My sweet baby was born on 9/9, and it was a beautiful experience. Thanks in large part to you, I switched to a midwife practice at 35 weeks after seeing the chart you shared in one of the first classes about cesarean rates at different twin cities hospitals. This was the best thing I could have done, as I think this, paired with your class, was why I was able to have the labor and birth experience I’d dreamed of.
My labor experience went relatively quickly once I was in active labor (after a day of prodromal labor - I definitely listened to your guided Hypnobirthing tracks a lot that day). I used many of the tools you’d taught us when I was clearly in labor - focusing on an object, playing calm music (I downloaded the Hypnobirthing tracks without words!), using the different breathing techniques, and finding positions that felt best to labor in. Nick, my husband, had read up on what I’d been learning in class each week, and used affirming words and light touch to support me.
The midwives seemed to know exactly what to do and say to help me along in the labor process, and always made it clear that I was in charge of my body and what I wanted to do (for example, regarding cervical checks). Auggie’s birth itself was so calm, and honestly, one of the best experiences of my life. I felt strong and powerful. I think being in such a calm frame of mind and supportive environment made my body relax and my labor go pretty quickly (though it didn’t necessarily feel quick in the thick of it!).
Auggie was born via water birth, after maybe 10 minutes of pushing (though I was totally involuntarily pushing - my body was just working of its own accord, it felt like). Nick was able to “catch” Auggie and help bring him up to my chest immediately after birth, where he stayed for the 4 hours we were at the birth center. He was and still is a healthy baby, and my recovery has been very smooth.
My 3-year-old, Rowan, loves Auggie and is a great big sister - I can’t believe I have the family I’ve always hoped for. I’m so grateful for you and your class, Erin. Thank you for all of your insights and support - I hope you know the impact you’re making!
Congratulations to this Flutterby Hypnobirthing Family who welcomed their first babe earlier than expected… before class ended… and used their skills and knowledge to maintain their dream of an empowered experience! Many thanks to them for sharing their story.
I'm writing to let you know that Eric and I will miss our last class today because we had a surprise arrival this weekend!
On Friday night, walking home from a neighbor's house around 9:45, I thought I peed my pants (because waters releasing never happen like they show in the movies, right?!?). Shortly after, what I thought were Braxton Hicks started.
I popped my headphones in and listened to my Hypnobirthing playlist on repeat from about 1am - 6am. I was definitely in and out of wakefulness during that time, potentially dozing between each surge.
The surges started at 20 minutes apart, and advanced throughout the night until they were much closer together. The sensations were mostly in my back, which was not very pleasant, but I breathed through it.
About 6:30am, we called the NurseLine and they advised we come to Labor & Delivery at Regions to see if I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid. We called our doula a bit before 7am, and right when we called her I started feeling the urge to push!
Since we were only at 33 weeks 5 days, we didn't have our hospital bag packed yet, so Eric quickly threw together a bag while our doula supported me through surges.
We drove to Regions Family Birth Center and arrived a few minutes after 8am. I got to the triage bathroom to give a urine sample, but I couldn't pee, so I reached down and I felt a head! They rushed me to the delivery room and 3 pushes later, Lochlan was born at 8:24am, 6 weeks early!
It was an incredible and unexpected experience, but honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. I truly think the Hypnobirthing playlist and the prep work we did beforehand allowed me to be so calm and relaxed that labor progressed so quickly! Thank you for your class and all that you taught us!”
The day before I went into labor with Gemma, I had a routine midwife appointment, and a Biophysical Profile ultrasound. Standard for being over 40 weeks. I had already tried a few membrane sweeps, and the baby was cozy as could be. My midwife suggested that a herbal induction would be a good idea, since I was close to risking out of home birth care. I am a big believer in letting baby decide birth days, but said I would consider Sunday/Monday (42 weeks would be that Tuesday) if Baby didn't come over the weekend. Joe and I took the 3 kids to the YMCA to swim that evening. I had the results back that my BPP was a slightly lower number than wanted, so we agreed to a natural induction for the following morning at noon. I let my birth team (doula, photographer, friend/family) know. My neighbor/friend Stephanie, was going to come over at 9 to do my hair. If I had to have an induction, I was at least going to look nice for it.
I went to bed that night, and listened to my Hypnobirthing relaxation track. It was quite a weird feeling, knowing I was going to have my baby the next day. I slept pretty good until 5am. I felt really uncomfortable. Joe was going to work a 1/2 day that morning, and come home when the herbal induction/acupuncture was supposed to start. When he left at 7am, I was painful, but thought it was from how big baby was and the movement. All the kids were up around 730am and I went to get them breakfast. I was having a hard time getting them what they wanted with the continuous pain I was feeling. I finally realized I was having contractions every 4 minutes, and was in labor! I called my birth team at 8:15 and told them I NEEDED them at the house now. I have a history of fast labors once I break through some LEEP scar tissue, so I was afraid I would have the baby alone. I let my neighbor/friends Kate and Kodi know that today was the day, and they came over right after Joe arrived to help me and the kids. I listened to my birth affirmations, while I folded laundry. I literally was on the floor moaning every time I had a contraction with bad back labor, so I thought doing something normal would be a good distraction. Kodi helped change Coral and took some pictures. I let my friend know that was doing my hair, that there was NO WAY I could stand still for it... so messy bun it was!
My mom and Joe's mom arrived around 9. They both missed Coral's birth by minutes, so they were pretty prompt about being here for the big day! My best friend Kacie, arrived shortly after. My photographer Stef, and doula, Staci arrived, and she did some hip squeezes to help with the back labor. We walked stairs, and did some hip swaying. I was only in the tub 5 minutes before Coral was born, so Joe and others got to filling the labor tub right away. I was able to relax in the warm water, and had a great playlist with Prince, Lizzo, The Police, and Jonas Brothers to get me into the groove. The second midwife, Holly, arrived. The water relaxed me a little too much, so my contractions started spacing a bit. I ugly cried in front of everyone, and complained that "This was taking forever"! Mind you, It was maybe 11am by this point, and people had been here two hours tops. I got out of the tub and asked to be checked. I had been a solid 6cm for the last week, so I was happy when Aly told me I was 9cm. I was motivated to get this kid out of me, so I went back to stair walking. My SIL Angela had arrived, so everyone I wanted at the birth was officially there! I got back in the tub when things were more intense and switched the playlist to my ocean wave noises. I used visualization from Hypnobirthing to help me through all the surges. I pictured I was in Akumal, Mexico... my favorite place in the world. I got out after things stalled again. Aly suggested eating something. Due to my Hyperemesis, I think I got 2 bites in of a sandwich before I said F the food.
Staci started doing Lift and tucks on my belly. I said I wanted a break, it was too intense.....and then with a deafening pop at 12:47pm, my water broke. After three natural births, I can say without a doubt, this was the most intense feeling of my life. Baby was higher up in my pelvis. It felt like an elevator went from level 3 to the ground entrance in a second's time. I was mostly quiet before this, but all bets were off now, and I knew what was coming. I SCREAMED for everyone to come down to the basement (Joe, kids, parents were all upstairs). I pulled off my pants and jumped into the birthing tub. I'm so thankful Kate was there at that moment, and got these last few minutes on video for me. I could tell this baby was bigger than the other three and kept saying "oh God, oh God, oh God". In my head, I was saying this baby is flipping huge, and there is no way It is coming out of me! I pushed twice and roared. The head was out. I waited for my next contraction, and Aly told me to lower my butt down into the water and kneel. The contraction came and the rest of the body came out. I caught the baby in my arms and pulled her up at 12:51pm. I started crying. This was almost 42 weeks of HG, and struggling with everything after a previous loss. Everyone in the room cheered! Charles was upset with how loud I had been, and started crying too. Coral and Graham came over to see the baby. Joe announced correctly (He said Coral was a boy), that we had a little girl! It wasn't a shock to me. I felt the whole pregnancy, that I was going to have a girl. I also was rubbing her bum at the time and didn't feel any part. Charles cried again, because he wanted a brother, but got over it quickly.
My after pains came on pretty fast, so I told everyone I needed quiet. The kids, parents, and Angela went upstairs so I could get my wits back. Another 10-20 minutes, and we were back up in my bedroom, doing a champagne toast, and having a pizza party! We were all shocked to find out that she was 8 pounds 8 oz. - three pounds more than Coral, and two pounds more than the boys! I am so blessed that Gemma really did come when she wanted. It was exactly how I wanted the birth to go. All the people I loved and wanted there were present. My pregnancies may be tough, but holding on to that baby in the first few moments is worth every IV, Zofran pump, and sickness. Happy Birthday Gemma Emily!
-Dani (Who also happens to be an awesome Hypnobirthing Doula - Check her out at Dani the Doula!)
Thank you to Tiny Moment Photography for the beautiful pictures!
Flutterby is located in the Twin Cities, and provides Hypnobirthing as well as other classes and services for expectant families. Erin Stertz-Follett, Flutterby's Owner, is a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, Certified Hypnobirthing Educator, and Certified Birth Doula who has taught and assisted hundreds of families. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Sharing is caring!
Disclaimer: This data is for informational purposes only. Many factors influence the cesarean rates at each hospital. Please check with your individual provider and ask questions regarding their personal practice rates, as well as the rates of their facility (and why they are what they are).
Flutterby is located in Minneapolis and provides Hypnobirthing classes as well as other services and classes for the childbearing years and beyond. Sharing is Caring! Please use the social share buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
It was Tuesday morning, February 19th and I woke up feeling not especially well rested. I had found myself waking up frequently and uncomfortable during the night, but I was always able to fall back asleep by using my relaxed breathing and some visualizations.
As I was getting ready for work. I noticed that the surges were a bit more intense than I had experienced before. I paused for a moment, wondering if I should even go into work, but I was bound and determined to not use any PTO that had been scrimping and saving for my maternity leave. So my husband, TJ, dropped me off at the hospital where I work (and also where I planned to give birth).
It was about 8AM and I was trying to prepare for a meeting. I noticed that I actually had to pause and stop my work in order to properly breathe through the surges. I pressed on and headed into my meeting. At this point, I hadn’t started timing the surges, but during my meeting there was a clock right in my visual field. I started making marks on a sheet to track how often I was having surges. In about 15 minutes, I had four or five of them. Two lovely coworkers gently urged me to leave the meeting as I had been observed closing my eyes and breathing through the surges. I politely excused myself at 9AM and called my husband to come and pick me up and take me home.
That’s right - take me home.
I could have just walked down a few halls and taken the elevator up two floors to get to the birthing center, but I had planned to do most of my laboring at home. I also think it hadn’t sunk in just how far along I was. You see, I thought I was just starting labor, since I had only really been noticing it for a couple of hours. And I had heard and read that first-time moms tend to have longer labors. So even though the data and my symptoms showed that I was further along, I was convinced I was just starting.
After getting home, I popped in my earbuds and threw on the guided hypnobirthing recordings, but found that I couldn’t get into the deep zone I wanted to before another surge would hit. I ended up moving my body, breathing, and sighing my way through some intense surges, while TJ texted furiously with our Doula (the brilliant Rhonda Fellows). After many failed attempts to get comfortable (in/out of the shower), around 11AM I found myself saying “I think we need to go now”.
I was dropped off at the ER and transport brought me up to the room while TJ parked the car. I was left alone and in that short time, I felt a sudden urge to use the bathroom (hello transitional phase sign!). While sitting on the toilet, my membranes released. Still completely alone, not having been even checked in, I pulled the call light and called out for support.
There was no time for the birthing tub to be filled. No time to check to see how far I was dilated. No time for cervical checks. No time for my Doula and birth photographer to make it.
Just enough time for TJ to get there.
And Everett Abel was born at 11:47AM that morning.
My doula later shared with me that it is not uncommon for hypnobirthing mamas to completely miss the early phase of labor, because they are able to be so relaxed. I believe that is exactly what happened for me.
Thanks to Erin and the hypnobirthing method, as I reflect on the birth of my child, I have nothing but positive feelings. Such a beautiful, intense, and empowering experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
~ Andrea, TJ, and Everett
Flutterby is located in the Twin Cities, and provides Hypnobirthing as well as other classes and services for expectant families. Erin Stertz-Follett, Flutterby's Owner, is a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, Certified HypnoBirthing Educator, and Certified Birth Doula who has taught and assisted hundreds of families. Email her at email@example.com with any questions. Sharing is caring!
Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner