Thursday, December 12, 2013

I love to Naked Clean

No, no...get your minds out of the gutter, please!

Naked Clean is a local cleaning company that is awesome! 

First off, if you know me, you know that I'm really into natural, alternative, organic stuff. I first learned about Naked Clean years ago when I first started teaching HypnoBirthing classes. I was putting together my resources page for my website & I came across Naked Clean. Of course, the name gets you at first, but what they do is really interesting!

Naked Clean uses PRO-BIOTIC cleaners! What does that mean? Here's what they say on their website: 
"Our Probiotics clean at the microscopic level because there is simply a larger quantity of the good guys preventing the bad guys from over-taking the environment. This is called “competitive exclusion”—microbes fighting it out for survival by attempting to crowd-out one another. Our Probiotics give you that competitive edge you need to keep a clean and healthy home.
And our patented Probiotic cleaners will keep on working up to 72 hours AFTER we clean your home." 
How cool is that?!?
Here's more info from the Naked Clean website: 
"Bio-film—the germs secret hiding place.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably have never heard of bio-film. It’s like a microscopic city full of bad stuff. Bio-film is on almost all surfaces that are somewhat wet and warm, including on our teeth as plaque. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes that 65% of certain types of infections in hospitals are a result of diseases (e.g. H1N1, MRSA, Staph, E.coli), which live and hide in bio-film. But here’s the real kicker—bio-film cannot be removed with any cleaning products including acids. Not even the strongest disinfectant can penetrate its hard crust-like layers. It’s an armor-plated home for germs to live.
The picture you see here is bio-film magnified many times by an electron microscope. You can actually see the microorganisms under the bio-film.

When you eliminate the bio-film, germs and especially viruses have no place to live and reproduce, so they die. Viruses ‘outside’ a bio-film can only survive for a very short time, so removing bio-film is very helpful for a healthy home.
Our Probiotics are proven to significantly remove bio-film as this is also their food!"
Did you know about Bio-Film? I didn't before this!  GROSS!
So, full disclosure here...I got an offer from San Diego Bargain Mama's Stacey Ross who was doing some marketing for Naked Clean. They wanted to offer me a free cleaning (3 hours--which means one hour with three maids--three total hours, but since there were three maids, each maid had a one hour allotment of time). How could I refuse?
Well, it took me a long time to finally get my schedule to the point where I could actually get a housecleaning in. When I finally did call to schedule my cleaning, they were able to fit me into their schedule within a few days. My family did the usual pick-up beforehand so the Naked Clean maids wouldn't have all of our clutter to deal with.
The maids came and asked what areas I'd like them to focus on. I figured the kitchen and the master bathroom/bedroom would be good places and given the fact that I only had them for one hour, that'd give them enough time. They were courteous, polite & quiet while they worked. 
There was one maid that worked in the kitchen and two maids that worked in the master bathroom/bedroom. I'm not sure how they did it (must be that amazing probiotic cleaner), but our shower doors were completely clear--crystal clear! They got a lot done in an hour!
I decided to pay them for an extra hour so that they could dust the entire house. (We hate dusting!) They used cloths that had the probiotic cleaner on them, which apparently leaves the probiotic micro-organisms on the surface. Apparently, those probiotics love to eat dust mites, which is great because we all have allergies to dust mites!
I was impressed with the fact that they not only cleaned those two areas of my house to a cleaner level than I've ever gotten it to plus dusted the entire house in a very short time. I also loved the fact that they put things back generally in the same place they were so that we didn't have to search for where things disappeared to or have to deal with a lot of time spent putting everything back in place.
So, all in all, I was REALLY impressed! The prices are really reasonable much so, that we are thinking of making a monthly cleaning a regular part of our budget! And I love that they're using a really natural, safe product!
I'd HIGHLY recommend their service. Please contact them for more information:
Naked Clean 760-720-3830

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vivian & Charlie's HypnoBirthing story

Vivian & Charlie took Carol Yeh-Garner's HypnoBirthing classes in preparation for their first birthing experience. They took classes at Seaside Women's Health in Encinitas, CA (North County San Diego). Here is their birth story:

Our sweet baby girl arrived on April 11th, her due date, which totally shocked me.  The week prior to her due date, I had started taking evening primrose oil supplements, taking long walks, got a massage, pedicure, etc.  I was really focused on staying away from going "over due" by the hospital standards because I wanted to avoid the induction conversation if at all possible.  The day before I was due, I decided I needed to relax and stop thinking so much about when our baby would come; that day I told myself that she probably wouldn't come for another week and that would be OK, whenever she was ready to come would be the right time. I went to the beach with some girlfriends and decided to enjoy myself until she was ready. My friend told me later that day with that attitude the baby would come that night, and she was right.   

The night my labor began I had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom a couple of times, but had gone in the dark like always.  At 3:30 am, I woke up again to go to the bathroom, but this time decided that I should turn on the lights.  When I did, I noticed a small bit of blood, I couldn't believe that it looked like things were getting started just when I convinced myself to be patient. I went in and woke up my husband and then went to the bathroom again. This time, my mucus plug came out and almost immediately after that I started to have stronger surges. I took a shower and let the bath fill up around me while I listened to the rainbow relaxation playlist. After that, I put on some cozy clothes and sat on my birthing ball while leaning over our bed.  I was constantly leaking fluids and my surges started to get stronger and were staying close together.  I saw Charlie's phone keeping track of the surges, but blocked it out of my mind as I didn't want to think about how long they were or how close together, I just wanted to focus on breathing through them. After an hour and a half of this, Charlie suggested that I get back into the bathtub. He drew a bath for me and he started reading one of the scripts to me. After barely 2 minutes of being in the tub, my water broke at 7:30 am.  I swear I heard a little pop and then felt a rush of fluid. I told Charlie that I thought it had broken and he confirmed that it looked like it had.  I stayed in the tub for a while longer, but as the surges started to get stronger, I wanted to get back to my yoga ball.  I asked Charlie to call our Doula, Valerie Peterson, over to our house.  In the 15 minutes it took for her to arrive I told Charlie that I thought we should go to the hospital, but I wanted to wait for her to arrive and tell me what her thoughts were.  As our Doula arrived, I was out of the shower and on my hands and knees in the bathroom.  Like Carol's births, I also started shaking towards the end of a few surges at this point and I began getting hot and cold flashes.  I told our doula that I wanted to head to the hospital and she agreed. 

We drove down to Scripps La Jolla, which took about 20 minutes.  I kept my eyes closed so that I wouldn't be paying attention to the exits as we crossed them and listened to the RR playlist again. In the car, it was tough to find a comfortable position to focus on relaxing through my surges, but I breathed deep and slow during them until we made it. Once we arrived at the hospital it was 9:15 am.  The nurses wanted to check me in a small room to see how far along I was before admitting me into L&D, but they saw me have a surge and moved me into a L&D room for monitoring right away.  I wasn't loud, but my body shook during the surge.  

When we got to our L&D room, Charlie asked the nurse if she was familiar with hypnobirthing and told her we wanted to have a natural birth.  She said that she was familiar and he gave her our birth plan to go over. They allowed me to say no to the IV, but insisted on putting a heplock in my hand in case I bled too much after birth which I "cancel, cancelled." The nurse hooked me up for monitoring and was concerned about my blood pressure being high, but thankfully it didn't become an issue. At 9:30 am, the nurse checked my cervix to see where I was at and I was 7 cm dilated.  This was such great news to hear, because on the drive down I was nervous that I wouldn't be far enough along and since the surges were so strong I was worried I wouldn't be able to hang on.  The nurses couldn't believe that I was a first time mom coming in at 7 cm.  All of this really encouraged me and I knew that I could continue on with our birth plan staying relaxed. Once they were done monitoring me, I got back in the shower, but didn't end up staying in for long because I couldn't find a comfortable position.  I got out of the shower and back on my birthing ball. This ended up being the most comfortable position for me through out labor. 

After a while, I started shaking again during some of the surges so the nurses checked me again to see where I was at and this time I was at 10 cm. This was at 11:30 am.  The nurse told me not to start pushing yet, but my body started sort of convulsing at the end of the surges and pushing for me. Our doula told me that I should start pushing since my body obviously wanted to.  So I began bearing down while side lying.  For me this technique was difficult, but it felt good to finally be doing something against the surges.  I pushed for an hour and 45 minutes, phew.  After about an hour of "pushing", my doula started giving me tips on how to hold the bearing down while using my J breathing and it worked. The nurse from Scripps was staying in the background and only giving her advice every now and again, but once I started taking my doula's advice she noted that it looked like our baby had dark hair like my husband.  Again, I felt encouraged and kept going with my focus on bearing down.  After another 15 min or so they called in the doctor.  He wasn't my regular OB, but was really awesome.  He asked me if the position I was in was where I wanted to stay for the birth which I thought was so wonderful instead of them telling me I needed to be in a certain position.  In the early part of pushing, I was side lying, but by the time I was ready to breathe the baby all the way out I was lying on my back at an incline. They removed the lower part of the bed so my legs could rest low and let gravity help. As I continued to bear down, the nurse told me that she could see the head crowning and told me to reach down to feel the baby's head, which I did.  As soon as I felt her right there, I started to get teary eyed because I knew how close we were to meeting our girl.  I really focused on bringing her out, after a couple strong surges with bearing down her head came out and with the next push the rest of her body came out and they immediately put her on me.  

Our daughter was born at 1:15 pm, 15 minutes shy of 10 hours from the beginning of my labor. It was the most beautiful relief that I have ever felt to have her put on my chest and to hear her cry. It gives me the butterflies now just thinking about what a beautiful experience it all was.  My placenta came out on its own after a few more minutes and I only tore a little requiring two stitches. (We did perineal massage every night for at least 3 weeks until I went into labor and it really helped!)

I have to say that our hynobirthing class along with having our doula absolutely helped me obtain the birth that we did.  After the dust had settled, I told Charlie that I wasn't as relaxed as the women in the videos that we watched, but my husband and our doula assured me that I did better than I was remembering. At some points during my labor, I would tell myself to relax and open up, sometimes I would talk in between surges, but mostly I laid back with my eyes closed. Our doula took some video in the final stages of our birth and I was surprised when we watched it to see that I really was able to do it quietly with only a few sounds of effort here and there. The next morning in the hospital, my regular OB came to our room and told us that our delivering nurse had told her that our birth was one of the most beautiful she had ever witnessed. I was nervous about how things would go with being at the hospital, but our nurses and doctor were so respectful of our birth plan and let us be. It was an amazing experience. 

Like our doula said "Every birth is special no matter how the day goes!" and the important thing is to be happy with your birth, because the outcome is a beautiful little baby that will steal your heart. The love you feel is absolutely life changing. We are all so blessed and I am thankful for your teaching Carol--thank you so very much!

Wishing the moms who haven't delivered yet a safe and healthy birth. 

Our sweet Adeline Rose was born on April 11th at 1:15 pm - 7 lbs 11 oz 19 in.
Congratulations Vivian & Charlie! I'm so happy that the classes and your doula helped you have such a positive birthing experience! Yes, most people say that they end up not quite looking like the women in the videos we watch in class, but those are really just to get your mind wrapped around the idea that birth CAN look and be calm, peaceful and comfortable rather than the images we've been so programmed with. And like you said, it often seems like we are louder than we really are.

Thank you for sharing your birth experience! I hope you are enjoying your babymoon!

If you're interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes with Carol, please visit her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net for more information about how to sign up. If you are outside of the San Diego area, please visit to find a Practitioner near you.

If you are interested in hiring Vivian & Charlie's doula, Valerie Peterson, you can contact her through her website at

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Laura & Will's HypnoBirthing story

Laura & Will took my HypnoBirthing classes at Seaside Women's Health in Encinitas, CA (North County San Diego). Here is the birth story of their first baby:

Will and I got to meet our baby at 12:01 am on April 9, 2013. Our baby Taylor was born at 37 weeks and she was 8 pounds, 20 inches long. The nurses and doctors told me if I had her at 40 weeks, she would likely be 9.5 pounds. The whole process was incredible! I did have some intervention but my husband and I were both confident in our decisions and I am also happy to say that the hospital staff was very accommodating and understanding of my wishes.

My labor was not ideal but I am happy with the outcome. My water broke and woke me out of a dead sleep around 1:50am on April 8. I wasn't sure if I peed my pants or if it was my water. I was expecting a trickle like I had heard for some many people. That wasn't the case with me! :)  Around 3 am, the surges came and were about 6 minutes apart. I started listening to the rainbow relaxation and center my head. We called Scripps around 4 am because things felt like they were progressing pretty quickly. We took our time, packed and got things in order. We arrived at Scripps Encinitas around 545 am. They did a few tests on me to check if my water broke but it kept coming back negative. I assured the OB that it was undeniable. After some time and movement, they were able to get a positive test. During this process, they were measuring my blood pressure and it was high for about 2 hours. They were worried I may have pre-eclampsia. Until they got those test results back, they had me lay in the bed and kept close tabs on baby. This was very upsetting for me because by 11 am my contractions had slowed to nearly nothing. 

My midwife then came by and confirmed the test results were negative for pre-eclampsia and now their focus was getting labor going for me. We discussed the possible use of pitocin. I explained to her my wishes not to have intervention. They gave me 2 hours to get up, walk around and do what I need to do try to get things moving. Unfortunately, after walking quite a bit and using the techniques from class, my body would not take over active labor on its own. My contractions were maybe every 10 minutes. They started me with a pitocin drip. My nurse and midwife were very open and explained things well. Even with the pitocin, the surges moved up to an inconsistent 6-7 minutes. We gradually increased the pitocin for the next 5 hours and it wasn't until the drip was at 6 that the surges were 3-4 minutes apart and I was dilated to 6 or 7. This was at roughly 18 hours of labor and my whole body was exhausted. I had trouble keeping my focus and relaxing. The nurse and my husband were using counter pressure and massage to help. 

I decided to get the epidural at this point. After, I laid in bed for another 2 hours and had dilated to 10 within an hour. My new nurse let me lay there and rest for another hour before starting to push. He told me to breath, relax and let my body move the baby down some on its own. Even with the medication there was still a lot of pressure. I continued to use counter pressure which helped a lot! I pushed for about two hours.

I am happy to say that I was able to contribute a lot with the medications and was amazed at actually feeling the advancement of my baby through the process. After birth, my baby was so calm and alert. She handled all 22 hours beautifully although we both had a bit of a fever at the end. We got an amazing 2 hours to bond skin to skin and she fed twice before they took her for a bath. I also tore some during labor but only required just a couple stitches. If it wasn't for hypnobirthing, I would not have made it as long as I did without pain medicine. My husband was also very impressed at the process. 

Although things were not the picture perfect hypnobirth, we were able to take each obstacle step by step and make a decision on our terms and not necessarily the hospital's. 
Congratulations,  Laura & Will! Even though your birth wasn't your ideal birth, I'm so glad that you had a positive birthing experience and that the classes helped you & Will confidently make the best decisions for the best outcome for you & your baby. That's really my ultimate goal for my classes---not a quiet, peaceful birth like all of the videos (which is definitely one of my main goals)--but a birth in which you & your partner are empowered, in control and make educated, informed decisions every step of the way so that no matter what happens, you can look back at your birthing experience and know you did everything the way that it needed to be. So, I'm pleased to hear that the classes helped you make the right decisions and feel as in control as possible during your birth experience.

Thank you for sharing your hypnobirthing story! Enjoy your babymoon!

If you'd like to take Carol's HypnoBirthing classes to prepare for your upcoming birth, you can learn more about her class schedule at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are outside of the San Diego area, you can visit to find a Practitioner near you.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jocelyn's VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) HypnoBirthing Story

Jocelyn came to my HypnoBirthing classes very late in her pregnancy. So late, that she started with class 5 of a series that was ending, just to ensure she got all of the classes in before her impending birth. She actually didn't make it to class 5 of her own class series!

She had a c-section for her first baby...things didn't progress, she tightened up when she had contractions and reported that she just didn't know what to do during her first birth.

Here's her VBAC birth story:

I just wanted to write to tell you we had our baby last night!  Thanks for your strategies, encouragement, and positive thinking.  I had a successful VBAC against some pretty serious odds.  (Water broke first, Group B strep positive, posterior baby through labor, not dropping/engaging for hours,...and cord wrapped around his neck twice in the end) It wasn't easy or pretty and I didn't look like the ladies on the video the whole time...but I used the music, relaxation strategies, scripts, and position strategies...and they really made all the difference. I ended up getting an epidural 8 hours into labor. It was a wonderful part of the process for me but I was glad that it wasn't my only option as I needed every part of the natural birthing techniques to get me to the point where my labor wouldn't stall out as opposed to if I had gotten it right away.  I know I would have had a repeat c-section had I not taken your class.  I am very grateful. 

Our baby's name is Douglas, 8 lb 12 ounces.  21 inches. Born at 39 weeks, 2 days. 

Good luck to all you amazing moms!
Congratulations on your successful VBAC! I'm thrilled to hear that you did it and that you were able to use the HypnoBirthing techniques with success. Like I always say in class, the videos are the complete opposite of what we're conditioned to think birth looks like, but sometimes our births end up looking or sounding different, and that's okay! You had several special circumstances that could have prevented you from having a successful VBAC, but I'm glad that the education you received in my classes, helped you achieve your goal.

Enjoy your babymoon!

If you are interested in taking Carol's HypnoBirthing classes, you can learn more about her class schedule at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are out of the San Diego area, you can go to to find a Practitioner near you.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Kristin & Brian's HypnoBirthing story

Kristin & Brian took Carol's HypnoBirthing classes on Thursday nights in January 2013 in Encinitas, CA (North County San Diego) to prepare for their first baby's arrival. Here is their birth story:

The arrival of our little man began on Monday March 11th at 10am when my mucous plug along with a small amount of fluid spilled out on my kitchen floor. I went straight to the internet and researched if this was a indication of early labor and read that it only means that labor could be over the next week and a small amount of discharge is normal in the last few weeks. After reading this, I continued with my day of grocery shopping (where I bumped into Carol at Trader Joe's), laundry and cleaning the house. I started having minor cramping but just brushed it off as Braxton Hicks.

At seven o'clock that evening, Brian (my husband) came home and said to call the doctor just in case and as soon as I talked to the doctor on call at Scripps La Jolla, he insisted I immediately come to the hospital to get checked to see if the watery discharge was amniotic fluid. To my dismay, I packed my bag and headed for the hospital still only having minor cramping but feeling great overall. After the nurse confirmed that it was indeed amniotic fluid and my water had broken, the 24 hour hospital clock started and they were going to let me go until morning before inducing me if labor hadn't begun.

At around ten o'clock, the cramping started feeling like surges and progressively got stronger and stronger... since my water had broken, I refused to be checked for risk of infection so I never knew how far my labor was progressing. At 3:30ish, I hit a wall and was contemplating the epidural but all of a sudden felt the urge to push. Melissa (my mid-wife) checked me and sure enough I was ten centimeters and it was time to push! After about forty-five minutes of intense pushing, Hudson Patrick entered this world at 4:32am weighing 7 lbs 3oz and measuring 19 inches. 

I'm so grateful to have taken your class and proud to say I was able to give birth at Scripps La Jolla with no hep lock/IV or epidural and was treated with the utmost respect and kindness even though my doctor was on vacation and the mid-wife, whom I never met, delivered our baby. It went better then I could have ever imagined and we were able to leave the hospital the next day with the most handsome little man. Recovery has been great and I can't thank you enough Carol for all you do!!!
Congratulations on your awesome birth experience! I'm so glad that the classes helped you have a wonderful birth experience! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Enjoy your babymoon!

If you are in San Diego and would like to take HypnoBirthing classes with Carol, please visit her website to sign up. If you are outside the San Diego area, please visit and go to the Find a Practitioner section. The HypnoBirthing Institute recommends taking classes sometime between your fifth and seventh month of pregnancy. Carol's late September classes are filling up, so sign up now! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Kristie's HypnoBirthing story of her 3rd baby

Kristie contacted me very late in her 3rd pregnancy. It was too late for her to take the entire class series so we met privately and did an intensive overview and then had her attend the last 2 classes of an ongoing series. She had two previous births that were medicated and okay experiences (not Hypnobirths), but she knew she wanted a different experience this time around. Here is her story:

Well, I ended up being almost a week late. Alana Margaret was born on Thursday, February 21. It was seriously THE BEST experience. While it wasn't pain free (which I wasn't expecting anyway), it was such a calm, pleasant atmosphere. My sister and husband were in the room. The only other people in there were the nurse, and then Dr. Capetanakis when it was close to birth time. I was able to use visualizations and breathing techniques to get me through the worst surges. Honestly, I couldn't have planned a better birth. Dr. Capetanakis broke my water at 8:30 am (I pretty much knew I wouldn't go into labor on my own as I never did with my boys either) and I was already at 6 cm with no surges (that I could feel). Around 10:15 am, things started getting serious. By 11:30 am, I was feeling the intensity and almost lost it a couple times, but I was able to completely keep myself calm. I only let out a couple little squeals at the end during the birth. She came flying out with one push at 11:50 am. 8 lbs. 14 little peanut! My boys were almost 11 pounds, so she was so tiny!!!!

I just wanted to say that I SO appreciate all of your last minute help to get me through. It was so wonderful to have your support and encouragement. My sister actually made a video of the birth (don't worry, no inappropriate shots:) so you can check it out if you like. You can fast forward to the labor part just to see how it went. Click HERE to watch the video.

It really was a fantastic experience. And I LOVED giving birth at Scripps Encinitas. They were great there and so supportive of the natural birth.
Congratulations! I'm thrilled that you had such a positive birthing experience this time around and that we were able to fit the classes in before you had your baby! Thanks so much for sharing her story & the video. I love that you were playing cards while in labor! And while you said labor was "hard", you really did make it look easy! 

If you live in the San Diego area and would like to take HypnoBirthing classes with Carol, please visit her website at or call her at 858-837-1259. If you are outside of the San Diego area, please go to to Find a Practitioner near you.

If you'd like to have Dr. Capetanakis deliver your baby, please visit his website at

Monday, August 5, 2013

Danielle & Max's HypnoBirthing story for their 2nd baby

Danielle took my classes in the fall of 2012 in Encinitas, CA (North County San Diego) to prepare for her second birth. She came by herself for most of the class series because of her husband's work schedule and so he could stay home with their little one.

Hi Carol. My son was born six weeks ago on January 11. Here's my birth story.  My doula,  Rosie Peterson, said I was the most textbook-perfect case of hypnobirthing she'd ever seen. I think you deserve to share in the credit for that. :)


I took Carol's Hypnobirthing class because I wasn't totally pleased with the experience I'd had with my first son. It wasn't necessarily a bad experience, but I didn't like the epidural. I was also disappointed with some parts of my situation at the hospital. With my first son, I pushed for three hours and was told by the doctor that if he wasn't born within three hours of pushing, she would have to take him by c-section. My water had also broken before I went into labor, so I was under time constraints because of that too. I didn't like spending my entire labor at the hospital.

So in search of a different experience the second time, I asked my doula for recommendations for natural birth classes and she recommended Carol's class. I was a bit nervous to attend class because I thought I would be surrounded by hard-core natural birth types. But I was relieved that most other people at the class started out like me--more curious than convinced. And I appreciated that Carol's style was very even-handed and not abrupt or abrasive in any way. By the end of the first or second class, I was sure that natural was the way I wanted to go and that I could do it.

I had been having contractions for a couple of weeks before my due date, which had at times been fairly intense. But I suspected I was in true labor when I woke up at 3:30 the morning after my due date with uncomfortable contractions. I timed them for about an hour, and they were consistently seven minutes apart. I was able to go back to sleep for another hour and a half before I got up to shower and get ready. I told my husband that the baby was coming, and we got our two-year-old ready to head to the park with his grandma (who had luckily flown in the day before).

I called my doula at 9:30 and asked her to come over at 11:00. I was doing ok on my own, but it was definitely nice to have my doula's calming reassurance and to have two people available to fetch me things and be there for me to lean on (literally).

By 1:00 the contractions were about 90 seconds long and were coming back to back. At 1:30 I figured it was time to head to the hospital (Scripps Memorial in La Jolla). When we got checked into the hospital around 2:00, the nurse checked me and said I was fully dilated. So I'd accomplished the first part of my plan, but the second part of my plan--which was to show up at the hospital ready to push out a baby--was not so easy. The nurse said the baby's head was still at -3 station, so I still had a way to go. I guess that's pretty rare for a mom to be fully dilated with the baby not yet descended. 

My doula had me lunging and marching to try to get the baby to come down. I was also occasionally having the urge to push. Because I didn't want to spend all day there waiting for the baby to come down, I was pushing on and off pretty much since we got settled in at the hospital. Throughout the whole process, the nurses were all very deferential and mostly left us alone to do our own thing. I was very glad that we got nurses that were happy to oblige us in our birthing wishes. One of the nurses confided in me that she was bending some of the rules for us and was glad she was able to stay until our baby was born so that we didn't get another nurse who wouldn't have been as accommodating. And just as I've heard other people say, all the nurses on the floor wanted to come in and get a peek at the girl who was quietly laboring without any medication. They all seemed pretty impressed.

Probably about three and a half hours after we got settled in at the hospital, I could feel the baby getting closer. I called out that he was coming, and there was a flurry of activity as the nurses called the doctor in and got all the tools and supplies ready. And shortly after, my son Bradley was born. He ended up being quite a big boy, weighing in at 9 lbs 3 oz. The nurses and my doula were all marveling at how big he was, but to me he just looked like a sweet tiny little baby.

All in all, I'm very happy with how things went. At the time, I was not mentally prepared to have to get through four more hours of contractions and pushing after arriving at the hospital, but I know I was only able to handle it because of the hypnobirthing training. I have to admit that the "ring of fire" was way more intense than I anticipated, and I do not look forward to experiencing that again in the future... In the moment, I told my husband that, even though I knew I was about to say something that was typical labor room talk, I never wanted to go through that again. As I expected, I've since reconciled with it and know it was completely worth it. My recovery was much smoother and faster than with my first baby. And my doula mentioned something I hadn't thought of. She said it's likely that if I'd been on an epidural that I would've ended up with a c-section because I wouldn't have been able to get up and move around to get the baby to descend. The doctor might have just said that since I wasn't progressing the baby would need to be taken by c-section. Who knows how things would have turned out, but thank goodness I was able to have the smooth natural birth that I wanted! Thanks so much for your class!
Thank you so much, Danielle, for sharing your story! A lot of moms who have not the greatest, but not the worst 1st birth experiences end up taking HypnoBirthing classes so they can have the birth experience they knew they could have. I'm so glad that you were able to have such a positive experience and that the classes helped you with that.

If you are in the San Diego area and would like to take HypnoBirthing classes for your 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th baby, please come join us! Carol's class info can be found at her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net or she can be reached at 858-837-1259. If you are outside the San Diego area, you can find a HypnoBirthing class near you by going to to the Find a Practitioner section.

If you are interested in hiring Danielle & Max's doula, Rosie Peterson, you can contact her at

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Melissa & James' 2nd HypnoBirthing Story

Melissa & James took HypnoBirthing classes for their first baby a few years ago. She had a wonderful birth experience. When she was pregnant with her second child, she contacted me to set up some private refresher sessions. We did a private individual session midway through her pregnancy and then met with both Melissa & James' in a private session to review techniques and do a fear release/birth rehearsal imagery hypnosis session a few weeks before their due date.

Here is their story:

Thank you Carol!  I have brought both Guthrie and Corrina into this world naturally and just how it is supposed to be.  

Corrina Anne Peterson was born 11/15/2012.  She was 7lbs 8oz and 21 inches long. First off, I need to mention that I had done a private session with Carol Yeh-Garner around 20 weeks pregnant to do some fear release and to help me work through some anxieties I was having about pregnancy and our decision to have a home birth.  I left her office feeling emotionally lighter and ready to move forward confidently.  My husband and I read the hypnobirthing book, and I listened to the cd during acupuncture appointments, but not as often as I had with Guthrie’s pregnancy.  We did a refresher course with Carol at 39 weeks. We went through how I wanted the labor to go and any fears or anxieties I had.  MY LABOR WENT ALMOST EXACTLY AS I HAD HOPED FOR AND HOW ARE GUIDED MEDITATION WENT WITH CAROL.  We used Jamin and La Shel, San Diego Midwife, for her homebirth.
I woke up about 12am on 6/15 with mild surges, lasting about 30 seconds about 5-7 minutes apart.  I wasn’t convinced this was going to last, and I lied in bed watching the clock till about 1.  I texted my midwives somewhere in there to give them the heads up it might be happening, I still wasn’t convinced.  James was in and out of sleep and I was sort of anxious, not having the clear ‘yes your water broke this is happening now’ sign. (But I didn’t want my water to break, and had hoped and visualized it wouldn’t till end) So I wasn’t sleeping.  I kept having the urge to pee and I was passing clots.  About 2:30 I called midwife, Jamin, and at that point the contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart but still lasting less than 1 minute. She offered to come then, but I felt as if the contractions weren’t doing too much and felt pretty comfortable during the surge and I said I would contact her when it became more intense. 
I woke up James and told him to start prepping the house. In between contractions, I was very able to help set up. I was very alert and functional.  He finished setting up the house and I went and took a long hot shower for about 30 minutes while he finished prepping. The water felt amazing. I had candles lit and the lights off and I really got into the mode.  I held the shower head on my low back and did some squats.  James came in to check on me and to let me know everything was ready, except the pool needed to be filled when that time came.  I got out of the shower and I hadn’t felt any contractions for what seemed to be a long time, so James and I lied down to hopefully sleep.  I think the moment I lied down, I felt a sharp stab across my rib cage and it was on. I was incredibly nauseous, and became sick from both ends. I sat on toilet, swaying and moaning with each surge and the compression in my lower spine was intense.  James called the midwives. They came about 4:30 am. I was only 5 cm with a bulging bag. I honestly thought the midwives might not stay because I wasn’t far enough along.  I went back to toilet while they filled the pool. I did say to James at this point that this was so much worse than Guthrie’s and that I was questioning how long I could do this for. I did not think I was only 2 hours away from meeting her.  
I wanted to go into water soon. Midwives suggested I start walking and do some high knee type walking, so that is what I did-I have no idea on how long, maybe 1 minute, maybe 20.  Just before I got into pool, LaShel checked me said I was 8+ and my amniotic bag was crazy bulging.  My water broke right after. I got into the water at 6 am.  I had James call our friends to watch Guthrie thinking he would be up around 7 am and there would be no way for James to juggle his needs and my needs.  I probably had one surge and she started to come after that.  I wanted to put my legs together, to straighten them out...that was my immediate reaction but with James and midwives assistance, I held my legs back.  I honestly had no idea what the midwives were doing...they were doing nothing - nothing had to be done. But I kept saying help me, help me because I had thought there would be the whole "massage the baby out, help kind of tug her out". But no, the water softens the skin so there is no need for assistance. I wanted to push, but they just kept telling me to breath out and let her stretch it out and come.  She was born 6:30 am.  It felt just so natural to have her. It went the way it was supposed to.   Guthrie awoke around 8 am or 8:30 am, after they had already left.  I was in bed that day but we all were together.  I had a great first birth in the hospital, but to be home with my family that afternoon to eat as a family, to nap as a family and for Guthrie’s life to not be interrupted, was perfectly natural.  And I am a fan of the water.  I had no tearing, no burns, and the healing was quick. 
I am a massage therapist at Indigo Dragon Center and I work with a fair amount of pregnant women, and I get asked about my natural births and how hypnobirthing helped. For Guthrie’s birth, it provided me so much knowledge of how the process worked and what to expect, the biggest fear.  I used hypnobirthing to empower me to do what I know is already a very natural process and as for Corrina’s birth, it was a reminder of what I already have done and a guided meditation.  I was pleasantly surprised that my ‘plan’ was how it went, down to my 3 year olds time he woke up!  

Congratulations Melissa, James & Guthrie! I'm thrilled that your birth happened almost to how you envisioned it and that our private sessions helped prepare you for Corrina's birth! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

If you're in the San Diego area & are interested in HypnoBirthing, please visit Carol's website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are outside of the San Diego area, please visit to find a practitioner near you.

If you are interested in hiring the midwives Melissa & James used, please visit

If you are interested in getting a great massage by Melissa, please schedule one with her at or 760-652-1116.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ani & Andre's HypnoBirthing Story

Ani & Andre took my HypnoBirthing classes in Encinitas (North County San Diego), CA.

Ani & I had been in contact a few times before the birth of her baby due to some issues with low amniotic fluid levels & the possibility of an induction. I encouraged her to drink plenty of fluid to ensure she wasn't dehydrated & gave her the numbers to some local acupuncturists to see if they could help induce her labor naturally. Her fluids were normal after she increased her fluid intake, but she still needed to be induced. She had the choice to do a foley ball or cervidil and she chose the foley ball. 

She wrote the following text to share her birthing experience at UCSD's Birth Center:

OMG...what an amazing experience. I ended up getting induced with pitocin nearly 24 hours but thankfully gave birth naturally & vaginally! It was beautiful. We did skin to skin contact right away and got all of the things we wanted on our birth plan. All in all, we are very grateful & blessed. My doula (a volunteer doula from UCSD's Birth Center) was shocked by how well I handled it all. I got my placenta encapsulated too. 

Many thanks to you. I owe it all to you, your resources & support. You made our pregnancy & birth so much more special & meaningful. I would do it again! It was one of the best experiences from our pregnancy. Till this day, we still talk about your classes and how it empowered us and gave us a beautiful birth.

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story with me! I'm so glad that you had such a beautiful experience even with some scares towards the end & with an induction with pitocin!

If you'd like more information about HypnoBirthing classes in San Diego, please visit Carol's website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are out of the San Diego area, please visit to find a practitioner near you.

Please visit the UCSD's Birth Center website here if you'd like more information about birthing in a birth center with midwives within a hospital setting.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marjorie & Carl's HypnoBirthing story

Marjorie & Carl were referred to Carol's HypnoBirthing classes by their doula, Linda Goldsmith. They took classes in Encinitas (North County San Diego), CA.

Here is their birth story of their first daughter, Sienna:
I started feeling very irregular contractions Thurs and Fri night (May 24 & 25), but I knew they weren't the real thing. They only happened in the evening and stopped by the time i went to bed. I called my doula though on Thursday and told her that I had a feeling I would go into labor within a few days. She said to keep her posted. 

On May 26th, I woke up at 3:30 am to contractions. I started timing them and they were about 8-10 min apart. I decided to lay back down and listen to my Birth Affirmations/Rainbow Relaxation CD so I possibly could get some more rest. From everyone I had talked to (and read about) I figured my first birth would last HOURS so I knew I had nothing but time…I might as well try and get some sleep. Needless to say, I couldn't sleep (too excited…knowing this was probably "the" day!). So I woke my husband around 6:30 am and told him to finish packing everything for the hospital. I called my doula and told her not to rush, but this was it, so she needed to come to our house some time this morning.

My contractions were still about 8 min apart, but very regular. I decided to keep my mind busy to pass the time, so I sent some work emails, took a shower, braided my hair, and then made breakfast. I had to stop and breathe through the contractions, but again I thought I had hours of this yet to go through so I just kept busy. Around 7:30 am or 8 am, my contractions were now 5-6 min apart and getting to the point where it was difficult to talk through them. I still kept busy in between them, but I called my doula and said I needed her…now…thank goodness she was just pulling up in the driveway.

As soon as she arrived, I was transitioning…I started shaking a little and got the chills. My doula helped relieve some of my back pain with counter pressure and we decided it was time to leave for the hospital. On the way to the hospital, my contractions were coming on strong at about 3 min apart. The drive to the hospital was definitely the worst part of the entire experience! We arrived at the hospital around 9 am and my doula walked me in while my husband parked and grabbed our bags. I had 3 contractions before I made it up to the labor/delivery level, and when we arrived there my doula asked for a birthing room. The nurse politely smiled and said that I needed to go to an exam room first, and then the doctor would decide if I was ready for delivery. My doula tried to insist that I needed a delivery room, but they quickly refused and insisted I be examined first. I was asked a few questions and answered them quietly…and all I remember hearing was 2 of the nurses commenting on "can you believe how calm she is!". From the moment I arrived at the hospital I had my eyes closed and was deep breathing. I honestly don't think the nurses thought I was in actual active labor or as far along as I actually was. 

As soon as I got undressed and got myself up onto the bed in the exam room, my water broke. The doctor was there and quickly examined me and my husband said he was shocked when he announced I was already 10 cm. There was a little bit of panic…from the staff, not me or my husband. My doula leaned over to me and whispered "they're a little panicked because they didn't expect you to be this far along, but this is a good thing…it means you'll get to meet your daughter very soon. They will settle down soon." That was all I needed to hear! It helped keep me positive. They quickly moved me into a birthing room and before I knew it, they told me it was time to push. I don't have a sense of the time that lapsed, but my husband and doula said I pushed for about 20-30 minutes and then she was born! I remember reaching a point where I thought that I couldn't go on. I said that to my doula and I remember her asking me to give her 2 or 3 more pushes. I said to myself "2 or 3…I can do that!" The doctor made a comment about me not being on my back. "I've delivered over 3000 babies and for all of them, the mother was laying down in her back!"  Linda, our doula, was great! She responded with "Well, then, what an opportunity for you! This will be your first!".

My husband was by my side the entire time. Things progressed so quickly the staff didn't even have time to check my vitals or even think about asking me to get an IV. We arrived that morning around 9 a.m. and Sienna was born at 10:20 am…6 pounds 15 oz and 22 inches. It was exactly the dream birth I had imagined! I felt amazing afterwards and we were all chatting with the nurses in the room after the birth. The nurses even commented on how much they love seeing babies who are born to drug-free mothers. I felt so good, I even ate lunch when they brought it to my room around noon. 

The one thing I remember having doubts/fears about before I went into delivery was tearing…and that's the one negative thing that happened. I didn't have a bad tear at all, but I think that because I couldn't release that fear. It definitely was in the back of my mind during my birth. Sienna's little hand was up by her face, so I had a little first degree tear that required a couple stitches. 

I was so happy to have my husband and my doula there. They heard things and remembered a lot more details than I did since I was pretty focused on myself. I was also happy that my husband and I didn't call any family or friends when we were on our way to the hospital. Once Sienna was born that gave us some time to ourselves as a new family before we were bombarded with company…it was a very special moment.

I went home the next afternoon and have been on a Mommy-high ever since. It was such an amazing experience. Thank you again SO much for your help and for your support throughout the process.
Congratulations Margorie & Carl! What an amazing birth story! I'm so glad that the hypnobirthing classes helped you have the birth of your dreams!

If you're interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes for your birth and are in the San Diego area, please visit Carol's website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are out of the San Diego area, please visit to find a practitioner near you.

If you'd like more information about Marjorie & Carl's doula, Linda Goldsmith, please visit

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Erin & Juan's HypnoBirthing Story

Erin & Juan took Carol's HypnoBirthing classes on Thursdays at Seaside Women's Health in Encinitas, CA. Here is their story:

My husband and I have been married 6 years. We started trying to get pregnant in 2009. It was a long struggle and very emotional. I heard good things about acupuncture so I gave it a try. They suggested I change my diet to exclude soy, dairy and gluten. About a year later we got pregnant naturally! I continued my diet and acupuncture through pregnancy.

I had a pretty easy pregnancy. First trimester was nauseous most of the time but as long as I kept eating cantaloupe and rice cereal I was good. :) Second trimester We discovered I was anemic. I was really exhausted and dizzy but once I started taking iron i felt better within a few days. I started gaining more weight and getting my appetite back. I started seeing a chiropractor which helped with my upper back. Throughout the pregnancy I did prenatal yoga at home which helped relieve tension and maintained my energy level.

Before anyone knew we were pregnant, a friend came to my husband knowing we had been trying for a while and gave him some info on Hypnofertilty. Apparently his neighbor gave birth using the hypnobirthing method using no pain medicine. I didn't need to do too much research beforehand, just knew this was the method I wanted to use for our birth. I looked around for trained professionals on the Internet and asked my acupunturist if he knew anyone and he recommended Carol Yeh-Garner at We signed up for the 5 week classes. We received a hypnobirthing book, a cd, as well as handouts each week to practice at home. I read the book, took a ton of notes in class, listened to the cd every night at bedtime and fell asleep to it. I just let it repeat throughout the night. I could feel myself relax and slept great when I listened to it. We practiced the other scripts a few times. We did the perineum massages about 3-4 times a week starting at 7 weeks to delivery. The only thing we didn't do enough of was practice the scripts or relaxation with a lot of distractions. I really enjoyed the class and felt prepared and more at ease about delivery and was determined to have a natural birth.

11/5 at My 37 week appointment I lost 2 lbs and my fundal height had not grown and the baby dropped into position. The doctor wanted me to get an ultrasound to check the baby's size. The baby was measuring small, in the 3rd percentile. She thought my placenta was starting to get worn out and the baby wasn't getting enough nutrients. In order to ensure the baby was ok they wanted me to start non stress tests and ultrasounds 2 times a week. I also did another blood test to check my blood count. This new info caused me to stress and worry. I was in the final weeks of pregnancy and very hormonal and fearful. It was an emotional roller coaster.

That Friday 11/9 the dr called and wanted me to go to the hospital to get another blood test. they wanted to rule out a form of preclampsia called HELLP. Signs were small baby, low blood count and enzymes in the liver. I had 2 out of 3. Knowing how severe that is, I was anticipating being induced that weekend. Not something I was prepared for since it wasn't following my birth plan. I reached out to my hypnobirthing teacher, Carol, for advice. She suggested a fear release and gave me steps to follow for induction and reminded me I could still have a natural birth and to relax and allow my body to take over. Going to the hospital, I felt prepared and was ready to accept what came next. They monitored the baby: "the best looking baby they had seen all day." The liver test came back fine and I was released. What a relief! The doctor still wanted me to have the baby before my delivery date and to try and naturally induce.

Then that Thursday, 11/15, when I did another ultrasound, it showed the umbilical cord was slightly restricted. My doctor called and advised me to go to the hospital for induction. This time it was real and I was so scared and not prepared. Knowing the advice Carol gave me the week before, we did a few fear releases to help change my frame of mind and accepted the path my birthing would take. It was my first lesson in parenting. I no longer have control over everything and need to go with the flow. :) I started to get excited knowing I was going to meet my baby soon.

On the way to the hospita,l we listened to the birth affirmations. As we arrived, I started playing the rainbow relaxation CD and kept it on repeat. We arrived at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla around 3pm. We asked for a hypnobirthing nurse and handed out our birthing plan to review with them. They wanted to monitor me the whole time since the baby could be at risk. We met the doctor and midwife on call. We prepared the room for my comfort, covered the clock so I didn't know the time, dimmed the lights and kept the rainbow relaxation in one ear on repeat. They did a vaginal exam but I asked they not tell me how much I was dilated. The less I knew the better my mind would allow my body to take over. We talked about the plan to induce slowly and allow things to take its course without pressure to advance faster. We did another fear release and shortly after started having surges on a consistent basis. The doctor decided to let me go for a few hours before interfering with any induction.

After I stalled, the next step was to give me cervidil. An inducing drug that is inserted at to the cervix and can be pulled out at anytime. My surges started coming on strong and after about 2 hours, they pulled it out since I was advancing quite fast. The whole time I was listening to the rainbow relaxation and allowing myself to get into deep relaxation. I had no idea what was going on around me. Nurses came in and out without me realizing. My husband would make sure they didn't bother me during a surge and would tap my shoulder when they needed to talk to me after a surge. When a surge came on, I closed my eyes and focused on breathing up. I shifted positions often. The nurse brought in a labor bar across the bed and I leaned over it while my husband rubbed my back and did light massage. When he saw me tense up, he would place his hand on my shoulder and whisper "relax". I drank a ton of water and ate almonds as needed.

After the cervidil was out, things stalled a little so we did another fear release. The midwife came in to talk to me about some options and the plan. She saw in my medical history I had a colscopy and suggested we make sure there was no scar tissue and asked if she could try massaging the cervix to allow it to open. I remember Carol telling us that in class but forgot to mention it. I was glad the midwife knew what to do.

The midwife also gave me an option of a balloon/foley ball, but I didn't remember the pros and cons of it from class so I opted to wait and see how things progressed before we decided to go that route. Luckily things progressed.

I started showing all the signs of true labor, nausea (even threw up twice), bleeding and the urge to push. They did another vaginal exam and again didn't want to know how much I was dilated. But the midwife suggested to release my membranes.

We did another fear release. I got comfy and kept telling myself to bring on more surges cause it was bringing my baby closer to me. The more I said it, the better I felt. I had some back labor and the only thing that felt good was to lean back on my fist. Next time, I will bring a tennis ball to lean on instead.

After a while, I started to get really tired and surges were strong. Never did I think pain but more uncomfortable. I felt as if I were running a marathon and running up hill most of the time and kept telling myself the finish line was after the next hill.

Shortly after, I felt ready to push. The midwife came in the check my progress and she said "Erin, you are ready to have this baby. But you can't push just yet." Then they frantically started getting ready. My husband kept me in the zone and not focusing on what was happening around me. When I started pushing, I remembered to breath down like I was on the toilet. The midwife let me lay how I wanted and she would relax my legs when I tensed. I was not quiet at all, my brother in law could hear me outside but the noises were more from effort than pain. It felt so amazing on the last push and I felt the baby slide out. My husband announced it was a girl as they placed her on my stomach. The nurses did have to take her away shortly after to make sure she didn't have to go to NICU. Our Hanna Marie weighed 4lbs 9oz which was enough for her to stay with me and not go to the NICU. Everything at this point was a blur. There was so much going on and I was on cloud 9! I couldn't believe it was all over. She was very alert and started breastfeeding right away with some help from a nurse.

After the placenta came out, I was intrigued to see its condition. It was perfectly healthy and not worn out, no calcium deposits just smaller than "normal". Since the placenta was small, the baby was small but Hanna was healthy.

After everything calmed down, I asked my husband how the progression went since he knew how much I was dilated each time. From the beginning, I was at about 1 cm dilated, progressed to 2 after the cervidil and 2 after the massage of the cervix. When my membranes were ruptured, 2 hours later I was at 10cm, then I pushed for 35 min and Hanna was born at 5:51am Friday, November 16.

I'm so happy with the way things happened. Hypnobirthing really trained me to handle the whole process. We had all the tools and put them to work for us. My husband was such a great coach and very supportive. I was amazed at how he made me feel. I can't thank Carol Yeh- Garner enough for such a great class and support and advice. I would recommend hypnobirthing to anyone and looking forward to doing it again!

Congratulations Erin & Juan! Thank you so much for sharing your birth story! I'm so glad that the classes helped both of you feel empowered & educated to make the best decisions for your birth & your baby. I hope you're enjoying your babymoon!

If you're interested in learning more about Carol's HypnoBirthing classes, please visit her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If her classes don't fit into your schedule, she would love to refer you to other practitioners in the area. If you are outside of San Diego, please visit for a list of practitioners in your area. Thank you!