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Miriam (Miri) Margaret Hanstad’s Hypnobabies Waterbirth Story

"I focused on relaxing and sending my hypno-anesthesia to where I needed it. I would turn my switch to off during a pressure wave and tell myself, “deeper and deeper, more and more relaxed with every breath I take. My muscles are completely limp and loose.”

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Laura and Doula
Miriam (Miri) Margaret Hanstad’s Birth Story
I think the best way to start off this story and to illustrate how effective being a well-educated pregnant Mama with a support team around her can be is to say that Miri’s birth was VERY close to how I envisioned it, even down to the number of hours in birthing time (labor) and time of day she was born. Miri is our second daughter. As wonderful as our first daughter, Evelyn’s, birth was, it wasn’t the experience I wanted. Interventions were introduced and even though everything was peachy keen, I knew that I needed a natural birth in the future to help me heal emotionally from my first birth. I decided that I wanted a water birth.


Evelyn’s birth also led me to become a birth doula and hypno-doula. I decided to use Hypnobabies since I had been trained in it as a doula and saw the amazing births that came out of using that childbirth education program. It was fun to be on the other side of it as a student instead of the doula - you can never know too much about pregnancy, health, birth and post-partum! My husband and I registered to take the class with my friend and doula, Lindsay.


I had quite a comfortable pregnancy and my prenatal yoga at Blooma really assisted with keeping me in good shape and feeling good! The midwives say I carry my babies in my back, so I don’t gain much weight and look fairly small. Once they drew my attention to this, I realized that is why I had so much back labor and pain in my hips with Evelyn’s birth. I practiced my Hypnobabies scripts and usually sent my hypno-anesthesia to my back and hips and imagined it surrounding my baby.


• Hypno-anesthesia is what we use in Hypnobabies to ease discomfort and aid in a more comfortable birthing
• We use different, positive terminology such as birthing time and pressure wave in Hypnobabies to create a positive, enjoyable attitude about birth


Miri’s guess date ended up being December 1 after several changes by practitioners. December 1 came and went and I went into work the following week and planned to just kind of hibernate in my office so that if I had to go, I wouldn’t leave anyone in a lurch. I worked through Thursday that week and listened to my pregnancy affirmations and practiced my self-hypnosis whenever I felt a pressure wave (contraction). On Thursday night, I wondered if this might be the night. It wasn’t, but I could tell we were getting close so I decided to stay home from work on Friday.


My mom came over for much of the day and we talked and I rolled around hung over the birth ball on my hands and knees quite a bit. My husband, Joe, decided to work late since he figured he’d be taking some time off soon so my mom suggested Evelyn and I come over for dinner. We hung out at my parent’s house as things intensified for me. My mom graciously offered to come back over to my house to keep me company as I put Evelyn to bed and then I took a nice bath and watched Pitch Perfect to take my mind off of things. I had been working with my chiropractor throughout my pregnancy using homeopathy. He had given me some remedies for when my birthing time started so I took a dose of that to help me stay calm. My mom left at about 10:00 pm and I went up to bed. Joe got home around 11:30 and I talked to him for a bit because I couldn’t really sleep since my pressure waves were coming more frequently and I needed to move my hips. Now it gets really interesting because this is where my birth and visualized birth really start to line up.


In Hypnobabies, one of the tracks we listen to is visualize your birth. It helps you envision your ideal birth so that your birth is already imprinted in your mind. So I visualized that my pressure waves would start around 2:00 or 3 am and that my water would break at home; I’d have time to take a shower; eat some breakfast; hang out on the birth ball; spend a little time with Evelyn; my mom and our doula would come over; we’d drive calmly to the hospital while I’d listen to one of my tracks along the way; I’d walk myself all the way up to the midwifery birth center; I’d get to skip triage and go straight into my room; the midwife would check me and I’d be at 9 cm; I’d push for about an hour and that Miri would be born calmly in the water at 10:09 am (total of about 7 hours of birthing time) with the room only lit by candles; I wanted to catch her; we’d hang out in the tub for a bit and then start nursing. I pictured Miri as if she’d look just like Evelyn but with brown fuzzy hair.


Now back to reality. I stayed in bed until about 1:30 am and then, since I needed to move my hips during pressure waves, I decided to go watch a little TV and hang over the birth ball. My pressure waves grew stronger and then at 1:50 I felt a pop! Since I was leaning over on my forearms and knees no water ran down my legs so I thought, “Oh, either my water just broke or I’m imaging things.” I quickly stood up and went over to a floor mat that I wouldn’t mind getting wet. Yup, my water definitely broke. I was excited and things were going just how I envisioned them.


I texted Lindsay to let her know and then went upstairs and woke Joe up. I didn’t want to wake him up like they do in the movies and run around like a chicken with its head cut off so I gently woke him and said my water broke. It’s funny because now as I think about this, he had envisioned that I’d wake him in the middle of the night and say something like, “Honey, it’s time” and then we’d have an easy birth in no time. So really, both of our envisioned births came true! He started to get ready and I called the midwife. A nurse picked up and I was having trouble understanding her. She said my name on the phone and I could hear someone in the background say something. The next thing I knew, my favorite midwife, Laurel, got on the phone and said jokingly, “Laura, what trouble are you causing now?” I told her my water broke. She said she’d like me to come in but I asked if I could hang out at home a bit. She said yes but no more than an hour or so. I called Lindsay and my mom and told both of them to come over.


I started pulling together my last minute items and then Lindsay arrived. Our dog barked so Evelyn woke up. I told her the baby was getting ready to come and she was so excited I guess she didn’t sleep the rest of the night, according to my mother-in-law. Evelyn loves babies and I had been telling her about birth for a long time so she seemed to understand this was important and exciting. She hung out with me as I finished putting my bag together. My mom came and my in-laws popped up to say hi and good luck and to take Evelyn. I think having childcare coordinated early on took some stress off too so that I could focus since I knew Evelyn would be well cared for. We left at about 3:00 am. Joe and my mom drove with me as I laid in the back on my hands and knees and listed to my easy first stage track. The ride seemed very smooth and short to me. I know that the car ride can kind of slow things down or make Mamas anxious so I just tried to stay as calm and relaxed as I could. I was still feeling good and was excited for this journey!


When we got to the hospital I took a moment to strengthen my bubble of peace (a safe space we imagine to block out negative images, sounds, things people say, etc. to help us stay relaxed and focused). Then my mom and I walked up to the birth center while Joe went to park the car. I stopped outside the doors to deal with a pressure wave. I remember when it was over I smiled and looked up and Lindsay was there. I joked about how quick and quiet she was and we went in. A nurse stopped us in the hall and said, “You must be Laura.” I said I was and she took us straight to our room. Joe came in with our things and then Laurel came to check on us. I didn’t want to know my dilation but since she didn’t say anything about getting in the tub I knew I was less than 5 cm. That didn’t bother me since I know how quickly things can change, especially in Hypnobabies births. I later found out I was at about 3-3.5 cm upon arrival. After some time on the birth ball, hands and knees and a hip release that Lindsay performed on me she suggested we try the rebozo to help baby into the ideal position. Boy did that get things moving! Since baby’s initial readings were good they just did quick intermittent monitoring the rest of the birth, which was also something I wanted.


At this point, I started feeling the need to make some noise. I would “ahhh” (in a low tone) through each pressure wave to help open my pelvic floor (relax your jaw, relax your bottom). Joe suggested I take a shower or bath in our room’s bathroom. It felt good to have him run the showerhead over my back and on my hips. I had quite a lot of hip discomfort, which is probably related to what my midwives describe as “carrying my babies in my back.” I actually never felt any muscular discomfort or pressure waves in my stomach once I got into more active birthing time. I focused on relaxing and sending my hypno-anesthesia to where I needed it. I would turn my switch to off during a pressure wave and tell myself, “deeper and deeper, more and more relaxed with every breath I take. My muscles are completely limp and loose.”


In Hypnobabies, we imagine a light switch on the back of our neck to turn off sensations and relax our muscles. It can be in the on, off or center position depending on what we’re doing
Maybe I should have been saying the above to my hip bones in addition to my muscles (haha!). Lindsay was directing me to send my peace down and to surround my baby with it. While in the tub, Laurel came to check on me and asked if she could check my progress. This is an area where I really think Hypnobabies helps. In all the cervical checks I had, which was not many, I never felt any discomfort. I turned my switch to off and relaxed. I later found out I was at about 5 cm. Laurel said I could get into the big tub if I wanted to so they started running it and I eventually wrapped myself in a warm blanket and walked to the birthing tub in a different room.


The tub felt good since it covered more of my body but I was still cold so they brought me warm blankets for my shoulders. I did a lot of rocking back and forth on my hands and knees during pressure waves and then would relax between them. The room was dark and lit by electric candles just like I wanted. It was quiet and peaceful. I remember at about 8:00 am Laurel quietly told me she was going off duty and introduced me to Kathy, the new midwife on duty. It turned out to be Kathy’s last week before she retired so my baby would be one of her last, which was something special to me. Around that time I told Lindsay I felt like I needed to poop, and in doula language that means it’s getting to be push time. That means that I went from 5 cm to 10 in an hour! It didn’t surprise me that much since I went from 6-10 in an hour with my first birth but it was still exciting that I was progressing the way I had envisioned my birth.


I started squatting to push at this point. For a while, I just let my body push and didn’t actually initiate the pushing. Part of our birth preferences was that I would do mother-directed pushing so all I heard were quiet encouraging words, not “push, push, push…hold for the count of 10” etc. that you hear on TV and in the movies. Lindsay would help me with each pressure wave and Joe would kind of step-in in between to encourage me and give me sips of water. I would stretch out my hips after each pressure wave and then get back into a squat that I had learned during my prenatal yoga. I continued to “ahhh” my baby out and started to initiate pushing after a bit because my hips hurt.


I remember thinking that my mom might be worried about my “ahhh-ing” but I wasn’t worried about myself. I looked forward to pushing and crowning because I wanted something to distract me from my hips. I remember when Kathy said she could feel the head. Then another push and she said she could see the eyebrows. I took a pregnant pause to take the moment in. This was a turning point for me. I knew I was close and was really motivated and excited to be in the home stretch. A couple more pushes to ease the head out and then when she was out to about her belly, Kathy told me to reach down and grab my baby.


I remember taking a moment to just look down and see my baby as we were still connected for one of the last moments. Since I was squatting and holding on to a sheet wrapped around Joe for support, I could only grab one arm. Kathy gently said, “Joe, grab your baby and help Laura.” He reached down and grabbed under her other arm and then we both gently lifted her out of the water. She had the umbilical cord loosely over her shoulder so I gently unwrapped it and sat back with her on my chest and stretched my legs out. She was born at 9:16 am on December 7, 2013.


She was so quiet and calm but her skin color was perfect so the midwives and I weren’t worried. Then Joe said, “Shouldn’t she be making noise?” She did a tiny sneeze and we all laughed. She scored a 9 and 10 on her apgar. We hung out in the tub for a bit to wait for the cord to stop pulsating and to get to know each other a bit.


My mom came over to take a picture. Joe and I had kind of preplanned this but we took that moment to introduce her as Miriam Margaret Hanstad – Margaret is my mom’s name. My mom started to cry and then laughed and said, “Are you sure you want to saddle her with that?” We all laughed but we loved the name and were happy we kept it a surprise. Joe took Miri and did some skin to skin with her so I could get out of the tub, birth the placenta – which was also easy since I just relaxed and turned my switch to off – and let the midwife check me out. Only a minor first degree tear that didn’t even need a stitch. Joe brought Miri over and she started nursing right away. We all looked at the placenta and then Lindsay took it to encapsulate for me.


All in all, I had an amazing birth, which I credit to Hypnobabies, my support team and takingthe initiative to educate myself and make the right choices for my birth. I think it is a huge testament to Hypnobabies and having the right environment around me that pretty much the same day I gave birth, I could say I would do it again. My birth was so close to what I had visualized in my Hypnobabies practice, that it makes me excited to share with others and help them have their dream birth too!
Laura and BabyA few other notable things about having Hypnobabies and a doula at my side for this birthing journey:
I felt like my husband was so much more prepared and educated for this birth. Sure, he witnessed a birth already but his attendance at the Hypnobabies classes allowed him to ask more questions and give more input on our birth plan and baby preferences. He really surprised me throughout our birth and after it was done I remember telling him how impressed I was with him for a couple of days (and still to this day!). I also think having a doula allowed for him to concentrate on me more or take a break when necessary. It wasn’t all on him to take care of and remember everything.


I can’t say I had a pain-free birth, which Hypnobabies does not promise but it sometimes occurs, but I felt so much more prepared and confident to handle birth this time that I knew I could get through it calmly and experience the joy involved in such a momentous event. I had the right team in place including an awesome doula, supportive spouse, comforting mother and hospital care team made up of supportive midwives and nurses.


My baby was calm, happy and healthy and I believe the time we spent preparing for our birth experience connected us. It truly was love at first sight – even before she was fully earth-side (as opposed to womb-side)! We had special time listening to hypnosis tracks and practicing for the birth. I even notice she gets calm when we listen to the relaxation music now as she did in utero. I wish all of the birthing Mamas a comfortable, joyful and supportive birth experience!

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Aurora’s Birth (first baby, homebirth, Hypnobabies)

Thank you to Hypnobabies Instructor Julie Byers for sharing this amazing story with us!
www.juliebyers.com

Photographs by Jen Conway Photography

"Getting into the final stages of pushing was the most focused and happy experience of my life."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Join our Hypnobabies Community and receive 10% off of all Hypnobabies products!
Aurora 1
Before I even became pregnant, I was one of those women who was fascinated by the idea of a water birth. As I began researching the options for water birth here in Greenville, I stumbled upon Julie’s information for her Hypnobabies class at the Birth Expo in Spartanburg back in the spring.

Our halfway mark approached and my husband and I enrolled in Julie’s class, having no idea it would empower me so much so that I would 180 my birth plan. We started attending her class, talking to other expecting families & meeting more and more natural/home birth professionals in the area. The more and more we learned, the more I thought about the idea of birthing at home, which seemed so wreckless to me initially. After reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, interviewing a couple of stellar midwives and taking a tour of the hospital Labor & Delivery, we decided that home birth was hands down the way to go for our growing family.

Everything was settled in my mind and we were going to have a great and healthy birthing. I envisioned a cow, trotting off into the dark woods to birth alone. Little did I know that my ideals and philosophies would, once more, be challenged for the better. To make a long story short, it truly “takes a village”.

I woke up about 6am, as I often did in the final months to use the bathroom. But immediately felt some light pressure waves. Having had a false alarm the week prior, I didn’t think too much of it. Ten minutes later, I was still on the toilet, still feeling pressure waves and feeling the instinct the stay put. So I grabbed my trusty smart phone and started timing these little waves. Sure enough, they were four minutes apart and a little over a minute long. It was time to wake up my sweet husband and tell him that “I think I’m going into birthing time”. He timed my waves from the bedroom and agreed it was time to call our doula, Julie, who relaxingly said she’d come by in about an hour to check on me. By the time she arrived, our pressure waves were at two-ish minutes apart and about a minute each. Julie stayed with me every step of the way, gently attending to needs I didn’t even realize I had.

I told her I wanted to have lunch with my baby. It was time to get into the tub shortly after.

My husband, Kris and Julie ushered me through a very quick first phase. And then a very quick transformation. Julie was face to face with me, maintaining an encouraging and calm presence. My husband was rubbing my back through each pressure wave while juggling keeping hot water in the pool between each pressure wave. And our superwoman midwife, Carrie, was holding my hand with a smile on her face.

All of this love and confidence spun me deep into my visceral side, making the “climb” up the mountain side nothing but scenic smooth terrain. Getting into the final stages of pushing was the most focused and happy experience of my life. It truly felt as though I had been ushered by all of these beautiful women and my caring husband up the side of a mountain, only for each of them to let go of my hand and allow me to simply enjoy the view. No one would push the beautiful baby girl out but me and I couldn’t have gotten to that mighty moment without everyone’s support leading up to it…and, of course, my Hypnobabies tracks playing loud and clear.

After six pressure waves of this babies head bobbing in and out, Aurora’s head was finally visible to me. I looked down and laughed so hard that I could feel her bouncing around with each laugh, tickling my insides.

One more (with all of my might) push and this beautiful baby was born. She layed on my chest for several moments before I remembered to check her gender. Kris announced she was a girl.

Following the birthing excitement was a flurry of champagne, more laughing, and three sweet women helping me into bed, making sure me and baby were eating and cleaning up all the aftermath. It looked as if nothing had taken place at all in our apartment, as if the magic that had just happened over the last six hours was in another universe and it was our little secret to know…

Aurora Alyssa was born at 12:22 on Sunday afternoon, the 26th of October. She weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and was 19 inches tall. I stayed fully intact. Everything about her birthing was everything I had meditated on in my Hypnobabies practice. She was named after the dawn of the sun since her birth began at dawn.

We ate lunch together that day.
aurora 2
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

This beautiful video comes to us from our Hypnobabies Instructor April Woolard from St. Louis, MO. April does such an incredible job of explaining all the techniques she used and how they worked for her during her birthing time.
April-Woollard-150x150
Here is Samuel's beautiful peaceful Hypnobabies Birth. This short video begins when I was around 8 1/2-9 cm dilated because I really didn't truly know I was in labor. I thought I was practicing my techniques through my "braxton hicks" which I got frequently anyway. I was 38 weeks and had been extremely busy that day so no footage from the beginning. It was completely awesome, amazing, so empowering to be so in tune with my body and baby. I can't wait to do it again in March. I loved Hypnobabies so much I am now teaching this 6 week series in the St. Louis, MO metro area.

You can view this wonderful video HERE.

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Thanks to Leigh Anne from Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan for allowing us to share her birth story from her blog onto the Hypnobabies Blog. 

So here is the part of the birth that I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting. My previous births have been pretty quick, especially Nick’s. I teach Hypnobabies, so I always enjoy telling the parents the different things they can do during their birthing time, walking, sitting on the birth ball, resting, etc. However, I have not really gotten to experience those intimate moments in birth because once things got going, it seemed like the birth was all out and fast. This time I got to enjoy a few of the things, I felt I’ve missed out on in previous births.

My husband was great, he asked what i wanted for breakfast. At this point, I was hungry, but not sure what I really wanted to eat. I think I told him to make me some eggs. I laid down in the bedroom and played around on my iPad in between waves. I sent a message to my friends on thebabywearer.com website that I had just two words….prodromal and posterior. I figured that I may be in my birthing time for a while. I knew the baby was posterior because I could still feel hands moving in the front part of my lower belly, over my pubic bone. Like I had said before, I didn’t do much during the night to try to rotate the baby because I knew I needed to rest. So, my plan for the morning was to get on all fours as much as possible and try to get the baby to turn around.

I sat on the birth ball in the kitchen while my husband cooked and my mom sat at the kitchen table. Whenever I had a pressure wave, Damon would come over and do a hip squeeze. I had to remind him how to do his hands. My mom even came over and did a hip squeeze, learning how I wanted her to put her hands. I had some pretty good pressure waves during this time. I resent my text to my boss from the day before while sitting on the ball, saying that I would not be in the office today.





After eating some eggs with salsa, I asked my husband to go for a walk with me. I took a photo of my mom with the boys right before I went for a walk. I sent a text message to Debi, to let her know how the evening had went and that I was still having pressure waves and had more show. She said she was nearby if I needed her.



We didn’t walk far in the neighborhood. It was before nine o’clock so it wasn’t miserably hot yet. We walked down a hill and then back up. I figure in our twenty-minute walk, back and forth in front of our house I had at least seven pressure waves. The part that was so cool about this was, I had always wanted to do the clutch and sway hold with my husband during a pressure wave. Since we are the same height, it was kind of funny to figure out how I could comfortably be supported by him. It was great to snuggle my face into his neck on this beautiful morning. We chatted about my mom’s dream she had in the night. She told me upon waking up that she dreamt we had went into her room and told her that Grant had been born. We did not have a name for the baby yet if it was a boy. Damon told me he had actually thought about that name last week. I said that he had vetoed that name with me in the past. I wasn’t ready to commit to any name at this point, especially because we still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. I loved our walk and found it was most comfortable to hold his waist during a wave. We even tried one abdominal lift while on the walk. I had not gotten to do that during birth before either.

I’m sure we were a sight to see, we even had one of our not so nice neighbors stop and check on us to see if they could do anything for us. It was during one of the waves where I was holding on to Damon’s waist. I started laughing during the wave because of how funny I know we looked. Another neighbor saw us and you could see the big smiles on their faces. I thought we might be having a baby soon but Damon told them that we would probably have a baby within the week. I loved that he was trying to protect my space for me.

We went back inside and I wanted to try doing some rebozo sifting. I had Damon pull up the Spinning Babies website so that I could show him what I wanted him to do with the wrap. I then got down on all fours in the living room and had him do some gentle sifting. It felt really good.



I then decided that I was tired and wanted to lay down again. I spread out a towel on our bed and laid down on my side. Damon came back there with me and would put counter pressure on my hips when he heard me start to moan or take a deep breath. I know I fell asleep between some of these waves because I would be feel a wave coming on, look around for Damon thinking that he was probably far away and I would need to yell for him and he was always right behind me, ready to support me and do whatever he needed. I laid there until about 9:30-9:45 am. At this point, I decided to get up and use the restroom again.

I believe around this point, Damon called Debi to let her know that things were picking up. She said that she would be here soon. I went downstairs and started to get the last-minute things I wanted ready in the birth room. I made sure that the video camera was set up properly, making sure that it would record. I asked Damon to call Amy around this time too, but he thought I had meant to just call Debi. I reminded him to call Amy and he did. Around 10 am, Debi and her daughter Rachel (her assistant) arrived. They were really great when they got there.

They brought in their supplies as we began filling up the birth pool. While I had laid down, Damon had somehow managed to get water boiling on the stove to provide extra heat if we needed it in the birth tub and had also duct taped a white sheet to the inside of the watering trough/birth pool. I was sitting on the birth ball next to the pool, waiting for the water to get higher and the right temp. I used the restroom a handful more times. Whenever I sat on it, I thought of it like a birth stool. I would almost always have a pressure wave while sitting on it.

Debi then asked to do some monitoring on the baby. I reminded her that I did not want any vaginal exams and she had no issues with that. She set up her external fetal monitor and I stood next to the birth tub while she held the monitor to my belly. She said she would monitor for six minutes and then would do so again in an hour for her intermittent monitoring. I was able to move as I needed to while she held the doppler. Once she was done monitoring, I got into the tub. The water felt wonderful.



I laughed as I saw water bubbles underneath the white sheet. I played with the water bubbles in between waves. My husband was cracking up at my simple entertainment. He took a couple of photos of me during this time.



Amy arrived shortly after I got into the pool and she took a few photos of me. Amy knew I really wanted photos during this birth since I had not gotten the opportunity with Nick’s birth and I had said no during Liam’s. The midwives and Amy were all fantastic about massaging my lower back/sacrum area during a pressure wave. Women that have had babies know exactly where to put their hands during a birth. Amy was fantastic at putting her hand on my shoulder and saying the release cue right when I needed it. I remember at one point she was sitting to my left and I was saying the words, “open, open, open” out loud during a wave. Afterward she asked me, “do you really believe those words when you say them?” I replied, “most definitely. I said those very words in that room right there,” gesturing towards the boys bedroom that I could see close by. ”I said those words when Nick was coming out of me in that room, I know they work.” She smiled.



I was joking and laughing between waves, telling the midwives stories about my recent hemorrhoids. I even was midway through a story, a wave came on, I groaned through the wave, saying “opening up, come on baby,” then as soon as the wave was over, I continued on with my story. Later on, I told Amy that we were going to be life long friends because she had rubbed my butt and I had it on video for proof. I was cracking up at myself.

I remember looking up at this board…



I had written the words, Relax, Release and Peace on it, just about thirty minutes before. I hoped that it would remind everyone in the room the cue words that I would need. Liam also had a picture that he had drawn specifically for when I had the baby put up on the board. I remember looking at the magnet board and I really thought it was about to fall. I asked someone to go catch it. My husband went over to it and asked what was behind the board. My response, which wasn’t so nice, but I started really cracking up, “Ohh, it’s just your stupid golf balls! Bwhahahahahahaha.” I have no idea why I thought that was so funny but in the moment when I was nearing transition, I thought I was hilarious.

I think around this time, I asked for some crackers and I drank some water between almost every wave. After a wave, I made sure to smile because I remember in the hypnosis scripts, it says to smile after a wave. It made me feel better to do so.

The waves were coming quicker and quicker. Debi went to monitor the baby while I was in the water. As her hand held the doppler to my belly, I said, “Wow, did you just feel the baby rotate?” She did. I have never actually felt my babies movements during birth. Another very special thing about this particular birth.

Once the baby rotated, I started to feel like I could push. Remember, I had no vaginal exams. I loved that no one said, let me check you. They could hear the sounds changing from loud moans, to lion sounds. I asked for Liam to come downstairs. I wanted to see him. He came and looked in the tub asking if the baby was coming soon. I kissed him and then he left the room as another wave sent a roar through me, roaring the words “Open.” I laughed as the wave ended because I could hear him say, “It sounds like a lion!”

A few waves later, I asked Nick to come downstairs. I kissed him and was so happy he was there too. Then he too went back upstairs.







I was getting louder and louder, the grunting roars where coming closer together. I would put my head into the towel on the edge of the tub, thinking to myself that it was the perfect replacement for a hand on the forehead (just like one of Hypnobabies physical cues for relaxation). Someone had their hand on my shoulder and during a wave someone would put their hand on my sacrum. It was starting to get uncomfortable with a hand on my lower back. I remember Rachel, the assistant midwife asking where I felt the most pressure. I took both hands and placed them into the sides of my glutes, right where the IT Band connects. I still had my head on the side of the tub. I felt like I was pointing at a big sign when I did that.

I started to push during the waves. The Hypnobabies Easy First Stage track ended and Amy asked if I wanted the pushing track on. I said I wasn’t sure, but yeah, go ahead. I had told Damon to turn off the Pushing baby out track off during Nick’s birth and then I felt pushy. Amy knew I would like to listen to it during this birth.



I remember repeating after the hypnosis track really loudly the words, “Yes, just pressure,” and kind of laughing after it. I started to push in earnest. I put my hand down on my perineum to see if the baby’s head was there yet. It wasn’t. A few more pressure waves and I put my hand down there again. I felt the sac for an instant. I said, “I feel the head.”





I was still having space between the waves, where I would just lean my head into the edge of the tub. Then during the next wave, I placed my hands in a circle around my perineum as the pushing urge became so strong. I was going to do my own perineum support.



During the waves, I really wasn’t sure if I could stand to have anyone’s hands on my back and said so. I was so confused on what I needed, the sensations were overwhelming my body. My hands were firmly placed against my perineum. Some people wonder how it is possible to support your own perineum around a belly, but I had my legs far, far apart at this point, with my legs starting to go numb in the water. The water was supporting my weight, with my head on the side. I could feel the baby moving down. The sac was right there during the next wave, I pushed back on my perineum while I pushed with all my might, the sounds in my voice being the loudest roar. I felt some of the sac bubble out in front of the babies head, like a small water bubble getting pinched, the sensations were overwhelmingly strong, I tried to stand up to get away from them. In that moment a piercing scream came from my mouth as I was so confused on how to get the head out….and then, the head slipped out.



I paused for a moment, taking a second to breathe to try to ease the baby out and then the whole body slipped into the water, the babies back to me covered in vernix. I lifted him up and saw his wonderful little testicles and shouted, “It’s a boy!” I had my baby boy. I had done it with people cheering me on around me the entire time telling me what a great job I was doing.









Liam and Nick were born with almost no vernix, but this baby was so sticky with it. He was wonderful, perfect and held to my chest.









Chunks of vernix floated in the water. Debi came over and rubbed him with a towel. Liam and Nick came down with my Mom to meet their little brother. I stayed in the tub for a little while and then noticed a lot of blood in the water. I asked Debi if it was a normal amount and it was. It was just the placenta separating from the uterus. The assistant felt the cord and said it had stopped pulsing. I was surprised at that, as it had only been about a minute. We realized later, that the cord was actually still pulsing. It was cool, even after it came out, it continued to pulse and didn’t stop for a while.The cord stayed in tact though. I soon got out of the tub after a handful of photos.

















They asked if I felt the urge to push the placenta out. I tried a little push but it did not come. So I stood up with the baby in my arms. I think the midwives were surprised that I was able to stand so easily and heft my leg over the edge of the large watering trough. Just as I brought my left leg over, the placenta fell out and I grabbed the cord and lifted the placenta up to Debi. I hobbled to the nearby bedroom to lay down with my baby boy.



I couldn’t be happier with the way this birth turned out. All my wishes were respected. Not knowing Debi, I wasn’t sure if she would follow my wishes, try to do a bunch of vaginal exams, or even try to get me out of the water. All she did was monitor me as she needed to and keep the tub water warm enough. My doula, Amy was amazing in remembering to take the photos that I wanted and to use her hypno-doula tools perfectly. Rachel the assistant had great touch on my lower back and all of them said encouraging words during the birth. My husband was always where he needed to be. Keeping the water boiling to keep the tub the right temperature; being next to me as I needed him and just being all around wonderful. I was so thankful that my Mom was finally there for one of my children’s births. It wasn’t her fault that she wasn’t there for the others, but this time she along with my doula’s daughter Miriam kept my children entertained as necessary.











I got to catch my own baby again and I was so excited when Debi said that my tear was minimal and I would not need stitches. I’ve had second degree tearing with the previous two births and I was proud of myself for supporting my own perineum to get the baby out. The baby was born at 12:14 pm on Friday, June 29th, 2012. The cool thing about the number 29, is I’m born on October 29th, Liam was born on October 29th as well, my wedding anniversary is May 29th and Nick’s birthday is on April 19th. I think I like the number nine.

Grant was named after the midwives had left and we had done our herb bath and newborn checkup.





Debi asked right before he was weighed how much I thought he weighed. I said, he looks similar to my other two when they were born, probably 8 lbs at least. I was surprised with him being born at 37 weeks. Sure enough, I was close. He was 8 lbs 5 oz, 21 inches long with a head circumference of 14 inches. He did show signs of being early. His muscle tone is a little low, the cartilage on his ears is very soft and he was covered in the most vernix I’ve ever seen on a baby. He is perfect though and nursing wonderfully now.













Thanks for taking the time to read this very long birth story, but I want to keep all of these things in my memory forever. I haven’t watched the birth footage yet, but I’m so excited to have it. I know it will be interesting to hear the sounds that came out of my mouth there at the end. Afterwards, I found out my husband knows those sounds well enough that he told both my mom and that assistant that when he heard a certain sound, the baby would be out in thirty minutes. He was right.




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I lost my mucous plug on Saturday (December. 1st…my due date was the 5th) and had some waves that night, but they stopped around three in the morning. The next day we walked around the mall and about a million other places but the waves weren’t coming back. Finally I decided to go to be around seven at night and they started up again. I took a bath around nine, watched a movie, and got my birthing pool ready. Around three in the morning on Monday, December 3rd, I decided to call my midwife. I was already at 6cm with a ripened cervix and fully effaced. Two hours later I was at 10 cm.

Up to this point, I hadn’t felt any pain whatsoever.

That’s when things got a little rough…my midwife’s partner decided to check me to see what was going on because I still didn’t feel the need to push. I felt INCREDIBLY uncomfortable having her up there and told her to get her hand away from me and she wouldn’t!! Anyway, after what seemed like forever, she finally listened to me (thanks to my wonderful midwife and friend, Rachel Talley). Anyway, I felt so uncomfortable that I think I consciously decided to wait a little longer before having my baby…I didn’t feel ready for it anymore, and it took me quite a while to get over that feeling. 

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Thanks to Leigh Anne from Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan for allowing us to share her birth story from her blog onto the Hypnobabies Blog. 

When I woke up from my nap, I felt very rested, like I had actually slept all night. I don’t remember if I had any pressure waves during this time. I went to the restroom and heard our garage door opening. My husband was returning home with the boys from a grocery shopping trip. He left the boys in the car and I helped put the groceries away. He surprised me with some very yummy treats, like summer sausage, cheese and crackers. After giving me a hug, he left again with the boys, leaving me time to just chill on my own. I really love that man.

I took some photos of all of the baby goodies I had made or received…you may have seen that blog post. I lanolized my wool items and laid them outside. Then made myself a snack of cheese, sausage and crackers. It was delicious. I spoke on the phone with my midwife Carolyn and her apprentice. I could hear that they were both disappointed that things were happening so early and that they may miss the birth. Carolyn and I spoke a few times, during the afternoon. At one point, she called me to tell me that Debi Church was across town and would be on her way over to check me. I quickly informed my midwife that I did not want any vaginal checks. She told me that she would call Debi back and let her know. I didn’t want a vaginal check because a number of centimeters mean nothing to me. I don’t like vaginal checks and only have had them during Liam’s birth. They give no indication when a baby might be here…in my opinion, and figured that someone having a number would just be random information.

I called my mom to let her know that I thought I might be in labor. She told me that she was free if I needed her to come. I called her back around 5 pm to ask her to travel down after she got off work. She has missed Liam and Nick’s birth. I wasn’t sure if things were going to kick into gear, but I knew we could use her help in the night if the boys woke up and I was having more pressure waves.
I decided to curl my hair because I figured I would not be pregnant on July 8th, when my maternity photos were scheduled. I had fun pampering myself, getting my hair looking nice, putting some makeup on and had fun taking some head shot photos. I knew I would have Damon take some photos of me that night, Thursday. I wasn’t sure if I would go to the river gorge where I originally wanted or if we would drive to the end of our neighborhood, to the river. It was extremely hot outside. We are having a having temps around 107 degrees fahrenheit. I posted a blog post of me having fun with my glamorous hair and was pleased to see how kind everyone was about the photos. I then sewed the binding on the babies mustache quilt, hoping that if I had the desire later, I could do the remaining hand sewing on the binding.

I was having pressure waves throughout this time, but nothing my Hypnobabies mental light switch couldn’t handle. When the boys got home, I got to hear about their enjoyable afternoon going to the mall playground. I told Damon that I wanted to take maternity photos that night, but we to get dinner ready first. I started to brown the ground beef for burritos, but the waves were picking up and I was getting nervous that I wouldn’t get to take my maternity photos. Damon finished cooking dinner while I dressed for the photos. It was around six pm at this time. I decided I did not want to go to the gorge, we would have to hike a bit for the photos and I figured being near the river was close to what I wanted.

We piled into the car and drove the short distance. Damon had asked if I wanted to walk, but the heat was too much. We took some fun photos by the river, even capturing the very close nuclear plant in the background. I bet most of you don’t have maternity photos with cooling towers in the background!

We ate dinner and then I told Damon that I thought I should go lay down for awhile. Around 9 pm, I asked him to get the boys dressed for bed. Nick wanted to nurse to sleep but I didn’t want the nipple stimulation. He was adorable and I was able to rub his back to sleep. My boys were all asleep and snoring within thirty minutes. I was needing to get up, not wanting to labor in the bedroom with all of them, possibly disturbing them. I figured at this point that the waves were coming every 5-6 minutes sometimes, then spacing out. I didn’t officially time them, it was just my guess. I decided to call my friend Amy while sitting on the couch. I told her my update and let her decide if she wanted to come over or not. I tried to call Debi Church with the phone number that Michelle had given me earlier in the day….of course, there was no answer. I sent a message via Facebook to Michelle, saying I couldn’t get in contact with Debi. She gave me her cell number and that it would be okay to call, she would be expecting my call. I did get to speak to her for the first time that evening. We had a nice long talk, me telling her how I was feeling, how close the waves were, how my previous births had went, and how I was worried about how far away she lived, if things picked up quickly. She reassured me by telling me that she would come stay in a nearby town that night. I was able to discuss my wishes for no vaginal checks, that I was wanting a water birth, that I understood she would need to monitor the babies heartbeat and that I wanted to support my own perineum when birthing and catch my own baby. Not knowing her, I wasn’t sure if I would get these things, but it made feel more comfortable letting her know what was in my birth plan.

My mom arrived around eleven pm and Amy arrived shortly thereafter with her ten year old daughter, Miriam. I had previously told Amy that I would be okay with Miriam being there, possibly helping with Liam and Nick. I told everyone that they could go to bed, I was just going to be on the couch. So my doula and her daughter went downstairs and my mom followed after we chatted for a bit. I believe I put on another Hypnobabies track when she decided to go downstairs. I had all the lights off in the living room. I knew I needed to sleep if I was to have energy to birth a baby. The night involved me alternating from left side to right side throughout the night. Having pressure waves that ranged from five minutes apart to about ten minutes a part. The only thing that would have been nice during the night would have been a pair of hands on my back, but laying on the couch, it would have been hard to get hands in the right spot. I also didn’t want my doula friend to be exhausted and I was able to handle most of it with my light switch and the peace cue. I was up every hour to pee or poop, drinking water frequently and at one point having a granola bar snack. I was starving. How anyone does a longer birth with not eating is amazing! Food is awesome during birth. I was able to get some sleep and was surprised at one point in the night to be sweating a ton and having been sure that I was talking in my sleep during waves.

Around 5:30am I decided to turn Netflix back on and watch a mindless sitcom. I felt like I had gotten enough sleep and I was tired of focusing on getting through the waves. My mom joined me in the living room around 6 am. Amy came upstairs around 6:30 am to check on me. I found out then that she had come up during the night to check on me, but I was in the dark and I guess I was asleep. I don’t remember her being there. She told me that she was going to go home and take her other daughter to a camp. I told her that was fine. I wasn’t sure if this was prodromal labor or not. I knew this could go on for days like this. She told me to call her whenever I needed her back.

To be continued…again. I know, the suspense. No worries. I’ll type up the actual birth tomorrow
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Thanks to Leigh Anne from Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan for allowing us to share her birth story from her blog onto the Hypnobabies Blog. 

As many of you noticed, I did not share my due date with most people because I hate the, “you haven’t had that baby?” comment. However, now that the baby has arrived, I’m happy to tell you my guess date. It was July 20, 2012, but I expected to go late like I did with my other two children. I hoped that the baby would be born on my husband’s birthday, July 30th. This baby had other plans though.

I’ve had multiple hemorrhoid flare ups this pregnancy. For me hemorrhoids have happened about two weeks before I have a baby in previous pregnancy, but with the every two week frequency of hemorrhoids in the past month, I was thoroughly confused. I kept figuring this would be a big baby because of how much pressure I had down low and for the frequency of the hemorrhoids. I even sometimes wondered if I was having twins even though we had only ever heard one heart beat.

My husband has been working out of town at least three days a week, in Nashville, since before the baby was conceived. He planned to be home next week for the fourth of July holiday. I had no worries about him being out of town as I approached thirty-seven weeks because I expected to go until at least forty weeks. He even was in Oklahoma all last week for work.

I had been doing little things to prepare for the baby this week. I had done some crazy nesting, getting down and scrubbing the kitchen cabinet doors, making sure the kitchen was clean, laundry was washed and put away, etc. My hemorrhoids were still there, but no longer painful, so I was feeling pretty good this week. On Wednesday, I had talked to one of my bosses about my work plans. I had the need to tell him that day…for some reason.

We all went to bed normally on Wednesday night. I listened to three Hypnobabies hypnosis tracks, deepening, creating anesthesia and fear clearing. Around 2 am, Thursday morning, I woke up needing to use the restroom, feeling a little off. I laid down on the couch in the living room, watched a little television and tried to distract myself. Around three, I went back into the bedroom and laid down next to my four year old and two year old but couldn’t get the idea out of my head that I needed to call my husband. I kept saying to myself, my female intuition was telling me that I really needed to call him and I would be kicking myself if I did not. I grabbed my cell phone and thought about texting him, but decided instead to just call him. Good thing I did. His phone went right to voicemail. I went and sat on the toilet, peed, then wiped. Bright red spotting. I dialed my husband again, even though I knew it was pointless. I was only 37 weeks, that day. I couldn’t be spotting. I panicked. I called my Dad, hoping that he was staying in the duplex in Nashville with Damon, my husband. He picked up after about three rings. I said in a very urgent voice, “Dad, it’s Leigh Anne, go get Damon please.” He asked what was wrong. I said in a stern voice, “go get my husband, now.”

My dad, went and woke Damon up. He told me that Damon would call me back. I found out later, that my Dad had walked into Damon’s room. Damon was splayed out on his bed, with the lights on, completely out. Damon called me back a few minutes later, which seemed like so much time as I kept wiping bright red blood from myself. He called me and with a panicked voice, I said, ” I’m bleeding, please come home.” Damon, tried to ask a few questions, but I was a little too freaked. He called me back a little while later, once he was on the road and I told him that it wasn’t a ton of blood, it looked like bloody show, but I’m only thirty-seven weeks. He remained calm, and drove home. It was about 3:30 am. He told me that the reason why his phone was off was that he had purchased a new phone from Verizon and he thought he had plugged it in to charge, but it appears that it powered off instead.

I called my friend, Amy Poarch, a local doula, and asked if she could come over. I didn’t want to be by myself. Nick’s birth had went so quickly, I was nervous that this one might go fast too. I also needed her help setting up the hose attachment to possibly fill the birth tub. I had tried to use the tools to attach, but my nerves was so shot, I was afraid I would bust the water faucet.

The other, very important thing in my brain was, my midwife was across the country on vacation until July 1st, her apprentice was in Kentucky for a wedding. I called my midwife friend Michelle because I thought she was my backup midwife. I was mistaken or misinformed. Michelle helped calm me and gave me Debi Church’s phone number, she was to be my backup midwife. I had only ever met Debi once at the recent birth fair. I had heard good things about her, but it was unnerving for me to be prepared to use a midwife that I did not know.

My Dad called me to see how I was doing. He knew I was scared because of the tone when I had first talked with him. He made me laugh when he said he had googled, “bloody show.” I just couldn’t imagine what he was finding, but he knew that meant the baby would be coming soon. He asked me to please go to a doctor if I felt the need. I reassured him that at 37 weeks, I was good to have a home birth. He said he understood, but as my Dad, he was still concerned for me. He asked if he could do anything, but I told him no, I would be okay.

Amy came over and helped me get the hose attached. I was all over the house, gathering supplies and trying to keep my adrenaline up, invoking the fight or flight response so that this baby would not come quickly. I was so thankful that Amy came over. She helped keep me calm. I was having pressure waves, but nothing I could not handle. She asked if i wanted to listen to fear clearing, but I said no, not until Damon got home. I laid on the couch watching Netflix, Amy sat nearby reading. Nick woke up and asked me to go lay down with him. I did but didn’t want to stay in there. He ended up coming into the living room with us for a little while. I finally did get him back down. He would not go to Amy. I went and took a shower, figuring it might be awhile until I could. Damon arrived home around 6:30 am. I was so thankful he was home. I continued to lay on the couch, using my finger drop technique any time a wave came. Damon went and laid down with the boys.I sent a message to the babysitter that the boys would be staying home. I texted my boss saying I wouldn’t be in to work that day. I was not going to repeat Nick’s birth and have to drive home in labor. I decided to try and sleep, as it was 7 am or so. I told Amy she could go home if she wanted, nothing was really happening. I put on the deepening track, put my wet towel over my face and tried to relax. When the hypnosis track was over, I took the towel off my head and saw Amy had left me a card saying to call whenever I needed her.

Nick woke up and was banging on the bedroom door, wanting out. I hoped Damon would get up and let him out but he was asleep. I made pancakes for Nick and I to eat. I was starving. Then I called Michelle to thank her for talking to me in the middle of the night. We had a really nice chat. Around 10 am, Damon took over caring for the boys and I laid down to rest, finally listening to fear clearing again, for the second time in about thirteen hours. I slept until 12:30 pm.

To be continued…..
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Kizoa slideshow: Isaiah Birth - Slideshow

I haven't figured out how to embed this video, but it is worth clicking over to watch it!
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Posted by on in Water Birth

Hello Hypnobabies!

Thought I’d share a quick birth story of our fabulous Hypnobabies water birth. Early Thursday morning at 6:40 am on November 3rd, 2011 our little girl, Maysie, glided out into a pool of warm water and up into our arms all while sleeping peacefully.

 It all began when noticeable regular pressure waves started (after much walking and spicy food) on Wednesday, November 2 around 4:30 pm. I had been out all day Christmas shopping, but upon returning home I started to notice what seemed to be regular waves about 1hr apart. I continued with my normal evening activities like dinner and putting my 3 year old to bed, but I did notice I didn’t feel much like eating dinner. I had hopes that these waves were the real thing, and after bouncing on my birth ball awhile and watching TV with the in-laws, around 10pm I decided I had best try to get some sleep. Ha! I might have dozed on and off for an hour or so.

The waves were starting to grow progressively closer and …

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Posted by on in Water Birth


We had our baby on Saturday, August 25th at 5:37 am. She was born at home into the water into the hands of her mommy and daddy.

My birthing time started about 10 pm Friday night. I had pre-labor all week, with consistent contractions for HOURS that would then stop. When it started Friday night…I thought it might be “practice” labor again. I was waiting for another sign to confirm that “this is it”. I finally believed I was in my birthing time around 2 am.

I walked (paced) and stopped and did some standing pelvic rocks during the contractions. I rubbed my back and said “open, open, open” as well as using the “release” cue to myself. This went on for a bit, and then I sat on the birth ball and rocked on it. My sweet husband, Marc, held ice to my low back and rocked with me, reminding me to release and relax. We called the midwife to come at 3:45 am. She had another mother laboring at the birth center, but …

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Alexander's Home Hypnobabies Water Birth
Wedesday, March 7  11:22pm

A little Background information: Around 12 weeks I developed bacterial pneumonia and was hospitalized for one week and had quite a bit of fluid drained from my left lung. During this process I kept talking to my baby telling him or her that his core temperature was perfect (mine was 104 at the time) his organs and brain were developing perfectly and he was growing perfectly. I slowly recovered and everything showed just fine on the ultra sound for his development at the time. Fast forward to January and I became sick again with an upper respiratory infection turned pneumonia, then bronchitis. During that time I fractured 3 ribs from powerful coughing and I was in a lot of pain unable to care for my kids or hold my very sad 2 year old. Around 35 weeks I began having pre term birthing activity and my midwife put me on complete bedrest. As each week passed I prayed for another week and woke up grateful for another day where my sweet pea remained safe and continued to grow. As the same with my last birth I really felt this baby's time was drawing very near and since we were having a homebirth (for the first time) I wanted the house cleaned. I paid for someone to clean on Tuesday March 7, 2012. I felt great relief when it was clean. I was now one day shy of 38 weeks. Nesting is something I was fighting since I was unable to do most things.

Around 8:00 pm I went to lay down on my left side because I started having pressure waves but were very mild. I started timing them and they were about 10 minutes apart. I took a bath and drank lots of water and took some rescue remedy to hopefully stop the pressure waves. I kept telling Jenna my midwife that I am probably the only mom who wants to wait to have her baby until 41 weeks. In all of my pregnancies, that has never happened. My twins were born 2 days shy of 37 weeks (induced) and my son 38 weeks on the day on his own timing. The pressure waves slowed and I fell asleep from midnight until 2 am. At 2 am the pressure waves woke me up and I began timing them. They were now 5 minutes apart but not growing with intensity. Because I went to the hospital for my last birth unaware that I was truly in my birthing time at 8cm dilated, my midwife wanted me to call asap. At 3:00 am I woke Jeff up and he began filling the pool as I called Jenna. I was kind of excited by now and during this time I thought…I am going to wear make up this time. My last births I looked rather well…blah. This was going to be different since I am going to be at home. My birth team arrived. First, Jenna arrived and began setting up her things. Shortly after that Barb my other midwife arrived. She told me that I was awfully chipper for being in my birthing time. I told her I was smiling at a 9 with my last Hypnobabies birth. Michelle my doula arrived around 5 am. Jenna checked me and after dilating so fast with Samuel I thought surely it would be the same or even faster. Wrong. I was 3cm, a plus one station and 80% effaced. I was a little disappointed but I was not deterred. I decided that I was pretty tired and I would rest and try to sleep. I rested but couldn't fall asleep. My midwife came into the room and told me she had another mom who's waves were 2 minutes apart and asked if I minded if she left. While Jeff was not okay with her leaving, I was.

The kids woke up and while Jeff got them ready, Michelle kept them entertained until Jeff's mom came to get them to take them to my friend's house for the day. After I got my hugs and kisses from them, I got up and Jeff made scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast for everyone. I was starving so it tasted so good. The night before I had woken up with a Charlie horse so Michelle massaged my leg (she is a Licenced Massage Therapist too). We went for a walk to get things going. I had pressure waves but they were not too intense. When we got back it was lunch time. Things were not progressing and I wondered if I had jump the gun and also maybe too many people were here too soon. I am a very private person and I knew that could have an affect on me. Everyone left and I actually felt some relief. Jeff went and got Qdoba and I dozed for maybe a few minutes while listening to my birthing day affirmations. Jenna came back around 3:30 to check in on me as she was done with her other mom's birth. I was 4cm dilated and a zero station. She recommended that Jeff and I do the deed to help get things going and then go out to dinner and a movie. We followed her orders but never made it to dinner. Around 5pm my pressure waves started to pick up in intensity but I refused to time them. At 5:30 Jeff went to drop some things off over at his mom's for the kids. Maddison, one of my twins was having a really hard time being away from home and missed me terribly. I felt so bad for her, but I knew I needed privacy for birth. Meanwhile, I got on the birth ball for a few pressure waves. When Jeff returned the pressure waves were growing in intensity and I no longer wanted to be sitting for them. I was walking around in my center switch and using the wall or a chair or Jeff to lean into them. I was also feeling quite a bit of pressure in my back so I warmed up a rice sock and tucked it into the back of my pants for some relief. I had texted Jenna a shortly before and told her they were 5 minutes apart and way more intense than the previous ones but said I wasn`t ready for anyone yet.

Finally, Jeff said, "If you don't call Jenna, I will". So I agreed. Jeff called her for me as my pressure waves were about 3 minutes apart. She was at yet another birth (mind you there was a full moon the next night and a storm brewing). She would send Barb back over to assess me. Barb came and checked me, I was at a 6-7. She said I was so soft she could stretch me to an 8 if she wanted. I was happy about the progress and with that note, I wanted to be in the water now! During this time, Jeff had begun reheating the birthing pool and was just about ready. I called my doula and said we were back on and to come on back.

I got into the water and sweet relief to my lower back. The water felt so good! I was listening to my Easy First Stage track on my ipod. And leaning over the pool while Jeff was giving me the "Relax cue" on my forehead. I thought I would never want it on my forehead but it felt great. I wasn't hungry for a meal so I enjoyed eating an orange. It was just what I needed. I was using my finger drop technique and it was working perfectly. In fact every tool and technique that I used for Samuel's birth I did not like this time. I quickly told my team not to say the word, "Release." I was finding it really annoying at the time. My doula poured water over my back while Jeff was giving me my prompts. So perfect! I got out to use the bathroom and returned into the pool. Michelle asked me if I wanted to change positions. So I tried the side lying position and if felt good to be in that position. I felt transformation quickly coming over me shorly after getting into that position so I think it was a great move. Michelle began reading the "Transformation" prompts and pouring water into the pool like a water fall (per my special safe place). She also reminded me all about my special safe place and I LOVED hearing that. I started to hold Jeff's hand through my pressure waves and my eyes remained closed. Allison, my back up midwife arrived and I could already tell she brought in great peaceful energy to the room. Barb introduced us and I liked her soft smile. I then closed my eyes as my birthing waves were coming so close together. I was only having maybe a 10 second break in between them now. Barb monitored the baby with the Doppler here and there. All the sensations in my body were very intense. I started to moan in a soft low tone. It felt good to vocalize this way. I knew my body and my baby were working perfectly together. After a few vocalized waves, I began to feel a slight involuntary push at the end.

I knew I'd be meeting my baby soon and I got excited (though my eyes were still closed most of the time). As I began to gently push, Michelle's and Jeff's prompts with the Relaxation music playing in the background changed to saying, "Breathe Your Baby Down," and "Nice and Easy", to "Breathing and Allowing." I really needed to hear this as I knew I would have to gently breathe my baby down so I would not re-injure my ribs from pushing. I suddenly did not want to hear the word deeper though I loved hearing it early on. I pushed on my right side while holding Jeff's hand with my left hand. I have to say while I had a super tight grip on his hand, my body was relaxed. As Jeff would say, "Breathe our baby down," I would repeat it as I used my abdominal muscles to gently push. He would also say Relax and repeating that felt good and kept me focused too. I worked very hard at maintaining self control at all times. There were a couple of times when I wanted so badly to push with all my might and I started to give in and my team reminded me to ease my baby out. My vocalizations varied from a whisper "O" to "Ahh in a deep low voice. I was really focused at keeping my mouth open and my voice low and deep. I am quite proud of it too, since I did more high pitched vocalizations with Samuel.

I reached down to see if I could feel a head but I felt a bubble and I never asked about it I just took my hand away and began to push in between the next birthing wave. Jeff saw what was happening and didn't understand what he was seeing. It was my amniotic sac still intact. (A little funny side note: Jeff said it looked like I was blowing a bubble out of my vagina.) He looked at the midwives to see their reaction to this and they were both smiling from ear to ear, so he figured it was okay. I talked to my baby during this time and said, "Come on baby". I thought Barb was touching my perineum and I didn't like it. She said, that's your baby. I could then feel him doing his cardinal movements inside of me as I stayed really relaxed. It was such an interesting feeling. We were such a team together! I really wanted the head to be born yet I was thinking to myself slow and steady.  The baby's head finally emerged and my midwife Barb broke the caul and unlooped a cord and after that his shoulders just slid out so easily like melting butter. I reached down and lifted Alexander out of the water and into my arms. It was the best feeling ever to be the one to do that! He was born at 11:22pm Wednesday, March 7, 2012. About five minutes later, we finally looked under the towel to see he was a boy. He was so cute!

My midwife praised Hypnobabies and how wonderful it is. Her actual words, It's really something!"  Allison made sure the baby kept warm and took his vitals. About 15 minutes later I got up to birth the placenta on the bed since I wasn't having an urge to push. As I stood up the placenta fell into the water. They checked to make sure the traction wasn't to forceful. All was well, so we traveled to the bed. It was a challenge to get in bed because it sits really high. Once I made it on, I began to nurse Zander.  Jeff cut the cord long after it stopped pulsating.  The midwives helped me up to use the bathroom and I got comfy where we'd lay the rest of the night. During that time, the midwives checked out his mouth, weighed him. They told me my placenta looked really healthy and I must have had a really good diet during pregnancy. (Thank you Brewer's Diet). I nursed Alexander lying down and we slept for a few hours before the sun rose. He didn't get a name for a couple of days. We finally named him Alexander (defender of men) Peyton (after my relative to served as a Lutinant General in the Civil war. I know that his name was meant to be this because he has been my little warrior throughout all of this very challenging pregnancy.

My Birthing team was so perfect! Barb and Allison stayed in the kitchen for the majority of the time. Even though my other midwife Jenna was at another birth, it all worked out. I truly believe Allison was meant to be there and she was wonderful. Jeff was amazing. He was very nervous about a home birth but he really shined that Wednesday evening. I just got done the previous Sunday training Michelle to be my hypno-doula. She couldn't have done a better job. Everything I wanted and needed during my birthing time…I got. I am so thankful that Jeff trusted my home birth choice. This is our last baby and it couldn't have ended on a better note. We are now blessed with 2 girls (twins) and 2 boys. Our family is complete. Another great and relatively comfortable Hypnobabies. It really makes me so happy to be teaching this amazing program to other moms too.

Yours In Peaceful Birthing,

April
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Most people do not know how long we waited for your arrival, but it was much longer than the standard nine months. After an ectopic pregnancy in 2005, I was left with only one uterine tube, which could have led to fertility issues. But we were expecting your sister Autumn within a few months, so it did not seem to be impacting us. In 2009, I found out I was pregnant just a few months after we had decided we wanted another child. I was delighted, but a few days later found out that I was again having an ectopic pregnancy that had to be ended with Methotrexate. I was devastated and my sadness was compounded by the news that future pregnancies would likely end the same way. The doctor told me that my remaining tube was probably blocked and if we wanted another child our only option was in vitro fertilization. We do not have private insurance and since IVF was financially impossible, I gave up hope of a third child and decided to go back to school.

Sweet baby girl, imagine my surprise (and fear) that Friday nearly three years later, when looking at my calendar, I realized that I was “late.” Imagine my delight (and terror) when the second pink line appeared after I peed on “the stick”. I kept you, my delicious secret, for about a week, before telling your dad. And we waited another month, until we could see you growing safely in my uterus via ultrasound, until we told Mimi and Pap (then the rest of the world on Facebook.

So you are very special to us: A wish granted unexpectedly and a joy unlooked for. After an uneventful, complication-free, healthy pregnancy I headed into the weekend before I reached 37 weeks with the expectation of at least another week or two of pregnancy. In retrospect, I did a lot of nesting that weekend. I bought several last-minute baby items, paid all our bills, filed papers, made a to-do list and a number of appointments.

On Monday, April 30 I woke at 4 a.m. with a dreadful feeling about my appointment with the backup obstetricians that I had scheduled for May 1. The head doctor had called me several time the week before, wanting me to come in a sign yet another liability waiver for my homebirth plans. It was starting to wear on me and I was concerned about what awaited me at the clinic. I woke up your daddy and cried to him because I felt that I was being sucked into the hospital agenda, that I would not go into my birthing time naturally or would go beyond 42 weeks. He calmed me down and I slept for several hours, missing my usual 6 a.m. 3-mile walk.
 
The girls and I enjoyed our first day off from homeschooling. We shopped at the Girl Scout Council store and bought some books for next year and patches. The security guard teased me about when my baby was coming and I wanted to have a Braxton Hicks in front of him to really scare him, but instead we smiles and went on our way. Our next stop was Trader Joe’s for our weekly groceries. I noticed that I was having fairly frequent practice waves and so I used my “Peace” Hypnobabies cue as I drove. Once at TJs, I was having to go to the bathroom with nearly every wave. So we finished shopping fast and I decided to skip my planned stop at Whole Food and ask my mom to pick up the gluten-free pizza crusts instead. I wanted to get home to eat, cook dinner and relax in case “this was it.”
 
After cooking, I had a sudden burst of energy, so I decided to channel it into my usual walk. The girls went with me for awhile, but mostly I was on my own, listening to my Hypnobabies Pregnancy Affirmations. A neighbor who recently had a baby, teased me about trying to get the baby out. At this point, I was still in denial that the baby could be coming sooner than later.
 
By the time I got home, your daddy was there with the girls and we sat down to eat dinner together. I did not have much of an appetite for the stew and sitting on the hard kitchen chair was not comfortable. During dinner, I started using my lightswitch actively, even though I thought I was still have practice waves. I figured that if they turned real that I would be very relaxed from practicing and if they stopped, I would have gotten a lot of practice.
 
Finally, I felt like laying down, so I relaxed on the couch while Hal took care of the girls’ bedtime routine. They asked me to join them in Madeline’s room for bedtime stories, but I could not find a comfortable position to sit in, so I ended up wandering around her room impatiently until it was time to turn the lights off.
 
I brought down the big laundry basket of baby clothes and homebirth supplies. Daddy looked surprised, but I insisted that it did not mean a thing- I was 37 weeks and felt it was important to have them out now. He suggested that I lay on the couch and relax and time some pressure waves while he worked on his final paper for his degree. It was due on Friday and both of us thought he had time to finish it before the baby would be here. But when I timed four waves, I found that they were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds. Hal exclaimed, “This baby is coming, isn’t it?!?” I smiled and said I still was not sure. But he was.
 
When I headed into bed, I decided to call Ellen and give her a heads up. I also emailed my doula who was still in California for her Hypnobabies training. I slept very deeply, listening to the Deepening track, alternated with other ones, like Fear Clearing and Special Place. Using my lightswitch and peace cues all day made it easy to sleep through this early part of birth.
 
I alternated between the birth ball and sleeping in bed. Your dad feverishly worked on his paper. Around 10 or 11 p.m. I decided we should call Ellen. I was afraid of having the baby too fast and my waves were becoming much more intense. I made him go to bed in case I needed him later in the night, I did not want him up all night working on his paper and without energy to support me. When Ellen arrived at 12:45 a.m. she offered to check me, but I declined. I had not lost much mucous plus and was worried that meant I was not dilating. She assured me that many women have babies without ever seeing their plug, which made me feel better. I decided to go back to sleep after a snack and a tour of our house. She offered me something to help me sleep, but I did not want to be groggy if the baby was born in the middle of the night. Ellen slept on our couch and I alternated between sleep, birth ball and eating chicken soup on the toilet. All the while, I was listening to my Hypnobabies CDs and using my finger drop to stay totally comfortable through each pressure wave.
 
At 6:45 a.m. I asked Ellen to check me, as my pressure waves were still not lasting over a minute consistently and we knew we needed them to grow in intensity to bring the baby. At first, she thought I was not dilated at all, but quickly realized that what she thought was the other side of my closed cervix was really my extremely bulgy bag of water hanging out of a very stretchy 5 cm dilated cervix.
 
The girls got up as usual at 8:30 a.m. and were very excited to know that the baby was probably coming today. Daddy made us all breakfast and I ended up sleeping until 9 a.m. Love that Hypnobabies!
 
Ellen thought that we should take a walk, so your dad and I went around a nearby street with a nice big uphill. We walked and talked. It was such a lovely day. Whenever I had a wave, I would lean on him he would tell me to “relax” and “let go”. I started feeling double-peaking waves and I think I may have entered transformation at this point. But it did not matter. I trusted totally in Daddy's support and with each wave, I would imagine myself floating on a wave, in my special place. The water was my anesthesia and as the wave peaked in my uterus, I would envision the wave peaking and carrying me to shore. This visualization along with your dad's voice giving me cues was so powerful that the sensations literally faded away and became exquisitely intense rather than uncomfortable.
 
We came home and I napped again, listening to Hypnobabies CDs. The waves were feeling much more intense and it was harder to find comfortable positions to rest in. I was really just listening, deeply relaxed and getting up to use the toilet in between nearly every one. I was still worried that I was not losing much mucous plug and concerned that the baby was still in the left occiput transverse and was getting stuck on my pelvis. I was feeling each pressure wave, first in my abdomen, then again radiating through my pelvis into my birth canal. It was more intense than I remember feeling during either of my previous births.
 
At 11 a.m. we decided to go for another walk, even though my waves were extremely intense. They were nearly constant, only 30-60 seconds rest and lasting well over a minute and a half. It took us at least an hour and a half, maybe longer to walk around the same street that it usually took us 10 minutes to go around. People stopped us occasionally to ask if our baby was coming. I would take a few small steps (all I could manage at this time) and I would have another wave while leaning on my husband and having him give me verbal cues for anesthesia.
 
We got home and I decided that after that walk, I deserved to finally get into the birth pool. It felt heavenly. I leaned into the side, listening to Easy First Stage and holding on to the handles. The girls brought me a posy of wildflowers and I looked at it. They poured warm water on my low back, which helped me focus. I talked to you, our baby, telling you that I was ready for you to be born.
 
After an hour, I got out to use the toilet and asked Ellen to check me again. I was 8-9 cm, but the baby was still high because of my incredibly resiliant, bulgy bag of water. She declined to rupture it, due to the risk of cord prolapse, but encouraged me to do it myself. But I just was not able to get the power I needed with each wave to push yet. And I was starting to feel a little grumpy and impatient.
 
Ellen asked me to get out of the tub and do squats or walk our stairs. The squats did not feel like they did much. But the stairs... oh my... walking the stairs was perhaps the single most intense experience so far. I did it once and began to cry for your dad, my rock who kept me in hypnosis and helped me focus on maintaining my anesthesia. He did two more rounds with me as I cried and swore like a sailor. Ellen took the girls into their bedrooms to explain what I was doing and that I was okay. They are so sensitive to my feelings and I did not want them to feel scared. After the third time, I refused to go further and decided to sit on the toilet.
 
I began to have a pressure wave and in that moment, I decided that I was going to push the heck out of it, whether I felt like it or not... I did not care. I let out the loudest sound I have ever made. A roar, while I pushed as hard as I could and broke my bag of water. There was so much fluid that it splashed out of the toilet and all over the bathroom.
 
Upon the bag breaking, I immediately felt you move through my cervix into my birth canal. Ellen came running with Chux pads, intending me to birth in the bathroom. Your dad knew I would be sad if I did not make it to the pool. He looked me in the eyes as asked, “Are you ready? We are going to walk to the pool. It isn’t far.” I did not think I would make it, but I did. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. Later, he told me that he had planned to carry me down the hall to the pool, if I had refused to walk.
 
Once in the pool, I freaked out because the urge to push was so intense, but Ellen simply reminded me to reach down and feel your head to center myself. I did that and instantly, instinctively, I remembered to push between waves and said “Peace” to myself as I eased your head out. I called out for help as I felt your shoulders emerge, one at a time and then your body as I knelt in the pool. I sat back, brought you up to my belly. You were blue at first, as waterborn babies are, but your heart rate was strong and you were quietly alert, looking at me, your dad and your sisters, who were present for the whole thing.
 
I reached down to check and found you were a girl! Madeline was crying in joy and I started crying, mostly because I was happy to finally be finished.
 
We got out of the tub and snuggled together on the bed. It was so amazing to go from having a baby to resting in my own bed at home. It felt so right and wonderful. You recovered from birth quickly, pinking up with the help of a little oxygen and massage and you started nursing immediately. Your sisters will never forget watching their baby sister enter the world. I feel so lucky that we all were able to have this experience together as a family. Your dad’s support created a level of trust between us that will never go away.
 
Initially, I felt like I had really let go of my hypnosis towards the end. That I should have worked harder to stay comfortable... then I realized that there was no way that I could have spent over three hours (or more, who knows!) at 8-9 cm with a bulgy bag of fluid in transformation if I had not been using my hypnosis. The intensity that I experienced was only matched by the power of my mind to stay in control and working towards the goal of giving birth. I also initially felt caught off guard by the length of time I was birthing because it was so much longer than Autumn’s birth. However, when doing the “Visualize Your Birth” script, I always imagined my birth starting at night, going through the morning and you being born in the late afternoon. This was exactly what happened! I just had not imagined the intensity of the experience. Having gone through it, with only my husband’s support, I feel stronger as a person, wife and mother.
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You can read Tiffany's Birth Story here.    Here is her lovely birth video.

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQrb-w8dMcQ&w=560&h=315]
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Special thanks to Tiffany for sharing her birth story with us!  Her Birth Video to come in next post.

June 2011: Five months after my daughter, Yalana was born my husband and I found out we were expecting again. After getting past the initial shock of being pregnant again so soon we became excited. We decided to plan a home birth because Yalana was born unexpectedly at home only 22 minutes after I woke up in the morning from a great night sleep. I had used the Hypnobabies program to prepare for her birth and I of course used it again for this pregnancy!:)

Monday, March 12th: I was 3 days past my guess date. It was a beautiful day. I cleaned the house, took a nice long walk and listened to my Hypnobabies "Come OUT Baby" track. I was having a lot of toning contractions (my term for Braxton Hicks cxt), which was really exciting for me. I LOVED my toning pressure waves and with every one of them I would imagine my cervix opening and effacing. I had them fairly consistently throughout the day which made me think that I may start my birthing time late that evening or early morning. I made my husband, Lucas come to bed early just in case. Unfortunately, the toning pws subsided when I went to bed and I was frustrated to wake up in the morning,

Tuesday, March 13th, NOT in my birthing time. Lucas jokingly said in the morning, "I thought you promised me a baby." I had an apt with one of my midwives, Audra, that afternoon. I decided to have her check me in hopes that it would alleviate some of my frustration and to see if my Hypnobabies visualizations were working. Finding out I was 4-5 cm dilated definitely made me feel less frustrated. I decided to have her sweep my membranes. Audra told me if it didn’t work that I could come back in tomorrow to repeat the sweep;) My toning pws came back and I was so excited once again. My friend I had not seen in over a year came over to visit then I called my mom and updated her on my apt. She said she wanted to come spend the night just in case I went into labor over night. I played with the kids, cleaned the house and took a walk. The left side of my back was aching so I put a warm rice sock on it, which made it feel so much better. My mom, Lucas and I watched a show and then off we all went to bed. I tried listening to my Hypnobabies to go to bed but it made me too excited to sleep so after a while I just set it aside. That brings us to

Wednesday, March 14th Analiese's Birth Day. Rise and Shine! At 3 am I was wide-awake and NOT in my birthing time! My backache was completely gone and so were the toning pws. Seriously, I thought seriously. I was hungry so I went downstairs and accidentally woke up my mom. I told her that nothing was happening and that she should go in to work today. I got a fiber bar and made some raspberry leaf tea. I sat on my computer and decided to do my own “fear clearing” session. I typed out all the things that I felt might be holding me back from going into my birthing time. After my mom left for work around 6:30am, I went back to bed. When I woke up at 9am, Lucas had already left to take the kids to daycare and go to class. I got up ate breakfast, cleaned and called the birth center to let them know I would be coming in to repeat the sweep. Then I laid down to listen to my Hypnobabies "Deepening" track. Just when I was so relaxed my mom called. She told me she was going to take a half-day so she could take me to my apt. I was very glad.

My mom got to my house around 11ish. We decided going out to eat prior to my apt would be nice. Before we left my backache came back so I warmed up a rice sock to take with me. We went to Noodles & Co. and while eating my backache became increasingly more uncomfortable. I told my mom and she wondered if I was having back labor. I told her I didn’t think so but I would be more comfortable at the birth center than sitting in a booth. My mom packed up our lunches and we headed to the birth center, which was only 2 minutes away. Luckily, when we got there Shelie, one of my midwives was between apts. I told her about my back and she wondered if I might be in labor. I told her I didn’t think so cause was only having a few toning pws besides the backache. So she checked me and said something like, "Oh my gosh Tiffany you are dilated to 6 and I can stretch you to 8. And she is +2". Now she really thought I was in labor even though I still wasn’t convinced. She thought I should stick around the birth center so I don’t deliver in the car if I tried to go home. She prepared one of the birthing rooms for me and got me the TENS unit for my back. The TENS unit was like heaven! I was thankful to have it because I didn’t have my iPOD on me that holds all my Hypnobabies tracks. I called my husband and told him not to go to his next class but to go home and get a bunch of stuff then pick up our four-year-old son, Austin from daycare.

I did start to feel pressure waves (PW’s) but they didn’t feel much stronger then toning pws so I ate the rest of my lunch while rocking in the rocking chair waiting for Lucas and Austin to arrive. The PW’s did pick up a bit till they were 4 min apart and I started to use my Hypnobabies techniques to relax through them. Lucas and Austin arrived around 2pm. My son was so excited he didn’t want to leave my side. We had to convince him to watch a movie and we would not let him miss it. I rocked on the birth ball, took a walk outside, sat on the toilet... threw up all my Noodles on the toilet (spicy noodles were not the best choice but I felt great after they came out:) Shared some laughs with my mom and hubby especially when my mom was giving Lucas the analogy that a cat is like a wave. So after my next PW Lucas asked me it I held my breath through the wave cause that’s what he would do. I laughed so hard.

I began to feel bored because my PW’s spaced and started to just feel like toning cxt again. So I decided to take a nap for a little bit and listen to my Hypnobabies, "Birth Day Affirmations".  Around 4 pm I started feeling like I just wanted to go home. I told Audra and decided to have her check me. I was 7-8cm. She told me of course she cant recommend that I make the trip home but she agreed my labor would probably pick back up if I were home. So I decided that I would wait till my dad brought Yalana to the birth center from daycare.  Around 5:30 pm my dad arrived. It was so nice to see my daughter because I hadn’t seen her all day. After my dad left I decided that I really wanted to be at home so I could be more comfortable and so that the kids could be at home.

We arrived home around 6pm. I felt relieve to be in my own space. I went right up to my room and started arranging things. My mom helped with the kids and Lucas came up and hooked up the hose to fill the birth tub. My mom then came up to time some of my PW’s and light the candles on my dresser. I am glad I listened to my body and came home. It’s just what it needed. My PW’s started to pick up and get stronger. I put on some music. Interestingly, I learned I really didn’t enjoy the calm waterfall music. Instead I listened to the play list I made when I was studying for my step I board exam that included some of the following songs: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, My Own Two Hands, Don’t Stop Believin', What a Wonderful World, She's Some Kind of Wonderful among a few others. I call my friend Margo and updated her and told her to head over when she could and to let our other friend Rachel know. Then my mom told me my PW’s were about 3-4 min apart so I call the birth center message line to page my midwives. Clarice called right back and I let her know it was time to come. It was around 7:15pm. Lucas bathed Yalana and put her to bed just before everyone arrived around 7:45ish. Then he took care of Austin. My mom took pictures and Margo and Rachel took turns massaging my back during PW’s. I would not describe the PW’s as painful at all. They were strong but not painful. I used my Hypnobabies peace cue, special place technique and 'ah' vocalization to relax my body during each PW. With every PW I would push the button on the TENS unit which greatly enhanced my Hypnobabies techniques to relax. The stronger the PW’s got the more excited I would get and coming out of each PW I would smile knowing that soon I would be holding my baby girl. At 8:45pm I decided to have Clarice check me. I was 10 cm. At that point my husband and son had come upstairs which happened to be perfect timing. Clarice suggested that I sit on the toilet for a while. Sitting on the toilet was just what I needed. After two pressure waves my water broke. As soon as it did I felt increasingly pushy. I told everyone to get me to the birthing tub. I knew with the next PW I would be pushing her out. The transition to the tub was the most challenging part. A wave of nausea hit me and walking was not the most comfortable position with all the pressure but with help I made it to the birthing tub. I put one leg in and then up came the cookie and toast I decided to eat when I got home (it sounded good to eat at the time). Thankfully, Clarice had the trash right there for me. I felt so much better after that. I got into the tub and the water felt too warm for me especially since it was 77 degrees in the house because of the crazy March weather and our air-conditioning happen to not be working. So they added some cold water. When it felt right I got down on my knees in the water... Ahhh the water and being on my knees felt amazing. I had a little break before my next PW. Clarice checked the baby's heart tones and my husband gave me a kiss. Then I reminded Austin that I might make some grunty noises like what dad does when he lifts heavy weights. He understood and I could see the excitement in his eyes. He had been waiting for this moment for wks asking me everyday if I was going to have the baby yet. As I started to feel the next PW I closed my eyes and put my head down on the pillow in front of me. I used my peace cue as I started to bare down with the PW. I felt lots of pressure and a slight burning sensation but that was it. I knew it would only last a second and I pushed a bit more as I kept me hand on the top of her head and out it came. I checked for a cord and so did Kendra my other midwife. With the next PW I bared down again and out she came right (9:10 pm) into my own two hands. I picked her up out of the water and held her close to my chest. We did it baby girl! I was filled with joy and excitement. I sat back in the birthing tub and enjoyed looking at her and soaking in the miracle of life. I also got to feel her pulsing cord and watch it self-clamp. After the placenta came out my mom cut the cord. Analiese was handed off to her daddy and I was helped back into bed. After some pictures Kendra did the Analiese's newborn exam right on our bed.  The most surprising part was how much she weighed. We all guessed a weight and we were all wrong. She was 9 lbs 4 oz! We took more pictures then my mom helped Austin to bed. Lucas made me eggs and toast and Rachel helped feed me while I nursed Analiese. Kendra fixed my small tear. Clarice did the placenta prints and Margo and Rachel helped clean up. It was perfect timing for her to come just before bedtime.

In the morning we woke up to a beautiful spring morning with the sun shinning in my windows and the birds chirping. It was very peaceful.  Lana woke up and got to meet her baby sister. All she wanted to do was pat her. It was so cute.

One very awesome thing about my birth time was that I got to see all my midwives! Big thanks to them for their amazing compassionate, competent, patient centered and evidence based care. They truly provide superior care to any other providers in the area.

And thanks to Hypnobabies I was able to enjoy a completely natural pain free birth with out drugs. My birthing time was filled with lots of smiles and laughter. The relaxation techniques I learned with Hypnobabies allowed me to listen to my body; from knowing I needed to be home to give birth to when to push. Amazing that no one has to tell you when or how to push!! I only experience discomfort with 2 brief bouts of nausea and slight intense sensation when my daughter was crowning. Overall it was a very empowering and blissful experience.
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Brittany - A contributor to The Gift of Giving Life shares her Hypnobabies Birth Story on her Blog.

Between Worlds:  A Hypnobabies Birth Story Part 1:  Early Birthing Time
After I got off the phone, I decided a nap was a good idea (it was early afternoon by this point). I got in bed and listened to Hypnobabies again. I think I did the Fear Clearing track. I knew I needed that. I got some sleep.

Part 2:  A Hypnobabies Birth Story - Things Get Really Moving
I grabbed the Hypnobabies Birth Partner Guide and opened it to the birth prompts I went to the music on my phone and turned on Easy First Stage. I wanted to get into hypnosis as fast as I could and make this easier.

Part 3  A Hypnobabies Birth Story - The Baby Arrives
Kim suggested I get on the bed and lean forward on the birth ball. That position was perfect. I used the ball to help me rock, sometimes back and forth, sometimes side to side. I started saying "peace" out loud during the pressure waves. Kim said that when I had gotten off the birth ball, the waves had suddenly gone from about 6 minutes apart to 3 minutes apart.
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Hypnobabies helps mom shift her attitude!

From: "Natural childbirth is crazy!"

To: "Childbirth can be a fun, wonderful, comfortable, and relaxing experience!"

Want to read an inpirational Hypnobabies Birth Story?    Click here to go to Crystal's Blog and read an amazing story.

This mom goes from thinking people who have a natural birth are crazy to having an amazing, peaceful water birth.  Hypnobabies helped her have this amazing birth!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
I just read a beautiful Hypnobabies Birth Story.  That's My Daughter in the Water
 Although I couldn't sleep much, I did do my best to rest.  I listened to music and my Hypnobabies tracks and I moved around from the birth ball, to the bed, to standing and walking.  Tom came back eventually to check on me but I told him just to go back to bed and he happily agreed.  By the time the sun came up, not much had changed but things were still slowly moving along.

I love how her birth team was so supportive and helpful throughout her birth.  Mom was in tune with what she needed and everyone did as she wanted.

Click on over to read her amazing water birth!
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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11o5-2t9Wnk?rel=0&w=640&h=360]
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The Birth of Myles
February 9th, 2011 3:50am
7lbs 2oz and 21in

On Tuesday, February 8th, I woke up and was feeling a little "off" and kind of crampy, not a big deal or something out of the ordinary when your "due" any time! Around 11am went to the bathroom and discovered I had lost part of my mucous plug. I texted my midwife to let her know but did not think much about it since you can lose it multiple times and it really had no indication of when labor will start.

A little after lunch my crampy feeling started getting more intense and figured it was my body preparing to start up labor. I went outside at 4pm and fed the horses grains so I was up for about 45min walking around in and out of stalls and riding on the bumpy ground in the Gator going from barn to barn. I went inside and started doing some laundry and realized were pretty regular and started wondering if my "crampin" was easy contractions. They did not feel like the contractions I had been feeling for weeks with prodromal labor so I just brushed them off all day.

Around 6pm I decide to time them even though I did not think they were pressure waves, I did noy want them to be pressure waves and them get too close before I relized it. I sat on my birthing ball and rocked my hips during my "cramps" and it relieved some of the preasure I was feeling. Between 6pm and 6:30pm I had 7 "cramps" putting them at 5-6min apart and lasting about 40 seconds.
I decided they were really pressure waves but that since they were so easy that nothing was happening anytime soon or that like they had in the past weeks that they would stop.

Mark came in from work and we decided to go to the Chuckwagon to eat dinner. We shared Jalapeno & Rib Meat Potato "Nachos" for an apitizer and I had a Chicken, Onion & Pepers Quesadilla. I had pressure waves all through the meal and they stayed pretty consistant and seamed to get a bit stronger in intensity.

We got home a little after 9pm and jumped in the bed for some sex... of course having to stop every few min for pressure waves!! After we were done I went to the bathroom and lost more of my mucos plug and had some bloody show. It was around 10 and I decided to start timing my contractions again, 4min apart!! I was trying not to get too excited because for weeks I had pressure waves (some as close as 4min apart) and these were not as bad as those so surley it couldnt be labor, right?

I also figured if it was labor it was just starting and this being my first child it would be a while before my labor was in full swing and he was born. We went to bed to try and get some sleep and I was guessing that everything would cool down a little bit. I was having trouble falling alseep so a little after 11pm I decided to get into the bath tub and try to relax to help me go to sleep, I listened to a few of my Hypnobabies tracks and started feeling tired so I went back to bed hoping to get some sleep because at this point I knew I was in the begining stages of labor and needed to rest up.

That did not happen! At midnight I started feeling my pressure waves MUCH stronger and quiet often so I woke Mark up and told him he needed to wake up because I was in labor for real and I was not going to be up all by myself! For some reason it was irritating me seeing him asleep peacefully while I was having contractions. It took a good 15min for him to get up and he was a bit annoyed! My pressure waves were 3min apart at this point so we pulled out the birth pool to get it blown up, I totaly forgot we did not have a wall plug for the air pump so Mark had to take the birth pool outside to his car and plug it into the lighter plug in the freezing cold to blow it up.

While he was blowing up the pool most likely was the most stressfull  part of my birth because all I wanted to do was get into the water. I was going back and forth from laying in the bed, being on my hands and knees leaning over my birthing ball, snugling my pillow on the floor, and walking from room to room. He started filling up the pool around 1:30am and I texted one of my midwifes because I couldnt talk through my pressure waves and they were right at 2min apart from begining of one to the begining of the next. They both live about an hour away so I knew it would be a little while before they got there but I had no worried because I thought I was still at the begining stages of labor because the discomfort was not that bad at all. I decided to wait until they got there and we saw how things were going to text any family members and let them know he was coming.

My midwifes, Aimee & Desiree, got there at 3:10am and I was in the pool and decided to get out to let them check me, I was going to ask not to be told how far dialated I was. The minute I got out I felt like I had to go poop so I sat on the toilet and tried to use the bathroom but nothing was happening, got on my hands and knees and tried, squated and tried but no poop! My midwifes told me it was the baby I was feeling so I stopped trying to poop and layed on the couch for Dessire to check me. My contracting were so strong and often that before she could check anything I had to roll off the couch and get on my hands and knees because my pressure waves were coming so strong. I kept telling them, "I seriously have to poop so bad" and they said no that it was babys head making it feel like I needed to. I continued to go through pressure waves on the floor huging my pillow and leaning forward onto Marks chest. I was pushing in different possitions (trying to go poop) for a good 10min.

They then told me if I wanted to have a water birth Id better get back into the tub so I started crawling back into the kitchen and on my way back to the tub my water broke and there was a huge decrease in preassure. I got back into the tub and got on my knees leaning against the edge of the pool holding onto Mark and biting his hand with every contraction. I kept telling (im not sure who) that I wnated pictures and videos, my exact words were "Im not having a water birth and not having video proof". But things were moving too fast for anyone to worry about getting video or pictures! When I felt his head starting to crown I said something about was this seriously it, I couldnt believe he was about to come out!

I told Mark to hurry and grab my phone to text my Mom and Dad because they would be mad if I had promised my Mom I would not wait to call until after he was born, oops! He sent a text that said, "Kade is on his way, dont call please" because I knew she would be calling and we were a little far into labor to be talking on the phone. My body then took over and started pushing itself and after 5min of being in the birth pool his head emerged, I was so excited for the pause in between birthing the head and the body that I always heard people talk about but my midwifes said to keep pushing because he had oppened his eyes and was looking like he was about to take a breath and they did not want him to breath the water in. I gave two pushes and his body was out. I started pushing at 3:35am and he was born at 3:50am.

I think my mind went blank for a second out of shock that he was here because I was in my own little world and it took me a second to capture my thoughts, they told me to reach down and bring him up out of the water. I pulled my little boy from the water and snuggled him to my chest and was speachless. It took him seconds to cry but his eyes were open and looking at me, it was a wonderful quiet moment where I conected with my son. I sat back but could not sit down because his cord was too short to keep him out of the water unless I was squating. Mark came behind me and had his arms around us and I was in pure heaven. I had to get out of the water after a few minutes since it was challenging to keep him out of the water.

We layed on the couch and he latched on wonderfully and nursed for a good 20min before I got on the birthing stool to deliver my placenta. After it was delivered we wrapped it up in a chux pad and layed back down on the couch and he continued to nurse for at least another 45min while I got checked out.
My labor and birth with Kade is by far the most amazing thing I've ever experianced. I can not believe how easy and natural it was. My body knew what it was doing and I believed in the ability I have as a woman to give birth. I feel very lucky to have felt what I thought was the "easy part" begining of labor when I was in my last two hours and what ive always heard to be the most difficult part. My birth had very minimal discomfort and Kade had such a beautiful passage into the world.

***I did not use any hypnobabies scripts during my birth... for me it was more help DURING pregnancy and preparing my mind to take over during labor and release... and it did!!  Goes to show that while the study is WONDEFUL its just preparing your body and putting your mind at ease to do what it is 100% capable of doing!!! And yes 43 weeks (we know date of conception) and my family births tiny babies!!! :) Thanks the lord!!!
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Here is my son's birth story.    There is one point where you might need to use your BOP as I freaked out a little during transformation...   I think that this was in part due to the fact that my midwife was not supportive of Hypnobabies at all, but I didn't know that ahead of time...  I didn't have very long to get to know her,  However she was better than the OB, so I'm glad that I used her instead of him...

This was my first Hypnobabies birth.  I was terrible at remembering to do the finger drop practices.  But I was really good at listening to my scripts in my sleep each night! *Grin*  Over all, I noticed that I was a lot calmer with this birth than any of my others, and it was all pressure sensations; intense pressure sensations, but nothing I'd call pain.  I will for sure use Hypnobabies if there is a next time!

 At 35 weeks I changed from an OB to a midwife.

At 36 weeks and 5 days, I went into labor, or so I thought.  I kept thinking that it would be really cool to have this baby born on April 1st, as I thought it would be a fun birth date.  So I was pretty darn excited when I woke up about 1:30am on April 1st to pressure waves coming every 10 minutes.  I laid in bed listening to my Hypnobabies scripts and trying to rest in between them without success for an hour before I woke up my husband.

For the next two hours or so I walked, I climbed the stairs, I took a shower - all in an attempt to either get the pressure waves to get stronger or to go away.  They were noticeable, but not uncomfortable.  I normally wouldn’t have even toyed with the idea of calling the midwife, but I’d read so many birth stories of women who had used Hypnobabies during their labors and didn’t even realize they were really in labor because everything was so easy.

After about 3 hours of pressure waves that kept coming every 10 minutes consistently I called her.  It took her 40 minutes to wake up and drive to our home.  In that time I had another 4 contractions.  However as soon as she got here everything stopped.  She checked me to see if the contractions had been doing anything and found that I was 50% effaced and 3 cm dilated.  She could feel the sutures in his skull so she knew that he was lined up in the optimum position for birth; and that the birth would probably go rather quickly when it finally started for real.  Since nothing was happening anymore she urged me to get some sleep and she was going to sleep on the couch and see if things would pick up again.  They didn’t…  This was our baby’s first April Fool’s joke he ever played on us.  I’m sure it won’t be his last.  *grin*

I went to my next midwife appointment 6 days later and mentioned that I’d been having the kind of hot, sweaty episodes that I usually get AFTER birth, for the last two nights.  My midwife said that she thought that the baby would probably come within the next couple days, probably before the weekend was out.  That gave me a lot of hope.  I was so excited to meet this little guy, and I wasn’t the only one.  That morning my almost 3 year old daughter had come into my bedroom as soon as she woke up, and the first words out of her mouth were:  “Did my little brother come last night?”  *grin*

We kept hoping that he would come before April 8th so that we could add him to our insurance through my hubby's old employer and he would be covered in case something went wrong within the first month of his life.  However he didn’t.  On Saturday morning, April 9th, my hubby went to work at his new company and found out that due to a mix up that we wouldn’t be eligible for even catastrophic insurance until after he had been with this company full time for a whole month.  So now there was no way at all for Baby to be covered by ANY insurance at all at the time of birth. I started to freak out even more, but my hubby pointed out that maybe this was a test to be a trial of our faith.  We knew we were doing the right thing by taking this job now.  We just needed to decide if we were going to stress about this insurance thing, that we couldn’t do anything about, or if we were going to put our faith in the Lord and leave our health in His hands.  We made the conscious decision to put it all in His hands.  Immediately peace descended upon me and I knew that whatever happened was what was meant to be, and that the Lord wouldn’t leave us alone.

While my hubby had been at work that morning, the kids had finally filled the “bean jar” and had earned their outing to Incredible Pizza with Mom and Dad.    As soon as my hubby got home we decided to go ahead and take them to Incredible Pizza that day.  My mom had come over to spend the day with us, so we took her with us.  The kids had a blast.  I noticed with all the walking around I was having more Braxton Hicks contractions than normal but didn’t think anything of it because they were even less noticeable than they’d been on the 1st.  After several hours I started to notice that they were getting stronger and more regular.  When I realized that I didn’t want my kids to touch me during one, I started timing them.  They were 3 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds-1 minute long.  I decided that it was time to gather everyone and head home.

We ran into a snag at this point…  I couldn’t find my husband and son.  We spent a half hour looking for them.  We even had them paged over the loud speaker, but they didn’t notice it.  They were so enjoying their time playing video games together that they had tuned out the rest of the world.

They were finally found and when my husband was told what was going on he kicked it into high gear to get all the kids loaded into the van and get us headed home.  I called the midwife from the car and told her how close together my contractions were.  I was afraid to ask her to meet us at our house as I didn’t want a repeat of April Fools Day…  But she assured me that she’d rather have a repeat, than miss the birth.  So we agreed to meet at our house.

I was apprehensive of the drive home, as I’ve heard that traveling in the car while in labor can be uncomfortable.  I was pleasantly surprised however to find that my “Peace” cue helped a lot and the trip home wasn’t bad.  I would just relax into the pressure and tell myself “peace”.  I was actually looking forward to each pressure wave as I was getting really excited to meet my son.

When we got home, my Mom herded the kids into the house and downstairs to watch Tangled.  (I had purchased it specifically for the kids to watch while I was in labor.)  I headed upstairs to the bedroom to start getting the last minute things ready.  I wanted the birth tub filled, but wasn’t sure we’d have enough time, so I decided to just use our bathtub instead.  In hind sight, I wish I’d taken the time to fill up the birth tub as the bath tub just wasn’t big enough for me to get comfortable in, plus it was really hard and that was uncomfortable on my legs and knees…  But oh well.

I got into the tub and asked my husband to put on my Easy First Stage HypnoBabies track.  The water felt so good and increased my ability to relax into the pressure.  Listening to the track was very calming and helped me to keep my focus.  I started out just resting my head on a washcloth on the side of the tub during contractions, but before too long, I found that I kept getting on my hands and knees during contractions as that is the position that my body prefers to labor in.  I’ve used that position for all of my vaginal births.  Both my husband and my 10 year old daughter took turns putting their hand on my forehead and using the “relax” cue.  I was actually really surprised at how helpful that was.

When my midwife got there, one of the first things I remember her saying was “Most people just throw that crap away.”, referring to my Hypnobabies track.  My sweet and protective husband spoke up and said “She likes it.  It is really helping her.”  That caused our midwife to back off and not say anything else negative about my track.  Yeah for protective husbands! (editors note:  GREAT JOB BIRTH PARTNER!  Also, this is a really important reason to find out what your care providers really think about Hypnobabies.  If they feel this way, then they may actually undermine your Hypnobabies experience.)

After she got everything set up, she came into the bathroom to watch me labor for a few minutes.  She asked to check me at this point.  She said that I was 80% effaced and 4 cm dilated with a bulging bag of waters.  She also mentioned that my cervix was tilted really far backwards, which I’d told her previously that it was.  I’ve always needed to have my midwives pull it forward during labor, and then once they do, birth is eminent.  She asked if she could pull it forward for me, and I agreed; however I felt like she didn’t pull it forward enough, mainly because it didn't hurt like it always had when any of my other midwives had done it.  I credit that to Hypnobabies!

She then asked me to get out of the tub because she didn’t feel that I was far enough along to not have the water stall my labor.  She felt that my contractions were too frequent and not long enough to be doing any real productive work.  She was also not comfortable with me laboring on my hands and knees because then if I were to have a bowel movement it might get on the baby.  She had me get onto the bed and lay on my side, but almost on my stomach, with my right leg extended out to the side and raised up on several pillows.  She said that this position was very beneficial for helping the baby move down without tiring Mom out.  She massaged my legs and back while I was in this position.  I continued to use my “peace” cue and kept saying “open, open, open” to myself.  After a little while, I just couldn’t stand that position any longer and so I got up and ran to the toilet.  While there I had very loose stools.  The midwife came in and tried to do some acupressure points on my legs, but I didn’t really notice a difference with that.  When she found out that I was pooping she decided to leave us alone and went downstairs to make soup for me for after the baby was born.

For some reason, in my head, I translated that action, along with the fact that I was “only 4 cm” to mean that I still had HOURS left to go.  I got up and tried to figure out where I wanted to labor.  I tried the bed, but that wasn’t comfortable.  I tried to get back into the bathtub, but lifting my leg over the side of the tub was too uncomfortable so I decided against that.  I finally decided that I wanted to sit on the toilet backwards.  While there I had a couple contractions and then all of a sudden I had a very intense one.  (Which in hind sight was the start of Transformation, I just didn't recognize it as such...)

*BOP* I started to get scared at this point because even though I wouldn’t use the word pain to describe it, it was more intense than I wanted to endure for hours.  Keep in mind that at this point I still thought that I had hours to go.  The midwife had never said that, in fact she said she thought it would be quick since she moved my cervix, but for some reason I was sure I still had hours left...  I told my husband that I didn’t want to do it anymore and to take me to the hospital for an epidural because I couldn’t do this for hours more.  He was so supportive and kept telling me that I was almost done, and that I'd be holding our new son in just a few minutes, but I didn't believe him. *end BOP*(editors note:  another example of how important the birth partner is during a birth.  He knew mom just needed some encouragement.  He knew the baby was almost there and was reminding mom of this!)

I then had another really intense contraction and my water broke.  My water never breaks until the baby is crowning so I knew then that I really was close to the end.  I got off the toilet but didn’t make it any farther than a squatting position on the floor in front of the toilet before my body was pushing.  As soon as I told my husband that my water had broken he started trying to get the midwife’s attention by yelling for her, and stomping on the floor.  That didn’t work.  While I was getting off the toilet he raced to the top of the stairs and yelled down to her that the baby was coming.

He got back to me just as I was pushing the baby’s head out.  I had reached down and supported his head as it was coming out.  I never felt a “ring of fire” or anything.  It was all just pressure.  Which was pretty cool especially since he came out with his hand on his cheek!  After his head was out, the midwife came into the bathroom...  With the next contraction I was able to push the rest of his body out and I reached down and caught my Little Man and pulled him up to my chest.  I loved being the one to catch him!  The cord was looped around his shoulders and arm, so the midwife took him and unwound him from the cord and gave him back to me.

Then she and my husband helped me get to the bed.  J.C. was born on April 9, at 7:50pm.  It was 2 hours from when I first started timing pressure waves until I was holding my son.

It was so cool see him be this blue/grey color and then as soon as my placenta detached I could see him pink up right before my eyes.   After the placenta was delivered, the midwife wrapped it up and put it next to us and left us alone for an hour, just the three of us.  When she came back, she had Josef cut the cord and she did the newborn exam.  He weighed 6 pounds, and was 18 ½ inches long.  I was concerned as he hadn’t shown any interest in nursing yet, and during the exam we discovered why.  He was tongue tied, so he couldn’t even stick his tongue out.  The midwife clipped it and shortly after that he latched on and started nursing.

After everything was done, she brought me a bowl of her special lentil soup to help me get my energy back and to help my milk come in.  The rest of the kids came in to meet their new brother.  Everyone fell in love with him at first sight.

He is the most mellow baby we’ve ever had.  Since he is number 6, that is saying a lot!  The other kids can’t get enough of holding and kissing and touching him.  We knew our family was missing people before he was born; but already I am forgetting what it was like before he was here.  He has just always been a part of our family.  We love him so much and are so grateful that Heavenly Father saw fit to send him to us.
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