I was asked to do a review on the book Second Chance a mother’s experiences of 2 births. Her first was a hospital planned vaginal birth turned to cesarean and the book included her quest to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). As a VBAC mom myself I of course was interested in her experiences.
I loved the way the book was written, with flashbacks to different points in her life. From childhood experiences to her first birth. I also appreciated that her second birth, while she was successful in her home VBAC, she needed a hospital transfer for a placenta issue. I love how she was able to handle that with grace. It showed that emergencies can be handled well with homebirths.
Help for Moms Struggling with Birth Trauma
I work with moms struggling with birth trauma. It is one of my favorite things to do, because the pain from birth trauma is often misunderstood. I love being able to talk with the moms and do emotional clearing for them. While reading Second Chance, I really wanted to be able to sit down with Thais and let her know that all she was feeling was normal and offer her some energy clearing to help her shift to a better place.
I was really happy when she found some support for her journey to healing. It is common for people to have to search out those experienced with birth trauma to find healing, as it isn’t often recognized or understood by many. As happened with her first experience with a therapist in trying to get help.
I really enjoyed reading Second Chance. It was well written and the story was good showing the many different aspects a mother may face in her quest for a VBAC. I appreciate that Thais was willing to open her heart and share her journey with us.
Give Away –
Leave a comment why you want to win the book and I will pick a winner on May 30th!
I was excited to try the ZenBand because I had a similar product that had recently accidentally gone through the washing machine with the bed sheets and had bit the dust. So I was thrilled to be able to try the ZenBand. (They were kind enough to send me one for free, so I could try it and write a review.)
I use sleep headphones when listening to hypnosis scripts at night while falling asleep, or in the middle of the night if I wake up and can’t fall back asleep.
I really enjoyed the ZenBand.
- The first thing I noticed was that it was comfortable. The seams are very small flat and are not noticeable when laying down. 🙂
- Also the sizing was nice, tight enough to stay in place, but not too tight. 🙂
- It can double as an eye mask. 🙂
- The sound quality was good. 🙂
- The ear pieces do move around quite easily within the bands. This can be good, because it is easy to get them in just the right place you want them on your ears. Which is great when I am awake and about to go to sleep. 🙂 However, in the middle of the night, it is challenging, because I am half asleep and it is harder to get them situated and since they move so easily they don’t stay in place from when I took them off in my sleep after originally falling asleep.
- The only other observation is that the headphone pieces are not as flat as the other brand I had, which makes it potentially not as comfortable if you are lying on your side. However, for me I like to listen on my back, so the ZenBand works well for me.
If you are using a hypnosis for childbirth program, sleep headphone bands like this are a great tool. You can get ZenBands here.
T3 is enjoying his week at Galileo Camp. He keeps asking me to sign him up for another one. He is especially interested in the Olympic week, obviously because the “real” Olympics are coming.
The week he signed up for is Toys and he has been having fun creating toys throughout this week. He is really excited to show me the pinball machine he is making.
There is still time for you to sign up your kids for Galileo camp. I love that it goes from 9-3 and you can add early drop off or late drop off. We usually do half day camps, so at first I thought the price was a bit steep, but once I realized it was ALL day it made sense. Also they still have a coupon for refer a friend and you can each save $100 if you both sign up.
Here is the pinball machine! Somehow when I edited the video the audio got messed up.
Here is the day of his birth.. sorry it is so long!
May 19th, Monday morning at 5am on the dot, I was waken up by some real strong pressure waves. I had been waking up at this time for the last few weeks, even though the alarm is always set for 7:00am so I didn’t think too much of it. I tried to close my eyes and go back to sleep but they were too strong. I decided to quietly jump in my huge tub and soak to try to get on top of them. I did some deep visualization and meditation for an hour. I didn’t take a watch with me but counted 12 during that hour with them only lasting about 30 seconds each. I decided to get out, head to the computer and use an on line timer. For some odd reason, none of them would work for me! I grabbed Dh’s PDA and started timing my pressure waves, I was so thankful he downloaded it and I knew how to use it. I was replying to a few emails and reading on my cloth diaper site when I happened to come across someone asking about hypnobabies home study course. I read a lil success story (sorry I can’t remember the name of the mama that wrote it) and remember breaking down into tears! It was so emotional and just gave me so much hope! I remember replying and thanking her. This was at about 6:30am.
I just had this weird “today is the day” feeling so I called my mom and told her I think we will have a baby today.. I thought she was getting tired of my false alarms as she told me to call her back at 8:00am. LOL. I got my hunny up a few minutes before the alarm went off just to talk to him. Got my boys up and told them that I think their brother would be born today. I went and jumped in the shower to try to relax a lil more as I was so nervous and overly excited, or more like just to kill time. Pressure waves were getting stronger and were about 3-5 minutes apart but were lasting 1-2 minutes. I found myself stopping what I was doing at the time and just closing my eyes and telling my body to open, open, open. That was when I guess I knew we had better head to the hospital. Dh took the boys to school as usual while I got dressed. It was then when I noticed a lil bloody show. I called my sister at 7:30am and told her that I wasn’t waiting until 8am to call mom and asked if she would make sure the boys were taken care of after school. Dh got back and was taking his time.. I think too many false alarms for him to take me seriously as well. I asked if he was was ready and he said, well.. no, I have an appointment at 10am. I told him I think we had better head in. I told him we were having this baby today, I can remember saying that there was no way I could go weeks of these type of pressure waves so something HAD to happen today!
I had no clue how far along I was or if these pressure waves were even doing anything so I was in the mind set of we are having this baby, even if she has to induce me today! I can laugh at all this now. Pressure waves were coming closer and I think Dh finally saw they were way different than all the other times. I called my Dr. to see if I should go to her office to see if I was even doing anything or head to labor and delivery. Her nurse told me to head to the hospital. I remember thinking.. yeah, just to be sent home again.. lol.. I am not too sure what happened next but I know it was a lil after 8am before we finally got everything loaded in the car and got on the road. I listened to my hypnobabies “Easy First Stage” cd during the car ride. I don’t remember much as I spent the whole ride with my switch in the off position.
We arrived at the hospital about 8:30am, we walked down to labor and delivery to be told that we needed to go to admit first.. by this time, my pressure waves were pretty strong and I can remember thinking to myself there is no way I am walking all the way back there.. I think I gave her a ‘are you kidding me’? look! Daddy reminded them that we had already done our pre-admit and luckily one of the nurses saved us and took us into the birthing room. The rest happened so fast it is kind of a blur to me so daddy will have to fill in where I can’t remember. I am sure I told them that I was GBS+ although I don’t think they thought I was as far dilated as I was.. of course how could they, I had no clue if this was even real! The first nurse, Dana, hooked me up to the monitors and then tried to check me. She said, alright then.
I asked how far I was and she said all she could feel were membranes. Then she called Terri in to check. She said the same thing and that they weren’t going to try any more because they weren’t ready to have the baby. I was in DUH mode and asked what that meant. I was thinking I was MAYBE 3-4cm! They said they couldn’t feel my cervix and they weren’t sure if my membranes were in front of it or if I was fully dilated..they made it sound like they thought my membranes were just infront and that we had plenty of time. I think that is why they didn’t get me hooked up to the IV.. they just sat there talking and watching the monitors. I reminded them again about being GBS+. About that time they actually heard me! Dana was trying to hook me up to the IV when my Dr got there.
She checked me and this is where I let my fear take hold of me. I heard her tell the other nurses to call surgery and have them on stand by. About that time, Daddy walked in and heard that, I was focusing and don’t remember were he went. I guess there was a TON of water below the baby’s head. Enough that the cord could slip down and come first. They sat me up so that gravity would do it’s thing and we crossed our fingers that his head would beat the cord first. I fought through the urge to push for what felt like forever..thinking back, I think I had the urge when I first got there and all it did was grow stronger. I think if I would have just relaxed and pushed, my fear wouldn’t have taken over me as much as it did. I started asking, no begging for something to take the edge off, although I didn’t need anything for pain, I was having trouble relaxing. I was scared to see which would come first.. the cord or my baby’s head.
About that time, my water broke. I guess my body was pushing and I didn’t even know as I was hugging my birthing ball and trying to stay focused. They rushed me to lay down to see what happened and I can remember my Dr saying there is a bunch of hair! Dh actually looked which he said he didn’t want to. My focus was on him at this time although he had no clue I was even listening! I remember the
nurses were so loud, not that we even had time to get our birthing plan out, let alone have them read over it. I guess I asked them to “PLEASE be quite”! As much as I was trying to not push my body started anyway. Daddy kept giving me progress reports during my pushing. After three pushes, at 9:38am we were both looking at our baby Caden! Both Daddy and I just looked at each other and talked about how tiny he looked! He looked soo purple! The Dr. had to explain it to us that when my water broke, his head was slammed hard down the canal causing his face to be bruised.
My Dr. let the cord stop pulsing and Daddy cut the cord. I was so happy she stuck with my birthing plan even after giving me a hard time about having a 20 page plan as I was in such a daze I wouldn’t have remembered anything at that moment! We spent time all bonding and just staring at what we thought was our tiny lil joy. When he was finally weighed and measured, he was perfect! 7 pound 11.8 ounce 19 inches long.. 10 fingers and 10 toes. Black wavy hair just like Daddy’s! The worst part about everything was I wouldn’t let Dh leave my side.. therefore, the camera was still in the car! That and I didn’t get time to make brownies!
Thank you for reading, Lisa
After the birth I had the nurse say to me that she was honored to be able to attend me during my birth, Brie’s birth was what a natural birth should be like
This was my fourth pregnancy and my first real attempt to have a natural birth.
Seven years ago with my first baby I thought I would go “as long as possible” without an epidural. This of course set me up to fail. I had no idea what I was going to do or what to expect. This first pregnancy ended with my water breaking spontaneously and contractions starting immediately with an intensity that really surprised me and that I wanted to stop. I got to the Women’s Center and was told that I had pre-eclampsia, was given a narcotic to get me through the ambulance ride to the larger hospital in the area and was then given Magnesium sulfate and then Pitocin and an epidural. I remember very little of that birth. 12 hours of labor and about 15 minutes pushing.
My second birth was induced the day after Christmas at the added urging of my husband to be able to have the tax deduction and had an epidural just after my water broke. It was very relaxed and there were no complications. 10 hours of labor and 10 minutes of pushing.
My third birth was also induced after reaching a point of tiredness and exhaustion and just wanting to be done. I was placed on Pitocin and had an epidural timed for when my water broke. This labor was 8 hours and about 5-10 minutes of pushing. It probably would have been faster but I was told to try and wait for the doctor to show up and catch. She barely made it.
My fourth pregnancy was a surprise. My husband and I thought we were finished having children and had to change our mindset back to a newborn and all that comes with them. It was very weird for me because it became very important to me to have this baby naturally. This was not because of horror stories of previous births. My last two were very pleasant births but I knew that I wanted something different. A friend of mine had recently done HypnoBirthing for her birth and it sounded right to me. I did more research and came across Hypnobabies. It talked of everything that seemed right to me. I wanted to have a peaceful pregnancy and birth for me and my new baby.
I took the Hypnobabies course from a local instructor and really enjoyed the classes. I ended up in maintenance for about two and half months. My estimated due date was set as August 28th. At 30 weeks I was diagnosed with insulin dependent gestational diabetes. I had just recently switched from an OB to a midwife in another city and was looking at having to be transferred to their OB in the clinic. I met with him for 5 minutes and have never had a more violent reaction to someone. I knew that he would not be allowed to touch me or my baby when my birthing time came. I talked with the midwife and she knew how I felt about the OB and luckily enough they had just had a second OB join the group and he was someone who could listen to my concerns. He agreed that if an OB became necessary that he would be on call for me regardless of their rotations.
Then I was diagnosed as Group B strep positive and this changed my plans of laboring at home as long as possible. Starting at 36 weeks I was having non-stress tests twice a week and ultrasounds every other week. During my visit the day before my 39 th week the baby was measuring at 4000 grams on the ultrasound and the OB talked about the old recommendations would call for a C-section at this point for insulin dependent gestational diabetes but with the new recommendations being set at 4500 grams that would could wait longer.
I had declined internal exams up to this point knowing that it would either get my hopes up or completely dash them. But because of the “estimated” size and the hopes of doing this without the OB I agreed to have the midwife check me and I was a solid 4 cm and she could stretch me to a 5. She stripped my membranes hoping to get things started and sent me home.
I cramped all the way home and told my husband to pack everything up for us and our children just in case.
Nothing seemed to materialize that evening. I went to bed at 9 and woke up at 11:30 when my husband came to bed and couldn’t get to sleep because I was cramping pretty regularly. I probably went to the bathroom every 5-6 minutes. At 1 I finally woke my husband up and told him that we should probably consider this as it and get ourselves together. The contractions were consistent but would stop for about 10 minutes every time I got up to go anywhere. They would always start up again and so we called family to let them know that we were going to the hospital and we got the kids up and took them to my sister’s house. We got to the hospital at about 2:30. We were put in the exam room and waited. The nurse said that I was at a 4-5 cm and she called the midwife. Since I hadn’t changed since the office visit the day before the midwife wanted us to walk for two hours (from 3 to 5 am) and then get checked again.
We were in a very small hospital that has absolutely no room to walk and did our best. By the time 5 o’clock rolled around I was very mad and upset and wanted to just get our stuff out of the exam room and just go home and have my baby without them. My poor husband tried to make me laugh but almost got put in the hospital for his efforts.
Back in the exam room I measured no differently and they called the midwife. She offered to either have us go home (this really made me mad…hello, I was in labor that wasn’t going to change) or to start the antibiotics for the GBS+ now (5 o’clock) and she would come in and rupture my membranes at 7. Since she was the one I wanted delivering my baby and was only on call officially until 8, I decided to go for the antibiotics and having my water broken.
We were transferred to a labor and delivery room. We were settled in and then the nurse had to leave to help with another delivery and did not get the antibiotics started until 6:30. Up to this point the contractions have only been felt as cramps and were constant but completely bearable. My midwife and the midwife in training arrived to break my water. They checked me and while I was still a 4-5 cm the midwife said that my cervix was much more malleable and ready to go. They broke may water at 7:50. We had been in contact with my doula throughout the night and called her now to have her come up to the hospital. She lives about 3 minutes away and is the also the instructor from my Hypnobabies class.
Once my water was broken the contractions became much stronger and I had to turn my switch off for each one. They finally finished my course of antibiotics and unhooked me from the heplock and I started to move around the room. The midwives stayed in the room with me for quite a bit and talked to me between contractions. This was okay until my doula came and they watched as she and my wonderful husband helped me get through each contraction. The mood in the room changed to one of quiet and peace. My doula started talking me through each contraction while I was in the off position.
My husband would keep his hand on my shoulder helping me with the relax cue and his other hand was in mine. The doula instructed me to count down from 10 to 1 during each contraction and while I definitely felt discomfort with my contractions they were manageable. I spent most of my time laboring in the glider this gave me the most support and allowed me to relax with the least amount of intensity. Periodically the midwife would have me move to the bed to monitor the baby during a contraction. She always used the Doppler to get the baby’s heart beat and every time my baby was fine. The second or third time that they had me in the bed to check the heartbeat during a contraction the midwife leaned over the bed and whispered (everyone was whispering at this point) that she needed me to tell her when I started a contraction because she could not tell. The doula then prompted me that the next time I started a contraction to signal with my finger using the fingerdrop to show the midwife when it starts.
Whenever I was in the bed the contractions became much more intense and I always wanted out as fast as possible. I only wanted to be in the rocker but had to go into the bathroom twice and while this was manageable the first time the contractions had become so intense that I had to be in the off position to handle them and I couldn’t do this on the toilet. I got back to the rocking chair as fast as I could. I started to feel nauseous and made a point after the next contraction to say this out loud for my doula and my midwife to know what was going on. My doula said that the only way she could know that a contraction had started was my eyelids would flutter a bit. I thought it was very obvious due to my breathing and going limp but I guess I was much more aware of these things than they were. The doula asked if I felt pressure in my bum and while there was some it didn’t feel any different than what I had been experiencing and didn’t want to focus too much on this since it distracted me from my hypnosis. They were really intense and I was starting to feel a little frantic about how I was going to get through them for much longer. I finally told my doula after she asked a third time about the pressure that “I don’t know, maybe.” The midwife at this point wanted me to get on the bed again to check the baby’s heart rate and my cervix and while I got up without complaining to do this inside I was really worried because I felt that I had a slim grip on my control at this point and I knew that it would get worse when I got on the bed. I had been in transition for a while. I thought I might be due to the nausea and how the contractions had changed and I was starting to question whether I keep my control.
I got on the bed and immediately felt that everything hit me at once and had intense and a different type of p**n and I wasn’t sure what to do. Well it turns out my baby was crowning and my change in position had refocused everything to my perineum. I struggled for a second to figure out where I wanted to be. I tried all fours briefly and that didn’t feel right and finally just dropped to my side and lifted my right leg up in the hope that would alleviate the intensity. Everyone jumped at this point because this is the first they realized that my baby was coming and they had to scramble to get on gloves and to make sure the nurse was back in the room. My husband was wonderful throughout this whole ordeal and he was at my side holding my leg up for me and unfortunately didn’t get to see much of the birth because of my leg in his face. I didn’t have much control like I did during the contractions. I was more vocal and I remember asking for someone to help me and that she felt like she was tearing me. The midwives were able to put pressure on me and helped me to know how much pressure to use to get her to move out of the canal. The concern for insulin dependent gestational diabetes babies is that the baby’s trunk can be bigger than the head. So once her head was born we still needed to get her chest and abdomen out. They helped me slowly move both her shoulders out and then her body slipped out. This was so wonderful to feel the pressure ease and to turn onto my back and to see my baby girl for the first time. I was able to reach down to feel her head while she was crowning but for some reason I couldn’t open my eyes because of the intensity and so the first thing I saw after getting on the bed was her purple blue wet body being put on my belly. The cord wasn’t long enough to get to my chest. I was able to tell them to not cut the cord until it stopped pulsing and to let my husband cut the cord (which I have a beautiful picture of). I was also able to tell them to let the placenta detach and to not pull and they were wonderful throughout everything to do as I asked and I was able to not worry about them and to just enjoy my new baby that was squalling on my chest and to look at her beautiful full head of black hair, chubby checks and squished up nose. The midwives checked me and could not find any signs of tearing. As one of them said, “not even a skid!”
Brie Evelyn weighed in at 8 pounds 10 ounces. (The ultrasound the day before estimated her at 9 pounds.) She was 21 inches long. Her head circumference was 14 inches and her chest was 14.2 inches.
My water was broken at 7:50 am and she was born at 10:18 am after 3 minutes of pushing. So just about two and a half hours later. In fact she was born just 20 minutes shy of the full four hours required for the treatment of Group B Strep which requires a 48 hour stay for monitoring. We declined this and went home the following day.
This was an amazing birth for me. It was not p**n-free. But it was perfect for me. I didn’t expect to not feel the cramping and the p**n. So it could be that this was my own fault for not creating a completely comfortable expectation but it was perfect for me as I was able to handle the feelings that I did have and I was able to rely on my own strength and that of my husband and the direction of my doula to get through the labor to get to the joy of my baby’s birth.
After the birth I had the nurse say to me that she was honored to be able to attend me during my birth. That Brie’s birth was what a natural birth should be like. The midwives both were very impressed with the birth and the control that I had. This amazes me because I am a wimp when it comes to pain. I later had to have a shot of Pitocin due to my hemorrhaging and I hated this more than the labor (see, wimp). This birth gave me an understanding of myself and my ability.
I recently talked to my doula to find out her point of view about the birth and according to her my birth looked exactly like the textbook Hypnobabies labor. I was relaxed and looked like I was asleep the whole time. She reminded me that the midwives that attended the birth had a combined catch record of a couple thousand births and they could not tell when I was having a contraction. She also said that it was the most wonderful birth that she had ever seen. I have to say that I am quite proud of that and of myself. I learned a lot about what I can handle and that I do not give up. Doing Hypnobabies involves a lot of commitment and time even before the birth and this is something that I know gave my baby the best possible beginning.
Things I would change:
I would try to prepare more for the pushing. I felt out of control during this time and it felt like forever even though it was only 3 minutes. Perhaps if I had more time I could have refocused myself but it went so fast I didn’t really try. I don’t even remember having any more contractions per se once I began pushing.
I would have my husband in a better position to watch the birth and I would have had my eyes open to watch her come out and to maybe have helped catch her.
Things I would never change:
The midwives were wonderful as was the hospital I chose for my birth. They were on board completely for whatever I needed to do. One of the benefits of living in a small rural area I guess.
I would definitely have my doula by my side. She helped me focus and was able to direct me through the contractions with scripts that she tailored for the moment. This allowed me to know what to do mentally while I relied on my husband for his strength and love to get me through. She in no way took away from my husband’s role but she did enhance my role as the laboring Hypnomom. Even my husband has said that he was grateful she was there to do the vocal direction while he was my rock and reason for continuing.
I am always looking for fun summer camp experiences for my boys. My older boys are now too old for summer camp. One works at a summer program for kids now!
T3 is still loving summer camp. So far we are only signed up for Cub Scout Day Camp, which we do every year. I was trying to decide between theater or chess, then I found out about Galileo Innovation Camp.
T3 loves to create things. Last year when he was 9 he held his own 2 day cardboard building camp. He taught his friends and some younger kids from church how to build with cardboard.
So this camp sounds so amazing and wonderful for him! Creating, building, learning and having fun all at once.
But you can save $100 if you refer a friend. They get $100 off and you get $100 off.
Or if you don’t have a friend, here is a code for you to get $50 off. 2016CABFRIEND- $50 off, one per family, valid for one time use only.
I LOVE Hypnobabies! I wrote one birth story and this is it…it
doesn’t use the hypno lingo specifically, but it is a very positive
story. Comfortable, fast and easy. It couldn’t have been more
Saturday night, October 28th I was awoken by a few pressure
waves/contractions during the night. I wondered if we would make it
to church the next morning or if this was the start of labor. They
were most intense in the early hours of the morning, but I was able
to sleep in between…never more than half hour apart.
Sunday morning I woke up with no sign of labor, so off to church we
went. To be honest I was easily distracted during service and
uncomfortable. After church we went to eat at our favorite Mexican
food place so that the owner, Maria, could see me one more time
before I had the baby. We were pretty sure it would be soon so we
had better go while we could before the baby came. Lunch was great
and it was nice to see Maria again. After lunch we went grocery
shopping to stock up. Contractions started up again (though they
were not intense) with all the walking and I became tired really
fast and just wanted to get the heck out of the store.
Sunday night the contractions became closer together and were
uncomfortable to lay down through even with my Hypnobabies disks. I
finally got up and took shower. Contractions were about 10-15
minutes apart but never progressed any closer together. Finallly
the sun came up (Monday morning) and they slowed down. After the
kids got up I went back to sleep.
Monday was a long day and I wondered how many nights I would go on
this way. We went to sleep that night and I listened to my
Hypnobabies disk like I had been every night for the past month or
so. But tonight I ended up getting out of bed even earlier than the
previous night. Contractions were about 15 minutes apart again, but
much more intense. I didn’t get excited right away because I
thought that I would labor all night and then sleep the next day as
my contractions seemed shy of daylight. However, by the early
morning hours I needed hubby to help me with my relaxation, using
the techniques we practiced together. By 4 in the morning the
intensity had grown to such that I could only relax if Rob very
firmly grasped my shoulders and repeated the relax, release and
peace cues. Without his help my body felt panicky or tense just at
the start of the contraction. They were about 5 minutes apart when
I woke Rob up to time them… I tried to use my hypno cd for
birthing time to relax, but I felt that I needed the specific cues
from hubby with each contraction for the techniques to be
effective. The birth ball was the most comfortable place for me to
sit during this time and I was definitely not comfortable laying
down (which was the position that I thought I would spend most of my
We called the midwife at 4 and she said to give it another hour and
see how I felt… to give her a call if things progressed more
quickly. Well, by 5 the contractions had spaced out to 10-15
minutes again and I was able to sit in the recliner and sleep
between them, though they were still intense enough that I needed
Rob’s help at the start of each one. I was so tired that I would
fall immediately asleep as soon as the peak was over, before the
It is now Tuesday, October 31. They faded farther apart and the
intensity settled down enough that I was able to relax completely
through them on my own again, so I told Rob he should go get some
sleep. I stayed in the recliner and slept as much as I could. The
kids had some cereal and watched cartoons and I just tried to relax
and get ready for long and tired day. I woke up a little before 9
and got up to get a few things done, however, the contractions came
back and seemed back to back. I didn’t believe how close they
seemed so I kept about some light chores. When the intensity
brought me to my knees on the stairs I decided that I’d better wake
Rob up. I needed some relaxation help again to stay comfortable. I
couldn’t believe when he told me they were about 2-3 minutes apart!
They all had double peaks and I thought we needed to start getting
things ready to go to the birth center. As I sat on the birth ball
and relaxed through the contractions my “wispered peace cues” became
a bit louder and I didn’t want Rob to leave me to load the car up.
We were waiting for a friend to arrive to stay with the kids when I
felt a distinct change. I felt the baby move down and the
contraction felt a bit pushy. I said, “we have to leave NOW” so
Chyna watched Ky for a few minutes until Robin got there and we
headed out of the drive way as quickly as we could.
I was able to relax really well using my Hypnobabies cd in the car,
despite having VERY intense and slightly pushy feeling
contractions. I swear I could actually feel myself dilating and the
baby inching down. The ride seemed really short- but then again, we
made the trip in about 25 minutes and it’s normally at least a 45
minute drive! We went in and I was sure that the midwife would
check me and say that I was dilated to 2 or 3 centimeters. I was
ecstatic when she said “oh, we have a nice bulging bag of water, the
head is right here and your at 6”. I said “Thank you Lord!” And I
remembered that once I made it to 6 cm when I was birthing Ky,
transition went very quickly. We went right into the birthing suite
and they started filling up the tub right away. Rob prayed over me
and I was ready to go! It took about 20 minutes to fill up, but it
didn’t seem that long at all. I sat on the birth ball and Rob
squeezed my shoulders and continued the relaxation cues. I moved
into the warm water and it felt so good! It was nice to be able to
be comfortable and mobile…and the warmth made it easier to relax
even though the contractions continued to become more powerful and
intense and quickly I felt my body start to push a little with each
Alethia (doula/birth assistant) noticed that I was getting pushy and
called in Ruth (midwife). She checked me and I was completely
dilated with just a bit of a lip left on my cervix! It went by SO
quickly. And in between each contraction I was completely relaxed
and very comfortable, carrying on fun conversation and talking about
how much I was enjoying this birth. I pushed a bit with each
contraction that felt like pushing (which at this point quickly
became all of them). I could feel baby decending and the pressure
was crazy- not painful, but I felt very compelled to get him out the
rest of the way :~) When I was preparing for birth, I hadn’t
planned on pushing much at all… but at this point I was ready to
meet my baby and rest. Ruth was very encouraging for me to push
with the contractions but when they were over to immediately stop
pushing at all and rest. To go with my body and allow myself to
properly stretch so I wouldn’t tear.
I don’t remember how long I was pushing, but Rob says it was about 6
contractions in all. The rests in between pushing were wonderful
little breaks and fun conversation continued. A few times Ruth and
Alethia comented on how much I was making jokes and laughing or
smiling… at one point Ruth laughed and asked what drugs I was on
to be having so much fun while she could see the head! (That was
one of my favorite parts of this birthing! I proudly
I hadn’t previously expected to birth in the tub, but everything
went so quickly and it was so easy for me to keep my body comfy that
I never considered getting back out. On the last couple
contractions I was asking how much longer (I was pretty anxious to
see this little guy). Finally I decided heck with not pushing hard,
I was ready to get this kid out! I pushed with everything I had for
a few contractions and out he came. He was absolutely perfect and
very clean having been born under water. He was immediately handed
to me, and he was so peaceful. He looked around a little and made a
few little sounds. They suctioned him out a bit and helped me move
to the bed to dry off and keep baby warm (and to do the ultra fun
task of delivering the placenta… I had forgotten about that
It was so nice to just lay down and relax with my new perfect little
guy. And the bed at the birth center is a real bed, I think queen
size, so there was plenty of room for Rob to get close too.
Caden was born just less than 2 hours after arriving at the
birth center. His apgar scores were great and his head is nice and
round, having not spent much time in the birth canal. Even though
the labor process was very powerful and intense (and I’ll admit I
did have a few minutes of “panicky” feeling around transition) it
was beautiful and peaceful and much quicker than I had expected.
After having a previous hospital birth and this lovely, peaceful
birth center birth I can’t believe how much impact the difference
has had on our lives. Here at the birth center I was quietly
monitored and encouraged to keep drinking water, but Rob and I were
left alone for much of the time with Ruth and Alethia listening and
waiting in the next room. We were encouraged to relax and be
comfortable and to do what we felt like doing. I was really allowed
to birth in the way that I felt was right and we did not
feel “managed” at all. This was a HUGE blessing in contrast to the
managed care we forcefully received at the hospital. Rob and I are
complete advocates for personalized birth center care, water
birthing and Hypnobabies! This was absolutely the birth of our
dreams and there was nothing that we’d have changed. Not one
A few notes about some of the things that I did during pregnancy
that I believe affected the outcome of our birth~
- Hypnobabies! We did the homstudy course… I got the program around
30 weeks and listened pretty much every night to the c.d.s and most
days I listened to the affirmations disk. I did all of the reading
with the book, it was very comprehensive, but since I was not a
first time mom, most of it was a refresher and info that I already
knew. Hubby and I did the practice sessions a few times the week
before I went into labor. I really prayed a lot during my c.d.
listening and I know that God used this program to alleviate many of
the concerns that I had from my previous delivery. He used this
program to help me to have confidence in the way He created my body
to birth and I have no doubt that this affected the short length of
time that I was actually in labor, as well as eliminated pain. I
can honestly say that I experienced no pain during labor or delivery
(even pushing) just VERY strong power and pressure.
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea! I drank this throughout my pregnancy to
help tone my uterus. I took a break from the tea for a few weeks
towards the end of my pregnancy and then started again around 38
weeks. I drank one glass of strong tea each day. I also prepared a strong brew of it to drink when I went into labor, but things progressed so quickly I forgot about it. Looking back at the length of my labor, I’m glad I didn’t drink that last glass! :~0 We could have ended up with a car birth instead of the wonderful birth we had.
- Evening Primrose oil. I took this a few days orally and a few days “the other way”, lol. One of my concerns from my last pregnancy was the need to be induced. I took this to help my cervix along. I would say it worked. Blessings to everyone still waiting on their Hypnobabies!
I recorded a class about how to do energy work with your clients. Simple easy tools you can implement right away, as well as links to resources if you want to learn more and go deeper.
I have cut down on my doula client load and am really focusing more on helping women with energy work as they prepare for birth, recover from birth and as they shift to becoming mothers. I love it!
I share my tools and techniques with you, so you can add them to your tool belt to better help the women you serve.
There are challenges that can arise for both the birth worker and the moms (and dad’s and baby) before, during and after birth. I started incorporating energy work in my life and doula practice over 4 years ago and found it made a very positive impact for my clients as well as for myself!
There have been quite a few births where I have come home in need of emotional clearing myself. These tools I am teaching will help you to stay grounded and protected during a birth, or meeting. As well as tools to help you recover after.
Increase Your Skills
This class is geared towards any birth worker looking to increase their skills, to add tools to their toolbox to help their clients have the best pregnancy and birth possible. It isn’t possible that every birth goes perfectly smoothly, so these tools are also useful in helping people to recover and move past difficult births.
For ANY Birth Worker
You do NOT need to know anything about energy work to take this class. I will teach you tools that you can apply right away. Also experienced energy workers will benefit as well, to see how to apply these tools during pregnancy, birth and postpartum!
The recorded class and handouts are available right now. Just donate below and you will be directed to the page with the details.
Sign Up Here
I can honestly say that her birth was so PEACEFUL and EASY that I would do it all over again right now.
Caterina’s Birth Story
Let me start by saying thank you to this group. I feel like I learned so much from you. I read the posts faithfully right up until my daughter’s birth. I didn’t post at all, but still feel like I ‘know’ most of you.
I also have to admit that I was a horrible student. I rarely practiced my finger drop technique and I hated being ‘off’ ever. I intentionally only ever listened to the CD’s in my sleep after the first time. I was not comfortable in off, so I would program my iPod to play the pregnancy affirmations and then whatever script I was supposed to listen to. Then I would fall asleep during the affirmations and stay asleep through the script. Well guess what. It totally worked. I had such a peaceful, easy birthing time. I am so grateful to hypnobabies for making me believe this was possible. 🙂
I am not sure when her birthing time actually began. I had been having contractions for about two months, lol. But seriously, over the past few weeks, almost every night I would have some pressure waves. I think that over time I just began to anticipate them and know that they were not the real thing.
Friday night was no different; I had regular pressure waves all night long, probably about 10 minutes apart. Of course in the morning, they went away. We went about our day as usual. They started again during the boys’ nap on Saturday, maybe around 2 pm (we have two sons, both age 2 – Antonio & Ignacio). They were also about 9-10 minutes apart. Then after the boys woke up (3 ish), I still had some pressure waves, but I thought they would eventually dwindle as they had always done.
They continued, but I was not convinced that this was it. I thought – maybe we will have our daughter by tomorrow night, how exciting! But at the same time, I didn’t let myself think that too much because I had the feeling the pressure waves would go away like they always had. I told Carlos (my husband) that I wanted to go to the Vigil Mass – just in case we would be in early birthing time tomorrow morning.
So I bathed the boys & got them ready for Mass. I meant to time the pressure waves before Mass, but things got busy with bath time and we I also wanted to stop at the store on the way to Mass because we were out of a few essentials at home.
We attended the 5 pm Vigil Mass at our Parish. I definitely felt pressure waves during Mass, but I wasn’t able to time them during Mass obviously. We left Mass around 6:15 and got home around 6:30. I told Carlos that I felt that we should give our Midwife the heads up that we may be calling her much later that night or early tomorrow morning. She had asked that we give her ample time, even before we wanted her there. So I prepared dinner for the boys and started feeding them while Carlos called the MW. He told her that we thought the pressure waves were about 6-7 minutes apart, but that things were slow going and that we would not need her any time soon.
Within minutes of Carlos hanging up the phone with the MW, I started feeling the pressure waves more frequently. So I timed a few of them and found that they were about 2-3 minutes apart. I thought that was good, but let’s just see if they stay this way or if they go back to being less frequent.
So I decided that I would time some again after we put the boys down to bed (bedtime is 7, we were a little late – so this was about 7:15). During their bedtime routine, I felt the pressure waves get more intense. I am not sure if this was because Ignacio was nursing the whole time or not. But as soon as we closed the door to their bedroom, I told Carlos – please fill up the tub & call the MW. So he started with that. He called the MW by 7:30 ish & asked her to come. I spoke with her on the phone & told her that I was not sure if this was it, but that I felt like she should come just in case. We told her to take her time.
We also called Jackie, who was our designated person to watch the boys during the birth. Since they were in bed already, we told her to take her time coming over & to bring a book to read.
Jackie & the MW both arrived around 8:15. The MW started setting up her things and asked if she could check me around 8:30. I was 100% and an 8! I was so worried that I would not be dilated at all or just a 2 or something. The MW later told me that she thought I was going to be about a 3 or a 4 based on how COMFORTABLE I was. Note that my MW is a HypnoBirthing instructor & she thought that I looked very comfortable!
I asked her if that was good enough to get into the pool. She said that I could but that if things slowed down, I would have to get out. So I changed into my bathing suit, waited a few more minutes for some hot water to be added & got into the pool around 8:45.
I was chatting with Carlos, Jackie, and the MW in between pressure waves. When I felt a wave, I just put my head down on the side of the pool and closed my eyes & relaxed. Eventually the birth assistant arrived & the MW went upstairs to talk to her. I felt that the waves were starting to come very frequently, almost one on top of the other. Then I felt my water break around 9:15. I asked Carlos to go up and tell the MW. I felt the waves change immediately & felt like she was moving down. So I made Carlos run up and tell her that.
The MW and Birth Assistant came down to our room. I stared breathing the baby down (without pushing at all). I dod do the “ahhhhing” thing & it worked so well! Within a few minutes, her head was out and in Carlos’s hands. The cord was around her neck once. The MW removed it. Her shoulders were not turning like they are supposed to. The MW told me that I was going to have to push her out NOW. I was worried by her voice and I tried to push really hard, but she did not turn. So the MW told me to stand up & turn around & squat. I did that & she slid right out into Carlos’ hands (no pushing). I thought she went back underwater after that, but Carlos said that was just a bunch of other `stuff’ that went under, lol.
I was soon holding her in the pool. Her official time is 9:26 pm, although it was actually a few minutes before that. I can honestly say that her birth was so PEACEFUL and EASY that I would do it all over again right now. I feel so good.
She is nursing well; the only thing she doesn’t know how to do is latch off, haha. The boys love her. They keep asking to `hold it’. When she squeaks, Antonio says, “she’s sad” and Ignacio says, “Feed it”. Um, boys – it’s a girl, not an it
I was sure I was going to give birth on Friday, but I had had a cold
and I think my body held off for a day to give me some extra recovery
time. I had some birthing waves on Friday, but never closer together
than 10 min. and very irregular. I had birthing waves all night, but
slept through most of them, probably because I let my Hypnobabies
maintenance play list play all night on my ipod.
I woke up at 5 am on Saturday and I knew it was the day. I was having a lot of birthing
waves, but I didn’t feel like timing them so I waited for someone
else to wake up. When DH got up I told him to get my mom and I had
her time waves and call the doula. The waves were about six minutes
apart. The doula got here about 7 am I just hung out around the
house having pressure waves until about 10 am when I felt a little
nauseous and I had the doula check me and I was 5 cm. we left for the
hospital (30 min. away) as soon as we got into the car the waves
picked up to about 3 min. apart and about twice as long.
We got to the hospital and I was giving some serious thought to an epidural. I
was checking in with the nurse up front and she was asking me a
million questions but finally they took me to triage. The nurse in
triage jokingly gave me a hard time because I couldn’t give a pee
sample, I peed, but missed the cup.
When she finally got around to checking me a few minutes later she was shocked to announce that I
was 10 centimeters dilated. We went to delivery and Cyrus was born 50 min.
He was 8 lb. 7 oz. and he is super cute. I am so happy about my birth experience, I can’t believe everyone doesn’t use Hypnobabies. I was asked to rate my worst pain in retrospect due to
the fact that there wasn’t time in the moment) and I gave it a five. I think next time I will practice the finger drops more because I was having a hard time with my light switch during my birthing time.
All in all I am completely satisfied with the experience!!