OK, this is just gorgeous and fun! Hypnobabies Mom Kelly Jo, 30 weeks pregnant with twins, gives a beauitful belly dancing performance and Wow, does she have some strong abdominal muscles!
OK, this is just gorgeous and fun! Hypnobabies Mom Kelly Jo, 30 weeks pregnant with twins, gives a beauitful belly dancing performance and Wow, does she have some strong abdominal muscles!
This is the birth-story of Alexander-Johannes born on the 24th of December 2012.
I was so sure in the beginning of this pregnancy that I want a different experience than last times. My first child was a mini-preemie of 700 grams born at 27 weeks. What a miracle 17 years ago! But the experience of the birth was so traumatic (it was treated as an abortion) and the hospitalization was so long that I’ve said to myself that I would never have children in my life again…
My second child was born in 2010 by C-section. I was preparing all of my pregnancy for a water birth. I’ve chosen a hospital and all my plans were falling apart. From the fist visit they told me I will be induced on the Guess Date (due date). I was not so happy about that, knowing that this can be extremely painful and can lead to other interventions. I’ve asked for another consultation expressing my concern and wishes (that I want everything to start of its own), they made me another ecography telling me this time that the baby is already too big, weighting more than 4300 grams (9 1/2 lb) and I won’t be able to deliver her vaginally. And I’ve believed them! The next day I had the C-section. The baby girl was 3900 grams (8 1/2 lb), not 4300 and we had a real hard time to breastfeed (she was bottle-fed with my expressed milk until she was 15 months) and to recover after operation.
So… the next child was coming and this time I wanted to make everything right. I did a lot of research and ate good vegetarian food (last time I was so fat and close to gestational diabetes). I’ve realized how manipulated I was the last time and how much damage has this done to me and to my family. Even though I’ve been seeing the same Gynecologist as last time, I was not so afraid anymore and I was not always listening to the “risk – stories” she always told me. I remember that in the last part of the pregnancy she asked every time if I was sure I want to have my baby in a Birth Center.
I was so thrilled when I’ve discovered Hypnobabies! I live in Europe and I’ve ordered the Self-Study Course. The positive feedback of the other moms made me trust Hypnobabies so much, that I didn’t what to try the Mongan method that was more known in Europe. The precious package was coming exactly 6 weeks before my Guess Date and I was so anxious to start right away. My toddler girl, 2 years old, made this many times impossible, but I was trying hard, even if I was falling in sleep most of the times when listening before bed.
Unfortunately, my husband was many times gone and it was so hard for him to tune up with me, doing his part of the practice. Even when he was home, we hardly found time to practice together because of our little daughter. So, I said to myself that if single moms can do this, I can do it. Nevertheless, I’ve explain the concept and the techniques to my husband. The sessions relaxed me so much and gave me so much confidence.
As the time was passing by, I was anxious to meet my baby and to live a nice birthing experience. We visited the Birth Center as I was 36 weeks and they told me I can have my baby there starting next week... I’ve explained to the midwives that I want to use autohypnosis and they were familiar with it. They had 33% of the births – water births. I was so happy.
So… the day comes…It is 4-5 am, I am sleeping. The water breaks. Hmmm, I feel warm and wet in my dream but I don’t wake up. Mild, but different as before contractions start and I wake up at 6.30, realizing that this is the real thing. I am 39 weeks and…it’s Christmas Day. Wow… we used to joke about getting the baby for Christmas, so, be careful what you wish for! I went in the living room and started to listen to the Birthing Day Affirmations, Fear Clear Session and Your birth guide, Easy First Stage having contractions every 10 minutes. They were pretty strong and in a short time they became more frequent, even to 4-5 minutes.
When my husband woke up I told him the news and he was jumping for excitement. He called the midwives at 9 a.m. and after another half of hour I was speaking with the one in duty that day. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t the same midwife I had the previous meetings, but I was calmed down by her warmly voice. I said to her that I feel that it’s going fast this time and she said we should better head on to the center. I’ve called my friend to take care of my little girl and I was hoping that I won’t be gone too long because she wasn’t used to stay without me. We were at the Birth Center at 12 am. When we’ve arrived, I’ve found out that the room with the bathtub was taken, there was another woman birthing there. I was a little disappointed again, but being prepared that things like that could happen I said “ok” and they put me in the smaller room.
The midwife was young, nice and very positive; I’ve resonated with her from the first minute. She asked me what do I listen to on my iPod and I’ve explained and she was open to it. She checked me and I was 2 cm but my cervix was very soft, “butter-like”. I’ve asked her if I could go home ( I was thinking all the time of my daughter ) and she said that things could go really fast sometimes, considering that I was so relaxed, she wouldn’t recommend it. So, I let my husband go, hoping that he would come back in time Anna ( the midwife ) wasn’t all the time with me and I could listen to my CDs, but from time to time she came in and disturbed me to make some procedures, I wasn’t so happy about this. In this very moment I’d wished I had a doula or my husband there reminding her to let me alone in my trance.
I’ve realized that I couldn’t concentrate enough. The pressure waves were sometimes painful, but supportable. Anna came in around 3 pm telling me that I can move because the other woman had to go to the hospital. Wow… so I can get my water-birth after all! That was great news (but I felt compassionately sorry for the other woman). She went to prepare the bath for me, letting me again alone with my CDs. When the things became pretty intense I told her I want to get in the bathtub. She asked me if I want to know how dilatated I am and I said “No, I don’t want to know because I feel my baby will be here soon”. It was 4 pm when I got in the water and that was so nice! My husband was there too, just in time. I’ve tried to listen to Your birth guide, Pushing Baby Out on my iPod, but I wasn’t so successful because I had always to move, to change positions during the pressure waves. So, here I am, holding my husband’s hand closely to break it, completely “on another planet”. I try to use anesthesia but it’s not working so efficient. I say to myself: “You should have been more consequent with your daily practice…” But I don’t complain, once I say “Please baby, come out!” and everybody is laughing. I just make an aaaaaahhhh loud sound during the pressure waves. Actually, this is good; as the mouth is opened the cervix is opening.
Anna is very supportive and tells me how good I am. In no time (seemed to me like 20 minutes after I was in the bathtub) I feel the urge to push. I instinctively stand on my knees and protect my perineum with my hands. The pain is gone, it’s just pressure. I know that soon I will meet my baby but I am not in the hurry, I use only the power of the pressure wave and I remember to breathe for my baby. 1, 2 and with the third the baby’s head comes out. One more and I feel the baby’s body coming out; I catch him with my hands and bring him on my chest. “Wow!” - says my husby.Anna didn’t get the chance to touch the baby. It is 5.17 pm. I cuddle with my baby and shed a tear saying that “I cannot believe I did it”. But he is there, in my arms, looking straight to my eyes like saying: “No, we did it, mummy”. Three hours later we drive to home.
This was the best gift I could ever get for Christmas! Thank you, Hypnobabies! I’ve got the birth that I wanted, almost exactly as I’ve imagined. And not only that I’ve got a baby, I’ve got my dignity and power back, I’ve got confidence and I am transformed human for the rest of my life, I’ve found myself! Even if I didn’t have a completely painless experience, I am sure that the method is working perfectly when practiced as recommended, not as I did.
Discovering Hypnobabies and the entire natural birth movement made me realize that I want to be a part of that, I want to help also other women to lose their fears and wake up, stand up for themselves, take their lives in their hands. During the pregnancy I’ve signed up for a doula course in 2013 and I know that someday I would fly to St.Louis to take the Hypnobabies Instructor Training. THANK YOU! God bless you all! You bring peace to this world.
Sincerely yours, Simona Pickhardt
[Note from Hypnobabies: Simona did indeed take our Hypnobabies Instructor Training in 2013 and now teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Hamburg, Germany!]
The weeks leading up to Olive’s birthing time were full of peace and patience. We were obviously very excited to meet her, and to experience birth, but at the same time we were confident that she would come when she was ready, and we wanted to cherish our last moments together as a single family. If ever there were slight discouragement, it was only because my body had shown no signs whatsoever of impending labor– only the mildest of Braxton-Hicks contractions, I was still carrying very high…etc. I chose not to do internal exams at my appointments as well, so I had no information to go on.
I woke up on Saturday morning and pretty quickly began to notice that my pressure waves (Hypnobabies talk for contractions) were more powerful, and I could feel them wrapping around my back. This was exciting for me, but at the same time I knew that many women have stronger pressure waves for weeks before their birthing time. Colin and I got dressed and ready and headed off to his afternoon soccer game, where I decided to walk the length of the field back and forth, back and forth, to see if anything happened with my waves. The whole time I was experiencing the pressure waves , but thinking very little of it, besides how cool it was to have a new sensation. After Colin’s game, we headed home and laid down for an afternoon nap. I could only sleep about a half an hour (Colin slept for 3 hours, which turned out to be a very good thing!), but did notice that during my rest the waves hadn’t slowed down or gone away at all, despite my being well hydrated and comfortable. I woke up and made dinner, still in doubt. When Colin woke up, we ate and hung out a little bit and watched an episode of The Office. I could tell that he was quietly watching me as I sat on our birthing ball and dealt with the ever-increasing strength of the waves. He was very calm and encouraging (as he would continue to be throughout or birthing time!), and made no attempt at timing them… he just watched me as I experienced them. Around 8 or 9 o’clock our landlords came over, and as we were chatting with them my pressure waves became stronger. I was unable (well, more unwilling at this point) to interact during them, so I began to lean over the counter and focus my way through them.
After they left, Colin and I decided that it may behoove us to begin listening to our Hypnobabies track “Easy First Stage”. I didn’t particularly enjoy this part of our early labor, as I much preferred to be able to move around instead of being in the “off switch” position (where your body has been trained to remain loose and limp from head to toe). It was at this point, around 11 o’clock, that I began really using my Hypnobabies training by switching to the “center switch” position (where you direct your anesthesia and relaxation to your birthing muscles, and are fully able to interact and move around as desired). I was still in disbelief that I was in actual labor, even though my pressure waves were about a minute long and 2-3 minutes apart (Looking back: WHAT?? ha!). I was very comfortable and would in no way describe these pressure waves as painful. My mind and body fully accepted every wave with gladness and excitement– I knew that whatever was going on in my body was preparing it for our little girl’s arrival. I smiled, laughed, and talked with Colin in between every pressure wave. This definitely contributed to my disbelief. I always imagined that labor would be much more grueling, even though we prepared very well with Hypnobabies.
I had always thought that I would be very active (walking) during the early stages of labor. I knew this was good for positioning the baby as well as keeping labor progressing. But, when it came down to it, all I really wanted during these waves was to be sitting down or squatting, with my arms or forehead on Colin’s shoulders, focusing, breathing and lowly “aah”ing. It felt good for me to vocalize the pressure I was feeling. After a little while, Colin suggested getting in the warm bathtub. He lit some candles, turned the light off, and played guitar for me and sang while I worked through each coming wave. I cherish that memory.
It was soon after that Colin insisted that we call our midwives (again, I was still in some form of disbelief and had been asking him not to. I think at this point I knew things were happening, but again, had heard so many times that first time labors are usually very long. I knew we could be laboring well into the morning and next day, so I didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Olive had other plans). After talking to them on the phone and having them listen through one of my pressure waves, they confirmed that I was most likely in active labor. They advised laying down to try and sleep for an hour, and calling back. Well, there was NO WAY I was going to be able to sleep, as the waves were becoming longer and closer together (still around a minute long but no more than two minutes apart). I wanted to feel clean and comfortable, so I decided to shower, as it helped me relax. Colin was at this point finishing up packing our bags (birthing clothes, all of the fresh fruit, protein and such for smoothies during labor), and I could see the excitement in his face, although he kept his physical excitement low (adrenaline is contagious and works against the birthing process). It was while he was packing the car that I noticed some bloody show when I went to the bathroom (I know, TMI, but as I said, this is a birth story!). As I had previously stated, we had learned to keep our adrenaline to a minimum in our classes, but I couldn’t help but excitedly yell out to Colin, “BLOODY SHOW! BLOOODYYY SHOWWW!!”. This is when I knew that I was in actual labor for the first time! It took me that long, but now it was undeniable. I became even more excited.
At 1:45 am, Colin and I knew it was time to head to the Birthing Center. Between waves I moved myself from our bedroom and onto our couch, and then I promptly vomited multiple times. I knew this was one way my body was alerting me that I was progressing in the laboring process. I was so happy! I continued breathing and “aah”ing through every pressure wave, with Colin by my side for every single one, offering a hand to hold, a forehead to lean on, and shoulders to grasp. We got into the car and began to make the 15 minute drive to Covenant Birth Center. I can honestly say that was the most surreal drive– we knew that our lives were about to change forever. We knew so little of what to expect. 9 months just can’t prepare you for that moment. It was so quiet on the road, and despite having frequent and long pressure waves, there was such an air of peace in that early morning hour. I don’t think I’ll ever look at I-20 and I-26 the same.
We got to the Birthing Center and our two midwives, Lisa and Alex, were bustling around making preparations. The first thing that they had me do was get on my back on the bed to be checked. (Side Note: I officially feel awful for women who are forced to spend their entire labors on their backs. That one minute it took our midwife to check me was so extremely uncomfortable!) She looked at me and smiled as she told us that I was 7-8 cm dilated (I was already in Transition!), and she could feel my bag of waters bulging! This gave me a burst of confidence, as one of my fears in labor was lack of progression. Colin and I had made it through our entire active labor at home and were in the middle of the “most difficult” part. It was around 2 a.m. I was so incredibly proud of our baby and, as strange as this may sound, continued to look forward to the rest of our birthing time.
Colin began helping Lisa and Alex fill up the inflatable birth pool as I continued working through the waves. I found it comfortable to labor on the toilet (How odd is that?), so I sat there for a good amount of time. It was a very surreal experience, being at the Birth Center. This is the place that I knew we were going to deliver Olive at for months. This is the place where I had learned so much about pregnancy and our baby, month after month. The lights were dim, there was music going, and I was left in peace with Colin to work our baby out.
There must have been a time vortex somewhere in the center, because we really did lose all sense of time. The next thing I knew, my water broke as I was sitting on the toilet (Very convenient)! Our midwife, Lisa, looked at me and said, “You’re planning a water birth, right? Well, I’d suggest getting into the tub before this turns into a toilet birth.” HA! The tub was full of water and I was able to climb in. If you are pregnant and planning a natural birth, I highly recommend laboring in the water! It felt amazing to have weight taken off of my body, and it was much easier to maneuver myself into different positions. The quietness of the room was perfect. The midwives were incredible– they really left Colin and I to ourselves. They had told us before that they wanted to give each of their clients what they needed and wanted in labor (within reason, of course), and it was clear that what we needed most was to be in peace, together. So with the exception of quietly sitting and watching and occasionally checking Olive’s heart rate, Colin and I were left to experience much of our labor alone together.
Let me tell you a little bit about Colin as my birth partner. If ever I witnessed silent strength, this was the moment. He spoke to me in near whispers, speaking the word, “peace” in my ear over and over and reminding me to go to my “Special Place” (a Hypnobabies technique in which the mother mentally and emotionally goes to a safe place with her baby). He recited Psalm 16 with me during pressure waves. I felt like he was anchoring me, watching over me and protecting me, and radiating pride all at the same time! His affirmation, I’m sure, had so much to do with the confidence I felt our entire birth.
The pressure waves were now seemingly right on top of each other and much, much stronger. As weird as it sounds, my heart felt gratitude towards them. I think this is one of the main principles of Hypnobabies that really became engrained in my mind and heart and helped me through labor. These powerful sensations were taking over my entire being in order to help our baby come to us safely, and soon! My “aah”ing became more intense, but again, as strange as it may sound, I can honestly say that pain was still not the sensation that I was feeling.
Minutes after my water broke, my body began to attempt pushing without me! It was such an odd feeling, not being able to control such a thing. Lisa instructed me to reach down and feel our baby’s head for the first time. Talk about surreal. I could feel her hair and her scrunched up skin! This gave me the boost of energy I needed, and soon I was able to participate in the ride my body was taking me on. I had heard women say that pushing was such a relief, and I have to agree. Allowing your body to take over you for hours is one thing– being able to work along with it is awesome. I focused on breathing her out instead of vigorously pushing, but when it came down to it, it felt good to put a little bit of power behind it. The midwives were again amazing and allowed me to choose how long and hard to push on my own. So, with my arms around Colin’s neck (he was in the tub at this point), I began to work baby girl out.
Every pressure wave brought her head down more and more. The midwives kept encouraging me to feel her! I can honestly say that birthing at that point becomes such an animalistic process. The noises that you make and the focused mindset that you come into is purely… animal. I don’t know how else to put it. It was so powerful. After about 20 minutes of pushing, Lisa asked if I would like to change positions to make it easier for both Colin and I to see Olive come out. So, with Colin’s arms around me from behind and me leaning into him, I pushed. After two pressure waves, I pushed for the last time as Olive’s head came out. What a strange sensation! One more push and out came her squirmy little (or, not so little) body. Colin quickly retrieved her from the water and brought her to my chest.
Her body felt so good in my arms. She was so squishy and soft! One reason I am so glad we did a natural birth was the state she was in when she came out. I imagine the transition from womb to world is usually pretty traumatizing– going from a warm, wet, and dark environment to a cold and usually bright room. But she was born into the warm water, and because of the lack of drugs in both of our systems, her eyes were open when she came out! She let out a scream immediately. Colin and I were both in such disbelief. All I could say over and over (after asking, “Is she still a girl?” haha) was “my baby. my baby!”.
After the cord stopped pulsing, Lisa allowed Colin to cut through the cord. He was amazed at how strong it was! They handed Olive off to Colin to go lay on the bed, skin to skin, while I delivered the placenta and got checked out. That was a very long few minutes for me, as my body was hemorrhaging blood and wouldn’t stop, on top of having a tear from her unexpected size and how quickly she came out. They had to give me a shot of pitocin in my leg and monitored me closely. None of this mattered. I got to hold my baby girl and nursed her for 45 minutes, drinking it all in with Colin. She ended up being 9 lbs. 3 oz. (which is funny, because just days before, Lisa predicted around 6 lbs. 10 oz.! HA!), 22 inches long, and scored a 10/10 on the apgar scale. We were all shocked at her size– especially because of the amount of weight I actually gained in pregnancy, how much I showed, and a pretty intentional diet. So it goes– the perks are plenty of fat rolls to kiss and pinch!
Olive’s birth was perfect. I could have never truly imagined what it would be like to experience labor, which is possibly a lot of the reason I was in disbelief for the vast majority of it. I highly recommend preparing your body, mind, and heart for such an experience with a class like Hypnobabies. It cleared any tension and fear I had about birth and replaced those bad thoughts with truth and confidence. It’s hard to explain how, but practicing creating anesthesia and being able to direct it where you need it in your body actually works! We were blessed to be able to bring Olive into the world in peace with a quick and uncomplicated labor. The midwives at Covenant offered us so much information during pregnancy as well as a strong knowledge of how to treat the laboring process. I have so much confidence in them and am such an advocate for what they do!
My birthing time started on my guess date. By suppertime that day, I started listening to the early birth time CDs (the fear clearing one first really helped set a positive tone). Í had a wonderful team at home with my hubby and my sister (who is also a doula). She had purchased the doula workbook from the Hypnobabies website and it was so useful for getting her familiar with the approach.
Using the CDs, the exercise ball and the bathtub-- things progressed smoothly and (by my definition) quickly. When we arrived at the hospital at 3am, I was fully dilated! Apparently, I'm the first physician in a long time to arrive fully dilated with a first baby-- way to go Hypnobabies!
The staff were great & very supportive of our approach. My GP was amazing-- fully on board with Hypnobabies and she was with us continuously from our arrival at the hospital until we welcomed our sweet pea (thankfully without the need of any interventions).
A special thank you to Jenn-- HypnoMammas (Hypnobabies) had an incredibly positive effect on my pregnancy, our birthing experience and life in general (I even used some of the tools last night to fall back to sleep after a particularly activating middle-of-the-night feeding!). We plan to use the program again if we are lucky enough to have another pregnancy and we've recommended HypnoMammas to many expecting couples.
Hypno-Mom Karen - Mathew's Birth Story
Before I share my HBA2C, I need to give some background information on my first two births. My first baby was born c/section because he was breech. I found out a few days before his birth that I have a uterine septum, meaning that my uterus is heart shaped. The septum in my uterus causes my babies to turn breech in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
My first experience with birth was very painful. I struggled with a long physical recovery and it was also emotionally painful. I wanted to give birth normally. No one seemed to understand why I was so upset because I had a healthy beautiful baby. That is what every mother wants and expects but I wanted a healthy baby and a good experience too! When I found out I was pregnant the second time I wanted to do things differently. A repeat c/section was out of the question. I even switched doctors when the first one I went to wasn’t supportive of a vaginal birth after cesarean (vbac). I recalled talking with a friend about her birth and that she had used hypnosis. I did an online search and found Hypnobabies and was immediately intrigued. I knew that this was what I wanted. I loved the hypnosis scripts and did a good job with my practicing. I also read a lot of books on natural childbirth. I felt very confident and prepared to have this baby normally. I knew I would have to fight for what I wanted in the hospital because it would be a vbac, but I was up for the challenge.
During my 38 week OB appointment my doctor informed me that my baby had turned breech. My heart sunk. I broke down and cried right there in his office. I went home and tried all kinds of things to get my baby to turn during that week, but when I went back a week later he was still breech. I had felt so ready and prepared for this birth, and I wasn’t even going to be given the opportunity to do it my way. So with a heavy heart I went into the hospital and had yet another c/sec.
I knew that we still wanted more children and I couldn’t face preparing for another vbac to have my hopes dashed. I told myself that I would just schedule a repeat c/sec and try not to feel bad. But my heart ached. I wanted that beautiful natural birth experience. I was angry at the situation, and at my body. Women’s bodies are made to birth babies vaginally and I felt cheated! A year after Jason was born I started reading more birth books and was put on the path to become a doula. I learned that I could have the birth experience that I yearned for and I would do everything in my power for that to happen. When I became pregnant for the third time I was ecstatic but soon after was faced with the challenge of finding the right care provider. I wanted a midwife for the quality of care and in the event that this baby turned breech then I could still birth normally.
I spent hours searching out midwifes and then driving around all of Utah and Salt Lake County interviewing them to make sure we were on the same page. I interviewed twelve midwifes. In the end I chose a wonderful midwife and felt very confident in my choice. I loved her and her assistant. They spent so much time in my home getting to know me; they listened to my hopes and fears for birth and gave such wonderful support. Then eight weeks before my due date my family and I moved 4 hours south of our home in Springville to St. George. Not only did I have the huge responsibility of packing up and moving our family but also finding a new midwife. Luckily I found two wonderful midwifes that work as a mother daughter team just one hour from my new home. They were very supportive of my wanting a vbac after 2 previous cesareans. They also had assisted in many breech births. So I felt confident in them, and they were confident in me. Sure enough, much like my last two pregnancies, when I went to my 35-week appointment my baby had turned breech. I spent the following weeks trying to get him to turn with exercises, chiropractic, hypnosis, energy work and more. I finally came to the conclusion that I had done everything in my power to get him to turn and it would be okay if he were born breech if that’s how he needed to be born. When I would listen to the Hypnobabies Turn Your Breech Baby Track, I was asked to visualize my baby being born in the vertex position, and I just couldn’t do it, it didn’t feel right. I really felt like he was supposed to be in a breech position. So I stopped worrying about it and just visualized my uterus having lots of room in it for my baby.
I went to my last midwife appointment at 38 weeks, a Monday. I was tired but excited that I only had a few more weeks left before I would meet my baby boy. I had been having Braxton Hicks for about three weeks and I was hoping that would make for a fast birth. Tuesday was a very busy day and the Braxton hicks felt different. They were stronger and more consistent. I was feeling them 10-15 min apart. After dinner I finally had a chance to rest and they slowed down. Wednesday morning I woke up a little disappointed to still be pregnant, but also glad I was because I still needed to fold and put away the baby clothes. I spent an hour listening to my Hypnobabies Birthing Day Affirmations and putting my baby’s room in order. I was very relaxing and enjoyable. I was really hoping that tonight would be the night, but I wasn’t having any Braxton Hicks or pressure waves. I took the boys to swimming lessons and then my friend came over and took my oldest son to play for the day. I tried to take it easy, but by the time Mike came home for dinner I was exhausted and cranky. I went to bed at 8:00, and Mike went on a bike ride.
By 8:15 I had two huge pressure waves (contractions) and I knew that something was different. I called my sister Kelly, who was also my hypno-doula at 8:30 and told her that I thought it was the night and asked her to come over. I tried to relax and sleep. Mike got home the same time Kelly showed up and I told him we were going to have a baby. It was so laid back and comfortable. Kelly would time my PW (pressure waves) and Mike and Kelly would take turns pressing on my back. We all got to work putting my house in order; I really wanted it to be clean for the midwives and after the birth. My pressure waves were coming about every 7 minutes and by 9:30 they hadn’t slowed down so I called Vickie, my midwife. I showered while Kelly and Mike put clean sheets on my bed. We continued to just hang out, relax and laugh. I tried to sleep but couldn’t because my PW were getting stronger, and I think I was afraid I was going to miss out on something. I went into the living room to sit on my birth ball, and have Kelly press on my back. It wasn’t very long when Vickie and Camille arrived (my midwives). I remember feeling grateful when they walked in that I was in the middle of a PW, so they would know that it was for real. After they got everything set up they came and checked my vitals and the baby with the doppler. Everyone relaxed and we chatted while I did my thing. My pressure waves were so easy that I was worried that I wasn’t really in my birthing time. Vickie wanted to check me around 1am. I was super nervous that I would only be 1 or 2cm dilated and I almost asked her not to tell me what number I was but I was curious. To my surprise I was 4 centimeters! I was so happy that I cried. Everyone was a little worried when I came out of my room with red eyes but I assured them that I was okay, that I was happy. I was a 4! Never in my life had I been dilated 4 centimeters.
Kelly made me a delicious chicken sandwich loaded with fresh veggies. It felt weird eating so much in the middle of the night, but I knew I needed it for energy later. We all just relaxed, talked and laughed. I spent a lot of time by the kitchen sink, I had just bought a padded mat and it felt so good to lean over the sink and have someone press on my back during a PW. At one point I was in the middle of a PW and my dad made a joke and I couldn’t help but laugh. (both my parents had come over) I was having so much fun. Vickie told him to stay and I would just laugh my baby out. After a while I decided to try to get some rest. I didn’t sleep but I rested in bed while listening to my Hypnobabies Deepening Track. Mike finished up some work on the computer while everyone slept. I was probably in my bed for an hour when things really started to pick up. I had Mike wake up Kelly so that she could read me Hypnobabies Birth Scripts and Prompts. I sat on the floor next to my bed while Mike massaged my head and my Mom and Kelly sat on the floor beside me. Camille and Vickie were in my room and checking on the baby and me but mostly they just took a step back and let me have my space. The lights in my room were low and we would talk between waves and Kelly would read me prompts. It was so easy and relaxing. My PW were starting to get stronger and I had my mom call my sister Katie to come over so that she could take pictures and video my birth.
My birthing time was so enjoyable. I loved feeling the light pressure of the waves and feeling my body relax when Kelly would read me scripts. I knew that my body was working just the way it was supposed to and that I would see Matthew soon.
After sitting on the floor for a while I started to get uncomfortable, not from the waves but from sitting on the floor. I decided to try the bathtub, and it was awesome. I was in the tub for hours, my body got so wrinkly but I didn’t care, I was so relaxed. We all just chatted and it was so much fun. We would be in the middle of a conversation and I wouldn’t want to stop for a PW so I would try to just relax on my own and keep listening and then the wave would peak and I would have to ask Kelly to read me another prompt and immediately my body would relax and it would be so easy. After the wave would end we would just continue our conversation where we left off.
When the sun started to come up I thought, “Wow, I’ve been up all night!” Vickie checked me again and I was 7 centimeters dilated. That was really exciting. I was progressing so well. I absolutely loved the way I was treated during my birthing time. I was surrounded by so many wonderful women that were all there for ME! I felt so loved. So many times I would just start crying because I was doing it, I was finally accomplishing what I had wanted for so long.
After a long while I got out of the tub. The water was getting cold and I needed a change of scenery. I sat on the birth ball for a while but found that it was more comfortable to stand and sway and then lean over the closest person during a wave. My boys woke up and knew that the baby was going to be here soon. It was nice to have them there but really distracting at the same time. They wanted Mike’s attention but I needed his attention too. So my Mom made us breakfast and then took them to her house and my dad was so great to play with them. Vicki checked me again and I was complete. I was so excited and thinking I would see my baby very soon. But I didn’t feel the urge to push. My midwives thought that he was still breech and posterior so we decided to try the rebozo while I listened to the Hypnobabies track “Turn Baby Turn.” I loved this, it was so relaxing having the movement of the rebozo and talking to Matthew asking him to turn to make his birth easier. I felt him rotate into an anterior position, but we all still thought he was breech. I tried a few pushes but still no urge so Vickie suggested I rest in bed for a while. Kelly stayed close and read me scripts while Mike pressed on my back.
I slept between waves, which was awesome. I rested for about an hour and then told Camille I was ready to start pushing. I was so tired at this point and ready to get things going. I tried pushing in bed on my side but that was really uncomfortable. I had wanted to have a pain free birth and so far I had, but now I was hurting and exhausted. I got out of bed and tried different pushing positions and that helped so much. I tried to stay upright to help him descend better. My bag of water was bobbing and not allowing Matthew to descend so Vickie broke my waters, to get some off the pressure off. The first few contractions a little water leaked out and then a huge gush! That was awesome. It felt like the hot water faucet had been turned, and it was coming out with that much pressure too. It would stop and then with another wave more and more water. I felt instant relief. That’s when my pressure waves changed and became more productive. I continued pushing in a squatting position. My pressure waves had picked up so much that I every time I had a wave I would ask Camille to look at me. It helped so much to make eye contact with her. I will always remember Camille’s beautiful brown eyes. She was so patient and loving with me during such a trying time. Vickie and Camille sat on my bathroom floor in front of me and would press on my knees while I pushed on the toilet. Kelly was there reading scripts to me but at this point all I could concentrate on was pushing and Camille’s eyes. I just wanted to get into the bathtub. Someone started filling it up again. When the water turned off and the bathtub was full Camille said that I could get in after 5 more contractions. I wasn’t keeping track but after awhile it was finally time to get in the tub. The warm water immediately helped relax my muscles. I was feeling a lot of backpressure so I asked Mike to press on my back. It helped tremendously; I even wanted him to keep it up between pushing.
I could feel my baby move down my birth canal, and it was very intense. I finally had gotten into the swing of things and I knew my baby would be here very soon, and then I could stop pushing. I kept thinking that I was feeling the “ring of fire” and any minute he would emerge and Camille would announce that my baby was here, but it kept on going. I was picturing his body coming down through me and I knew I had a lot of work to do. It hurt to push but I knew I couldn’t stop because he was almost here. I would compare how I was feeling to when you are working so hard with every ounce of your being to finish a really important task and it’s almost complete. You are more exhausted than you have ever been in your entire life but you just have to “push” through all the pain and exhaustion because you know the finish line is right up ahead. You just have to keep going, even though you want to stop, you can’t because you’ve worked too hard for this moment. So yes pushing hurt, but not so much that I even considered quitting. I had worked so hard for this moment, SO much prayer, research, time and tears to have my baby the way I wanted him to be born there was no way I was going to quit. I was doing it. I pushed with every bit of strength I had and Camille would reward my efforts with praise that really helped keep me going.
When Camille said that she could see hair and that my baby wasn’t breech, it took me a few minutes to register or even care what that meant. (Looking back I think he must have turned head down when I did the rebozo and listened to the Hypnobabies Turn Baby Turn track.) First that Matthew was coming headfirst and second if she could see hair then I was almost done! I continued pushing on my hands and knees for a while when all of a sudden I wanted to sit back in the tub. The room was full of excitement and I wanted a better view. All I could see was a head full of dark hair. I don’t remember hurting anymore, I was so motivated to meet by baby, I only pushed one more time and his head was all the way out, and then a little more to get his body out. Camille handed him directly to me. I cried. It was amazing, Matthew was here and we had done it together!
Matthew’s birth was so empowering. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done physically and emotionally. The past 9 months have been very emotional and life changing. My journey to Matthew’s birth has been long, hard and very lonely at times. Since Matthew’s birth Mike has expressed many times how great it was not to have surgery, and that I am home recovering so quickly. It has been easier for us to bond with the new baby as a family since I didn’t have a long hospital stay. Mike is amazed at what my body was able to do. He understands more of why it was so important for me to birth at home. A few days before Matt was born Mike and I were discussing the birth and some of his fears. He told me that my first OB had told him that because I had a heart shaped uterus that I would always have to have c-sections. It was pretty cute the way he announced very shortly after Matthew was born, “Don’t ever tell my wife that she can’t do something, because she WILL DO IT!”
I am so glad that I found Hypnobabies. I loved the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations. I feel that they helped me to be more confident during pregnancy and during my birth. The Hypnobabies program is fantastic! I love telling people that I loved my birthing time, and I really did. I was actually sad when it was all over. I highly recommend taking the Hypnobabies course. The live class is so great because you can ask questions and get to know other couples who are making similar choices for birth, much like a support group. I also encourage a hypo-doula. Kelly was such an asset to my birth team. She allowed Mike to take much-needed breaks and support me on a level that only a woman can. Even when she was just sitting next to me holding my hand I felt her strength.
I am so happy with this birth experience. It was better than I imagined. And even though my first two births were not ideal I wouldn’t trade them because I have learned so much. I would have never sought out anything different. I would not have become a doula or sought out the care of a midwife or had a homebirth. I believe that birth challenges us and changes us. And we can do hard things!
Baby Liam's Birth
I was induced with Cervidil at 3:30 pm, spent an hour on the monitor as per protocol, walked the halls of the hospital including doing all the stairs in the Janeway twice for an hour, and then was put on the monitor again for 30 minutes to monitor the baby. At this point, the nurse said she expected to see me later tonight as my pressure waves were already getting more regular on the monitor. I didn't feel much and was just looking forward to going home.
I arrived home at 6:30 pm, ate dinner, and managed to get a shower in before my pressure waves really started. In retrospect, I think I was having some pressure waves in the shower but I managed to blow dry my hair and get dressed afterwards. Around 9 pm I told my husband I was going to go lie in bed. He was shocked to hear that I was having pressure waves as I guess I was still functioning. I lay in bed and tried to time some of the waves but my phone kept timing out. I glanced at the clock and they seemed to be coming every 4 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds (my guess). This was around 9:30 pm. I was focusing on my breathing, completely disengaging from any surrounding noise or distractions and breathing my anaesthesia down to my lower abdomen and thighs. I put on the Early Stage CD before I lay in bed but was too focused on my breathing to really pay attention to the cues on the CD.
At 10 pm, my husband called back our doula and my older son's babysitter and told them that instead of the presumed hour, we needed to go to the hospital now. At 10:15pm we left for the hospital and arrived at 10:30pm, and I was 8cm dilated. They tried to get me into the hospital gown at which point I used my bubble of peace and proceeded to take off my pants, leaving me in my own dress. I started walking to my room but didn't get far as my waters broke, I lost my mucous plug and the urge to push began. They wheeled me into my room where I was 9 cm dilated.
I was already starting to push. My doula arrived, propped up the bed for me and I pushed for about an hour while semi-squating on my knees. My doula and hubby were gently promoting relaxation of my hands, shoulders and face in-between pressure waves. I was shutting completely off and disengaging every time I had a wave. It felt incredible to finally feel the so-called "burning" sensation in my perineum when Liam's head finally came out. He was born at 11:30 pm.
I smile every time I think of the experience. It was incredible and exactly what I wanted; no IV's and no medications unlike my first birth. Thank you Hypnobabies and Fiona!
Read more wonderful Hypnobabies Birth Stories from Fiona's students
Hunter is here!! He was born 1/13/14 at 7:57pm, 6 lbs 8oz, 17 1/2 in.
Here's the birthing story:
I started my "bloody show" 1/3/13, saw my doctor that Monday and she told me I was 2 cm dilated, 90% effaced so I had to lay low and try to make it until the following Monday when he would be 37 weeks. I started my early birthing time mid-Saturday (1/11/13), and it picked up pace a bit on Sunday. I just kept turning off (Hypnobabies technique) and listening to multiple of theaudio tracks to stay relaxed. It wasn't particularly "fun" but completely manageable and not "painful".
Monday I was seen at 3pm at the office and my doctor said I was 6cm and my water bag was leaking so I should head to the hospital, but to take our time. We went to grab a bite to eat and made it to Hoag (Hospital) by 5ish. My birthing waves were 3-5 mins apart and very pressure-full. We made it to the room just in time to watch the sunset which was so awesome. After that special moment I laid down, listening to my deepening track and felt my birthing waves change.
I got up to use the restroom and felt my water bag completely break and immediately felt pushy. At that exact moment my doctor walked in, checked me quickly, told me to let two more birthing waves come and go then follow my body's lead. At first I pushed on all fours then moved onto my right side with the nurse holding my left leg. The staff just quietly encouraged me and I pushed for about 30-40 minutes before he completely emerged! I was able to view the whole thing which was incredible. Jason was great and took his water duty very seriously. I think he was slightly disappointed that he didn't have time to read me any hypnosis scripts but is thankful that it all happened so fast!
Hunter's birth was truly perfect in every way from being at the hospital only 3 hours to not having a saline lock or even exam by the nurse before he was born! I felt a lot of pressure and some burning at the very end but didn't tear nor need an episiotomy. Dr. Lai and all the nurses were amazed at the ease of my birth and I give all the credit to God and Hypnobabies! It was an amazing, empowering, and wonderful experience. Hunter is the most precious thing I have ever seen. Thank you immensely for everything you taught us and helping us make this such a wonderful birth!
Thank You! April C.
I didn't choose to educate myself about pregnancy and birth when I was pregnant with my first two children and I had very challenging births as a result. My first son was born via cesarean. My second son was a VBAC in the hospital with an epidural. My second son, Sam's birth was particularly difficult and led me to a different path when I became pregnant with my third son. I knew I wanted to do things differently, so with baby number three, I hired a midwife, took the Hypnobabies course and gave birth at a free standing birth suite. My perspective on birth completely changed after he was born. I experienced how birth is meant to be--gentle, kind, and peaceful. It transformed me in such a powerful way.
This is the story of Jane's birth; my forth child, third VBAC, second Hypno-baby, and first home birth.
The night before my sweet baby Jane was born, my husband Jake and I stayed up late watching TV. I was having pressure waves when I went to bed and even woke up during the night with more pressure waves, but then I would fall back asleep. This was typical of the past 3 weeks, so I tried not to get my hopes up about this being my actual birthing time. But, around 5:30 a.m. they were starting to regulate and at 7:00 a.m. they were about 7-10 minutes apart and over a minute long. I decided I should maybe call Cyndi, my midwife. I also sent my doula a text. She told me earlier in the week that she was going to be out of town. I asked her if she had left town yet. She had already left, but I wasn't worried; everything happens for a reason and I knew I was in good hands. I sent my mom and sister a text telling them that it was finally time! My midwife arrived around 8:30 and my mom and sister shortly after.
It also just so happened to be my 6 year old, Sam's birthday. I asked him, before everyone arrived, if it was okay if his little sister was born on his birthday. He thought about it for a minute and then said, "Yeah." I was glad he was okay with it--because I don't think he really had a choice! My mom got to work making Sam his birthday breakfast and Cyndi got set up and timed my pressure waves, did counter pressure and rubbed my back. She told me that my waves were much closer than 10 minutes apart and more like 3 minutes apart--I was surprised, but was glad that things were progressing and that I was enjoying my birthing time. I really was too. I had a massage appointment scheduled for that afternoon and I remember thinking, “Would I rather be getting a massage right now or be doing this?” And I thought—“Giving birth for sure!” I guess I really do love birth! Cyndi's assistant, April came about an hour later and she took over doing counter pressure and rubbing my back. The mood was still pretty light and we would talk a little bit in between pressure waves and Jake would come in and make jokes and sit near me. The house was unusually quiet that day, especially with 3 little boys at home--I think they must have sensed the special event that was in progress.
I spent most of my birthing time rocking on the birth ball on my hands and knees. As Jane dropped deeper into my pelvis, I had to empty my bladder more often. After a pressure wave ended, I would get up and hurry to the bathroom and then before I would make it back to the birth ball I would have another pressure wave--they were that close together! So I would drop to my hands and knees--it just felt so much better to be in that position. I had my Hypnobabies Easy First Stage playing out loud on my phone right next to me during my whole birthing time--it was a huge comfort and I felt so much more relaxed when I could hear it. At around 11:00 a.m. I decided to get into the bath tub. I floated on my belly and worked with the pressure waves. April showed Jake how to massage my back and it felt so good!
The pressure waves were getting stronger and I could feel her moving down my birth canal. Cyndi, my midwife, would say just the right words at just the right time. I hadn't really discussed any of Hypnobabies cue words with her because I had planned on having a doula, but she picked up on them and would say, "Release." That really helped so much to keep me relaxed and focused. Sometimes as I could feel a wave approaching, I would say, "Talk to me Cyndi." Her voice and words really helped.
At one point April asked me if I felt like pushing. I told her "No, not yet." But sure enough, with the next pressure wave I started to feel pushy and I told her so--it's pretty amazing how a good birth team can become so in tune with a birthing woman. After a couple of pushing pressure waves my water broke. Wow, what a cool thing to feel under water! Soon after I remembered to change my Hypnobabies track to Pushing Baby Out. Looking back I am so surprised how clear headed I was. Once this track started playing it really helped me to relax and stay focused even more through the pressure waves.
I could feel my baby moving down even more with each wave. I could feel how close she was and it made me emotional, knowing how long we had waited for this day and now she was almost here! Soon I could feel her crowning--I reached down and could feel her head. When the pressure wave ended, she would slip back up--in a two step forward, one step back fashion. Cyndi's words were so encouraging. She said things like, "Perfect pushing." "Good job, just like that." "You're doing it just right."
After a while I turned from floating on my belling to sitting reclined against the back of the tub. After a few more pressure waves in this position her head slipped out. A moment later her body slipped out--I don't even remember pushing, it just happened. Then I gently pulled her up to my chest. It all seemed to happen so quickly and it took me a little while to process it all. I looked down at her, all snuggled against my chest--so perfect! I told my sister to go get my kids so they could meet the new baby. They were there almost instantly. They all came in so quietly-- they somehow just knew how to reverence the blessedness of her arrival. It was so sweet and wonderful to have them all there. They have all responded so well to the new baby and I know it is from having them present immediately after her birth. Just minutes after her birth, Jake said, "That was so easy!" Everyone laughed and Jackson my oldest, said, "Dad, you didn't have to do it!" But, he was right--it just seemed so simple and natural to be at home, surrounded by those that I love. It didn't feel like a big, dramatic affair--it did just seem easy.
Jane's birth was so beautiful. It was better than I had ever hoped or imagined. She was born on her brother Sam's birthday. It was such a tender mercy that she decided to come on that day because his birth was so challenging. The difficulties of that day, 6 years ago, is what propelled me to seek for something better and so I am now grateful for that experience. Jane and Sam's birthdays will hold an entire new meaning for me. Birth is a great teacher and all of my children’s births have taught me much about myself and helped me to grow as a woman and a mother. I love that the Hypnobabies program helped me discover the joy of birth.
As a first time mom, I was greatly looking forward to my birthing time starting naturally! I planned on having a natural childbirth all along and thankfully the hospital I work at had an in-hospital birthing center. (The only one in the state!) I started studying the Hypnobabies techniques at around 28 weeks or so and was really looking forward to labor and a water birth!
At my 38 week appointment, the midwives checked me and I was 1-2 cm, 70-80% and my baby girl was low as usual. My due date was July 5th and I knew the next full moon was July 3rd! (I work in the NICU and see often how busy the labor and delivery unit gets around the full moon!) Around 39 weeks (Thursday), I started having some pressure waves but they didn't stick around. Sunday night I listened to the track "Baby come OUT" just ONE time and went to bed listening to the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations! On Monday July 2nd, I woke up around 4am realizing I had been having pressure waves and they started waking me up. I finally got up around 6:30 am and started timing my waves (just for fun mostly :-) ) They were typically every 3-5 minutes apart lasting around 30-45 seconds, some spacing out to 8 minutes but never farther than that. I listened to my Easy First Stage track and my Birth Day Affirmations a few times.
I labored all day with the pressure waves staying in the same pattern, and around 10pm I started getting a little frustrated because they weren't progressing, but they weren't stopping either and I had also been losing my mucus plug all day. I called one of the midwives and she said it did sound like early labor and to try to rest overnight and see where we were in the morning.
I went to bed around midnight, although sleep was difficult, waking up with each pressure wave. At around 4:30 Tuesday morning I finally got up and moved to the couch because laying down to sleep was getting too uncomfortable. I finally gave up trying to sleep at all and got up around 6:30am. My husband, Nick, got up and went to work to finish a few things he had to get done and I continued laboring at home.
My pressure waves were closer to 3 minutes apart, about 30 seconds long. I called the midwives at 8:30, she said it didn't sound like my labor was far enough along to come in and to labor longer at home. It was pretty easy to get through the pressure waves so I was fine with that. My mom and sister and brother came over shortly after that and Nick came home around 9:30. I did have some slight discomfort in my lower back and I joked that could provide my own counter pressure to take away the discomfort. Around 10:30 I talked to a nurse at the midwives office when it got more difficult to walk and talk through the waves and she said to go ahead and come in.
I got to the (hospital) birthing center around 11am, and was disappointed to find out I was only at 3cm although I was 80-90% at least. I labored on the birthing ball like I had at home. My dad and my other sister had come too so we all played a game of Phase 10 in between pressure waves. The midwife came in around 3 and asked me to walk around a while to try to get things moving. I walked around the birthing center and my pressure waves definitely picked up, requiring me to lean on my husband or back against a wall to help with the tightness in my lower back. At 5pm, the midwife wanted to check me again and unfortunately I was only 5-6cm! I was very disappointed hearing this and was surprised my labor wasn't progressing more quickly. I continued laboring back in my room and this is where time started getting a little fuzzy. At some point I got into the birthing tub which was as amazing as I had heard it would be! Later in the night I realized I started sleeping between contractions which at times was not a good idea because I wasn't able to use my Hypnobabies techniques as I felt the pressure waves coming on. I used the Peace and Release cues constantly throughout my birthing time!
Around midnight, I asked if we could break my water or something to get things moving more quickly. The nurse got me out of the tub and checked me and I was dilated 8-9cm. The nurse talked to the midwife and reported back that the midwife didn't want to break my water yet because the baby was posterior! POSTERIOR??? Why are you just NOW telling me my baby is posterior?!?! I knew I had some lower back discomfort like a posterior labor would but it was manageable and not nearly as hard as I had heard a typical "back labor" would be, so I didn't think she was posterior. So my nurse and I spent the next few hours trying to turn her using various positioning techniques and I tried to really focus on relaxing and visualizing her turning. We FINALLY got her turned using the Rebozo technique! I was surprised we were actually able to get her turned! At this point I was quite exhausted, it was around 3-4 am on Wednesday morning July 4th.
I never once felt like I wanted an epidural or that it was too intense or overwhelming for me. I did want it to be over though because I was so exhausted! I asked the nurse a couple times in my daze if we could just cut her out and be done. Obviously and thankfully there was no need for that! They asked if I would like some "therapeutic rest" and I had no idea what that was so I asked. The nurse said "Well, we give you some Nubain and let you get some rest before trying again later", I immediately said no and continued laboring.
At various times through the night I got in and out of the tub and tried many laboring positions. The nurse had me start pushing when I thought I might have a slight feeling to push. She had me make this odd grunting noise during the pushing which resulted in only a sore throat the next day! The midwife and her student came in to check on me asking what I wanted to do and I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do, I was so out of it. They decided to go ahead and break my water and gave me an IV bolus of fluid since it'd been a long time since I'd eaten anything. Once they broke my water I still had a small anterior lip on my cervix so the midwives left again to let me labor some more. My pressure waves picked up in intensity and frequency, although I still tended to sleep in between.
Around 5:30am the nurse had me push through a pressure wave while she tried to stretch my cervix back and push around the lip. I got through that and stood up to push with one leg up on the bed at the suggestion of the midwife. I had lots of family at the birthing center and everyone started coming in the room at that point although I had no idea they were in there because I was in such a daze. I went into the water shortly after and my pressure waves spaced out a good little bit allowing me to rest in between. As part of my birthing preferences, I wanted to catch her and bring her up to my chest so the midwife reminded me (as I had requested) and I told them to remind me to open my eyes :-)
I pushed through a couple pressure waves, feeling her come down and slide back up a little. I held a little pressure to keep her down between pressure waves and pushed her head most of the way out with the next pressure wave. When I saw her head I was like "Oh my God." as in, wow there really is a baby in there coming out! The fourth pressure wave I was determined to get her head out so I pushed and delivered her head and her little body slipped on out after it and she was put directly onto my chest. I never felt the "ring of fire". I continued to say "Oh my God." I leaned back onto my husband’s legs (he had them in the tub supporting me) and just sat there relishing in the amazement of having just given birth to this amazing little baby. We waited to cut her cord until it stopped pulsating, I got out to deliver the placenta and get checked out. My little Ayla weighed 7lbs 15oz and was 20 inches long born at 6:05 on the 4th of July! I had a wonderful experience giving birth surrounded by lots of loving and supporting family! (I had around 8 people attend my birth not including the staff!) I had a small tear requiring one stitch and some small lacerations just inside the vaginal opening that they weren't worried about. I laid skin to skin with my new sweet baby, breastfed her and settled in with my husband for a little shut eye!!! It was wonderful!!!
Tyler and I enrolled in Hypnobabies classes for Crain’s birth. Julie was once again our guide during this pregnancy, and we learned so much in our classes. I did my Hypnobabies homework religiously and I feel that Crain’s birth benefited greatly from my hypno studies. I had been in the care of Dr. S. for this pregnancy. Dr. S. delivered Preston and I truly admire him and I am very grateful to be in the care of such a hands on, awesome physician. But with all that said, Dr. S. cannot control hospital procedures and there was something in me that really did not want to fight to have the birth I wanted. I knew in the hospital, I would have to battle to have a true hypno birth, and so after going back and forth on the “homebirth idea” Julie set up a meeting with Carey, our soon to be midwife. We connected with Carey from the beginning and I felt calm and at peace about the homebirth idea after meeting with her. Carey is extremely knowledgeable about birth. So it was decided a Homebirth for Crain! We were excited and at peace with the idea, however; kept it a secret because I did not want to hear all the negative comments.
So May 7th (Crain’s guess Date) came and no baby Crain, and boy oh boy how it made people mad that he was not here. I was determined to let Crain choose when and how he came into this world. But it was hard to be out of control and it taught me the first lesson of being a good parent, PATIENCE, and most of all it made me closer to my faith. I knew God was watching over us and I knew I was doing the right thing. I read quotes and scriptures every day and had faith I was making the right choice.
Julie and Carey walked us through this wait and made me feel that it was normal when most everyone around us were asking when we were going to be induced, and when were “they” taking the baby, and don’t forget the people sharing with us why you should not carry your baby past it’s guess date. It was a long 14 days for many reasons, but looking back I am so proud of us for having faith and waiting on Crain. If I would have delivered in the hospital, I would have had to been induced and I am so happy I did not do that. Thank you to Tyler, my Mom, and my sister Laura for really talking me through those 14 days and being so supportive of me.
Read all of Brady's birth story here, where she describes: " I sounded like a dwarf from Snow White!"
Before starting this birth story, I feel the need to mention my 1st and 2nd births. They are the beginning of my journey and very much affected how I gave birth to my 3rd child. My first came a couple weeks early with my water breaking in the middle of the night. I went to the hospital before contractions started and after walking around a bit, they started me on Pitocin. It took the whole day for contractions to get strong, and after 2 hours of strong contractions, an epidural and a cervical check resulting in little progress, the OB recommended a cesarean. Besides asking if we could wait, I didn’t know enough to fight this recommendation, so my first baby came to me via an unplanned, and what I have come to realize, an unnecessary cesarean. The reasoning was “failure to progress,” or maybe we could call it “failure to wait.”
The cesarean wasn’t easy for me to accept. I was happy I had a healthy baby, but not happy with how things went. Breastfeeding started off rocky and recovering from major abdominal surgery was not what I had planned for. I knew I wanted something different for my second birth. I started asking about VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) at my 6-week postpartum visit. And then two and a half years later when I got pregnant, I read more books, watched the essential movies, attended some parent topic nights, became a regular at Blooma, switched to a midwife, and hired a doula. I felt prepared and knew that I could accomplish a safe and rewarding VBAC. My labor started at 41 weeks, again with my water breaking in the middle of the night. I stayed home and waited for contractions to get intense, and then went to the hospital. There were a few hiccups of back labor, stalled progress and an epidural, but eventually I welcomed my 2nd baby into the world via a VBAC!
After that experience, I fell in love with the role of the doula, because I knew my first birth would have been different if a doula had been with me. I decided becoming a doula was the right path for me and dove in headfirst. After 2.5 years of witnessing strong mamas welcome their babies into the world, I decided it was time for me to do it again. But again, from all that I had learned and witnessed, I knew this time would be different. I decided to have a homebirth. I hired 2 midwives and 2 doulas. I focused on eating healthy, working out and doing yoga. I also went to the chiropractor regularly to make sure my pelvis was balanced and my body was in alignment. After hearing amazing reviews, I decided to give Hypnobabies a try as well. I was very committed to doing all of the homework and listening to the tracks daily. I was a believer but wasn’t sure if it would work for me until my birthing time came.
Read her entire wonderful Hypnobabies Homebirth VBAC birth story here
"Hypnobabies encourages you to think about what kind of birth you’d like. Down to even how long you’d like it to be. I knew my mom, sister, and her kids were going to be in town so I pictured laboring at my in-laws, who I also knew were going to be out of town. I wanted to labor during a week day because then I knew my son would be in daycare, a routine and familiar place for him. That was comforting to me. I also wanted the whole labor and birth process to take 6-8 hours. And so, this is how it happened.
My family arrived on Saturday, 2 days before my guess date. (I went 11 days passed my guess date with my son, so I was expecting for this one to go long passed the date as well). I wasn’t feeling a thing. Sunday I started to see a bloody show, but nothing else. Sunday night, I woke up every hour to use the bathroom and I was feeling pressure, but nothing strong.
I noticed in the morning that pressure waves were 10 min apart. My husband and I were both planning on working since it was Monday, but I decided to drop our son off at daycare and then go to his parent’s house to see if they were going to progress. I wanted to be alone with my husband in an air-conditioned house - we don’t have a/c and it was a HOT July 23rd day. I started listening to the “Fear Clearing” CD, and then the “Birth Day Affirmations” CD. I was feeling really calm and relaxed. Pressure waves were getting stronger, but lasting only 40-45 seconds long. They were about 5-9 min apart, but with no pattern. I labored on birthing ball, practiced yoga moves, and I would breathe through every wave. They all felt great and I felt strong and positive, as I listened to the hypnosis CDs. I labored like this from 9:30am-12:30pm. I ate and drank in between and walked around the house as well; letting my body go limp whenever I could. My husband read a book he was totally into, so we were both happy."
(Editor's Note: One key to getting the most out of Hypnobabies is actively using the tools, just like Karen did!)
Read Karen's wonderful hospital birth Hypnobabies birth story here
Baby Owen's Birth:
My pregnancy with Owen went smoothly overall, especially with the excellent prenatal care at Morning Star. Birth Center When we heard that Karla taught Hypnobabies classes, Nathan and I agreed that we wanted to go that route. The class required a large investment of time and effort but we felt very informed and prepared by the end of the class. We also felt such wonderful support from Karla as well as the two other couples in the class.
I had been having pressure waves for two weeks as we approached Owen's guess date. I knew they weren't the “real thing” yet and I felt impatient for his arrival, though prepared and fearless. We had given the midwives our birth plan which asked for lots of privacy and quiet. I felt respected and supported by everyone potentially involved in the upcoming birth...
Read the entire birth story here - 10 lb posterior baby
Click here to meet the HypnobabiesTwinCities Instructors
HypnobabiesTwinCities Class Schedule
This mom says:
"Up until this point I was not really using much of my Hypnobabies and was sort of struggling with my waves. I kept trying different positions but nothing was very comfortable. Jason finally said to me, "Why don't you listen to one of your Hypnobabies tracks." So I got on my birthing ball, set up a bunch of pillows, got all situated and listened to the "Deepening Track" (my favorite one!). I did put my switch in the center position so I was able to talk to Jason and wiggle around. The track absolutely relaxed me and put me into the right mindset. I felt I was in control."
(Editor's Note: This is key. In order for Hypnobabies to help you have an easier, more comfortable birth, you have to choose to USE the tools during your birthing time, just like this momma did!)
Later on in her birth story our Hypno-Mom says:
"I started getting "pushy" feelings shortly after getting into the water, around 11 am, so I got out pretty quickly, the midwife checked me (this was only the second time I was checked) and said it was time to have the baby! Jason switched my track to "Pushing Baby Out." I didn't have anything to play the tracks out-loud, I just stuck with my headphones. I listened to the track about 5 times, I kept saying to Jason "Babe, repeat the track" and at one point the midwife said "I really want to know what she's listening to." They were all very surprised at how calm I was in-between waves. I would just completely relax and drink water.I made jokes and didn't stop smiling when I was between my waves. I was told it is unusual to see someone still happy and relaxed in between waves once you near the end of your birthing time but I didn't see any reason to be worked up in-between waves. That was my time to relax, drink water, prepare for the next wave and get excited because my baby was on his way!"
Read her entire birth story here
Megan Marshall, who teaches Hypnobabies Classes in Las Vegas, NV, shared a blog post of hers with us about one of her Hypnobabies families that had their second Hypnobabies Birth. This Hypno-Mom arrived at the hospital 8 cm dilated (very common for Hypnobabies moms) and had her baby 20 minutes later! The benefits of Hypnobabies hypnosis techniques are many, as Megan shares:
In one of my first Hypnobabies classes nearly three years ago, I taught the sweetest couple. This momma was kind enough to bring her baby over to meet me after he was born and share his birth story with me. Things didn’t go quite the way they planned, but she had used her Hypnobabies tools beautifully and made informed decisions during her birthing time (which is what I always love to hear from my couples, regardless of how the rest of the birth story goes!).
Fast forward a couple of years, and I got a Facebook message from this sweet Hypno-mom that they had had their second Hypno-baby! Even better, it was everything she had hoped it could be. I was walking through the grocery store as I was reading her birth story, and I’m sure anybody who saw me thought I was a little off my rocker because I had the biggest, goofiest grin on my face. I couldn’t help it–I couldn’t stop smiling.
She was gracious enough to let me share their story with you (along with some beautiful photos)!
She said, “After my first birth, I almost felt like it wasn’t possible to have the kind of birth I wanted! It feels awesome to know that my body works great and I did it! I’d love for others to know they CAN have the birth they want.
Things went so quick! I was only at the hospital 20 minutes before Isaiah was born. Having my first was incredible, but there’s something about natural un-medicated birth. Amazing!”
Click here to read all of baby Isaiah’s birth story!
Click here to read Baby Sophie's Hypnobabies Homebirth Story
Read other testimonials from Megan's Hypnobabies students here.
"Get a copy of the Hypnobabies CDs and do THIS!! It's INCREDIBLE. NOTHING compares to the EASE of childbirth with this!!!!. I have had several births, natural, induced, epidural, pit. NOTHING, NOTHING works like this. It's AMAZING. I had NO pain during my birth experience. Only light pinches and warm squeezes. If I had not experienced labor the other ways,then I could not truly enjoy Hypnobabies. This was 1000X better than an epidural. I promise!!
You can google Hypnobabies and see moms during their birthing process. So relaxed, quiet, and PAIN FREE!!!! It is a miracle. I hope you all get this and experience birth for what it SHOULD be. Relaxing, beautiful, and enjoyable. You can ENJOY your birthing experience! Birth can be a fearful event if you don't have a beautiful tool like this. Relaxing totally while still being an active part of birth. I was talking, walking, eating, drinking, smiling (yay!) and so relaxed.
When my water broke I was 8-9 cm and still only feeling warm squeezes and light pinches. I am telling you this is NOT what my previous births were like - at 1 cm I was begging for an epidural. This whole birth was only 5 hours. My previous births were 24+ hours of inductions, etc.
Please GET it!! Hypnobabies is the brain's power of shutting down the pain receptors and totally RELAXING every muscle in your body. The homework is super fun and easy. You listen to a cd every night. Then there is a little bit of light reading in a manual.There is a whole section for the birth partner, Dad to read too. There are signs to hang in your birthing area, including the hospital. YOU CAN USE THIS IN THE HOSPITAL TOO!!!
I wish more women would use this awesome tool for birth. It's awesome!!!! Then you will be bragging how incredible your birth was like me!!!"
Read more comments about Hypnobabies here: http://community.babycenter.com/post/a47026417/hypnobabies-_pain_free_birth-_1000x_better_than_an_epidural
Click here to learn more about our Hypnobabies Classes.
Find a Hypnobabies Instructor here
Click here to learn more about our Self-Study Course
We love midwives! Their service, love and dedication to expectant and birthing families is invaluable and we love to educate our students about the Midwifery Model of Care. Many midwives don't yet have experience with Hypnobabies or hypnosis itself, therefore how the power of our minds creates change and manifests healing, pain relief and emotional confidence is still unknown to them. This article (excerpted from the Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula Training Program) is dedicated to the wonderful midwives who attend Hypnobabies births.
It is our intention to help midwives learn more about Hypnobabies language terms, philosophies, hypnosis techniques, and how they can more effectively support their Hypnobabies clients' unique birth preferences. (Hypno-Moms, please share the link to this blog post with your own midwife, and doulas, please share it with your local midwifery groups. Thank you.)
Serving your Hypnobabies clients during their prenatal visits … some things to know:
1. Hypnobabies mothers are in a state of heightened suggestibility when in the presence of a *perceived* authority figure. As a medical care provider, you are an authority figure to all of your midwifery clients. Of course you and the families you serve are collaborators in their pregnancy and birthing journey; you are "on the same team", working together in a partnership that bonds you together. While this is true, it is the *perception* (on the part of each expectant mother) that you are also an authority figure who is the ultimate expert and to whom she turns for extremely important issues as well as comfort and possibly protection that makes her much more suggestible to what *you* say and do. This is true for anyone she considers an expert (authority figure) during her pregnancy and birth, and it explains why strong, intelligent women can be so easily influenced when it comes to extremely important issues during pregnancy and birth.
2. Listening to an authority figure speak creates a state of heightened suggestibility in the listener's mind, because the listener holds the speaker in high regard. More importance is put on the words spoken than if a non-authority figure spoke the very same words.
3. Everything said by you, an authority figure, during a prenatal visit becomes a directive to your client's subconscious mind (her feeling mind) and this can result in her experiencing physiologically anything that is said to her in a "what to expect" manner.
4. This is especially true for your clients who are learning Hypnobabies because they have a daily hypnosis practice making them even more suggestible. It's very important that they hear everything spoken to them in encouraging, positive or neutral language.
5. This means using terms that have a neutral or positive association for your client. Most women who have seen, read or heard others' birth stories have developed a fearful, or negative association with the terms that we have historically used to describe birth.
6. The words an expectant mother associates with her impressions of childbirth often have a negative connotation (emotional meaning) to her subconscious mind.
7. She may even express consciously that she doesn't have a negative association with the words that were used to tell the frightening or drama-filled birth stories, but it's important to know that we all form connotations for the words we hear. This happens automatically in the subconscious mind and is expressed in our behavior.
8. When a woman hears birth terms that have a negative connotation to her, spoken by an authority figure during prenatal visits, or while she's vulnerable and highly suggestible during birthing, she automatically recalls the associated feeling subconsciously, and she can actually experience the same feeling in the moment that she associates with those words. If she associates the word with fear, she'll experience fear.
9. As birth workers, we all have come to understand that fear is the most prevalent impediment to the process of giving birth.
10. The Hypnobabies program purposefully uses neutral/encouraging language to eliminate the automatic fear response that a pregnant woman experiences when she hears birth described in terms/words that have a negative association and connotation for her.
11. This is why Hypnobabies uses words/terms to describe birth like:
• BABY rather than FETUS
• GIVING BIRTH not the DELIVERY or BEING DELIVERED
• BIRTHING WAVE or PRESSURE WAVE instead of CONTRACTION
• BIRTHING TIME instead of LABOR or even HARD LABOR
• TRANSFORMATION rather than TRANSITION (when "transition hit" … )
• DISCOMFORT never PAIN (no positive connotations for the word pain)
• POWERFUL STRETCHING or PRESSURE SENSATIONS not RING OF FIRE
What about childbirth preparation … taking other classes and doing Hypnobabies?
1. For all the reasons cited above regarding the impact that birth language can have on the expectant mother's feelings and perceptions, and even her experience of pregnancy and childbirth, we ask that expectant mothers choose one childbirth preparation program and only one; that they choose a program that appeals to them and that they embrace that one program fully.
2. When a mother chooses to use Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis to prepare for birth, it is imperative that she hears and speaks, and thinks only in terms/words that form positive, encouraging associations, and connotations for words that describe birth.
3. The Hypnobabies mother will be learning and using hypnosis to reframe her perceptions of birth at the subconscious level (her feelings).
4. She is learning through her hypnosis practice that birth can be easier and more comfortable, so that she may become fearless and confident about birth. Eliminating fear from birth while learning hypnosis tools for physical comfort creates a new positive perception of what birth can be in her subconscious mind; in her feelings about birth.
5. If at the same time, she also sees videos and hears in another childbirth class that birth is the worst pain she'll ever experience … but that she is strong, and she can endure the pain, and that the pain is purposeful, or that pain is empowering and helps her bond with her baby … her hypnosis conditioning to the opposite will be undone. This is because the subconscious mind (feelings), cannot entertain or experience two such opposite philosophies in the same moment, in the same body. She simply cannot feel confident and afraid at the same time.
6. Choosing is the important message here. We are not saying that Hypnobabies is for everyone; we know that it is not. However, in order for a mother who chooses Hypnobabies to make the best use of the hypnosis tools that create her comfort, she needs to avoid attending other classes where the language and the philosophy is one of preparation for coping with unavoidable pain.
7. Some people think that Hypnobabies teaches only hypnosis, and that expectant moms need to take other classes in order to be fully prepared for a natural birth … not true! Since Hypnobabies includes very thorough, consumer-based childbirth preparation education along with birth hypnosis tools, it isn't necessary for our students to take other classes in order to be fully informed about all aspects of preparing for birth such as:
- Maintaining a healthy, low risk pregnancy
- Nutrition and prenatal exercises
- Anatomy and physiology of late pregnancy
- The birth process
- Consumer issues, choices in pregnancy and childbirth (creating informed choice)
- We cite and promote evidence based care throughout the course
- Creating Birth Preferences and newborn preferences
- Birth videos of Hypnobabies families
- Birth Partner preparation
- Birth Rehearsal practices in class, or scripted practice for Home Study students
A midwife can support her Hypnobabies clients during the prenatal period by:
1. being open-minded and hypno-curious!
2. using neutral, encouraging terms when talking about birth or when describing procedures or explaining her choices during prenatal visits.
3. learning about the Hypnobabies program (it's different than other hypno-birth courses)
- Learn how the Hypnobabies Lightswitch technique helps your client enter hypnosis, and the difference between being OFF, in the CENTER and being ON.
- Learn about the deepening word cues, "Relax", "Release" and "Peace".
- Ask the mother if she will demonstrate each of the techniques and cues for you! It's pretty fascinating actually, to see the mother instantly enter hypnosis at will.
4. asking mom if she practices her eyes-open childbirth hypnosis technique 5 times every day:
- If yes, congratulate her! (Everyone's experience of her baby's birthing will be easier and more comfortable, including yours!)
- If no, remind her to do so! It is the foundation of the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program, and the key to her hypnosis working well for her during birthing.
- Since Hypnobabies is not a "listen only" program, IF she's not learning and practicing her hypnosis techniques and deepening cues daily, she's not DOING Hypnobabies. She's just enjoying a nice relaxing nap … not hypnosis.
Things about Hypnobabies that your client will appreciate you knowing:
1. The single most important thing to know is that everything said to a woman in hypnosis becomes a directive. If she is told that what she will feel is going to be painful or unpleasant, by way of warning her what to expect next, she can experience something uncomfortable that she otherwise wouldn't have. For example: saying, "Powerful stretching sensations as your baby's head crowns" or "lots of pressure now as baby crowns", rather than "let me know when you begin to feel the burn", or "now you're going to feel the ring of fire" will eliminate fear for the mother, and create confidence and a much more comfortable experience.
2. Mothers need to use their hypnosis techniques early in birthing, and maintain a deep level of hypnosis throughout birthing for it to be most effective. It's a myth that being in hypnosis "too early" can stall birthing. The opposite is actually true. Hypnosis tracks can be used to start birthing, and to increase the power of birthing waves.
3. She needs a constant stream of hypnotic suggestions coming into her subconscious mind in order to actually stay in a deeply hypnotized state. She can listen to her Hypnobabies audio tracks or to her Birth Partner reading Birth Prompts to her, or listen to the Relaxation Music and use her self-hypnosis tools on her own.
4. It's her HYPNOSIS conditioning and its continuous use during birthing that creates her comfort and therefore allows her to relax so profoundly, not the other way around.
5. Hypnobabies is not guided imagery or just a better relaxation technique; it's real medical hypnosis (hypno-anesthesia) that doctors and dentists use for their patients who cannot tolerate medical anesthesia for surgeries or other procedures. Hypnobabies mothers learn to create hypno-anesthesia and must maintain a deep level of hypnosis to access it instantly during birthing.
The Signs of Birth Progressing Can Be Subtle in Hypnobabies Mothers:
The signs that a Hypnobabies mother is in her Birthing Time are the same as other natural birthing mothers, just typically more subtle. When she's in her early Birthing Time, she is able to listen to her hypnosis tracks and sleep, sometimes all the way to 5 centimeters dilation. She will continue to rest until her birth progresses to the point where she knows instinctively that she needs to do something different, like change her position or eat or use the restroom.
It's important that the Hypnobabies mother follows her own internal agenda for comfort. A lot of times it isn't apparent that a Hypnobabies mother is making progress during the early part of her birthing, so her birth care provider might suggest maneuvers or positioning and movement to get things going, when actually her birthing is moving right along … it's just not obvious because she's not demonstrating that she's uncomfortable. Since approximately 70% of Hypnobabies mothers report being completely comfortable through their entire birth experience, your Hypnobabies client might never exhibit any signs of being in pain during birth.
If a Hypnobabies mother's birthing has seemingly stalled, it's more important to look to her emotional state first. She could listen to her "Fear Clearing" hypnosis track and resolve any concerns or fears that might be preventing her from progressing to the next phase of birthing. For example, a mom that has experienced abuse who could become afraid of pushing her baby out as she neared second stage, is able to let go of those concerns for the moment in order to attend to the task at hand, and go on to give birth to her baby quickly. This is the purpose of the Fear Clearing session. She might need to address those concerns with a therapist later on, but in the moment she's able to regain her confidence and composure and give birth.
As the Hypnobabies mother's birthing progresses, she might become more and more inwardly focused and communicate less. This isn't because she isn't able to speak during a pressure wave. She could if she wanted to; her not speaking is more likely due to not wanting to interrupt her focus and the depth of her hypnosis. Waiting to hear some distress in her voice, or panic in her tone as an indication of being in active labor is not valid for a Hypnobabies mom. Many a doula or midwife who is used to listening to the mother's tone of voice for signs of distress before going to join them, has missed the baby's birthing altogether. Midwives and doulas have also reported that some of our Hypnobabies mothers are so calm and focused during late first stage that they didn’t know when the mom was having a pressure wave!
There are usually signs that a Hypnobabies mother is in late first stage/transformation. During late first stage, her breathing might deepen like any birthing mom, and she may breathe a bit more rapidly. She might even moan or vocalize, and any sounds she makes will become lower in tone as her baby moves deeper into her pelvis. She might tremble, and feel hot or cold alternately just like other mothers who are in late first stage.
However, it's not common for a Hypnobabies mother to experience nausea or to vomit as an indication that second stage is near. This is because they remain so relaxed emotionally and physically throughout birth that there are less stressor hormones in her body to cause her to become nauseous. For the same reason, some of our Hypnobabies mothers, especially during their second or subsequent births, never have pressure waves that are closer than 3 - 4 minutes apart or that last longer than 60 seconds.
Since their bodies are not fighting the birthing process, they are not experiencing the Fear, Tension Pain cycle which can interfere with the efficiency of the uterine muscles and slow down birthing. This is the reason so many of our mothers give birth more rapidly than the average. Remaining profoundly relaxed throughout first stage gives Hypnobabies mothers the energy to push their babies out when the time comes.
What About Suggesting Other "Tried and True" Natural Childbirth Tools?
If a Hypnobabies mother is experiencing some challenges during her baby's birth, she needs her support team to help her get refocused on her hypnosis tools, not to suggest that she switch gears in the middle of her birthing to some other method of breathing, or movement or coping mechanisms. She may be experiencing a moment of self-doubt and she would benefit from listening to Fear Clearing or possibly some private time to listen to some deepening cues from her Birth Partner.
What she really needs is encouragement to deepen her self-hypnosis and to continue to use the tools that have been working for her up to this point. If her Hypnobabies tools ever worked for her, they will work again. A mother can decide to quit using her hypnosis skills, but hypnosis doesn't just quit working all by itself. There is no time limit on the effectiveness of hypnosis. If a Hypnobabies mother has been using it effectively up until a certain point, she can be encouraged to re-enter, re-commit and reinforce her level of hypnosis until she's back on track again. For most mothers, the Hypnobabies Birth Guide ~ track 1, "Easy First Stage" is the hypnosis track they turn to the most. It is designed to keep her deeply in hypnosis, to reinforce all her cue words and to focus her attention on her hypno-anesthesia, and being confident no matter what is happening around her, and to feeling safe.
If she's been handed a major change to her birth plan, her Birth Partner could read her the Hypnobabies "Change of Plans" script to help her accept the new path her baby's birthing is taking, and to refocus on her hypnosis tools for comfort.
If a Hypnobabies mother experiences a challenge or if she says she feels like she "just can't do this" (as we've seen mothers who use every method of childbirth preparation do), this is not the time for your Hypnobabies client to "try something different" (unless it is a different Hypnobabies cue or technique). For instance, if we ask a Hypnobabies mother to "open her eyes and to breathe with me" to help her refocus, we've just engaged the neo-cortex of her brain and popped her right out of hypnosis. Her pre-conditioned hypnosis techniques will be of no use to her if she's no longer in a state of hypnosis.
It's also not the time to suggest using her Hypnobabies in ways that aren't familiar to her, or suggest that she use her tools in ways that they weren't designed to be used. This could be disorienting to her at a time when she just needs to be reminded of what she's learned and practiced, in order to get her focus on hypnosis back.
As Ina May Gaskin said in her TEDx Sacramento presentation ...
"I noticed that labor could be well established, that the uterus could be opening, the cervix opening, and things could come to a halt. OK, now what do we do then? Well, I found out that sometimes words could help, but they had to be the right words, something strong and relevant for that woman."
Just as with any other method of preparation for childbirth, there are ways to work within the Hypnobabies program to get mom past any obstacles to her achieving her goal of a natural birth. We wouldn't suggest to a Bradley mom that she begin using Lamaze distraction breathing techniques if she's struggling a bit to remain relaxed while doing her deep abdominal breathing during late first stage. We use what she's learned in her Bradley classes to help her to refocus and regain her confidence and composure with the tools she already knows. Moms need familiarity and the security of the tools they've chosen, learned and practiced during their preparation for their baby's birth.
The most important thing to remember at a Hypnobabies birth is that the mother needs to be listening to (using hypno-tools) something familiar that will keep her deeply in hypnosis throughout her entire Birthing Time. She's not DOING Hypnobabies if she's not using her hypnosis tools (inside, to herself) and/or listening to hypnotic suggestions on audio tracks, or hearing birth prompts read to her by her Birth Partner or Hypno-Doula.
Easy, Comfortable Childbirth ... Chance? Coincidence? Accident?
A Hypnobabies mom gives birth confidently, comfortably, much more easily than most natural childbirth moms ...
Is it a fluke…a one-time occurrence…or maybe “just how that one mom gives birth…”? This is unfortunately what some birth professionals think is the case after they attend a Hypnobabies birth, assuming that the "hypno-tools" which that Hypnobabies mother used "worked for her, but probably won't work for other moms". Or that "this mother was just lucky and had an easy time of it", or "I've never actually seen hypnosis work in a birth before so I'm not sure...."
Not having a true understanding of the medical-grade hypnosis contained in Hypnobabies and having attended other types of "hypno-births" is most likely the cause of these responses. In reality, it is deep somnambulistic hypnosis, complete childbirth education and the compounding (repetition) of hypnosis techniques that creates fear-free, comfortable Hypnobabies births.
Please take sometime to read Hypnobabies Birth Stories and you'll see first-hand accounts of many Hypnobabies mothers experiencing easy, comfortable Hypnobabies births that resulted not from chance, but from their own dedication to learning, practicing and using Hypnobabies hypnosis techniques during childbirth! Homebirths, Birth Center Births, Hospital Births, First-time Moms, VBAC Births, Waterbirths , Breech Babies, Multiples.
A Midwife's Experience with Hypnobabies
One wonderful midwife, Stephanie Soderblom, who was very skeptical at first, shares her insights and revelations with us:
"Despite the fact that I have been attending births for fourteen years, my first experience with Hypnobabies happened only a year ago…and I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to it. Why not? Because I’d had previous experiences with “hypno”-classes and the subsequent births were often MORE challenging as the parents were not only underprepared for what they were about to experience, they were set up for disappointments with unrealistic expectations of a “pain free” birth if they just did their hypnosis “right”. It was not unusual for my client to feel labor becoming active (generally 3-4 cm dilated) and panic, thinking she was not doing things ‘right’ because of how it felt, losing all confidence in her ability and desire to complete the job at hand…the exact opposite of what you want in labor.
The upcoming birth was a first time mother and, as most people know, first babies tend to be the most challenging. I was skeptical and nervous about it as I knew this was a “hypno-birth” mother. I braced myself for the false alarms I often saw, emotional breakdowns, the pep talks I was used to giving to “hypno-birth” mothers about how she was NOT failing or doing it wrong, that her body COULD do this, that nothing was wrong. During our prenatal visits with this Hypnobabies mom I would ask her if she had any questions this week about nutrition, signs of labor, questions about the birth – and I was always pleasantly surprised at the depth of her knowledge and she would always assure me that they’d just gone over that information in her Hypnobabies class! My curiosity was peaked, but I did remain skeptical.
I got the first call early in the morning that the mother thought her water had broken, but they assured me that she was doing just fine and would keep in touch with me and let me know if anything changed or she needed me. She planned to do what she’d learned in her Hypnobabies class…to eat well and rest until labor commanded her attention. Plan for the day was to take naps and watch a DVD! Alright…now I was impressed! I didn’t have to tell a first time mom to take it easy in early labor, or calm a panicking family because her water had broken! How refreshing!
We kept in contact throughout the day until I headed to their house late that evening. Contractions were coming very regularly, but she was still calm and handling things very well. I figured I’d be there for quite a long time as it still sounded like it wasn’t far into her labor. I got to their home and she was listening to her CDs, calm and happy – uh oh, more confirmation that I’d probably be there a long time. Imagine my delight when their son slipped out into the world while his mom sat on a birth stool in her peaceful bedroom! Tucked into bed, mom smiled and looked at me and said, “That wasn’t nearly as bad as so many people told me it would be! That was AWESOME!”
I was thrilled beyond words – but figured that the chances were great that it was the parents that succeeded IN SPITE of the method, not because of the method. Glad that they had such a positive experience, Hypnobabies hadn’t quite won me over yet – I would need more experience with it before making a final judgment.
Thankfully I wouldn’t have to wait long. Another first time mother (who had attended the same class as the previous mother!) called me early in the morning with early labor. Similar story as her classmate; she labored all day, finally calling me out late in the evening. A smiling and happy first time mom greeted me from her rented Jacuzzi hot tub in her family room. I commented to my assistant that we were probably in for a LONG night and after our initial assessment we laid down to rest. One hour later, when I went to check on the baby, she was out of the water and going to the bathroom. Still smiling and happy, we all agreed that an internal exam might be a good idea. I prayed that she would be at least 3cm but braced myself for much less. To say that I was shocked is an understatement: I found her to be 8cm dilated and her water broken around my hand. Her response to finding out she was 8cm was a smile and a calm, “yay”! She got back into her water and soon after she delivered her 10 pound baby girl in her bedroom. Her response to the birth was that it was “beautiful”.
I could feel myself converting to being a Hypnobabies fan. Not for myself, mind you, but for my clients who time and time again have had similar experiences. Calm labors, centered mamas, working intensely and never complaining because they EXPECTED and PREPARED to work intensely for an easier birth experience!! Babies born beautifully by empowered mothers who soon-after say how wonderful their births were.
I found myself referring people eagerly to the Hypnobabies classes, and my reaction to finding out someone was a Hypnobabies family was, “AWESOME!” It has totally shattered all of my previous misgivings that I had developed, as it became obvious how different the Hypnobabies series was from all other hypno-classes. The main difference that I saw was the amount (and quality) of childbirth information given. Families were given information on how to keep themselves healthy through the pregnancy, stages of labor, physiological changes and ways to help facilitate the birth through positional changes and movement – and also given information on ways to use hypnosis to assist them through the birth. The parents were given realistic expectations so that they could prepare for what they were likely to experience, not false hope of escaping the experience.
As a midwife, my Hypnobabies births are easy on me as I am dealing with healthy and informed families ready for the challenges ahead – and they are a blessing to the families as the tools and information given to them through their classes help them have the best outcomes possible!! Yes, Hypnobabies…you turned this skeptic into a fan!"
Stephanie Soderblom, LM CPM
For more detailed and comprehensive information for all birth professionals that attend Hypnobabies births, please visit our Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula Training Program page.
(Hypno-Doulas, please share the above information with your Hypnobabies clients’ midwives so that they can help our wonderful Hypno-moms enjoy an easier, more comfortable birth.)
We just love when our Hypno-Moms share their birth stories online to educate and encourage other families and birth professionals!
Yet another Hypnobabies mom, Alayna shares: "I had a pain-free natural birth. Even through 20 hours of birthing and three hours of pushing, I didn’t feel any pain at all, only pressure! My Hypnobabies birth was the most beautiful and amazing experience I have ever had!"
"My story starts 4 days past my “guess date.” I decided I needed some fun to distract me from anxiously awaiting my baby’s arrival. I saw Blooma was hosting a Belly Mapping and Belly Painting night with Spinning Babies and thought it would be perfect. During the class we found out our baby was ROT (Right Occiput Transverse), which is considered a posterior position. I was shown a couple of exercises I could do and left feeling a little worried about the position. The next night I headed back to Blooma for my usual Sunday night yoga class with our doula, Lindsay. She gave me the Hypnobabies track “Turn, Posterior Baby, Turn.”
That night I gave it a try before going to sleep. Two hours later I got up to go to the bathroom and used my new belly mapping skills to find out that my baby had turned! She was now on the left side of my belly and therefore better able to put pressure on my cervix. I went back to sleep excited that my baby was in an optimal position and astonished at how powerful the mind really is (what a confidence boost for birth!).
Only two hours later, at 3 a.m. I awoke to what felt like a very small gush of fluid and what I was pretty sure were waves. They were 7 minutes apart and about 30 seconds long. I tried my best to get back to sleep and by 6 a.m. they were five minutes apart. I woke up Lance and told him to keep sleeping but that today would be the day! Then I called Lindsay to let her know. She recommended the Deepening and Fear Clearing tracks. I listened to Fear Clearing and Birthing Day Affirmations while lying in bed..."
Read Alayna's full, wonderful, pain-free Hypnobabies birthstory here:
10 Reasons We Chose Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis
• Listening to daily pregnancy affirmations increased my confidence and trust in my body’s ability to grow and birth a healthy baby.
• Daily hypnosis sessions enabled me to connect and bond with our baby in utero and experience deep states of relaxation on a regular basis. This has numerous long-term health benefits for both mom and baby.
• We learned how to stay healthy and low risk through prenatal nutrition and exercises, which increases the choices you have available to you and decreases your chances of needing medical interventions.
• Making informed decisions came easily and naturally to us because Hypnobabies has such a comprehensive childbirth education component. We learned about all of the choices available to us during pregnancy and birth as well as what the advantages, disadvantages and natural alternatives are so we could make educated decisions about our care.
Read the next 6 reasons Crystal and her husband chose Hypnobabies here. Moms encouraging moms!