In Hypno-Mom, Nicole's own words...
When I signed up for my Hypnobabies class I had fairly low expectations - I just wanted to get through the birth of my baby without having a panic attack. The pain-free birth experience presented in the Hypnobabies testimonials – an experience which I was supposed to enjoy instead of just survive - sounded too much like an infomercial pitch to be true. With my history of anxiety and panic disorder and the birth stories I had heard from my friends who had recently become mothers, I thought my panic-free birth goal was lofty enough and the stories of joy and peace I read about on the Hypnobabies website were completely unrealistic. I was very committed to a natural, drug-free birth though, and knew I needed some serious tools to keep me calm enough to accomplish that, so I jumped headfirst into the Hypnobabies preparation work. The first time I didn’t consciously hear the majority of one of the CD scripts, but did hear the cue to come out of hypnosis, my confidence in the program skyrocketed. “Maybe this hypnosis stuff really works,” I thought to myself. As I continued to practice and prepare, I grew even more confident. As my birthing time grew closer, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to have a peaceful and joyful birth – not just a birth without a panic attack. I actually have never felt less anxious than I did during my pregnancy – a state which I attribute largely to the wonderful relaxation techniques I was practicing every day. When I was preparing for the birth, I thought that the number of tools in the program was a little overkill, but I found that different tools worked (and didn’t work) at different stages of my birthing time. Through the entire experience though, the little voice of doubt and fear which was periodically whispering in the back of my mind was consistently and firmly over-ridden by the positive, calming messages and affirmations I had learned in my Hypnobabies class.
My birthing time began as I was making dinner on the day after my guess date. The initial pressure waves were so mild that I thought I had just spent too much time on my feet that day. I went to bed that night still not convinced that the baby was actually on its way. I spent an average nine-months-pregnant night waking up to use the bathroom more times than I care to count. When I woke up the next morning, those strange crampy feelings hadn’t gone away and were getting stronger, longer and closer together – just like my Hypnobabies instructor told me they would when it was time. I decided to time a few of these sensations. By the time my husband, Daryl, came downstairs, I had a list of pressure waves spaced about 5-6 minute apart instead of the list of kick counts he had become accustomed to finding in the morning. I took a shower while Daryl called our midwife and finished the last minute packing for the birth center. By the time I finished showering, the pressure waves had become strong enough that I had to sit down to dry my hair. Daryl called the midwife while I retreated to my nest of pillows in our bedroom and turned on my Birth Day affirmations CD. By the time I finished listening to that CD and my Deepening track, my pressure waves were less than three minutes apart.
When we called the midwife again to tell her that it was time for us to come to the birth center, I was so confident and relaxed that she didn’t believe my pressure waves were as close together as I told her they were. I was just relaxing and using my Hypnobabies tools one by one. She let me come in the birthing center to be checked after that phone call though and it’s a good thing she did. I was completely dilated when we got there and our shocked midwife told me I could start pushing if I wanted to. I was so in-tune with my body and the birthing process that I knew I was complete and had been breathing the baby down in the car. She thought it was hilarious that I told her this so calmly and that I followed that comment up with telling her that I had thought it best to withhold that piece of information from my husband while he was driving because I wanted to get to the birthing center alive. I continued to push at my own pace doing just what my body told me to do with the Pushing baby out CD playing in the background. My son was born an hour and half later. He was beautiful, healthy, alert and calm. As she was leaving, the midwife told me that births like mine are why she is a midwife. Thank you, Hypnobabies, for giving me the skills to have such a wonderful and empowering birth experience. You have earned a set of life-long advocates in my husband and myself!
Vanessa here: Nicole and Daryl took my Hypnobabies class in 2010 to prepare for the birth of their first child. Their experience is similar to many Hypnobabies couples- the comfort and control many moms feel bring them and those around them amazement and joy. I feel so blessed to have been a part their birth preparation journey!