Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ashlee and Gerard's HypnoBirthing Story

Ashlee and Gerard took my classes on Tuesday evenings in Encinitas, North County San Diego. Here is their story:

I hope things are going well! I just wanted to say that we had our Baby Girl!

Thanks to you and Linda Goldsmith, our doula, we had a natural birth and labor lasted approximately 9 hours.  It started around 11:30pm - Midnight with some menstrual type cramps.  The first 2 hours we didn't know we were in labor, the next 2 hours we started timing the surges.  Eventually the water broke and we left for the hospital.  We got to Scripps Encinitas at 6am and had the baby at 9:02 am.  We used the toilet, the back position, side positions and eventually delivered the baby in the hands and knee's position. 

It was awesome.  No pain meds, no tearing, only one stitch.  We left the hospital the following day and have taken multiple walks and been out to our favorite restaurant since then. 

Thanks for your classes they were great! 


Congratulations! I am so happy that you found the HypnoBirthing techniques helpful and you had the birth that you desired! And thank you for your beautiful pictures- what joy! 
If you are interested in hiring Ashlee & Gerard's doula, Linda Goldsmith, you can contact her at 760-815-3852.
If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes in the San Diego area, please feel free to contact Carol for class schedules and more information at: A Well Lived Life. If Carol's schedule does not work with yours, she would love to refer you to other local instructors as well. If you aren’t in the San Diego area but are still interested in utilizing all that HypnoBirthing has to offer, check out The HypnoBirthing Institute and find a Local Practitioner for you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Denise and Brian's VBAC HypnoBirthing Story

Denise and her husband took my classes on Tuesday evenings in Cardiff, a community of Encinitas in North County San Diego, in February 2012.  Here is their VBAC story:

Before labor, Denise wrote:

Considering I was supposed to get induced last night, I am doing good!  I convinced my OB over the phone to give me a couple more days because I feel I am so close.  Luckily our dates are off, she thinks I am 41 wks tomorrow, I think 42 wks as of a few days ago.  She agreed to Fri at 8am, as long as I get a NST tomorrow afternoon.  If my fluids are low then they'll send me straight to L&D, which is what I'm expecting because they've been low last few weeks at least, and also because I think I've had a slow break in water as of yesterday morning.  It's been a slow trickle ever since.  I had acupuncture on Monday which made me feel so much better but seemed to calm everything down besides the water possibly breaking.   Had more acu today and I've had steady strong cramping/contractions for the past 3 hours, but I don't want to get too excited because we end up disappointed almost nightly. I've done so much to bring labor on up till this point. I can't believe that the end is FINALLY in sight! Another day or so left...!  Thanks again and wish me luck!!  :)


We had a little boy on May 3rd! I went into labor on my own and had the VBAC I was desperately wanting!  I was scheduled to be induced the next morning but I had my 2nd acupuncture appt on Weds May 2nd and my cramps continued when I got home that afternoon and didn't stop this time. :)  We were waiting to call anyone because it'd been this way for so much of April, but when I got into the tub that night, the contractions and back labor kicked in hard and fast.  They were so intense so quickly that I couldn't get ahead of them and into the hypnotic state that I wanted.  My doula came and she and Brian half carried me to the car immediately...I was yelling instead of relaxing! :(  So I immediately got the epidural when I could because I arrived at the hospital at 6.5 cm dilated and felt I couldn't handle another second of the pain.  I think that if it wasn't for the back labor, things could have been different.  But I'm still so happy for the VBAC, I loved the experience otherwise, and I felt enough when he was in the birth canal and born that I feel the epidural was the perfect amount.  I am still so glad for the HypnoBirthing training to get me through the last few months and especially that night of labor.  I have to say that UCSD staff were really great. They even tried to talk me out of the epidural at first!  but they were quick to offer drugs instead which I definitely didn't want.  The one nurse was a little too intense though and kept getting upset with me that I wasn't doing the purple pushing that you had talked about.  So I felt forced to push this way and did have some tearing, but his heart rate was dropping a little and they were so concerned about that of course that I wanted to do whatever I had to in order to stay off the operating table for another c-section.  Anyways, I pushed for an hour and he was born at 8:04am.  The sun was shining thru our labor room window, which was really nice. :)   Anyways, thanks for all of your information, I was much more informed and excited about the end of pregnancy and labor thanks to you! 


Congratulations! I'm so happy that you got the VBAC you wanted and that the classes helped you feel more prepared- that is always my goal! I hope you are continuing to enjoy your babymoon!

For more information on Denise’s doula, Mary Schlegel

If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes in the San Diego area, please feel free to contact Carol for class schedules and more information at: A Well Lived Life. If my schedule does not work with yours we would love to refer you to other local instructors as well. If you aren’t in the San Diego area but are still interested in utilizing all that HypnoBirthing has to offer, check outThe HypnoBirthing Institute and find a Local Practitioner for you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Erica and Jordan's HypnoBirthing Story

Erica and Jordan took Carol’s HypnoBirthing classes on Thursday evenings at Seaside Women’s Health in Encinitas, North County San Diego.  Here is their son, Moses’, birth story:

The HypnoBirth that I anticipated did not go as planned, however, it was an amazing experience and I would not go back on any decisions I made, nor change anything about my 31 hour journey.

My water released at 8:30am on Wednesday, April 25th. Since I tested positive for Strep B, I knew that I would have to receive antibiotics within 18 hours. I called Jordan and he must have sensed the pending birth, because he was already in the driveway. At that point I decided not to attempt my Bikram yoga class, instead, we hung out at the house waiting for the surges. At 11:30am with no progress and such a beautiful day, we felt like a hike might get things rolling. We discovered Double Peak Park in San Marcos. I took my time up the 1000 foot elevation gain and made it to the top with no issues. I could start feeling more of a wave flowing through my body. I snacked on an apple at the top and took pictures. It was gorgeous and I highly recommend it! On our way home we stopped for tacos and thought maybe the spice would get it going. I began to feel stronger surges. When we got home we showered and relaxed in bed timing the surges. I was at about 7 minutes apart at 5pm. So, I put on my waves cd and Jordan began with affirmations and the ocean script. I found myself in deep relaxation. I then moved on to the rainbow relaxation CD. My surges became a little more intense and were anywhere between 4-6 minutes apart. At 9pm, we took our beagle for a walk and I found myself stopping and finding my zone.

At 11pm, we made a decision to go to Scripps La Jolla hopsital because I was about 4 minutes apart and getting close to needing the antibiotics. I had my earphones in playing rainbow relaxation and when we arrived at the hospital I found myself needing to stop and sit on my yoga ball. We checked in and they brought us to the examination room. The mid-wife on duty checked to make sure that my water did release, which it did, although I was only 2 cm. dilated. They brought me to my room and started the iv of antibiotics. I could taste it in my mouth and became extremely nauseous. Jordan set up the room, giving me a peaceful atmosphere, with candles, a pillow, and my quilt. I wore my bead blessed necklace and hoped it would soothe me even more. I utilized the shower and yoga ball. We listened to affirmations and rainbow relaxation throughout. I was very much in my zone. Jordan used light touch massage and counter hip pressure. My first nurse also rotated with Jordan in massaging me. Jordan was always there and I found his words comforting. Another check later in the early morning and I had not yet progressed. In my mind I felt a bit of disappointment, but knew that this would pass and I needed to just breathe and focus on bringing my baby to me. At 8am I had to receive my next dose of antibiotics. I found that my favorite place to be was on my yoga ball with my torso being supported by the bed. Throughout this entire time Jordan only took a few bathroom breaks and a quick nap. He offered me food, but I could only stomach sips of water. About that time the doctor came in. I was at 5 cm. and 24 hours since my water had released. She said at that time I needed something to relax me further because the baby was so low and my cervix needed to progress. She knew that a natural hypnobirth is what I wanted. At that time there was a shift change and I received two new nurses. Everyone was on board with trying to help me go natural, but knew the ultimate goal was a healthy baby. I asked for more time from Dr. Barile to get relaxed on my own. I tried different positions and then walked the halls and stepped out into the courtyard to get some fresh air. 25 hours into my labor and knowing that I definitely did not want a c-section we discussed options with the doctor. She said I could get an epidural or a light dose of Nubain. We took 30 minutes and chose the Nubain. I became a bit more relaxed, but then the surges seemed to intensify. I was on my yoga ball with Jordan behind me doing everything he could. I felt that this baby was going to come to us at any moment. When Dr. Barile came into check my progression and I was still at only 8 cm. dilated and the cervix was bruising and thickening, causing to reverse my efforts. At that moment Dr. Barile offered Pitocin, however, I chose against it, thinking that it would just make contractions stronger, but still not help in dilation, leading to my cervix to close and a c-section. At 27 hours I made the extremely tough decision to have a light epidural to hopefully be able to get to 10 cm. dilated. The epidural caused my body to fully relax and reverse the strong urge to push and the shakes. At 29 hours I was 10 cm. dilated, but my contractions slowed to 7 minutes apart. I was all over the place with my body. So at this point I had them introduce Pitocin, which quickly brought my contractions to 2-3 apart and in the "breathing down phase". At this time, I felt most comfortable on my back with my knees out to the side. The doctor came in and we discussed my breathing and I found it best to "purple push". At this moment I discovered more inner strength than I knew I had. I was exhausted, but it was exhilarating! Even with weeks of perennial massage I began to tear in 3 places. The doctor offered an episiotomy. She knew my birth plan from the start and kept apologizing for my circumstance. She was very soothing and understanding and I appreciated her letting me go over 24 hours without pressure to do alternative methods. I decided to get the episiotomy and happy I did, because I am healing fast with 2 stitches. 

At 3:55pm on Thursday, April 26th. We had a boy!!!!! Moses Aindreas. Weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces and 20 inches long. He suffered very noticeable bruising on his forehead from hitting my cervix. 9 days later we are a healthy family. Moses did get a Vitamin K shot because of the bruising. He also had Jaundice, which seems to have subsided with a lot of breastfeeding efforts.  

Moses is an alert, calm and happy baby boy. I owe my internal birthing strength to HypnoBirthing! Even during the strongest surge, Moses' heart rate was perfect. The nurses kept telling me, "You have a very happy baby! "

Congratulations Erica and Jordan! You both did such a wonderful job working through your labor.  A major goal I have in my classes is to give you the tools to help keep you in control of yourself during your labor no matter what happens during your labor, which you both obviously did so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope you are continuing to enjoy your babymoon! 

If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes in the San Diego area, please feel free to contact Carol for class schedules and more information at: A Well Lived Life. If my schedule deso not work with yours, I would love to refer you to other local instructors as well. If you aren’t in the San Diego area but are still interested in utilizing all that HypnoBirthing has to offer, check out The HypnoBirthing Institute and find a Local Practitioner for you!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jessica & Jason's HypnoBirthing Story

Jessica and her husband took Carol’s classes on Thursday evenings at Seaside Women’s Health in Encinitas, North County San Diego.  Here is their daughter’s birth story:
I started having sporadic surges on the afternoon of December 12.  A few hours later, I had my bloody show, and I knew Angelica was coming soon.  I starting crying out of excitement as my surges started to come more frequently.  By 3 AM the next morning, my surges were coming between four and seven minutes apart.  I called my doula and she told me not to focus on timing the surges at this point, but to try and sleep in between them as much as possible.  I tried to do so, but they were so intense and were way more uncomfortable than I had anticipated.  I thought I must be close!  There was no way I could sleep.  I decided to go to the hospital and call the doula back when we got there.  When we got to UCSD, I was only 3 CM dilated.  The midwife told me I could stay at the hospital and walk around for a couple hours or I could go home.  We decided to go home and our doula came right over.  By around 11 AM my surges seemed to be coming on top of each other and I couldn’t help but push.  Our doula said it was time to go!  When we got back to the hospital, I was 7 CM.  I couldn’t help but push at this point with each surge, and my water broke during one of the surges.  A few hours later I was totally complete and Angelica was ready to be born. The birthing tub had just finished being filled up, so Jason and I got in, and I did most of the pushing in the tub.  I had to get out as she was crowning (UCSD doesn’t allow water births yet), and delivered her at 4:56 PM December 13 on the comfy queen size bed in our room!  I was totally in shock as they put her on my chest.  She was so beautiful... and huge!  My placenta was delivered within minutes.  Angelica started breastfeeding pretty much right away and laid on my chest for maybe an hour.  When the nurses weighed and measured her, we learned that she was 9 pounds, 4 ounces and 21.5 inches long!  And I didn‘t tear!!!! 
The whole process was unbelievable.  It was way more intense than I had anticipated, but it was totally doable.  I would definitely do it again.  I wasn’t silent the whole time like the videos we watched in class, but I was definitely calm and relaxed.  I think being so exhausted from not being able to sleep helped to keep me very relaxed and “in the zone.” We had the birthing affirmations and the rainbow relaxation CD playing the whole time.  The doula and Jason were awesome at reminding me to relax during each surge, keeping me hydrated, rubbing my back, and being supportive.  I tried to eat a little in between surges, but wasn’t really able to.  By the time I was hungry, the surges were pretty much on top of each other.  Right after I delivered, however, we ordered pizza for everyone, and I ate a ton!  The whole staff at the UCSD Birth Center was great.  I think I will submit our birthing video after we edit it.  The only part of the process I didn’t feel prepared for was how much you bleed afterwards.  I was kind of freaked out and called my midwife to make sure everything was ok.  But it was!
Angelica has been such a great baby.  She has been really calm and barely cries.  I can’t wait to have my next HypnoBirth!  Thank you Carol!!


Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jessica! I am so thankful to hear that the HypnoBirthing techniques were so helpful and that you got the beautiful birth you were desiring. I hope you both are continuing to enjoy this beautiful time with Angelica!

Contact information for Jessica’s doula, Laura Smith Ramirez: 619.247.3765

For more information on UCSD Medical Center as well as the accompanying Birth Center:

If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes in the San Diego area, please feel free to contact Carol for class schedules and more information at: A Well Lived Life. If her schedule does not work with yours, she would love to refer you to other local instructors as well. If you aren’t in the San Diego area but are still interested in utilizing all that HypnoBirthing has to offer, check out The HypnoBirthing Institute and find a Local Practitioner for you!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Kelli and Justin's HypnoFertility and Hypnobirthing Testimonial

I have been humbled greatly to walk alongside Kelli and Justin through their experiences with infertility, the joys of becoming pregnant after our work through HypnoFertility together, and again through HypnoBirthing classes prior to the birth of their baby. Here is their gracious feedback of their experiences with both HypnoFertility and HypnoBirthing:

I can't begin to thank you enough for all that you have done for Justin and I over the course of the past couple of years.  We couldn't stop talking about how wonderful you are and what a calming force you are in our lives on the car ride home from the last class the other night.  We felt a little bit like birds that did not want to leave the nest yet though because we have enjoyed so much our Tuesdays with you and how we feel such a sense of peace, relief, and excitement for our coming baby after every class.  We simply can't even think of our road to parenthood without thinking of you and what an integral piece you have been to the puzzle.  It is amazing to think we are on the brink of bringing this baby into the world when just last year I felt deflated by sadness, fear, and disappointment from our fertility journey.  You really helped me stay on the road of positivity and hope and this little guy/gal in me is the evidence of that.  We both feel so educated, empowered, and centered by the HypnoBirthing course and feel that we are going to bring this baby into the world in such a blessed and more special way than we ever could have imagined.  Justin and I both laugh that you are the new "What Would Jesus Do?" instead it is "What Would Carol Say?"  Whenever we are faced with negativity or challenges, I feel like you are that little voice in our heads helping us through, pointing us in the right direction, or whispering words of positivity.  You truly have an amazing talent and are an absolute gift to all the women out there needing fertility support and all those couples out there interested in trying things "a different way."  I can't promise that you won't hear from me again... I am sure I will be dialing you up to cry it out about something, fear release something, or just get your advice about something.  Thank you, thank you, thank you and please know how much you mean to us! -Kelli, Justin, and Baby


Thank you so much, Kelli and Justin. I am so thankful to have been able to walk this journey with your family.

If you are interested in either HypnoFertility or HypnoBirthing classes in the San Diego area, please feel free to contact me for class schedules or individual sessions and more information at: A Well Lived Life

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Quit Smoking Testimonial

Jennifer, a former HypnoBirthing client of mine, contacted me recently because she was interested in using hypnosis to quit smoking. She had smoked on & off since college and had quit when she was trying to get pregnant. She was able to stop easily for that, but pretty soon after she stopped breastfeeding, she started smoking again but only at night. She found that smoking a cigarette at night after her child went to bed was relaxing. She would also enjoy smoking a cigarette as she worked on her computer at night. She recently got a job in Orange County and smoked on her drive up and back. She was nervous about this new job and not feeling as confident as she wanted. She had to do more public speaking than she was used to so as she drove up to Orange County, she would get increasingly more anxious and want/need to smoke.

We scheduled a 2 1/2 hour session and discussed her issues. She felt that she was committed to quitting, but just didn't see how since it was such a calming, relaxing habit. She also described herself as not being able to sleep well and that she wasn't able to relax well.

Here's her email to me after our session:


I did it! I made it through yesterday without so much as a craving.  

The last few days have been eye-opening. For one, I never realized how detrimental my opposing thoughts were to my success. On the one hand, I'd think, "I have to quit," then on the other, I'd think, "I'm young, there's plenty of time to quit in the future."  Now, I "cancel-cancel" the negative thoughts, and this is working wonders. Sometimes just focusing on canceling the bad thoughts is distraction enough for me to forget about smoking. I've found myself in the car for 30 minutes before I even think about smoking. And even then, the thought is, "Wow, I would've had two by now," and not, "Wow, I want one."

I also can't get over how confident I've felt since our session. I arrived at my job yesterday and didn't feel anywhere near the level of anxiety I normally feel.

Overall, I feel very relaxed. I've been napping everyday, something I've never managed to do, and your CD has helped me get 7-9 hours of sleep at night. Small things for most people, but big feats for me. I've been joking with Doug that I may need to schedule another session so you can bring back some of my anxiety! I'm just not used to being this calm; I'm used to operating under much greater (and self-induced) stress levels. Waking up fearless is foreign to me. A friend of mine, someone I speak to almost everyday, says I sound different, more at ease. I know this is a positive thing, but it's something I need to get used to. I'm waiting around for - bracing myself for - those old anxious feelings and I need to get used to the idea that they may never return at the intensity I used to experience before. I've relied everyday on Bach remedies for anxiety, and since our session, I've gone without.

There's something I forgot to mention in our session. Lately, I've been having a great deal of joint pain.  It's been going on for maybe two years, and in recent months, it's gotten quite bad. The doctors think it may be rheumatoid arthritis, but the tests so far have been inconclusive. I've been taking medication for the pain, daily, and since our session, I've been getting by on far less. Half as much does the trick now and I'm optimistic about finding more holistic approaches to treatment. This has been a surprising added bonus.

I am still working on my affirmations, and I would love to send them to you once I'm finished. I'm thinking of laminating a small card and keeping it one in my wallet and another in the visor of my car. I don't remember all of what you said during our session, but the visual of plucking the cigarettes out of images from life stayed with me. In fact, I used that visual to pass the time on my drive yesterday. Also, I keep thinking about an object controlling me, how sad that is. And 70 minutes of my day (7 cigarettes takes 70 minutes to smoke) - that's what I need to manage.

Please forgive the length of this email. All of this is to say, thank you. I truly believe something miraculous has happened, and I have you to thank.


Here's my response back to her:

Wow Jennifer! That's so awesome! I love that hypnosis filters into all parts of the subconscious mind that want help and makes huge and lasting changes! I'm so happy for you that you've been so successful and have noticed so many changes occur from just one session of hypnosis!

The changes will just keep getting more enhanced now that your subconscious mind knows what you want it to do. Just stay aware of your thought process and "cancel, cancel" anything that doesn't fit into your image of what you want to be and how you want to feel.

The changes you've felt physically are probably due to stress reduction. Arthritis and pain issues can be very challenging, but when the mind is able to relax and the body is able to relax, the body is able to heal itself. I'm so glad that you're feeling better and having to take less medication.

I'd be happy to take a look at your affirmations once you're done with them. Great idea about keeping one in your wallet and one in the car. Eventually you won't need them and you can replace them with other affirmations about your life!

I'm thrilled you are having so much success just from one session! I appreciate you giving me the credit, but really, YOU did it! I was there to help your mind figure out what it needed to do and then it was all you! Be very proud of your success!

All my best,

Here's Jennifer's response:
I love what you said in your email, "...hypnosis filters into all parts of the subconscious mind that want help and make huge and lasting changes!
It reminded me - I came home from our session and immediately fell asleep. I was exhausted, and I think that's a testament to how immediate the results are - I was finally able to relax.
I agree, people should know how effective hypnosis is!
Thanks so much, Jennifer, for sharing your success story! It's amazing what hypnosis can do! 

If you or someone you know would like to quit smoking and are interested in setting up a session with Carol, please contact her at 858-837-1259 or via her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. One session (2 1/2 hours) is all it takes if you're really wanting to quit. You don't have to believe you can do'll get there after our session.

Carol is available for sessions in her office in Encinitas, through Skype or over the phone.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sandra and Tim's HypnoBirthing Story

Sandra and Tim took Carol’s HypnoBirthing class on Tuesday evenings in February/March 2012 in Encinitas, North County San Diego.  This is their birth story, as told by Tim. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22nd - Sandra woke up with excruciating pain on the left side of her mid-back.  It was a constant pain so we knew it was not surges.  We tried Rainbow Relaxing, massage, ice and heat.  Our doula recommended an epson salt bath which worked like a charm.  When Sandra got out of the bath she was pain free for the next five hours.... but then it came back at the same level as the morning.  We tried another bath, but it was much less effective.  She tried to sleep, but had little success.

Monday, April 23rd - This was the first day of Sandra's maternity leave.  She had not slept much due to the pain, but felt much better when I left for work.  She went swimming and felt good all day.  Just before we went to bed the pain came back.

Tuesday, April 24th - Again, Sandra had a hard time sleeping because the pain was the most acute at night.  At 1pm she called me at work because the pain was back and so strong she was worried about driving herself to the chiropractor.  I came home and took her to see Bridget.  She adjusted Sandra's pelvis which was really tweaked to the left.  This did not immediately help relieve the pain, but we left very hopeful.  Sandra had also been constipated for the last 48 hours so we stopped by Jimbo's to get some Homeopathic stool softeners. 

Wednesday, April 25th - At midnight the pain was still significant so we consulted with the midwife and she recommended trying Castor Oil because nothing else was working and we were close to the due date.  I went to CVS and searched for Castor Oil.  Not surprisingly the employees at 3am are not the A team.  Castor oil is in the baby section, not the constipation section!  We tried the Castor oil (Sandra reports that is tastes pretty awful!) and 8 hours later there was still no bowel movement.  So the midwife recommended drinking 2 ozs of Extra Virgin Olive oil and 48 ozs of water in 1 hour.  This was supposed to help with the constipation, it did not help and about 30 minutes after finishing the water Sandra threw it back up.  It was about 1pm and we were getting worried because Sandra had not been able to eat anything significant in over 12 hours and now it appeared water was not sitting well either.  Eventually the midwives decided it was best if we came into the hospital to get checked out.  We went in at 3pm and they put Sandra on an IV to help rehydrate her, started running tests to try to identify what was causing the pain and did a vaginal exam.  The vaginal exam revealed Sandra was 2cm dilated and was having regular surges which Sandra could not feel due to the back pain.  They did blood work to check for a kidney infection and did an ultrasound to look for kidney stones.  While waiting for the test results they gave Sandra an enema which finally fixed the constipation.  We hoped that this would help with the pain, but after a brief respite the pain came back just as strong.  We wondered if the baby was going to come, but the surges slowed down.  They decided to keep Sandra at the hospital overnight because the pain was still so acute. 

Thursday, April 26th - Sandra was released from the hospital at 7am.  They did a vaginal exam before she left and she was 3.5cm dilated.  We got home and she was able to sleep until noon.  This was the longest block of sleep she had gotten since Sunday.  She spent the rest of the day propped up in bed watching movies.  I had a feeling it was a matter of days if not hours until the baby came so I spent the day doing laundry and running errands.  I got home at 10pm and Sandra took a bath to prepare for bed.  She was feeling some surges but kept falling asleep between them so she did not know how far apart they were spaced.  After her bath I timed the surges and they were consistently 7 minutes apart so I called our doula.  She said she had been dressed and ready to go since 6pm because she had a feeling Torin was coming that night. 

Friday, April 27th - Becky (our doula) arrived just before midnight and helped us labor at home until 2am.  Amazingly the pain in Sandra's side disappeared earlier in the day when the surges became consistent.  At 2am the surges were 2 minutes apart so we headed to UCSD Hillcrest.  Unfortunately it was a busy night at the hospital so there were no rooms available in the Birth Center.  This meant we had to be downstairs in labor and delivery, but we still received care from the midwife, not the OB.  We had really been looking forward to being in the Birth Center because the large beds make it much easier to bond as a family after the delivery.  Sandra did a great job of not letting the disappointment throw off her game.  At this point she had to stop walking and concentrate during each surge, but still remained totally relaxed.  Labor progressed quickly.  After 3 hours she was 9.5cm dilated.  It then took 3 more hours to get to 10cm.  She loved not being on an IV because she was able to move around and labor in many different positions.  Her favorite position was squatting, but it is also very physically demanding so after a couple hours she started experimenting with with positions that allowed her to rest more completely between surges.  She ended up squatting on the bed for the surge and then laying on her side and completely relaxing between the surges.  At 7am a room opened up in the Birth Center and they offered it to us, but Sandra had no interest in moving at that point.

The birth - At around 8am Sandra began to have a very strong urge to push.  The midwife (Linda) tried to check her to make sure she was fully dilated, but the baby's head was so low it made it difficult to check.  Linda decided that she must be fully dilated and it was ok to start pushing him out.  This began a cycle of pushing him down, seeing the top of his head and then watching it disappear after the surge ended.  The cycle went on for over an hour.  Finally the head made it far enough that it stayed after the surge ended.  At this point it was clear Sandra was exhausted, but she did a great job of drinking coconut water, nibbling a protein bar and completely relaxing between surges.  The nurse kept using a handheld Doppler unit to listen to the baby's heart between surges.  I could tell she and the midwife were a little worried, but every time his heart rate was strong at ~140 beats per minute.  It took 3.5 hours of pushing, but the baby's head finally made it all the way out.  He sat there for about 30 seconds and then turned to the right to align his shoulders.  Sandra laid there waiting for a surge so she could push him all the way out, but after 5 minutes no surge came.  Through the course of the hours of pushing her surges had started to get farther and farther apart.  The midwife asked if she had the strength to push without a surge.  If not they were going to have to put her on an IV to give her pitocin.  Sandra pushed and the baby slid out!  Linda lifted him up and placed him on Sandra's chest.  He was active an alert, but not crying.  As soon as he touched her chest he reached up and grabbed her finger.  The birth was not a silent process of soft J-breathing, but the HypnoBirth techniques allowed Sandra to stay relaxed and save her energy for when she needed it.

Torin was born at 11:50am on April 27th.  He was 10lbs 5oz and 22in long!  The hospital staff was amazed that no tearing or episiotomy was needed.  The perineal massage paid off!

Thank you, Carol, for doing such a great job with the class...  we found the HypnoBirthing techniques to be very helpful in having a natural, un-medicated birth. -Tim

I am not sure how I was able to do it, I had no idea I had the strength in me, but Carol did give us lots of tools to make it all happen.  Our midwife was also amazing for not giving up on us.  She coached me through the pushing process and was very patient.  I feel like I would have ended up with a C-section if we had been at any other hospital. -Sandra


Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sandra and Tim. I loved reading your birth story from Tim’s perspective! I am thankful that the HypnoBirthing techniques were useful for you and that you had the birth that you were desiring, even in the midst of unforeseen situations! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful story with us. Enjoy your babymoon!

For more information on UCSD Medical Center as well as the accompanying Birth Center:

For more information about Sandra & Tim's doula, Becky Gonzalez, please visit her website at

If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes in the San Diego area, please feel free to contact us for class schedules and more information at: A Well Lived Life. If our schedules do not work with yours we would love to refer you to other local instructors as well. If you aren’t in the San Diego area but are still interested in utilizing all that HypnoBirthing has to offer, check out The HypnoBirthing Institute and find a Local Practitioner for you!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chelle and Chris' HypnoBirthing Story

Chelle and Chris took Kelly's Monday evening HypnoBirthing classes at the end of 2011.  Chelle was hoping to gain techniques and information that would help her have a more positive experience than she had with her first son's birth. This is their story!

Bear with me….I tend to over talk things, but so much of Rook’s birth was about the preparation that I feel like I can’t leave anything out!
When I got pregnant with our oldest son, Cy, back in 2009, I knew immediately that I wanted a natural unmedicated child birth. I still wanted to go the hospital/OB route, but I wanted to do everything in my power to skip that “cascade of interventions” and avoid drugs and possible complications from said interventions. Chris and I signed up for Bradley Method classes and I was very hopeful for a positive outcome. I had some issues with my doctor and at 34 weeks, after a really awful appointment full of no’s, I decided to switch to a new OBGYN. She seemed a lot better but still was pushing for induction if I hit my due date. I was so anxious at the arrival of said due date, and possible induction was the only thing on my mind. Long story short, I went into labor on my own the night before Cy’s due date, labored for about 17 hours and freaked out. The pain became too much and the anxiety of the situation over took me. I caved and got the epidural. I ended up going from 5 cm to 10 cm in a matter of an hour and pushed out Cy in a few contractions. I knew I did what I had to do, with what I was given, and with my current knowledge, but I did feel pretty disappointed in myself. My recovery was pretty slow and painful and involved more drugs, lots of sitz baths, and a lot more time than I expected.

Fast forward to May 2011, Cy was 9 months old and we found out we were having another baby. I was over the moon and before the pee could dry on that stick, I was researching like a mad woman, trying to figure out how I could get that birth I had dreamed of with Cy…the kind of birth you read about and think “wow, she got lucky.” But, in the back of mind, I knew that luck had nothing to do with it. I was still not very confident in my “abilities” but I knew I had to at least do everything I could to educate myself, to give myself and my baby the best possible options I could.
I got to talking with an old friend: It just so happened that my friend from high school, Kelly, who had had her first baby just a couple of months after I had Cy, was teaching HypnoBirthing classes now. She really made me think that it was possible for me to have the birth I desired.  I also switched OB’s and ended up with Dr. Cobb, who is pretty much amazing. I walked out of that first appointment with him feeling like I was on top of the world. He said something to the effect of, “I’m not sure how you picture your pregnancy and birth to go, but I am pretty hands off. We don’t do a lot of unnecessary tests and we won’t induce without medical reason before 42 weeks.” I was sold. I started reading birth stories and watching videos and obsessively talking about birth with my mom friends. This birth became a mission of mine. I am positive my husband thought I was looney but I didn’t care….and he obliged me by reading the stories and books and info I was constantly throwing at him.
We started our HypnoBirthing classes with Kelly when I was about 29 weeks. I say “we” loosely as Chris had started a second job and was working like a mad man – but I would come home and regurgitate everything and make him read the parts of our book that “really” mattered. We had gone through a birth before, so we kinda knew what to expect, but I have to say, this hypnobirthing stuff was a serious game changer. Through reading more and more, I realized that so much of Cy’s birth had to do with my anxiety and fear and less to do with searing pain and contractions that just wouldn’t stop. I started listening to my “Rainbow Relaxation” track every night and enjoyed hearing the birth affirmations over and over, to embed everything into my brain for “go time”. Slowly but surely, I started to believe what the tracks were telling me….”my body was made to give birth”…”I am confident and will accept whatever turns my labor takes”….I will have an easy birth because I am so relaxed.”

The end of my pregnancy was a little rocky and I started to have doubts about being able to go through with everything.

I kept repeating my affirmations and talked to anyone who would listen and could reassure me, and finally, started having that prodromal labor. I swear I must have had 6 “false alarms” and was wondering if I would ever know for sure if I was really in labor or just getting ready for the big day. Baby’s guess date was January 25th, and my brother’s birthday is January 23rd. Throughout my pregnancy, I kept thinking about how amazing it would be to have my baby be able to share a birthday with someone so special to me. When I woke up at 3 am on January 23rd with some strong “surges” (what we call them in HypnoBirthing but for some reason I never got the hang of!) I said a little prayer and repeated “I am ready to meet my baby” in my head over and over, before finally waking up Chris at around 4 am to tell him that I had been timing the contractions for an hour and they were about 3 minutes apart. He said “ok” and rolled back over. I shook him up and said “no, I think this is it”. We both got up and showered and made sure we had a bag packed. I breathed through each contraction and found it increasingly easier and easier to snap in and out of my state of relaxation. It honestly amazed me, but I have to admit there was that little voice that kept saying “its gonna get worse”….which I tried to fend off with “My birth will be easy because I am so relaxed”. We got a hold of Kelly, who offered, so amazingly, to come be there for us, and my mom who was coming for Cy. They were both here around 6 am, I think…time seemed to be slipping away at this point.

I was feeling really energetic between each contraction and was able to snap into relaxation during each one, despite their increased intensity and shortening span of time between each one. We hung out, watched TV, and I just kept on breathing. I decided to get in the bath, we turned on Rainbow Relaxation and I let the shower hit me while I laid in a tub of water. Contractions got more intense, but the warm water made it easier to get through them calmly. Kelly started pouring warm water over my belly during contractions and that was a HUGE help. It felt like the pressure was just melting away. By now, it was about 11:00 am or so and I decided that when I got out, it would be time to head to the hospital and get comfy there. I knew that it would not be as easy to relax without the water, so I wanted to head to another source of water at the hospital and hunker down there until baby got here. So, I got out, got dressed, got everything together, was still very strong and focused in between contractions and the ride to the hospital (which I was secretly dreading) was not that bad. I just remember thinking “your body is opening up and baby is moving down”. It was raining lightly and I rolled down the windows and let my body get nice and cool and just put all of my focus into relaxation.

We arrived and checked in at the hospital at noon. We got into a room right away and at some point I think Chris talked to Dr. Cobb to let him know what was going on. I wanted to get into the jacuzzi immediately….and was really disappointed when Chris read a large sign out loud “Do not use jacuzzi tubs”. Oh f*@#. I was bummed….Chris said he was certain I would blow up right there, but I kept it together and said – eh its alright – but I am getting in that shower asap. They had to take some blood, and were insisting on a heparin lock, which I declined. But they insisted. Alright…go for it. They tried twice and omigod, I am certain it was worse than contractions at that point. I wanted to hit the nurse. They ended up calling an anesthesiologist to get it in for me….he seemed pretty stoked to be called in for that – ha – poor guy. Then they still needed to draw some blood. Four pokes later and I was still hooked up to the monitors. Dr. Cobb asked for a cervical check at admission, so I said alright but told everyone in the room to not utter one word about how far along I was. I totally feel like knowing the centimeters while in labor with Cy really had a huge effect on me and how I could handle things mentally. I did not want to know how “far along” I was and wanted to just trust my body and know that I would know when baby was coming and that my baby and my body were doing their job and everything would move along at its own pace.

They finally unhooked me and I hopped in the shower fast. It had a little seat and a removable shower head, so during every surge (it was around this time I started accepting that terminology haha) I just swirled the shower head over my belly and in my head I was repeating “melt away melt away melt away” and sure enough each surge would melt away and I would snap back into reality. I started to get a little bit tired, but remember thinking “yea, I can do this for a few more hours”. The thought of getting something to help the pain never even entered my head. I was in such a good place. I definitely started working harder and needing more focus at this point, but it was all very tolerable. I was so focused and in tune with everything.

I guess I had been in there about 40 minutes when the nurse came in and was asking if I felt “different” and told me to tell her if I felt anything “different”. I remember thinking – SHOULD I be feeling something different?! I asked Kelly and she said…..”Chelle, you were far along when we got here. You’re so close, you are doing so good”. I said “I’m far?…do you know how dilated I was?” She said yes. So I asked her to tell me…..apparently I was at 8 cm at check in! I was shocked. I kinda burst into tears and thought “omigod its working…I’m doing it! My body is doing it”. Then Chris told me that maybe I should think about getting out of the shower soon. They had to do some more monitoring, but apparently Chris says the look on my face could tell him I was getting really close.
So I hopped out, made a pit stop (with Chris’ help) to go pee. I sat down, had a surge, and felt a pop. Chris had to jump out of the way as my water broke a little bit. I stood right up and said something to the effect of “I need to push…baby is right here”. I am not sure if they thought I was getting hysterical or what, but this was the only part of the birth in which I can say I kinda freaked out. It was just Chris, Kelly, and I in the room (no nurses, no doctor yet) and I sprawled out onto that bed fast. I remember Kelly telling me I should get into the position I wanted to birth in, and I remember thinking – ha -  this baby is CHARGING out NOW. The nurse rushed in, I think she was a bit surprised since she just saw me hanging out in the shower a couple minutes before. Baby was crowning. Dr. Cobb came rushing in as I kept saying “HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME” It was my one irrational, fleeting moment during labor and I think it was because everything happened so quickly and I was so shocked that it was happening and that it was happening so fast- and that no one “qualified” to receive my baby had been in the room just seconds before! I barely had time to catch my breath….although everyone was trying to get me to. I remember Dr. Cobb saying “Chelle!! You need to breathe.” I took some breaths and according to Chris, “baby came out on a wave”. He literally, for lack of a better term, slipped right out. I don’t remember really pushing or breathing baby down…he just came right out.

Rook Drace Roman was born at 1:53 pm on January 23rd, his uncle Ryan’s birthday, less than two hours after we got to the hospital. Dr. Cobb said he took a gulp of fluid on the way out, so he was a little purple, but he got to come right onto my chest and hung out for a long time before he was checked out. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before Chris cut it and the baby started nursing like a champ at his first try.

I think I am still in shock. I can’t believe I did it and it was so “easy”. It was seriously a dream birth. Everything went so wonderfully and happened better than I could have imagined.
Being able to not only make it through an unmedicated birth, but also having such an easy recovery, and being able to say I actually enjoyed my labor and delivery was not something I really thought was possible for me. Kelly told us in class that there is nothing"special" about the women we saw in the videos and that I had read or heard about, and they don’t just get lucky and have this easy birth by chance. They are regular women who accept birth as a normal, natural, wonderful process that as women, our bodies are made to go through. I can easily say that giving birth to Rook was hard work, but I wouldn’t describe it as painful, just uncomfortable at times. I never thought I could say that about something that, having already been through it with Cy, could only be described as excruciating and unmanageable.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Chelle- both of your stories actually, there is so much wisdom in both of your birthing experiences!  I am thankful I was able to walk along this journey with you, as we have known each other for so long! It was an absolute joy and honor to witness Rook’s birth and your amazing, relaxed state for your entire labor and birth (you were totally calm even in the end, promise!).  I am so happy that the HypnoBirthing techniques worked so well for you, and that you were able to experience the birth you truly desired.

If you are interested in Chelle and Chris' care provider, Dr. Damon Cobb:
 Poway Women's Care: (858) 618-1156

If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes in the San Diego area, please feel free to contact us for class schedules and more information at: A Well Lived Life. If our schedules do not work with yours we would love to refer you to other local instructors as well. If you aren’t in the San Diego area but are still interested in utilizing all that HypnoBirthing has to offer, check out The HypnoBirthing Institute and find a Local Practitioner for you!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another HypnoFertility success story!

Another HypnoFertility client is pregnant! Hooray! She had been trying naturally for the last two years and didn't want to do anything medical. She had very irregular cycles too. We worked together for six sessions releasing anxiety and tension, as well as uncovering unconscious blockages that were getting in the way of her body and mind truly embracing being pregnant. I'm thrilled for her and her partner!

If you are trying to conceive naturally or with medical help and would like to learn more about HypnoFertility, please visit our website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net or call Carol at 858-837-1259.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nikki & Dino's HypnoBirthing Story

Nikki and Dino took Carol’s HypnoBirthing Classes on Tuesday evenings at Babies by the Sea Boutique in Cardiff, North County San Diego in February 2012.  Here is the birth story of their son, Enzo!

I'm finally getting a chance to announce the birth of our son Enzo Demitri! Enzo was born after an evening of feasting on skirt steak and tres leches for our anniversary from Qeuro and apparently Enzo liked it too! I woke up at 4 in the AM and finally felt what I thought were surges, but I still wasn't sure! Our doula, Annely, told me to go about my day as planned. I had a last minute nesting need and went to Target, Buy Buy Baby and Trader Joes. By the time I got to Trader Joes in the afternoon and the woman asked me at the check out when I was due I was starting to feel the contractions a bit more so I simply told her "I'm in labor, so any time now"..... Her face was priceless.

I came home to lie down and rest but things progressed quickly at that point and I knew I had to get in the tub. I was about 4 minutes apart consistently for a couple hours. Dino read some relaxation scripts to me and I sat in the tub breathing and listening to the Rainbow Relaxation CD for some time.

Our doula Annely arrived and labored with us for about 4 hours. The first two were great and then I started to have extremely intense back labor. Enzo was facing backward and his head was pushing against my lower back – apparently Annely could see him doing it!

We headed to the hospital and had a great staff... Although I could barely speak at this point so this info is more from Dino and our doula! At around 7-8 cm I was exhausted from the back labor and opted (demanded) the epidural at that point. The strain in my back made it extremely difficult for me to relax at that point and I knew this was the right choice at the time.

We all slept for a couple hours to wake up and deliver Enzo within the next two hours. He was born beautiful and healthy and we brought him into the world peacefully and happily.

Although our birth plan was altered and took a new path along the way, we felt educated, aware of our decisions and able to communicate effectively with our support team in a way that we felt comfortable with. 
The experience was intense, surreal, magical, and by far the best day of our lives.

Thank you to Carol and all of you for your support during this amazing process. We enjoyed every moment!

Nikki & Dino

Nikki, thank you so much for sharing your story and congratulations on Enzo’s arrival!  I am so thankful to hear that you felt prepared, empowered, and educated about your choices and that you made the decisions you felt necessary for you and your family- that is my aim in teaching these classes! HypnoBirthing imparts techniques to help you remain in control of your reaction to your labor, and you did just that! Congratulations again!

If you are interested in Nikki’s doula, Annely:

If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes in San Diego, please visit our website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net to learn more and to see the schedule for upcoming classes and private session information. Carol & Kelly teach classes in North County San Diego. If their schedule doesn't fit your schedule, please contact them and they will refer you to other local practitioners. If you are outside San Diego, CA, please visit & go to Find a Practitioner to find a class near you.