For a great collection of birth stories compiled by a wonderful Hypnobabies Instructor and experienced Hypno-mom, see: www.pregnancybirthandbabies.com.

Story from Kris C. about her beautiful first birth:

I was 5 days past my due date and had been having what felt like menstrual cramps for 2-3 days.  My birthing time began at 7 pm on December 16.  I had had a quiet, restful day of working from home and wrapping some Christmas presents and was lying on my side on the couch, contemplating what to make for dinner.  Just as my husband Jimmy arrived home from work, and opened the front door to step inside, I heard a loud “glub glub glub” like a drinking water container emptying, and then a gush of water.  Jimmy saw me look up at him with a strange look and I said, “I think my water just broke!”  I went in to the bathroom to assess things and Jimmy started getting our bag and birthing accessories together.  I went and sat on our bed and put on a Birthing Affirmations tape while he prepared, and I started having strong birthing waves.  When I timed them, they were 5 minutes apart.  Even though I could talk through the waves, I began to worry because we didn’t know how far I was dilated, so we climbed in the car (me sitting on a towel) and drove the 8 miles to the hospital.  I knew that the hospital staff would not allow me to eat, so I drank water and ate dry cereal on the way, since we had not had dinner.  The drive to the hospital was surreal; we held hands and pointed out beautiful Christmas lights to each other on the houses and businesses that we passed.

We arrived at the hospital at 8 pm and walked in with Jimmy holding my huge red birthing ball, our CD player, a towel, and my bag.  (We walked in right behind a couple who had a scheduled induction, and they carried only one tiny little overnight bag.)  I got into a gown and the nurse assigned to me, Sherry, checked me and I was 5 cm dilated.  She had a copy of my birthing plan and understood that I wanted a medication-free birth.  And so started a flurry of activity by the nursing staff to check my vitals, hook up a prenatal monitor, and otherwise prepare me.  The next time I got up to go to the bathroom, I saw a good bit of blood, and Sherry rechecked me and I was 8 cm dilated.  By that time, I was having very strong birthing waves and needed Jimmy’s help to relax.  Jimmy and I had rehearsed and visualized a calm, relaxed birthing for months and yet everything was happening so quickly, that I was having trouble getting into the right frame of mind.  With so many hospital staff in and out of the room, we hadn’t had a moment of privacy to put on a tape or even speak to each other privately.  The pressure waves became intense, and we spoke to Sherry about starting some medication.  Sherry was great; she said she knew that a medication-free birthing was important to me, and that I had just gotten through the worst part.  Instead we dimmed the lights and put on a hypnosis tape, and I was finally able to relax and go to my

Special Place

like I had practiced.  I think about an hour passed, with Jimmy and me in the dark room alone, playing music quietly, and I was finally able to get into the zone of relaxation. 

When Sherry checked me and I was 9 cm dilated, she began to do perineal massage and suggested that I push a little to help the baby get into position.  I was able to relax, and I could feel my baby turning and doing little dolphin dives to get into position under my pelvis.  It was the most amazing feeling to know that Baby and I were both working together towards this goal.  I remember looking at the clock at 11:40 PM and wondering if this was going to be a December 16th or December 17th baby.  Sherry told me we were still a little ways away from birthing, so I relaxed and felt my baby’s dolphin shimmers and let the perineal massage continue.  When I reached 10 cm, the doctor and another nurse came in and I began to push while Sherry and Jimmy counted to 10 for me.  It felt relieving to push finally and to feel so clearly my baby working with me with each wave.  The baby’s head crowned and I got to see the amazed look on Jimmy’s face when he said, “I see a full head of dark hair!” and Sherry played with his hair a little.  At 1:03 AM, the baby was born and placed on my belly.  The doctor stood back and let Jimmy and I say for ourselves, “It’s a BOY?!?!”  I had guessed all through the pregnancy that it was a girl and couldn’t believe he was a boy after all!  What a wonderful surprise and what a way to find out!  The first thing we noticed was that he was a boy, the second thing was his wide open mouth.  He had his tongue out, quietly testing the air.  And that head of black hair!  Oh, he was so beautiful!  I got to hold him for a few minutes and then he was set on the scale next to my bed while I worked to deliver the placenta. 

Alexander James was beautiful from the first moment of life, with a round head and olive skin.  He never had the red complexion of some newborns or wrinkly skin.  I held him again after he was wrapped in a blanket and he looked up at me with deep blue almond-shaped eyes.  I will never forget that look!  I had totally forgotten that we had a crowd of loved ones in the waiting room, but at less than an hour old, Alexander got to meet his grandparents and uncles Mark and Jason.  From the time my water broke on the couch at home to us meeting our beautiful first born child was 6 hours.  It was intense but absolutely beautiful.

The doctor and nurses all commended me for my calm birthing, and I became somewhat of a celebrity on the floor, with several nurses coming in the next morning because they had heard I was a pharmacist who had delivered without an epidural, and they wanted to meet me.  The doctor too told us the next day that he was impressed with how calmly and quietly the birthing had gone.  And the medical staff could tell the difference in Alexander, who was a calm and happy baby on his first full day of life.  He has continued to be an easy-going baby, part of which I attribute to him and me getting off on such good footing from the start!

Story from Katie S. about her second birth, first time Hypnobabies birth:

I had been having irregular pressure waves for probably the last two months of pregnancy. Then finally on Sunday evening (July 17), they started coming every 10 minutes and continued that way for three hours. Then they stopped all of a sudden. On Monday, they picked back up in the same pattern for 11 hours…but never any closer than 10 minutes. I called the hospital because I wondered how long something like that could last and whether it could make me dilate. They told me to go back to bed. The nurse’s exact quote was, “Those aren’t real. It’s from tonight’s storm front. Real contractions will rock your world.” I didn’t feel like explaining why they wouldn’t because of hypnosis! I didn’t get much sleep that night.

On Tuesday, they continued and I called the doctor’s office. They had me come in there rather than waste a trip to L&D if it was nothing. I was 3cm and the doctor thought with a nice long walk, I would go to 4 or 5cm. So I took a three-hour walk and got check in L&D, where I was still 3cm! They sent me home. I was so disappointed. We had loaded the car, had a fun family lunch with our son and fully expected to meet our new baby that night. When I left L&D, my waves were very strong and 5 minutes apart and stayed that way. The nurse (a former midwife) told me to listen to my body – she said that since I was having all the waves, the only way to know for sure when to return was to listen to myself and come back when I felt “different.”

The doctor gave me a sleeping pill because she thought my lack of rest was holding my body back. So we went home, I took the pill and got some sleep. At 4:22am on July 20, I woke up with intense pressure waves, but didn’t know if they were different enough for a return trip. I let my husband sleep and timed them – still five minutes apart. Brian got up and decided to go to the office to pick up some work to bring home, thinking the baby would be here soon. As he was about to leave, I told him I just felt like I needed him, so he stayed and drew me a bubble bath. Just before I got in, I lost my plug and while in the tub, I needed him to help me with relaxation. The waves were coming 3-5 minutes apart and we decided to call the doctor and ask if that was a big enough change. She said to come back in.

It took about an hour maybe to get there and I needed some help with my relaxation on the car ride. I just wanted out of there! We arrived at the hospital at about 9:30am. They got me upstairs and were taking my vitals when I thought my water broke. The nurse checked and it was actually blood. Then out of nowhere, I threw up. So she grabbed the doctor and they discovered I was 8cm! Everything went so fast from there. I was GBS+ and needed two bags of antibiotics, so there was a flurry of activity trying to get them in. I also volunteered my cord blood to be donated and so I had a nurse in there getting consent and asking health questions. I was trying to be so polite. I held my hand up for each wave to signal silence, had Brian talk me through it with our key words and then popped my head back up to finish her questions. She was amazed, saying most women would have kicked her out!

Around 11am, I told the nurse I thought I had to go to the bathroom. Of course she recognized it as me wanting to push. Again, she grabbed the doctor, who told me to push when I felt like it. I ran the show and it was wonderful. Only once was I told to stop so they could stretch my perineum. With one push, I broke my water. A few minutes later, we had a beautiful 7 pound, 8 ounce baby girl!

The contractions required some concentration and my husband did a wonderful job of helping me, saying all the right things and taking charge. They never felt worse than some menstrual cramps though. The pushing part never caused any pain either – it was just so intense. I felt a little burn, but it was nothing really. It just made me want to push more. I couldn’t believe how easy the whole thing felt. It was really an incredible and empowering experience.

Story from Mellisa H. about her first birth:

Mellissa was born on August 13, 2005, at 10:12 am after 39 hours of pressure waves (contractions). Mellissa’s birth was a Hypnobabies birth, that is, I practiced hypnosis for the entirety of her birth as a means to control my reactions to my body’s natural birthing behaviors. I chose to use hypnosis for two reasons, one I wanted the most natural birth I could offer myself and my child, and two because I am highly allergic to most forms of pain medication.

Most of my birthing time (labor) was spent at home relaxing in the bed or in the bath. I was in a deep state of hypnosis, and I experienced no pain through the first and last stages of birth and only menstrual like cramps during transformation (transition). The first consistent birthing waves started on Thursday night at 7:00 pm or so. My midwife at a regularly scheduled appointment checked me Friday morning to see how far along I was. At that time I was 3 cm dilated. We went back home, called Tami, our Doula, and waited for things to progress some more. We waited to go to the hospital until the next morning around 7:20 am when I was about 7-8 cm dilated. By the time we arrived at the hospital at (20 min later) I was 9 cm dilated. The car ride seemed to really hurry things up.

I remember very little of the passage of the time while I was at the hospital before Mellissa was born. It felt like no more than 20-30 min. In reality Mellissa was birthed after 2.5 hours after we arrived. I pushed for only 35 min. My birth partner, my husband, and our friend Tami, who acted as our Doula, supported me during the birth. Both did a wonderful job keeping me focused during the last couple of hours of transformation and during the birth itself. I did scare them a bit during the birth, as I got very vocal. I was not in pain, but it felt “right” and “good” to cry out as I pushed. I had to reassure them several times that I really wasn’t in pain. Mellissa was born quickly with the placenta following within 5 min or so.

There were only two complications in the whole process. One, I tore pretty badly when Mellissa was born. Her head and shoulders came out very quickly (she is a tiny little thing), and, along with the birthing position I was in, it made it difficult for the midwives to support my perineum. I ended up with a third degree tear. Actually, the process of getting that repaired was far more painful and difficult than any other part of the birth. Due to my allergies, they could only use a local to stitch me up. I could use the hypnosis to control the deeper pain, but only when the Doctor and Midwife let me know what they were going to do. When they acted without talking to me, I could not get the anesthesia directed to the correct place. Go figure. The second complication was Mellissa was born with a knot in her umbilicus. Since the knot could have tightened at any point in the gestation or birth, and therefore killed her, it is nothing less than a miracle that she made it into the world alive and whole. Thank God for small miracles.

When Mellissa was born neither she nor I had any medication in our systems, and both of us recovered very quickly from the birth. Mellissa’s APGAR scores were both 9’s. Our Midwives and L&D nurses were very impressed with our birthing. My hubby and I received several comments like, “It was a great pleasure to be in attendance at your birth,” and “It was wonderful to be able to attend a birth and not have to worry about intervention.” We heard similar comments from the other Midwives and nurses when we went in for Mellissa’s first check up.

Both Mellissa and I have recovered from the birth quickly. I was up and moving around in a fairly normal fashion by day four (pretty impressive considering the tear). Mellissa passed all of her examinations with flying colors and regained her birth weight by day 6.

Obviously, we are pleased as punch with the dear girl, and with our Hypnobabies experience 😉

Quotes from S.A. about her second birth, first Hypnobabies birth:

“The difference between Alex and Andrew’s births are incredible to me. The best part was after giving birth to Alex, I felt great! I was not tired at all. Jaime couldn’t believe I wasn’t tired. I felt like I want to have another baby again. With Andrew’s birth, I felt the exact opposite. I was so exhausted and wasn’t sure if I could ever bring myself to do that again. THANKS TO HYPNOBABIES, I didn’t have to:) …this birth experience was more than I hoped for, and I appreciate all the time and effort you spent educating me about birthing and the use of self-hypnosis. Jaime thanks you too. As you know, he was very skeptical going into this, but agrees that it was well worth his time and effort too…Thanks again for all your support and encouragement.”

(If you’re a student who would like to submit a story or picture to be included here, please send it! You all have such great stories to share, and I’d love to let everyone read them!)