June 13, 2012

Some of you had some additional questions and curiosities about HypnoBirthing and Glow’s birth story. Trust me, that’s normal. My BFF still thinks I am strange and new-agey because I chose to do HypnoBirthing. I had Glow at the hospital, my midwife knew ahead of time all about my birth plan and had seen HypnoBirthing be done successfully, so she was on board, and with the classes and all my practice, Ben and I felt completely ready for it too.

Below are some of the answers to your questions and I also had the clinical hypnotherapist that taught me all about HypnoBirthing, Dr. AnnaLynne, share some answers to a few questions too…

1. In your own words, what is hypnosis, particularly HypnoBirthing?

Me: So I know everyone’s first thought of hypnosis is a sort of circus act come to life where adults are acting like animals on a stage. That my friends is not HypnoBirthing.While that kind of funny thing can happen under hypnosis, it doesn’t happen while HypnoBirthing, unless you want it to of course. Then sure, why not?! 
To me, HypnoBirthing is kind of like when you are driving but preoccupied with something else that you are paying attention to your driving, but your mind is somewhere else and all of a sudden, you are at your destination and you’re like “Whoa! That was fast.” Or when you kind of space out, but you hear  and see everything going on around you, but you’re in real deep thought about something else. Make sense yet?

During HypnoBirthing, I am in complete control and I choose to make myself relax or not. Of course, I had triggers (i.e. my music and a special scent) that I would only associate with going into hypnosis, but I wasn’t under the control of someone else. Through the sessions I did with Dr. AnnaLynn, I trained myself to let my whole body completely relax like it was asleep and my mind was fully alert but just imagining I was in another place. This will sound funny, but usually I was under a big tree and there was a breeze and rolling mountains. When I had surges, which are contractions, I imagined I was swinging under the tree and the pressure I was feeling was me going against the wind as I was swinging. I honestly felt I was there and it was more peaceful than pain.

In short, it is a mind over matter thing. Just like when you get into a car accident and you aren’t supposed to grip the steering wheel tighter because if you tense up, you’re body will feel more pain. That is the same thing when in labor. You train your body to relax during surges that your body doesn’t fight your uterine muscles working and instead of feeling pain, you just feel pressure. While the pressure can get intense, it doesn’t register as pain. Really though, I have said this before, I am a chicken when it comes to pain. Heck, I hate getting shots! But with HypnoBirthing, I totally was able to do it sans epidural or any pain medication of sorts. That’s pretty big for this chicken.

Dr. AnnaLynne: HypnoBirthing takes the fear OUT of your experience.

Yes you have been in hypnosis before. You just haven’t realized it. You are in light trance when you are daydreaming, falling asleep, waking up and at other times when you are deeply relaxed. It’s nothing airy-fairy. It’s a normal, everyday experience which HypnoBirthing teaches you to manipulate and control.

2. How far along were you when you started taking classes?

Me: I started taking classes when I was about 7.5 months pregnant. It is 5 sessions and a couple hours each session. We did it via skype with Dr. AnnaLynn. It was nice because we got to do it in our home, in our bedroom, which really made it comfortable for me to relax and go into hypnosis.

Dr. AnnaLynne: The best time to begin your classes is around 28-30 weeks. When you finish class V, you will have four to five weeks to practice before labor begins. However, you can learn this method within just days of your expected birthing if you decide late in your pregnancy you’d like to use HypnoBirthing for the experience of a quick, gentle, calm and soul-filling labor and delivery of your baby. 

The average labor and delivery time for my clients really is 2.9 hours, even for first babies. Contact me at 909.297.6132 or [email protected] to ask any question. These classes work beautifully on skype and it’s soooo easy to set up.

3. How much time before my due date do you recommend practicing hypnosis?

Me: I say you would want to take it in your third trimester, so that it is fresh and you are constantly practicing it up until baby decides to come. It is a big investment of time and money to take the classes and practice, but it is well worth it. I felt like I was preparing for a marathon. It was constant practice to make sure I was able to get myself into hypnosis quickly and naturally.

Dr. AnnaLynne: It is best to have at least four to five weeks of practice, but I have had mothers come in as late as the week of their due date and be successful with HypnoBirthing.

4. Do you have to have the IV if you go the natural route?

Me: You don’t, but I opted for it, so I would stay hydrated.

5. Is it scary putting yourself under hypnosis?

Me: Once I understood it and understood I was in control, it wasn’t scary at all. It was fun and really relaxing. I think it is a good technique to have to help calm down or just zone out and chill. I still do it now, especially when Ben massages me. It feels nice. 

6. How did you choose your song?

Me: Michelle, a sweet reader, had sent me some music by her husband awhile ago and Lake Yarina was just so peaceful to me. It is angelic and just lovely. During our first session, when Dr. AnnaLynne told me I needed calming music, Lake Yarina was the first thing to come to mind. That was the only song I used. Even when I hear it now, I instantly calm down. It is a beautiful song by Josh Garrels.

If any of you still have any questions, just leave them here in the comments and I will get to them. I am no professional at all, but I am just sharing my experience. In the end, you have to choose what is best for you. I had the first three girls in the hospital with the magical epidural and their births are just as special as the last. I am proud of the way each of my girls came into this world and epidural or not, labor is hard work. It’s not called labor for nothin’! 


May 24, 2012

Beware. This post is long, but if you want to learn more about my HypnoBirthing story then read on, and if you don’t care because women have been birthing naturally for many centuries, then just skip this…

I delivered our last littlest love at exactly 39 weeks. That is the latest I have ever delivered because with the previous three, I have went somewhere in my 38th week, so you can imagine that I was pretty ancy my whole 38th week. Every night I would get those consistent surges (in HypnoBirthing a contraction is called a surge), but every morning I would wake up to the same old same old and start the day all over again. Everyday that whole week felt like Groundhog Day. We even watched the movie one evening to commemorate the feeling! Then, the next morning it was Groundhog Day all over again.

Finally, in the wee hours of Monday morning, September 12th, I woke up at around 3am to some nice surges, but not nice enough. I started timing them anyways and they were 7 minutes apart. I knew they were still too nice and I just put myself in hypnosis to get relax enough to go back to sleep. The morning came and I still felt my nice surges, so I made a solo run to Target to get some necessities and hope the walking around would help a bit. Surges were still there and consistent, but still nice, though I did call my mom that afternoon to let her know it might be coming soon. I had been saying that all week, but this time felt a bit more real. Dinnertime came and went, surges were getting stronger, but were still nice, so we watched a movie and then called it a night. All day long they were consistently about 5-7 minutes apart, getting stronger as the day progressed, but this is my 4th, so I know the magnitude they need to be before we go to the hospital and they were still far too nice to warrant the trip.

We went to bed around 10pm, Ben says he fell asleep around 11pm. I knock out fairly quickly because it was combination of putting myself in hypnosis and part having the ability to fall asleep easily.

In the middle of the night, came the surge I have been waiting for all the other previous nights, the one that was finally a bit meaner to wake me up from my peaceful slumber. I woke up because I got the surge that made me go, “Oookayy….” and I looked at the clock and it was right after midnight. I started timing them and they were about 3 minutes apart and they did take some work to go through. They weren’t so nice anymore and I started putting myself in hypnosis to get through them. I woke Ben up not too long after and then he called my family to let them know.

My family got here at around 1:30am, we gave my dad instructions on what to do with the girls in the morning, then Ben, my mom, my baby sister, and I head off to the hospital. This was quite different from the last time we all made the early morning trek to the hospital for Soul. Last time, the moment they walked in the door, I was crying and wincing every time a surge came, but this time around, I was cool, calm, and collected and happily listening to my relaxing music when I needed to.

As we made our way to the hospital, I tried to get comfortable but it was hard because I couldn’t really get my legs up and that is the position I needed to let my body go limp, but I managed and we made it to the hospital without any tears. This was such a contrast to the drive to the hospital when I was about to give birth to Soul. During that drive, I was yelling explicatives down the freeway because I swore she was going to pop out of me and I continued yelling for drugs as soon as I was admitted. There was none of that this time around. There was pressure, but still a whole lot of calm (and smiling). So amazing! I even had my sister take a polaroid of me right when we got to the hospital and I was smiling!
We got to the triage and I think they doubted that I was really in labor because I was smiling, but they checked me and sure enough I was at 5cm and I got to stay. The worst thing is getting sent home from the hospital for false labor. All routine things were taken care of and the pressure continued. I finally got into my delivery room at about 3am and the nurse took my birth plan, they got my antibiotics administered (I always carry strep B), and I continued going to my happy place any time the pressure started.

Ben was so good because he would gently touch my arms during every surge to create goosebumps that helped release hormones to help my body relax. This too is very different compared to my other 3 labors when I used to yell at him not to touch me! It was so nice to actually be working together with Ben this time around. My mom and baby sister got the easy job since they were both passed out on the chair on my other side while Ben and I were going through all of it.
The entire time I sat propped up in my hospital bed, listening to my music, that took me to my happy place, which is a very serene song called Lake Yarina by Josh Garrels. Ben would be so amazed because he would watch the monitors and see my surges spike like crazy, but then watch my heart monitor at the same time and my heart rate would get so low from being relaxed that it would drop off the chart. Crazy right?!! All this was happening during a surge. This continued on from about 3:30am to 9:30am.
I would also go pee when I needed to and was fed ice chips when I wanted them, I even got to snack on a banana nut muffin and was chatting with Ben between some surges. When my mom and sister finally woke up, I was happily chatting with them too. It was all such a different experience compared to my other three labors.
Around 9:30am my midwife came in to check me and I was at 8cm and my water bag was blocking the hole, so they gave me an option to break it or just let things progress naturally. After a bit of a discussion, we thought it best to let it break naturally since natural seemed to be the theme of the day. I will say that after that things started to get slightly more difficult. I was feeling intense pressure and it was starting to feel like I had to go poop, but I know I really didn’t, it was just the baby. As intense as things were getting, I was still able to put myself in hypnosis, but it definitely was taking more work and more concentration.
Then 10:30 came and they checked me again and I had barely dialated and was pretty much still at 8cm. The bag still hadn’t broken and mentally I got frustrated because transition is supposed to be the fastest part of labor (and this is my fourth), but everything was happening so slowly. The nurse suggested I try to walk around to help get my water to break, so I did that. The only problem was that when a surge would come, I couldn’t let my body go limp while standing, so if I couldn’t relax then the pressure was experienced a bit differently. I tried to sit on a chair, but still my legs couldn’t relax and I would have some freak out moments because I swear I had to go poop, but no one was letting me. I had a few yelps and my surges were so erratic that the special breathing technique to do right before a surge comes to help with relaxing couldn’t be done.
The last hour and a half got tougher with my body being stuck at 8cm. All I wanted was my mom and I wanted my mom to just make this poop come out, but it really wasn’t poop that wanted to come out, it was just the intense pressure of the baby and the bag. I tried different positions to help my body progress, but it seems nothing was working. Now, looking back and after speaking with my clinical hypnotherapist, I probably should have had the water broken because that would have made a difference in easing some of the added discomfort. Despite this super intense pressure I was experiencing, I never once did ask or consider the epidural (not that it’s wrong to, I was determined to have my last birthing experience different from my previous three).
Finally, and after what felt like an eternity, my midwife checked me to see how much I had left to go when my water bag broke and in 30 seconds I went from 8cm to 10cm! Hallelujah! You can imagine my relief!
Then we we finally got in position to let this baby come out! I was so excited that I started pushing, but they had to remind me to calm down and take a deep breath and relax. I remember Ben holding my hand and my mom and sister nearby watching. Then with the next strong surge, I gave a nice, long, grunting push. Oh man! I was feeling things down there that I had never felt before. All I was thinking is… this burns!!! Nevertheless, with the next surge, I pushed again and the burning continued as little Glow made her way out. Tada! She was out! Hooray!!!
They immediately put her in my arms and I got to see this little wiggly thing that had been growing inside of me. I could see my mom, sister and Ben crying, and I vividly remember all my emotions. I was so happy she was here. Amazed that I actually did it without drugs. And dumbfounded because it still burned down there! HA! I guess with the epidural that was one sensation I had never felt.

Glow was so beautifully sweet and we were immediately in love. I couldn’t believe we had another little bundle to love. I fell in love six times (one of them is with Jesus). It’s wonderful! 

My midwife was the only other person who knew we were having a girl (Ben and I knew, but we kept it a secret from everyone else), so she had us make the official announcement. Then, we announced her name. Everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing, but at this point, we know our choice of names are different (ridiculous to some, but whatever), so we really couldn’t shock anyone anymore.
I have to say that I am still in disbelief that I was able to do it without the drugs. I am such a chicken when it comes to pain, so I am completely amazed and in awe of HypnoBirthing. What I felt was not pain, but really intense pressure. The pressure increased as I opened up, but it was amazing because I also remember what labor felt like before I knew the techniques of HypnoBirthing and it is dramatically different. I got to 8cm without feeling any pain. I really can’t believe it. Being stuck at 8cm made me extremely frustrated that it got tougher to relax, but nevertheless it was nothing short of amazing.
I have had my first three girls with the epidural and they are fine and I am fine after it, but I really wanted to do my last labor different. Now, if I were for some reason going to have another, I would definitely do HypnoBirthing again. I don’t think women who do it without the drugs are superior to those who use it. I think you have to do what is best for you and your situation. If having a baby naturally means a lot to you, go for HypnoBirthing, I completely believe in it. Though if you do go that route, you will have to put the time in learning the techniques, practicing everyday and even investing in classes. In my opinion it is better to learn it from a professional instead of just reading it.

Almost nine months later, it is still so fresh in my mind and still feels amazing. If I can have a baby sans drugs, you can too! I really am such a big chicken! Heck! Needles scare me! So if you ask me if I recommend HypnoBirthing? My answer is YES!

For more information visit here or call Dr. Anna Lynne, which is the hypnotherapist who I took classes with to help make this birthing experience possible. We did 5 online sessions via skype (read about the sessions here and I practiced going into hypnosis nightly) and it really made the world of a difference. Also, I continue to use self-hypnosis when I’m at the dentist or just need to relax. It is just a good technique to learn to help calm down and de-stress. I am sure this sounds strange to some of you, so if you have any questions for me regarding this, leave them here and I will either answer in the comments or if I get enough questions, will do another post for it.

p.s. if you are wondering what i was hooked up to? it was iv and antibiotics.


September 1, 2011

Meet Dr. AnnaLynn and see the teeny tiny us in the right corner…
hypnobirthing class 5
Our HypnoBirthing classes officially ended and they were all done through skype. Technology can be such a wonderful thing! Last class we watched some more amazing birth videos, did some last wrap ups, talked about more scripts to use and did an amazing practice session. The last practice was an interesting one and I don’t want to divulge too much just in case some of you decide to take the class (I haven’t gone through birth yet, but all I can tell you is good things thus far). I feel prepared and ready and have very positive feelings about the impending birth. If you have any questions regarding HypnoBirthing, I would pick up the book or even give Dr. AnnaLynn a call (or email) wherever you are because remember all our sessions were done entirely online.
Overall, the classes have taught me skills to be able to bring my entire body into complete relaxation, yet still have my mind completely in control and alert. It really is such an astounding feeling. Now, game time is coming up and I keep visualizing how it will all play out, in a positive way of course.
Time is dwindling down and the birth seems so far to me, though I know it is actually closer than it is far. I probably look like I could pop at any minute and sometimes I feel like it too! I still have to get the hospital bag ready and a few other loose ends to tie up until I think I am officially ready. I really can’t believe it is almost time, whenever that time is! September is here and that means baby is coming… eeks!
The girls are ready and get super excited about the baby. Well, Soul doesn’t really know what’s going on and I think she is going to be in for a shocker when baby comes home. Other than that we are chugging on through with school, house stuff, and just life. Though I must say that today was a lot harder than most. The girls were easily and exceedingly disgruntled and I wasn’t the best mama. Today was one of those days that I feel like I just failed miserably at parenting and training my children. If I were given a grade for today, I would have gotten a big fat F! Man oh man. I wish I could get a do over.
Actually a funny thing, kinda not really, was that I took away some toys from the girls as a consequence for their disobedience. The result is that they drew me on their chalkboard with a big fat X over me. Really! They said I wasn’t being nice. I went back to take a picture to blog it of course (it was too funny not to share), but then they had already erased it. I had to talk with them about the choices they made that led to their toys getting taken away. They stated they knew it was their fault and so I told them they should draw an x on them too and then I did it. Really mature Ruby! See I told you, today I get a big fat F and would probably have made it onto the fail blog. Tomorrow’s post on the fail blog should be my picture. No joke.
I am glad my God is gracious to forgive someone as foolish as me (I am so foolish) and that tomorrow morning his mercies are brand new. I am also thankful that my children also have very forgiving hearts. Tomorrow will be a better day, at least I will pray it is…

hypnobirth class 4

August 24, 2011

It’s been awhile since I wrote about my hypnobirthing class, but is has been awhile since I had one. Life took over for us and Ben and I haven’t been able to have a session with Dr. AnnaLynn, tonight will be our last one.
Last class, believe it or not, Ben did not fall asleep during our hypnosis session. I think he was trying very hard to keep alert, my mom sat in to watch me go into hypnosis a bit, so she would know what to expect when she was there with us in the birthing room. And I have been practicing a whole lot since then. I try to do it every night before bed, then I use it to lull me to sleep, and once in the mid-afternoon. The afternoon practices are harder because the boisterous energy of True and Brave in the room sometimes won’t let me relax.
I know I am the guinea pig for all my friends and some people are still weirded out by the whole idea. It really isn’t that strange friends, it is just getting to a place of deep relaxation and using your imagination. It really is quite nice. Some people try to get me to put myself in hypnosis in front of them, but I think that is just too weird, so I don’t. Plus, I need my music and anchors and need to be super comfy and being in the middle of a pizza parlor ain’t the comfiest.
I am at 36 weeks now and normally go somewhere in my 38th week (what?! can I really be that close?!!), and I am pretty excited about my body doing the birthing process this time around. I am not quite ready yet, as there are things that still need to get done before this baby makes an appearance (I need to put together a hospital bag and a going home outfit) and try to clean more of the house. I am just anticipating when it will be time to put all I have been practicing into action. Really, I am so excited! I have dreams all the time that this baby just slides right out of me!
At the same time, I am really cherishing these last few weeks as this will be the last time Ben and I will be in this place. Unless God pulls a fast one on us, four is as high of a number as we will go, so I am trying to memorize and enjoy every little bump and kick I feel inside of me. I will really miss feeling a baby inside me. I think I am also finally slowing down as I have been more tired these days and though I have been working out this entire pregnancy (I try to do 5-6 days a week with Ben), today was the first day I felt like, “Whoa! This workout is kinda hard now.”
I was telling Ben last night that maybe we should make a papier-mâché out of my belly. Strange, I know, but I am just trying to figure out a way to capture these last days in this stage of our life. My heart is really full trying to fathom and enjoy it all and not let it escape too quickly, but at the same time we are super duperly excited to meet the newest one! I think we may even have a name. Maybe. Almost. We will see…

hypnobirth class 3

July 20, 2011

hypnobirth class 3
I am now learning how to put myself in hypnosis faster.
I had a good conversation with Dr. AnnaLynn about how my words will effect my thoughts and actions. I am really working hard in re-wiring some of my labor thoughts and right now, all I can think of is this little one will slip right out of me as I slowly breathe he/she down.
I have been reading my HypnoBirthing book and it has been immensely helpful in helping me realize that pain is also a state of mine and that being pregnant (though we can be whiny, cranky women) isn’t a bad condition, rather a good one to be in. I have got about 9 weeks left and will keep enjoying every last bit.
Last class it was easy to go in hypnosis fast when Dr. AnnaLynn is leading us via skype. In fact, last class, Ben fell asleep once again. When it was time to open our eyes, Ben didn’t budge. I think he is quite enjoying our hypnosis sessions because it is obvious he gets really relaxed!
I am getting better at visualizing my “place”. It is a dreamy place and I will work on adding to it. Actually, it is kinda fun pretending in your head! When I tell my sister everything I see in hypnosis, she gets excited and says she wants to try it.
I have been practicing at home, but not as much as I would like, but when Ben is trying to do it, for some reason, I end up laughing. We follow a script and he is reading it and just as my eyes get heavy and he lifts my arm, I start laughing! I can’t stop. It is kinda funny, but frustrating. We will keep trying and practicing and maybe we need to use a different script because that part has me in hysterics every time we have tried, unbeknownst to me why.
I am pretty excited about labor. Ben and I are working hard at preparing ourselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically for this. We can’t wait to actually get there. It kinda feels like I am training for a marathon.
Class 4 is tonight and I can’t wait to see what we learn this time…

hypnobirth class 2

July 13, 2011

hypnobirth class 2
{the signs above will help me prepare my mindset and body for HypnoBirthing}
I am totally encouraged that some of you have tried this for your birth and it has been successful and also happy to hear that this idea isn’t foreign to some of you. I have been practicing and I still find it strange that I will be able to do this during a surge, but practice makes perfect right?!! I hope so.
Class 2 was another good informative class. I am learning so much and so much of it is also getting encouragement from our hypnotherapist Dr. AnnaLynne. I think her motivation makes such a big difference. I don’t know if I would feel as comfortable just reading from a book, but that is just me and my style of learning.
The most fun part of the classes is actually practicing going into hypnosis. Just to clarify, you aren’t under someone’s spell when in hypnosis, but you are in control and putting yourself in a very relax mode using tools around you as anchors to help get you there (i.e. music, scent, a script, etc…).
This second class was especially interesting because in hypnosis, I let my right side pretty much go numb (it feels like it melted into my bed), then I touched my cheek with my right hand, and what it touch slowly felt numb too. So much so that my mouth started salivating just like when at the dentist and they numb you. It was such a strange sensation and my mind was alert, but my body, especially my right side was completely and utterly relaxed. In hypnosis, I even opened my eyes, so I could see things, but still I was completely relaxed. It is such a strange sensation but it feels good. No other way to describe it except your body being in utter relaxation.
Well, this time Ben and I were side by side on the bed practicing while Dr. AnnaLynn was guiding us (via Skype), but when it came time to open our eyes, I looked over at Ben and his eyes didn’t open.
I said, “Ben. Ben.”
Then his eyes finally opened. Turns out this boy let his body get so relax that he went to sleep! I just laughed at him. Dr. AnnaLynn says this happens to 100% of all the males when they participate with their wives. I think that is hilarious!!!
I have been practicing and when I close my eyes I am starting to visualize things more. It is kind of a cool feeling, so when I do, I feel more distant from my body. I am still nervous about this all and how it plays out when I actually go into labor, but I will keep trying to prepare myself. That’s the best I could do right now anyways.
We have class 3 tonight and I am excited to learn how to put myself in hypnosis quicker. I think that will be they key cause I tried practicing at the dentist yesterday and I wasn’t doing it quick enough.
Curious about HypnoBirthing (I know, it sounded strange to me too!)? Visit here or ask Dr. AnnaLynn questions yourself.
If you are local, you won’t want to miss out on “Snap it Pretty”! Must have 12 people signed up by Monday, otherwise we will reschedule for another date in August. It will be good friends, so good.

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