Mike at work to let him know what was up but at that point I didn’t know if this was going anywhere so he should stay at work and not be too excited.  I texted our doula to tell her the same.  After all, some women deal with this off and on for days before their birthing time really starts, right?


Not too much later I talked to Mike again to let him know that I didn’t feel like I should drive to pick up our daughter from preschool because I didn’t want to have one of these pressure waves while I was driving.  He said he’d pick her up at 11:30 and then come home and work from home for the rest of the day.  In the meantime, I piled up pillows on the couch and leaned forward against them.  Just in the last couple of weeks my baby had been sometimes turning a little posterior so I wanted to give her every encouragement to be in a good birthing position.  I put on the easy 1st stage track and listened to it out loud.  I was really comfortable and my pressure waves weren’t too frequent.


Mike and Sairshe got home a little after 12 and I turned the track off so I could interact with them.  Mike puttered around getting his workspace set up and checked his work email.  Then he started making lunch for the kiddo.  I asked him to scramble a couple eggs for me since all I’d eaten was coconut coffee cake and I had the foresight to think that if this was really the beginning of my birthing time, I should eat something a little better.  I didn’t really time my pressure waves at that point but when I did think to look at the clock they seemed to be really irregular- 10 minutes, then 5, then closer to 15 minutes.


Around noon my midwife’s office called to sat that Catherine, my midwife, had been called to a birth and needed to reschedule my appointment (I’d had one scheduled for that afternoon) and since I wasn’t ready to say for sure my birthing time had started, I didn’t mention it and just rescheduled my appointment for later in the week.  Mike thought that I should have said something.


At some point my daughter started to bother me and I regretted turning off the easy 1st stage track so I told Mike he was on his own with her and moved to my bedroom.  I tried to recreate my comfy couch spot by piling pillows up against my headboard and leaning onto them and I turned on the easy 1st stage track again.  I couldn’t really get as comfortable as I’d been before everyone got home, though, and I was a little frustrated.  My pressure waves seemed to be coming with a little more regularity and were getting stronger so I told Mike he should probably call the midwife and give her a head’s up.


I heard him talking on the phone and then he came into the room I guess to ask me something but then he said he’d call her back in 5 or 10 minutes.  Catherine told me later that Mike hadn’t been sure if I was having a pressure wave or if I was just resting but either way, he hadn’t wanted to disturb me right then.  I had been having a pressure wave but was still able to appear pretty relaxed.  When Mike came in again and saw that I’d opened my eyes, he asked if I wanted Catherine to come and check me and I said something along the lines of “I guess so.”  He called her back and asked her to come and I also heard him call our doula and tell her to come over too.


This was maybe 1:30 and my pressure waves seemed to be suddenly coming more regularly- 4 or 5 minutes apart- though they still seemed pretty short and were really manageable.  Somewhere around this time I asked Mike to call my mom and tell her that baby was on her way.  My mom lives out of state but had asked us to let her know.  Our daughter was in the dining room eating lunch and Mike started inflating the birth pool in the living room while I stayed in the bedroom.


As soon as that was all set in motion, I had several really intense pressure waves.  I definitely couldn’t be still through them so I’d quickly put my lightswitch in center and sway my torso back and forth while I knelt on the bed.


In the easy 1st stage track Kerry reminds us several times that “you are safe and your baby is safe no matter how much power goes through your body” and that was my mantra during those intense pressure waves. It was SO much power!  I felt like in my head I was yelling that mantra to myself and I didn’t feel particularly calm in my head but my physical body stayed as relaxed as I could make it.  Even though I was still sitting/kneeling on the bed my legs started feeling kind of shaky during these intense pressure waves.


I had the fleeting thought that it felt kind of like transition but then dismissed it because my pressure waves had only recently become regular and still weren’t terribly long or close together.  I then started to doubt if I could keep up this calmness and looseness through out my birthing time if this was how intense it was going to be.


I decided I needed a change of scenery and felt like I should go to the bathroom so I sat on the toilet.  My next pressure wave definitely felt pushy.  I yelled for Mike and had to yell a couple of times and pretty loud since he still had the air pump running to blow up the tub.  At that point I realized I wouldn’t have time to use the tub but water felt like it would be amazing.  I thought of filling up the bathtub since that would be quick but then decided even that wasn’t really worth it.


Mike came in and I told him that I was feeling a little panicky and that we could have this baby before anyone got there.  Almost immediately my 3 year old came running in to say “Midwife Catherine’s at the door!”  I think this was about 2:15.  I was glad it was her.  I’d thought it might be the backup midwife since Catherine had been called to a birth earlier.  (It turned out that the other mom wasn’t too far along so Catherine came to my birth and then an hour or so after my baby arrived, she went back and attended the other birth too.)


Catherine checked me while I was still on the toilet and said that the baby was right there and then said “I’d like to run out to my car and get my supplies really quick.”  I wasn’t about to say no to that.  🙂 When she got back I said that I didn’t want to have the baby in the toilet and she said that I’d better move now then.  I remember saying several times that I wasn’t ready for this to be happening so soon.   I was feeling really hot and I was right next to an open window and the cold air coming in felt really nice.  I didn’t really want to move but also really didn’t want to have my baby in the toilet.  I asked Mike to get a washcloth wet and he put that on my neck and forehead and it felt amazing,


Catherine helped me move to the bedroom and I brought my phone that was still playing the easy 1st stage track.  I got on my knees on the bed but felt like being in a more upright position so I asked for something to lean against.  I still had the big pile of pillows on the bed so Mike moved that closer to me and I got in the same position I’d been in before- up on my knees but leaning forward onto pillows.  Immediately I was pushing.  I asked Catherine a couple of times if it was really ok to be pushing because I still was having a hard time believing that I was at that point already.


She assured me that it was fine and my baby was ready to be born.  With each pressure wave I vocalized a low (but loud) “aaahhhh” noise and let my body do the pushing.  I didn’t have to think about it, it’s just what felt right to do.  It was amazing to be able to really feel her moving down.  With my 1st, I pushed for 40 minutes and never really felt that movement with my pushing.  It was really great to feel that my pushing was doing something and it wasn’t painful at all.  I said once that I felt stretchy and that’s really all I felt.  My only discomfort was that my legs got tired being in that position.


I was really thirsty and Mike gave me sips of tea in between waves and he put his hand on my shoulder and reminded me to relax and told me how great I was doing.  After a few good pushing waves, my water broke and I really felt the pressure of baby’s head.  I think it was the next pushing wave that she was born.  She seemed to just fly out of me and I immediately felt an emptiness in me.  It was a weird sensation and I think it was because I hadn’t really been prepared for her birth to be so quick.  I had just felt like I was really in my birthing time and then she was born!


I heard her cry immediately and then Catherine passed her between my legs so I could pull her up to me.  When my older daughter was born, a dr I’d never seen before came in my room at literally the last minute, decided she didn’t like something about baby’s heartrate and whisked her out of the room as soon as she was born.  When they brought her back, she was all cleaned off and wrapped up.  The first thing I said when I pulled this baby up to me, all wet and blue and covered with vernix, was “I never got to see Sairshe like this!”


It was so amazing to hold that brand new baby.  Seconds after she was born, the room got really quiet for a second and at that moment we could hear my hypnobabies track that was still playing quietly just as Kerry was saying “. . . your beautiful birth.”  Catherine said “That was beautiful indeed.” I turned around and saw that as I was pushing the 2nd midwife, a nurse and our doula had all arrived just in time to see the birth.  Mike was holding Sairshe who got to see the whole thing too.  She got a little nervous after the baby arrived so she went back out to the living room and played with our doula while I birthed the placenta and nursed my new baby.


A little later she came in and we all snuggled up in bed together, which was awesome because that had been my special place that I’d practiced imagining for so many weeks.


Carys was born on November 16th at 2:34 pm, only about 20 minutes after Catherine arrived and just over 4 hours since I’d had the first thought that just maybe my birthing time was starting, but I wasn’t at all sure. I sure am glad we had a homebirth planned because I’m pretty sure we would have had one regardless!


Hypnobabies worked great, even though I didn’t have a lot of time to use my tools this time! There were maybe 2 or 3 pressure waves that were pretty darn uncomfortable but the rest of the time I was really comfortable, even when I was anxious and not sure if a midwife was going to arrive in time.  I listened to the tracks mostly as I was going to bed each night so I slept through them and just as everyone says, that really does work.


Birth is truly amazing and Hypnobabies helped me experience it in comfort and without any fear. Mamas, you can do this too!

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Nathaniel Alexander
January 12 at 6:11am
7lb 12oz, 20 in long

Nate has been in our hearts forever but made his appearance in flesh early on a Monday morning after about 8.5 hours of birthing time.  He is our third son.

During the preceding weeks, I had many practice pressure waves, some of which felt like they could be the real thing, but they always ended up fading away after a few hours.  I started to lose my mucous plug so I knew that these waves were beginning to dilate and efface my cervix to prepare for the big day.  Our guess date was January 18th.

Our second son Sean was born almost 2 weeks before his guess date and had a very fast birthing time.  This set up the expectation, or at least the possibility, for my husband and I (and our families) that this third little guy would come early and fast.  It is January in the northeast and we’ve already had our fair share of snowstorms.

Additionally, my husband works a distance away with a commute time of up to 1.5 hours each way during rush hour.  I had a real concern that my husband wouldn’t make it home in time to see his third son be born – and this really stressed me out!  I had to work on releasing this fear and trusting that our little guy would be born at the perfect time and under the circumstances that were right for us.
Sunday January 11th was unremarkable, except that we spent some extra time doing nesting activities (laundry, taking down Christmas decorations finally(!), organizing baby’s things, etc).  We were still a week away from our guess date and I resigned myself to the fact that this baby might come after his guess date like his oldest brother, and that was okay.  In the meantime, we might as well have a clean and organized house, which was a rarity with two toddlers running around!

After the boys went to bed that evening, I put the Golden Globes on TV to watch while my husband started dozing off next to me.  I noticed at around 9:30pm that I started having some pressure waves.  They were definitely stronger than BH, but not unlike the others I had been having before this.  They seemed to be coming every 10-13 min or so.  By 11pm I noticed one that felt like “whoa, I think this could be it”.  With that I had to run to the bathroom and saw the bloody show (a lot of it!).  This was confirmation for me that it was definitely my birthing time as I had not seen bloody show until well into my first two birthing times.

Almost immediately, the pressure waves started coming closer together, maybe every 4 or 5 min, but they were very short (30-45 sec) and not so intense.  I didn’t have to concentrate through them.  Because my second son was born only 3 hours after my first pressure wave, we decided it was best to head to the hospital now and get settled in, even if it was very early in the birthing time.  We called my mom over to watch our boys while we were gone.

We got to the hospital around 12:30am and checked in.  I was still extremely comfortable and guessed that I was at about 3cm.  The nurse checked me and I was about 2-3cm but still pretty thick.  She could feel something “fleshy” so wanted the doc to check to make sure the baby was in the right position.  About 10 min later when the doc checked me, she confirmed that baby was head down and it was a bulging bag of waters that felt fleshy and that I was now 5-6cm.

They expected things to move quickly, but I had a feeling otherwise.  These pressure waves were still very comfortable and still pretty short (less than a minute).  It was okay with me to continue on at this pace!  I could do this all night and day!  I hung out on my birthing ball in between the 20 min fetal monitoring we had to do every hour and the waves were still not increasing in intensity.

When they checked me around 2am, I was 6-7cm but very thin.  I was pretty happy to hear that progress because this was easy!!!  I kept thinking that slow and steady wins the race.

By 4am I started to feel some rectal pressure, not like I had to push, but just more pressure.  I also started to feel shaky and nauseous so I thought I might be entering transformation.  My water hadn’t broken yet.

The doc came in around 4:45am to check me and I was still only 7cm.  She did a very aggressive cervical exam (it was painful, the only pain I had experienced so far!) and my water “spontaneously” broke.  Can you sense my sarcasm?  She called it a spontaneous rupture of membranes because she didn’t use a needle to break the water.  My husband, the nurse, and I all agreed that it wasn’t spontaneous!

I knew I was in for it now, and I was.  Things got much more intense and they now wanted me on continuous monitoring because my water was broken.  I hated being stuck in the bed!  Gratefully I was able to change position as much as I wanted to, so I was either on my hands and knees or squatting and holding on to the top of the bed with my husband rubbing or applying pressure to my lower back and hips – at this point I had a ton of back and pelvic pressure.

I started getting very vocal but was able to make it through each wave fairly comfortably.  I never felt like I needed drugs.

I eventually started a deep moaning which prompted the nurse to ask me if I was involuntarily pushing.  I told her yes!  It certainly wasn’t intentional.  It wasn’t an overwhelming urge (like I had with my second very speedy delivery) but it was happening.


She told me I could start pushing but I wanted her to check my cervix first since I felt like I wasn’t quite complete. My intuition was right – I still had a lip left but she told me I could push past it and I did.


I later learned from my husband that the two nurses thought the doc wouldn’t make it in the room in time for the birth since she was stuck at a delivery next door.  But she did come running in and made it just as the baby started crowning.


This pushing phase was tough for me!  It didn’t happen as quick and effortlessly as it had with my second son and that made me nervous and made me question my ability.  But my husband was holding my hand telling me what a great job I was doing and that the baby is almost here.  I reached down to feel his head and there he was!  That gave me the motivation to kick it into high gear and get him out.  I gave it a strong push and out came his head but they told me to stop pushing while they unwrapped his cord which was around his neck.


They told me to continue and I pushed the rest of him out, and he had the cord wrapped around his arm and his torso too!  He was blue but as soon as they untangled him he pinked up and had apgars of 8 and 9.  They had to cut the cord quickly to untangle him so my husband wasn’t able to do that.  We were ok with it since we just wanted a healthy baby!  Anyway, what was the little bugger doing in my belly to get himself all tangled up like that?! I had a sense that we may have issues with the cord but I didn’t let that consume my thinking or make me fear the delivery.  I’m happy that I was able to let it go because everything worked out fine.


He was 7lb 12oz, 20 in long.  He nursed immediately!


I couldn’t be happier with the way this birth went, and I have to thank Hypnobabies.  The program was so valuable to me in my second and third pregnancies and birthing times.  I had three unique experiences each teaching me lessons, and producing three very different but very beautiful babies!  Thank you Hypnobabies!!!


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This pregnancy was sooo much different from Garrett’s. I had been experiencing Prodromal Labor for a month, and was beginning to wonder if our little bugger was ever going to join us. The day before my birthing time began, we were scheduled for a Biophysical Profile/NST. The tech said the baby had a lot of amniotic fluid, and was big (8lbs 14oz). We decided to find out the sex, after waiting almost 41 weeks, in hopes it would help me visualize the birth better and perhaps help bring on my birthing time. The tech ALSO said that the baby wouldn’t come anytime soon. Ha!

The next morning, Garrett woke me up around 3am for his usual walk-me-back-to-my-room/potty routine. I was having some pressure waves, which was pretty normal for me, and really didn’t think much of it. I decided to try some nipple stimulation to see if it would help them continue or get stronger. I did 15 minutes on the breast pump, and had some decent waves going. They were about 10-12 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds. I checked my email and then went back to sleep listening to my Birthing Guide (Gotta love Hypnobabies! I’d been listening to my birthing guide for a few days, trying to bring on my birthing time).

When we went to the BPP/NST the day before, I picked Brad up at work and left my car there, so the plan was that we would get up that morning and I would take him to work so I could bring my car home. I had a feeling that this was “it”, but we decided to still take him to work. After we dropped him off, Garrett and I went to Target to pick out some cars as his baby gift, and then to Chuck E Cheese. I would have SKIPPED Chuck E Cheese completely, because the pressure waves were getting stronger, but Garrett was looking forward to it and I knew it would be a while before I would be able to do something with him alone, just because, again. So we went for about an hour and he played. I’m glad we did, he had so much fun.

Once we got home, however, I really felt like I needed to rest. Garrett had napped in the car, and was not going to stay asleep once we got home. I called my neighbor to see if she could take him ASAP. Right before she came to get him, my pressure waves definitely picked up in intensity.


When I would use the finger drop (Hypnobabies technique) for a contraction, my sweet little boy would poke me and go “Are you awake mommy?? WAKE UP!!” Yeah, time for him to go!! He left around noon.


Brad came home for lunch. We decided the waves were about 6 minutes apart, and lasting about 45 seconds to a minute. I was 4.5 cm and the baby was very, very low. We felt like we were going to have a baby soon, but after the way my labor stalled with Garrett, we decided that Brad would go back to work for a couple more hours and then come home early. I listened to my “Creating Anesthesia” track in the rocking chair and dozed for about an hour until my midwife called. I was still able to talk through the waves, so we decided she would finish up her day at the office she works at in North Miami and she would come straight to me from there.

I straightened the house a little bit, cleaned the bathroom, etc. Around 2:30 or so, I lost a little bit of my mucous plug. My waves were coming about 4-5 minutes apart, but were very short (30 seconds). I called Brad and told him to haul butt home.


By the time he got there, things were getting VERY intense. Laura was on her way back from North Miami. I knew my birthing time was imminent by now, and was SURE this little one was coming at home. Brad started to fill the birthing tub and got the bed ready. He tried to come to support me through each wave.


Around 4 I decided to get in the ¾ full tub, because the waves were becoming intense for me. Once in the water, I put on my First Stage track again, this time on the CD player instead of the Zune.


About 15 minutes after that, I decided to switch to “Pushing your baby out” since I was having some MAJOR pressure. Brad talked to Laura around this time, and said she was stopping at her house quickly.


I told him to tell her to come NOW! I was HOT and decided to get out of the tub around 4:40 or so.


Right after that, it was time to start pushing the baby out. I labored on my hands and knees on the bed for the duration, which wasn’t very long. I could feel her moving down and kept telling Brad to check for a head. Around 5 or so, there WAS a head. Brad called Laura to let her know the baby was crowning—she was right around the corner. She came upstairs, and a few minutes later, Summer Elizabeth was born.


I have NO idea when my water broke—IF I really had as much fluid as the U/S tech claimed the day before, I must have had a fast leak. Because there was no gush when she was born. She was covered in vernex, has a TON of hair and brown eyes (Garrett had very little hair and had blue eyes when he was born). It took her about 12 hours to take to breastfeeding. She was 21 inches, 7lbs 13 ozs. (Surprise, surprise, the U/S was off by a whole pound!)


Recovery has been a breeze so far. I was in the shower within half an hour of her birth. No tearing. In fact, I honestly don’t feel like I’ve had a baby. My midwife yelled at me because I asked her if we could go for a walk at our 24 hour appt.  Summer is finally getting the hang of nursing, and is SUCH an easy baby. She let us sleep 2 – 4 hour stretches on her second night, which I thought was pretty darn good!!

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Abriella Grace
9:18 am
7lbs 12oz
19 1/2in

This was my first hypnobaby.
My first two were natural-one in bed, the second a water birth. Water broke with the first two as the start of labor and then 5-6hr labors which came on fast and strong.

This time I had been using my positive thoughts for several things:

  • That my water would remain intact
  • That I would go into labor after Wed night at 5pm when the midwife I wanted went on call
  • That I would remain calm
  • That I would birth in the morning when I was rested and fresh.

I had been having lots of braxton hicks my whole pregnancy and for the week prior to labor I had some significant contractions during the night, sometimes regular.

I practiced my Hypnobabies finger drop technique and was amazed that it actually worked!  I would even giggle as I gave myself the “peace” cue and I actually felt good.

I had also been charting my temps to see if there would be any correlation with labor.  I had been running in the mid 97’s and Thurs morning it was low 98’s….not a huge jump, but enough to make me wonder….

I got up at 6am and went potty and had a lot of mucus…no blood tinge…and had been losing pieces for a couple weeks, but this was the most.

Had a contraction, not unusual.  Nursed my 1 1/2yr old and had about a 10 minute very significant contraction…also, not something that hadn’t happened before.

Then I started having contractions but they were very mild….was busy getting my girls ready and myself for work even though I thought this might be it.  Was a little shaky so we all had breakfast, my contractions were 2-4min apart but not strong.

I wondered if I should make my calls, my mom who had to come up for the girls was over 1hr away and my husband was at work 45 min away, I was 30 min away from the hospital and with my last I arrived and started pushing…so I didn’t want to cut things too close.

At 7:30am I decided to head for the hospital.  Contractions spaced way out in the car and I thought I was a fool for not sitting down at home to see if they went away…but I had already made my calls so I headed in anyway.

Arrived at the hospital a little after 8am and was afraid I wouldn’t have any contractions on my 20 min pre-strip and they would think I was crazy for coming in….I finally had one 🙂

They were so mild I was just chatting away happily and having a tea party with my girls.

The midwife came and asked if I’d like to be checked…I told her yes because I think it might be a false alarm…I was apologizing when she told me I was 8cm and 100% effaced.  I was shocked–I still felt fine.

My water broke then and I thought, ok–here comes the hard part.


Got into the tub and had a few more contractions maybe 7 min apart or so….used my finger drop/peace cue and felt  totally fine. Chatted with my husband and just relaxed in the water.  He kept asking if I was even having contractions 🙂

Probably sometime around 9am I felt a very different pushy contraction….we called for the nurse and the midwife and I started gently easing out my baby.

The pressure was very intense at this point.  Fortunately my midwife teaches hypnobirthing (I was unable to take the class due to child care issues–which is why I discovered Hypnobabies).  She was saying all the things I was familiar with in her soothing calm voice.  I stayed very calm and relaxed and our little girl made her way into the world at 9:18am on 9/18.

She is beautiful and perfect and I LOVED my birth.

No tears, no hemorrhoids and I feel great!

I wish you all such wonderful birthing experiences.

Thank you to Hypnobabies—I really enjoyed how positive and calm it kept me at the end of my pregnancy as well as in labor.  It was nice to look forward to my birthing day and not dread it 🙂

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Share your Hypnobabies Testimonial

Just reminding everyone that we have a toll-free Testimonial line for our students and birth professionals to call and leave a brief message which will be posted on our new website soon. These audio files will allow more expectant parents to hear directly from families how Hypnobabies can help them create a much easier more comfortable and joyous birthing.


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Hi everyone!
I had the coolest experience with the Turn Your Breech track the other night and I had to share.
I’m now 23 weeks with the triplets and having brief weekly ultrasounds to check cervical length since a shortening cl (under 2.5cm) is one of the big indicators for preterm birth and indicates bedrest. The babies positions had been the same for quite some time, babies A & B (Reagan and Ryder) were vertex, with Reagan’s head right on the cervix, Ryder off to the side. Baby C, Ruby, is above, transverse. We only need Baby A to be vertex for a vaginal birth.
At last week’s u/s Baby A showed up breech! Its early still, but there’s a totally different dynamic with 3 in there and they get set in their positions much earlier than a singleton so I was a little freaked out. Obviously ECV wouldn’t be an option and even Webster and moxabustion have minimal positive results with multiples, especially the more babies there are (I’m a research freak so I looked into it immediately).
I was trying not to stress about it too much, but I could definitely feel her feet on my cervix all week, little leg movements, not big head movements like I had previously.
So I listened to the Turn Your Breech track the night before my next u/s because I knew I’d feel better if I could see her positioned head down again. Well, sure enough, the next morning I was feeling head movements again and the u/s showed her to be vertex, woohoo!

Morgan Cornwall, HCHI, HCHD, CD(DONA)
Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor and
DONA certified Birth Doula

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Davis was born on my birthday, September 27th at 6:34pm. Weighing 7 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches. (The exact same measurements as our first born).

Not sure exactly when to say my birthing time began. I wasn’t feeling the greatest on Friday, so I told my mom and DH that I had a feeling the baby was going to be coming the next day. So I went to bed early that night hoping to get some extra rest just in case. Thank god I did, I’m so thankful I got those extra hours of sleep before everything began.

DS#1 crawled into our bed about 6:45am on Saturday morning. I noticed I was having some mild cramping in my tummy and back every 4 minutes. So after lying there for 30 minutes, I decided to get up, and felt much more comfortable. I went to the bathroom and noticed some spotting, so I knew that this was probably going to be the day.

I went about the morning as usual. Made breakfast and got things packed for the hospital and for DS#1. I called my mom at 9am to come and get DS, even though I was feeling fine, I figured it would be nice not to have any distractions. I tried sitting down all morning, but had so much pressure in my bottom and back, that I could just not do it. So I stood or walked around the house most of the morning.

The pressure waves were fairly consistent but extremely manageable. Around 11:30am, I was getting disappointed things weren’t picking up, so DH and I went for a walk to see if that would get things moving. We walked for 30 minutes, and I only had one mild pressure wave the whole time. I was completely confused if this was actually my birthing time.

I actually remember contemplating if DH & I should go out for Mexican for lunch for my birthday, since I was feeling fine and thought it was false labor. But decided Mexican   might not be a good idea if this was really my birthing time and decided to take a nap instead. I put my headphones on and laid down from noon until 1:30, I had mild pressure waves during this time, but for the most part was able to sleep.

I got up at 1:30pm and called my mom and told her maybe this wasn’t the time and said maybe I would still go to this wedding with her at 3pm, that we had planned on going to. I told her to call back in an hour and see if I’d be ready to go. Well we didn’t go. Shortly after the phone call things picked up, and I was have consistent pressure waves that started to pick up in intensity.

DH was great during this time, we listened to soft music, my CDs, he read scripts, and described my special place. I sat on my ball, the toilet, relaxed in the shower. By about 4:30pm, I got out of the shower and felt as if I still had a long way to go, since I still felt great and was handling everything well.

After about 15 minutes, I started to feel nauseous and dizzy and thought maybe we should go to the hospital just in case, even though I didn’t want to go since I figured I wasn’t far enough along. The whole way to the hospital I visualized myself being at least at 6, but hoping I was at 8.

We arrived at the hospital at 5pm. Right before we walked into the hospital I almost had a moment of panic and started crying as I knew what I had ahead of me. I took a deep breath and said “Bubble of Peace” and all my anxiety lifted.

The nurses I had were great and so supportive of a natural birth, unlike my first birthing time. They knew I didn’t want to wear the fetal monitor and put it on for 10 minutes and then just monitored me with the portable doppler. When the nurse checked me I was a 7. Yay! Right in between where I had hoped.

The nurse told me they could break my water but recommended they didn’t so that the pressure waves didn’t get too intense. I got into the tub, upon her recommendation and loved it! The pressure waves started getting more intense and I remember saying to myself “Pressure, Tightening, A Big Hug” every time I had a pressure wave, it helped me remember exactly what I was feeling. When DH would use his relax cue, my body would just melt and instantly relax.

Not sure of the time, but about an hour later I told DH I did not want to sit in the tub anymore. I came out of the bathroom and the nurses were setting up the room for delivery. I wasn’t sure why since no one had checked me, and I still figured I had a long way to go. But apparently I had become more vocal, mostly making a low humming   sound and they could just tell.

I had 2 or 3 pressure waves which must have been transition because that was the only time I had felt somewhat out of control. Mostly just the last pressure wave, I think because the doctor wanted to check me while I was having one. I did not want him to do that, and remember being very vocal that he did, but I think he was holding back the last little bit of cervix so I could start pushing. With the beginning of my first push my water broke.

Things got really intense and I couldn’t quite relax. Baby was coming fast and I had
an epidural last time I had to push, so this was a whole new experience for me. My CD was playing and DH was saying relax but I don’t think I listened to anyone. I tried to gain some composure after the first push and did a little better on the second one, but I was so eager to get this baby out I pushed too hard and fast and ended up tearing up. Baby came out on the third push. What a relief!

Recovery this time has been amazing. I still can’t believe I did this and that Hypnobabies worked, I was a little skeptical, but glad I stuck with it. My only regret was not staying relaxed during the pushing phase. But all and all I am so pleased how it went. My DH was an amazing birth partner. I never wanted him away from me especially if I was having a pressure wave. It was as if I couldn’t get through it without him. He made me feel so calm.

Davis is a great baby, and the bond was so instant this time

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Okay…here it is.  I realize that it came out pretty long for such an “uneventful” birth (aside from the beautiful baby, of course!), and parts of it feel all over the place, as I tried to remember everything in the right order, etc…but it is what it is, I guess.

Late Friday night/Saturday morning I woke up and made my way to the bathroom, thinking that I literally didn’t think that my body could  handle getting any “more” pregnant.  At a couple of days short of 39 weeks (also the time that I had my son), I felt like I was stretched to capacity.  Hoping it wouldn’t be too much longer, I went back to bed.

A little later on (still during the night), I noticed pressure waves that finally felt like waves, cramps that would come on, increase slightly in intensity, and then fade away.  Could this be it?  I relaxed during each one, practicing a technique that I liked from my first birth – counting backward from 10 on each deep breath, exhaling to the word peace.

At about 4:00 am, after a little while of these PWs, I finally looked at the clock to try and “time” them…I also spent a little time in the bathroom, took a shower, and listened to easy first stage.  At some point I mentioned to Brian that I thought this might be it, but we both went back to sleep.

We woke up “for real” around 6:00…the waves were still coming and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t having prodromal labor like I had been for weeks before…the “waves” were unmistakable.  I called my parents…my Dad answered and I told him, “I think today is the day.”  He said he’d wake up my mom and they’d come up from San Diego.

Since I knew it would be at least an hour before my parents were up to watch Nathan, I suggested we go to Starbucks to get a little something and kill some time.  Brian seemed very pleasantly surprised at my suggestion, and off we went.  I was amused at the fact that I was out for coffee, “secretly in labor.”

When we got back home, Brian wanted to wash the car (he mentioned to my mom when she arrived that he couldn’t take his daughter home in a dirty car!…so cute), and I figured it would be a good idea to go online to figure out the parking at the hospital, since they’re doing a bunch of construction near the main entrance.

When we were ready, we hopped into the car and drove to the hospital (it’s a nice, easy 10 or 15 minutes from my house).  Riding up in the elevator, Brian asked me, “So what happens if L&D is full?”  “Oh, they put a bed in a closet and you get stuck in there,” I answered, but I reassured him that this had *just* happened 2 weeks earlier during the full moon (I have a friend who’s an L&D nurse there), so we should be okay.

We got up to the L&D nurses station around 8:15 and I told them that I thought I was in labor and was there to have a baby.  They asked if I was someone specific (who had obviously called before hand), but I said no and that I hadn’t called ahead or anything.  Ironically, they were “out of beds.”  Of course they were.

So they put us in the “surgical birthing suite,” a non-private room that had no bathroom, but luckily no one else in it…for the time being at least.  No bathroom had me worried, though, since I spent so much time in the bathroom when I had Nathan. The closest one was down the hall.

I gave my birth preferences to them, and they checked me and I was 4-5 cm along. They did some external monitoring and started me on the IV antibiotics for my GBS (at about 9:00 am).  Once I was hooked up, I took another trip to the bathroom, wheeling my IV pole along with me.  The one weird thing was that something was making me cough – just a superficial, fake-sounding cough, but I couldn’t help it.  I asked the nurse if the abx might be the cause, but she said she’d never heard of that happening.  It didn’t last, though, which was good.

Luckily, it wasn’t long before they said that a room had opened up and was being cleaned for us.  I was grateful to be going to my own “real” room, and the nurses were grateful that I had been so understanding despite the situation.

We moved into our new room, and the nurse asked me all the required questions and put me in the computer system.  I ended up getting a different nurse than I had had at first, which was too bad, because I really liked the first one (and I think the second ended up never bothering to read my birth preferences…she always seemed a little out of the loop on everything).  My doctor came by to see how I was doing, and commented that I didn’t seem like someone who was 5cm dilated and in active labor (I think she may have even said that I looked cute :p)…the PWs really didn’t phase me at all at this point.  One of her sons had a soccer game nearby, so she left to go to that until I was further along.

Meanwhile, I continued having pressure waves, and in addition to my breathing/counting/peace technique, I found that I really enjoyed standing and swaying my hips side to side during each one, with my hands low on my belly.  It was funny, but turning completely off just didn’t appeal to me at all…somehow “dancing” through them just felt so comfortable, and let me feel so close to my baby.

I laid down and listened to deepening for a while, and then turned on the TV for a bit, for Brian’s entertainment as much as mine.  I didn’t mind the background noise at all; I really liked that everything felt so relaxed and low-key.

Around 11:30 or so, my doctor had called and wanted to see how I was doing.  The nurse did an internal exam, which was actually pretty uncomfortable.  As she was doing it, she asked, “Are you having a contraction right now?”  I was, and answered yes.  She stopped and told me to let her know when it was over, and then she re-checked me.  6 cm.  Didn’t seem like a lot of progress, but it made sense since I wasn’t feeling that I had hit transformation yet, since everything was still quite comfortable.

Not much later, things started picking up.  I was in the bathroom more, and even moaned or hummed through many of the PWs.  Brian must have been getting very anxious, because he kept encouraging me to hook back up to the monitors, which I wasn’t particularly interested in doing.  During a few waves, I would lean into him while standing, or while I was on the ball and he was sitting on the bed.  The increased intensity told me I was getting closer and closer to meeting my baby!

At 1:00, it was time for my 2nd round of abx, and the nurse asked me to get onto the bed so she could put the IV back in.  I didn’t really want to be on the bed, but she said she wanted to check me also, so I agreed, knowing that I probably wouldn’t be getting back up out of the bed again until after my baby had been born.

She checked me and said there was just a little bit of cervix on one side, so I was a 9.  She went to call my doctor, and said she’d be there in 10 minutes.

Things really started getting intense during waves as my baby started to descend.

My doctor arrived, checked me and I was complete, and the baby was at about a +1/+2 station.  She broke my water and told me that I could start pushing whenever I felt ready.  I told her that I was getting there!

The final half-hour of my birthing – second stage – was very intense.  I was listening to the birth guide, both the end of easy first stage and the beginning of push your baby out, but mostly just gave in to what my body was doing.  I vocalized a lot, making deep moaning sounds and some screams, just letting them come naturally and not care.  Between waves, though, I was quiet or talking and smiling.  When a wave did come, Brian would often come to my side and touch my arm as in the “relax” cue, and it always felt so good – loving, reassuring, and relaxing.

I felt like I couldn’t get any leverage to push her out, so when my doctor asked if I’d like some help on what to do, again, I answered, “yes!”  At this point she had Brian and the nurse help to support my legs, and suggested that I grab the backs of my thighs to shorten the birth canal and give me some better leverage to push.  The doctor was using oil to help massage and stretch my perineum. Everyone assured me I was making progress; “she has a little hair, not a lot, though,” my doctor remarked and I got more excited to meet my baby.

At one point I got a leg cramp in my left hamstring.  “Ack! Leg cramp!” I said, almost laughing at how ridiculous that must sound during childbirth. Brian had the leg with the cramp; he straightened it for me, I flexed my foot and it went away quickly.

As my baby started to crown, the doctor asked if I wanted to feel her head, and I did!  I reached down and was surprised to feel all the fleshiness of it, like the skin was all coming out ahead of her skull.  Very cool, and very encouraging, even if my hand was all slimy (which made it hard to hold onto my thigh as I pushed).  It was “Oh, wow!” moment #1.

A few more intense pushes and her head was out.  I then pushed her shoulders out one at a time, and felt the rest of her body slide right out. “Oh, wow!” moment #2.  They announced the time at 1:43 pm (which I instantly thought was cute because of 143 being “I love you” in old-school pager code)!

Just enough time to hear that she was cute and pink, and she was up on my chest, covered in tons of vernix (seriously, it looked like she had been spread with cream cheese on her cute buns and in her ears!). Dad cut the cord, and we ended up bonding for about an hour, first feeding and all.  Getting to bond for so long was thanks in part to my doctor, who pretty much told the baby nurse not to bother waiting around to do all the newborn stuff yet because I was busy breastfeeding!  She ended up leaving and came back later when we were curious how big she was!  Holly Paige weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz…over a pound bigger than her big brother!  Her apgars were 9 and 9.  My parents brought Nathan to meet her while she was being “cleaned up;” we’re all in love with the newest member of our family.

Everything went so smoothly, and really a lot like I visualized, particularly the timing, which I worried a bit about due to the need for abx.  I decided that I just needed to get to the hospital, get the first dose, “birth” for 4 hours, get the second dose, and push baby out – and that’s exactly what happened!!!  Pushing was fast and furious, and not really pain-free (certainly not comfortable), but the dilation was so comfortable/manageable, I find it hard to believe that anyone finds *that* part painful!  Yay hypnobabies!!!

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Hypnobabies Class Outline (Live Class)

Class1: Introduction to Hypnobabies:

Introduction to Hypnobabies’ Philosophies and Positive Mindset; Pregnancy Anatomy and Physiology; Belief Systems; The Power of Words and How They Affect Us; How Your Mind Works – The Conscious and Subconscious; The Mind/Body Connection; What Hypnosis is and is NOT; Demonstrations of Hypnosis; How Fear Affects Comfort and Length of Labor; Fear Clearing for Childbirth; The Importance of Daily Birthing Affirmations; The Gifts Your Body Gives You – Your Beautiful Uterus and How it Works; Creating Your “Mental Lightswitch”. Partner Communication Exercise and the “Contract of Trust”.

Hypnosis Script: “Learning Self-Hypnosis”. (Entering hypnosis on your own and controlling all sensations in your body.)

Class 2: Staying Healthy and Low Risk:

Importance of Diet in Pregnancy; Nutritional Guidelines; The High Protein Advantage; Eggs, Salt and Calcium in Pregnancy; Drinking Water for Two; Avoidance of Harmful Substances; Safe and Comfortable Prenatal Sleeping and Resting Positions; Natural Comfort Measures for Pregnancy; Introduction of the Stages of Labor including the “Baby-Kindness” Stage; New Baby Sensitivity Through Bonding; Using Hypnosis for Pregnancy Discomforts and Health; Prenatal Exercises for Birth; Birth Partner Assistance.

Hypnosis Script: “Creating Anesthesia”.(Modifying your hypnosis to include Hypno-anesthesia and “Eyes-Open Childbirth Hypnosis”.)

Class 3: Your Options in Birthing:

Birth Partner’s “Relax and Feel Confident” CD; The Importance of Making Excellent Birthing Decisions; the “Big Secrets”. Detailed Childbirth Choices – Risks, Benefits and Alternatives for Common Procedures; Getting Informed Consent, Hospital Forms and Your Rights; Questions for Caregivers – Consumer Issues and Positive Communication; Creating the Birth Plan of your Dreams; “Big” Babies; Packing Your Birth Bag; Touring Your Place of Birth; Benefits of a Professional Labor Assistant; “Hypno-Doulas”; Introduction of the book “Back Labor NO More”.

Hypnosis Script: “Hypnotic Childbirth # 1 – Birth Hypnosis Tools”.(Learning cues for deepening hypnosis and anesthesia instantly.)

Class 4: The Onset of Labor:

Your “Guess Date” and Normal Length of Pregnancy; Preparing for your Birthing Day; Signs of Birthing Beginning; Amniotic Membranes Breaking – Your Safe Choices; True vs. “False” Labor; How to Time Your Birthing Waves (contractions); Your Birth Log; When to go to the Birth Place; Automatic Comfort and Relaxation on “The Drive” and Arrival at Your Place of Birth (if out of your home; Hypno-Guardians; Nurses – the Unsung Heroes; Using Hypnosis for Comfort During Internal Exams; Dilation, Effacement, Position and Station of Baby; The Beautiful Progress of Labor, Including Fast , Average and Slow or Stalled Labor; Artificial Induction and Natural Induction Techniques; Creating a Safe and Serene Birthing Environment; Nausea Elimination; Optimum Fetal Positioning.

Hypnosis Script: “Hypnotic Childbirth # 2 – Deepening Your Hypno-Anesthesia.”(Birth Partner Cues for instantly deepening hypnosis and moving anesthesia around to different areas of your body.)

Class 5: Birth Partners, Transformation and Birth:

Birth Partners Training: Your Role During Pregnancy and Birthing Reviewed; How a Labor Assistant Can Help the Hypno-Partner; 4 Pages of Verbal Birthing Cues; Physical Comfort Techniques; the Change of Plans Hypnosis Script.Late First Stage Labor – Transition…or “Transformation”; Hypnosis Deepening techniques; Trusting in Your Body, Your Mind and your Baby; Protecting the Hypno-Mom!; Effective Positions for Birthing; Benefits and Use of the Birth Ball; Exhale Pushing and Avoiding the “Ring of Fire” with Hypnosis; Safe Birthing of the Placenta; Cord Traction, Pitocin, Post-Partum Choices. Review: Membranes Releasing, Hypnobabies Tools, Using Your Mental Lightswitch, Fear Clearing for Childbirth; Avoiding a Cesarean Section.

Hypnosis practice: Using Hypnobabies in the Moment!Full practice of our Hypnobabies Lightswitch techniques, Peace cue, Release cue, Birth Partner’s cues, and Moving Hypno-Anesthesia around Your Body.

Class # 6: Birthing Your Baby and Beyond:

Hypnosis Script: “Visualize (Create!) Your Birth” (a mental practice of labor and birthing that creates your childbirth experience for you exactly as you desire it to be.)

Followed by our In-depth Birthing Rehearsal using all Hypnobabies Techniques, Birth Balls, Walking, Positional Changes and Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis where our Hypno-Moms and Birth Partners practice their Hypnobabies cues and techniques together, in hypnosis, culminating with “giving birth” using Hypno-Anesthesia.

New Baby Care: Baby Kindness, Apgar Scores, Normal Newborn Appearance, and Choices for Baby’s Care including Hospital and Homebirth Newborn Procedures, Bathing..or Not?, Vaccinations, Circumcision and Rooming In. A Good Start with Breastfeeding, Latching, Non-Schedules, BF Resources, Attachment Parenting Information, Slings and Carriers, and much more!

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Lise was born Saturday, April 25 at 10:47am.  It was not a P@ !n-free experience, but Hypnobabies really helped me relax through the pressure waves and allow myself to ‘give in’ to them and open so much more quickly than I did with my first daughter’s days-long labor. My husband also said he could barely tell when I was having pressure waves because I was handling them so well.
At my appointment on Tuesday I was 2 cm, without having felt anything up to that point besides BH. Friday – I was having pressure waves that evening, lasting close to a minute and about 5 min apart for a few hours. They weren’t painful at all though, (but they weren’t BH either – I can’t really explain it, but you’ll know when it happens.) I also knew though, that they weren’t strong enough to mean that I was having the baby soon, and since my first experience lasted days, I didn’t get too excited and both my husband and I slept pretty well that night.
Saturday morning ~6:30am my water broke. Over the next 45 min the pressure waves (which might have continued all night or might have stopped, I don’t know because I was asleep!) picked up in intensity very, very quickly. I don’t think that I was ever really able to switch off or go into hypnosis, but I was listening to easy first stage the whole time and it was definitely helping me.
We arrived at the hospital at 8:30am, mostly because I really, really wanted to get into the whirlpool tub there. I was 4cm upon check-in. (this was disappointing to me because things were so intense I thought I was farther along. Plus, with my first labor, I arrived at the hospital at 6cm and it took another 12 hours…) After checking the baby on the monitor for a while (she was fine) I got in the tub (cordless headphones were well-worth the cost here, I don’t think I could have done it had I not been able to listen to the script anymore). Pretty quickly I felt like I needed to push, I ended up pushing for only ~20-30 min and Lise was born. I listened to the “pushing baby out” track, but didn’t breathe her out – I wanted her out NOW! Still, the words in my ears were really nice.
Lise was 8lb 3oz and I had absolutely no tears or anything (I did NOT do the perineal massage, btw). She was born less than 2.5 hours after arrival at the hospital and only a little more than 4 hours after my water broke.
Bottom line: I was surprised at how quick everything went and I think that contributed to my not being able to really ‘turn off’ or get into hypnosis very well, since I had always pictured a much more gradual entry into labor. On the other hand, the Hypnobabies was still very, VERY helpful and I think helped me go quickly, as well as be able to handle everything very calmly. (so, maybe I was in hypnosis I just couldn’t turn off the p@ !n like I would have liked???)
The doctor (on call one, not my normal midwife) asked the nurse what I was listening to and she told him “Hypnosis – it’s really helping her.” Several nurses later asked me about it too, and my husband claims he couldn’t even tell when I was having a pressure wave (unlike my first natural (non-hypnobabies) labor.) So even though I think I could have done better at using the tools, I’d say it was a success. The intervention-free, no-drug labor, with a super-fast recovery is awesome!
And it was also probably Hypnobabies that let me relax enough to sleep Friday night so that I could go into labor well-rested, which makes things so much easier! Oh yeah, and not to mention that I got a beautiful, amazing little baby girl out of the deal, too. Definitely a success.

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