Testimonials and in the Media


Birth Stories and HypnoBirthing of Central Texas in the Media..

I am beyond blessed to, once again, get the nomination for Best Birth Prep class in 2017.  Thank you to everyone who voted!

Alistair Brooks (As told by mother, Taylor)

At 42 weeks I had to be induced. I very actively chose not to birth in a hospital so I was hugely disappointed and frustrated that my plans had to be changed. HypnoBirthing helped calm me through what could have felt like a very helpless and out of control situation.
Pitocin and a 10 lb babe made labor difficult but I was so proud of myself when I was able to get deep within myself and breathe through some contractions.
Thankful for the classes. I definitely felt empowered and despite the change of plans, I was able to have the major elements of a birth that I had hoped for.
Thank you!!
The Clason’s

Veronica Grace (As told my mother, Anna)

Born Thursday April 20. 7 lbs 5 oz,19.5 in

Started feeling contractions at 3 a.m. Called midwife at 7 a.m. not sure if this was “IT”.Headed towards office/birth center at 9:45 a.m. after we dropped our 3 year old daughter at her little school.  Contractions started coming every 2-3 min at this point and I was unable to talk through them. Midwife checked me in the office around 10:15 a.m. and I was 5 cm. Headed right back to birthing center and labored until I felt a strong urge to get in the tub. Once in tub started feeling intense pressure. Water broke, felt urges to push and at 11:35 a.m., our beautiful daughter was born in the water.This event truly changed my life. This was my healing birth. I am eternally grateful to you for sharing your story and teaching the class.When I started on this journey, I doubted whether I could actually have the experience I desired. But as the HypnoBirthing class went on, after we decided “yes” to the birth center and the midwives at ob/gyn north, after I began listening to rainbow relaxation nightly, I began to change. Suddenly, I was able to believe that I could and would do this. I began to release so many fears and concerns (not typical for me in general). I began to trust my body. I wasn’t afraid anymore.

 Veronica’s birth healed me. I feel so empowered.
Thank you for your honesty, your totally real take on all the information, your ministry to women by doing what you do. It truly helped to change my life.
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!


I am honored to announce that I have been nominated for the Austin Birth Awards for 2016! Thank you!












August 2016 (Link Below)

Perfectly Planned: A Birth Story

 Everett ( As told by mother, Annissa)

Everett’s Birthday
I began laboring Monday September 1 at 7pm but after spending almost
2 hours at the Central Texas Birth Center (CTBC) I was sent back home. My labor
had not progressed and actually had slowed a little. I went back home and had
mild period like cramps but that was all. Turns out I had let myself get
dehydrated which slowed the labor down. I began to drink all the regular water
and coconut water I could get my hands on. Labor was mild all day but by
Wednesday morning around 5:30am things started picking up again!
I have a small village around me and everyone got so excited the first time I
went up to the CTBC, that I didn’t want to tell everyone till I knew it was
time. I wanted labor alone as long as possible.
Active Labor- I talked to a few people on the phone that morning but stayed in a
trance on my birthing ball till about 10:30 When a friend showed up. I knew it
was time to go and she insisted on it.
Everyone came out of the wood work and it was clear the time had come. When I
got to the birthing center my midwife said “sorry we did not have time to
prepare your room” I said “I don’t care I just need a birthing ball” (I knew I
was now in “Active Labor) by then the pain was progressing.
I had my spouse my doula and my midwife all pretty familiar with my
hypnotherapy practice. I didn’t have to concentrate to hard with the exercises I
did, it all came pretty naturally and Bearable. My “pain” was decreased by at
least %50! I believe what I was taught by Jenny, decreased the time of my active
labor. My first born was 25 hours of labor with bradley method and labor with
Everett was about 8 hours using the hypnobirthing method. . All because I
worked with my body without forcing or feeling rushed. I listened and my body
knew what to do. With constant coaching and reminding, I relaxed breathed from
deep within.
We had a beautiful water birth and instead of 1hr & 45 min. Of Pushing and
almost hypo ventilating, I pushed E 5 times and he came out. Everett was born
2:10 on September 3, 6lbs 14oz



June 2016 (Link Below)

3 Keys to Taking Control of Your Pregnancy and Birth


Declan (As told by his mother, Jen)

Our Story
I started my pregnancy with high blood pressure (it runs in my family) and I was overweight.  So immediately I was considered a “High Risk” pregnancy so we determined a hospital birth was going to be the best option for me and the baby.  We were told we would more than likely have to be induced but we had lots of conversations with our OB doctor about having the baby as natural as possible and we took Jenny’s HypnoBirthing class.   After lots of monitoring and extra ultrasounds, everything on baby’s front was looking great and my blood pressure stayed pretty good until about 30 weeks when it started to creep up pretty fast and no medicines were bringing it back down.  They put me on bed rest at 34 weeks pregnant where I just worked from home.   At 36.5 weeks we went in for our standard weekly checkup and blood pressure was still high so they said the words we had been expecting – “it’s time to induce.”  So we were put on the schedule for the following Tuesday night to start induction.   It all became very real at that point.   There was no longer a mystery of when our lil’ guy would enter the world, there was now a countdown!   We had both sets of our parents in town by the weekend before he planned to be here as they both live out of state.  We checked into the hospital Tuesday night and after a very long wait for checking in and getting a room, it was now ripening time.  They were going to use Cytotec without asking us but we were prepared with what we wanted and requested Cervidil knowing it could be stopped at any time if needed.    I was dilated to a 1.   

We loved all of our nurses we got assigned and had a conversation with each of them about our desire to deliver the baby using hypnobirthing techniques with as little medical intervention as possible.   They read our birth plan we had written and they were all extremely supportive and excited to help us achieve our desired birth.

After a night on Cervidil, they came and checked me at 6am.  Still dilated to a 1, 50% effaced and -3 station.   We started Pitocin and we requested a slow increase to give the Pitocin time to work.  As the morning progressed they kept taking my blood pressure and it slowly started to increase. They wanted to put me on magnesium sulfate but I asked for a different drug so that I wouldn’t be confined to the bed and could move around for birth.   At 1:30pm, our Doctor came in to check on me.  I was Dilated to 1, 75% effaced and -3 station.  The Doctor decided the best option to get labor moving was to sweep my membranes.  Our Doula had come to check on us in the morning and then we sent her home and told her to come back later that night or we would call once labor really was starting to pick up.

Our doctor stopped back in around 6pm and I had had no changes so she broke my water at this point.   I was starting to get a lot of back pain around this same time because they would make me get into bed after administering BP medications.

I finally “felt” the first contraction around 7pm!   About 8pm, I threw up twice and then around 8:45pm, I got into the shower and my husband and our doula used the hot water on my back and belly to ease some of the discomfort I was having.   This ended up getting my heartrate monitor wet so they had to stop Pitocin (hospital policy) and put a new monitor on and start Pitocin back up.  I had been around Level 20 Pitocin and they slowly got me back up to 12.     My husband started reading some of the scripts we had practiced while I used the birthing ball to get more comfortable and help with my back pain.   Around 10:30pm the doctor came back to check on us (100% effaced, 2.5 cm dilated). Shortly after I threw up for the third time of the night and was having a really hard time staying still.  They required me to stay in bed for 30 mins after giving me the BP medicine but we convinced them to let me sit/rock on the birth ball because I couldn’t sit still for that long – my body just needed to move!

It was now Thursday morning and contractions were in full force – one right after another because we were on Pitocin.  I was having a hard time getting comfortable.   I moved from sitting on the toilet to the birthing ball.  Sometime shortly after midnight, the doctor came back in to check on us.  I was 3cm dilated, baby was at 0 station and I was paper thin so they started to setup the delivery table and told me it could be at any point now.     From 1 to 3:30am was a complete blur and felt like it was only like 15 mins long!  Lots of peeing 2 drops, sitting on the toilet to get comfortable and I’d get crazy chills so much that my teeth were chattering so they got me extra blankets.  (We had been told some women get hot or cold during labor and my husband said, “Who gets cold?” Since I never get cold I said, “Not me!”…boy were we wrong!)

There were points in the early morning after 24+ hours in the hospital that I said to my husband, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this” which secretly just made our Doula excited because she knew the baby was coming soon at that point!

Sometime around 3:30am as I was rocking in the rocking chair, I got this big sensation where my body basically pushed automatically and I felt a wave of fluid come out.  I had no idea what just happened and I told my husband and Doula that “I think I just peed on myself!”  These pushing sensations kept continuing and around 3:50am I announced to the room that “I think I need to push.” At 4am, everyone finally believed me.   It was exactly 4:10am when I got into the hospital bed.  I remember the pushing sensation coming over me again a few times and I was wondering if the Doctor would even make it in time.   My husband and the Doula were able to watch baby’s head start to be visible.  This is when my husband then started to get really nervous but was able to help me stay in a calm state.  I basically just gave into my body at this point and listened to what it was telling me to do.   There were a few more pushing sensations that I remember.   A “wait” from the doctors while they checked the baby after the shoulders came through and then a final “woosh” where our baby entered the world.  It was a surreal feeling/moment that I’ll never forget.    His umbilical cord was short so he wasn’t able to be fully placed on my chest so I held him lower until my husband cut the cord a few minutes later.   We were instantly in love.

Even though we had a few obstacles in our way, we still were able to achieve the birth we wanted. It was beautiful and peaceful, there were hours that all just blurred together and in the end my body took over and did everything it needed to which was a very surreal experience.

 I highly recommend hypnobirthing to all expectant moms.  I wasn’t sure about it at first, some of the things you learn just seemed cheesy to me, but in the end, my husband and I had practiced a few things that worked for us that we were able to use during labor. (Make sure you practice!!!)  You are strong enough to get through labor without medical intervention, you just need to surround yourself with people who will keep reminding you of that.  

Mark (As told by her mother, Jenny B.)

Before my son was born in 2013, my husband and I were fortunate enough to take Jenny’s Hypnobirthing class. We found it to be nothing short of wonderful! The class was so much more than learning the Hypnobirthing Method. Jen thoughtfully prepared us for the birth as well as many other aspects of pregnancy and new parenthood that we did even foresee or expect. We were preparing for a natural hospital birth which can seem like total opposites but after taking the class, I felt confident I could marry the two and have a beautiful, natural hospital birth.

I found the classes to be interesting, organized and fun. My husband and I got a long great with the other parents and enjoyed sharing our thoughts and trepidations about pregnancy and parenthood. I found all the information shared empowering as well as enlightening. We were given numerous resources (book, reading materials, CD) to take home as well as the instructor’s contact information so we could ask any and every question that came to mind. I loved that Jenny was always available to help- even after the classes concluded.  I used my birth affirmations and CD throughout most of my labor and found them extremely helpful.

The atmosphere at the birth center is very welcoming and comfortable. Yes, there were chairs. We were even offered complimentary refreshments and snacks (which was VERY much appreciated by this pregnant lady). Over all, I would HIGHLY recommend taking this class. It definitely enriched my birthing experience and I will be using the techniques I learned during my next birth.

Helaina (as written by her mother, Candace)

We agreed to an induction since we had done all we could think of to pop her out on her own and she was just not cooperating and the argument about the safety of the remainder of the pregnancy was just one I didn’t want to have. So…. we came into Seton Williamson on Tuesday night to prep and insert the Cervidil which we did 2 rounds of and nothing budged. They came to us and said it was time on Wed. evening to decide how we want to move from here, with two choices, Cytotec or Pit drip. The nurse asked my Dr. what would happen if we were to leave AMA and she was very matter of fact about saying she and her office would sever all ties with me and my delivery when and if we were to come back. Toni and I never asked her to do that, but it was worth knowing. So with a long period of thinking, we decided on the Cytotec with the condition that I was able to start it after a good meal. She agreed and moved forward, the Cytotec went in at midnight and we continued that till morning. By morning NOTHING had happened at all and we were sooo frustrated about being stuck in that room. After all these attempts I agreed to Pitocin with the condition of a shower, large meal, and a nap to prepare for the road ahead…she agreed-which I couldn’t believe. Plus we had a WONDERFUL nurse who sweetly called herself the “Granola Nurse” who spoke with me about her approach to induction with Pit and assured me that she would not flood me and would not up the dose if I showed progress of any kind and that we could go as slow as possible for my comforts sake. I was warned that all the other avenues we tried before the Pit may cause a problem at the end of delivery for my clotting factor since each of the previous techniques used an abrasive means of start up. It was a blessing in disguise that we had this nurse because I had asked for a nurse who enjoyed and preferred natural delivery-or as natural as I could get at this point. When all the other nurses had come in prior to her they were curious and asked me lots of questions concerning HypnoBirthting and one even asked to take my folder you guys had made for us to read in her spare time. I don’t really think they thought it would go as I had planned. While I was there a woman delivered across the hall that was screaming like someone was chasing her with an ax and Toni kinda freaked for little bit, but when it was game time for us he learned quickly that all that was unnecessary. Anyway, They started the Pit at 8:30am on Thursday morning and I was full, clean, and rested- which I think was key for me.

On call came in and broke my water at 12:30 since I had progressed to 4 cent. Thing sped up fast!  by 1:30 I was requesting to be checked because I felt the need to breath the baby down and used my ”J” breathing successfully. Up to this moment Toni was doing light touch massage, rocking back and forth with me, and Allie’s recorded (MOON trigger) message with some soft sounds in the background of head phones I was wearing worked wonders. Yes the Pit was fast as it always is but I wasn’t bothered by it at all. The nurse rarely bothered us at which times she did not speak to me and never asked me my pain levels as requested. So….I asked to be checked at 1:30p and was 7 cent on my way to 8 cent and within about 20min I was crowning and telling the nurse that the Dr. would not make it in time for my delivery.  So once she saw that I was crowning she was like well we are not supposed to deliver but here we go, lol. Toni coached me with the pushing part and held one of my legs up since I had chosen to lay down to push, it just felt better to me, I refused stir-ups and she agreed. So to everyone’s surprise the nurse who we all loved so much delivered our baby girl. 🙂 Toni said he watched Helaina wiggle her way out at birth and was amazed. So by 1:59pm we had a 7lb 9oz 20in, perfectly normal in every way baby girl in our arms. She was BY NO MEANS a big baby. 🙂  She was put to the breast that instant and was aloud to nurse for an hour, which she took to naturally. She barely cried at all, and was so alert and observant. Aside from the bruising on her face from such a rapid delivery she and I were great. I can say that without Hypnobirthing my delivery would have gone very differently, I am soo glad for the coping techniques I learned from you guys, it made a world of difference. Over all, our delivery and stay at the hospital was outstanding and it was a great memory. Thank you ladies for all your help!


Corbin (as written by his parents, Brigid and Alex)

At 4:00pm yesterday, Mom’s water broke. She slowly labored, later had some pizza, watched a movie, and took a walk. At 10:00 that evening, our midwife came by to check on things. While she was there, Xavier arrived from Pennsylvania just in time! Xavier and Elliott went to Nanny’s house for the evening, and Mom and Dad were able to get a few hours of restless sleep (as Mom was still laboring). At around 4:00 in the morning today, labor started to really pick up, and we called in our midwives. Mom labored gently in the pool for a while, then eventually got out to walk around. She finally kneeled in the living room beside the pool and decided it was time. She pushed and soon enough, Dad could see a head, then a nose, and a chin. Mom rolled over on her back, the midwife turned a shoulder slightly, and Mom pushed out a fuzzy-headed, beautiful baby into Dad’s hands. Corbin Nelson, no small fry at 9 pounds, was born at 7:11 am today. The family cuddled on the floor for a while as the midwives checked things over. Eventually we got into bed to rest, and Nanny brought the boys over to see her new grandson and their younger brother. Mom is very sore but doing great, as Dad, Nanny, and the older brothers try to keep her resting to recover. We are all thrilled to welcome this little chubber into the world.

Jonathan (as written by his mommy, Su)

I was introduced to Hypnobirthing by Angelica (mom of Adrian who wrote another testimonial).  Thanks to her, I learned about the hypnobirthing classes being offered by Liz and Heather.  I had seen brochures in Ob/Gyn offices about hypnobirthing and heard about “water births” before, but wasn’t really sure what it was all about until I took the class.  I had taken two very long sessions offered at the hospital about childbirth, and I walked away from that learning how to be a good patient. For example, the hospital classes taught me that I shouldn’t fight the pain of childbirth, and that I should just take epidural because there is only a short window of time to get it administered. Fortunately, Liz and Heather’s classes offered an important patient centered perspective. For example, I didn’t realize that at the hospital/Ob I had selected to deliver, the routine practice is to separate baby and mother after birth. It was only after taking Liz/Heather’s class did I realize that this is not standard practice at other hospitals, and that I should request to room-in with the baby to establish successful breastfeeding. Through a referral by Liz, I found an Ob/Gyn who delivered at a hospital where “rooming-in” with the newborn was a standard practice, and I switched Ob/Gyn at week 37 of my pregnancy.

I found Liz and Heather’s hypnobirthing approach to birthing much more naturalistic and humanistic than what was taught at the hospital-based classes.  I also read every word of the hypnobirthing book to better understand the hypnobirthing philosophy from the person who invented the concept, Marie Mongan. Complementing what I learned in the classroom, the book completely transformed my perspective on birthing and made me believe that I can indeed have a natural childbirth to ensure a healthy start of a newborn. One of the most important take home points I got from the class is when Liz said that being in a hypnobirthing state is like being in a half-awake/half-asleep state.  That is exactly what I did during labor.

Because of my gestational diabetes, I was pressured by my Ob/Gyn and to induce labor and deliver as early as week 38 but no later than week 39 and a half.  When I asked that I wait it out so that the baby can come when it was his “time”, the Ob/Gyn office told me that if I did not induce labor, I was at high risk of stillbirth if I waited past 39 and a half weeks.  I was frustrated, because my glucose levels were well under control and the fetal stress tests showed no need for concern.  Because of pressure from family and the doctor, I decided that the longest I will wait to be induced labor is 39 weeks and 6 days.

On that day I was to be induced, I started early labor around 3 a.m.  I was scheduled to go in for induction at 7 a.m.  When I got to the hospital, I was hoping that because I had started labor on my own, I would not have to be induced. However, the midwife told me that I was there to be induced and she broke my water at 9 a.m..  Afterwards, I found that the surges were of similar intensity as before she broke the water.  The midwife told me that she would check back in the afternoon to see if I had dilated a sufficient amount and told me that if I was about 5 cm dilated, then I would not need to be administered pitocin.  At around 3 in the afternoon, she checked my cervix, and noted that I was about 5 cm dilated and that I can wait and see how the labor progressed (meaning no drugs). All during this time, I was listening to the hypnobirthing rainbow relaxation CD that Liz and Heather provided during the class. I had done the homework of listening to the CD (including the perineum exercises). I was in a half awake-half sleep state during all of the surges, with my eyes closed and with positive visualization, and with my husband right by my side who was feeding me and doing whatever he could to help me feel relaxed. Whenever the surges got strong, I did the visualization while listening to the CD.  I probably listened to that CD about 50+ plus times that day as I was working through my surges.

Finally, at around 9 pm, I entered the last phase of labor.  I had eaten cheese and an apple about 20 minutes before 9 pm, and I threw it up, and the surges got MUCH stronger.  I was in the bathroom sitting down to manage the surges with my eyes closed, but the midwife encouraged me to move to the bed so that she can check my cervix to make sure I was dilated a sufficient amount before I started pushing too hard.  I manage to make it over to the bed (with the help of husband, nurse, and midmife), and she said I was about 9.5 cm dilated, which meant I could push and enter the final phase of labor.

The nurse, midwife, and my husband were all there helping me along.  I gently pushed for about 1 hr and 40 minutes, while the midwife applied a lot of olive oil in the perineum area to ease the baby’s trip down the birth canal.  I pushed everytime I felt a surge.   Towards the end, the midwife told me the baby’s heart rate was dropping and asked me to do a big push, which is when the baby boy entered the world.

After the delivery, my midwife noted that she was surprised at how far apart my surges were towards the end of my labor. She said it was about 10 minutes apart, which she attributed to my relaxed state and hypnobirthing. She thought the far apart surges and the relaxed state is what prevented me from tearing during delivery.  She said the kind of birth I had is a rarity that she sees only once every six months or so.  She also said that she associated hynobirthing with waterbirths and didn’t realize that it could be done without being in a tub.  Also, as she checked in on me throughout the day after she broke my water, she stated that she wished she could have video recorded the half awake-half sleep state that I was in so that she could demonstrate for others what hypnobirthing state is like.

For me, as hypnobirthing was my first experience birthing experience, I didn’t  realize that my birth experience was all that different than anyone else’s, until I realized that most births are accomplished with some sort of medication.  The midwife who delivered me said many women desire to have a natural birth like I did, but only about 10% are actually able to do it.  Our family is very happy with our new born and I’m so happy that my first (and potentially last) experience of labor was a beautiful one. Thanks Liz and Heather for offering your classes!

Adrian (as written by his mommy, Angelica)

Hi Liz and Heather,

I’m sorry its taken time to update you but you know what its like with a newborn!

Our son Adrian was born on May 7, 2009 at 3:22am (2 days before his due date). He weighed 6 pds 12 oz and was 20 inches long. Our birth story is a successful Hypnobirthing one! I didn’t need or use any drugs and Adrian was born without any medical intervention. On Weds May 6th at 4:30 am I started having surges that were 5 mins apart. At 8am we went to see my OB/GYN. At that point I was 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. He said we could check into the hospital or go back home and rest until the surges became more intense or painful. We came home, eat, watched movies, and rested. Around 5pm the surges started becoming intense and coming closer together. We checked into the hospital at 6pm which at that point I was 4 cm dilated. Around 8pm I went into laborland. At 10:18pm my water broke and the surges became very intense and close together. We listened to the Hypnobirthing CDs and I changed positions frequently. I found sitting on the birth ball or edge of bed while leaning my head on Marcelo really helped as did counting my breaths. This continued for a while until 1am when I started pushing. I pushed for 2 hrs (seemed like forever!) At the end I tore because I did one last big push that was too much. The umbilical cord was tied around Adrian’s neck so the doctor cut it before Adrian was fully out (it seemed to be interfering with him coming out). The nurses had to give Adrian oxygen so he was not in my arms right away but within 2 mins he was in dad’s arms. After I was sewn they gave me Adrian to nurse. All in all we think our birth was long and very intense but we’re proud we stuck to our birth plan and I am very proud for not taking drugs!

This 1st week has been crazy and sleep deprived but we’re getting nursing (still have some latching difficulties) and a routine down. Any advice on how to get a newborn to sleep at night?

Thanks so much for your help and lessons on how to birth naturally. We really benefited from learning the Hypnobirthing technique!

Take care,

Davis (as written by his daddy, Mason)

Amanda went into labor about 6 AM on the 13th and we went into the hospital about 6 PM. Amanda did absolutely beautifully through the whole thing… She didn’t scream once and was in complete control the whole time. I would say that all of our Hypnobirthing training came in quite handy in keeping her calm and listening to her body. She focused on herself and made it through the entire thing without a drop of pain medication (she considered it a couple times, but I kept her eyes on the prize and she made it through…). She didn’t go off into labor land as I’d kinda hoped she’d do, (13 hours of contractions 2 minutes apart will do that), but she did so stupendously, I was really in awe of her. The doctor said that she performed a model delivery…

Anyway, Davis Edward arrived at 1:30 on the 14th (1.5 hours after my predicted date and one day before my birthday). He was beautiful from the start… Unfortunately, he had some difficulty breathing and wasn’t oxygenating his blood as well as could be hoped so they transferred him pretty quickly to the nursery for some O2, and then on to NICU when he didn’t quite rebound that quickly… The doctors were initially concerned that he may have had a lung infection or a lung condition, or that he had a heart problem (all three scary prospects for sure…). Later tests show that none of those were the case. It looks like on the way out he probably aspirated a bit of fluid and it coated his lungs, preventing the oxygen transfer… He also swallowed up a good bit of blood on the way out, so he was puking up blood for a couple days (scary to see for sure…). Anyway, that first trip to the NICU was terrible, seeing all the nice nurses and doctors working on him, poking and prodding and testing him, with him screaming his head off… really tough to see, but eventually he calmed down.

With each passing day he improved dramatically and they reduced his oxygen needs a little at a time. Through the whole time he’s had a tube in his stomach pumping out all the blood he’d swallowed, so he wasn’t able to get any food (he got intravenous nutrition, but his poor little stomach didn’t know that so he was pretty miserable for a little while there… sooo hungry).

Today he was taken off supplemental oxygen and got the tube in his stomach removed. He’s breathing just fine and doing much much much better overall… though now he’s a bit jaundiced so they have him under the lights and have his neoprene sunglasses on him… Amanda finally got to hold him today and it was a thrill to see him just stare at her adoringly. Just wonderful! She’s a fantastic mom. Amanda also got to try out breastfeeding and Davis took to it like a duck trying to breastfeed! Just kidding, he did perfectly (as expected…). Right now Amanda’s sleeping and we’re about to be discharged from the room, but our hospital is nice enough to let us stay free of charge as long as there is a room open in the postpartum area until Davis is released from NICU, which should be in the next couple days or so… (I’m hoping for Monday).

Anyway, he’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and each second I get to see him, I’m filled with a joy I’ve never experienced. The nurses all say, “We see a lot of babies, but this one is a cute one for sure…” I choose not to think that they say that to everyone…

Christopher (as written by his mommy, Dana)

Hi Liz and Heather,

This is Dana from hypnobirthing class and I am proud to annouce that my husband and I (who is in Iraq) had our son Christopher Terrell W****** II on Friday 26 Jan 07 at 5:39 am. I had been having a tighten sensation for about a week and at my 39 and 4 day (Tuesday) check up I was 2cm and 95% efaced. The birthing experience was wonderful and went by very quickly, I started having surges about 1 am early friday morning in which they werent strong so I slept threw them until about 3:30 am and then the tightening feeling started coming back to back and i still didnt know if they were real so I walked around the house for a while and then took a hot shower. Around 4:45 I woke up my mother cause my brithing partner had to leave for school so she wasn’t able to be with me and my mother didnt know much about hynobirthing but was a great coach and went with the flow. I still wasnt sure if I was in active labor and my mother finally persuaded me to go to the hospital to get checked so we left for the hospital and arrive there around 5:03 am and I walked from the parking lot to the hospital and my water broke and that is when the surges became really strong but i walked all the way up to labor and delivery and my mid wife was on duty and so she checked me and she said I was 9 plus centimeters and so they wheeled me to a delivery room, it was very overwhelming by this time and thank god my midwife is a hypnobirthing instructor cause my breathing got all out of control but she knew what to do to help calm me down and so he was delivered at 5:39 am and he weighed in at 6lbs 13 oz 19inches long. Thank you so much for this great birthing experience and it does make a difference when you are medicated and not medicated, I accomplish my birthing goal and would reccommend it to all expecting mothers.


Zoe (as written by her mommy, Marnie M.)

Aaron and I had our baby this weekend! Her name is Zoe Corinne M******. She was born on Sunday morning at 9:46 am. She weighed in at 7 lbs, 11 oz and 19″ in length. We came home from the hospital yesterday. We’re thrilled to be home and doing wonderfully!

I went into labor on Saturday morning. Well, I woke up having these sensations that made me think, “Hmmm… that feels like a surge.” I had an appointment scheduled for a massage, so I went to that (and didn’t tell the massuese that I thought I was starting labor). I called Aaron at work at about 2 pm saying I was pretty sure she was working on coming.

We labored at home until 2 am. Then we went to the hospital where they said I was at 2 cm, so we came back home. We labored hard until about 7:30 or 8, then went back to the hospital. When we got there I was fully dilated and she was on her way out. It only took about an hour in the hospital.

Three cheers for hypnobirthing! By all accounts it was a stellar birth! I felt prepared and like I knew how to handle it. I hollered like crazy and I’d never say it was easy, but it felt good and natural and I feel proud of all three of us for listening to our hearts, our bodies, and each other and creating such a peaceful and joyous entry to the post-womb world for lil’ Zoe.

Dawn Martin was our doula, so she can fill you in on the details.

Thanks to you and Heather and the whole class for all the help!

Marnie & Aaron

(as written by his mommy, Joy R.)

Heather and Jan,

I can’t believe it has been seven months since Ethan’s birth, and I am just now getting around to writing you guys! Words cannot express how grateful we are to you both! We miss seeing you! 🙂

We had an absolutely amazing birth experience, and we would like to share it with you. Although Ethan is our fourth son, his birth was unlike any other I have known. Before Ethan’s birth, we had had three hospital deliveries, three inductions, artificial rupturing of the membranes, pitocin, epidurals, tearing, stiches, and “you name it!” Although I had never really considered any of our sons’ births to be dissatisfying, after delivering Ethan, words cannot explain the joy of giving birth!

I had little idea of what to expect, being that I had never really gone into labor on my own. On December 8th, around 7:00 p.m., I told my sister that I was feeling a bit “crampy.” Although she probably could have told me I was in the early stages of labor, I was absolutely not ready to admit that to anyone…not even my husband, Brad. I was sure that I would wake up the next morning just one more day pregnant! Around 9:00 p.m. that night, Brad and I were making nachos after getting the kiddos to bed. I casually mentioned that this “might” be “THE night.” Brad’s eyes popped like I was telling him for the first time that we were going to have another baby! 🙂 Disbelief turned into, “Should I call my mom? What should we do?…” As we sat down to eat, the first clue that I might actually be beginning to believe that this “might” be the day was when I hesitated on eating all those jalapenos!

About 10:15 p.m., as we were watching the news, I secretly decided to time a couple of the “might be surges…” ten minutes apart, six minutes, seven minutes, twelve minutes, ten minutes. Hmmm. Maybe this was not “it” after all. Good thing I hadn’t told anyone. About that time I talked to my sister again. I told her what was going on, and she urged me to call Laurie, our midwife. I really did not want to at that point, but she convinced me by telling me I should just let her know what was going on. I rang Laurie and woke her up. I felt terrible! I explained that this may or may not be “it,” and I may wake up in the morning with no surges at all. She said she understood and to call her when the surges were stronger or closer together.

I then decided to practice my Rainbow Relaxation while Brad worked on his school work. About midnight, I asked Brad if maybe we should time a couple to get an idea of what was going on. My dear husband brings his laptop over and starts attempting to set up a spreadsheet to time the surges. I am totally confused because some of the surges are large enough to fill a hot air balloon while others are only small birthday party balloons! Should I count the birthday balloons or only the hot air balloons? Brad is still trying to figure out the spreadsheet. I decide to tell Brad to try and get some sleep. He is snoring in what seems like two seconds. I put Rainbow Relaxation on again. I never went to sleep but there was some time distortion.

The next thing I know it is 2:20 a.m. on December 9th. O.k., this is “IT!” I decide to walk around for a few and make “sure.” I am really Ok. I am totally relaxed. When I start to feel a surge, I close my eyes, pick out the color of my balloon and start to inflate it until the surge starts to diminish. As I start to exhale, I imagine tying the balloon, popping the knot, and sending it off into the sky. I walk back into our room and decide it is time to wake Brad. He seems disoriented at first until I shout, “Brad! Wake up! Call Laurie!”

Brad rings Laurie. I know she is asking if I can talk to her. I am walking down the hallway thinking, “Well, of course I can talk to her, but I would rather keep walking. I think to myself, “If I can still talk to Laurie, I must have hours left to go!” Brad gets off the phone, and I suddenly want him to clean and fill the tub. “Please hurry!” It was just all of a sudden that I wanted in…now! He seems to be lightening fast. I walk into the bathroom, and, for the first time, I just stand there, not able to move. I don’t know if I will be able to get into the tub. Then, I just seemed to will myself to climb in. Ahhh…the water was warm! The next thing I know, I started making a low moaning noise. I remember talking about this noise during one of our HypnoBirthing® classes, and I am, in my mind, totally laughing at myself! I cannot believe that I am making that noise! This is hillarious! When I stop, I realize that Brad has been scooping the warm water over my belly. That is great! I then ask him, “Is the camera charged?” I still don’t believe that we are having a baby today. I start moaning again, and I start laughing to myself again, and Brad starts scooping again. After I am finished making noise, I feel the urgency to ask Brad, “How far is Laurie? Is the door unlocked?” (I still thought we had hours to go.) Brad goes to unlock the door, and I start groaning again. I cannot believe how goofy I sound; I cannot believe that I cannot prevent this noise. “BRAD! The baby is coming!!!!!!! Call Laurie!” I reach down, and, in my make believe world, I hope that I am feeling my bag of waters. Umm….no. That is the baby’s head. I had scanned over the emergency birth article just that evening. It started to burn just a little; I blew. Ok. Fine. I placed my palm on the head and applied counter pressure. The head was out. I felt for a cord around the neck. I didn’t feel anything and good thing because our baby was then out, floating in the water. I heard Brad say, “The baby is out!” Brad told me to pick him up. I held him close. I ran my finger down the outside of his nasal passages. He finally cried. Brad was still on the phone with Laurie. Luckily, the water was warm. We wrapped towels around Ethan and decided to wait for Laurie. It was a good ten minutes before Brad even suggested we should check and make sure he really was a “he.” Laurie arrived soon thereafter. She took great care of us.

I cannot believe how easy, empowering, wonderful, and amazing Ethan’s birth was! My only regret is that we did not have time to video tape our experience. I want to shout out from the rooftops what a great experience we had! Going from a totally medically induced and stressful birth to a relaxed, natural, and empowering birth is an experience I am so grateful to have been allowed to have. This is the way God meant for us to birth our children. Thank you, God! Thank you, Heather and Jan!


Joy and Brad R*****

Liora Harper 
(as written by her mommy, Stacy S.)

Here is the birth story of our beautiful baby Liora Harper; born 3/11/05 at 1:13 AM, 7 lbs 13 oz, 20 inches long.

First I would like to say that this birth is a testament to several things; a wonderful Doula- Jan, a natural process- HypnoBirthing®, and a hard working and loving husband- Adam.

I am a second time HypnoBirthing® Mom, having taken the course for my first daughter who is now five. However, with my first pregnancy I began to have “elevated” blood pressure readings around 36 weeks. During the delivery of my first daughter my blood pressure spiked and I was on the verge of seizing. I had to have IV Magnesium (which made me very groggy) and an epidural to drop my blood pressure. Then, I had to be given pitocin because labor slowed and I didn’t get the natural birth I wanted. I was in labor for 20 hours and was completely wiped out after the birth.

So, for this birth my goal was to maintain lower blood pressure so I wouldn’t be confined to the bed, learn effective laboring positions to shorten labor time (another reason we hired Jan), and have a natural birth.

During my weekly checks I began dilating quite a bit. At 37 weeks I was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. At 38 weeks I was 4 cm and 80% and maintained that way until we decided to induce just after 40 weeks. The only reason we considered induction was because my blood pressure began to creep up again and I didn’t want a continued strain on my body. Also, my doctor agreed to break my water only and wait for natural surges to begin. We went to the hospital at 6 PM on 3/10/05. After being checked in the nurse took my blood pressure and it was very high, Jan and Adam gave me no numbers though. Jan decided to do some hypnosis and went through a script to help me relax. After that my blood pressure came down to normal, thanks Jan! This meant when the doctor came in to break my water at 8:18 PM, she gave me the okay to walk around and labor on my feet. Surges began on their own around 8:30 PM and Adam and I began an hour long walk. During my labor I could distinctly tell the stages and differentiate when the surges changed form. When the walk was over we checked in for 15 minutes of monitoring and then set out again to walk. This time the surges were closer together and distinctly stronger. We came back within 15 minutes to get in the shower. The shower was all right, but I discovered that I was more comfortable laboring standing up than sitting, or even worse, lying down. When I left the shower the surges were very strong and had just changed form again. the nurse checked and tried to state quietly that I was 5 cm. I wasn’t surprised because the surges had just strengthened, but I knew I was going to progress faster now that the surges were stronger. My concentration and HypnoBirthing® techniques were going very well so far, but I allowed something to derail my good attitude and had a hard time regaining the same level of concentration. At this point I felt the urge to have a bowel movement. I tried to sit on the toilet, but those muscles don’t work while surging. Within 20 minutes I was moaning and Jan knew I was beginning the transition stage. The nurse checked and I was 7 cm and she could feel that I did need to have a BM. So I tried to sit on the toilet, but sitting was uncomfortable and the BM feeling really bothered me. I was tiring and asked my husband for an epidural. Even though I read many other birth stories and knew I was probably too far along and it would now go fast, I insisted Jan and Adam talk to the nurse. They both played a cunning game of buying time. They told me the doctor had to be in house and then I needed a bag of saline before they would give it to me, so I was subdued with that answer. I was in hard transition now and walked around the whole time, Adam was in front of me so I could hold or hug him and Jan was behind me applying counter pressure on my lower back. I worked them both SO hard considering I was having surges every minute. Soon the doctor was in house and they checked me again. I was 8 cm on one side and 9 cm on the other, 100% effaced. I felt the need to pass a BM again, so back to the bathroom I went. I sat on the toilet backwards and Jan and the nurse were concerned because I was pushing. They pulled me back to the bed and checked again, you could see the baby’s head. I was 10 cm, 100% and they called the doctor in. The neatest thing about this birth to me was the fact I never “pushed”. Jan talked me through it and I breathed the baby down easily within 10 minutes.

This labor was less than five hours. Surges began at 8:30 PM and Liora was here at 1:13 AM. I did work very hard laboring on my feet the entire time, but I know Jan was an invaluable part of us achieving the birth we wanted. Jan was well worth the fee and helped us with a beautiful birth.

In return, I can tell a distinct difference in my two daughter’s personalities as infants. Liora is an incredibly calm, laid back baby that sleeps 4 hours at a time and squeaks when she communicates. I’m sure it is because of her gentle introduction to the world. My first daughter was a wonderful baby, just more demanding and needy.

I just want to thank Jan for her wonderful guidance, you gave us something we could never repay and will never forget.

Thank you,
Stacy, Adam, Abby and Liora

Haylie Leann 
(as written by her mommy, Lisa K.)

I woke up Friday, February 11, 2005 not feeling very good. I felt like I might be in early, early labor. By Friday night I was having crampy feelings and took some Tylenol to help me sleep. Saturday I felt better but was having about two contractions an hour. We went out to dinner with our friends Jennifer and Robert and when we got home David and I practiced our hypnobirthing. At 11pm I started having contractions every five minutes. We watched a movie and at 1am David remembered that he needed to put the signs out for church but seemed hesitant to leave me. I sent him with the cell phone and reassured him that I would be fine. When he got home we went to bed. I did not sleep as I continued to have contractions. I got up about 4:30am and paced in my kitchen. There was a thunder storm going on outside and I watched in through my front door for awhile. About 6am I woke up David and asked him to go to Wal-Mart to buy some popsicles. Hollie woke up about 8:30 and I told her she was going to play with her friend Dalton at his house for the day because it was time for the baby to be born. She asked how I knew the baby was going to be born. I told her “moms just know.” Dalton’s dad came and picked up Hollie about 9am and I called my midwife, Laurie to let her know what was going on. David and I decided to take a walk around our neighborhood, the skies had cleared and it was turning out to be a beautiful, sunny day. We walked for about an hour and a half and my contractions were now about three minutes apart. When we got home David fixed me some cinnamon toast and I took a shower. The hot water was very relaxing and I stayed in there till the water ran cold. I called Laurie again and she decided to start heading to our house. She arrived about 12:30pm and checked the baby’s heart rate which was in the 140’s. At 1pm the hot water was back so I took another shower. After my shower David and I watched the Home and Garden channel. With each contraction I felt best if I was standing and leaning against David with him supporting my weight. At 2:30pm I decided to take a bath. David ran the water for me and I sat in the tub and David sat with me and rubbed my back and we talked. The Laurie stayed downstairs and let us have our privacy. At 3:30pm I started feeling more pressure and David called the midwives. Laurie was there as well as a midwife for the baby. I started pushing in the bathtub and I was on my hands and knees. Laurie thought the baby was going to be born in the water so she rolled up her pants and got in the tub with me. June the other midwife, thought I needed some energy so she brought me a coke to drink, (you certainly don’t get that kind of special attention in the hospital.) I started having a lot of back pain and we thought the baby was pressing on my spine, Laurie suggested I change positions and the baby might move off my back. I decided to get out of the bath and move onto a birth stool that Laurie brought into the bathroom. David brought me a dry shirt to change into, and then I sat on the stool. 4 contractions later and I pulled my baby up onto me. June put a towel on the baby right away and a hat. David was crying and we both were elated. It was very dark, quiet and peaceful and the baby was very alert and sucking its hand. We sat there for a few minutes in awe of our new little person. I finally asked David if we should look and see if it was a girl or a boy. I lifted the towel and held the baby up and we saw we had another beautiful daughter. After the birth I walked back to my bed and David and I begin bonding with our new daughter. Laurie and June cleaned up, did laundry, brought me something to eat and prepared Haylie’s first bottle so she could eat as well. We left the cord and placenta attached for about an hour and then we cut the cord together. Haylie Leann was born at 4:13pm on Sunday February 13, 2005. She weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 21 inches long. She has very dark hair, like her mother and one dimple on her left cheek like her sister. The only pain I felt through my labor and her birth was my back pain right at the end. Other than that I was only uncomfortable with the contractions. I attribute this to being at home, completely relaxed (which I learned through hypnobirthing) and totally supported by my wonderful husband. This is the way a birth should happen. It was the best moment in my life and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. David and I were extremely close before Haylie’s birth but her birth has deepened our bond and I love him more than I ever have before. There is nothing like bringing your baby into the world at home and together. 

 (as written by his Daddy, Trey M.)
We are happy to announce that we have a beautiful baby boy! He was born at home last Wednesday night at 8:14pm.

He was 7lbs 4oz, and 20.25″ long. The speed of the experience caught us off-guard, as it was only an hour and seventeen minutes from Lacey’s water breaking to birth.

Apparently we were starting labor while we were walking at the mall, getting the car washed, picking up pizza and stopping by Walgreens. Lacey did amazingly well, as it was a totally natural, non-medicated birth and she helped catch the baby.

Lacey and baby are both doing well and resting as much as possible.

And from Sawyer’s Mommy, Lacey…”I *am* sooo happy with the way Sawyer’s and my birth
turned out. I do own it! I love it!”

Note from HBCT: Lacey’s first birth was a cesarean and she entered this birth with a lot of fear from her first experience. Rather than allow that fear to own her, she took confident ownership of her own experience. Lacey attended every Expectant Moms Brunch, came to all of her HypnoBirthing classes, and then came through them again for good measure. She received regular craniosacral treatments and kept her body and mind in harmony for her birth. It really paid off!

 (as written by her mommy, Rhonda H.)
On September 28th at 5:31p.m. Rhonda Norris H*** received the GREATEST Birthday Gift EVER — Ella Denise H*** was born on her momma’s 36th birthday!

Detail: Ella Denise H***, born at 5:31p.m. at Seton Medical Center
Weight: 7 lbs. 5 oz
Born at 37 weeks gestation
Length: 20 inches
Head Circumference: 13 inches
Hair: Light brown/red

Michael & Rhonda would like to share our birthing experience with you, and it goes like this. For pictures go to: http://home.austin.rr.com/*******/ and scroll to bottom.

Keep in mind, momma and baby were on full bed rest for 5 weeks (to address pre-term labor & breech presentation), and released from bed rest on Wednesday, September 22nd.

Mom returned to work (at Seton) on Monday, September 27th. All day mom felt some surges, but heck, I’d been feeling them for over 5 weeks now each time I stood up, so no real notice was made. At around 3:00p.m. on the 27th I finished up some work I had wanted to get done for the past 5 weeks, the surges were still there and I said to myself, “hmm…I just wonder…”

Went home and cooked dinner with Michael and shared a lovely meal with family (around 6:00p.m.). Started writing down the start and end times of surges just for fun. Could still talk, laugh, eat, joke, cook and clean dishes through them all, and yet they were distict enough to have a beginning and end. No real pattern established for 90 minutes, but they were anywhere from 9 minutes to 11 minutes apart each. Continued drinking lots of water.

Coming into the 8:00p.m. hour, decided that a good rest was in store. Went to bed and began timing again…now the surges were 7 minutes apart. Still incredibly comfortable and joking with Michael about maybe he was right all along and that we might be having a baby on my birthday. Dad did some prepping around the house just in case.

At 9:30p.m. on one of my MANY trips to empty my bladder, I noticed fluid pouring into the toilet, yet I did not have the sensation of urinating. Returned to the bedroom to report that I thought that “maybe” my membranes had released. Big smile from Michael! This was confirmed within 5 minutes with fluids indeed flowing each and every time I moved from seated position to standing or visa versa. Surges were still 7 minutes apart, and quite consistently starting at my lower back and “rolling” forward creating a band across my lower uterus. Continued drinking lots of water.

We had instructions from our OB to call when surges reached 5 minutes apart, or our membranes released…so telephoned the doctor on call 9:50p.m. Informed her of the facts and we agreed that we would labor at home and call again if surges increased to 4 minutes apart.

11:00p.m. Surges are 4 minutes apart! Wow, that went quickly! Held off calling doctor until 12:15a.m. to report surges at 4 minutes for 1 hour and now at 3.5 minutes each. She indicated that we could go into hospital to get checked, or continue to labor at home – but in either case, she’d call ahead and let them know to expect us. Regardless of what happens in the evening, go into hospital at 5:30-6:00a.m. to get checked anyway. Continued to drink lots of water.

11:00p.m. – 3:00a.m. Immediately after making the call, the surges returned to 6 minute intervals. Michael encourages me to get some sleep, yet I couldn’t sleep through the surges. So I would have a surge laying down next to Michael, get up, go empty my bladder (I didn’t have a choice, I had to pee after EACH surge!) come back to bed, sleep for 3-4 minutes, repeat process. Lots of visualization through this time, the satin blue ribbons of my uterus lifting & pushing my little one to me….opening of my cervix like a beautiful rose bud (okay, I have to admit that I was imaging a pink rose bud…sensing that there was a little girl in me).

4:00a.m. Michael ran me a hot bath, lit candles, played great lullabye music and poured water over me for an hour. Applied light touch massage, coached through various visualizations: blue satin ribbons of uterus, opening rose bud of cervix, creating a relaxing environment for our loved one to come to, kneading bread through the contractions, talking to me and our baby, expressing his love and support… He sits at the side of the tub and slowly pours water over me…ahhhh! This feels GREAT! Nice little nap in tub…I highly recommend that we do THIS more often!

5:00-5:45a.m. I am able to get sleep in 15 minute increments, even with surges every 5 minutes. Felt GREAT!

5:45a.m. as previously instructed by OB on duty, packed up to go to Seton to “get checked.”

6:00a.m.Got checked in and learned that to “get checked” means that we are there to stay! What?! That’s not what we had planned, we wanted to labor at home until the last mintue, but not much we can do…so we make the best of it. Michael continues to talk me through each surge, now 5 mintues apart. We decline the IV prep, decline the vaginal exam, and agree only to the 20 minute necessary fetal monitoring. Our new nurse arrives at 7:00a.m. to introduce herself and let us know that she has reviewed our birth plan and asks some clarifying questions. Great news that she is supportive!

I find that sitting on the birthing ball, rolling it around with my hips, and leaning on a pile of pillows propped up on the bed is the most comfortable position. Michael does light touch massage, counter pressure & full massage of my lower back through each surge while whispering wonderful visualization prompts in my ear.

8:00a.m. We decide to allow one vaginal with my OB under the condition that NO ONE tell us where we are. Our OB (Dr. Weihs) does the exam and simply smiles to inform us that we will be having a baby today – before dinner. Keep doing what we are doing and she’ll be back at 10:00a.m.

8:00-10:00a.m. Michael and I continue through surges, he coaching and prompting, me focusing on my body…keeping it calm (really focusing on my hands, arms, and shoulders, keeping them limp).

10:00a.m. Dr. Weihs returns to joke around with Michael & I and see how things are going. Surges are still coming along nicely. She indicates that she’ll be back at 12:00a.m. to check on us. We continue with what we are doing, talking on the phone, pausing through surges, and letting folks know where we are and that we may have a baby soon.

11:30a.m. our nurse takes a lunch break and a fill in nurse comes to visit. She is in AWE of how calm & relaxed both Michael and I are. “What a team!” She tells us that we are doing great for being 5 CM! AUGH! I feel a bit let down, thinking ONLY 5 cm after all this time. Not that it has been painful or even that uncomfortable, but geez….I better get busy!

1:00p.m. Dr. Weihs returns and we agree to another vaginal. The past 90 mintues I have worked diligently on my visualization, blue satin ribbons, kneading of bread motions and helping my cervix prepare. We learn that we are 8 cm! Wow…that was FAST! Dr. Weihs informs us that she’ll check back very soon. We continue with me on birthing ball, and then I transfer to shower chair for a nice LONG hot shower…oh, that felt ssssooooo good! (Michael naps while I shower – he has been running a fever all along and been a trooper). My birth song wakes him and when he comes to the shower he informs me that I have overflowed the shower into the room! Oops, did I mention how good that shower felt? I obviously didn’t notice the water escaping.

My brother Tito arrives and does what he does best…loves me…takes stock of what is going on, he’s never seen our birth plan, but observes Michael and QUICKLY gets it! He jumped in and provided Michael some support.

2:00p.m. Dr. Weihs returns to share with us great news…we are at 10cm and at -1. She and nurse both indicate that they understand that I want to breath down versus pushing, but if I feel a need to push to call them immediately. So Michael and I change our visualization approach and my breathing to J breathing. I can hear Heather’s prompts in my head, “breathe in filling a red balloon…fill your uterus with oxygen…and slowly breathe the baby down and out…like a J.” It’s that red balloon that is VERY CLEAR in my mind’s eye. Michael begins having me use my birth song to help with the focus and it feels great.

4:00p.m. I had been on the birthing ball all day and finally took a turn to sit up in bed, I tried this for about 20 mintues and still preferred the ball, so back to ball I go. After breathing down for right at 3 hours, I was getting tired, it was a struggle to stay focused on filling the red balloon and making my abdomen expand…and when I lost focus, then I was battling the urge to push…I found fighting that urge very uncomfortable. Dr. Weihs keeps checking on our progress with no prompts about “moving things or pushing.”

5:00p.m. I decide that I am tired and the battling the urge to push is more and more difficult. We call in Dr. Weihs and inform her that I am ready to have a baby. Back in the bed and she coaches me through a pushing method that will provide maximum oxygen to our little one. First surge, first push, Dad reports a full head of hair. Second surge, second push, we have crowning. Third surge, third push, we have reached the forehead. Fourth surge, fourth push we have Ella Denise Hall! (15 minutes of pushing)

Michael announces to me that we have a little girl and after receiving her in his arms, immediately places her on mom’s belly for bonding time. Michael and Tito each have their hands on her, while I am staring at her in disbelief!

Dr. Weihs again lives by our birthing plan and waits for cord to stop surging before Michael cuts it. We had minimal tearing and my placenta released itself within 10 minutes.

Thank yous go first and foremost to my husband, best friend, birth coach and Ella’s daddy Michael. He was awesome! I could not have done it without his supportive words, not only through the birth experience, but through the 5 previous weeks of me on bed rest, through my father’s short illness and death, through my grief of not being able to be with my father for his last days, through the challenges of turning our breech Ella JUST IN TIME for the DREAM birthing experience.

Next I thank my brother Tito..for being with us for this beautiful experience and providing his love and support through the previous weeks as well as through the wonderful birth.

Heather & Jan…you both played a HUGE role in our successful birthing experience! Both of you believing in us, that we could win the pre-term labor battle, that we would successful turn our breech presentation, that we would relax our way through the grieving process, and that we WOULD have the birthing experience of our dreams. You were RIGHT!

And finally chiropractor Ron Burnett, whose ability to connect and work with Ella in the womb and get her to turn made all the difference.

Thank you everyone, this was a great team effort!

Kayla & Lauren (as written by their mommy, Jeanette F.)
“Hi Jan and Heather,
Just wanted to let you know that our twin girls were born 9/24/04……8 weeks early. They are in the NICU at St. David’s, but are doing pretty well. They are breathing room air and are starting to receive tube feedings of breastmilk. The doctors and nurses tell us they are doing very well for their age/size. Luckily, they were both a pretty good size for their gestational age. Kayla Marie (twin A) was 3 lbs. 13 oz. and Lauren Ashley (twin B) was 4 lbs. 3 oz. I was able to have both girls vaginally without any medications. Although the labor was so fast that I didn’t use all the techniques we learned in class, I definitely used some of the relaxation and visualization techniques to keep me from panicking. It was quite scary that I went into labor so early and it was a super fast labor……45 minutes from the time my water broke until the first baby was born. Poor L*** didn’t even make it to the hospital in time for the births. The hospital staff was pretty amazed at how well I handled the labor and that I didn’t need a c-section! I think being able to keep the birth medication free probably helped the girls get off to a good start. Anyway, we’re making many trips back and forth to the hospital to visit them and can’t wait until they are able to come home! ”
Update: “Hi everyone…..just wanted to let you know that both Kayla and Lauren are home with us now! Kayla came home last Thursday and Lauren came home today. They are doing great and Alyson is very excited to have her new sisters at home! Thank you for all your support and prayers while they were in the hospital. We’ll keep you posted on their progress.” 🙂

Jocelyn (as written by her mommy, Jennifer H.)
“We would like to introduce you to Jocelyn D**** H********, born Sunday, September 19 at 6:46am, 6 lbs 9 ozs, 20 1/2 in

We had a wonderful labor and delivery, which started on Friday between 4 -5am. My Mom started timing my surges around 10:30am and they fluctuated between 2 – 11 minutes apart all day Friday. They
seemed very consistant later that evening, so we packed up and headed to Seton around 11pm. My nurse was Stepahnie, who was also a HypnoBirth Mom – she works nights on the weekends and was absolutely
wonderful. When we met her, she had already thoroughly studied our birthplan.

I was only 3 cm dilated, so we headed back home around 3am – where I was able to catch some ZZZs in the bathtub. I found I was most comfortable laboring on my feet, either hanging on to Mom or D*** or
bent over the bed. Around 8am, I went into the tub again and dozed off. Around noon on Saturday, we headed back over to Seton, which has a 4 surge drive (he he).

My day nurse was Teresa, who was also very nice. My Doctor was not available, but his on-call colleague was very respectful of our “hands off” wishes. Around 7pm, the surges lightened enough for me to catch some sleep and Stephanie showed up again for the evening shift. At 8pm, D****** and I took a hot shower. At 9pm, I was checked and had opened up to 7 cm and my membranes had released at
some point (my amniotic fluid had been low at my last appointment and they had scheduled an induction for the 23rd in the event the baby went into distress) – we were all doing the happy dance. I went into transition around 11pm — and stayed there — and stayed there – – and stayed there… those vizualizations really worked well and my champion “dead-on-their-feet” birth companions were real troopers.

At 4am, Dr. Cowan came in and checked me — I was at 7.5 cm and exhausted. At this point he sat down and gently gave us some options. We could continue with natural stimulation, but if things went south, a c-section under a general may end up happening. We could try “just a touch” of Pitocin and see if that would kick start things. I ended up deciding to have a “light” epidural and the Pitocin. Of course, as the IV-nurse comes in to set-up, my surges start coming with beautiful regularity through my tears, and with even more regularity during the epidural prep. D****** said we didn’t need nipple stimulation, but needle stimulation – ha ha.

My good humor returns and soon I started feeling the urge to bear down, so Stephanie called for Dr. Cowan. We saw the baby’s head full of curly hair and I told Stephanie that I felt like she was coming
out by herself, at which point she checked the status of Dr. Cowan. She said “keep you legs closed, honey, babies don’t usually come this fast” 🙂 — Dr. Cowan came running for a flying intercept, hopping into his scrubs as he raced in the door. I breathed down three times and watched in fascination as our little angel was born.

Total labor time = 50 hours. Total delivery time – 12 minutes. Go figure.

No rips, no tears, no cuts – hardly any swelling. I was on a adreneline high for the rest of the day as the pooped out Papa napped in the hospital bed beside me. We went home around 11am on Monday feeling great.”

Maya (as written by her mommy, Chandra R.)
“W***** and I are very happy and excited to announce that Maya Elisabeth ******** was born Saturday Sept 4th at 2:21 am. She weighed in at 7 lbs 1 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. She’s a very strong and healthy baby! We came home from the hospital Sunday afternoon, and Mom, Dad, and Baby are all doing great!

Pictures are up at http://www.*******.org/baby

We had an absolutely fantastic birth experience which I will try and write up soon. In the mean time here’s a quick summary. The total labor was ~12 hours. The first 9 hours we were at home actually enjoying ourselves. W***** made me chocolate chip cookies and a big dinner. I talked on the phone to my mom and girlfriends. Around 11pm my water broke with a pop and a giant gush. From there things heated up quickly. Heather rushed over and helped us get to the hospital. I was well into transition by the time we got to the hospital and Maya was born just over 2 hours later. I didn’t even get officially admitted to the hospital until after the birth. At different times I found the labor both easier and harder than I expected. I
definitely struggled with my surges during transition, but when it was done and Maya (or Baby Girl R****** as she was called for the first 24 hours) was here, it was the most exillerating experience. I’m so thankful to have had such a wonderful support team. Simply put I couldn’t have done it without W*****’s love and support and Heather’s wisdom and guidance.

Best of luck to everyone else. Erica’s story was amazing and very encouraging! I can’t wait to hear everyone elses experiences.


Gavin (written by his mommy, Erica B.)
2a Woke up to surges 5-6 minutes apart 1 minute long, very manageable.
3a Called doula and doctor after an hour of surges was told it was ok to continue laboring at home and to try to get rest, which I did.
7a Surges slowed down and even petered out to about 1every half hour throughout the day. I took a 2 mile walk, ate a huge lunch from Chuy’s, took a shower and then napped at 4:30p.
5:30p Woke up to surges again, this time more intense and closer together. Ran a bath and jumped in. This really helped me relax into the surges. M*** brought my hypno cd into the bathroom as we timed the surges
which were anywhere from 2:30 – 5 minutes apart and lasting 40-60 seconds. M*** also helped a lot by applying counterpressure to my lower back/hip area during surges.
7p Called doula. She requested we wait another half hour before going to hospital. I figured what was another half hour so we remained at home.
7:40p Headed out for NAMC with me surging in the back seat of the car, on all fours, with my upper body draped over my birthing ball.
8p Admitted to NAMC and in LDR room. Doula shows up shortly afterwards. Refuse HepLock and request not to know my dilation (I refused all internals prior to this at the doctor’s office so I had no idea where I was).

The rest I really don’t have a time frame for. The surges became more and more intense. My birth song was a deep moaning. I did a great job relaxing between surges as well as during. My doula did a great job making sure I was relaxed by stroking my shoulders and arms as I tensed up. She also helped me maintain a deep, guttural song versus a high pitched one by bringing me back down when my moaning became to loud.

I labored on a yoga mat with my body draped over the birthing ball. My doula then kept suggesting we change positions. We moved to sitting on the birthing ball which was very intense but I quickly settled into it and began to enjoy this position. Next she had me ‘marching’ between surges and when the surge hit I
would squat using a support person to hang onto. I labored on all fours on the bed, on my side on the bed (which was wonderful for in between because it allowedme a position to totally relax into, I almost fell asleep for a minute or two!). When she suggested we go to the shower the surges were very intense. I
began requesting the epidural. Monika, my doula, kept trying to suggest other things but I was pretty persistent about getting the order in. But I got up and went to the shower.While in the shower the nurse checked me. I asked where I was and she said 8. I knew it was too late but requested the epidural to be ordered anyway. I then began working with the surges with all I could.
I thought if I was at 8 and going to go all the way I needed to get things moving. So with each surge I worked with my body by doing what felt right.I went to the bed onto all 4s as the nurse set up to put the IV in. Before putting it in she wanted to check me again. When she did she said I was ready to deliver. So she put a stop on the epidural and called Dr. Thompson in.

Dr. Thompson came in and they asked if I would like to deliver on all 4s. I said yes, please! I knew the baby was big and with the intensity I felt the need to push the baby out. Sorry but there was no breathing this baby out! With each surge I took a deep breath and put all of my breath into my uterus. Afterwards I
was told Dr. Thompson sat down and said this could be a while. But I think to her suprise it wasn’t. Gavin crowned 5 contractions later. The crowning was slow. I began breathing very light breaths as Dr. Thompson eased him out very slowly.

9 pounds 13 ounces of baby, 14.5 inch head, 21 inches long, not one tear, no episiotomy and no drugs. Gavin also had his hand at the side of his face and the cord was wrapped around his neck once.

I am so amazed I did it, and with such a large baby! I attribute this to:
1. My doula
2. My refusal to know where I was when admitted to the hospital (had I known I was only 4cm when I arrived I would have been disappointed)
3. Hypnobirthing to give me to tools in order to acheive the relaxed state
4. M***, who was absolutely amazing and danced an incredible birth dance with me throughout the entire day and night.
5. My doctor for supporting me in every decision I made and easing such a large baby into the world without a tear.
6. The rest of the birthing support team (Jill, the
nurse, my sister Marcy and my Mom)

There is my birth story…. I hope everyone’s is at least as amazing as mine! ….


Luella (written by her mommy, Brooke B.)
“Hey Heather! I have been meaning to get in touch with you and Jan. Yes, Luella was born on march 24th at 9:34 PM. She was 7 lbs even and 19 inches long. I had been having contractions for about a day and a half, but they were not ever 5 minutes apart. I was just working through them here at home until about 3:30 on the 24th I went to the restroom and there was quite a bit of blood in the toilet when I got up. I called Monika and my dr and they told me to go into the dr office. When I got there, I lost my mucus plug and I was dilated to 6cm. They sent me to the hospital. I got there at about 4:45 and walked around, got on the ball etc until about 8:30 when the dr came in to check me again. I was still at 6cm so we decided to rupture my mebranes. After that I got in the shower and about 30 minutes later, still in the shower by the way, she was ready to come into this world. I got in bed, waited to for the dr to come back in, and about 20 minutes later, Luella was born. She was 7 lbs even and 19 inches long. It sounds so easy now, but it was really much harder than I had anticipated. Thank goodness for you guys and hypnobirthing and the relaxation techniques. Steed and I have adjusted pretty well for the most part. We are having so much fun with her. She is a natural breastfeeder. By her one week appt she had gained 8 oz. and as of last wed she weighed 8 lbs 4 oz!


Laura (written by her mommy, Liz J.)
“Hi Heather, Just wanted to let you know that our little Laura was born on Oct. 28, right on her due date.

I was pretty happy with how the relaxation practices kept me as much in control and *relatively* pain free as it did.

The story: My membranes broke/started leaking on Monday afternoon while shopping. We went into the hospital on Monday night, where the midwife let us wait and see if contractions would start on their own by the next morniamp;ng. They didn’t, and after some unhelpful nipple stimulation, we agreed for me to start a pitocin drip at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. The staff was really great about using as little pitocin as possible to achieve the desired effect, but I ended up being on the IV the entire labor & delivery.

Laura was born a very healthy little girl at 11:07 p.m. that evening. Thanks to the hypnobirthing practice and a great hospital staff who led me through variety of positions to find what worked best for me, I was able to do it without narcotics/epidural. And even the next day I was starting to imagine a little brother or sister for her, so my labor must have gone well!”

Samantha (written by her mommy, Robin L.)
“Hi Heather…so sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you!

Samantha ***** ******* arrived at 3:17pm on Dec. 17th!!! She weighed 8lbs, 7oz and was 20 1/2 in. long.

We went to the hospital around 3a.m. and we turned the lights down and put on my relaxing cd’s.

I threw up twice after pretty strong SURGES…I asked for something to take the edge off around 9am…the Dilantin (?) put me to sleep between the surges…I got in the shower twice…and just kept imagining us in
the Black Sea. It was hard to do in such a cramped space!

Around 2:30ishp.m. I was started to do the “j” breathing…the nurse called Dr. Binford pretty fast after that!
I was in my zone, so when they started to tell me to push…I did…but also did my breathing!!!

J*** was able to cut the cord about 25 minutes later!! He couldn’t believe it happened so fast!
I had to have a few stitches, but NO EPIDURAL!!!Thanks for everything! I would recommend this to anyone…next time I’m thinking about an actual bathtub!!!”

Henry (written by his mommy, Allison T.)
Membranes released: noon
Arrived at hospitall: 4:30 at 1cm, 100% effaced
B irthed: 8:36

“I did not have time to use tapes and ended up laboring alone in the delivery room (long story-I sent husband out for birth ball, but baby came fast). Heard the words ‘I am happy my baby is coming to me, my body knows what to do’ and completely remembered and used those phrases from the tapes to stay relaxed and happy through the labor. Worked beautifully! Baby came early (3wks 6days), but we stayed calm throughout and had a joyful birthing experience. Most helpful during my birthing was being left in a dark quiet room on my own to focus on relaxation techniques. Next time I would not have the heplock-it was irritating and ultimately unnecessary.”

Notes from HBCT: Allison’s nurse did not think she was in active labor because she was so relaxed, but wouldn’t let her leave the hospital because her membranes had released. She left Allison alone to sleep until morning and in that peace Allison labored beautifully for only four hours. Here is the email I received from a friend of hers about the birth:

“I received a call from Allison yesterday evening (23:00). She was in the recovery room at the Round Rock hospital after giving birth to Henry! I was already sleeping when she called me, so I felt like I was dreaming the whole thing, but it happened. She had a wonderful, short, painless birth (no epidural and no episiotomy). Jim unfortunately missed the birth by ten minutes; since Allison sent him home to get some pillows (he will hear that story forever). They were so happy and excited yesterday that we can only be as happy and as excited for them too! Congratulations!”

Quentin(written by his mommy, Nicole S.)
“Hi Heather,

I just wanted to let you know the latest happenings in the S***** baby affair. I had my week 39 doctor’s appointment yesterday and I was 6 cm / 90% effaced and 0 station.

Week 36 – 3 cm dilated, 50% effaced, -1 station
Week 37 – 3 cm dilated, 60 % effaced
Week 38 – 5 cm dilated
Week 39 – 6 cm dilated 90% effaced and 0 station

Yesterday morning the doctor on call wanted to monitor my surges and the heartbeat of the baby for an hour in the OBGYN office to see if I had to go to the hospital. She decided I needed to go to the hospital, since I was contracting every 3 to 5 minutes (with no pain tough). There we went… with all our bags (ALL of them!). We (Yvan, my parents and Yvan’s brother) spent a nice afternoon in the hospital playing board games. Again, they monitored my surges and baby’s heartbeat with the same results then in the morning at the OBGYN office. Since I was playing board games instead of being in pain with every surge they let me go home after approximately 4 hours in the delivery room. We laughed pretty hard when all five of us left the hospital again with all our bags, cameras, boppy pillows, gatorades and so on. At least we know now where to put all that stuff in the room for next time, and I filled out all the paper work and answered all the registration questions.

Since I am going to reach week 40 next week I would like to try acupuncture next week to try to get things going here. Do you have a name and contact information of an acupuncturist in town who could try to get things going for me?

I appreciate your help and talk to you soon,

Notes from HBCT: Nicole gave birth to Quentin during the first week of January which I believe put her right at 41 weeks. She arrived at the hospital at 7cms and had 4 hours of labor, ending in a natural birth. This birth is such a testament to saying “no” to induction and waiting for baby to arrive in his own time. Nicole’s mom came to town from Switzerland and went home without seeing her grandson becasue mommy waited for baby. What a wonderful story!

Desirae (written by her mommy, Dr. Ehrin P.)
“I went into labor about dinnertime. I went and laid in the tub with my son pouring water on my belly as I listened to the Rainbow Relaxation tape. I did this for about two hours. I then had a big feeling of fear – a fear that I shouldn’t be alone to do this. My husband called the midwife and we went in. I was checked and found to be at 8cms. The midwife drew a bath for me and I laid down in the tub once again. After two contractions in the tub I had a fullness in my bottom. I kneeled on the side of the tub. The midwife came in and announced that she couldn’t see the baby’s head while I was in this position. I looked down and said “I see the head. Would you like to see it?” I then delivered the baby and laid back down in the tub. ”

Zionna (written by her mommy, Heathir B.)
“I’m supposed to write my birth story. It has been almost a year and my head was so blurry and rushing with endorphins at that time, I’m not sure I can recall properly. I remember knowing that it was finally the time, after all the fake trips to the hospital only to be sent home still dilated to a one. I was finally ready, my body was ready. My arms had been ready to hold my precious baby for a very long time but now my body was cooperating, no, not cooperating…it was taking over!
I went into the hospital dilated to a 1, the surges were still pretty mild but my daughter was facing the wrong way. Not breech, she just had her head turned so that it pressed against my spine when my body would surge. They sent me home an hour later at 1 1/2 cm with some sleeping pills. They told me to rest. I was so excited that my mind didn’t want to rest but I knew my body needed to gain some energy for what was ahead. I went home after taking the pills and took a long nap.
Around 9:30 pm that night I awoke with surges very strong and coming closer and closer together. Ted called my parents to let them know we were leaving. My mom started chatting and I think at this point I said something like “stop talking we need to leave NOW! This can’t wait.” Ted put the rainbow relaxation tape on in the car and I tried to relax and listen to it. I found it better for me to listen to his voice. I was breathing nice and slow but the back labor really was a lot for me to handle. I told my husband to just keep talking about anything so I could focus on his voice. We made it to the hospital around 10pm, right after a quick stop at the side of the road. (I was a little queasy with everything that was going on inside of me.)
Now, I was expecting to be told that I was almost fully dilated, the surges were so strong I was at least expecting to be at an 8. I was a 3! The back labor was very hard to concentrate through. I breathed deep and sometimes I would make a low moan as I exhaled, that helped to relax my uterus and relieved the pressure on my lower back a good bit. I spoke to Zionna (my baby) asking her to please turn for me. My husband called Heather Hilton (our hypnobirthing instructor) so that she could give me tips to alleviate the back labor. She offered to come to the hospital and I agreed. Previously I had wanted just my husband and I to be there but I felt that she might be able to offer more support as my husband was having trouble seeing me go through the back labor. She arrived rather quickly and together her and my husband helped me to remain relaxed and continue breathing.
I remember asking for tons and tons of pillows, I’m surprised they didn’t charge me extra for that! Even with all the pillows I just could not deal with the back labor. Suddenly the pressure became very great, I could feel her moving down. At the time I didn’t know what it was other then intense pressure that came and went every few seconds. In my head I was thinking, (if I am only dilated to a 3, and I have to go through this for 6 hours, maybe even more I just don’t think I can make it.) I decided that if I had to go several more hours I wanted to get an epidural. Now previously I wanted nothing to do with an epidural, and I think if I would have been told I only had to go another hour or hour and a half I would have opted not to have one. Anyway, I asked and the nurse called everything in.
A few seconds later Heather suggested I asked to be checked to see how I was progressing. The nurse checked me and said “You are at 10 centimeters, I can see the head. It’s right there!” She looked at her time charts and then checked again in disbelief. “I can see the head,” she said again in amazement. “Do you still want your epidural?” she asked me. “NO!” I replied.
Well now I just had to wait on the doctor, since I told him this was my first baby he thought he could take his sweet time. I don’t even think he was at the hospital yet. So the nurse told me not to push. Ha! I wasn’t about to push but my body wasn’t about to stop surging and I wasn’t going to fight with that.
At this point everything was a complete blur. I had my eyes closed the entire time and I remember at one point asking if the nurse was still in the room. Heather told me, “her hand is on your stomach.” That is how out of the world I was. I had gone into my own little place in my head where I was focusing on breathing and moaning and relaxing.
The doctor finally arrived and asked me to flip to my back and put my feet in the stirrups. This wasn’t my doctor, it was my doctor’s back up doctor’s back up doctor. A man I had never met who had absolutely no concern for my birth plan. He didn’t even bother to look at it. My husband told him firmly that I could deliver in any position I wanted. They had a little argument and after my husband realized this might be upsetting me he asked if he could talk to the doctor in the hallway. Well! I knew the baby was about to come out so at that point I said something like, “no, just stop fighting and I will get in any position you want. She is coming out now!” I moved onto my back and at that point she turned. All of the back labor was gone, no more pain. It was wonderful. Then it was time to push!

I wanted to go slowly breathing her down. The nurse was giving me Lamaze breathing tips and I told her, “I’m not going to listen to you, I am going to listen to her,” talking about Heather. Well then Zionna’s heart rate dropped down to 40. You have to push the doctor explained. I looked at Heather to get a confirmation and started pushing like crazy. I pushed once and it didn’t work, pushed a second time while letting out a scream at the top of my lungs. It wasn’t working. Someone said “take the energy from your scream and push.” So, for a third time I concentrated on pushing her out with all my might and this time Zionna entered the world.
They placed the most beautiful pink child on my chest and for a few moments the only ones in the room were me, my husband, and our daughter. She was born at 11:45pm on February 12th, 2003.”

Notes from Heather: Actually, the baby had already turned when the nurse checked Heathir and found her to be at 10cm. I estimate that baby turning was the reason she progressed so quickly. Heathir was amazing during her birth, speaking to her baby and asking her to turn. It was a beautiful birth that I was honored to be a part of. This is a great example of how pain is an indication of a problem and not a necessity of labor. In this case it was baby being in a posterior position.