HypnoBirthing® lends itself to a mom's transformative birth!
My husband and I decided to try HypnoBirthing® for our second child. Although my first son’s birth was beautiful in its own way, it was long and mentally exhausting. I labored for 40 hours, got an epidural, and pushed for 2.5 hours with Noah. We had prepared only for the physical aspects, but not at all for the emotional and mental aspects of birthing a child. I remember feeling scared and out of control during Noah’s labor, despite being a L&D nurse and knowing exactly what was happening to my body.
Baby #2 was a completely different experience, both for pregnancy and for my son’s birth. HypnoBirthing® made me feel so relaxed, empowered, and confident throughout pregnancy. Affirmations, especially, became a daily practice, and my husband used the partner's tools, affirmations and relaxation techniques frequently to help me prepare for my birthing time. Any time doubt crept in about whether I could have the unmedicated, fear-free water birth I so desired, I repeated the affirmations to myself.
On Graham’s birth day, my husband was at work, and my toddler and I stayed busy at home. I started having surges (the HypnoBirthing® word for contraction) 3-4 min apart that felt like period cramps. I texted my doula, Erin, telling her that I might be in very early labor. I wasn’t convinced, though, as I had been having regular practice surges for almost five weeks. My surges spaced way out after an hour and a half, as my son and I snuggled in bed watching a movie. I figured it was a false alarm and just more practice surges versus the real thing.
Then, my membranes released at 5:55pm as I was chasing my naked toddler around after his bath time! I called my husband at work and told him he should leave work early to come home, as my midwives wanted me at the hospital within two hours of my membranes releasing (I was GBS+ and needed antibiotics during labor). I decided to take a shower before we left. The surges started to intensify there, and I quickly realized that things might move a little faster this time.
My husband and I left for the hospital (a 40-minute drive), and as soon as we were in the car, I moved into hands and knees over the back of the passenger seat. Affirmations were playing on my headphones and I was fully focusing on that, trying to relax my body as much as possible like we learned in class. However, we were a few minutes away from the hospital when I heard myself start making deep, guttural noises and bearing down. The labor nurse in my head recognized I was pushing and I thought, “Surely not yet!!” I told my husband he needed to book it to the hospital and to tell them I wanted a water birth.
Erin met us at the doors, and I have never felt so relieved to see someone! She reassured me that I could do this, and they wheeled me up (still in hands and knees) in a wheelchair to the birth place. The nurses tried to bring me to triage to assess where I was in labor, and I told them that this wasn’t a triage situation, that it was baby time! Four minutes after we got to the hospital (less than 2 hours after my membranes released), and in a whirlwind of activity, my son Graham was born at 7:40pm. There was no time to have the water birth I had been dreaming of (and demanding, in between surges), but I have never felt so empowered in my life! The midwife told us that she and the nurses had no idea I was so far along in labor because my husband was so calm and matter of fact on the phone call during our drive. He was skeptical at first of doulas and HypnoBirthing®, but became a VERY passionate advocate of both during pregnancy. He felt like HypnoBirthing® gave him the tools necessary to fully support me this time, mind and body, during pregnancy and birth.
I am 100% convinced that HypnoBirthing®, paired with my amazing doula, Erin, and the holistic practices she encouraged (like chiropractic care and acupuncture) helped me to believe my body and my baby would work together to have a safe, easy birth. It was intense, to be sure, but I never felt out of control or like I wanted pain medications. On top of that, my postpartum recovery was radically different from my first, and I know HypnoBirthing® played a large role in that too. I felt so much better both physically and emotionally. I would completely recommend HypnoBirthing® to any and all women!
- Brittany H.
Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner