preparing for baby

July 8, 2011

my scent and hankie
With all three of my kids, I have delivered vaginally and with the epidural. Yes, that drug is good and was quite necessary, but this time around I wanted to do my last pregnancy different. Yes, you heard me… last. Unless, God does some miracle untying someone later, well then I am just not going to contest against that.
This time around I (and Ben) am preparing my body, mind, and baby for HypnoBirthing. Hypno… what?!! HypnoBirthing. Yes, sounds strange I know. Ben and I tried lamaze with True and that didn’t work, and with the consequent two pregnancies I already knew what I was in for so I knew I wanted the epidural when the pain got tough. This time around, I definitely think the epidural has affected my back just a smidge and I really want to experience this last birth differently. If I could have the baby at home, I would, but insurance doesn’t cover that and paying out of pocket is really ridiculous for us, so this technique seemed the best way to let me enjoy my labor as much as possible.
I first learned of HypnoBirth when I came across Jill’s post right when I found out I was pregnant and what she did definitely intrigued me. I did a lot of research in the beginning, spoke to my midwife about it as she has seen it done at the hospital, but then put it on the back burner because I was still in my first trimester. The only persons who I told about this idea was my BFF and Ben. I wasn’t going to tell anyone else in case I chickened out in the end, but now I figure hey… maybe this will help someone going through what I am going through right now too.
My midwife had given me a card for a Dr. AnnaLynn Zinn de Vine, a clinical hypnotherapist and HypnoBirthing specialist in the area and I finally gave her a call a few weeks ago. Once I spoke to this lady, I was even more excited to try this out. The only problem was that she was no longer in the area and had relocated to Portland, Oregon. Rats! Well, one thing led to another and Dr. AnnaLynn had figured that this process could totally be done even with the distance thanks to modern technology. Excited, Dr. AnnaLynn and I exchanged emails back and forth on what needs to be done and how this would look like. Thus, a week ago my HypnoBirthing classes began.
Let me tell you, so far it has been so good. Ben and I spend 2.5 hours with Dr. AnnaLynn via skype, we have babysitters watching the girls to make sure we are uninterrupted and the best part is we get to do all of this in the comfort of our own home and in our own bedroom. I know, I haven’t used it for labor yet, but it really is so relaxing. There is a lot of information that goes with it and you have to be ready to kinda feel silly in the beginning, but seeing videos, reading articles and testimonials makes me think that having an “enjoyable” labor is really possible.
In the first class we learned about the basics and just the main idea behind it. It is all about learning to release fears and tension. I used my hankie and scent (pictured above) to help put myself in hypnosis, along with some relaxing music of my choice that will help bring me to “that place”. Ben and I have been practicing almost nightly and the first time we tried it together, it put Ben so deeply relaxed that he was snoring just a few minutes in. It was kinda funny.
I admit it and I tell Dr. AnnaLynn all the time, that I am still so nervous cause I have gone through 3 births before, recently mind you, and I know what it feels like. Now here I am, trying to kind of rework my mind, my idea of labor and pain, and learn to just relax. Contractions are just surges and I will be calmly breathing down the baby. Sounds strange I know.
I am pretty excited and if you have never heard of this before, I am sure it all sounds so foreign and “new agey”. It basically is you having the control to completely relax your body, while your mind is still alert. Hypnosis doesn’t mean you aren’t in control because now that I have been in hypnosis, I am still alert and I can hear and understand everything. The difference is that my body is so completely and utterly relaxed that I really don’t want to do anything. I know, still sounds weird. Well, that is why I am blogging it so you can join this journey with me and we can learn about it together.
Ben and I just completed class 2 and I will save that for another post coming up soon. This one is lengthy already. I still have 3 more sessions to go and labor to get through until I really completely understand it all, but really, I am kind of excited. Nervous, but excited!
If you are curious, I would go through the HypnoBirthing site or even call my clinical hypnotherapist (here info is here) because she really help put me at ease about the whole process. I am still a newbie, but I do think this will really help me.
I would love to hear if any of you have been through HypnoBirthing or even if you care to join me, cause it would be fun to go through this with someone! I try to explain to my friends what my body is going through when I am in hypnosis, but no one really understands. I am their guinea pig, so they say if it works for me, then that is what they are going to do too!
Just had my midwife visit today and I have about 10 weeks left… eeks!!!

39 comments on “preparing for baby”

  • you will love hypno birthing! i did that with my third and it was truly a amazing experience. I felt so in control, my body was perfectly in tune to the babies needs. it was perfect. best of luck!!!

  • CarleeKajsa says:

    i have heard good things…and if you are able to do it…you are amazing! i liked to be able to move around (i was able to have 2 home biths) and both of my labors were so so different. i felt like i fought the first one because of all the fears…and the second one i relaxed a lot more and it was sooooo much easier! at one point i felt the baby move down and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! birthing is transforming – so happy for you that you are choosing this – both for your baby and yourself (and for your followers!) you will be in my prayers!

  • Deborah says:

    I think natural childbirth is all about preparation and you are doing that, so you will do great! It truly is something on my top 3 list that I have accomplished in life. You will love how alert your baby is, how your body just knows what to do, when to numb itself, etc. Youโ€™ll do fantastic and be SO proud of yourself afterward. I did it with my first(natural, but not hypobirth, just lamaze), and so it was a lengthy labor, but by #4 for you, I am hoping that it is quick and smooth so that you arenโ€™t in pain long at all. Canโ€™t wait to hear all about this baby.

  • So Yeah So says:

    That sounds really cool. If I ever have another I will definitely look into it.

  • Kathya says:

    i didnt read your entire post (lazy reader here!) but i have had 2 unmedicated birth. Lulu (9lbs)hospital birth 11 hours labor with a doula. doulas are great!!!great support. Catalina (7lbs)homebirth baby, 16 hours labour. i read guide to childbirth by ina may gaskin and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. these 2 books gave me so much knowledge and went into labour without fears.
    Praying for the next 10 weeks!
    i truly admire women who at least try to have an unmedicated birth. it takes lots of guts but remember while in labour that the pain you are experiencing has a purpose and it wont kill you.

  • Stacy says:

    i had my second girl in march and did hypnobirthing, and honestly i can't even put into words what an amazing experience it was! (i tried to here, but it doesn't do it justice: i am so excited for you! i know it can work because it did for me!

  • prettybaby says:

    i had my son with no epidural and it was crazy painful, he was over 9lbs and plus i was in back to back contractions all night, no sleep… ! i could shed a tear just reliving it, ha!

    i will have to look into this! truly, thanks! xx

  • Leslie says:

    I had to have csections with all 3 so that was a bummer… but the end results were still amazing little babes. .. I just wanted to comment that I am so excited to hear the name and story behind the name once he or she appears. I SO wanted to name my kids really original names but my hubby was very against anything “weird” so we sorta compromised.

  • Ash says:

    This sounds really interesting! We're working on getting #4 started and I want a home birth so badly but, like you, our insurance will not cover it. I am excited to hear more about this from you in the coming weeks!
    I can say this much: #1 pitocin, epidural, forcep delivery. #2 cervadil to soften the cervix, no epidural, very fast labor with a lot of pain, most amazing experience of my life. #3 cervadil again, pitocin again, epidural, ended up with nerve damage.
    So I have made up my mind that I WILL NOT have an epidural again because the damage it has done is not worth it. Besides that, being able to actually feel the baby come out is pretty amazing and I am so glad I was able to experience it.
    Anyway, I wrote a blog here ๐Ÿ˜› But like I said, I'm excited to learn more about this! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Try taking raspberry leaf tablets from around 34 weeks. I did this and my second child was born within an hour of getting to hospital with no pain relief as he came super fast. The raspberry leaf made my contractions super efficient so that my cervix dilated really quickly. It was painful but made my recovery much quicker. Good luck and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

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  • I'm also a newbie to hypnobirthing! I've heard so many amazing things about it though and so my husband and I took a course a couple of months ago which I can't rave about enough – it was not only informative (for a first time Mumma-to-be) but empowering and made us actually feel excited about the prospect of giving birth. Only time will tell how useful the course actually was (I have 6 weeks til my due date) but as I am an expat in a country where pain relief is highly frowned upon and not readily available, I'm hoping that it will really help. Good luck with your hypnobirthing journey, I look forward to reading more about it!

  • La Dinette says:

    Well good luck! I'll have you in all my prayers! I have delivered my babies two time with no drugs – i'm pretty proud- but it was quick and i only have two. God helped a lot for that and lavender essential oil. I hope it will work for you too!
    Eloรฏse from France ^^

  • hi! im a new reader of your blog but so pleased to find it! I just had my first baby at home using some self taught hypnobirth techniques and mostly the guidance I received from Ina May Gaskins guide to childbirth. It is possible to float away your fears and enjoy childbirth and transitioning. I only experienced pain right at the end popping her out, and as you already know its well worth it. Everything up until that point I enjoyed, every contraction I would slip into a deep meditation. You can read my birth story here:

    best of luck to you! I am sorry you can not birth at home due to insurance, its an unfair setback but you will have a glorious birth where ever you are!

  • I read Jill's post (which was really beautiful and encouraging!) and read up on the HypoBirthing thing after reading your post. It does sound kinda weird, but its really interesting too. I really look forward to reading more about your experience with it. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Tang says:

    I heard about this before and am really interested in hearing how it goes (for future reference)! It sounds great so far though!

  • Kelly says:

    I am really interested to see how this goes for you! I am nearing the end of the first trimester and just found out that my hospital offers a hypnobirthing class. I think we may take it this time.

  • charity says:

    I just had my second child and this time we had a home-birth. I definitely understand feeling like nobody really understands your decision and it sounding “new-age-y”. I would have loved to try hypnobirthing, but only heard of it a few weeks before my little girl was born. One of my friends had a baby 2 months before me and they went that route (along with a home-birth). They loved it and her birth story is really amazing. I am going to look it to it for our next child. I am excited to see how you feel about it having had a few different experiences before.

  • Miriam says:

    I have heard amazing things about HypnoBirthing! I had my 1st in the hospital naturally and my 2nd at home. I believe birth is something that requires a lot of preparation (much more than is typically thought!) and that's exactly what you're doing! You can do this Mama!

  • Mel says:

    Melissa of has used HypnoBirthing successfully. She may be a good person for you to connect with!

  • have a 12 month old and I did the Bradley method with him and I loved it. I am now due with my second in 12 weeks (EEK!! Sounds familiar) and I just borrowed the hypnobirth books from one of my friends. Really interested in how it will work but a little sceptical. Glad to hearsomeone else's opinion on it. Good Luck!!

  • megan lane says:

    that sounds so intriguing!! my hubby has done a couple of hypnosis-like exercises on me & it's amazing how relaxed it makes me! i'm definitely going to look into this once we start having babies.

  • I delivered my girls medication free, what an experience. I read a book called supernatural childbirth, its a pretty short book. It has some prayers in the back of the book that are awesome. With my third daughter I began praying them over my body, my baby and the upcoming delivery. i can honestly say I had about 10 minuted of pain and that was it! I was in labor for about 6 hours but only painful for about 10 minutes. There was some discomfort but not pain. Just keeping my mind on the Lord and knowing he was with me every moment. It as such an amazing experience. Plus worship music on Pandora was great too. Excited for you to embark on this journey. After delivering with no drugs, I had such an adrenaline rush I thought I could run a marathon, I didn't though ๐Ÿ™‚ Praying for you and your upcoming delivery!

  • I've been thinking of trying hypno birthing for our next baby as well. I've tried to go natural with all 3 of our kids but ended up going for the epi each time, I would LOVE to be able to go without it next time! I'm so excited to hear your experience with this, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • erin says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • erin says:

    good luck! i believe that there are many different paths that can lead to an unmedicated birth. for my two, it was the bradley method, but hypnobirthing sounds like a great choice. i'll be curious to know how it all turns out and what your thoughts are on medicated vs. unmedicated as far as recovery are concerned, if you choose to share! best wishes in the next 10 weeks. you are a brave mama!

  • Look forward to hearing about your birth story. Sounds like hypno birthing is wonderful preparation. I had three births at home and was scared stiff for the fourth because the pain was so vivid in my memory. I prayed my way through the entire thing and my fourth at home was a wonderful experience. Not that I am opposed to them but I thought having an epidural was not considered part of a natural birth? Just saying!

  • Samantha says:

    I studied the hypnobabies for 15 weeks. I didn't end up using it because my birthing experience went wacko, but I still hear nothing but good things about it. It really helps you release the fear!

  • Kara says:

    I am 5 months with my first baby and my midwife told me about hypnobabies. It is something I've started researching. I'm planning on having an all natural water birth and she recommended that it would help with the pain and focus. I hope you will blog more about your experience with HypnoBirthing and what it is like. Good luck to you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I think that sounds so interesting! I have a friend who swears by that.
    I had two out of three kids naturally using the Bradley method (husband coached natural childbirth). It is by Dr. Bradley, and it is simply amazing! I highly highly recommend it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Crazy Lady says:

    I just had my fifth baby in eight years and each one of the deliveries was different even though I always had an epidural. My fifth baby through me for a loop actually and wasn't what I was expecting, but fortunately still had a fast delivery, the only one I've had to get induced. I”m super curious how it goes though especially since you have three other kids. good luck.
    and i have a bunch of girls too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I used Hypnobirthing when I was in labour with the preschooler and it worked *really well* for the better part of labour. I did end up having an epidural, and like you — for my *last* labour — I'd really like to experience the birth in a more conscious way if possible. So this time around I'm amping up the techniques I learnt from Hypnobirthing with a Calmbirth weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ It's a similar concept but I've heard wonderful things about the practitioner who runs it a few hours south of Sydney. I'd also looove to have a home birth but that's not possible for me either.

    Sending you super good vibes for the birth — I'm sure it will be a really positive experience for you both!

  • kristin says:

    Best wishes with your natural birth! I had an epidural with my first baby and decided to have a natural birth with my second, and my natural birth was AMAZING! Truly the greatest experience of my life, and if I have another baby someday I would definitely do it drug-free again. The natural high at the end is incredible. I hired a doula and switched to a midwife rather than an OB, and other than that my big preparation was reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth TWICE. Reading all those amazing birth stories took away all the fear I had when I gave birth the first time. I said a mantra (“relaaaax!”) during contractions, leaned forward on something, closed my eyes, and went into a zone during each one. It worked all the way until I was ready to push out my almost 9lb son. Go for it, girl! You can do it!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Carla says:

    I did HypnoBabies which I think is similar and it empowered me to have a natural VBAC sans drugs. My body floored me with its abilities. The most valuable lesson I learned was the power of our thoughts, language and perspective to really shape our experience. Once I went into labor I was in the zone and focused my mind on this beautiful experience. I also made sure to surround myself with positive images and people, no naysayers and no negative movies/TV shows. I also birthed at home for as long as possible. If everything looks good, I'd say stay home as long as you can to prevent any intervention or temptation for drugs at the hospital. I walked into the hospital on the verge of pushing. They didn't even have time to put an IV i me (thank goodness!). Your body is a natural at this after 3 glorious births, trust and listen to her =) You'll do great!

  • Iliah says:

    Well, i will admit that the hypnobith does seem a little “new age-y”– but i am a firm believer in praying and being led of the spirit and if you and your hubby feel peace about your decision, that's all that matters! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I had both my daughters naturally, one in the hospital and one at home.

    Although i am pretty hippie, i wasn't planning a home birth (costs and such)…but i called the hospital when i was having contractions every five mintues that each lasted a minute…and they kept telling me to stay home. Yeah, we were shock too! So I'll make this long story short–when i decided that i was going to the hospital no matter what they said…and had a huge contration, my water exploded (literally), and my second beauty was born about 5-7 minutes later at the edge of our bed–just the hubby and i. He was on the phone with 9-11…help arrived after she was born! I delivered the placenta at the hospital. Let's just saw im glad i had my first daughter naturally, becuase i knew my body and what to do….and let me say that Jesus was there with us! If i had a blog I'd write all about it!

    Anyway, i have one more thing to say before i wrap up this extra long post….with my first daughter i listened to an awesome worship music of hymns sung by contemporary Christian artist–it was great to meditate while in labor. Also, i kept in mind a story a prof in college told us about is wife: she had her children natually becuase christ, for the glory that was set before him endured the pain of the cross….we were the glory, our being reconciled back to God that Jesus set his gaze upon as he endured a pain that not even we women could imagine; and he thought we were worth it. So i decided that i wanted to endure the pain, becuase when i took the first glance of my daughter i wanted to say, “you were worth it.”…well, as the pain got worse, all i could imagine was Jesus on the cross…taking beatings, lazor lashes, nails in his hands, a spear through his side…a crown of thorns–and it was all for me. I was worth it. I was his glory–the thought of me living with him for eternity lead him to take up that cross. And as my pain got worse and worse, i was in awe that Jesus could endure all that pain for me; i was sooo weak and he is soo strong. I was begging my doctor to just give me and epidural (she wouldn't becuase i was already at 8), and Jesus refused anything to take the pain away. I was left in awe of my mighty God.

    So after it was all done i could tell my daughter that she was worth all the pain…and in awe that Jesus thought the same about me!

    Good luck! Peace be with you! Sorry this post is sooo long!

  • Ali says:

    Hey RubyEllen!
    I'm due in October and totally bought the hypnobirthing book but also thought it sounded a little new-agey and weird…You are making me re-think it though! I think my husband is a little skeptical. I think i might look into it more. I'd love to hear more about your experience!

  • rebekah says:

    This week I will be posting my hypnobirthing story as my daughter turns ONE!
    We had a drug free water birth and I loved every minute of it.
    Praying you can have the birth you hope for.

  • meghana says:

    We used hypnobirthing and LOVED it! My son's birth was absolutely amazing! I can say that I actually looked forward to giving birth, enjoyed the birth, and can't wait to do it again. I hope you have a similar experience and enjoy the birth of your dreams!!

  • Deb says:

    I had my third baby at home using hypnobabies. My others were in the hospital with epidurals and and a before then I would have NEVER thought I would have a baby at home (on purpose). Luckily we grow and change and learn in this life.
    I had a beautiful experience. I was not even a very devoted hypnobirther and I still felt like it helped me soooo much and made my birth such a wonderful experience.
    I blogged about it here

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