Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A HypnoBirthing story for a 2nd birth

A 2nd birth using HypnoBirthing

This was shared by a fellow HypnoBirthing practitioner. I love that she wasn't committed to having a natural birth (even during her birth experience)and proceeded to labor easily & comfortably until she got to 9 3/4 cm!

This is a birth story from a friend of mine who did the HypnoBirthing class with me. It's her second baby. I think it's one of my favorite stories so far. Enjoy.
Marie Berwald up in Saskatchewan

Lucas's birth

On Thursday April 2nd my mum arrived in Regina to be here for me and to take care of my 2 year old son Michael while I had the baby. That day I also had a doctor's appointment. When the doctor checked me I was 3 cm dilated. The next day I can´t fully explain it, but I felt "different". I felt a little crampy and hoped it was a sign that baby was on the way. That evening my husband and I had planned to go to a movie, but when the lines were too long we decided to go shopping for some last minute baby supplies instead. Although I wasn´t in labour, I insisted that evening that we pack my bag. I felt the need to ensure everything was ready before going to sleep.

Throughout that night I kept waking up to go to the bathroom. I couldn´t tell for sure what was waking me up, but I remember feeling tired and frustrated that I wasn´t sleeping properly. At 4:28 am I woke up with what I knew was a definite contraction. It was more than just a cramp and it lasted long enough to wake me up. I decided to take note of the time just in case this was the real thing. A few minutes later, I had another contraction so I thought I would time them. They were about 5 minutes apart. I also remember reminding myself to use the breathing techniques. Although the contractions were not extremely intense, I found it helped to use the surge slow breathing to remain fully relaxed. I practiced keeping every muscle in my body as relaxed as possible and made an effort to pay attention to filling my tummy like a balloon. I was amazed at how much it helped and it almost became a game to try to breathe as deeply as possible. This focus helped me to relax.

Now, although I had started the breathing techniques learned in class, I started to re-think HypnoBirthing. I remember lying in my bed feeling very tired and lazy. With my first son I had been quite happy with my epidural, so I really wasn´t sure whether or not I was going to commit to the HypnoBirthing. When I joined the HypnoBirthing class, I was not convinced that I would ever have a drug-free labour. I was intrigued with the thought of HypnoBirthing but decided that I would have to play it by ear.

So, at 4:30 in the morning, the thought of staying focused and being strong seemed unlikely. I decided right then that I would probably get an epidural and that there is no shame in that! I told myself to play it by ear and when I needed an epidural I would get one. However, at this point, the breathing was doing the trick so I didn´t need to think about the drugs yet. At 5:00, I decided to wake up my husband, Paul because I wasn´t sleeping and I wanted someone to talk to. I was also a little excited to tell him that it might be the day. I really wanted to have a bath but decided I would have to wait because I didn´t want to wake my son.

At 5:30, Paul was feeling a little anxious, so he got out of bed and got dressed. A few minutes later, my son also woke up so I decided it was time for my bath. While I was in the bath, Paul went downstairs to let my mum know that I thought labour might be starting but not to get too excited yet. Michael wanted to help out too so he poured water over my belly. He was so excited to be involved.

At about 7:00, I decided to get dressed because I wanted to go downstairs for breakfast and to hang out with my mum and husband. I was feeling really good and didn´t want to be in my bedroom or bathroom anymore. I also wanted to be ready to leave just in case I suddenly decided it was time to go to the hospital. I had a wonderful morning with my husband, son and mum. I sat on the couch, talked to my mum and Paul, cuddled with Michael, ate my breakfast, drank my tea, chatted with friends on the computer and phone, and relaxed while my husband read my novel to me. I continued to breathe through each contraction but remained completely relaxed. My son had no idea anything was going on even though he was cuddled right into me for a lot of the morning. At times, I questioned whether or not this was really labour. My husband even thought it was funny to watch me during contractions because I would stop mid-sentence, close my eyes, breathe deeply and then just open my eyes and finish the sentence. He actually took a picture of me so that I could see just how relaxed I looked. He commented that it looked like I was falling asleep every 5 minutes or so.

I started to think that maybe this wasn´t labour and that baby wouldn´t make an appearance that day. I was even thinking that I should take my son to his friend´s birthday party at 2:00. I couldn´t imagine that I could feel so great and really be in active labour. I continued to enjoy my day and took advantage of the time spent with my family. When I started to feel tired, I lay down on the couch while Paul read "Twilight" to me. This kept me very relaxed and gave me something to focus on during and between contractions.

At about 1:00, I started to feel a bit different. My contractions became more intense and longer. I had to make a greater effort to keep my muscles relaxed during and immediately following each one. I found that if I pictured my uterus like a balloon being filled with air I could keep my muscles relaxed. Expanding my tummy as much as possible with each breath helped tremendously and listening to Paul read to me helped to keep me comfortable. At 1:30, I told Paul that I wasn´t quite ready to leave yet but that I wanted him to get everything ready. I asked him to put my bags in the van and to slowly get himself ready to go. By 2:30, we were both ready to walk out the door. Although I still wasn´t convinced that the hospital would keep me, I really wanted to get there so that I could relax in their tub. On the way there, I realized that my contractions were becoming more frequent, but I still didn´t think they were intense enough for this to be the real thing. I started to think about what I would tell the nurses so that they wouldn´t send me home. I told my husband that I might have to exaggerate so that they would let me stay.

While I was sitting at the admitting desk in emergency, my contractions were coming frequently. I had at least 5 by the time they brought me a wheel chair and another 3 or 4 on my way upstairs. Once in triage, I had 2 or 3 more contractions in the bathroom. I wasn´t sure how long I would be at the hospital before baby was born, but I realized that they would likely believe that I was in active labour. I do remember thinking that I´m not in enough pain. They might tell me that the contractions aren´t strong enough. I can´t help but laugh at myself when I think back.

When talking to the nurses I was very impressed with their reaction to HypnoBirthing. They all took note of the fact that my doctor had written it on my form and told me that they would respect my plan. Of course, I was still doubting the drug-free labour so I felt the need to tell them that I might still ask for an epidural. When the house doctor finally checked me, we were all a little surprised to find out that I was at 6 cm. I had been so sure that it couldn´t be active labour. They took me straight to my room and called my doctor. When the house doctor came back, I was very impressed when she told me that my doctor had informed her that it was my intention to do HypnoBirthing and asked her not to offer me any drugs and not to make reference to pain. Although I was sitting on the fence about drugs, I was very happy with my doctor´s awareness.

Looking back now, this is when I would have needed to get an epidural if that´s what I really wanted. Instead I asked for a bath. I was feeling pretty good and really just wanted to soak in the tub. While in the tub, Paul continued to read more of my book. At about 4:30, I asked him to stop. I could no longer focus on what he was saying and just wanted to "sleep". I closed my eyes and found that spraying water on my belly helped keep my muscles relaxed. If I kept my muscles from tensing up, I was able to remain quite comfortable. At 4:45, I remembered the epidural. I decided it was time for the drugs!!! I asked Paul to go tell the nurse that I wanted an epidural. She said that she would check me and we would talk about it. On my way back to my room, I had a feeling that labour had progressed a lot and that the baby was on the way. But, I had by this point convinced myself that I NEEDED drugs, even though the actual labour wasn´t unbearable. I had convinced myself that I needed the drugs and that I could not go on without them. Sure enough, when the nurse checked me at 5pm, I was 9 and ¾ cm dilated.

This is when I panicked. I couldn´t believe that I had come this far without even realizing it. I couldn´t help but wonder why I had done this to myself. I asked the nurse to give me whatever she had. I just hadn´t come to terms with the fact that I was going to actually have this baby without drugs. Luckily the nurse was fantastic. When I asked her what I should do, she said, "I think you should push when you´re ready". She just said that I had done really well so far and that I would have my baby in 15 minutes. She didn´t rush me. She just let me know that whenever I was ready, I could push. She told me that the doctor was on the way and that I would be holding my baby soon. And I realize now that Marie wasn´t kidding in class when she told us that it´s sometimes normal for the "fight or flight" instinct to kick in right at the end of labour. It kicked in and I had a 10 minute panic attack. I didn´t know how the baby was going to get out, but I was not prepared to do it and I would not listen to anyone when they tried to tell me otherwise. Amazingly, my moment of panic passed and I managed to calm down and regain my confidence. I even started to tease my husband about how easy this labour had been for him. However, I didn´t start pushing on my own. I just tried to stay calm and my body took over.

And when my son was born I was in awe of the whole experience...amazing! I remember saying over and over, "I did! "I was so happy with the whole experience. It was all so much better than I could ever have imagined! The house doctor even came back to see me and tell me what a great job I had done. She said that having seen my experience with HypnoBirthing, she´s even thinking that she should consider it for her next child. And my doctor said that he hopes he can deliver our next baby because he really enjoyed the positive atmosphere. It was a wonderful, empowering experience and I am still in awe.

Lucas Edward O. was born on April 4th at 5:28pm at 7lbs 13oz. We were both very healthy and able to go home the next day. Michael didn´t even notice I had left. What a perfect way for our little Lucas to come into our world!!!

Jen O.

Thanks for sharing this inspiring story, Marie & Jen!

Friday, September 18, 2009

You have a choice

The link to the video below is called "You Have a Choice". I think most women that are pregnant don't know they have choices or are too freaked out about the pain of birth to even consider that they have choices...they just want an epidural & want labor to be over. They don't know that birth can be a wonderful, sometimes even enjoyable experience & that it can be the most empowering experience of a woman's life.

While the focus of this video is encouraging people to be open to a birth center or home birth, most of my HypnoBirthing couples are birthing in a hospital. I believe that the education HypnoBirthing couples receive empowers them to go into the hospital so that they can have the birth experience they want. They must choose the right care provider (OB/GYN or midwife), the right hospital, the right support people (just your partner or hiring a doula) & ensure that they ask the right questions every step of the way---from making sure the nurse assigned to their case is supportive of natural birth, to asking if they can have 10 minutes to discuss things whenever an intervention is suggested to figure out if it is being suggested because of a true medical situation or just because labor isn't happening the way the hospital staff are used to, to making sure they have a birth plan (& discuss it with their care provider well before their birth) & discuss it with their nurse while in the hospital, & so much more.

Some people just feel more comfortable & safe being in a medical setting, so if that is their choice, then I think it is their responsibility to ensure they maintain control of their birth & their birthing environment as long as the mom & baby are healthy. It's better to be a good parent than a good patient...know that there is always a choice. The choices you make now, while you're pregnant, help to make you a better parent. Instead of blindly trusting your medical care provider & the hospital, educate & empower yourselves as parents now to ensure that you have a positive birth experience rather than give your power away & become an observer to one of the most important experiences of your life.

Here's the link to the video:

From the video description: The video consists of a synopsis of a typical birth by a registered nurse in a labor & delivery unit of at a local hospital, followed by individuals and couples sharing their birth experiences.
The focus of this documentary is to show people that they have a choice in their birth, rather than just trusting "professionals" to take care of everything for them. You can educate yourself and have an amazing experience in your birth rather than just a "medical procedure."

I encourage people to share this blog post with their pregnant friends...sometimes all someone needs is a little information to open their minds to the fact that there are other options. Once people understand that birth doesn't have to be a horrific, painful experience & that a woman's body is made to give birth naturally & normally, they can move forward & take back control of their birth experience. I was reminded of this in the HypnoBirthing class series I just started teaching last night. A mom in the class had always thought she wanted to get an epidural as soon as she got to the hospital. But then she watch The Business of Being Born & it opened her & her husband's eyes to the fact that birth is a money-making industry & that getting an epidural right away wasn't really what she wanted for her birth experience. She found HypnoBirthing & is now confident in her body's natural ability to birth her baby.

Please visit to find a practitioner near you or to just learn more about how HypnoBirthing can help you & your partner have a calmer, more comfortable, empowered birth.

Remember, you always have a choice...even if you feel like there are no choices. Not choosing to make a choice IS making a choice.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Courtney & Evandro's HypnoBirthing story

Here's another HypnoBirthing story from one of my past couples--Courtney & Evandro, who took my Tuesday/April 2009 class. It was their 1st birth & they had Dr. Biter as their OB.

Kaian Marley turned three months old last Saturday, but better late than never! Your classes helped us complete our pregnancy and to experience labor with nothing but the most positive and loving outlook. I don't know how much of it was the natural birth or our attachment parenting philosophy or if we just got lucky - but he is the sweetest, mellowest baby and has been since day 1. From birth, family and friends keep commenting at how peaceful and alert he is. I also wanted to share that while I maintained mostly a positive and focused state of mind during my labor, I was not without my doubts. I felt much less relaxed on my inside than I looked and felt on the outside. So much was going on inside me during the laboring process - chatter in my head, the intensity in my abdomen, struggling to maintain focus, the constant need to overcome my instincts to resist the surges instead of give into them... I kept wondering if I was doing it correctly. But after hearing the awe and amazement from my family who witnessed it first hand, and seeing how calm I looked on the video, I felt much more confident about the entire experience. I think that having doubts - even when things are going perfectly according to plan - is normal. There is no way to completely control everything... it is more how we control ourselves during the process.

I now know why you are so passionate about taking control of your pregnancy and birth, and in demanding nothing but the best for your family. Your class was the best pregnancy decision we made and I try to share my knowledge and experiences with everyone I can. It makes me so sad to think about all the women out there who have a negative experience just because they don't know there's an alternative. I am a firm believer in HypnoBirthing!

Thank you for teaching us how to have this amazing experience!!!




On Thursday night, May 28, my sister-in-law, Karna, and I were discussing my pregnancy and wondering when Kaian would make his appearance. We decided to make a baby pool and ask everyone in the family for their bids. My estimated due date was June 8, still 11 days away at that point. I have always had a strong feeling he would be making an early appearance so I chose June 1. Evandro chose June 5.

Somewhere during the conversation Karna asked if I was born early. I was, and thought it was about 10 days. Karna laughed and said if Kaian followed suit then I will be giving birth tomorrow. Little did we know...

I woke up several times that night having to pee. Although that was normal, something felt different. I was sleeping lighter and the practice contractions I had been having for weeks were especially pronounced. No pain or pressure at all, just a lot of tightening (where my belly got rock hard) and they were coming and going pretty frequently and lasting for a minute or so each. That had happened a few other times in the weeks before so I tried not to think anything of it - just tried to stay in the moment as much as I could. But I had a deep rooted feeling that it "was time."

At 6am I got up yet again and felt something like light gas pains. But after sitting in the bathroom for a bit nothing was happening so I got up and just stood in the middle of the bedroom trying to decide if it could possibly be labor. Evandro woke up and saw me standing there and asked "What is it, Amor?" I said (half-jokingly), "either I have to go poo or I'm about to have a baby." He told me to go back to the bathroom, but after a few minutes I came back and said I couldn't go. I told him my belly was hardening very frequently but still didn't feel any pressure. He smiled and got out his watch to time them just in case. They were very sporadic - sometimes coming every minute or two and sometimes taking several minutes in between. But I basically felt nothing other than the hardening.

Around 8 am, the pressure started and at that point I knew my instincts were correct. I was beginning to labor and Kaian was going to be born today. I soon started feeling extremely nauseous and went to the bathroom and threw up. Not long after that I emptied the other end as well. My body was cleaning itself out to get ready for giving birth. Evandro called Dr. Biter's office and Dr. Biter called back a few minutes later and asked how far apart the contractions were. We told him it ranged from 2-6 minutes. He asked if I could still talk through them and I said yes. He told me since I was not having an epidural to relax and stay home as long as possible and to keep him posted as the contractions got more regular. He suggested I take a bath or go for a walk.

From there the surges very quickly became stronger, felt especially in my lower back. Evandro asked if I was having any pain. I said not really pain, just a lot of pressure. They were lasting anywhere from 45 seconds to over a minute each. He ran a bath for me and brought in candles and put on the Rainbow Relaxation CD. Now our bathtub is one of those small, standard sized ones - so I had to stay semi-reclining and could not get my whole body in the water. I thought about that movie Knocked Up, where she labored in this beautiful, luxurious bubble bath. My bath was NOTHING like that. I think I lasted maybe 10 minutes in there before getting out.
I then went to the couch and sat in child's pose. I used my deep yoga breathing during the surges, which were growing increasingly stronger. They felt like a tightening with some pressure in my lower abdomen and far more intense pressure in my lower back, like a burning sensation. I was growing more and more uncomfortable, so I started getting up to walk in circles around the house during the surges. Some of the surges were light enough to remain in child's pose, but I kept having to get up and walk for the stronger ones since walking helped relieve the pressure. I kept thinking about marathon runners and how at some point during the marathon they probably wanted to quit - but pushed through it one step at a time. As I walked I pretended I was running a marathon, which helped keep me focused and motivated.

Around 9am, I said wanted to leave for the hospital. Evandro called Dr. Biter's office again and this time Dr. Capetanakis called back. He said we shouldn't go to the hospital too early and that we could come to the office to get checked out first if we wanted. After about 10 minutes of thinking it over I told Evandro I wanted to go to the hospital instead. It was all I could think about, and I wanted to get there so that I could relax and focus instead of being preoccupied about when to leave for the hospital. The 15-20 minute car ride was tougher because it was hard to relax and get comfortable. The surges seemed way more intense and I had to brace myself for a few of them.

When we got to Scripps Encinitas just after 10am, my cousin Erin met us out front and helped me go check in while Evandro parked the car. The lady who checked us in said they never received my pre-registration paperwork but luckily I brought a copy with me and handed it to her. Erin talked for me and explained I was doing HypnoBirthing. A nurse named Carolyn came over and said she would get me to my labor room. I silently followed and immediately got into the bed. The whole time I could only focus on my deep, slow breathing and getting through each surge.

After checking my blood pressure, Carolyn said she needed to get a baseline reading and put the monitor on my belly. She checked me and I was 5-6cm. She only kept the monitor on for a short time and then took it off and said I could walk around if I wanted. I got up to use the bathroom and felt like I was going to throw up again so I immediately got back in bed.
My dad, stepdad and grandma showed up at some point. All along I thought I wouldn't want anyone in the room with me but at that point I could have cared less who was in the room as long as they were quiet. They knew we were practicing HypnoBirthing and knew to be quiet and let me focus.

Later on Carolyn put the monitor back on to get another reading. I heard my dad whisper to Erin that the top reading was the baby's heartbeat and the bottom one showed my contractions. He said "See she's having another one, but she's so quiet you wouldn't know it. She didn't even move." I was curious and looked up to see the monitor. I could see the reading move up and down with each surge. They were still getting stronger and the monitor gave me something to focus on. I watched them go up and could see when they peaked. Being a visual person, it helped me along for a while.

Evandro massaged my legs for a bit and kept asking if I needed anything, like my birthing ball. I said no. I felt so nauseous every time I stood up that I stayed in the bed. Sometimes reclining back or on my side, other times in child's pose or squatting against the head rest. A short while later the monitor became too much - I didn't want anything touching me - so I pulled it off and handed it to Evandro. He asked if I wanted anything to eat and I said no - I was too nauseous so I just drank water.

Soon I felt something warm and saw that my mucous plug come out. I knew we were close. The surges were getting so strong that I was moaning through some of them. Carolyn came over, stroked my head and told me to surrender to the surges. She and Evandro both kept telling me that I was doing great. I could feel each surge rise up my uterus, getting tighter and tighter... and then finally peaking before releasing back down. The peak told me it was subsiding and that I could rest for a moment. I used a number of the visualizations, including the opening flower and also thought about how native women give birth in the jungle all the time. I figured if they could do it, so could I. I visualized the jungle around me and felt close to nature. The Rainbow Relaxation was on repeat and I focused on the words. I took each surge as it came. Each time I thought "I can get through one more," and tried to forget that there would be more to follow. As long as I stayed in the moment, I could do this. I kept feeling my baby Kaian, talking to him in my head and told him to come when he was ready. I could feel him more than I ever did before.
The nurse checked me again around 1pm and I was 8-9 cm. I knew Kaian was ready and it wouldn't be long. Evandro came over and told me that Dr. Biter was on his way. I started shaking uncontrollably, and remembered Carol's birth stories that she shared in class. She told us this happened to her just before she gave birth. Evandro saw me shaking and asked if I was cold. I wasn't. He told the nurse I was shaking and she said that it was normal - I was going through transition. Hearing this, I focused on the opening flower visualization and told my cervix to open so that Kaian could come out. I was encouraged that I was almost done.

I asked Evandro to get in bed with me. He laid against my back and held me. I said "I can't do this anymore. I need this to be over." He told me it was almost over and that Kaian was coming soon. It felt good to have him there close to me.

Dr. Biter soon arrived. He checked me and said "It's time." The sweetest words. That was exactly what I needed to hear! Evandro told me later that my water released just then and splashed out everywhere. I barely remember that happening.

Dr. Biter told me to wait for the contractions and then to "breathe the baby down." Which sounds so much easier than it is! I was reclining back at first and started pushing. I felt like nothing was happening. Dr. Biter told me to turn around and squat backwards against the back of the bed. I tried that and still felt like nothing was happening. I pushed as hard as I could a few times and Dr. Biter told me I needed to push harder to get the head around my pubic bone. I said "he's stuck!" And Dr. Biter said "he's not stuck, you're doing great. " Dr. Biter told me that the baby was moving downwards but I needed to help him, and that it seemed like I was pushing but then getting scared of the pressure and backing off. I wouldn't say I was scared, but I know I was concerned about tearing. I was getting frustrated in that position so I turned around again to a semi-reclining position on my back. I felt more at ease that way, like I had more control. Evandro kept encouraging me, saying "Nice Amor!" He held one leg and Carolyn held the other. I guess I kept trying to push with my legs so Dr. Biter told me I needed to relax my legs and push the baby down and out. He pushed down on my perineum and said push here, like you're having a bowel movement. I pushed again and still nothing.

Dr. Biter then said "wait for the contractions and push with them." At that moment I finally got it. I was so eager to be done, I realized I was just pushing and was not focusing on what my body was telling me. I stopped, went inside myself to connect with my baby and asked him to guide me. I suddenly realized the surges I was feeling earlier were gone, and was wondering how I would know when I was supposed to push. Then suddenly I felt the urge to bear down. It was totally different than the labor contractions, and much less intense. So I pushed and breathed downwards, and made a grunting noise. Dr. Biter poured on oil and asked Evandro to help him with the perennial massage. Evandro put his fingers in and said "I can feel his ear!" I thought it was so cool that he was able to participate.

After another push, Kaian's head was visible and Dr. Biter told me to reach down and touch my baby. Strangely, I refused. I'm not sure why, but I think I was so focused that I didn't want to be distracted by anything. But I could see his head full of dark hair and felt inspired. I kept talking to my baby in my head and felt him responding, telling me to help him out. He was so close. I closed my eyes and concentrated as hard as I could. As soon as the urge came again, I pushed and breathed and grunted. I felt my perineum stretch and remembered Carol telling us in class that the point of perennial massage isn't so much to stretch, but to get used to the sensation. I was so glad I did it, because that was so true. It was the exact same sensation and I pretended that I was at home doing perennial massage, which helped me stop worrying about tearing. At that moment I finally relaxed enough that the head came out. Dr. Biter said reach down and receive your baby, and as I reached down he pulled out the shoulders and helped hand Kaian to me. It was 1:43pm. He was 7lbs. 4oz and 19" long. No tearing, though I did feel scraped up a bit afterward. I immediately put him to my chest and held him. He cried for a brief moment and stopped as soon as Evandro and I started talking to him.

Carolyn told me that was the first she had seen me smile since I arrived. She said that I was so quiet that she didn't think I spoke English at first. My cousin Erin was the only one who spoke at check-in, and then after hearing Evandro's accent she figured I just didn't speak English. I guess I was pretty zoned out because a lot of the details are blurry. Carolyn then handed me a bunch of registration paperwork to fill out. She said I was "in my zone" when we arrived and so she didn't want to distract me with the paperwork at that time. She also said her sister used HypnoBirthing, which explained why she was so familiar with the techniques and terminology. What an Angel she was! She later came in and borrowed our Rainbow Relaxation CD for her next patient, who forgot hers. It was so nice to see a nurse in a hospital so supportive of HypnoBirthing.

Other nurses came over to meet us and told me they heard about our wonderful birth. No one in my family could believe that I didn't use anything for pain. I was so happy to show them how wonderful a birthing experience could be. My sister in law Veronica had an emergency c-section after being induced and laboring for 20+ hours. She had such a negative experience that she called me to say that after hearing my story she could no longer tell people how horrible giving birth was.

We were at the hospital for about 3.5 hours before Kaian's birth, and my entire labor lasted maybe 6 hours. We checked out about 24 hours later. It went exactly as I planned, as I always visualized it would. Although the surges were intense, I would not classify them as painful. They were also never consistent, so I'm glad I learned to listen to my body to tell me when I was ready. The pushing stage was the hardest for me. No pain, but it took me a few tries to find my rhythm. It was hard work. But in hindsight, the pushing part only lasted about 20 minutes so it went much faster than it seemed. I do know that I probably could not have done this without the HypnoBirthing classes, or without Evandro's unfailing support. There were moments when I understood why women end up asking for an epidural, because it is definitely intense. I reflected about the most difficult thing I had done in my life up until that point - which was a five day, 40 mile backpacking trip through the Sierras along the John Muir trail. I had altitude sickness pretty bad during that trip. I've decided that giving birth is the second hardest thing I've done - my backpacking trip still wins. Although I felt proud of myself after that grueling hike, giving birth - especially natural birth - has a much sweeter reward!

Courtney White Menezes
Agua Web Design

Thanks for sharing your story. Continue to enjoy your babymoon!

All my best--Carol