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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Forewarning! Successful Hypnobabies program was used in the following birth story, but there is mention of *P* in one instance when my program was not in use. I think my story though will be helpful to those facing less than ideal situations surrounding their birth. We had no natural birth midwives in this area (I interviewed the one in this area who had fully medicated births), and no birthing centers.
Without further adieu:
I had a scheduled induction for April 9, at 8AM. I was 10 days overdue and my OB's office was refusing to go longer, though I guess I could have fought them. I almost skipped my induction. I loathed the very idea.

At 37.5 weeks I had prodromal labor, with 4 hours of pressure waves that came on at 2-3 minute intervals and 1 minute a piece. For some reason they fizzled out. I had so many symptoms that said to me "this night is it." I had unusual energy and nesting for a couple days. My body was flushing itself out an hour after the first pressure wave woke me up. I found out at my OB appt that I had made it to 3cm/50% effaced. We were so sure I'd go early then. There was at least 2 more times that my birthing day seemed imminent with patterned pressure waves, but the last time at 41 weeks I went to L&D and found I was at 4cm/80%, but again my pressure waves fizzled and I elected to go home.

I tried everything from big wheel riding and sliding/ swinging at the park, walking to intimate things, and castor oil to no avail. I also used the "Baby come Out" track, as well as getting a start on Birthing Day Affirmations, and Easy First Stage tracks.
Up until the night before my induction I was still unsure if I was going to show for it. Using my hypnosis to do some soul searching and baby communicating, I found my peace with going to the induction, and that being the right road to take at this point. One of the tracks, I think "Baby Come Out" has you ask the baby if there is anything or any reason they weren't coming out or it wasn't time. I had an intuitive feeling that for some reason my body was sticking at a certain point, and it was time to help. April 9 was chosen to be my baby's birthing day, and I told him he and I would be just fine but we needed a little help.
I checked in at 745am but my room wasn't done until 830AM. Lots of babies all poured in that night/morning... 15+ naturally occuring labors.

I got a chance to chat with the nurses in the entry way though and inquired about requesting a nurse who is partial to and experienced with natural births. One sweet lady "looked" into it for me. She apparently knew who the right person to ask, because despite the nuttiness of the labor floor I got what had to be the best nurse on the floor. My OB and nurse were very respectful of my Hypnobabies needs and my birth plan hopes.
I met the doc by 9am to discuss the plan and we were going to break my water and go from there, as soon as they were done getting me set up. Well, the OB went MIA until 1130AM in which I had the AROM. There was merconium staining, but not too bad. By 2pm I hadn't made a lick of progress despite contractions, which were consistant but 10 minutes apart.
At 2:00pm we agreed to start a low dose of pit. It came on hard and fast then. I did really good using my hypnosis stuff, and I think a lot of nurses were impressed. They did best to keep quiet and not disturb me. It was mainly just Alan and I, who was my rock, petting me and whispering relaxation cues. I would even smile and sometimes have a giddy laugh between waves as I was so excited to feel my baby coming to me.
Sometime after though- maybe 1.5-2 hours, I hit transition. I thought my blood sugar was crashing (which it may have a bit since you don't get to eat much), though they assured me it was just transition symptoms. Shakey, disoriented, weak, panic: It was like I sat out of a deep deep relaxation/hypnosis in a frenzy. I wanted just a "little something" in my IV to take the edge off.

(Editors note:  A few different simultaneous distractions and mom looses focus - soon nurse will come back and help her get re-focused.  If birth partner had stayed calm, it may have helped mom stay calm.)

At the same time I was htting transition, the BP cuff kept getting weird readings and beeping loudly. It broke my concentration, and Alan got pissed off that it was taking so long to come and fix, and that it kept happening, and thus I became very unrelaxed. My nurse was busy delivering next door and so I got some fill in, loud, obnoxious nurse. I freaked, Alan freaked because he can't handle seeing me in distress and be powerless to fix it.
Lucky my nurse came back when she did. I was screaming for help and that I couldn't do it, and please give me just a "little" something in my IV to help me relax.
Gloria, RN, said, first we need to check you and see if you are ready to push, and second of all, OB will NOT give you anything in your IV, and thirdly, you CAN do this. And oh, by the way, you are 9cm. Gloria was there for me at just the right time in just the right way.
Well, I put on my "pushing baby out" hypnosis CD, and went right back into my hypnosis, and found it felt better to push just a little during my pressure waves. I begged for a popsicle incase my sugar was low, which I got, and between pressure waves and starting to push, I got a bite of popsicle. Alan kept them coming, and for some reason it just seemed to be a little piece of heaven.

I'd just go limp and completely relaxed in between pushing sensations. Deeper and deeper...

I pushed him out fast and hard and yes, that second for shoulders and head, I screamed one short loud scream. This is the only instant I'd deem as pain, and I was not using my hypnobabies at this point. I was unprepared for him to come out so fast! I didn't even have time to think or "relax". But it was no big deal... it was quick.

I delivered at 4:44pm, so not even 2.5 hours after true labor started. He weighs 6#11oz, and was 20" long. He has smokey blue eyes, and light brown hair.
The sensations I had (even with the extremely powerful pitocin induced pressure waves, which also don't give you the benefit of your body's natural rest and recover time between stages) I'd describe as intense and powerful feelings. I know pain, and this was NOT pain.

It was incredible and a truly an amazing birth experience. I can't tell you how many random nurses and attendants saw my sign on the door and came to ask me questions about my birth later and if Hypnobabies worked. Of course I tell them yes and gladly share the happy details. (but I admittedly feel a little embarrassed at my momentary lapse during transition.) I hoped to have the perfect tale to tell in the end.

But all in all, I managed to have pretty much my ideal birth with what I was given to work with. I received so many compliments on how bright eyed, alert, healthy, and well tempered my little one is and was at birth. I felt great afterwards. I am having a lovely baby moon this go around, compared to my first. I avoided the broken coccyx that I had with my first "electively induced" colicky baby girl. I remember all the wonderful details of my birth and look at them fondly instead of what most people view as horror.
I thought this would be my last baby, but now I dream of having my ideal completely painless, and hopefully home birth in the future. (although I'd have to go out of state to find that option if I wanted an attendant)
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
My 2nd child, Lucas, was born October 16th 2010 at 2:32 a.m., using Hypnobabies self-hypnosis techniques, he was born naturally, without any pain. He was born with his bag of water intact!

I am so grateful for Hypnobabies training with deep relaxation, my special safe place, holding my baby, my positive affirmations and knowing that I could choose to feel only warm loving pressure waves during my birthing time. When I was at home, I was distracted with the arrival of my aunt to care for my 2 year old and I had to "choose" to use my techniques no matter how distracted I would be. I told myself that I will make this work, I have confidence and I want to feel the birth of my baby. So, no epi for me.

I never gave it another thought, this was nature and I willing accepted it. I gave birth in a hospital, when I arrived at 12:10 a.m. I was completely comfortable and dilated to 6 cm 90%. With each wave of pressure I would completely relax, going deeper to my special safe place, my husband, mother or doula would put their hand on my shoulder and remind me to relax more and more.

During transformation after one strong wave of pressure I said out loud "that was beautifully strong".

I felt pushy after about 10 mintues of transformation and my body began to push. It was such an amazing feeling. I would take a deep breath in at the beginning of a pressure wave, hold it for the peak and exhale saying "ahhhhh", but it sounded different from "ahhhhh". What was amazing is that I did not "push", my body would take a strong hold and push down and out. I tried to "push" once and I knew that it was wasteful, because my body was doing such a great job.

Lucas was born in 15 mintues, about 3 strong pushing pressure waves, where my body did all the work. It was beautiful and I am so very grateful that I had chosen to study a course that reinforced such positive thoughts about childbirth.

I would recommend natural birth to everyone and especially using Hypnobabies.

Thank you for read my story :)

It was amazing and let yourself "choose" to relax and enjoy your birth.
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I'd like to share the hypnobirth of my second daughter (and first hypnobirth), Sadie. She was born Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 9:29pm at a nearby hospital.

I woke up Saturday at 6am feeling light pressure waves. However, I didn't think much of them because I was 10 days "overdue" at that point and had been in pre-labor for a couple weeks. I had learned not to get too excited. I got up and went about my everyday routine and noticed, about four hours later, that they were not letting up. They weren't getting closer together however so I continued to ignore them. About 2 in the afternoon after putting my 3 year old down for a nap, I decided to time them. They were about 5-8 mins. apart and they were getting slightly more intense. I was beginning to get excited and listened to Easy First Stage. I became really relaxed and was fully rested. I then soaked in the tub for a while and thats when I told my husband that I thought I was in labor. I don't think he really believed me because I looked so calm! I really enjoyed the first stage of labor. I focused on the positive affirmations and scripture that reaffirmed my faith and strength in God.

I am not sure when I entered active labor. All I recall is that about 5pm, I was getting more and more uncomfortable and by six pm I was starting to think, "I think I should go to the hospital soon." I timed the pressure waves again and was dissapointed when they were still 5-6 mins. apart. (My goal was to leave at 4 min. apart so as not to get to the hospital too early). However, at about 7pm my husband got back from the store and was about to fix supper when I told him, "We need to go to the hospital now!" I felt a lot of pressure in my bottom and new something was going on. The waves were still 5-6 min. apart but I didn't care. Something inside me said, "GO NOW!" Once we were well on our way to the hospital (20 min. commute). We noticed that the waves were now 2-3 mins. apart and I really had to concentrate through each wave. I almost felt like I was sitting on the baby's head! But, I breathed through them and visualized all the positive scripture and affirmations that I practiced with Hypnobabies.

Once at the hosptial, the ob checked me and said I was at 7cm! I was so happy because it was what I had visualized. He asked me what I wanted to do for pain and the nurse chimmed in, "Oh, but you are so close!" That gave me the confidence to say no to the epidural. An hour and a half later I felt the urge to push and everyone gathered around and just stood around me. It was totally mother directed pushing and I was not hooked up to the monitors. I pushed for about 20 min and pulled my baby out myself!  I held her close as they cleaned her up and breastfed her right away. She was perfectly healthy and content. I felt so alert and great afterwards and was very happy that I didn't tear. The doctor and nurses were all very impressed and supportive of my birth. One nurse said, "If everyone labored like this, we would be out of business!" And the doctor kept commenting on how in control and calm I remained through each pressure wave.  We left the hospital under 24 hours. It was an amazing and thrilling experience.

Thanks to all the wonderful support and emails- they were so imformative. I am so glad I used Hypnobabies!

Tagged in: hypnobirth
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(I started using the Hypnobabies CDs at home around 24 weeks pregnant.  I used them nearly every single day, usually at night before going to bed. I never did get good at using all the Hypnobabies terms, so this contains all the 'traditional' birth language.)

To start off with, a brief recap of my past births.

My first daughter came on her due date, I arrived at the hospital at noon with some mild contractions coming semi-regularly.  Looking back, I obviously went in too early, but my family has a history of lightening quick labors, and my Mom was freaked out I'd have the baby in the car if I didn't get in there soon.  Triage determined I was dilated to a 4, and had a 'bulging bag of waters' that was going to break any second.  So, I was checked in and immediately a nurse came in and said I needed to get the epidural now.  I had planned on getting one, but was surprised they were pushing it now, as my contractions were basically just uncomfortable cramping, and I wasn't having to 'do' anything to get through them.  But, the nurse told me if I didn't get it now, there was no guarantee the anesthesiologist, who had time right now, would have time for me later.  Scare tactic worked, and I got the epidural, and they broke my water right after.  (I remember being surprised by that, because they hadn't mentioned they were going to do it, and all I could think of was "I thought it was going to break any second . . . why did you have to do it?")  Despite that though, with the epidural, my labor basically stopped.  So, on came the pitocin.  Within minutes my baby's heart rate was freaking out, and they shut off the pit and several nurses were working to turn me and move me into a favorable position to ease the stress to my baby.  I had never felt so helpless . . . my baby was in trouble, they were talking emergency c-section, and I felt like a beached whale who couldn't even roll on to my side on my own.  Finally, the baby's heart rate normalized, and they checked me again, told me I was at an 8, but the baby was really high so I'd 'be pushing for hours.'  Thirty minutes later, the nurse checked, the baby was coming, and I pushed her out in three contractions.  Once things got going, I did end up going really fast, but I hadn't felt a thing.

With my second pregnancy, I wondered a lot about how things would've been different if I hadn't gotten that epidural so early.  With further study, I determined that natural labor was the way to go.  I was also very terrified of ever needing to use pitocin again, almost to the point of mild PTSD (I'd wake up with nightmares of being frozen in the bed, unable to move while I watched the monitor show ever decreasing heart rates.)  I took a Lamaze class (unfortunately, just one offered though the hospital though), and 'prepared' for natural childbirth.  Two weeks before my due date, my water broke and we headed into the hospital at my doctor's request.  All night I walked the halls trying to bring on contractions, but nothing worked.  In the morning, my doctor was 'no longer comfortable waiting' and started pitocin.  I was terrified of the pitocin.  I sat, frozen, in my bed hooked up to all the monitors.  A contraction would come, and rather than relax or breathe, I'd end up so tight and stiff that my muscles were starting to hurt.  I was terrified of the pitocin causing horrible problems for my baby.  Of course, fear is rather unhelpful in these kinds of situations, so I soon agreed to an epidural when I was dilated to a five.  (In retrospect, it hadn't even been 'painful' yet, I was just so fearful of the whole situation.)  Fortunately things went smoothly, and less than 2 hours later I was pushing out another baby girl.  Again, in three contractions, and again, I didn't feel a thing.

My third pregnancy I knew was going to be different.

  • I was going to actually educate myself this time.

  • And not just about birth practices and the politics of birth.

  • I was determined to study and research actual coping methods beyond just breathing.

  • One thing that kept coming to mind was the fact that with both of my labors, I'd gotten to 4 and 5 dilated before receiving the epidural, and I hadn't ever been in 'pain' at that point.

  • Maybe, just maybe, I could cope with labor more than I thought I could.

  • And maybe, just maybe, labor wouldn't be as bad for me as it looked on TV.

  • Also, with a family history of fast labors, and my last only lasting 2 hours from when they got contractions going, I wasn't expecting a very long labor.

I came across Hypnobabies and decided to give it a try. I started listening to it nightly at around 24 weeks pregnant.  First thing I noticed was I was falling asleep, and sleeping better, than I ever have during pregnancy.  My husband and I often joked that even if labor was a horribly painful experience, the program had been worth EVERY cent just in good sleep!

My experience with the CDs, besides loving how they totally relaxed me and put me to sleep each night, was my nightly ritual of putting on my headphones and falling asleep.  Usually within minutes.  My husband teased me that when I went into labor I wouldn't know anything past the 'don't operate a vehicle' portion of the CDs!  :-)

I practiced my finger drop technique for weeks, but never did do the 'center' thing . . . for whatever reason, it just never 'clicked' with me.

I worried I wasn't getting enough from the CDs, because I was sleeping through most of them.  On rare occasions, I'd listen to the CDs during the day (difficult with a 2 and 4 year old running around), but even then they usually put me right to sleep.  I remember the first time I listened all the way through a track that used the 'release' cue.  I was shocked when I heard the word 'release' and my entire body suddenly just melted into the bed!  Apparently even fast asleep my mind and body were picking this stuff up!

Anyway, moving on to the actual birth.

I was five days overdue, and two days away from an induction my midwife was pushing when I started having really, really mild contractions for a few hours around 6PM.  They were so mild that my husband (who excitedly insisted on trying to time them) finally gave up timing them when I kept forgetting to mention when they'd start or stop.

But they started to fade away after 10PM, as I knew they would, since I felt strongly we'd have the baby the next day ,so we went to bed.

When my water broke around 11PM we decided to go straight to the hospital -- I put on my headphones for the first time at this point to start focusing on relaxing, since I was nervous about the water breaking bringing on intense contractions.  When we got to the hospital I was having the same very minor contractions I'd had earlier.

The nurses there had no idea I was contracting, and were pretty surprised when I was almost 6 centimeters dilated.  They moved me to my room, where I found out my midwife was out of town, but was excited to meet the other midwife in the practice, who I'd heard a lot about.  She told the nurses I didn't need an IV, so she became my hero (my midwife had pretty much insisted on a hep lock).  I'd been more fearful of an IV than almost anything about labor, so this was a huge relief!  Except that after a half hour they decided to give me fluids ('cause they were concerned about the baby's  heart rate and lack of amniotic fluid -- still ironic to me that I couldn't drink any water though!).  :-)  So, I ended up with an IV.  Oh well.  The nurse was actually really sweet and amazing doing the IV, since she knew I had a phobia about them.

And it didn't end up bugging me, because I found that once I was in my room the only thing I wanted to do was curl up on my side and block out everything else and focus on the tracks on my iPod . . . to the point that I made my husband go lay down on the couch and get some rest and just leave me to myself.

What amazed me at this point, is that the contractions had started to become more intense . . . but not much.  They had my attention, and I couldn't always relax through them anymore, but I could relax between them.  I don't think they were showing up much on the monitors.

I had my husband come rub my back through one, and that felt great.  Then I had him do it during the next one, and it was distracting and made the contraction feel more intense, so I had him go lay back down!  :-)   At this point, I was starting to get a little worried about how I would deal when labor really got going.  I was still doing great through them, I was barely even changing my breathing or anything for them, but they had my attention. I wouldn't describe them as painful though.  I kept thinking that the contractions were so 'small' (I was only feeling any pressure in a fist sized area above my cervix) and they didn't feel that strong or like they were coming that often, so I was worried I had a long road in front of me.

I suddenly felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and had the nurse come in and help me get unhooked from everything so I could go in and pee. I went in and had few more contractions sitting up on the toilet, which convinced me I wanted to get back to bed!  Having my headphones off, and sitting, seemed to make the contractions more intense, so I wanted to get back in bed and curl up on my left side again where I was more comfortable.

Once I got back too bed I paged the nurse to come in and hook me back up, but suddenly turned to my husband and said, "I think I need to go to the bathroom again."  While in the bathroom I had one contraction that was fairly uncomfortable, and thinking back, I realize there was blood that came with that contraction.  I came back into the room, where my nurse and husband were waiting.

I didn't put my headphones back on, as we were talking with the nurse. She mentioned that they felt like maybe I needed to get up and walk around, the get these contractions coming stronger and more often.  Seems I wasn't the only one thinking I had a ways to go.  I politely declined though, saying with it being the middle of the night, I'd rather get some rest for a little bit.  (It was 1:30AM at this point).  I had one contraction while we were talking about the privacy/safety policies of the hospital.  I had a second one just a few seconds later, this time I could hear her and follow the conversation, but the contraction had the majority of my attention.  Then I had a third one right after.  I remember she was talking about making sure I filled out the menu/meal request forms while we were thinking about it. :-)  This one made me whimper a little, and change positions.

She suddenly looked at me and said, "I wasn't going to check you yet, but maybe I should . . . "  I agreed, and as she came towards me I suddenly cried out, "I think I'm pushing!" Sure enough, she checked and he was crowning.  I couldn't believe it, she hit the nurse call button and was calling for anyone who could come, but there wasn't even time for her to drop down the bed or anything . . . and for all my stressing about what position to push in, turns out all I could do in that case was just lay back on the bed and push, it happened so fast -- he came all the way out the next contraction.  Right onto the bed, with the nurse just sitting at the foot of the bed.

He was born right onto the sheets in front of me (no pads or anything down), and I sat up immediately and the nurse helped me pick him up and I held my beautiful new baby against me.  It was amazing. She had said there'd be a lot of pressure and then burning -- the pressure was definitely there -- I screamed out for a few seconds, (out of effort and surprise though, not pain), but there was no real burning. It was literally over in a minute or so, it was crazy.  I was immediately hit with this realization of, "that was it . . . I did it and it was so much easier than I thought it would be."

It was intense there at the end (but really like the last 20 minutes was all I had that felt even uncomfortable, and it was just those few contractions in the bathroom, then those three back to back that turned out to be transition that were intense.)  It was over so quick and it had never gotten anywhere near what I thought it would be like.  It was suddenly just over and it had actually been painless.  And the second he was out, I couldn't even remember it being uncomfortable.  It was just an amazing thing to experience.

It was intense for a few minutes, sure, but never really anything I'd describe as painful.  But then we were there and it was over with and I was struck by the idea that I could do that again, (I actually turned to my husband within 20-30 seconds of pushing the baby out and said, "Wow, I could do that again!  Like, right now!") And I felt almost silly for having had two epidurals in the past when it was that 'easy' for me to give birth!  I had to have a few stitches (old episiotomy scar tore a little), but other than that, everything was great.
My baby boy was 8 lbs. 1 oz., with a 80th percentile head.  He was a full two pounds heavier than my last baby, and a pound and a half bigger than his oldest sister.  And yet he just slid out in one contraction.
The nurses who all gathered were shocked by our birth.  My baby and I were kinda 'famous' during our hospital stay -- we were the ones who'd had no doctor in the room for delivery.  Many of the nurses had wrongly assumed it was a natural birth on accident, but I proudly corrected them that we had planned and prepared for that natural birth, and it had been amazingly easy.

It still amazes me that a labor and delivery nurse with more than a decade of experience was chatting with me literally minutes before my baby was in my arms and she had no idea I was nearing the end, and didn't seem to think I was really even in active labor (remember that 'get up and get these contractions coming' suggestion?  That was seconds before my last three contractions that apparently were transition.)  I'm still curious about how those last several minutes, when I was in the bathroom and then talking to the nurse, would've felt different if I'd still been doing my Hypnobabies and listening to the tracks.  Those several minutes were the 'intense' portions of labor, but they were also almost the only time I didn't have my headphones on.  Who knows, it could've been even easier, if that's possible, if I'd still been focusing on relaxing and my cues!
As much as I put into preparing myself for this birth, I never, in a million years, would've ever even hoped for such an easy, quick or comfortable birth!
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This is baby #5 for me, my second all natural birth, and my first Hypnobaby.  I had started the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program around 22 weeks, I wanted to  be fully prepared this time, since my last birth was anything but calm and natural.

I had a guess date of July 27th, but in my mind July 16th stuck out. Thursday July 15th, about 10 pm I started having pressure waves but panicked because my mom, who was suppose to watch my kids, was still on vacation and wouldn't be home until Friday afternoon. I had been achy all day and the waves meant something was happening!

My Hypnobabies training helped so much, I felt tightening, hardness, but no discomfort. I knew this was the start of my birthing time and had my bags ready. For hours I was on my birthing ball- rocking, swaying, bouncing, laying. It was the best $13 I've ever spent!!

My waves were 5-6 minutes apart, getting really intense, but with my peace cue were totally manageable. I could feel changes, the baby was getting lower and pressing back, causing a bit of discomfort in my lower back. I listened to Easy First Stage and Deepening until 4am.

Then everything stopped. Totally and completely stopped. I went to bed totally frustrated, but slept.

Friday morning my husband stayed home from work, thinking I'd start back up and we'd have our baby. Nope. I walked, rocked, did laundry and housework. Not a pressure wave all day. My mom called to tell me she was home and ready when I needed her. I relaxed a bit after that, knowing my little ones would be taken care of by grandma.

About 8pm I convinced my husband what got us into this would get us out and I had a few pressure waves, but not enough get labor going. About 11 I went to bed.

I woke up about 4am to intense waves, 3 to 4 minutes apart. These were low and really hard. I was using the release/relax cue which helped, but I was surprised how hard and fast these were coming. I called my mom about 6am and jumped into a hot shower which felt so good I swear I didn't have any waves at all, and that made me think that maybe I was wrong and labor would stop again.

After I got out it hit me that I needed to get to the hospital- NOW!! Thankfully my mom was there and hubby and I were off. We got to the hospital about 7am, where he went to admitting (even though we'd done all the paperwork and had already delivered three babies there) I went to L&D.

I knew I was close to delivering, but no one seemed to take me seriously. I was told to "give a sample and then we'll see where you are." I told the nurse for the second time I was close to having my baby. She just looked at me. I went into the bathroom, stunned, knowing there was no way I was peeing in a cup, then went back to the desk and said again that I needed a room, I was close.

Instead I was taken to triage. I was told to get undressed and lay down, and was hooked up to a monitor. I started getting a bit mad when 2 interns came in asking stupid questions. I told them again- not very nicely- that I have had 4 babies, I know when I'm close, and I needed a room so I could get back into my hypno-groove. The first one asked me when I had my first menstrual period. It was like the Twilight Zone, no one was listening. I was having hard waves that I probably could have controlled better if I was listening to the CD's, but by that time I was just doing my best not to rip off the intern's head.

Then she asked how far apart my waves were. I remember yelling that I didn't have a clock, they were on top of each other and I could feel his head getting lower. The intern did a internal check and her eyes popped. She said I was 9-10 cm, the baby's head was really low and I was ready to deliver. Gee, I told them that 20 minutes ago.

After being wheeled into a room, I got my angel, dressed as a nurse. She was pro-natural birth, having done it 3 times herself, and knew that I needed the squat bar, she rubbed my back, she told me I could do it, my body was made for birth. All that time I was swearing like a sailor, yelling 'peace' , and trying to breathe. My waves were more like one long wave with many peaks, and after 3 peaks everything changed.

My body was pushing, and while the intern was yelling 'don't push- your doctor's not here!'  my angel-nurse calmly told me to do what my body wanted. There was no stopping, and honestly it felt good to push. After 2 or 3 hard waves/pushes my water broke. The nervous little intern was freaking out, calling the resident OB and making all kinds of noise.

In walks my doctor ordering everyone out, dimming lights, and telling me to relax and just do it. By now my legs were done so I sat back and for the first time I was in a position to see my son's head come out, he was crowning and I pushed between waves- worked like a charm! This was the first time I didn't need an episiotomy, didn't tear.

His body slid out and he was placed on my chest with a warm blanket over us. Everyone stepped back and let my husband and I get to know our little man, who let out a few cries, looked up at me, then stuck his hand in his mouth and sucked on his fingers. There was no rush, everything was calm.

After about 10 minutes, my husband cut his cord, and he took him to be weighed, I delivered the placenta and was cleaned up. Braxton was 6lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long, and born at 8:08 am, about an hour after getting to the hospital.

Every nurse that came into my room knew I was the one who "came in complete and went natural." I was told that 1 or 2 women a month actually have a non-medicated birth, and the nurses all brag about the ones that accomplish it. My hubby did a bit of bragging himself!

I felt that I could have had more control if I had gotten to the hospital sooner, but all that matters is that I did it. No interventions, no IV, no meds. And I felt great. My recovery has been a breeze!
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Teagun Rex was born Monday, June 14 at 9:15pm. He weighed 7lbs, 2oz and was 21.5 inches at birth. He looked like a skinny tiny old man :-D. He has huge hands and feet, a small head, and gets his ears from his daddy and his blue eyes from his mommy's side.

I think I recall somebody asking the experiences of second (or subsequent) moms who didn't use HB for their first babies, so, if you're interested, here's DD's *very* different birth story. BOP needed.  http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=17849803&blogId=393080457

Our birthing day started around 8:00 in the morning on June 14 (one day and 1.5 hours earlier than I had been visualizing). I started feeling mild PW that seemed almost indistinguishable from the Braxton Hicks I had been having for months, except that that they seemed to be coming about every 10 minutes.

We already had a non stress test scheduled, because we were 41 weeks, so we headed to our appt at 11. The PW had gotten less consistent, but never stopped. The test and following ultrasound showed that Teagun's heartrate was dropping with the waves, and his fluid levels were low. This concerned the doctor, and while she was very supportive of our desire to have a natural, intervention free labor, she felt this necessitated a Pitocin induction, and she sent us to the hospital. Before we left she did a cervical check (only my 2nd with this pregnancy; the first was kind of a surprise), said I was 3 cm dilated. I agreed to having my membranes stripped, and she said that got me easily to a 4.

We meandered over to the hospital, after getting some lunch and snacks. I was sure to drink a lot of fluids in an effort to help out his fluid level.

While I know that the health of our baby is paramount to my emotional well being, it still didn't mean I was happy about the idea of a medical induction. We brought our breast pump on the off chance they'd let us try natural means first. On the ride to the hospital, I listened to one of my Birthing Day Affirmations, and that really made me feel better about the impending induction, even though it was not what I had wanted.

We got to the hospital around 2ish, got admitted and hooked up to the monitors. Julie, our first midwife, came in and went over our birth plan with us. She was very supportive of our preferences, and even said we could try natural methods of augmenting the PW, since Teagun's heartrate was looking good! I was so excited. It was as much her general attitude as not having to jump right into Pitocin. Even though I had come to accept the idea of Pit, I was very happy to have a second shot at something resembling the birth I had visualized.

I got hooked up to the IV and my GSB antibiotics around 4:30. The IV was terribly uncomfortable and continued to bother me until they removed it the next morning. While they ran the antibiotics, I tried the breast pump to augment the PW, which, I think, were about 6-7 minutes apart at that point, and still relatively mild.

After the antibiotics were done, around 6ish, we decided to walk the floor a bit. My mom, DH's mom (Sue) and (2 year old DD) Kismet had joined us at this time. We hadn't been walking for more than 10 minutes when the PW really started to pick up, in frequency and intensity. They were coming about every 3-4 minutes, and required a little concentration at this point. We walked for a bit, stopping for the waves and when we found a play area for Kizzy.

We made it back to the room about 7, to find we had wandered too far, and security was looking for us! =-O We apologized profusely.

Around this time the waves started getting really intense, and I thought I should try listening to my scripts, because if I couldn't get the PW under control, I was worried pain meds were in my future, as they were starting to feel like when I had Kizzy, and I was certain we had several hours of that ahead of us.

I tried listening to Easy First Stage, but was having a hard time concentrating because Kizzy kept telling me to wake up, so Sue took her for a walk. As long as things stayed quiet, the CD helped a lot. Especially between waves, I was able to relax and rest.

I planned on spending the next few hours laying down, listening to my scripts, so I told Tony it was time for Kizzy to go home. He called his mom to bring her up to say good-bye, and my mom called her friend to come pick her up.

Sue brought Kismet up, and her and my mom went down to get Kizzy's carseat, around 8:55. Shortly after that, I had a wave where I felt a little like I wanted to push. I called Maureen, our second midwife, and she checked, said I was 8 cm, and I could give little, grunty pushes with the PW if that felt good.  She reminded me I could stay on my side if I wanted, or do whatever felt comfortable.

I don't remember if it was the next wave, or the one after that, but it was certainly within 10 minutes of the first "pushy" feeling, but whichever it was, the wave took over, and Teagun was born, in about one long pressure wave. My mom and Sue didn't get back until his head was half way out. Tony ended up holding my leg with one hand and Kizzy with the other.

Teagun was born in the caul, which is to say that my water never broke, and he was still in the bag of waters when his head came out. It's apparently quite rare, and is supposed to be a good omen. :-) Maureen broke my water as his head made its way out (from my hazy recollection, there really wasn't any crowning; there was no baby, then his head was half out).  His cord was wrapped around his neck twice, which the midwife quickly took care of.

He was placed on my chest immediately, and, as per our request, they waited to clamp the cord until it stopped pulsating.

We made it home late Wednesday, and are enjoying learning to juggle 2 kiddos and getting to know Teagun: so far, I can tell you he has a squeaky little cry, crazy strong neck muscles, and an obsession with trying to eat his fists. <3 <3 <3  My recovery has been ridiculously swift; I only had mild burning with peeing for about 1.5 days, and then I felt pretty much completely back to normal (as opposed to still being in pain 8 weeks after DD's birth).

I could hardly be happier with my experience.

  • On one hand, it wasn't p**nless (the pressure waves were definitely causing some p**n near the end),

  • but I didn't think to really utilize my tools until it was almost too late.

  • I think, thanks to the reprogramming of Hypnobabies, I didn't realize how advanced I was pretty much until he was born.

  • I thought we had hours left.

  • If I had taken more time to get into hypnosis during my birthing time, I feel like I would have been more comfortable.

That being said, this was a walk in the park compared to my DD's birth;

  • it was *significantly* less p**nful, for one.

  • My Hypnobabies training helped me stay relaxed and calm through my PW, even when (during transition, apparently; at the time I thought I was maybe halfway done) I started to doubt myself briefly.

  • I felt so much more in control of the situation and my body.

  • Ironically, the HB tools I was never particularly fond of (the 4-in, 8-out breathing and Special Place (I never felt comfortable trying to visual a baby I hadn't met yet)) were the ones I ended up using the most.

  • DH had no idea I was experiencing any discomfort throughout our entire birthing time.

  • The staff was apparently impressed as well;

  • the midwife told me I restored her faith in childbirth.

  • I'm ready to do it again!  :-D

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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Hannah's birth story began eighteen months ago with the birth of my son Silas. Because I am cross posting this story, I will be using Hypnobabies terminology. I'll put definitions in parentheses for explanation. For those in the Hypnobabies group, please use your Bubble of Peace while reading the story of my son's birth. (Bubble of Peace: an imaginary bubble around yourself that allows only positive messages about childbirth into your mind. If reading something will create negative feelings in you, you use your BOP to read the story without it causing you to have negative thoughts about your own upcoming birthing.)

Although I had prepared for his birth using the Hypnobabies program, I had done a poor job of managing my diet, getting exercise during the pregnancy, and doing what I could to get him into a good position for birth. My birthing time with him was very long and exhausting, with eight hours of transformation-like pressure waves and the desire to push. I lost control of my emotions and went pretty crazy. I got an epidural, and was pushing him out 15 minutes later. He was quite large and was posterior, so pushing him out while completely numb from the waste down was no easy task. He had meconium and substantial deccelerations in his heart rate, my doctor cut an episiotomy, and pulled him out. He was whisked away to be assessed by the peds team. It was long time before I heard him cry. Meanwhile, I started bleeding pretty profusely and my blood pressure dropped quite low. I was placed flat on my bag and fluids were squeezed in (quite literally, I saw the nurse standing over me squeezing the bag of pitocin to make my uterus clamp down and stop bleeding). I couldn't hold my son when he was pronounced healthy and brought back out because I was too weak and we were all afraid I'd drop him. I looked and felt terrible for days.

When I learned I was pregnant again, I knew there were things I needed to do in order to make this pregnancy and birthing better and more comfortable. I exercised as much as was healthy and I could squeeze in. Although I didn't do a perfect job with a healthy diet, I did a much better job of eating healthy foods and didn't splurge nearly as much as I had before. I sat in forward leaning or straight up positions to help encourage Hannah to be head down and to put her back towards my front (known as occiput anterior, the best position for birth). I slept almost exclusively on my left side and used a pregnancy pillow to help me stay on my left side. I did my Hypnobabies practice in the day time rather than evening, because I wanted to make sure I stayed awake through the tracks and actually thought about what I was doing on a conscious level (even though sleeping through the tracks is okay, I felt better about my hypnosis practice if I stayed awake).

As my pregnancy progressed, I felt like Hannah was getting quite large. I never felt like Silas was big when I was pregnant with him, but I felt like I was carrying a big baby this time around. I palpated my belly daily and she consumed so much space with little room leftover. I felt great, but I also felt like I was about to "pop" any minute. I felt like my intuition was telling me she would come early, so I prepared myself mentally and physically for this. My house was clean at all times, the bags were packed, the car seat in the car, the diapers washed and folded, the bassinet set up next to the bed...

Everything was ready and all I needed was a baby. The days turned into weeks and people began commenting, "You're still pregnant?" "You mean you haven't had that baby yet?" "When was your due date again?" "Are you SURE it isn't twins?" "Are you having any contractions yet?" "Are you dilating at all?"
I tried to just smile and brush off the questions and comments, but after preparing myself for an early baby, a fast easy labor, and a smaller baby (my son was nine pounds and 22.75 inches at birth), my confidence started waning. I was tired. I wasn't tired of being pregnant, per se, but just tired. I never felt or said anything resentful towards my child or my body, but I slowly became anxious. What if something were wrong with my baby and that's why she hadn't been born yet? Her movements had slowed down, and I found myself anxiously watching the clock in order to do kick counts.

My doctor never voiced concern over the size of Hannah until my guess date (aka "due date") passed. I already had two guess dates: the guess date according to Naegel's Rule for dating pregnancy, which is what they use in obstetrics, and the day that I knew to be my real guess date based upon the Fertility Awareness Method. The guess date on my chart at the doctor's office was a week before my FAM determined guess date, so actually, my doctor didn't even bring up Hannah's size until I was a week past what they believed to be my guess date. She said she was concerned that since Silas was a nine pound baby and he was born with some difficulty that continuing until the time I thought would be 42 weeks (which would be 43 weeks by their numbers) could potentially result in a C-section. She said it was ultimately my decision, but she was very concerned. My doctor is a very caring person and I do believe she was legitimately concerned about our safety. We discussed scheduling an induction for later that week, but I changed my mind and was able to buy myself a little more time, thinking it wouldn't even be an issue.

Another week passed and she voiced her concerns again. By this time, I had already been having anxiety. I knew that having an induction could potentially lead to a cascade of interventions that ended in C-section. The thought of a Cesarean made my anxiety intensify. I too, was concerned about Hannah's size, though, and had been for a while. I discussed my fears with my doctor. She agreed that they were well founded fears, and assured me that she doesn't encourage anyone to have an induction unless she is seriously concerned about safety because she knows that un-necessary induction increases risks to moms and babies. I asked her if it would be possible to do a "slow induction." I told her I preferred to have my water break on it's own, and to have the pitocin drip titrated slowly over a longer period of time. She thought it sounded like a good idea and was willing to write her orders that way. I left the office feeling good because we had discussed my options and I was empowered to make choices for myself and influence my own care. Most of all, I felt at peace with the decision.

I checked into the hospital on Monday, July 5 at 6:00 PM. We had gone out to dinner at Applebee's with my parents and left Silas with them. I was nervous all through dinner and had a hard time being social. I had spent the day picking up loose ends around the house, playing with Silas, a lot of time praying, and doing Fear Release sessions. As the time drew near, though, I became a bit withdrawn. I had determined ahead of time that even though I was going in for an induction, that this was going to be a beautiful birth. I knew that if Hannah was as large as we all thought she was, I was going to have to be positive and stay focused in order to avoid an epidural and be stuck on my back paralyzed in the bed. I knew she'd need me to be mobile in order to get her out. So I thought about brave mothers in the Bible who made huge sacrifices for their children. I thought about Jochebed, and how she put baby Moses in a basket in the Nile to protect him from being murdered by the Egyptians. I thought about Hannah dedicating Samuel to the work of the Lord at such a young age. Of course, I thought about Mary, riding on a donkey as she labored and then giving birth in a stable, of all places. I thanked God for these women and knew I could do what needed to be done to give birth to my own child just as He had designed me to, even though the process was being started artificially.

We looked like a couple of tourists checking into the hospital. I had my suitcase, my pregnancy body pillow. Dan had his laptop bag, a backpack, his pillow, and my camera. The hospital was quiet and I asked the clerk checking us in if they had any patients. She assured me that they did. The nurse that took us to our room and got us settled was the same nurse who was present for Silas's birth. We chatted for a while, mostly about her sister, whom I used to work with. Then she was off at 7 and my angel nurse, Karen, came on.

Karen reviewed my birth preferences and seemed excited that I had chosen to have a natural (pain-medicine free) birth. She told me she had C-sections with both of her children, but thought natural childbirth was wonderful. Because I was being induced with Pitocin, it was necessary for me to be continuously monitored. Knowing the risk of hyperstimulation of the uterus and fetal distress if the Pitocin is turned up too high, I agreed that continuous monitoring was a good idea. I told Karen I wished to be out of bed as much as possible, and she assured me that the cords are very long and I could walk around the room as far as the cords went. She even offered to re-arrange the furniture in the room if necessary in order for me to sit in a glider next to the monitor. I told her that wouldn't be necessary quite yet, but I'd like to try the ball. She brought a ball for me (which was a nicer ball than the one I have at home!) and then positioned the bed with lots of pillows so I could lean forward onto the pillows as I sat on the ball. It was quite comfy. Then she went about the business of making sure the belts and everything were positioned correctly. She always told me to get comfy first, then she'd position the monitor. She assured me she would re-position the monitor as many times as necessary in order for me to be comfortable.

The Pitocin drip was started at 7:30. I hung out on the ball and listened to Birthing Day Affirmations on my ipod while Dan played a game on his laptop. We would occasionally look at the monitor and the strength of my pressure waves (contractions). They weren't too strong but they had developed a nice pattern. I was very comfortable and relaxed. Karen came in around 9 PM with the resident. He checked me and I was at 4 centimeters, can't remember the effacement, and a -3 station. Karen helped unhook my wires so I could walk to the bathroom. Dan helped me change back into my nursing tank and skirt because the hospital gown was uncomfortable. Then Karen put the bed into an upright chair position and helped me get comfortable with lots of pillows behind my back and under my knees. I put the ipod back on and relaxed while listening to the Painfree Childbirth track and Karen turned the Pitocin up. Dan called my doula Dee Dee to let her know what was going on while I was in hypnosis.

When I finished the Painfree Childbirth track, I was ready to use the bathroom again and get back on the ball. We decided to watch a little TV and settled on "Last Comic Standing." Coincidentally, the comedian was talking about big babies. He was pretty funny and he had me laughing out loud. My doctor came in with the resident shortly after that. I think it was about 9:50. She wasn't on call, but she likes to see her patients through. She's only missed one birth in her entire career (she's family practice, not OB, so she doesn't deliver as many as an OB does). She checked me and I was at five centimeters, but still at the -3 station. We chatted and laughed about the show on TV and then she went to hang out at the nurses station. I got back on the ball and put the deepening track on. Karen turned my Pitocin up again.

I went into deep hypnosis with the deepening track. Deepening was my favorite track while preparing for this birth. I could really feel my pressure waves picking up in intensity as I relaxed through each one. Karen came in and adjusted the monitor because she was having trouble picking up the heart rate. I decided to re-start the deepening track since I paused it while she adjusted the monitor. I continued relaxing as the pressure waves grew stronger and more frequent. Dan took a few photos, and it looked like I was asleep on the ball, but I was very aware of everything going on. As the track continued, I could tell I was going to need my doula soon. I was a little torn. I wanted Dan and my doula to support me through the intensifying waves, but I also wanted to finish the deepening track because I was enjoying it so much. I opted to finish the track, and the moment Kerri (the woman who guides you through hypnosis) counted me back up, I put my light switch (mental light switch: off=deep hypnosis and anesthesia, center= alert, but anesthesia to midsection of body, on= no anesthesia, no hypnosis) in center and asked Dan to call Dee Dee. He wanted to finish his game, but I told him things were getting serious and I needed Dee Dee to come soon. He called Dee Dee and then he called Karen to come in and turn the Pitocin down since I wasn't getting but about a 30 second break between pressure waves. I stood up next to the bed and leaned over the bed, relaxing as much as could while standing. Dan rubbed my lower back as I swayed back and forth through the waves.
Karen came in to turn the drip down and I decided I was ready to lie in the bed on my left side. She helped me get into the bed, and she and Dan helped position me on my left side with my pregnancy pillow and the pillows on the bed. I was feeling pretty comfortable, but I was no longer interested in laughing or much conversation anymore.

It was around that time that Dee Dee arrived. She sat in front of me and we talked a little. I would stop mid-sentence to turn my switch off through the waves. She told me I didn't even look like I was about to have a baby. She said I just looked "blissed out" during each pressure wave. The waves were very intense. I would picture myself at the top of a roller coaster and then I would ride each wave like you would the drops and twists and turns of a fast wooden roller coaster. I felt a little rush of adrenaline at the beginning of each wave, and would say inside my mind, "Here we go!" just like you would if you were on a roller coaster. It wasn't scary, or particularly painful, just intense pressure and tightening in my abdomen and back. I reminded myself to keep my face and my hands relaxed at all times.

Dee Dee's apprentice Molly came in and I welcomed her right before another wave came on. Shortly afterward, Karen and the doctors came in. They wanted to check me again and put an internal monitor in since the pressure waves were pretty intense. My doctor didn't want to continue going up on the pitocin because she was afraid she would over-stimulate my uterus, but they were having trouble monitoring the baby's heart rate since she was descending pretty quickly. Knowing that they would have to break my water to do this, I went ahead and okay-ed it even though initially I wanted my water to break on it's own. I asked if I could stay on my side since I was so comfortable and my doctor said that would be fine. When they checked me, I was at 6 cm, completely effaced, and she was at a 0 station.

I'm not sure how long it took them to break my water and put the monitor in, but it took a lot of focus to relax through the waves as they did what they needed to do. Dee Dee rubbed my belly, Dan rubbed my feet, and Molly rubbed my back. It all felt wonderful, but I started shaking and getting nauseous. My doctors stood at the bedside after the monitor was in. In hindsight, I think they knew things were picking up and they didn't want to get too far away. I told them I wasn't opposed to some Zofran, only pain meds. They kind of laughed as I told them I wanted 4mg of Zofran, or 8, whichever they felt like ordering. Karen got the Zofran for me and my doctor helped pile warm blankets on my back and my legs to help with the shaking. Shortly after I got the Zofran, my pressure waves intensified some more. I began doing a low moaning with each wave and it helped me keep control of myself. At one point I felt myself starting to lose control, and I said, "Stop it!" pretty loudly. Everyone thought I was talking to them, so all the wonderful massage stopped. At the end of the wave, I apologized and assured everyone I wanted them to continue what they were doing and I was telling myself to stop freaking out. The massage soon resumed, much to my delight and I regained composure.

I felt like time was moving very slowly at that point, and I started to get what my mom calls a case of the "jim-jams." I felt like I just had to get out of the bed and asked for help going to the bathroom. Karen and Dee Dee both agreed enthusiastically that going to the bathroom was a great idea, so Karen unhooked me and they helped me walk to the bathroom. I had to pause a couple of times between the bed and the bathroom because I continued having pressure waves. As soon as I sat on the toilet, I was stricken with panic, as my waves intensified to an all-new level. I felt my belly get so hard and I began pushing involuntarily. I just couldn't stop. I began having flashbacks to Silas's birth, where I had felt the urge to push for nearly eight hours. I was almost in tears and said, "This is just like Silas" but Dee Dee stopped me mid sentence. The waves were right on top of each other and I can only describe the feeling as sheer panic. I was moaning very loudly and cried, "Please help me!" Karen and Dee Dee kept reassuring me and helped me back towards the bed. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw that my doctor and the resident had already gowned and gloved and had the table pulled up to the bed. I was in complete denial that I was about to give birth and I remember thinking that they were just wasting all the sterile supplies and they'd have to open up a new sterile table when it was really time to push the baby out. I kind of perched myself on the edge of the bed because another wave hit me right as I got to the bed. I was holding onto the rail and pushing (not realizing that's what I was doing). I thought I was just yelling like a cave woman because I had officially lost control of my emotions. Dee Dee, Karen, and my doctor kept telling me over and over again, "The baby is coming, Summer. You're pushing the baby out right now." but I didn't believe them. My doctor crouched down on the floor next me. She was seriously prepared to catch the baby as I stood at the side of the bed. Suddenly there was a gush of fluid as I yelled through another wave and then I felt a stinging sensation. I was able to gasp, "Stinging, stinging!" Someone said, "Summer, the baby is coming OUT!" and I suddenly became a believer and decided the bed was where I wanted to be after all. I couldn't lift my legs up, though, and all I could say was, "Legs! Legs!" and everyone kind of picked me up and put me into the bed. I don't really remember much once I got into the bed. I don't think I even put much effort into pushing, I think my body was just kind of doing it on its own. Dee Dee said I only pushed through three total contractions, but I don't know if that included me pushing at the side of the bed. I think it does because everything happened very, very quickly. I heard the resident call out that they needed peds team to come in stat, but I just felt like everything was okay so I didn't panic. I felt her come out and Dan announced, "It's a Hannah!" (We didn't know if we were having a boy or girl). They took her to the little resusitation room, but she was crying before they even got her there. Apparently she was meconium stained and her heart rate dropped drastically when I was pushing. Dee Dee told me it's actually pretty common for the heart rate to drop like that when a baby goes through such a rapid descent.

I remember thinking it was amazing how one moment I was having the most intense experience of my life, and the next moment I felt perfect. I laughed when I heard her crying, and Dan went into the rescusatation room to be with Hannah. He brought her out to me pretty quickly and I got to hold her right away. She didn't really cry that much. She cried when she was first born, but then she quieted right down and was just very mellow. I had some bleeding issues again, but didn't lose as much blood as last time and my blood pressure didn't bottom out. The nurse had to "massage" my uterus, which is definitely not massage at all. I didn't want to turn my switch off for it because I wanted to be able to look at my beautiful baby, so I just had to deal with it. I told my doctor it was worse than the actual birthing time (labor).

Dee Dee said that it was only about twenty minutes from the time they checked me until Hannah was born. That means I went from six centimeters to ten and a 0 station to baby completely out in twenty minutes, which Dee Dee said was "crazy fast." Everyone kept telling me how awesome of a job I had done and not to worry about my cave woman moments in the last five or so minutes because anyone that went through transformation and pushing that quickly would be a cave woman too. My doctor said she has patients that scream like that at just 2 centimeters.

I can't believe it's been almost a week since she was born. I was on this incredible adrenaline high for two days, and people that saw me said I didn't even look like I'd just had a baby. I feel so much better this time, and I feel like I'm healing faster. I truly believe the difference is that I didn't use pain medicine and my body's natural pain killers, endorphins, were not suppressed so I have less post partum pain. I'm not any less "injured" this time around, I'm just feeling much, much better.

Hannah has already grown and she's filling out her wrinkles. She's even getting a double chin! As far as her being a big baby goes... She was 8 pounds and 4 ounces... not that big after all. She did have us all fooled, though, because even Dan earlier on in the pregnancy said he thought this baby was going to turn out to be a ten pounder because I got so big.

I guess my conclusion to Hannah's birth story is pretty simple. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made" by God. He created the entire birth process. It's not something to be feared or dreaded. I know the apostle Paul didn't have birth in mind when he wrote the book of Phillipians, but the passage in chapter four and verse eight "... whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." definitely applied for me in Hannah's birth, and I know it can for others too. I'm so thankful to God for blessing me with a husband that supported me through me decision making and the entire pregnancy and birth process. I'm thankful for my wonderful doula Dee Dee who helped bolster my confidence and helped keep my focus. I'm thankful for a doctor that was willing to listen to me and supported my decisions while respectfully giving her input. I'm thankful for a program that helped me focus on the positive and helped remind me that pregnancy and birth are "natural, normal, healthy, and safe." Most of all, though, I'm thankful for a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
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It is an absolute joy to share the birth story of my daughter Eliana who came into this world on Friday June 18th. This is a LONG birth story. I am SO happy that I did the supplemental Hypnobabies home study course after completing hypnobirthing. I strongly    believe that the preparation ahead of time helped us birth as naturally as possible.

My husband and I had been planning a home birth here in England. We are Americans and I have trained as a doula. When we arrived in the fall and found out that we were pregnant I knew that I wanted to have a beautiful birth as naturally as possible. I was an avid fan of Ina May Gaskin and had heard that hypnosis for childbirth was extremely helpful in accomplishing a natural birth pain free. So we signed up for HypnoBirthing at 20 weeks pregnant.

After completing the HypnoBirthing course and progressing in the pregnancy I found I wanted more to prepare and that the take home work for after the course was completed was not enough to settle my need for preparing for the birth. I heard about Hypnobabies and signed up. I really enjoyed the cds and visualizations and felt that they helped me bond with our baby more.

In any case, my EDD was June 7th. Although we prepared for the home birth there was something that was not sitting right for me with it. There is an excellent public home birth team where we live in England and we had hired a well experienced doula but as the date approached I felt myself having a difficult time visualizing the birth at home. So we decided that when it was the birthing time and I wanted to go to the birth center we'd go there instead of staying at home. On June 15th I started to become nervous about having the baby before an induction date a week later. So the day before I went into labour, I went on a huge walk, had a very relaxing acupuncture session, and we had some friends over for dinner. The next day I rested and that night on June 16th at 11:35 pm my waters broke while we were in bed reading. My husband and I were really excited! We called the homebirth midwives and our doula. I had no pressure waves at that point. At 1 am the midwife came over and said that as long as I gave birth within 32 hours after the waters breaking, I'd be able to have the baby at home. She suggested I go back to bed and call again when the pressure waves became more regular and intense.  By the time she left I started to feel minor pressure waves and went back to bed.

Of course my husband and I didn't sleep much at all! We watched Curb Your Enthusiasm for a few hours and then tried to sleep a bit. I think maybe I slept 2 hours. By the morning I was feeling the pressure waves more often and they felt like they were picking up a bit in intensity. Our doula came over (she herself is actually a private midwife but offered to be our doula at no cost--such an angel!) and so did one of the city's midwives. Since my waters broke I was not checked b/c of risk of infection. The midwife took my BP and it was a bit high. She had me rest for a while took it again and thankfully it was fine. She said it didn't seem like the pressure waves were intense enough yet ( I wasn't sure if this was b/c of hypnobabies or if it really was because they weren't that intense)and that I should contact her team again in a few hours. I tried to rest for a while at that point and our doula said she'd be back later. My husband and i tried to nap and when I got out of bed the PWs went away entirely. It was now late afternoon on Wednesday and was over 18 hours since the waters broke. I called the midwifery team again and my husband and i went on a long walk in a beautiful meadow near our house. (The meadow is actually my special place!)

In any case, I called the team and they said that since my waters had been broken for so long and that the labour was not "advancing" enough I would not be able to birth at home anymore. They told me about the risk of strep b--the first midwife who'd come to our house had swabbed me but the results weren't back yet and in general in England they don't automatically test you while pregnant--and that I would need antibiotic. I called the birth center and they told me that I would not be able to go there either b/c of the waters having been broken for so long as well and that once I reached "active labour" ie, 4 cm dilated I'd be transferred to the hospital to start the antibiotic. I was very sad and felt like all the preparation I had done was going down the hill. But I knew that the most important thing to me was to have a healthy baby and so during the walk I felt like I mourned the loss of having a natural birth. I called the hospital and they told me that since the labour was not advancing so fast I'd need augmentation, ie, pitocin, as well and that I could come in the morning.

I called the acupuncturist who I had just seen and she came to our house to help me relax for the night. During the night (It's wednesday night now into early Thursday morning) the PWs started to come back and I told my husband that I wanted to go to the hospital at that point. We went and did our best to advocate for ourselves. I asked if they had the results of my strep B test yet and they told me they don't come back for 48 hours! (Seems silly that they even test at all but that's another topic!) Anyhow, at this point it had been over 30 hours of labour. Luckily, the baby was doing really well and my BP and vitals were also good. I was on the EFM for an hour and they told me I could either get admitted now and begin the antibiotic or come back after getting more strength to be able to "handle" the pitocin. Although they weren't so happy, my husband and I decided after a long time to return at 12:30. BTW, while at the hopsital in the middle of the night my PWS went away entirely. (Throughout our time at the hospital we consulted with friends who are pediatricians and our doula who is also a midwife. Our doula told us as long as I didn't have a fever and the baby's heart beat was fine the risk of infection would stay very low. In fact other hospitals in England give the cut off time to 72 hours when your waters brake unless you have a fever etc!)

In any case, I finally was able to sleep when we got home for four hours and eat a meal although I did throw up right after and we returned at 1pm. We got a room at 2:30 and they started administering the antiobiotic. Throughout my birthing time , I was listening to fear release and the birth guides as well as birth affirmations and rainbow relaxtion. In any case, when they finally checked me at around 3:30ish, I was only a 1/2 cm dilated!! I CRIED! I was so disappointed and sad. The midwife was very nice and told me that I was almost fully effaced and that who knows what would happen once I got the pitocin. I felt exhausted and sad--I was afraid that once I got the pitocin it would lead to one intervention after another. They finished giving me the first round of antibiotic and my doula came.

When I got the pitocin things began to change. After only an hour of having the pitocin I was 2 cm dilated. I got on the birth ball and my doula massaged my lower back and my husband massaged my shoulders. I listened to my cds over and over again as well as Stevie Wonder and Beyonce! We shut the light off in the room and I imagined my special place. Throughout my pregnancy I had visualized elephants in my special place. I started to think about the elephants as well as special prayers I wanted to say during the birthing. As the PWS became more regular I vocalized more and enjoyed the breaks b/w pws.  Luckily the EFM I was on was a portable one: i could use the shower and move around in the room! Every 1/2 hour the midwife would come in and up the pitocin; about two or 3 hours into it she noticed our baby's heart beat dropping. We consulted with the OB who said that before going into a C-section, they'd drop the Pitocin down a level and see how the baby does. Thank God! she was fine. They'd switch off b/w the antibiotic and the pitocin. Meanwhile this whole time I was not being checked. The first midwife who we'd been with left her shift and told me while leaving that she believed I could do this! I also tried to hold onto what one of our friends had said which was just b/c you need pitocin does not mean you will have one intervention after another.

Sure enough after only 7 hours of the pitocin--they had not kept checking me--I felt like I was in transformation! I wanted to begin birthing the baby but thought to myself that this must be premature. The intensity of the PWS was getting more uncomfortable. I told my doula that I was scared and that I wanted to push! SHe got the midwife and ob and they checked me and she said I could push!!! I couldn't believe it. It was now 51 hours since my waters had broken and I was going to be able to push out my baby! I felt so HAPPY! I got on all fours on the bed and birthed her for 45 minutes. It was amazing! And out came this beautiful baby girl! My husband and I were elated!

I just feel so grateful for this experience and for the way everything turned out. For me the pitocin ended up being a godsend and that the combination of my preparation beforehand and having a supportive husband and doula all led for me to be able to have as natural a birth as possible. What is so so funny to me too is that in the end my active labour was only 8 hours! I had visualized an 8 hour active labour! (not a 44 hour early labour but still!) Eliana is a beautiful baby very calm and chill and alert. I did end up tearing but after over two weeks of having had her I feel like my body is recovering well. I am so grateful!
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Hello fellow Hypno-mamas!  Since my son will be three months old tomorrow, I thought it was about time to share his birth story with all of you.  The story I wrote up after his birth is five pages single-spaced, so I've trimmed out lots of details to make this version readable.  This is still a long one, so I divided it with headings.  I hope some of you will take the time to read this.  Enjoy!

I awoke at 4 AM on March 4 with my very first real pressure wave.  I was 10 days passed my EDD, and had been having practice waves for weeks.  All I can say is that I knew for sure this was it.  I woke my husband to tell him we might meet our son that day.  We slept a bit longer, then got up to eat and prepare our house for guests and our new baby.

Later than afternoon, waves got more intense.  I spent a lot of time on my birth ball.  My parents and sister came over that evening.  I watched the Phillies game between waves – we are huge fans.  It was kind of fun… like a mini family party!  Everyone ate dinner, and although I tried to eat too, I wasn't really hungry or keeping anything down anyway.  After dinner, I tried to get some rest, but I realized quickly that lying in bed was not an option.  I was completely uncomfortable in the supine position, so back to the birth ball I went.  My mom and hubby alternated staying up with me that night.  I handled the waves really well, alternating positions from birth ball, to hands and knees on my bed, to rocking in the rocking chair.

BEGIN BOP – At about 24 hours into my birthing time, I was extremely tired.  My waves were coming more frequently and lasting longer.  I did have some p**n, but I was able to handle it and relax.  Having no sleep was the tough part.  This was the one and only time I mentioned needing some relief.  My husband and mom were so awesome.  They said if we stayed home a bit longer, I might progress more, without thinking "I'm only 4 centimeters, so I am going to need some p**n medicine."  They were totally right!  Not knowing the number associated with my progress was really tough, but it was also the reason I was able to handle the long nighttime hours.  My husband called our doula, and she came to our home at about 5 AM.  END BOP

Our caravan of people – me, my husband, mom, dad, sister, and doula – arrived at the hospital at about 9:30 AM.  I was evaluated and told I was 6 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced.  I was proud of myself!  All those long hours had paid off!  I was assigned to a low-intervention room and a natural-birth-friendly nurse.  Unfortunately, my progress slowed with all the commotion at the hospital.  I showered, and tried to get things moving again, which eventually worked.  My midwife was awesome.  She had such a great manner about her.  She presented options as exactly that – options.  I was never once offered pain meds, and I really felt like my care providers followed my birth wishes.

My midwife offered to break the bag of waters, and although my doula suggested that I take a couple more waves standing and lunging with the waters cushioning baby, I was just ready.  (My doula and I later talked about this, and we both laughed, as it was the first time I didn't take one of her suggestions in all my pregnancy and birth!)  The midwife broke my water at about 3 PM.  BOP NEEDED – The water was slightly tinted with meconium, which really worried me, but again, my wonderful nurse and midwife explained that it was very light and the baby was probably fine.  They explained how things might be a little different if he didn't start crying right away, but they were very reassuring, and told me that his heart rate was great, and they were pretty confident all would be fine.  They simply wanted to have the pediatric team available if needed.  END BOP

When the waves started to come one after another with little time between, I got in the Jacuzzi tub.  I believe it helped, but this was the most intense part of my birthing time.  I spent about an hour in the tub, and once I got out, my doula asked if my body was telling me to do anything different.  I honestly didn't know what she meant, so she asked outright if I was ready to push.  After all my Hypnobabies practice and everything I read about birth, I thought I would know when I was ready to push, and I also thought I would know how to do it.  Neither was true for me!  I guess I'm a little quirky that way!

I gave a push or two, the midwife checked me and said I was doing well, so I kept going.  I pushed on thebirth chair, the stool, the toilet, the floor, the bed – I did it everywhere!  In the end, I was very surprised that the most comfortable pushing position for me was on my back.  Towards the end, I gave strong, hard pushes and that just felt so good, that I kept going.

Four-and-a-half hours after I started pushing, and 42 hours after my first wave, I delivered a totally healthy, crying, 9-pound, 10-ounce baby boy.  No pediatric team.  No drugs.  No interventions beyond breaking my waters.  I reached for him and pulled him to my chest myself.  It was magical.  Luke Christopher Kelly was born on March 5, 2010, at 10:26 PM.  He was bright-eyed and alert, which made us even more thrilled that we went through with a truly natural birth.

The hospital had a 3-hour pushing limit.  I don't know exactly how I managed to "get away with" 4+ hours, except that Luke's heart rate great, and that our second-shift midwife (who mentioned a vacuum if I went past three hours) was busy assisting in another birth when I reached the three hour mark.  The resident doctor who ended up assisting in my birth was very hands-off, and more liberal with the policy than the midwife.  Go figure!

The midwife who evaluated me in triage visited me on her rounds the next day in the hospital.  She looked at my chart for a while before she said, "You didn't have a c-section?"  I said no, that I had delivered vaginally with no drugs.  She was floored.  She said she could tell my baby was big and that she was sure I would end up with a c-section.  She said she NEVER would have told me that in triage, but that now that we were both healthy and the birth was over, she shared this with me.  I was pretty amazed.  While the hospital where I delivered has a large practice of midwives, there is a 40% c-section rate, and very, very few women labor without epidurals.  My postpartum nurse was shocked when I declined her offer for Tylenol.  She said I was the first patient she had in months who left the hospital completely unmedicated during my stay.

When I think back on the experience, I am proud of myself, but I also need to say, it wasn't bad.  People look at me like I am insane when I say that.  Labor is not this crazy, hard experience people expect it to be.  At least for me, it wasn't.  I credit Hypnobabies with helping me learn about natural birthing methods and the intense relaxation that helped me through a long birthing time.

My husband and I are thinking about baby number two at some point, and we are considering a home birth.  You can bet that I will be back on the message board reading and posting about home birth experience.

Thanks for reading, ladies!  I wish you all happy and safe births like mine.

Nancy (hypno-mom, delivered happy and healthy 9 pound, 10 ounce baby boy at 41 weeks, 5 days)

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I had pressure waves around noon about 4 min apart.  I put a batch of cookies in the oven (for the nurses!).  The PW started getting stronger and a little closer so we dropped my toddler off at his daycare lady's house at 1245.

We left the house for the hospital at 1pm, I listened to the birthing day track in the car on my iPOD.  I never finished the track because we arrived to the hospital at 1:20 and things moved very quickly from there.

My triage nurse was supportive of natural childbirth.  She gently checked me and I was already 7cm, 100% effaced - which i attribute to the Hypnobabies helping me relax and let my cervix open easily.

Still in triage, my PW got stronger and after about 4 of them my body automatically pushed at the end of one.  When that happened I realized that my labor was going to be very fast, so I told the nurse about the pushing.  She was surprised, so she checked me again, i was 9.

They'd called my dr but he wasn't going to make it.   The nurses poked their heads out of the room to get the on call dr.  At this time my hands felt tingly so I knew I was in transition/transformation.  The urges to push were overwhelming and I couldn't stop them.

According to my husband, the nurses asked each other if there was time to get me to a real room, since I was still in triage.  I was clutching the side of the gurney and moaning during the PW and saying I felt burning.  They were moving my bed down the hallway and I could feel the baby's head descend lower until it crowned as my bed was entering a room.  They had barely parked the gurney in my "labor and delivery" room when the head came out, and the rest of the body came out a few seconds later, at 1:54pm.

The on call dr barely made it and I commented to him that he didn't even get his gloves dirty.   My doula was out of town, and the backup doula didn't make it in time either.

Patrick James is 7lbs 6oz and 20 inches long, apgars of 9 and 9.  He took to the breast immediately.  I had no tearing.  My husband says it is thanks to his excellent Perineal Massage techniques :).

They were going to give me a shot of pitocin after the birth and i declined.  I was not expecting it because I did not have an IV or heplock and had to block the nurse from administering the shot.  My doula had arrived at that point and helped emphasize to them that I didn't need or want it.

I love what this mom says next, and it demonstrates that you don't have to have a completely comfortable birth experience.  That with Hypnobabies tools you can enjoy your birth even if you have some discomfort!

****BOP warning*****

I didn't feel like I had anesthesia during the PW, BUT I was able to relax and handle each one at a time without getting all anxious and shaky, which was my ultimate goal. I had an awful time with anxiety during my first birth and got an epidural before I experienced any significant pain.  I always thought the actually pushing of the baby out would be the painful part, but it was easy to do and felt like relief. I have no memory of pain during that part.

Additionally, I think Hypnobabies really did help me progress as quickly as I did, and I don't know if I could have held on and done the drug free thing had it not gone as quickly/intense as it happened.   I did have a few moments of doubt that I could "do it" and having the nurse say encouraging things to me while I was breathing through the contractions helped me out so much!

I'm really glad I chose Hypnobabies to prepare for my birth and would recommend it to anyone!
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I love how her birthing time slowed down on the hour long car ride to the hospital.

Writing a birth story is always bittersweet for me: I love to tell about my amazing, life-changing experiences, but it seems that by putting it in writing the beautiful, magical event is truly over. This was my 6th (and last) baby, and my first using hypnosis. The other births had been unmedicated, but each was longer than the last and the birthing time of my 5th baby had been somewhat traumatic. I started Hypnobabies at home around 32 weeks and was very faithful with listening to the tracks, as well as my fingerdrops. I really loved the affirmations!

I was due on June 12th. On the 9th I had a couple hours of somewhat regular contractions that reminded me exactly how labor feels. I went to the midwife on the 10th and had my one vaginal exam of the entire pregnancy. I was 1.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and very soft. Baby was ballotable, or not engaged at all. I was excited to lose my mucus plug on the 11th and 12th and felt like thing were starting to happen! Of course, another week went by without any noticeable change and I tried not to let myself think that I would never go into labor.

Saturday the 19th I took my kids to the library and while there kept getting sharp groin cramps that I was unable to stand through. I soon realized that these cramps were coming along with contractions! When I got home I tried to get the baby into a better position by leaning over the birth ball. It must have helped because while the mild contractions continued, the groin cramping stopped. I timed the contractions at about 10 minutes apart for about five hours. Even though they were mild, they were tiring and I started to get discouraged. I decided that I was in prodromal labor, and that these contractions were preparing my body and moving my baby into a good position. That night I had just enough contractions to keep me out on the couch, unable to sleep well. Around midnight I put on Easy First Stage, and that relaxed me enough to sleep for awhile. I didn't watch the clock, but I'd guess that the contractions were only coming every 20 or 30 minutes, but gaining in intensity.

Sunday the 20th I was happy to have the occasional contraction as an excuse not to go to church. I'd been overdue the previous Sunday and had had my limit of people wondering when I was going to pop. Throughout the morning and early afternoon my contractions were very infrequent.
Around 3 o'clock I noticed the contractions picking up in frequency, although the intensity remained fairly low. I timed them using Contractionmaster.com for an hour or so and found that they moved from 10 minutes apart to roughly 5 minutes apart. We decided to call our babysitter, my mom, who would have to drive an hour to reach our house. We would then have an hour drive to reach the hospital, so I didn't want to delay too long. By the time Mom arrived at 5:20 or so, the contractions were still around 5 minutes apart, occasionally 3 minutes, and a few took a lot of concentration to manage. I would switch to "off" on the birth ball for each one, thinking "Open." We rounded up our things, wedging the birth ball into the trunk because I knew I would want it, and we were off!

The hour drive to the hospital passed very quickly for me (remember the suggestion that 20 minutes would feel like 5? It really did!) My contractions actually slowed down to about 10 minutes apart, and I figured we had a long time to go before the birth. I kept my switch off and listened to Easy First Stage, occasionally going to center to talk to my husband. I had two very intense contractions where I needed him to squeeze my hand- hard. This helped to somehow lessen my perception of the intensity in my abdomen.

We arrived at the hospital around 6:30 pm. As soon as we got out of the car my contractions started to come every two minutes. I had one on the way up to the doors, and several while my husband was filling out paperwork in admitting. These were extremely intense, being felt all over my back and thighs. My husband did the "double hip squeeze" for me, which eased the intensity.

We got out of admitting and met my midwife, who had just arrived and was carrying her dinner. I had a very intense contraction and I bent over while my husband did the hip squeeze. I was thinking that the hip squeeze wasn't going to cut it much longer. We walked a bit further and I bent over for another contraction. When I pushed just a tiny bit to relieve the pressure my water broke with a pop and the baby descended rapidly. I said, "The baby is coming!" and held my hand capped over the birth canal, as if to hold him in. A nurse tried to get me to sit in a wheel chair, but I said, "I can't- I'll sit on his head!" Somehow my midwife and husband each took one of my arms and hauled me to my birthing room.

I saw a bed prepared with chux pads so I took off my pants and underwear and climbed on. Once there, I threw off my shirt and bra and hunkered down in a really low hands-and-knees position. Someone wanted to take my blood pressure, but there was no time. I pushed a little with the next contraction, I think, and felt him descend even more. I reached my middle finger into the birth canal and felt his head about 2 inches in. It was such a neat feeling! My midwife, redundantly, did an internal exam and pronounced me complete. On the next contraction I pushed very strongly and his head came out. I couldn't believe it! I gave another long push and he was born at 6:44! I was just in complete amazement at how fast it had all happened, how actually very easy it had been. So overjoyed at not once being strapped to the monitors! I kind of kept waiting to "wake up!"

I stayed in my position while they suctioned the baby and his cord was cut (which had already stopped pulsating.) Then I sat back and they handed my wonderfully peaceful little boy to me. My perineum was completely intact and my blood pressure remained perfect (hypotension has always been a huge post-birth issue for me.) Since I have a history of bleeding, and my uterus was a little boggy, I readily consented to two bags of IV fluid with Pitocin.

Joziah James was 7 pounds .5 ounce and 19.5 inches long. He has been the most peaceful little Hypnobaby, hardly crying at all. He just squeaks to make his needs known!
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After 18 months of trying to conceive our third child, including two losses and a diagnosis of ovarian cysts, we concluded that a third baby wasn't meant to be and stopped trying.  Less than a month after giving away all of our baby gear, we found out I was pregnant.

I delivered my oldest kids in the hospital, with an epidural both times.  Both of those deliveries were textbook, no complications, but I really wanted to try to have this baby without an epidural.  I ordered the Hypnobabies materials and hired a doula.  I listened to the HB tracks almost every night starting at around 26 weeks.  Once I got to the maintenance phase, I mostly listened while I slept. I never practiced the finger-drop technique.  My husband read the birth partner's guide, but didn't do anything else and we didn't plan for him to be an active birth partner—that's why we had a doula.  My doula was great.  She wasn't trained in HB, but had seen several HB births and was very supportive.

My water broke on May 8th (39w0d) at about 9:30pm.  Patrick and I scurried around a little frantically at first until we realized nothing was really happening, so we didn't need to be in a hurry.  We called my parents to get them en route from their home three hours away.  I also called the nurse and my doula, Hannah, but because I wasn't having any P Ws, I told the nurse I wasn't coming in right away and told Hannah to stay at home until I called her back.

We packed our bags and I laid down to listen to my Easy First Stage track.  I listened to the whole thing, but still no P Ws.  At about midnight, I got out of bed and watched TV while leaning over my exercise ball.  My parents arrived at 1am. We visited for a little while and then went to bed at 1:30.  At about 1:45, I had another big gush of water, and that's when things got interesting.

I put on my Easy First Stage track on repeat and kept it on until we got to the hospital room.  My P Ws started within about 10 minutes and were pretty erratic and hard to time, but each one was more intense than the last.  I called Hannah at 3am and asked her to come over.  At this point, the P Ws were getting more intense, but were so manageable that I tidied up the bathroom after we got off the phone because I expected to be spending a good bit of time in there over the next few hours.

In the 20 minutes it took Hannah to get to our house, the waves got much more intense, but were totally manageable.  During a wave, I'd kneel over our couch and say, "peace" over and over.  When the wave ended, I'd lay on the floor and rest.  I didn't conscientiously use my light switch.  Hannah said that as soon as she saw me, she knew I was deep in my birthing time.

At 4am, Hannah said it was time to wake up Patrick and get to the hospital.  He sprung into action and we were pulling out of the driveway at 4:22.  It was about a 20 minute drive to the hospital.

Patrick said later that he was trying to time my waves and was thinking to himself, "Shouldn't there be a gap between them?"  I said "peace" or "oh" through the waves.  Patrick loves to tell people that I didn't sound very peaceful when I was growling "peace, peace."  But it worked like a charm.  It gave me something to focus on.

At Hannah's suggestion, we parked in the parking lot and walked to the hospital instead of Patrick dropping me off at the entrance.  Patrick went ahead of us to tell them we were there.  It took Hannah and me 20 minutes to walk the short walk from the car because I kept stopping to lean on something and work through a wave.  But in between waves, I was totally relaxed and we'd make good progress toward the hospital.

Once in the hospital, I stopped to go to the bathroom.  I leaned over the grab bar when a wave came and I felt my body pushing.  It was the most incredible feeling.  I couldn't have stopped it if I'd wanted to.

We left the bathroom and headed toward the elevators.  We were intercepted by a couple of nurses.  One of them was holding the elevator door open and I grumbled, "Why isn't the car moving?" and she said the other nurse was coming with a wheelchair because it was a long walk and she didn't think I'd make it.  Wow!  Really?

The wheelchair arrived and I didn't think I'd be able to sit in it, but when the nurse was running down the hall with me, I was glad for the ride.

We rolled into the room and Patrick was gone because he was out looking for me, but he came back right away.

I laid across the bed, still oh-ing and peace-ing through the waves, when the nurse came over with the consent form and a pen.  I thought she must be crazy!  I started thinking of the speech I had planned for why I wasn't going to consent in advance to all of the possible procedures, then I thought to myself, "If I ignore her, she'll go away."  And she did!  I heard Patrick answering all her questions.  He could have consented to giving our baby to Rumpelstiltskin.  It wouldn't have mattered.

I thought I needed to go to the bathroom again, so Hannah and I went in together.  I couldn't sit on the toilet so I leaned forward, hands-on-knees.  And then I felt myself push again.  I shouted, "The baby's coming now! The baby's coming now!  I'm not kidding!  The baby's coming now!"  Patrick said the nurses looked at each other like, "We've heard that before."  As I was shouting, I felt myself push  twice and my baby's head came out while I was standing in the bathroom.  Hannah put her hand on his head and opened the bathroom door.  A very surprised nurse shouted, "Get Dr. Nash!  Run!" and put her arm around me and helped me to the bed.  I laid down on my side and the rest of the baby just slide right out.

I felt intense pressure as he was born, but no pain and no ring of fire.

Our son Wesley was born on Mother's Day at 5:17am (about 3.5 hours after the second gush of water, less than an hour after we left our house and after being in the room only about 10 minutes).

No one said, "It's a boy!"  We found out his gender when one of the nurses used a male pronoun.

The HB suggestion that every 20 minutes would feel like 5 minutes really worked on me.  Even though I know the times in this story are right, it's hard for me to believe it was over 2 hours from the time I called Hannah to the time Wesley was born.  It seems much shorter.

HB really, really worked for me. If we were having more kids, I would definitely do it again.  My only suggestion for the program is that it focus more on the after-birth procedures.  Birthing the placenta and having my 2nd degree tear sown up were the worst parts by far and once the excitement of the birth was over, I couldn't really get back into the HB zone to deal with the pain.
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My sweet baby, Samuel, is a month old today! On May 23, I was getting ready for church in the morning when my water broke. I started having some pressure waves a while after, but they weren't very regular yet. We called my in-laws to come stay with my 2 older kids, and my husband and I headed to the hospital. When we got there, the pressure waves were coming more frequently, but didn't feel very strong. I was admitted to L&D, and when the nurse checked, I was 6 cm dilated, which was a lot more than I was expecting to be!

Our nurse was really awesome. She carefully read my birthing preferences, and followed them as much as possible, and was very supportive of my choice to do a natural birth. My husband and I walked the hospital, and did nipple stimulation for several hours to try and get the waves stronger, but they would not pick up any more, and I was not dilating any more, so the OB suggested we start a very low dose of pitocin. I was wary of this and was worried that I wouldn't be able to deal with the increased intensity that people talk about with pitocin pressure waves, but I was pleasantly surprised that things went really well. I was put on a low dose, and that got things going right away, and the dose was never turned up. In about an hour and a half, I was almost fully dilated ready to push.

BOP - The last two pressure waves before pushing were hard for me because I felt so much pressure, and such a strong urge to push, but there was just a little cervix left, so the nurse told me to try and hold on. It reminded me of the feeling of really, really having to go to the bathroom, but having to hold it.

It was such a relief when I was given the ok to start pushing. I started out pushing on my side, but after a couple waves, switched to a supported squat/semi-upright position. Things got pretty darn intense during crowning, and I lost focus and just pushed like crazy until he was out. I didn't realize it until he was out and the OB commented on it, but I had pushed him out posterior. Doh - if I had known that I might have tried hands and knees, and done more beforehand to try and get him to turn. I was actually surprised because the pressure waves didn't feel like they did with my first baby, who was also posterior. This was really the only thing I wish had gone differently, but at least pushing only took about 10 minutes.

I had a small tear, but otherwise felt really great afterward! It is such an amazing feeling to have that precious, new baby placed on your chest and being able cuddle them in your arms for the first time!

All in all, I was really happy with my birthing experience, and really glad that I did the Hypnobabies program. My husband thought it was pretty weird when I first told him this is what I wanted to do, but said he was willing to give it a try. He listened to the CDs with me and read the birth partner guide, and during my birthing time he really got into it and was a great support person!
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Gwendolen Eve was born in February 11 days past her EDD. She weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and I think she was 20 inches long. She was born with dark hair that has since lightened somewhat, and she has deep blue eyes that everyone comments on, they're so beautiful. She has long toes and a long torso and chubby cheeks. She's a beautiful baby, and she was very kind to me in the womb.

My first baby, born in September of 2005, was a very good, typical hospital birth. Great doctor, no effacement before labor started, relatively easy labor that was a full 24 hours from first menstral-like cramp to birth, epidural at 8 cm, no complications. I wish every medicated birth went as smoothly as that one did. I wanted to go natural, but I realized I didn't have the tools to manage it just yet.

My second baby was a hypnobaby. I had effaced and was at 3 cm two weeks before he was born, then I had an accidental home birth. That birth story is on the Hypnobabies website. Look for August's birth. Basically, it was just 2 hours long, intense, comfortable, and exhiliarating. I wanted any future births of mine to go just like that one did, and I fully expected them to.

Of course, life changes. When I got pregnant with baby #3, I was in a different state far away from all of my family, and my husband was a student in the Navy.

For no good reason, I had a lot of anxiety throughout this pregnancy. I kept worrying that there would be something wrong with the baby. I was scared of giving birth in the car during a snowstorm, I worried that my husband wouldn't be there because I'd give birth before he came home from school at the Navy base, I worried about not having support, I worried about toxic-whatever it is that my baby could get because we adopted a stray cat in November, etc.

Just a few weeks before my baby was born, I had my husband, Danel, give me a blessing. In it, I was told 1) that my baby loves me, 2) every birth is different and 3) that Heavenly Father is pleased with how much I appreciate motherhood and how much I've worked on bringing my child into the world with peace and safety. Though that blessing didn't tell me what I wanted to hear (I wanted a "your child is healthy and will be born alive and well"), I treasure hearing how much my unborn child loves me. That blessing put the rest of my pregnancy in perspective. Up until the day she decided to come, there were important things I needed to do, such as making sure all 3 carseats could fit in our little sedan, cleaning and organizing the house, setting up the cosleeper and baby clothes, making sure I had batteries for the walkman, making sure I *had* a walkman, etc. I think that is why Gwen waited so long to come; she was giving me the time I needed to get everything done. In the meantime, it was very easy to feel Gwen move because she was posterior. I think that because she was posterior, it was easy to feel her move without her having to punch and kick at my innards, and so in that way she never hurt me, and I was constantly reassured that she was doing just fine. She was so very kind to me.

My mother-in-law came to visit 5 days after my EDD. She was staying for a week. We had all thought that my baby would be born by then. My mother-in-law was a wonderful help, but as each day passed, she worried more and more that she'd have to leave without holding her newest grandchild. I wasn't effacing or anything to indicate that I'd be going into labor anytime soon. I listened to the Easy First Stage track several times and occationally went on a walk, but I really didn't do much to jump-start birthing time. I really wanted my baby to come, but I also wanted her to pick her own birthday. It wasn't easy trying to find the right balance, especially not when I had so little energy, anyway.

My birthing time started Sunday morning. Any little birthing wave I felt, I felt it in my back. They were uncomfortable, but I went through all 3 hours of church (from 11:00 to 2:00) without anyone knowing I was having them. I had always wanted to do that, labor through church and no one notice.

Both to and from church, I had to drive. Danel was in the back seat with the other two kids because he was the only grown-up who fit, while my MIL sat next to me in front. I was pretty distracted on the way home, but I had angels watching over me, and we somehow got home safely.

I didn't tell anyone I was having pressure waves until I got home, and even then I only told Danel in the privacy of our bedroom. I timed the pressure waves, but they were pretty irregular. I hopped into the bath in hopes that I'd be more comfortable, but I wasn't. Our bath was just too shallow. I had three quick, strong pressure waves once I stepped out of the bath.

By dinnertime, my dear MIL could tell I was in labor. I'm sure it was unmistakable when I laid my forehead on my arm on the table and stopped talking for the duration of the wave. I'm glad my MIL was right there: we didn't have to worry about transporting my other two children, or calling in a babysitter. At about 6 or so, I had Danel and a friend of the family give me another blessing (in which I was told, again, that every birth is different), and then Danel and I went to the hospital. The waves were still irregular, but I felt that it was time to go, so we did.

It was eitehr snowing or raining when we got outside. We brought a large blanket, a pillow, the walkman, and a few other things. On the way to the hospital, I piled the blanket and pillow on me, and leaned on them. I continually turned my switch to Off and I used the Peace cue. I couldn't get as comfortable as I had during August's birth, though, because it was all back labor. By the time I was in the hospital and admitted, I was starting to feel pretty discouraged.

I got the heplock pin (and came to detest the thing), got monitored the required amount of time, got checked (I was at about a 6) and got an unpleasant surprise: apparently, it was indeed hospital policy that once a woman is in active labor, that she be continually monitored. Thanks to the fact that my preference sheet that was with my profile specifically requested for natural-childbirth-friendly nurses as well as intermittent monitoring, the nurse I got decided to do things this way: leave me free to move as I need, and every 10 minutes put a dopplar thing on my tummy to measure things for a full minute. I will forever love those nurses for giving me the freedom I needed to handle the pressure waves the way I needed to, while still technically "continually monitoring" me.

I changed position between almost every birth wave. I was on the birthing ball, I was on the toilet, I was standing up, I was laying down, I was on all fours. I also constantly listened to the Easy First Stage track, used the Peace cue and the Off cue, and had Danel push on my back with every wave. I just couldn't get comfortable the way I was comfortable with August's birth. After I was at the hospital for another hour and got measured again and was still at a 6, I felt discouraged. I worried that this could go on for a long, long time, and I feared that I would just give up. I had Danel give me one more blessing, this one for courage, and then I went back to giving birth. After that blessing, the waves became more intense, but I no longer worried about the hours ahead of me. Instead, I continually focused on what I needed to do next. The more intense they got, the more primal I became, more focused on "now". I got more verbal, too. I eventually did settle on the all-fours position on the bed, with a warm, wet rag pressed hard onto my back. The batteries in my walkman ran out, but I was so focused and I knew it wouldn't be too much longer, so I just took the headphones off.

Then I realized that I was pushing with the waves. I waited through anotehr wave, just to be sure, then had Danel call a nurse, and she checked me. I was complete. She called for the doctor (who had arrived at the hospital early because of the storm and because he knew I had fast births), but it was too late. The urge to push through the next two waves was too much. I was completely primal, and pushing with power, and I wasn't going to hold back to wait for anybody. I felt the nurses hands on my bottom, and looking back I'm sure that they were just giving my bottom support, but at the time I felt that they were pushing my baby's head back in, and I told them not to, and with roars of power I pushed her out right then and there. The nurse and Danel caught her (the OB wasn't going to let Danel catch her) and announced that she was a girl. Poor dutiful doctor arrived in time to help deliver the placenta and stitch me up.

She was such an unhappy baby, but she nursed all right. After she was in my arms for a while, she settled down. We all loved her.

Later that day, my MIL got to hold her granddaughter, the only grandbaby she got to hold "fresh from the oven." Two days later, she had to fly back home.

The next day, my son's birthday, I felt good enough that I went home.

Though this birth wasn't as comfortable as August's birth was, I consider the Hypnobabies program a success here. The cues gave me something to actively do during the pressure waves, the Easy First Stage track reminded me to be thankful for my nurses and for their concern for me, the Fear Release sessions helped me deal with my fears before the birth, I connected with my baby, and the birth preferences sheet helped the hospital cooperate with me so that I could have the best birth possible. I would definite recommend this program to anyone, and I plan on using it again in the future. I do wonder if the Peace cues would've been more successful if I didn't have "back labor is difficult even for hypnomoms" running through my head, but oh well. I'll work on getting that out of me. I look forward to an even better experience next time.

(Some moms do fine with back labor with Hypnobabies, so this is something this mom had in her own mind.)
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Just wanted to share the Hypnobirth of my little girl, Quinn Marie, who was born April 6 :)  BOP: It was not entirely pain-free, but I would still consider this experience a success, as I was able to go intervention and pain-med free and had a quick birth for a first child.

I had lots of BH waves throughout my third trimester and was always wondering when they might get closer together and become actual birthing waves.  At 38 weeks exactly, they went from 10 min apart in the morning to 6 min apart in the afternoon and 4 min apart in the evening, but never got more intense or turned into anything.  At 39 weeks, I was told at my appointment that the baby was really low and in great birthing position, but I was hesitant to get my hopes up.  I expected to go late because this was my first baby and because my mom was about a week late with me.

At 39 weeks and 4 days, I was at work (to my coworkers' chagrin, who kept looking at me like I was a ticking time bomb) and felt crampy all day.  By the end of the day, I was feeling it in my lower back as well.  After so many weeks of BH waves, I didn't take it too seriously.  I went for a walk with my husband after work just like we had done the previous two days.  After the walk, I felt the waves more strongly, though they weren't painful or uncomfortable.  I did go ahead and do 2 Hypnobabies tracks that night (Deepening and Easy First Stage), and something also told me to set up my short term disability benefits, too!  The waves continued but I was able to sleep comfortably all night.

The next morning (39 weeks and 5 days) I awoke an hour early because of birds chirping outside the window.  The waves were still present, and I got on my hands and knees and wiggled my rear in the air, which was really comfortable.  At that point, I started thinking that something might be up.  I was discussing with my husband that we should possibly go into work early, pick up our laptops, and work from home when I heard a POP! at 7am.  My water had broken!

I called the on-call midwife at the birth center.  She said that because this was my first child, I should probably go through several hours of active birth waves (3-4 min apart) before coming in because they wouldn't admit me until 4-5cm.  She suggested I have breakfast, take a shower, and relax as much as possible.  I told her that my waves were already about 3 min apart but I don't think she took it too seriously.

My husband got me breakfast and water and I used my hypnobabies tracks.  The waves got much stronger after my water broke, but I was still just fine.  I watched some comedy tracks on Youtube (Eddie Izzard) to stay relaxed.  After about an hour or so, I needed to lie down.  My husband squeezed my ankle during waves and timed them on his ipod.  The waves were still 3 minutes apart consistently.

At about 9, my regular midwife called and asked how things were going.  I told her that I had been having waves 3 minutes apart for several hours now.  She sounded surprised and said "this isn't usually how it goes [for a first timer]!" and suggested I leave in half an hour for the birth center.  Well, by the time 9:30 rolled around, I was in transition.  I was shaking uncontrollably and I couldn't sit down to use the toilet because the baby was really low.  This is where the BOP should be used before proceeding.

The car ride was pretty difficult, being so far along and not being able to get into a comfortable position.  I tried to stay relaxed and use hypnosis, but it was just too much.  The trip was 45 minutes and we kept getting stuck behind cars/big trucks, which was incredibly frustrating!  As we got to the birth center, I was thinking, "If I'm only 3cm, I'm going to have to do a hospital transfer for some relief."

Well, it turns out I was already 10cm and ready to push.  They had me move back and forth from the bed to a birthing stool to help the baby down.  I resisted pushing for some reason...I think because I felt unprepared and scared.  I also didn't feel the natural urge to push for quite awhile.  Ultimately it took 2 hours to push our baby out because of my resistance, and I wish I had prepared myself better for this stage of labor.  I had a 2nd degree tear.  Anyways, we found out we had a little girl, and things were great :)  I did need a pitocin shot to help with my bleeding, which I was okay with.  Baby girl Quinn was born at 12:23, about 5.5 hours after my water broke, and was 8lb1oz and 20.5" long.  She took to nursing immediately and had APGARs of 8/9.

I feel that Hypnobabies allowed me to have a very calm and confident pregnancy, defend myself against negative people and horror stories, and have a fast labor for a first timer.  Next time around, I'm going to listen to myself to determine when to leave for the birth locale (I think I would have been much better off NOT in the car during transition) and practice relaxation for the pushing stage ahead of time (though now I know what to expect!)

Thanks for listening :)

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Alexander was born on May 18.  It was an easy birth, and I am so grateful for Hypnobabies to help me stay relaxed and calm even though things didn't go exactly as I had planned.

I went to see my OB on Monday the 17th, 6 days past my guess date of May 11.  I had an ultrasound and an exam, and my OB told me that my amniotic fluid level was very low and that I needed to go into the hospital that night to be induced.  I was dilated to a 3, but not fully effaced.  She knew of my desire for a natural birth and use of Hypnobabies, so she said that she would start me on a low dose of pitocin and then come into the hospital in the morning to check me and break my water.  I was really disappointed to have to be induced again (this was my 3rd birth, first hypnobabies, second time going natural), and I cried on the way home from the doctor's office.  I had all afternoon to calm myself down and just accept that this was my situation and to make the best of it that I could.

I went into the hospital around 9:30 pm that night.  The nurses already had a copy of my birth plan that I had included with my preadmission paperwork, but we had to make some adjustments with the induction (mainly I would need an IV and have to be put on continous monitoring since I was being induced and due to the low amniotic fluid).

They hooked me up to the pitocin around 11:30 pm or so.  They offered me Ambien to help me sleep, which I took, especially since my DH forgot his headphones and "borrowed" mine. I slept soundly and woke up refreshed around 6 am.  The nurse told me baby was doing great and that my OB would be in around 8 am to break my water.  I was still completely comfortable and the pressure waves were barely noticeable.

After a breakfast of broth and jello, my OB came in to check me and break my water.  She said I was dilated to 5 cm and my cervix was nice and soft.  She then broke my water, and barely anything came out.  They weren't kidding when they said my fluid was low.

Shortly after, my pressure waves started to increase in intensity, so I got on the birth ball and started listening to "easy first stage" on my ipod.  I got about halfway through, when I could hear my DH and nurse behind me talking.  I tried to focus and block them out, but after hearing them debate whether or not I was asleep, I turned my switch to center, sat up and asked, "is there something you need?", and the nurse told me when I leaned forward on the bed, the monitor slipped off and she needed to adjust it.  So, I sat up through the next wave while she held the monitor in place to check baby's heartbeat.

Then I felt like I needed to use the bathroom, so I got up and went in and started to feel sick and started to sweat and shake at the same time.  I was in there what felt like forever leaning over the sink resting on my arms.  Finally, the sensation of feeling ill passed, and I got back up and went and sat on the birth ball.

After a few more pressure waves, I told the nurse that I would need to push soon and to call my OB.  She asked if I wanted her to check me first and I agreed, so she checked me and said I was at an 8 and had a small lip left.  Once I got on the bed, I had an overwhelming urge to push.  The nurse told me not to, but I couldn't help it, so I ignored her and pushed anyway.

At this point, I remember I lost focus a bit and couldn't relax.  I remember lying on my side clutching the bed rail and was very tense.  I regained my focus, though, and even though I wasn't relaxed, I concentrated very hard on visualizing the baby moving down the birth canal.  After about 2 or 3 more pressure waves, my OB arrived and said the baby's head was right there and I could push him out with the next wave.  So during the next wave, I really focused and pushed him out in 3 pushes. I was trying to concentrate so hard that even after he was out, my OB finally said, "um...you can open your eyes now!"

Alexander was born at 10:03 am, about 2 hours after my OB broke my water.  I was completely comfortable until I hit transformation, and even then I felt that things were totally manageable. I had some clots that they had to push out after the baby was born, and what I remember as being excruciating with my second birth was no more than mild discomfort this time around.

It was such an amazing birth, and went much more smoothly than my last birth without Hypnobabies.  The nurses and staff were really impressed, and before I was transferred to the postpartum room, my nurse came in to thank me for letting her be a part of it,
which I thought was kind of funny, since she was such a great help to us.  If we decide to have any more babies, I will definitely use Hypnobabies again.  Not only did I have a great birth experience, this was by far my most comfortable pregnancy, and I feel that is because of all the relaxation techniques and positive affirmations used in the program.  My entire pregnancy and birth experience was better than I thought possible.

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I LOVE this birth story, because it shows how moms can be so powerful during their births!   Mom was induced at 42 weeks, but insisted that the pitocin was turned up slowly and refused to have her water broken.

First off I have to thank all the wonderful women in this group. (Hypnobabies Yahoo Group) Without you and your wonderful stories I don't think I would have had the confidence to go to the hospital to be induced with pit, and have a beautiful birth.  I was so nervous and upset the few nights before. Your stories gave me the reassurance that I could do this, and I did. Here is our story.

I think overall I let myself be pushed into inducing. We were at the 42wks the Dr. had guessed. My family was all becoming quite impatient and there was a lot of pressure to have her out.  I agreed to be induced and get things started.

The night before I kissed my first child goodnight and tucked him in, in tears. I left him at my MIL's so we didn't have to get him up so early the next morning. Friday the 21st at 6 am we were at the hospital. I took a ton of food in with me, because I was not going to do this with no fuel. We got settled, the first nurse got us all checked in did all the paperwork and started the IV. They had a change of shift, so the next nurse, Anna, come-on and she was wonderful.

Anna spoke with us and I told her how things were going to go. To call the doctor if she needed but I was the one birthing a healthy baby, and unless the stats of baby changed, this is what I wanted. She was so cool! I told her we would be doing the pit slowly. I only wanted an increase every 45 min to an hour, not the every 15 the Dr. had ordered. She called the Dr and it was agreed. So off we set.  We had a cervical check and I was barely dilated 2 and my cervix was very posterior.

I had no idea how the pit would work on me and baby so we just waited. Annabella was so squirmy, they couldn't keep her on the monitors, Anna had to hold them on and move with her. Around 10am my sister arrived. A few hours past and not much was going on. They wanted me to wear O2 for a while, and said baby was accelerating better when it was on. It didn't bother me so we did.

After awhile the Dr came in and wanted to look for Annabella and when she couldn't find her well stated the baby was breach and we needed to go have a c-section. I looked at this woman and told her no, baby had not flipped I would have felt it, and I was not getting a c-section today. That if baby had turned, then we would turn off the pit, and I would go see my Chiropractor to help move her around again. I don't think the Dr liked me. I didn't care. So she ordered an ultrasound just to see, and I was later told she knew baby was breach and had started the paperwork to send us on.

Annabella was in fact not breech. She was head down just not really engaged. I felt so good knowing I was right. All this happened about 11am. There had been no increase in the pit for awhile, because of the ultrasound, I still wasn't doing much that I felt anyway. We started upping it again.

During these times since Annabella wasn't staying on the monitor anyway, I was up. I walked and rolled on the ball. I leaned over the ball to do pelvic tilts. Pretty much anything I wanted. I really enjoyed that.  I was eating and drinking. I was joking and laughing with my sister and husband. At 2pm I declined another cervical check, but was starting to feel some steady waves we started using Hypnobabies. We called my Doula and told her to come on in.

I was standing and rocking my hips back and forth during the waves, and they were nice. Just these waves, they never were uncomfortable. I didn't feel I needed to go in to off during them so I just stayed in center moving as I felt I needed to. Anna would come in and check baby with a Doppler, and the let us do our thing.

About 4 the Dr was back, she wanted to see where we were so we checked. I was 4cm, and my cervix was no longer posterior, about 70% effaced.

  • The Dr. said I was not where she would like to see me by now. She wanted to break my waters and move things along.

  • I told her no thanks; I felt we were doing fine. Baby was fine, so was I.

  • She didn't look surprised. She did get quite nasty though, and told me if I didn't do things the right way this will land in a c-section and was putting myself and child at risk. That she was going off shift and there would be someone else.

  • I came up out of Hypnosis, and the bed, looked her square in the eye and told her that my child in fine.

  • I am not having a c-section to please her that if she had not noticed this was MY birth. I was the one doing things, until someone can show me that my child was unsafe I would do this all night if needed.  That was the RIGHT way.

  • Also that it was a good thing that she was going off shift, because she was fired. I didn't want her back in my room. I didn't need any one in there being negative. I was sure there were other people around who could catch this child, and if not I would do it myself.

  • She left the room in a quick hurry, and as I turned around again, my husband and everyone including the nurse were all just kind of staring at me.

My husband was stunned, and asked if I could do that, firing the Dr. I told him I didn't care if I could or not, she wasn't coming back to my room. Anna asked to get baby back on the monitor for a few, and as I lay down and got all adjusted, she said she had not liked the Dr. either.  I don't know how things happened from there, but another Dr. came in and introduced himself about 45 min. later and was way more respectful than that woman had been.

We continued, at 7pm the waves were more intense and almost on top of one another. My Doula suggested I get in the shower to help, we did, and it didn't really help much. I started to shake and shiver but I wasn't cold. I vomited all over, and then with the next wave I felt pushy. soon there after my waters broke during one of the pushy waves.

**BOP** I have read other people say that it was pushing that was most intense and they were unprepared for. I agree. At some point I stopped using Hypnobabies, and it hurt. My body had taken over, I had no choice but to push. I was on my hands and knees, but that wasn't working for me. I rolled to my back, someone held my legs, and she came.  I now know what the ring of fire is. **BOP**

Annabella was born at 8:06pm 7lbs 10oz. 21 inches long.  She cried for a bit but was so awake and alert. She is just perfect. She latched on and nursed minutes after birth. I am so happy with this birth. I did it the way I wanted even if it didn't start the way I choose. I wish the dr had been more supportive. But you can't have it all.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I was induced due to complications of HELLP Syndrome which caused my liver enzymes to become elevated. My wonderful OB in Germany caught it early enough that we were able to form a game plan that would still allow me the hypnotic natural childbirth I so desperatly wanted.
I was admitted Wednesday April 7th for observation and to begin the induction processes. I was to collect urine for a 24hr period to make sure that my kidneys were not also being affected by the HELLP. ( Boy did I shock the doc when I managed to fill 5 Liters full! He said I win the `PISSING CONTEST") And had my blood levels checked again, which came back low enough that he felt we could be successful in a natural birth with the mildest of induction processes. We started with a Caster Oil Cocktail ( Caster Oil, Champange (yippy) and Apricot Juice)

I had semi regular pressure waves though out the day  and when I was checked my dialiton had gone from 2cm to 2.6cm, which I thought for caster oil given two and a half weeks pre term was quite good! (Considering it only works part of the time even in post term pregnacies) the contractions stopped that eveing and I had no further progress.  Wednesday, I felt a little panic because the doctor said he would speak to me about our further options when my husband was available. I paniced a bit thinking that my blood levels were worse and that a c section was eminint.

It turned out he was giving me a break before moving on to Cyctotec because it is much more intense and he felt we could still be successful with minimumly invacive induction.  Now I know a lot of you are not fans of Cyctotec because it is an ulcer medication not FDA approved for induction but it is well documented in Germany as having successful results with little to no side affects. We started with a 25mg dose (a quarter of a pill) dissolved in water which produced mild results, slightly higher than the Caster Oil, then three hours later my cervix was checked and I was at 3 cm and was given a 50mg dose (half of a pill) and was sent on my way.

That evening my husband and I attened the first of 2 Birthing classes we had been signed up for at the hospital in order to get a better grip on german  procedures  (what we could deny and what to expect from the staff and so on). My pressure waves were steady at this point, but with my Hypnobabies cues I was able to complete the class without anyone knowing what was going on. I sent my husband home thinking he should get some rest "in case". However one of the midwives had said I don't think you will go this week, it is too early and most early inductions  do not produce progressive pressure waves… boy was she wrong about me! I believe the cues from my birthing day script are what kept me in an active first stage. At 11pm I needed a hot shower on my hips and lower back to releive the intense pressure I was feeling there ( I do not believe I was having back labor, I feel this was a result of the Cytotec, as I was also feeling pressure in my groin and in my full uterus)

After the shower I had a rest (still regularly contracting but was able to be calm using my deepening script and My Easy First Stage Scripts) I even put them on out loud with my roomate who had never heard of Hypnobabies  but was also being induced and I had hoped the suggestions might help her along also (she is actually 2 weeks over due)  She enjoyed the relaxation from them but her PW stopped that evening while mine continued on.

At 1.45am I decided I needed a bath and made my way to the birthing ward. Before the bath my midwife Veronique wanted to check the fetal heart rate and my cervix. Alexanders heartrate was elevated so she asked me to move to the bed (I had been having the fetal monitoring while rolling on a birthiing ball) I moved to the bed and the PW were more intense, she checked my cervix and I was at 4.5cm, excellent progress! She asked me if I would like to call my husband and I said no it was not time and I was still managing well on my own, however when I asked for a bath she said I could not because she was the only one on the ward that evening and she had another mother with complications and could not be there to watch over me if I needed help, but if I wished to call my husband in he could watch over me in the tub so we chose to have him come in when I reached 5cm which was at 3.30am.

All throughtout this tiime  I was listening to my Easy first stage script and was managing my pressure waves very well. I was amazed at how wonderful I felt between pressure waves, smiling and laughing and feeling on top of the world. Every time I was checked I remembered to say thank you, even when cervical checks were uncomfertable.

My husband arrived and it was suggested that we walk a bit while the bath tub was filled (not the birthing tub, that is in a separate room and we were not near our time.
We went to my room and picked up the camera and my nursing bra and a few water bottles and some yogurt and cheese sticks for some protien power! Then  walked the halls for twenty minutes or so. My husband said later that people in their rooms probably think the Hospital is haunted because during my pressure waves I would turn to the nearest wall with a ralling, lean my head against the wall and brace myself on the raills, and would low moan... peace over and over again while truning my hips in circles or figure 8s as my husband applied pressure to my outer hips. ( I had made a `cheat sheet for my husband letting him know that during this time I may make sounds and noises that he has only ever heard from me in bed ;)  and maybe even like moo ing and not to be embarassed or alarmed because I wouldn't be and I would be doing whatever my body needed me to do to get our baby out)

When we returned from our walk I was able to have a bath and relax my whole body for quite some time. It was just what I needed, again all the while using my relax and peace cues that my husband lovingly began low moaning chants of these with me to keep me from getting to high pitched and not focusing low enough, his low voice helped me come out of my head and into my uterus so to speak!

There was a shift change at some point and the midwife who was with me for the rest of the birthing time was Susanne. She checked my cervix and verified 7cm. My water had not broken at this point and my pressure waves were beging to slow, I was enjoying the break in the waves, it gave me a chance to rest. She said the bag was heavy and when it would burst it would gush! She gave us also the option to have her break the waters and I told her I was enjoying the break and to ask again later, as I knew it would bring on more intense waves that I was not sure I was prepared for. I also knew that I was desperate for a water birth and that they were having a busy morning in the ward (one other birth and two inductions that needed attending with only one midwiife!) and I felt the longer I could hold out on pushing the better chance I had of being able to use the tub, although I had prepared my mind also for the birthing stool which was made available to me as an alternative.

I felt a gushing sensation soon after the midwife left the room and I said to my husband I believe my water just broke! He went to get the midwife and when he returned to say she would be in  any minute I felt a second gush and asked my husband to take a look (I was still gushing and he was like WHOA!)  When Susanne returned she examined me and said… umm I think it is not your waters, as the bag is still full and heavy… I believe it was urine! All I could do was laugh! She asked me again if I would like for her to break the waters for us and I asked again for a little more time.  She returned in thirty minutes and I had not made dialtion progress and we went ahead and let her break the water.

I was still unsure if I could have my water birth as I had been told they were so busy that day. I was amazed at the power the next waves became and I really "let my monkey do it" I used birthing ropes to get my balance and tried several different positions  all while remaining very focused on what felt right for my body. My husband played an excellent birth partner roll, he kissed and carressed me when I needed, he kept me focuses and told me over and over what good job I was doing, he remined me to use my peace cues and moaned them with me thought each pressure wave, he used relax and release any time I seemed to be  loosing my focus. He even spoon feed me yogurt and held up water bottles to drink.  I am so blessed to have had him there to support me ( and I was  also worried he would not  step up when I needed him to in the way that I needed at the time, as he did little if any Hypnobabies preperation…. I was fighting him tooth and nail to just read the Birthing Partner guide!) He really stepped up to the plate and I am more in love with him now than ever before! It was such and amazing bonding experience for both of us!

After about twenty waves I began to feel the urge to push, I called for the midwife and the doctor came in and checked my cervix, I was at 9, she said try not to push just yet a few more waves and it would be time. I went to the bathroom, peed and felt again the urge to push, tried to fight it , they set up the birthing stool for me. I was disappointed that I was not in the tub but ok with our Plan B. I was checked again for full dialation and postion of the baby's head. The doctor then left me and my husband on the birthing stool and changed the CD script to AHHH Pushing Baby Out. I pushed a few times and the midwife returned and informed us that if we still wanted the water birth it was now possible to fill the tub. I was thrilled beyond belief! I had come this far and now I was getting everything I had hoped for!

BOP may be needed here - however it is an improtant part of my story as it explains about un-addressed fears and how it affected my final stage… the pushing.

We moved into the Water Birthing  Room where they filled the birthing tub and I was submerged and releif flew through me. In my visualization of my birth I could never make it to the pushing part, so I was completley unprepared for the shear force of it all.  I  believed that I  could simply breath my baby out. After 3 hours of `breathing' my baby boy down and repeating OPEN OPEN OPEN, I was beginning to get exaughsted and discouraged. I realized I had a deep inbedded intense fear of tearing…. I had never addressed this fear in any fear clearing session, so I annouced my fear outloud to the midwife, my doctor and my husband.  Acknowlaging that fear and saying it aloud helped me move past it and get down to business of pushing my baby out. The doctor said, tearing is usually minimal in water births which helped ease my mind. I decieded I needed more directive pushing than just my Hypnobabies, I wanted to meet my son. So with the help of the midwife and some perineal S T R E T C H I N G she helped me focus where I needed to push too. This was by no means pain free, I was just not prepared for the shear power  and I lost my focus several times here, but everyone in the room was so positve and helpful ( I found out later that when I was deep in my pushing waves  my husband was searching for answers in my doctors and midwives faces… he was conserned that it was taking to long and that I was losing focus, the doctor would then give him the thumbs up or a smile to let him know we were on the right track, this in turn gave my husband the ability to tell me what a fantastic amazing job I was doing and that soon we would be meeting our son, the doctor continued to say over and over the baby's heartrate was wonderful and all was  ok, I think at this point it was more for him than for me but I did not know it at the time, I just kept saying, he likes the baths, we have been practicing them every night at home, my baby and I  that is)

Finally they asked me to reach down and feel for his head, they  knew that would be the inspiration I needed to finish the job, and give me an idea of how far we had come and that success was only an inch way, I could feel my baby's hair! I  changed a few positions and began to bear down,  deep grunting groaning noises, sounds I had never heard anyone make in my life began coming from me ( I think I even damaged something in my thoat because the whole rest of the day every time I had a drink of anything it stung the back of my throat) my midwife put pressure on the perineum and said just a few more pushes and his head will be out. I pushed like hell!  Crowning was so intense I had to close my eyes, his head was out and they said push again and I did, one more time, and he was out. They put my son on my chest and he just looked at us, so alert and peaceful, he didn't even cry or wimper, he just stared at all of us. I requested they wait to clamp the cord until it stopped pulsing, and they complied. I just stared at my newborn son and fell deeply  head over heals in love.  Once the cord was cut they moved me to the bed to deliver the placenta.
We handed my son to my husband who had taken off his shirt to provide skin to skin daddy and baby time while I was tended to. The doctor inspected the damage, I had second degree tearing ( I believed this happened when I lost focus and needed more `purple pushing' to finish the job, but after discusing it with my husband he explained that I had no problems with his head it was in fact his shoulders that his elbows were bent up as if he was using his arms to pull himself out of the birth canal .  So it seams even with breathing him down, the position of his body made tearing unavoidable, again leaving me feeling if I had adressed the fear sooner his position would have been more favorable. Once I delivered the placenta there was some repair work to be done)
I asked for some time before having to push again and the doctor and midwife left the room gibbering to eachother in German. I had a pressure wave and a strong urge to push, the placenta was delivered in two pushes just as the doctor and midwife returned, I said, "IT IS OUT, IT IS OUT!!" They laughed and said they had made a bet that I  would do it on my own, and I had!  They showed us the placenta and how it had kept our beautiful boy nursished and growing for the last 9 ½ months, then they asked if we wanted to keep it, and I laughted saying
"I know I went all natural on this one but I was not "THAT NATURAL" LOL"  What the heck  would I do with the placenta? Bronze it? LOL anyways. It took about an hour for my stitches and we were able to bond with Alexander for an hour and a half before he was weighed or cleaned or checked over in any way, he never left our arms for that whole time, just me my husband and our beautiful child.
Alexander  Arrived Friday April 9th 2010 (almost one year to the day after losing our first baby to miscarrige at 9 weeks)  @ 10:55am. He was 2 weeks early and weighed  in @ 7lbs 14oz. 21inches long. I had a 12hr (3 1/2hrs of that was pushing) birthing time in which I was completely unmedicated, using only childbirth hypnosis to manage discomfort. With Ben as my excellent birthing partner we sailed through it, all smiles! I was able to give birth to Xander in the comfort of a wonderful birthing tub. Big thank you's (Danke) go to Dr. Wetzker and Midwives Veronique and Susanne who made my dream birth experince possible by being present and only intervining when absolutely nessessary. Their exact words to me following Xander's birth were "Thank you for allowing us to be spectators, proving to us that giving birth is truely mind over matter" Oh yeah and they also said for my next baby I could go to the woods and give birth on my own because I clearly didn't need them!

Side note, The staff was so impressed by the Hypnobabies scripts they were offering it to be piped into the other english speaking mothers birthing rooms!! We were the talk of the hospital and the doctor said it is so rare to see a completely un-medicated birth (German or American). The fact that it was so calm and peaceful they said it was a joy to witness. In the end they were thanking me for the experience!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
My little one Warrick was born on March 2.  He weighed 8lb 3oz, and was 18.9 inches long--just perfect size!  Even though our birth plan was changed a bit at the end, I am happy to say that I gave birth to him naturally and owe it all to Hypnobabies and my supporters, hubby Scott and doula/instructor Katherine.
Our original plan was to have everything be as natural as possible, staying at home for the early birthing time, no drugs at the hospital, etc.  As I approached my due date I started to have issues with high blood pressure that would only go down when I laid on my side, so I was put on bed rest.  Then a few days before the due date, my midwives and I decided that the best option would be to induce, since the blood pressure problems were not resolving themselves, and I was already dilated to a 3 with mild pressure waves.  (Anticipating this, I had been listening to the Come Out script, doing fear clearing sessions, talking to my baby about coming out, and taking EPO capsules).  So we checked into the hospital (wonderful Baylor All Saints in Fort Worth) on a Monday evening to start some cervidil.

I was able to get some sleep that night, and in the morning realized that I was leaking fluid!  Throughout the day my pressure waves got stronger and more intense.  We played the cds out loud in the room all day, while I alternated between the birth ball and a hot shower.  My wonderful doula and husband also rubbed my back for hours on end with lavender oil--it works great and makes the room smell awesome!
That evening, my midwife broke my water the rest of the way (it had not fully released on its own, just leaked a little) and things picked up even more!  Unfortunately I stalled a little bit at 8 centimeters, and so I had a dose of Pitocen in the evening, and soon after was ready to push!  It is amazing how your body just knows what to do and does it.  I found that making low moaning noises during this time really helped me to focus and breathe out during the waves.  My helpers continued to give me the peace and relax cues, and put wet washcloths on my face and neck.  Even the nurses got into the Hypnobabies vibe, repeating the cues and parts of the scripts to me (they later told me I seemed very calm and composed, and that they couldn't get the scripts out of their heads!)

We hit another snag when, as my little guy crowned, he got stuck.  After about half an hour in that position, we opted for a small episiotomy to get him out--very rare for a midwife to perform, but he needed to come out and I simply wasn't stretching any more.
And the rest was wonderful!  Warrick came out alert and healthy, with just a little bruising on his head from being stuck for so long.  He was placed immediately on my chest, and nursed within half an hour like a champ.  The midwife and hospital staff were wonderful, allowing us plenty of time with him and following our birth plan and baby plan perfectly--he was able to stay in our room all the time.  Looking back on the birth now, I remember it as very intense at times, but I was so happy with the experience overall that I wouldn't change a thing!  My little Hypnobaby is now a month old, and we are all happy and healthy.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I feel like I had a very positive experience, however you might want to use your BOP for good measure :)

Okay, so here it goes...

My water broke 24-hours before I started activly birthing. I had some mild pressure waves (pw) throughout the night, and listened to Easy First Stage on the couch with my dog, but things slowed down once morning came. We kept my doula (J) updated throughout the day, but by mid-afternoon I was thinking about going to the hospital. I even called my doc, but J thought that things would progress as night fell, and they did.

She suggested that my husband (who had stayed home from work) and I get out and walk to speed things along, so we decided to go to Target, but she recommended that I first do 45 min of knee-chest position to ensure that the baby was in the correct position. That was tough!  While we were in Target the pw started getting more intense. I had to stop several times in the store to relax through them. We went home and ate some delicious Chinese take out.

My husband called J around 8:00pm to let her know that things had really picked up, but I still wanted/needed privacy so she didn't come until he called her again (around 9 PM).  J was a big help for my husband, even though she was very calming and supportive for me, as well. I was having intense feelings during the pw, but they were manageable. J helped me remember my "peace" cues and I listened to my Hypnobabies CD tracks - both helped me remain calm and relaxed.

About an hour after J arrived, the waves got really intense and were relentless. I was in the bathroom standing over the sink, and I was not getting any breaks in between. There was no relief and I could find no comfort in any position. I threw up twice and then we left for the hospital. Surprisingly, the car ride was very pleasant. I felt like I was not even a part of this world. I went to a very primal place, and do not remember much about the rest of the labor.

I do remember that when the nurse checked my cervix it was VERY uncofortable, but I was already 10 cm which made me happy. I labored for several more hours – side lying, hands and knees, and kneeling while holding on to my husband,. I also remember counting down from 5 to 1 over and over and over. I practiced that a lot as part of my Hypnobabies program, and it served me well "in the moment".

However, I was so content to be "in the moment", that pushing was not even on my radar. I never felt the "urge" to push and pushing was the most challenging part of my whole experience. ::BOP:: I felt totally unprepared for the sensations of stretching and burning. The sensations were so powerful that I began to feel afraid. Instead of embracing the pain and pushing through it, I tried to stall mentally and physically…. I could have saved myself a lot of effort, if my head had been in a good place. I actually asked for a mirror, thinking that if I could see what I was working for I would be more motivated.

Eventually my blood pressure was an issue and Bowen’s heart rate dropped very low.  The nurses gave me oxygen, and my doctor told me that I had to push my baby out - now. I doug in deep and I pushed his head out. It was so amazing and surreal to see his head in the mirror. The cord was wrapped around his neck once. It easily slipped over his head, but his shoulders were "stuck". After a couple of minutes (probably mere seconds) I was able to push as my doc maneuvered, and Bowen was finally here! (Feb 12) They immediately placed him on my chest and did not take him for stats foruntil we asked them to - 6 hours later!

I was on an endorphin high. I just held my baby, and looked at his beautiful little face, amazed and proud of the work we had done. I was only in active labor for 12 hours and went into labor on the day that I visualized during my hypnobabies practice!! I laugh now that I channeled Zena: Warrior Princess because I sounded like a primal warrior.  Birthing was work and it was challenging, but it was not impossible; and the reward is immeasurable!

- Melissa in SC
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