HypnoBirthing® Stories and Testimonials
Adam Toby Maxwell’s Birth Story
In preparing for the birth of my second child I was concerned about both the pain of the contractions and tearing again while pushing the baby out. While I did do HypnoBirthing® last time and had a relatively easy birthing, I wanted an even better second experience. With my first child I focused on a feeling of “pressure or pulling up” for my surges. This time I focused on “numbness and euphoria.” Wow, did I ever learn about the power of the mind and HypnoBirthing® when it worked!
My second birthing experience started at 4 AM with mild cramp-like surges. My water released at about 6:15AM. I got in the warm birthing tub around 7:30AM and the surges still weren’t that intense. I ate frozen juice cubes and relaxed. While the “pressure” of my surges during my first birth felt like pain, the surges of my second birth never qualified as pain and before I knew it the baby’s head was coming out. No one expected me to be ready to birth so soon (including myself) since I wasobviously not in pain. I was scared to push the baby out and cried for a couple seconds. I had the quote “Birth is orgasmic in its essence” on the wall above me along with positive affirmations. My husband recited some of these and my midwife (Jenny West) and mother both encouraged me. I didn’t want to tear again so pushed the baby out in 3 or 4 efforts instead of 1 like my first time. The baby was born at 9:14 AM after 5 hours of fast, easy labor with no tearing. Thank God for HypnoBirthing® and my personal power, focus, and breathing ability.
My name is Nicole I am a client of Jenny West in Albuquerque, NM. I took your HypnoBirthing® course with her and she suggested that I share with you my birth experience.
I really wanted to have a natural labour and birth but wasn't sure how to do that. I heard of the HypnoBirthing® method and figured that we could give it a try. My husband and I were both very skeptical. After the first class I was thinking that it might actually work but I wasn't sold on the idea yet. My husband was not buying it at all. In class two I had a very interesting experience during one of the exercises. Jenny told us to get our arm numb and then transfer it to our cheek. She had our partners pinch our arms without us knowing what they were going to do. Well I shrieked as my husband pinched my arm because I had transferred all of the numbness to my cheek and left it there. So I still wasn't convinced but at least I knew that I could get my cheek numb.
Before class three my husband told me that he didn't think it was going to work. I had a dentist appointment that day and decided to try it out. Since I already knew that I could get my cheek numb I figured I would give it a try. So I had my tooth drilled and a crown installed without any pain medication. I felt no pain just a pressure on my tooth as the dentist worked on it. (since then I have had 2 composite fillings put in also without any pain medication) The appointment also went by very quickly. After my appointment I immediately called my husband and he was finally convinced that HypnoBirthing® might actually work. We finished all 4 classes and then continued to listen to the tapes until I went into labour.
My water broke at 9:40 pm on May 26th and my contractions started at 10:00 pm. I had difficulty letting go and getting into hypnosis (It took about an hour for me to get fully relaxed) but once I was there I was completely relaxed and ready to let my body birth this baby. By 2:00 am on May 27th I was dilated to a 10 and pushing. I pushed for several hours remaining calm and relaxed and feeling no pain just slight discomfort while pushing. The baby had a nuchal hand and his heart rate was dropping so we had to transport to the hospital. I maintained the hypnosis through the entire transport and throughout the rest of my labour and delivery. I continued to be calm, relaxed, and pain free. My son was born at 5:05 am on May 27th. After seven hours of labour I was very alert, talking up a storm, and still experiencing no pain.
The birth of my son wasn't the birth that I had planned but it was a wonderful experience because of HypnoBirthing®. I try to share with everyone I can about HypnoBirthing® and how it made my labour and birth such a wonderful experience. I feel so sorry for women that feel that they have to have an epidural or other medications to "get through" labour. Thank you so much for HypnoBirthing®, because of your program and literature I knew that I could birth naturally because my body already knows how. I plan on having several more children and will definitely be using HypnoBirthing®. **Nicole Dodson-Sands **
Even from an experienced Mom...
(letter to Marie F. Mongan, founder of HypnoBirthing®)
Hi Marie! My name is Alison Romeo, and I live in New Mexico. I am my midwife's first client of HypnoBirthing®. Jennifer West has been my midwife for four of my babies, and I just adore her. She suggested I write to you to tell of my experience with HypnoBirthing®.
Jacob Victor was born two months ago. This was truly a special birth for me:
On December 14, I went to bed as usual, but I was aware of contractions that seemed mostly sporadic. I wasn't too concerned because I had been having contractions off and on for two weeks. Besides, Jacob wasn't even due for at least another week, and I *always* went at least a week late with my other babies. Through the night I was still aware of the contractions. By morning, I had decided that it was probably labor, and I would know by lunch time for sure (I have never had very fast labors).
My husband is self employed and works at home, so he has a flexible schedule. I told him I thought it was labor, so we all piled in the car and ran errands! I called my midwife to tell her to clear her schedule for the day, told her I'd call her later. Five hours later (about 3pm), we were still out and about, and I was starting to get pretty ansty about getting home. The next three hours or so were pretty tense for me. We got home, got the kids fed dinner, got their bags packed, called friends to take them over night, called the midwife, filled the tub (big inflatable deal in the living room). I tried to relax, listening to my relaxation tape, but I was still pretty agitated.
Midwife arrived about 7:30pm I think and helped dh set up tub. Soon after I was in it and all was right with the world again. I knew, once I was in that warm water and most of the gravity removed from my belly, that I could soon have my baby.
As I said, I was using HypnoBirthing® to have this baby, and had never had any prior experience with hypnosis. I was a little skeptical that it would work. This is going to sound really weird, but I never felt any pain birthing Jacob. All four previous births were very painful, so believe me, no pain is quite significant! I experienced my contractions more like pressure or waves washing over me than pain.
At some point (I totally lost track of time, I was really not there), I started to get agitated trying to tell my dh that I wanted him to read to me from the script he had but I couldn't make my lips work and my voice was so faint and he just was not getting it. Once he did, though, and started reading to me, it was like someone hit me with a brick. My midwife and dh both say that looking at me they COULD NOT TELL when I was in surge. I was that relaxed.
I don't know how long that went on. I could hear everything in the room, was aware of everything happening around me, so I wasn't a total zombie, but I had no pain and a real sense of time distortion. My midwife was so amazed she says she almost forgot how to be a midwife. At some point she figured she'd better snap out of it and check me for dilation again. 10cm!
When she told me that, I was like, "well yeah, of course". Real calm. I didn't feel like pushing yet, so I just kept taking very long deep breaths like I was sleeping. I probably did that for at least 30 min, maybe longer. All the while I was breathing, my baby was moving further down the birth canal, all without me pushing. My uterus was doing all the work. It was amazing.
My midwife suggested I feel for my baby, so I reached my fingers up into me and felt Jacob's head only a half inch or so away. SO COOL! They say I smiled then. Suddenly I had to push. One push, out came his head! One more push, out came his body! And then he's on my chest and I was crying and trembling a little and I didn't know if he's a he or a she, but I felt too shaky to look, so dh looked for me, and he's crying too. A boy! Amazing!
Anyway, that's my story. All of my children are wonderful, and I would jump in front of a bus if need be for them, but this birth was the most awesome experience of my entire life.
Thanks for letting me share, and thanks especially for your diligence in pioneering a better way for women to birth their babies. ** Alison Romeo **
Julie's HypnoBirthing Story
Jenny's HypnoBirthing® instruction was incredibly helpful for the birth of our second child, Mycah. This second labor was unexpectedly longer than the first, about 20 hours total. However, I achieved such a deep level of relaxation, the length of the labor didn't bother me. In fact, I preferred it to my first child's short and intense labor because I had so much time to rest and find deep relaxation in between surges. Jenny helped us both to understand our roles during the birthing process in order to maintain a positive, relaxed state of mind.
I learned that movement was essential to help me through the surges. I strapped on my iPod and listened to the HypnoBirthing® scripts and meditation music while I walked slowly, eyes closed, holding my husband's arm. This slow movement enabled me to visualize floating over, or through the contractions. I enjoyed surges silently through 8 cm, actually learning to welcome them with the help of the positive affirmations.
The end of birth was very challenging, but I'd saved up so much energy earlier, that I had the strength and confidence to push the baby out quickly. I felt empowered and proud. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
Evangeline's Hypno/Water/Home Birth
We left for a 4th of July social gathering in our neighborhood around 5:00 PM. Just after arriving, I began to take more notice of the contractions I had been having (for days). I was feeling that downward pressure-in-my-bottom feeling with each surge, and it was like a little light bulb going off in my head, "Oh yeah – I remember this!" After timing a few surges at about 7 minutes apart I whispered to Chris, my husband, "I'm in labor." We remained at the party until about 7:30, when I was having more difficulty being discreet during surges and not feeling at all sociable anymore.
Upon arriving home, Chris started getting Eliana, our 2-year-old daughter, ready for bed and I began to get things ready for the birth. My body didn't stand too much of that. It let me know rather quickly that all hustle and bustle would now cease. I managed to tuck in Eliana and tell her goodnight, and we informed her that the baby would be coming tonight and that she could meet her in the morning.
After that, I retreated to our bedroom and told Chris, "I want my tub." He began to get it ready around 9:10 while I labored on the bed. It took all my effort at that point to focus and concentrate on my breathing during surges. I started feeling somewhat anxious about my ability to do HypnoBirthing. I was doing fair at the moment, but my breathing already had great strain in it, and I couldn't imagine keeping it up through anything much more intense. Looking back at it now, after the fact, I can honestly say that this part of labor was the most difficult, even more difficult than "transition" was in the tub.
Jenny, my midwife (who was also my HypnoBirthing instructor), was called around 9:30. I finally decided that I should sit on the toilet to try a different position , but it took me a few more surges to get up the nerve to actually move. After sitting on the toilet for a while I inquired about the tub. Chris said it was almost half-way full, and the next moment I was making my way to it.
Upon entering the water (around 10:15), I let out a huge sigh of relief. Another surge soon began, but I breathed through it easily. The relieving effect of the water was so great that I remember saying to Chris, "Who needs an epidural when there's water?" My confidence level skyrocketed. I listened to my HypnoBirthing CDs and concentrated on breathing slowly and deeply during surges, relaxing every part of my body. I reclined against the back of the tub a lot and would let my arms float freely in the water during surges. When I became uncomfortable, I moved freely and easily in the water to my newly adopted position. I had labored in the water with my first child, but it had been in a hard feeding trough, and though the water had still had a wonderful soothing effect, I never could find a comfortable position. Being in a soft, padded birthing tub made all the difference in the world.
Jenny arrived around 11:00 PM. She checked the baby's heart rate and said it was good. All sense of time was really lost on me after that. I continued to go deeper into relaxation and really got "in the zone". My CD cut off, but I didn't bother telling Chris to restart it. I had affirmations and visualizations freely floating in my mind. I reminded myself frequently, "This is a lot of pressure, but it's not pain – there is a difference. Pressure is good. It means my baby is coming to me." Remembering that the sensations felt were best described as pressure, not pain, never failed to greatly lessen whatever discomfort I was experiencing at the time.
I did not know this until after the fact, but, around 1:00 AM (just an hour before the actual birth), my midwife came back in the room to check on me and found Chris and my mother asleep on the floor. I looked so calm and relaxed that she believed I, too, was asleep and that my labor had stalled. She was about ready to check me and go home until things picked up again.
That, however, did not happen. I finally became uncomfortable in my reclined position, as the baby was starting to move down and put more pressure on my lower back and tailbone. I moved to sit on my knees with my legs spread, facing the tub rim with my arms and head supported. Breathing began to require an extra level of concentration, and I began to feel squirmy, unable to find a position to stop this new uncomfortable sensation down low. I just couldn't believe the baby was actually moving down. "Surely not," I thought. "It hasn't gotten bad enough yet."
Jenny began to talk to me, as I struggled to keep control over my breathing. "Let it be big," she said. "Let it be so big." I finally said that I wanted to know where the baby was. She checked me and said, "The baby is right here (+2.5 station)." I soon began to feel the urge to bear down and decided to adopt the on-my-knees position by the rim of the tub again. I finally began to vocalize some during surges, as I released tension and followed my body's cues to bear down, but it was still nothing terribly loud or traumatic-sounding. I simply needed to release some of that "huge sensation" somewhere. I continued to breathe, even during the pushing. I simply followed my body's lead. It was very empowering.
At 2:00 AM, my bag of waters released and took me quite by surprise. Soon after, Jenny was encouraging Chris to feel the baby's head and prepare to receive the baby. As the baby crowned, I began to feel a small burning sensation in an isolated area, but not the "ring of fire" that I had experienced with my first. A minute or so later the head was out. I remember wanting to hold my baby so badly that I kept saying, "My baby! My baby!" I wanted to receive the baby myself, so I scooted backwards to the middle of the tub, still on my knees, and pushed the shoulders out. Chris supported the head, and I reached down into the water and pulled the baby out and onto my chest, leaning back against the tub. Official time of birth was 2:08 AM on July 5.
Words cannot describe the feelings experienced in that moment of time just following the birth. What sense of empowerment, relief, joy and overwhelming love!
I saw for myself that God had blessed us with another little girl, whom we named Evangeline. It took her a minute or two, but Evangeline quickly latched on and nursed like a pro! She nursed more that first night than my first child did in her first few days of life! She was so content and, well…perfect!
Evangeline weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce and measured 20" long. She had had ZERO molding and had a head the size of a 9-pounder, but I only have a few "skid marks". I've gotten very little sleep, but, otherwise, I am recovering quite nicely.
I am so very pleased with this birthing experience and feel that I must recommend water and HypnoBirthing to anyone out there pursuing a natural birth. This is coming from someone who really struggled with accomplishing hypnosis in practice. Under normal circumstances, my mind is thinking of a thousand different things at once. I also struggled before the birth wondering if I could really be as calm and peaceful as some of the women in the HypnoBirthing videos I had watched. After all, my first birth, though still a wonderful natural birth experience, I would not hesitate to describe as painful. This time, however, was so much different – so much better! It was intense and there was a lot of pressure, but I just can't bring myself to describe the experience as painful. In labor, you really only have a choice to focus on the positive or allow fear to creep in. You don't have anything else on your mind. When the time came, not only did I accomplish a state of hypnosis, but I went way off the deep end, even fooling the midwife into thinking I was asleep. It really was a great experience for me, and I thank God for it.
Sasha S, Jessica, and Victor
Just wanted to thank you for your help during my pregnancy. You were there during some key moments with some sound advice for this first-time Mom. We also appreciated all we learned in the HypnoBirthing classes. The methods, techniques and philosophy proved extremely valuable. And while we didn't have a 'textbook' HypnoBirth, what we learned went a long way toward keeping me calm and helping to manage surges in an easier manner. I was bale to birth my daughter naturally and without drugs or un-necessary intervention. We were very pleased with our experience at the hospital. Our nurse was great as was our midwife. They read our birth preferences sheet and were very respectful of our wishes. Now our little Sasha is here and we are thrilled. Bringing her into the world was an empowering experience for me. And the ups and downs I experienced during my last month of pregnancy- the doubts, the questioning, the re-evaluating-in regards to my care; ended up making me feel more in control and informed. In the end I got the birthing experience I wanted. Thanks for being an integral part of the process. Now I ask you –how cute is this baby girl? So worth it... Thanks again! Lots of Love, Jessica, Victor and Sasha S.”
HOME BIRTH - WATER BIRTH - HYPNOBIRTH WITH NO DRUGS!!!
My name is Stephanie and I am a new first time Mom at age 35. If you were to have asked me 2 years ago if I would consider natural childbirth with no drugs I would have told you you were crazy and that I would never doAfter Birth that. In fact, growing up I always said whenever I gave birth some day I wanted to be put under, "just wake me up when its over" I'd seen enough movies to know it was going to hurt like hell. Unfortunately, Hollywood has done women and children a great disservice by perpetuating this myth that childbirth has to be painful. I now can say from first hand experience that it does not have to be painful at all!
My labor began at around 11pm on Christmas Eve. I couldn't sleep and my surges were sporadic, about 40 mins apart. I decided to get in the bath tub to try and relax and practice my breathing. At about 1:30am I laid back down again, but the surges had increased in both intensity and frequency. I remember thinking to myself, "if this is as bad as they get pain wise, I think I can do it." At around 4am I woke my husband up to start filling the birthing tub. I was so ready to get in the water. We called Jenny when my surges were about 5 mins apart.
She told us to call her back when they were 2-3 mins apart, so I labored some more in the tub just focusing on my breathing as each surge came. Sometime in between I had changed positions from laboring in the water on my back to on my knees and leaning over the side of the cushioned tub. This position seemed to work better with gravity and I felt more in control and confident. (I never could've achieved this level of comfort in the hospital). We called Jenny back at 8am and she said she'd be right over.
Honestly, by this point I had no idea what time it was. Because I was using hypnosis my hard labor seems like about 2 hours when really it began at 4 am and lasted almost 6 hours. Jenny arrived at around 930 (according to my husband).I was so focused and had had my eyes closed for so long, I just remember hearing her at the front door and a great wave of relief washing over me. Now that she was here everything would be fine. I kept my focus on my breathing and she told me to reach down and see what I felt. Honestly the surges had been so strong that what I felt made perfect sense to me, and I had decided that what I was feeling was my cervix, so I said, "I think my cervix is coming out!" Jenny reassured me that no, in fact, that was just my baby's head! What a relief to me!!! The end was in sight, so I pushed 3 more times and out came our daughter into the water and my waiting hands.
Sheridan Grace was born at 10:35 on Christmas morning. She weighed 7lbs, 13 oz. and was 21 inches long.
I chose Jenny West to be my Midwife because I wanted the best possible outcome for my baby and me. She is the best and with her support I had an easy pregnancy and labor with no complications. I wanted a conscious birth for my baby without drugs and not one influenced by the medical model. Pregnancy is not a disease, and it shouldn't be treated as such. Its not a medical emergency and so if you are healthy enough and open minded enough, and want your child to be born with no drugs in their system and you want to labor in the comfort of your own home then choose a Home birth. If you want to diminish the extra weight of your body and minimize your surges, choose a Water birth. And if you want to eliminate the pain of labor and breathe your baby out, choose to use Hypnosis. I chose all three!
As a professional Certified Hypnotherapist, I already knew of all the benefits of hypnosis and the power of your mind over your body, but I had not experienced childbirth before. Having now experienced a Hypnobirth first hand, I can honestly say that this is the way children were meant to come in to the world. The mother is more calm so the baby is more calm. (There are just too many benefits to list here, but if you go through the links on Jenny's site you will learn a world of information.)
To become a Mother and give birth in the manner I did has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and something I am incredibly proud of as a woman. I had no idea of the power of my own body. My confidence has soared and I really believe now that I can do anything. Mostly, I feel so blessed to have been able to give my daughter this kind of peaceful entry into the world.
Childbirth is one of the most important and powerful things we can do as women, and the time in utero is one of the most influential for your child. Its so important to have a support system in place that supports your wishes and beliefs. If you are pregnant and considering a natural or alternative childbirth, you owe it to yourself and your unborn child to visit with Jenny and explore your options.
THANK YOU, JENNY!!
Love, Stephanie and Clint and Sheridan Clint
PS- And I also want to say what an AMAZING experience this has been for us and I honestly don't think I could have remained sane and as calm as I did without all your help, support and expertise, so a very BIG THANK YOU is in order from both of us to YOU!!!!!