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Amanda's Hypnobabies Birth Center Birth

Thank you to our Cyber Tuesday winner Amanda Mason for sharing her story with us!

"I used the finger drop technique, which instantly helped my whole body, head to toe, to relax, which I think is part of the reason my labor progressed so quickly and smoothly."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Amanda mason 2
When I became pregnant with my third child, I started looking for an OBGYN again, figuring it was all the same anyway, so what difference did it make. At around 16 weeks, I heard the term 'doula'. I had no idea what a doula was, but the idea of a woman, experienced in childbirth and natural birth, who would come and support me throughout my entire labor, thrilled me to pieces. I spent the next few weeks interviewing 4 different doulas in my area, and 3 of the 4 listened to my birth stories and basically told me, in so many words "I'm so sorry that all happened to you. This birth can be different. I'll be there for you." While this was encouraging (and I still greatly respect those women), the 4th doula's attitude was different. Katherine Stanglin, CD(DONA) of Ancient Hearts Birth Services told me that this birth could be different if I made different choices. She told me about my options. She asked me who my OBGYN was and gave me insight into her experience with him and her concerns about him being supportive of the type of birth I was looking for. She told me she'd support whatever decision I made, but that if I was serious about wanting a birth without an epidural, I had options. She told me that she would help me become aware of my options and that I would be able to better make informed decisions. I tried to hire her on the spot, but in her wisdom, she told me to think about it for a day or two so I could be sure of what I wanted. After hiring her, she helped me to form a list of questions for my doctor and told me about some local midwives who delivered in birth centers. I brought my questions to my OB and his answers were inadequate. I could tell that I wasn't going to have the birth I wanted with him or his office. So I searched through my new-found resources on midwives and birth centers and found a wonderful midwife, Pamela Wright, LM of Baby Bliss Birthing, who would work with me on payments and attempt to take my insurance (Insurance companies aren't always supportive of birth center/home birth midwives). By 26 weeks, I was seeing this fabulous woman full-time. Every concern I had, my midwife and doula were there to help, ease my fears, and answer my questions. I'd finally found the birth team I needed to give me the best chance to have the birth that I wanted. My doula inspired me and helped me to research natural birth, medicated birth, issues, benefits, risks, etc. It was like I was taking a college class the entire last month of my pregnancy. And it was fantastic. She encouraged me to try Hypnobabies as a form of relaxation and childbirth education, and I did the home study course, which I believe greatly helped. My midwife wanted me to feel comfortable and when the typical prodromal labor started, with which I was familiar, instead of suggesting induction she offered to let my husband and me stay the night at her birth center, sans children. She encouraged me to relax, thinking that might kick-start things. She was right. We arrived at around 7 pm, she gave us a key and went home. My husband and I set up in one of her upstairs rooms, watched TV and played cards and board games until we went to bed around 11. My water broke at 3 am and I called my midwife and my doula, very excited, but told my doula she didn't necessarily need to come yet. I knew it could still be a while. My midwife arrived, checked my blood pressure and listened to the baby's heart-rate through a contraction. She said I was free to do whatever I wanted, as everything looked good. My doula arrived (even though I told her she didn't need to. I guess she was excited, too or maybe she just knew me better than I knew myself) and told me her recommendation was for me to try to rest since things were going to get going soon and she wanted me to have my strength. I actually took a nap until 6. I woke up having regular contractions, and she helped me to use Hypnobabies methods, several other comfort measures, and spinning babies. By 10 am, I was just starting to feel like the contractions were becoming very intense. I wanted to get into the birth pool. The assistant midwife recommended I have my first dilation check since getting into the pool can slow down labor if one isn't progressing. I was at 8 cm. I got into the pool, surrounded by loving women and tons of support and almost exactly an hour later, my son was born. It wasn't 'pain-free' but the level of pain was far less than the pain I felt with my previous births. I felt so much more at peace and comfortable. We went home a few hours later.

Not only did Hypnobabies help me to stay on track during pregnancy, with a positive attitude, relaxation and nutrition, but I used it throughout my entire labor with my doula. During pregnancy, the pregnancy affirmations track was a huge help in keeping me focused and excited about my birth and uplifting my spirits even when I was having a bad day. Once labor started, I use the finger drop technique, which instantly helped my whole body, head to toe, to relax, which I think is part of the reason my labor progressed so quickly and smoothly. My doula played the birthing day affirmations that kept me in a positive mood. She frequently used the relax cue but honestly I don't remember how often because I was already so relaxed and at peace that I kinda zoned out through most of it, especially after transition and I got into the birth pool. Up until transition, mostly hypnobabies helped me to stay positive, and after transition started and during pushing, I relied heavily on the relaxation methods of hypnobabies (the finger drop, hypno anesthesia, and relax cues) to make it a much more comfortable experience than my previous birthing experiences.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

"For me it was just mind-over-matter and I knew that I could accomplish anything once I had set my mind to it. So for the past 5 months I have been doing my Hypnobabies home play (homework) and scripts everyday so that I could prepare my body to become completely relaxed with just the drop of a finger. All of this preparation wasn’t really work because it was a way I could relax and take a nap every day!"

baby kennedyTo start off, the birth of my first child, Kylia, was great, but I just felt like there was something missing for me. I didn’t enjoy the feeling of being strapped to a hospital bed with an epidural in my back just sitting and waiting for the doctors and nurses to do whatever they wanted to do with my limp body. I remember sitting there with my husband watching The Price is Right on the hospital television thinking to myself “this is so weird… I’m going to have a baby in a couple of hours and I feel so awkward just sitting here waiting.” After she was born I felt overwhelming joy and still feel like I fell in love with her at first sight. She wasn’t placed directly on my chest after she was born and it was heartbreaking for me to see her across the room with the nurse cleaning her and doing her procedures while this precious baby that had been inside of me for 9 long months screamed. I just wanted to hold and comfort her, but I was obviously not going anywhere anytime soon since I had absolutely no feeling from the waist down. I ended up needing 17 stitches and the recovery from my first birth was a long, painful journey. I remember thinking to myself that I was never going to feel “normal” again!

After having this experience I knew that I wanted something different when my husband and I got pregnant again. I started looking into natural childbirth and reading research and journal articles about the outcomes and satisfaction of mothers having babies in hospitals vs. birth centers vs. home births. After studying and reading lots of information about childbirth in the United States I decided that having a baby with a midwife would be the best option for me since I was low-risk and was wanting to have my baby naturally. At first I was going to have the baby in a hospital with a nurse midwife, but after taking the Hypnobabies childbirth class and moving to Louisana when I was 7 months pregnant (that is a whole other story!) I decided that I wanted to have my baby in a birth center. The Hypnobabies class changed my whole perspective on childbirth! I began to see childbirth as something that could be seen as a beautiful and fulfilling experience. After taking the class I made up my mind that I was going to have a pain free birth time (delivery) and that it really could be an enjoyable experience although our culture and media would have us believe otherwise. For me it was just mind-over-matter and I knew that I could accomplish anything once I had set my mind to it. So for the past 5 months I have been doing my Hypnobabies home play (homework) and scripts everyday so that I could prepare my body to become completely relaxed with just the drop of a finger. All of this preparation wasn’t really work because it was a way I could relax and take a nap every day!  The rest of this wonderful story may be read HERE.
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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

A Hypnobabies birth story from Twin Cities, MN ... shared with us by Hypnobabies instructor, Anne Ferguson who was also their Hypno-doula!
Birth StoryThe summer is halfway gone and my winter baby is no longer a newborn. It is probably time to write my second born’s birth story before the finer points melt away like the snow already has!

My first born, Delsy, was born in June 2012 in the hospital using Hypnobabies. It was a long birthing time. It was a good, but somewhat difficult birth. (Read the story here) And I hated staying in the hospital afterwards. So when I found out that I was pregnant again in the summer of 2013, I looked at our insurance benefits again and realized that free-standing birthing centers were covered in-network! I quickly transferred care to Minnesota Birth Center and signed up to take the Hypnobabies course again with Anne, who had been our hypno-doula with Delsy and was now a Hypnobabies instructor.

The pregnancy was thankfully uneventful. My husband, Willi, and I choose not to find out the sex of our baby. The guess date was 2/1/2014, but since our daughter had been 13 days past her guess date, I was definitely counting on a February baby. As my guess date approached, I was pretty sure that K2 (our baby’s nickname) was posterior, so I
spent a lot of time doing positioning exercises and tried to only sit on an exercise ball (which was about the only comfortable way to sit anyway).

On Tuesday, January 28th, I had a couple of friends and their little ones over for a play date. I remember feeling “off” and having a hard time concentrating on the conversations that were going on. That evening, I went to a community acupuncture clinic, and relaxed for about an hour while receiving acupuncture and listening to the Fear Clearing track and pregnancy affirmations. During that hour, I had a few pretty significant practice waves that felt a little “different”. I had been having lots of these since week 20, but they had never been this strong. I remember saying “open, open” in my head while I was having these waves.  Read the rest of this story and many other HERE
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Another wonderful, empowering birth story from HypnobabiesTwinCities!

How joyful for a mom to be able to say: "I'm so grateful Harriet could enter the world the way she did. I'm grateful I can tell her this story and share a positive view of birth with her, that every year on her birthday I can revisit all the wonderful memories with her and with Mike and my sister. For me, it wasn't an experience to be gotten done with as quickly as possible, but something to treasure and an opportunity to feel close to people I love. It was also an experience which made me feel very empowered, something I didn't necessarily expect going into it."

Baby Harriet's Birth

twincities harriets birth storyI've put off writing about the birth of my daughter Harriet for some time now, even though it's been on my mind a great deal, but not for the reason you might expect.  Birth is hard to capture in words because when you're going through it, you're in such a different state of awareness.  Especially because I used Hypnobabies, I was able to experience the birth process moment by moment, to really be present in it.  But, if for no other reason than that I benefited from stories like these in the months leading up to Harriet's birth, I will do my best to sum it up.

I had a feeling my baby (we chose not to find out gender beforehand) might be born when, on a Tuesday morning at work, I started to feel a dull sort of ache in my low back, similar to menstrual backaches I've had in the past. I continued on with my day, taking little breathers if I needed to and using my Hypnobabies cues. By recess (I work at a school) I told one of my colleagues, "I think today might be the day!" and the sensations in my back were getting stronger and more frequent. During lunch, I decided I'd better drive home before things progressed any further. I calmly gathered my things and headed out. On the drive home, I listened to my pregnancy affirmations track and tried to relax while concentrating on the road ahead of me.

Once home, I felt much better as I could stretch out and lie down in a warm bath. By now I was fairly certain the baby would come today, that what I was feeling was the real deal! I called my husband, who had just sat down to a mediation--he's an attorney--and told him what was going on. Conveniently, I already had my 39 week checkup that day anyway, so when Mike got home he helped me to the car and we timed some waves on the way over. I could still joke and laugh a bit, but definitely needed to concentrate on staying relaxed most of the time. The midwife at our birth center said things were "definitely starting" but to go home and relax for a while longer.


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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Hypnobabies Instructor, Ricky Issler shares one of her stduent's joyous Hypnobabies testimonials:

“Baby Boston was born at Lucina Birth Centre, medication free and we did utilize our Hypnobabies techniques for the birth.

I found the Birth Day Affirmations the most useful for my early/mid birthing time… I listened to this with headphones, focusing on the positive affirmations which helped me feel calm and comforted. 

During transformation (Hypnobabies for transition) I really focused on the anaesthesia component of the training… My anesthesia was orange although I didn’t focus so much on the color to block the intense pressure of the birth but as a visual reminder that my body was completely relaxed and open – and that was incredibly effective for me.  I found that keeping my light switch (Hypnobabies technique) off during pressure waves really helped to keep me completely relaxed and not tensed up which helped my labor progress very quickly and made his actual passage very quick. 

ricky issler student standingHe was born after only 2 hours and 18 minutes of labor and was birthed after one spontaneous push… I gave birth standing up! The information i received in your Hypnobabies class greatly impacted my frame of mind going into my birthing time and gave me a sense of happy anticipation, instead of the uncertainty and trepidation I felt with my first pregnancy. I look back on my birthing experience with Boston with an immense fondness. I don’t know many women who would say they’d love to give birth all over again – but I truly would because my midwife combined with the skills I learned in your Hypnobabies class helped me connect with how naturally beautiful a medication free child birth can be.”

~Misti M.


Click here to see what other Hypnobabies students have to say about Ricky Issler's Hypnobabies Class!

Ricky Issler HCHI, CD(DONA) Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
Certified Birth Doula
Phone: 780-929-4669
Cell: 780-977-4669
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Nugget's Birth Baby #3, Hypnobaby #2
by Rachel M.

rachel mcnamara eliza2What a strange journey this baby was!  I found out I was “surprise” pregnant at about six weeks along.    We always planned on having three, but wanted to wait another year.  Keeping with the surprise theme,  we decided to allow “Nugget” to remain a complete surprise.

Our eldest, Duncan (4) was absolutely adorable with this pregnancy and really became quite knowledgeable about the subject.  So knowledgeable I felt the need to tell his pregnant preschool teacher that he might talk to her about “pushing a baby out of her vagina.”  Luckily, Duncan was taught that childbirth was like exercise so he would not add to the negative stereotype!  ;)

Because I had trained to be a Hypnobabies instructor, I also had the privilege to teach both of my friends Hypnobabies which was awesome.  I followed along with their practice schedule this time since my husband was able to participate in the group class format and read half of the scripts.  What a wonderful gift that turned out to be!  His voice was instrumental in helping me during my pressure waves even more than my first Hypnobabies birth, Violet.

This was the birth of many surprises.  At seven months pregnant, I interviewed for a new job and was shocked to be hired.  This new position occurred six weeks before Nugget’s arrival and allowed me to transfer my maternity care to the birth center.

The week of Nuggets estimated arrival occurred and it was filled with a lot of practice birthing sessions which lasted about two hours.  The week before she arrived I spent six hours overnight with regular birthing waves that got to seven minutes apart, but during the third rotation of the Deepening (Hypnobabies) track I fell asleep and woke up feeling great.

When the day finally arrived (40 weeks plus 3 days), I was feeling really cautious.  We took the two older children to childcare and immediately set out walking in our neighborhood.  After lunch,  we headed to the birth center I allowed them to check me and I was 3 cm dilated.  This was the day.  I never dilate until the day I will give birth.  Despite this knowledge we debated for several hours whether to stay in the birth center.  When we had made our decision, the midwife checked me again and there was no change.  Based on this fact and because my birthing waves were ranging from every five to 8 minutes, she told me that I was probably not active yet and that she didn’t know if I should stay.  My excitement decreased and I found myself in a constant state of doubt through most of my birth. [Hypnobabies note: messages provided by birth care providers can have instant effects, especially on Hypnobabies moms since they are deeply in hypnosis and highly suggestible - read more on how midwives can help Hypno-families in an encouraging way here.]

Kevin and I discussed this, he told me that I was in my birthing time, that I was reading her message more negatively than she stated, and suggested that we do some pressure points for speeding up the process.  An hour later, we had the same conversation with the midwife and decided to leave for dinner.  It was very clear while I was trying to eat that this was it.  I was nauseous, shaking and really struggling at the restaurant.

We arrived at the birth center before the midwife came back from dinner and proceeded to walk around the parking lot.  I was certain, but I wanted to speed things along for the midwife.  When we went into the birthing center, I continued walking and Kevin and my mother continued applying the pressure points.  Kevin had been using counter pressure on my back for the majority of the day as well.  Between the hypnosis and the counter pressure there was no discomfort.  I began to feel tired and we spent several pressure waves sitting on the birthing ball and listening to my playlist of Hypnobabies tracks.  Kevin either waited for a signal from me or guessed when I need counter pressure.  The midwife came in again.  I really should have allowed Kevin and my mother to do all the talking because conversations with her were negatively affecting my emotional state.  I cannot believe that I could fully know that I was having Nugget and somehow decide I wasn't in my active birthing time. [Again...words easily affect birthing mothers right in the moment.] I agreed to be checked again and she told me that I was at 5 and then said she was going to stretch me to six.

This was very uncomfortable. She said that it would increase my hormones.  It took an hour for me to recover from this.  I include this here because this was my most uncomfortable time during my birth.  In fact, I became comfortable again about an hour later.  I spent the next hour, reminding myself to choose hypnosis while working through more discomfort than before and nausea. 

An hour later,  we were in the tub at exactly an hour, but I really wish I had gone in sooner.   For the hour I waited to get into the tub, I had to use my peace cue (strengthening anesthesia cue) constantly and my birth team constantly helped me by using the relax and release cue.  As soon as I hit the water it became much easier.  They still helped me a lot, but instead of catching up to the discomfort in the middle we were able to get it immediately.  Almost immediately upon entering the tub, I was in transformation (transition).  It felt wonderful.  I was comfortable, the water felt great on my tired muscles, and the pressure waves were coming between 1 minute and 2 minutes apart.  At one point I lifted my head and I said “I think I’m in transformation which is the best part because my baby will be here soon.”  I then laughed because this is what the Hypnobabies scripts said I would feel. 

My body started pushing within an hour of getting in the tub.  I think it was the first push that the midwife and my mother said that the baby was crowning and they could see the head!  They tried to show me with the mirror, but I couldn’t curve around my body enough.  At this point the mood in the room was really light.  I noticed the nurse had arrived, Kevin was giving instructions for the camera, and the midwife was saying “I wouldn’t be surprised if she arrived before midnight, although, 7/7/2011 is a cooler birthday.”  Kevin and I talked over each other to say “7/6/2011 would be fine with us.”  Nugget and my body apparently agreed with the midwife.  I pushed for another hour and then the midwife had my flip onto my back in the tub to check to see if there was a lip.

This was difficult for me. At this point, I had the strangest sensation that my hips were flying away.  My husband was amazing and was able to continue applying sacral pressure while squeezing the top of my hips which made a huge difference. 

Rachael McNamara Meeting Eliza KatherineThe midwife said I had a lip and that with the next pressure wave she was going to hold it back.  She told me to curve forward and hold my legs up.  The next pressure wave came, she held the lip, I held my legs and then she had to remind me to curve which resulted in my letting my legs go.  I just couldn’t seem to keep everything in my mind, but luckily that was all Nugget needed.  Her head came halfway out with the same pressure wave.  I was completely shocked that I could just stop with her head halfway out of my perineum with no pain just feeling really odd.  I used the Hypnobabies method (of pushing in between waves to get the head out) and took a thirty second break and gradually pushed her head out and used the next pressure wave to do the shoulders.  The midwife unwrapped the cord which was probably around her neck and handed her to us.  We all forgot to check immediately, but she told us it was a girl.  Eliza Katherine McNamara had arrived!

During this birth, I knew that a first time mom was in the next room and I  told the nurse that I was sorry I was so loud.  She told me that I wasn’t loud at all.  She also said that this was the first birth that she saw hypnosis work.  She told me that she didn’t really need to do anything so she was just sitting down listening to the Pushing Baby Out track.  She struggled with not falling asleep!  Can you imagine?  My birth was so relaxing that my attendants were falling asleep!

Rachel McNamara is now a Certified Hypnobabies Instructor, teaching Hypnobabies Classes in Charleston, SC. Her first Hypnobaby's birth story (Violet) is here.
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This wonderful first-time mom, homebirth, waterbirth story was shared with us by Julie Byers, who teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Greenville, SC. Hypno-Mom Rachel and her amazing birth partner gave themselves and their baby the gift of a comfortable, gentle natural birth by learning, practicing and using Hypnobabies, and had excellent support from their birth team:

The weeks leading up to Olive’s birthing time were full of peace and patience. We were obviously very excited to meet her, and to experience birth, but at the same time we were confident that she would come when she was ready, and we wanted to cherish our last moments together as a single family. If ever there were slight discouragement, it was only because my body had shown no signs whatsoever of impending labor– only the mildest of Braxton-Hicks contractions, I was still carrying very high…etc. I chose not to do internal exams at my appointments as well, so I had no information to go on.

I woke up on Saturday morning and pretty quickly began to notice that my pressure waves (Hypnobabies talk for contractions) were more powerful, and I could feel them wrapping around my back. This was exciting for me, but at the same time I knew that many women have stronger pressure waves for weeks before their birthing time. Colin and I got dressed and ready and headed off to his afternoon soccer game, where I decided to walk the length of the field back and forth, back and forth, to see if anything happened with my waves. The whole time I was experiencing the pressure waves , but thinking very little of it, besides how cool it was to have a new sensation. After Colin’s game, we headed home and laid down for an afternoon nap. I could only sleep about a half an hour (Colin slept for 3 hours, which turned out to be a very good thing!), but did notice that during my rest the waves hadn’t slowed down or gone away at all, despite my being well hydrated and comfortable. I woke up and made dinner, still in doubt. When Colin woke up, we ate and hung out a little bit and watched an episode of The Office. I could tell that he was quietly watching me as I sat on our birthing ball and dealt with the ever-increasing strength of the waves. He was very calm and encouraging (as he would continue to be throughout or birthing time!), and made no attempt at timing them… he just watched me as I experienced them. Around 8 or 9 o’clock our landlords came over, and as we were chatting with them my pressure waves became stronger. I was unable (well, more unwilling at this point) to interact during them, so I began to lean over the counter and focus my way through them.

After they left, Colin and I decided that it may behoove us to begin listening to our Hypnobabies track “Easy First Stage”. I didn’t particularly enjoy this part of our early labor, as I much preferred to be able to move around instead of being in the “off switch” position (where your body has been trained to remain loose and limp from head to toe). It was at this point, around 11 o’clock, that I began really using my Hypnobabies training by switching to the “center switch” position (where you direct your anesthesia and relaxation to your birthing muscles, and are fully able to interact and move around as desired). I was still in disbelief that I was in actual labor, even though my pressure waves were about a minute long and 2-3 minutes apart (Looking back: WHAT?? ha!). I was very comfortable and would in no way describe these pressure waves as painful. My mind and body fully accepted every wave with gladness and excitement– I knew that whatever was going on in my body was preparing it for our little girl’s arrival. I smiled, laughed, and talked with Colin in between every pressure wave. This definitely contributed to my disbelief. I always imagined that labor would be much more grueling, even though we prepared very well with Hypnobabies.

I had always thought that I would be very active (walking) during the early stages of labor. I knew this was good for positioning the baby as well as keeping labor progressing. But, when it came down to it, all I really wanted during these waves was to be sitting down or squatting, with my arms or forehead on Colin’s shoulders, focusing, breathing and lowly “aah”ing. It felt good for me to vocalize the pressure I was feeling. After a little while, Colin suggested getting in the warm bathtub. He lit some candles, turned the light off, and played guitar for me and sang while I worked through each coming wave. I cherish that memory.

It was soon after that Colin insisted that we call our midwives (again, I was still in some form of disbelief and had been asking him not to. I think at this point I knew things were happening, but again, had heard so many times that first time labors are usually very long. I knew we could be laboring well into the morning and next day, so I didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Olive had other plans). After talking to them on the phone and having them listen through one of my pressure waves, they confirmed that I was most likely in active labor. They advised laying down to try and sleep for an hour, and calling back. Well, there was NO WAY I was going to be able to sleep, as the waves were becoming longer and closer together (still around a minute long but no more than two minutes apart). I wanted to feel clean and comfortable, so I decided to shower, as it helped me relax. Colin was at this point finishing up packing our bags (birthing clothes, all of the fresh fruit, protein and such for smoothies during labor), and I could see the excitement in his face, although he kept his physical excitement low (adrenaline is contagious and works against the birthing process). It was while he was packing the car that I noticed some bloody show when I went to the bathroom (I know, TMI, but as I said, this is a birth story!). As I had previously stated, we had learned to keep our adrenaline to a minimum in our classes, but I couldn’t help but excitedly yell out to Colin, “BLOODY SHOW! BLOOODYYY SHOWWW!!”. This is when I knew that I was in actual labor for the first time! It took me that long, but now it was undeniable. I became even more excited.

At 1:45 am, Colin and I knew it was time to head to the Birthing Center. Between waves I moved myself from our bedroom and onto our couch, and then I promptly vomited multiple times. I knew this was one way my body was alerting me that I was progressing in the laboring process. I was so happy! I continued breathing and “aah”ing through every pressure wave, with Colin by my side for every single one, offering a hand to hold, a forehead to lean on, and shoulders to grasp. We got into the car and began to make the 15 minute drive to Covenant Birth Center. I can honestly say that was the most surreal drive– we knew that our lives were about to change forever. We knew so little of what to expect. 9 months just can’t prepare you for that moment. It was so quiet on the road, and despite having frequent and long pressure waves, there was such an air of peace in that early morning hour. I don’t think I’ll ever look at I-20 and I-26 the same.

julie-buyers student olive birth 1We got to the Birthing Center and our two midwives, Lisa and Alex, were bustling around making preparations. The first thing that they had me do was get on my back on the bed to be checked. (Side Note: I officially feel awful for women who are forced to spend their entire labors on their backs. That one minute it took our midwife to check me was so extremely uncomfortable!) She looked at me and smiled as she told us that I was 7-8 cm dilated (I was already in Transition!), and she could feel my bag of waters bulging! This gave me a burst of confidence, as one of my fears in labor was lack of progression. Colin and I had made it through our entire active labor at home and were in the middle of the “most difficult” part. It was around 2 a.m. I was so incredibly proud of our baby and, as strange as this may sound, continued to look forward to the rest of our birthing time.

Colin began helping Lisa and Alex fill up the inflatable birth pool as I continued working through the waves. I found it comfortable to labor on the toilet (How odd is that?), so I sat there for a good amount of time. It was a very surreal experience, being at the Birth Center. This is the place that I knew we were going to deliver Olive at for months. This is the place where I had learned so much about pregnancy and our baby, month after month. The lights were dim, there was music going, and I was left in peace with Colin to work our baby out.

There must have been a time vortex somewhere in the center, because we really did lose all sense of time. The next thing I knew, my water broke as I was sitting on the toilet (Very convenient)! Our midwife, Lisa, looked at me and said, “You’re planning a water birth, right? Well, I’d suggest getting into the tub before this turns into a toilet birth.” HA! The tub was full of water and I was able to climb in. If you are pregnant and planning a natural birth, I highly recommend laboring in the water! It felt amazing to have weight taken off of my body, and it was much easier to maneuver myself into different positions. The quietness of the room was perfect. The midwives were incredible– they really left Colin and I to ourselves. They had told us before that they wanted to give each of their clients what they needed and wanted in labor (within reason, of course), and it was clear that what we needed most was to be in peace, together. So with the exception of quietly sitting and watching and occasionally checking Olive’s heart rate, Colin and I were left to experience much of our labor alone together.

Let me tell you a little bit about Colin as my birth partner. If ever I witnessed silent strength, this was the moment. He spoke to me in near whispers, speaking the word, “peace” in my ear over and over and reminding me to go to my “Special Place” (a Hypnobabies technique in which the mother mentally and emotionally goes to a safe place with her baby). He recited Psalm 16 with me during pressure waves. I felt like he was anchoring me, watching over me and protecting me, and radiating pride all at the same time! His affirmation, I’m sure, had so much to do with the confidence I felt our entire birth.

The pressure waves were now seemingly right on top of each other and much, much stronger. As weird as it sounds, my heart felt gratitude towards them. I think this is one of the main principles of Hypnobabies that really became engrained in my mind and heart and helped me through labor. These powerful sensations were taking over my entire being in order to help our baby come to us safely, and soon! My “aah”ing became more intense, but again, as strange as it may sound, I can honestly say that pain was still not the sensation that I was feeling.

Minutes after my water broke, my body began to attempt pushing without me! It was such an odd feeling, not being able to control such a thing. Lisa instructed me to reach down and feel our baby’s head for the first time. Talk about surreal. I could feel her hair and her scrunched up skin! This gave me the boost of energy I needed, and soon I was able to participate in the ride my body was taking me on. I had heard women say that pushing was such a relief, and I have to agree. Allowing your body to take over you for hours is one thing– being able to work along with it is awesome. I focused on breathing her out instead of vigorously pushing, but when it came down to it, it felt good to put a little bit of power behind it. The midwives were again amazing and allowed me to choose how long and hard to push on my own. So, with my arms around Colin’s neck (he was in the tub at this point), I began to work baby girl out.

Every pressure wave brought her head down more and more. The midwives kept encouraging me to feel her! I can honestly say that birthing at that point becomes such an animalistic process. The noises thatjulie byers student olive 2 you make and the focused mindset that you come into is purely… animal. I don’t know how else to put it. It was so powerful. After about 20 minutes of pushing, Lisa asked if I would like to change positions to make it easier for both Colin and I to see Olive come out. So, with Colin’s arms around me from behind and me leaning into him, I pushed. After two pressure waves, I pushed for the last time as Olive’s head came out. What a strange sensation! One more push and out came her squirmy little (or, not so little) body. Colin quickly retrieved her from the water and brought her to my chest.

Her body felt so good in my arms. She was so squishy and soft! One reason I am so glad we did a natural birth was the state she was in when she came out. I imagine the transition from womb to world is usually pretty traumatizing– going from a warm, wet, and dark environment to a cold and usually bright room. But she was born into the warm water, and because of the lack of drugs in both of our systems, her eyes were open when she came out! She let out a scream immediately. Colin and I were both in such disbelief. All I could say over and over (after asking, “Is she still a girl?” haha) was “my baby. my baby!”.

julie buyers student olive birth dad
After the cord stopped pulsing, Lisa allowed Colin to cut through the cord. He was amazed at how strong it was! They handed Olive off to Colin to go lay on the bed, skin to skin, while I delivered the placenta and got checked out. That was a very long few minutes for me, as my body was hemorrhaging blood and wouldn’t stop, on top of having a tear from her unexpected size and how quickly she came out. They had to give me a shot of pitocin in my leg and monitored me closely. None of this mattered. I got to hold my baby girl and nursed her for 45 minutes, drinking it all in with Colin. She ended up being 9 lbs. 3 oz. (which is funny, because just days before, Lisa predicted around 6 lbs. 10 oz.! HA!), 22 inches long, and scored a 10/10 on the apgar scale. We were all shocked at her size– especially because of the amount of weight I actually gained in pregnancy, how much I showed, and a pretty intentional diet. So it goes– the perks are plenty of fat rolls to kiss and pinch!

Olive’s birth was perfect. I could have never truly imagined what it would be like to experience labor, which is possibly a lot of the reason I was in disbelief for the vast majority of it. I highly recommend preparing your body, mind, and heart for such an experience with a class like Hypnobabies. It cleared any tension and fear I had about birth and replaced those bad thoughts with truth and confidence. It’s hard to explain how, but practicing creating anesthesia and being able to direct it where you need it in your body actually works! We were blessed to be able to bring Olive into the world in peace with a quick and uncomplicated labor. The midwives at Covenant offered us so much information during pregnancy as well as a strong knowledge of how to treat the laboring process. I have so much confidence in them and am such an advocate for what they do!
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Our wonderful Hypnobabies Instructors at HypnobabiesTwinCities in Minneapolis/St. Paul MN shared this birth story with us:

Baby Owen's Birth:

twincities owensbirth
My pregnancy with Owen went smoothly overall, especially with the excellent prenatal care at Morning Star. Birth Center  When we heard that Karla taught Hypnobabies classes, Nathan and I agreed that we wanted to go that route.  The class required a large investment of time and effort but we felt very informed and prepared by the end of the class.  We also felt such wonderful support from Karla as well as the two other couples in the class. 

I had been having pressure waves for two weeks as we approached Owen's guess date. I knew they weren't the “real thing” yet and I felt impatient for his arrival, though prepared and fearless. We had given the midwives our birth plan which asked for lots of privacy and quiet.  I felt respected and supported by everyone potentially involved in the upcoming birth...

Read the entire birth story here - 10 lb posterior baby

Click here to meet the HypnobabiesTwinCities Instructors

HypnobabiesTwinCities Class Schedule

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On May 5th, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Juliana, into our family. The birth was absolutely wonderful (and it was so different from my first birth that lasted 28 hours and was very, very difficult!). I woke up at 1:30 with what I thought were just braxton hicks. I couldn’t fall back to sleep though so decided to go downstairs, get a drink, change the laundry around that we’d forgotten before bed, and then thought I’d try to time a few of the pressure waves.

They were lasting 45 seconds and coming 3 minutes apart. I still didn’t believe this was it, even though they were so close because they really weren’t any worse than my braxton hicks had been for the past week or more and they just weren’t lasting very long. I decided to wake my husband up at 2:30 and he called our doulas and midwives. They said to take a shower to relax and then come in. So we …

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Molly's Birth story

Molly Jane was born at 2:58 am on April 21, 10 days after her guess date, and after a short, ENJOYABLE birthing time. Here's the story of Molly's birth (long version).

After three weeks of maternity leave and several weeks of preparing our home and TRYING (as best is possible) to prepare our two year old for his new sister, I was starting to get just the slightest bit impatient (though I tried hard not to be!) I had had lots of "toning" contractions in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and I knew when it happened that it would be a quick one! Hypnobabies helped remind me that she would come when she was ready, and that our birth would be a wonderful experience.

A little stress heading into my birthing time: both my midwife and my mom were going to be out of town for the weekend (we were just over a week past the guess date at this point). This was a bit stressful for me since we'd planned that my mom would watch our two year old during the birth, and of course I wanted my regular midwife to attend my birth! But no point in allowing too much stress in. We had my dad who could come watch my son if needed and of course the midwife had a back up in place.  I think my Hypnobabies training really helped me let go of any stress this situation may have caused, and I felt very sure that things would happen in the exact way they should. And, of course, Molly decided she was ready to be born the very night both my midwife and mom were out of town!

Friday afternoon I got my fluid levels checked (41 weeks, 2 days), and all looked good. My husband took the afternoon off, we had lunch and walked a bit. I had been feeling tons of Braxton Hicks that afternoon, but that was normal for me in the last couple weeks, and I didn't really think it meant anything. I was hoping she would at least wait until the next day when my midwife would be back.

We got our son from school, went home and had tons of fun playing in the sprinkler with him. We had our usual "Pizza Friday" dinner and put our son to bed. All along, I had a few Braxton-Hicks here and there, but nothing more than any other evening, so I didn't think anything of them.

I went to bed early, as usual, around 8:30.  Read a little, listened to a Hypnobabies track. I woke up to go to the bathroom around 10:45, and felt a pressure wave that felt a little more "real" to me. A little while later I felt another one. At 11:00 I texted my husband (out in the front room watching tv still), "hey, can you come back here, I think my labor is starting." Of course he ran back, and we discussed our options, waited through a few more waves.  Pretty quickly I had the "this is it" feeling, so we called my dad to come over and tried to call the on-call number for the Birth Center. Turns out they were already there for a birth, so they said come on in to be checked, especially since I had a fast birth for my first birth.

The car ride was quick and easy, I listened to my Birth Day Affirmations and felt really positive and relaxed. We got to the Birth Center around 12:15 or so, and got to meet the on-call midwife who would be attending our birth. She was really great and warm and funny, which immediately took away any residual stress about our usual midwife being out of town! She checked me, and I was 4cm, around 80%, and -2, which is pretty much where I had been at my appointment on Tuesday. I was told that I could go home and labor some more, or I could stay if I felt like I needed to (incidentally, for my first birth the dr at the hospital told me to go back home when we checked in at 1:30am; I listened to my gut, we stayed, and our son was born 4 hours later!). We chose to stay, walk around a bit, and see where we were in an hour or so.

My husband and I went out into the cul-de-sac to walk. We walked and chatted, and I listened to more affirmations. I had more waves as we walked, nothing to regular, and I could still walk and talk through them. But I was still sure our birthing time was close.

We went back in around 1:30. I sat on the birth ball, listened to Easy First Stage, and ate some dried apricots and hydrated myself. I had several more waves while sitting on the ball, and my husband used the "release" cue with his hand on my shoulder to help me relax and breathe through each one. Felt amazing. At this point, they asked about filling the tub, and I wasn't sure because it still felt so comfortable and I didn't want to get in too early and slow things down. We decided just to fill it and I'm glad we did.

Around 2, my pressure waves picked up, and I began kneeling over the top of the ball while my husband squeezed my hips during each wave, using the "release" and "relax" cues.  He was amazing, reading my signals and giving me just what I needed. I also kept repeating "open, open, open"during each wave, which helped me focus on what my body was doing.  All through this, the midwife, nurse, and doula were coming in and out to set up and to check on us, but they were really hands off and just let us do our thing, which was just what I needed.

Soon I was feeling like it was time to get into the tub. The midwife wanted to check me first, and I was a little discouraged to hear I was "only" at 6 (this was just after 2:30).  A few waves later I was in the tub, and it felt amazing! I tried a few different positions to see what felt best, and finished listening to Easy First Stage. My husband wondered what to put on next, and suddenly I felt like he needed to put the Pushing Baby Out track. He put it on but I don't think I heard a word of it, I was in my "zone" at that point!

I was really focused.   I flipped onto all fours, which felt the best to me, and about two waves later I felt that urge to push. That was intense, but I knew our baby would be here soon and tried to focus on letting that happen!  My husband was right by my head as I leaned over the tub, letting me squeeze his hand (and even bite it through the last intense wave as I pushed her head out!!) I think I pushed through two or three waves, and maybe a few minutes, and then I was holding our little girl!!

She had a short cord, and it actually tore as they handed her up to me, so we had to clamp it and get out of the tub right away. Everyone seemed calm about it, so I didn't stress, just climbed onto the bed and snuggled my baby as they massaged my belly and delivered the placenta. She cuddled a bit skin-to-skin, then she latched right on and nursed really well!

I felt amazing, despite missing most of the night's sleep. We stayed for about 3 and a half hours, and both of us were doing great. We got to go home around 6:30, stopped for breakfast, and were home just about 30 minutes after our 2 year old got up for the day. This was a relief to me, since I really wanted to make the transition as easy for him as we could. We got to introduce our son to his baby sister, which was such a precious moment, and just spend a nice relaxing day at home with our new little family! And this recovery has been SO nice and easy too!

I loved our birth, and even feel a little sad it's over! I can't say enough great things about Hypnobabies, which helped me stay positive and relaxed and prepared me for a quick and easy birthing time. I also wish more women could have access to the birth center model of care, because it was just fantastic and such a nice way for our baby to be born!!
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My sweet love, our five week old son, is on my lap as I write this. Jackson is our first child and his birth was amazing, in large part thanks to Hypnobabies. From the time we found out we were expecting, I had the date of March 9, 2012 in mind as the day our sweet baby would join us. Our actual guess date was March 13th, but I suppose mother's intuition knew our little one would decided to come a few days before his guess date. Our birth story unfolded throughout the week culminating with our most precious gift joining our family on March 9th.

We are so fortunate to have a wonderful birth center in our city with two amazing midwives. They were our primary care providers throughout our pregnancy, with the exception of two visits to an OB required by state law. I think it's worth stating that my BOP and Fear Clearing were invaluable on my second visit to the OB. He basically mocked the fact that I told him I was intending to enjoy our natural birth and felt it necessary to tell me horror stories to try and scare me. I used my BOP to block him out as much as possible during the visit.  That evening when I returned home I did a fear clearing session to try and (successfully!) get the stories he told me out of my head.  The experience with the OB made me all the more thankful to have our birth center and fabulous midwives.

On Monday morning I woke up and felt a little trickle when I got out of bed. It was just the smallest amount, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid so I went in to see my midwives. It turned out to be nothing (or the beginning of the mucus plug) and she said I didn't appear to be dilated yet. She did say that baby was in optimal fetal positioning, which I was thrilled to hear as our little one was constantly swimming around in there (lots of fluid for him!) and changing positions almost weekly.

Tuesday morning I woke up and went to the restroom and discovered that I had lost my mucus plug. I was 39 weeks and some change and was excited that things looked like they were getting started toward our birthing time! I went on about my day and felt a periodic pressure wave, but nothing that really grabbed my attention. Apparently I did have practice pressure waves toward the end of pregnancy, but I never felt any of them. The only reason I knew they were going on was the midwife pointed it out to me at an appointment. Being aware of them at all was a change, so I knew this was a positive sign that we were progressing.

That evening around 7pm the waves began to get more frequent, but again nothing to really grab my attention. After we went to bed they began to ramp up and I became more aware of them and ended up getting out of bed and spending the evening listening to my deepening track over and over on my birthing ball. Although my sweet baby was in OFP, I began feeling the waves in my back quite strongly. As the evening progressed the waves in my back became stronger and stronger. I wouldn't use the word (pain), but they were definitely becoming intense. I didn't feel the waves anywhere other than my back.

When my husband woke up the next morning, I told him I thought things were progressing so he decided to stay home with me. I was supposed to have my weekly appointment at the birth center at noon, but we waited until later in the day as the waves were progressing in intensity and frequency and I thought we may end up going to the birth center that evening. The pressure on my back was very intense throughout the day and my husband was a champ and pushed on my back during each wave to try to help ease the intensity. I was unable to lay down as the pressure on my back was too great and made me need to throw up. I just kept thinking of something my midwife had told me "remember you can do anything for a minute". So I took each wave as it came and made it through the day with my husbands help and Hypnobabies tracks. I wouldn't call any of this "painful", but it was definitely intense. I think I would have been in a very different frame of mind if I hadn't had my Hypnobabies tools.  We ended up going to the birth center around 5:00pm and once I was checked, we found out I wasn't dilated! Quite disappointed we headed home.

The waves continued in intensity and I spent Wednesday evening on my birthing ball with my husband holding my back through each wave. We did the tuck and lift multiple times to help our sweet baby descend further. Thursday progressed much the same as Wednesday had in intensity and back pressure. I took a couple of showers which were delightfully wonderful. Mid afternoon the waves began to get lower with quite a bit more pressure and I knew our birthing time was imminent. We called the midwives and headed to the birth center. I listened to my Easy First Steps track with my eyes closed the entire trip to the birth center.

When we arrived around 5:30pm they check me and found I was 7 cm dilated. My husband and I walked around the birth center, bounced on my birthing ball and tried all kids of different positions to help our birth progress. Time becomes very foggy to me at this point, but I believe around 7:30 I wanted to go ahead and get in the tub. It felt AMAZING. I'm not sure how long we were in there, but all of a sudden the waves became very intense, low and almost pushy. I didn't realize it at the time but this was transformation. y water broke and one of the midwives fished out the sac which was almost completely intact (apparently this rarely happens). I hadn't used the restroom in a while so the midwifes wanted me to go before we began pushing. I was unable to go and they felt it would be safest if we moved to the bed. I hadn't decided if I wanted a waterbirth or not, but I knew I would know in the moment what was the right choice for us and the bed turned out to definitely be the right choice.

The tracks that say 20 minutes feel like 5 are totally accurate. I began pushing around 9:30pm. The midwifes were amazing, massaging me to make sure I didn't tear, giving encouragement when needed and just in general being completely fabulous. My husband, my rock,  was up on the bed with me (a nice queen size) holding my hand when needed, letting me grab on to him and doing the release cue on my shoulder. I LOVED the release cue, it was probably the most powerful tool for me. I pushed for what felt like 20 minutes to me, but was in reality, three hours. I was in multiple different positions to try to help our sweet baby descend and join us.

I had watched amazing Hypnobabies videos online, most with the women being completely quiet and calm. I was certainly calm, and pain free, but I was not quiet! I had no idea I would make as much noise as I did, but it was involuntary, almost primal and it was just right for our birth.

Once his head was low enough for me to touch, I felt my sweet boys full head of hair for the first time. I just kept saying "come on sweet baby, come on sweet baby" and rubbing his wonderful, warm, soft head. Sometimes my husband will look at me and say "come on sweet baby" and it's a lovely reminder of our fabulous birth. After three hours of pushing, our amazing son joined us at 12:32am on March 9th, the day I had always thought would be his birthday - all 9 lbs 4 oz and 22 1/2 inches of wonderful, snugly love!

The midwives immediately placed our baby on my chest and he picked his head right up looked directly at me, turned his head looked at his Daddy, back and me and back at his Daddy. He kept picking his head up and quietly looking around at his new world. We picked him up briefly to find out he was a boy and then he snuggled down on my chest. The placenta was out almost immediately, I barely noticed as I had my beautiful baby in my arms. It only took two minutes for the chord to stop pulsing and my husband was able to make the cut. We snuggled skin to skin for quite a while and nursed for 45 minutes before he decided he was finished! My husband called my Mom and she came to the birth center to meet her first grandchild. Since it was the middle of the night, we decided to enjoy our son and tell the rest of the world the next day. The midwives weighed him and I couldn't believe he was over 9 lbs! We settled down for the night around 3am and the three of us slept together in the bed for five hours.

We never did an ultrasound, but at several appointments throughout our pregnancy my midwives had said "I think we have a thumb sucker here". My boy wasn't born sucking his thumb, but he was born sucking his hand! Thus the three hours of pushing this 9 lber and his hand out. :)  I had talked to my baby and told him "head down, facing back, chin to chest!" many times. It never occurred to me to add "hands down!" haha As it turns out, baby does indeed know best. I had no tearing as his somewhat slow progression allowed me to stretch and the midwifes to massage me etc. keeping me completely intact and comfortable.

I'm so incredibly proud of myself and of my son for our birth. It wasn't easy, but it was perfect. I know Hypnobabies proved invaluable throughout our pregnancy and birth.  I enjoyed the program so much that I've been thinking I would like to become an instructor to help other moms.  Yes, the birth was intense (and the 48 hours of back pressure waves leading up to his actual birth) but I wouldn't use the word pain for any of it. Bringing new life into the world should be intense, beautiful, and an experience. We got everything we wanted from our birth and ended up with the most precious gift of all, our son.

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My baby girl was born on Monday night 3/12/12 at 7lb2oz. I still can't believe what an incredible experience we had! One minute, no one thought I was in labor and 45 minutes later, we met our beautiful baby girl!

My last baby's birth was long and included a lot of back pain. Each contraction felt like a matter of survival and I felt panicked and crazy out of control. This time, I wanted a different experience so I started the Hypnobabies home study course early in my pregnancy but at first I did not practice much or take it very seriously. Then I watched a bunch of Hypnobabies birth videos and became very inspired! I listened to my tracks often, especially in the middle of the night when I had pregnancy-induced insomnia and couldn't sleep anyway. And I did a thorough reading of all the materials to make sure I had it all covered.

On March 12, I was 10 days past my due date and feeling discouraged that my birthing time hadn't started yet. At 10am, I went in for NST/AFI testing and the amniotic fluid level was very low (5) so they wanted to induce that day. Then suddenly the baby's heartbeat decelerated... several people rushed in with a wheelchair and whisked me off to a birth room. I was very upset and tried to wrap my mind around what was happening. It turned out that the decelerated heartbeat may have been a fluke because it didn't happen again. Though I understood it was for the baby's safety, I didn't want to be medically induced. I had wanted it to happen spontaneously. I felt that I was quickly losing out on the birth that I had hoped for and envisioned.

Things were moving much too fast and I asked for time to process. I called my parents and had them bring my bags. I took a shower, discussed induction options with my husband, called my doula, and listened to my Hypnobabies birthing day track. After listening to Hypnobabies, I was so relaxed and in a really good mental space. I was going to meet my baby soon! We decided to move forward with pitocin since they assured me it could be regulated in tiny doses, very slowly.

At 2:30 they started administering pitocin at 1mL per hour. At that point I was 3cm dilated. I knew it would take at least a couple hours or more for the pitocin to kick in. The nurses and midwife checked in periodically to monitor the pressure waves. They didn't feel any different from Braxton Hicks, just more frequent. After waiting around for awhile, my husband and I decided to watch a movie to pass the time.

About an hour into the movie, I needed to start focusing on the pressure waves, closing my eyes and going into hypnosis. I was really enjoying the pressure waves. They felt like more tightening and more importantly, they felt productive! I imagined and felt my cervix opening and getting soft. The nurse kept coming to check if the pressure waves were feeling "crampy" yet and I kept saying "no, absolutely not."

Around 7:15pm, the midwife came in to check on my progress. I said I guessed I thought they were feeling a little "crampy". But I was still lying in the bed watching the movie and breathing through them easily. Each time I had a pressure wave, I would close my eyes and go into hypnosis very easily. I really wanted and *needed* to go to into hypnosis. If I didn't, the pressure waves were much more intense and not as comfortable. Each time I had a wave, the midwife would stop talking and wait for me to finish and open my eyes again. At that point, they were coming every 3 minutes and lasting 60 to 90 seconds. I said, "Wow isn't that a lot, kind of close together?" The midwife said "Yes, but until you tell us they are intense, then they don't really count. They have to be pretty uncomfortable to really work!" I remember thinking: "No! Bubble of peace!! I deserve an easy, comfortable birthing time!!" (an oft-repeated mantra of Hypnobabies) She wrote in the chart: Not in labor.

At 7:30pm I called my doula and said it's probably a good time to head over, but that she didn't have to rush (ha!).

After the midwife and nurse left the room, we turned the movie off and I lay on my side and started focusing more deeply on each pressure wave. Soon I needed to "ahhh" through each one. In hindsight this must have been the transition stage but I was still lying very comfortably on my side. I listened to the Easy First Stage Hypnobabies track and focused very deeply. The pressure waves began getting very intense but completely manageable as long as I was deeply relaxed and using Hypnobabies tools. I was hanging on every word of Hypnobabies, imagining my cervix opening and thinking "peace peace peace." After intense peaks with each pressure wave, soon enough they would end and I would feel relaxed and completely fine. The waves were feeling very low at this point but I still didn't think I was as far along as I was.

At one point my husband said he was going to the bathroom and I shrugged and said OK. Then I suddenly felt the unmistakable urge to push. A mixture between needing to poop and something much, much stronger. I fumbled around trying to find the call button and yelled "I feel pushy!!!" The midwife and nurses came rushing in and Brian came out of the bathroom, with a look on his face like "what the heck is going on?" I was dilated to 9cm and already crowning!

I was still lying on my side letting my body do the pushing. The CD player was broken but thankfully I had the Hypnobabies Pushing track on my iPhone. I heard some of it, though not much. But just enough to help me feel incredibly reassured and comforted like she knew exactly what I needed to hear. I was quiet except for moaning "Ahhh" with each push. Occasionally I smiled at my husband between pushes.

8:18pm -- after about 4 or 5 pushes, she was born in the caul (very rare and lucky!) with both hands up by her face! I pulled her up onto my chest and saw her beautiful face! I could not believe she was out! And I didn't have any perineal tearing despite how fast it went. I exclaimed, "Wow, that was awesome! So *not* hard! I feel like I could get up and run down the hallway!"

Unfortunately, my doula walked in five minutes after the baby was born! I was clearly not aware of where I was in the birth process and hadn't given her enough time!

Everyone was shocked how quickly it happened! The midwife said in 15 years she had never seen anything like it. She said she enjoyed seeing someone use self-hypnosis tools so effectively. And she had only seen 5 babies born in the caul! It is considered a sign of good luck. And she was born in 2012, the year of the dragon, which is also good luck! We also discovered a true knot in her cord. It was a loose knot, but nonetheless we are so amazed at our lucky little miracle who came out with both fists in the air!
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Posted by on in Birth Center Stories

Thanks to Melissa from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.

So, I have been a member of this group, albeit somewhat in the background, for some months now. I haven't posted any questions, mainly because everything I ever needed to know (and more!) was covered through other questions. I have really enjoyed reading all the questions and responses though, and thought I would share my story.

Tabitha was born 2 weeks late, on 1st December - I was scheduled for an induction at 12 days over, but when I went along they said I could leave it a couple more days if I wanted to. I really didn't want to be induced and Tabitha was very happy where she was, so I jumped at the chance. I was told that 14 days over was really as long as they would recommend me waiting though, so booked me in for an induction at 14 days over.


Tabitha obviously decided that she didn't want to be induced either, as my waters broke the night before the induction. I was really excited, as I had planned to give birth in a birth centre rather than in hospital. I called the birth centre, and they advised me to take two paracetamol and go to bed, as the chance of anything happening that night was very slim. About ten minutes later, my contractions started - there was no gentle build up, they were full strength from the word go! I have to be honest, this did make it difficult for me to use the techniques I had learned through the Hypnobabies course. I will say though that if my breathing was slow and controlled, and I was focussed when a pressure wave hit, I could breathe through it. If I lost focus and wasn't ready, it was a lot harder.

My waters had broken at around 10.30pm, and by 4am I told my partner to call the birth centre again. They were still dubious that I should go in, but left the decision up to me. I decided not to go in, as the idea of going in and being sent home was pretty awful! By 6am, they phoned back again and said that seeing as my induction was scheduled for 7.30am, I may as well go to the birth centre and be assessed, just in case I could give birth there. They warned me that chances were I would be sent off to the hospital for the induction as planned, but by this stage, I was pretty sure that I was in full-blown labour, so we got in the car and went to the birth centre.


They were pretty surprised and I was infinitely relieved when they examined me and found I was 6cm dilated! They took me to a room, gave me the gas and air and started filling the pool. It was changeover time, and the new mid-wife arrived about 7.15 am, and I told her that I was feeling like I needed to push, which worried me as I knew it was too early to be pushing. She examined me and said that I was fully dilated, so I got in the pool and the pushing part got underway.  I had learned so much from Hypnobabies and was concentrating hard on my body and on moving the baby. The line about not being afraid no matter how much power was moving through my body was something I focussed on - little things like this were so helpful too me, as otherwise I think the whole power of the experience could have been a little overwhelming. It was all very calm, although very intense! The experience of being in the pool with my partner was one that I wouldn't have wanted to miss for the world - absolutely incredible.

Once the head was out came the most amazing part of the whole experience - that final push when the body came out and everything just stopped. They put her on my chest and it was the most incredible moment of my entire life. She was and is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

To sum it all up, I am very glad that I got the opportunity to have a natural birth, and that I chose the Hypnobabies home study course to prepare for it. The mid-wife told me that she was amazed that it was my first baby, as I seemed so in tune with my body and just seemed to know what to do. I put this down to my Hypnobabies training. The course also helped me to relax throughout my pregnancy - I hadn't realised how stressed out I was until I started listening to the tracks and found it very hard to slow my breathing! But the main thing that I got from the course was being able to look forward to giving birth. I had been scared of it and seen it just as something that had to be endured, and the Hypnobabies training made me see it as an incredible experience - which it was. My partner and I now have this bond that we didn't have before, and Tabitha was born calmly and peacefully. Even though I didn't listen to the tracks whilst in labour, the course fully prepared me for the birth, and I believe that the visualisations in the tracks helped my body move quickly through the latent stage of labour.

All in all I am very happy with my birth experience and smitten with my gorgeous daughter.

Best wishes to you all

Melissa x
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When I signed up for my Hypnobabies class I had fairly low expectations - I just wanted to get through the birth of my baby without having a panic attack. The pain-free birth experience presented in the Hypnobabies testimonials – an experience which I was supposed to enjoy instead of just survive - sounded too much like an infomercial pitch to be true.

But when she shows up at the Birth Center ready to push, she becomes a believer.

This is a must read birth story.  Click here to read Nicole's birth which made her say, "Thank you, Hypnobabies, for giving me the skills to have such a wonderful and empowering birth experience. You have earned a set of life-long advocates in my husband and myself!"
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It's been 11 weeks today since my daughter was born and I really didn't have time to sit down and write you all about my experience. It was amazing!

I was a 6 days pass my "guess date", going bananas and running out of ideas how to get the baby out. I had a wonderful midwife and we were planning a water birth in a birthing center about 25 minutes away from where we live. My hubby was wonderful supporting my decision of having unmedicated birth and has been practicing Hypnobabies with me. We did a lot of Birth Partner sessions together and even that he wasn’t very much into it, being the skeptical man he is, he really worked hard to help me with the “relax” cue, which later on, turned out to be an amazing help.

Sunday, April 3rd I decided to take another walk with my father, but after about 20 minutes I felt strangely tired and wanted to go back home. I took a short nap and, later, cooked dinner. My husband was at work, but as usual I called him around 10pm (he works overnight) and told him that I've been feeling kind of strange, having pressure waves (but I've been having them for the past two weeks coming and going), but not really regular enough to time them. He wanted to come home right away, but I asked him not to, thinking it was another false alarm. Well, he called me 15 minutes later saying he is on the way home. Of course as soon as he got home, my PW were gone. I went to bed disappointed but had no problems falling asleep. I woke up around 2am on Monday morning not knowing exactly what was it that woke me up. I decided to use the bathroom and while I was sitting on the toilet The PW hit me. And I knew right away that this one was completely different from all the other ones I had before. I called Jayson and asked him to start timing them. I really didn’t start to listen to Hypnobabies, CD’s; I was able to use the Finger Drop Technique on my own. My PW were about 5-6 minutes apart.

Hubby called my midwife and gave her an update saying that we would call her again in another hour to let her know about our progress. I decided to take a shower while he was finishing packing our bags. The hot water felt pretty amazing on my back, but I felt like the PW were coming faster and lasted a little longer. Shower was, unfortunately, a distraction for my self-hypnosis, too. 15 min later I called Jayson back to the bathroom and asked him to time the PW again. They were 3-4 min apart.

He called my midwife, Christine, back and we were on the way to the birthing center. My best friend was following us in her car. She was supposed to film the birth for my mom who couldn’t be with us (my mom is fighting 2nd stage breast cancer and was going through chemotherapy at this time). In the car I had my IPod on and I listened to Hypnobabies Easy First Stage. Jayson told me later I was very quiet and I kept my eyes close. At one point I started humming. This was the first time during my birthing time that I went back to my special place to tell my daughter how much I loved her and how I cannot wait to meet her very soon. I also promised her I would do my best so she can have the most peaceful and loving experience entering this world.

It felt so natural to go into hypnosis and release anesthesia, maybe because I've been practicing for the past 4 months. When we got to the Birth Center it was after 3am and Christine was already there. She asked me if I wanted to be checked, and I said yes (that was the first time through the entire pregnancy she ever checked me). I was 6 centimeters dilated and I couldn’t believe it! She started filling up the tub for me while I was riding the PW on the birthing ball while listening to Deepening session. My husband was right behind me putting some pressure on my lower back. He also started to use the “relax” cue which was a phenomenal boost of anesthesia whenever he felt me getting distracted and anxious. My “non-believer” husband turned out to be my rock and the best tool Hypnobabies could ever give me.

When I look back at the birthing video I’m so amazed to see that the only noises coming out of my mouth was humming whenever I was climbing on the top of the PW. I was so calm with my eyes closed. Sometimes, for few minutes, my hubby joined me to listen to my IPod, to the Deepening session. I think this is the reason while he stayed so strong and so grounded during the birth of our first child.

During the breaks between PW I was able to drink some water, have something to eat, have a short conversation with my friend. It felt good to hear encouraging words from everybody.  I got into the tub at 4am and decided not to use the IPod anymore and just relay on myself and the knowledge I’ve gained from Hypnobabies. Being in a warm water helped me even more to get deeper into hypnosis, since my special place, the one where I was always meeting Emma, my daughter, during sessions was surrounded by water.

Each PW felt like I was climbing a mountain. The hardest part was getting to the top of the wave, but as soon as I got there, I just rode the wave until I felt the relief. I was so focused on relaxing my uterine muscles and imagining opening my cervix and sending anesthesia down there that I did not even realize that it was time to push. The whole transition was pretty quick and not at all uncomfortable. I just felt a little nauseous and I wanted to push.

Christine said I was ready. I've pushed in the water for an hour and even that I was making a progress, it didn’t feel like it at all. I was getting tired. But on the other hand I was very much glad that I didn’t have anybody standing over me and counting down or telling me to push. I let my body to be in charge, and my midwife, my husband and my friend were there to give me their love and support I needed. After pushing for an hour, around 8am, Christine suggested I would change a position. I tried to get on my fours but I felt my back hurting really badly. So I've decided to stand up. My husband supported me holding me by my waist while I spread my legs and pushed. I felt my baby moved down and Christine called for another midwife to come in.

Again, looking back at the video, I see myself making a lot of grunting noises, but also being completely in control of my body and being able to follow Christine’s directions. She told me to slow down and she told me the head was out, I could feel her between my legs. Christine had enough time to say the she can see my baby’s face and that she is really cute when with a final push her shoulders came out and Emma Berniece was caught in mid air, born at 8:23 am.

My beautiful baby girl was 8 lbs 6 ounces and 19 inches long (which we found out 3 hours later). I sat down in the water holding her and crying. She was so beautiful. My perfect baby girl. Christine waited for the cord to stop pulsating and Jayson cut it. They helped me move into the bed and my daughter took to my breast right away. After the midwife checked me, she said I had no tear! After couple of hours I was able to shower and change. Then, they measured Emma and checked everything out. We were home, in our own bed 4 hours later.

This was the most unbelievable experience of my life. My first baby and the most amazing birth. When people asked if I felt any pain, I say no. With the knowledge and training from Hypnobabies, I was able to be in full control over my mind, while my body did all the work. I describe the PW as climbing a mountain. As soon as you get to the top, you know the hike down is much easier and then you will get to rest. And I kept reminding myself that every PW is bringing me closer to meeting my daughter.

I loved it! I can't wait to have another baby and experience it all again. And I still cry every time I watch the video, when I see her coming out!

Thank you, Hypnobabies!

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Thanks to Brittany a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her experience with us.

Hi Hypnomamas! I finally got my daughter's birth story written. It's long (two parts), but I wanted to send you all the links in case anyone is interested in taking a read.

While I DID use Hypnobabies lingo, I never gave any BOP warnings, so I'll just say this:

We ended up having to change our plans about 68 hours into my birthing time. My biggest fear was being a hospital transfer, but after doing some fear clearing and re-focusing my goal on having the healthiest, safest birth possible (not just a natural birth), my fears completely subsided.

I did end up going to the hospital, but it was still such an amazing, wonderful experience! If any of you are like I was and really fear a change in plans, reading my story might help you get past some of those fears. I can't even begin to explain how much Hypnobabies still helped me and empowered me to have an amazing birth, even though it went differently than what I had planned.

Brittany (and Baby Brynn)

Part One:

Part Two:

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I cannot thank you enough for Hypnobabies!  Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be a mom, but was terrified of an epidural.  My mom had all 3 of us naturally, but I did not think I was strong enough as I have never really had to deal with pain.  Growing up I always hoped there would be a "better or new way" by the time I got pregnant, and there was!  It feels like an out of body experience and I cannot believe that the same person who used to be unable to get a shot or blood test without almost passing out, gave birth naturally and peacefully.  The techniques work, end of story.  We now have a neighbor planning a home water birth and going to our instructor Carole's Hypnobabies class as well.

Read Jennifer's whole birth story, along with pictures here.



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My "guess date" (not due date – it's always more of a guess anyway ;-) ) was Tuesday, July 20th. Come Monday, July 26th, we'd had a few pre-birthing time starts where I'd have pressure waves for about 3-4 hours but they never did they continue past that. We went in for a sonogram to make sure Jack and my placenta looked okay. Jack scored an 8 out of 8 but my placenta was getting "ripe" which was to be expected at 41 weeks.

The midwives said if I wasn't in active birthing time by Wednesday, we'd have to get things going with medical intervention (rather than natural). So, after a power walk at the mall and an awesome chiropractor adjustment, my husband and I came home, prayed, and continued doing all the natural labor starts we knew to do (nipple stem, walking, etc).

Finally on Tuesday afternoon around 4, I was having regular pressure waves 5 minutes apart but they weren't a minute long nor were they growing in intensity. The pressure waves continued throughout the night but would come and go every couple hours. I was able to sleep about 4 hours that night but by Wednesday morning we knew we would have to go in to the birthing center and might eventually have to do medicinal intervention. We packed the car (just in case and glad we did ;-) ) and headed to the birth center around 9:30 am. Once we arrived, we hit our first hurdle – the head midwife wanted Jack and me to be monitored to make sure Jack was responding well to the contractions.

At this point, we realized just how much our birth center involved the local hospital and their doctors which was annoying. I know it's important when there's a medical emergency but we did not realize just how often they consulted with the doctors and allowed the doctors to give input. We chose a birth center for a reason and felt like how involved the hospital was was not clearly communicated in our initial tour. Anyway, I digress.  (editors note:  maybe a good question for moms to ask their midwives!)

After a couple hours of pressure waves, they were still not seeing the response from Jack that they wanted to see. He was healthy…he was just being too chill during the contractions so they had me drink some juice we bought but they still weren't seeing his numbers move like they wanted. We went upstairs for a consult with the midwife and if we didn't start seeing more active numbers from Jack, we'd have to be transferred to the hospital. She then said she wanted to check me but when she did, she also started to sweep my membranes more which is not what we said we could do. I asked her to stop then pretty much broke down crying. Not only did we not really have the money to transfer to the hospital, we felt the natural birth we so badly wanted for Jack and I was continuing to slip more and more out of our fingers. The midwife told us to go back downstairs and continue getting monitored for a while longer. I drank some sugar-infused grape juice but still nothing (The juice we brought was too naturally sweetened I guess).  Enter the only "drugs" I used that day – a Coke. That's right, a Coca Cola. Our birth assistant walked in with a Coke in one hand and a Dr. Pepper in the other and said, "Which one do you want?". I replied, "Oh no, I don't drink sodas. Like ever."  "Well, it's this or a transfer." I resigned, "I'll take the Coke." After many shudders and bleh faces, I downed the Coke and that's what gave Jack the zippadeedoodah we needed to get some good numbers on the monitors. Phew. Hurdle #1 was crossed. (And a good friend commented today at what a blessing it was that since I never do drink soda, my body responded dramatically which is how we needed it to. Had I been a soda drinker that might not have been the case…so true.)

It was around 12 or so by this time and my awesomely amazing doula, Katherine, arrived to assist Jon and I through the pressure waves. I walked around the room doing laps and hanging on Jon through the pressure waves. One of my favorite ways to relax through the waves was to sit on the birthing ball and lean back on Jon so I could fully relax my body from my shoulders down. As each wave would come on, I would say different things like, "Relaaaaaaxxxxx" or "Releeeeeease" which helped a lot. Although I was now in my active birthing time, the pressure waves were not enough to get me to dilate more than 5.

We needed to see me progress more and get my pressure waves to get more intense. Beverly, our birth assistant, knowing we wanted to go as natural as possible, suggested a Foley catheter induction which is a small balloon that is inflated with saline water so as to put pressure on the cervix so it will continue to open. This helped but only for a while. I continued to have pressure waves "leisurely" for a couple more hours. By leisurely, I mean I rested on the bed or on the birthing ball in between waves. However, although it was more restful for me to be that way, I was not really allowing for stronger pressure waves to build.

By 8 pm, I was still at 5 cm and Beverly sat Jon and I down. "It's time to dig in now and get this labor going." I remember thinking, "Haven't I been laboring already?!" Her main concern was that I would just continue progressing slowly which is fine but then I'd be too tired once we really got to the end and wouldn't be able to push. Her suggestion: more nipple stim and power walking. I laid back down on the bed while we did nipple stim but the pressure waves were getting too intense for me to just lay there. I found that it took me a few pressure waves to figure out how to fully relax through each so I didn't like changing activities or positions but at this point laying down was too much. So, outside we went. Fortunately, it was 8 pm so it was a little cooler (and the 100+ degree days had not yet come upon us here in Texas).  As people were playing with their dogs in the dog park across the way, I would waddle along holding hands with Jon with my sweet doula walking behind coaching us along. When a wave would come on, I'd either walk through it saying "Ahhhhhhh" or "Reeelllaaaaxxxxx" or I blew raspberries with my mouth. (<–weird thing but helped a lot); other times I'd stop and sway back and forth while leaning on Jon. I'm sure I was a sight but I didn't care. It was like a switch turned on in my body.

After about 45 minutes, we went back inside and as much as I wanted to get into the tub, they wouldn't let me. I think they were worried I'd get too relaxed so my husband and I got in the shower instead. My Hypnobabies had been helping me all day but here's the key – it worked best when I would really relax my mind and allow it to.

I now know I was in transformation during that hour and 15 minutes and by 9:15 I said, "I'm ready to push!" Afterwards, my birth assistant and doula had said they were worried it was more my brain saying I wanted to push even if my body wasn't saying it. And, in a way, they were right. I was wishfully saying I wanted to push and, thank the Lord, I was far along enough that I could start pushing. I had gone from 5 to 8 cm in just a little over an hour!
It took me a good 15-20 minutes to learn how to push and work with the pressure waves instead of against them. Around 9:40 or so, Jack's heart rate was getting a little low so they put me on a saline IV in like 5 seconds.

After 20 more minutes, at 10:02 pm, Jack was here! Jon, still in his bathing suit trunks from holding me in the shower, helped pull Jack out and up onto my chest. He was 7 lb 4 oz, 20.5 inches long and so alert. I've always thought I would just start bawling but I didn't. I just said "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God" about a million times and just held him. He latched on pretty quickly and I got to hold him for about 45 minutes.

I was definitely in shock…a good kind of shock. Even after a couple hours I would just look at him and think, "Is he really ours? Am I really allowed to take him?". I had known him in my belly for so long and to see him out was, I don't know, just so different. I felt like a bad mother at first because although I knew I loved him, I didn't feel like I knew him. I told Jon that on the way home and he said he felt the same way which made me feel better. Now, we get to learn who he really is which is great. :) We left the birth center around 4:30 am and were back in our own bed by 5. It was just so surreal but awesome! My family was in such shock at the photos of him and how alert he was at that time and still even now. We were so glad to have been able to birth him naturally.

We learned later that the pushing probably would've gone even faster if Jack's hands hadn't been up.  Overall, my birthing time was 12 hours with about 40 minutes of pushing. It was quite the experience but a beautiful one. I am so thankful for my awesome birth team, my amazing husband, and Hypnobabies.

My main advice would be to listen to your track in a lot of different positions. I mainly listened at night on my left side and found that during my birthing time, laying on my left side was the most uncomfortable. So I think going into center then walking while listening to a track would've been good as well as on a birthing ball more, etc. I also wish I had practiced my "going into center" at diff times of day more often. I was good at listening to my tracks every day but not at practicing my switch at other times. Oh and I highly, highly recommend getting chiropractor adjustments towards the end. He was born on Wed and I went Mon, Tues, and Wed and she realigned my hips to where they needed to be for him to pass through. Who knows if I hadn't been adjusted. Anyway, that's my two cents. :)
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Posted by on in Birth Center Stories
I went to my midwife appt on Tuesday (after having contractions for a while Monday night and having them stop) and I was at 4cm.  However, my blood pressure had been elevated at the last few appts--it was 156 over 96 on this day (my usual is 120 over like 70) and the midwife was concerned that it could be a precursor to something worse.  I agreed, as I've never had high bp, and she asked me to come in around noon on Wednesday to get things started.

We decided to take the two youngest girls out to lunch on Wednesday, so arrived at the birth center at around 2pm.   She gave me something to place under my tongue and went back to other rooms to finish her appointments.  I could have left, but decided to stay and listen to my Hypnobabies cds.  I started with a deepening session, just to help me relax and once I felt the first little pressure wave, I switched to easy first stage.  I think i listened to it twice.

The first pressure wave was truly felt around 3:15 and I told Dee I don't know why I even bothered to come in on Monday morning, as it was a large difference in feelings.  I walked around the room a bit, sat on the birth ball, and continued listening to easy first stage.  MW came in and did the quanine wash (was gbs positive, didn't want an iv and antibiotics would not have had time anyway!) and at 4pm, she checked me and said I was between 5 and 6.  I told her to expect baby around 6ish.  I asked for tub time and she said she'd rather wait till I dilated a bit more.  At around 4:30 I asked again and she started filling it.  I was now 6-7 cms and so it was all good.The pressure waves felt like menstrual cramps--if there was a mention of p***, it would be that type of p***, but for the most part I just listened to my mp3 and went deeper.  The water was wonderful, and I sat in it the rest of the time.  As time passed, I was a bit more vocal--my breathing out became ahhhs (soft ahhs) and it seemed to help.

I almost panicked--I knew this was transition and I'm afraid of transition.  I joked with the mw assistant, and i told her I was at the stage where my mind said, "What was I thinking? Natural Childbirth!"  Before this, they couldn't tell when I was having contractions.  My ahhing helped.

Then the lull happened.  I don't ever remember feeling this before.  The pw's stopped and I had a slight breather.  It felt like a few seconds, but it was nice.  Then they started up again--at this moment the easy first stage stopped and pushing baby out mp3 started.  It was eerie, how well-timed it was.  I tried telling the assistant I was feeling pushy and instead just whispered, "Pressure."  Then the vocal noises changed to a deeper AHH sound.  She stood up and ran to get the mw.

MW came, said, "Let's see where you are."  Stuck in her fingers and said, "Oh +3."  Then the head was there and I needed to move a bit so she had more room but I didn't want to.  The pw's were starting to hurt, but mostly (and I knew this) it was just my fear of the pain that made me not want to move.

I calmed myself, listened to the words of the mp3 and went deeper.  Then I moved forward and pushed out the head.  I had to stop a moment as baby had cord wrapped around neck and shoulder and then I pushed her out.  Maybe totaled 5 pushes, but they were small so I wouldn't tear.

She was placed on my chest and took a minute to pink up--was a bit blue so oxygen was held over her.  When cord was done pulsating, it was cut.  I left the tub to get warmer and pushed my placenta out on the bed.  Over all I didn't bleed much, and it's already pretty light.  She was born at 6:13pm --3 hours after I felt the first 'contraction.'  I'm glad i didn't go anywhere. :)

I think that's it.  Not a lot of story, but I'm glad i chose Hypnobabies.  It was a quick, easy birthing. :)

written and shared with permission from a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.

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My daughter Avani was born on Sept 23 (7 lbs, 8 oz) ... easily and beautifully ... and I have Hypnobabies to thank! My water broke at 3:00 a.m. I called the midwife and the doula, and they advised me to sleep unless I did not feel the baby moving.

I did feel the baby moving, but of course, I could not go back to sleep with such excitement, so I started packing up my stuff and laid down for a while. I started noticing very minor birthing waves about 20 minutes apart.

The doula arrived at the house at 10 a.m. We left for the birthing center at 11 a.m. When we arrived, I was 3 cm dilated so the midwife recommended I walk around, which I did for a couple of hours, as the birthing waves intensified and lasted longer and longer.

At 2 p.m. I was officially admitted to the birthing center, and Avani was born at 4:43 p.m. The 13 hrs went by extremely quickly, even the pushing part.

My experience was that there were many physical sensations that could be characterized with a variety of different
words; however, I was able to more or less simultaneously calmly accept and disassociate from these sensations. I was actually surprised at how relatively easy and natural the birthing process was ... I listened to the pushing track for a little while, but that's it; I was pretty zoned out / tuned in ... I am VERY pleased with my daughter's natural, drug-free, epidural-free, IV-free, tear-free, episiotomy-free birth ... and am 100% sure that the repetitive conditioning/programming from Hypnobabies was key in enabling it!
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