Friday, January 27, 2012

Erica & James' 2nd HypnoBirthing story

Erica & James took my HypnoBirthing classes for their first baby and had a great experience. When she got pregnant for the 2nd time, they took the class again to refresh themselves on the material. They took my Thursday night classes in July 2011 at Seaside Women's Health in Encinitas, CA (North County San Diego). Here is their birth story:

When I found out I was pregnant with our second child I knew that I wanted to do things differently this time around. Our first baby, Blake, was born in a hospital and although it was a fairly good experience, I wanted something better. Even though we had a natural birth in a hospital setting, the environment was a stressful one. I was hooked up to uncomfortable and constricting monitors and an IV, while the nurses anxiously ran around. They coached me to push harder instead of listening to my body, and gave me an injection of Pitocin after Blake's birth without first consulting with me. After much research and finding the perfect team of midwives, we decided to have a homebirth for our second baby.

The experience with our midwives, LaShel and Jamin at San Diego Midwife, was incredible; they truly cared about our entire family. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for them! We also enrolled in Carol’s Hypnobirthing classes like we did during my first pregnancy. Carol gave me the greatest gift –confidence. Hypnobirthing gave me confidence in the birthing process, and in my ability to have a safe, natural birth.

Anya’s birth story:

At 38 weeks I woke up at 11:40 PM with some steady contractions that were about five minutes apart. I told my husband, James, that we should start getting things ready just in case this was it. We thought we might do a water birth so we got the birthing pool ready in our bedroom and placed several towels around it. Once we were done getting the room ready for the birth, I began to mentally prepare myself by listening to the hypnobirthing affirmations and Native American flute music while relaxing on a birthing ball.

The contractions continued to be consistent and were now every three minutes apart. They were mild enough that I could talk and even laugh through them. We called LaShel to let her know that I might be in labor. Since the labor seemed to be in the early stages, we determined that we would call her again when things started progressing. Shortly after ending our conversation, my contractions went from three minutes apart to four and then five minutes. I started to doubt myself—was I really in labor? Just as quickly as I asked myself that question, my body affirmed that this was indeed it through an extremely intense contraction. James called LaShel back to let her know we would need her and Jamin soon. I had another contraction and then had an overwhelming urge to use the bathroom. While in the bathroom, I reached down and, to my surprise, felt our baby’s head; she was crowning. Although LaShel only lived six minutes away, I knew we were going to have this baby on our own and was at peace with the idea, as I knew from Carol and our midwives that if things go fast they often go without complication.

I managed to walk back to the bedroom next to the birthing pool when the next contraction came. I squatted and with that contraction, my water broke and our baby’s head was out. Having read the week before on how to deliver a baby, James stayed incredibly calm and was ready to catch her. Just seven minutes after my first intense contraction, Anya was born into the arms of my husband who caught her in a beautiful purple and pink beach towel. What a proud moment this was for James! Blake must have intuitively known what was happening because he woke up and was calling for us. So after our baby girl started to cry and we knew she was okay, James ran and got Blake. The next several minutes were such a blessing… just the three of us together welcoming Anya. It was perfect! About three minutes after her birth, LaShel came running up our stairs and said, “Hi guys!” while laughing. We all laughed; I don’t think any of us could believe what just happened. Jamin arrived shortly after and performed Anya’s newborn exam. She weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was born at 1:59 AM, which makes the entire labor only a little over two hours!

Anya’s birth was more amazing than I could have ever dreamed. As with Blake’s birth, her birth was so empowering and a day I will cherish forever. I am in awe of my body and its innate wisdom. I am incredibly grateful to have found such an incredible team of supportive women. Thank you Carol, LaShel, and Jamin for giving me the confidence and the opportunity to have a beautiful homebirth!
Congratulations Erica & James! What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing! I hope life with two kids is going well!

If you are interested in HypnoBirthing classes in San Diego, please visit Carol Yeh-Garner's website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net to see Carol and her teaching partner, Kelly's class schedule. There are also several other HypnoBirthing instructors in San Diego as well as throughout the world, so check in the Find a Practitioner section to find one near you.

If you are interested in having a homebirth with San Diego Midwives--LaShel & Jamin--you can contact them via their website at


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kelli's HypnoFertility journey

Kelli shares her experience with HypnoFertility:

My experience with Carol was really life changing, not only for our fertility struggles and journey to have a baby, but also in how I now handle stress, challenges, and struggles in my life as a whole. I came to Carol following a year-long struggle with “unexplained infertility.” Following a miscarriage, I found myself seeking anything that would help our journey both medically and emotionally. After seeing her card in Dr. Biter’s office, I excitedly made my first appointment.

This appointment and the many that followed were the best “therapy” sessions I could have ever asked for! Through discussing our journey, ups/downs, emotions, and thoughts, Carol was able to be the caring, nonjudgmental, supportive listening ear that I desperately needed. Her expertise and the Hypnofertility practice were vital tools in redirecting my thinking from the befallen and negative to hopeful, optimistic, and driven to continue on our journey. I endearingly started to refer to Carol as my “fertility therapist” because I really felt that she truly was the one inspiring me emotionally and mentally in order to get me through this journey that can seem so impossible.

Throughout the year I spent with Carol there were other hardships. Painful treatments, another miscarriage, and many personal struggles that I thought were going to be too hard to overcome. I crumbled in her office following my second miscarriage feeling so weak and disheartened. However, I was able to pour my heart out to Carol in such a safe, nurturing environment and she was able to listen and affirm my emotions, yet give me the strength and reassurance that I would get past this and I would eventually have the baby that I so badly wanted. Every time I left a session with Carol, I felt renewed, centered, and with the skills I needed to overcome the emotional/mental challenges that the “infertility game” involves. She was able to target the fears, negativity, and insecurities that I was carrying with me and through the hypnosis work, we were able to work through these together and overcome their effect on my body and mind.

I was amazed that when we finally had to resort to IVF that I had a strength and optimism that would have seemed unfathomable to me a year before. My “head was in the game” and I knew that this was just another step in our story. I felt so strong when I told Carol in one session that, “I know I can do this. I know if this doesn’t work that I can do it again. I know I am going to keep doing this till we get our baby.” It was such a change from the crying and weak version of myself that sobbed that, “I can’t do this anymore” just a year before.

Although millions of women struggle with fertility issues, there is an overwhelming feeling of isolation, loneliness, and insecurity that we all struggle with. Carol truly made me feel that I wasn’t alone out there, that there was hope in my journey, and that I could find strength in the confidence that I would one day have my miracle baby. I couldn’t’ wait to let her know in October when we found out that our dreams came true and that our baby would finally join our lives in June! I cannot say enough about Carol and Hypnofertility… I tell anyone and everyone about my time spent with her. I trust her so deeply and I look forward to her now leading us through our wonderful birth experience through Hypnobirthing.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kelli! I know it will help so many people that are struggling with infertility know they aren't alone. It has been a pleasure working with you and an honor to be a part of your journey. I look forward to meeting your little baby!

If you are dealing with infertility and would like more information about Carol's services, please visit her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. Carol is a Nationally Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The combination allows her to not only assist you in your journey using hypnosis, but also to support you as a therapist as well. Learn more by scheduling a free 1/2 hour no-obligation consultation with Carol by contacting her via her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net


Monday, January 2, 2012

A HypnoBirthing story--Katie & Adam

Katie & Adam took my HypnoBirthing classes in August 2011 on Tuesday nights at Babies by the Sea Boutique in Cardiff by the Sea, CA (North County San Diego). Here is their birth story:

Aiden arrived on October 6th at 2:41am, 7 lb 15 ounces. The information we received from the Hypnobirthing class was so helpful and made it possible for us to be able to bring Aiden into this world naturally. I remember before attending Carol's class, watching hundreds of natural births on YouTube and bawling my eyes out and not wanting to do it. I never thought I could be so calm, collected and relaxed during labor and delivery. Adam was so amazing at reading the scripts, light touch massage and reading my body language that no one would have ever known that he snored his way through class! haha lol! I won't say it was easy, but knowing what to expect and having the tools to be able to stay relaxed during the whole experience is what made it overall a beautiful event for me, Adam and Aiden.

Here is our birth story:

Aiden has finally arrived!!!!! So our "guess date" was Oct. 5th, and this little guy had it planned to be on time. The night before the 5th we decided to get eggplant parmigiana from Buca de Beppo, we ordered enough to feed a small army. I had heard about a diner in Georgia that was known to have Mom to Be's go into labor after eating their famous eggplant parm, and my friend Kristina reminded me to try it because it worked for one of her friends. So I stuffed my face full of yumminess and called it a night, since I had an early morning the next day.

I woke up on my "guess date" which is also my Dad's birthday and felt a little pressure, but I knew I couldn't think about it. I went into the office, and had a few meetings that lasted till about noon. I went to the restroom and felt a little leakage and I am thinking to myself "NO WAY this is my water breaking at work on my Guess date". I waited a few minutes and then knew this was the real deal, instead of freaking out like my male co-worker did when I told him what was going on, I calmly told my boss"my water broke, and I will have my baby within 24 hours...YAY" and drove home. When I got home, I called my hypnobirthing instructor, Carol, to fill her in on our status, she was able to give me the reassurance I needed to stay at home until I felt comfortable and wish us well in our birthing experience. I think I even mentioned while on the phone with Carol that it was just good to hear her voice because it was just what I needed at the time of uncertainty. We stayed and labored at home in bed with Louie (our 3 lb Chihuahua) by my side till about 7pm, I wanted to stay at home later, but it was rainy out and with traffic we decided it would be best to go get settled at the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital my Mom brought cookies and coffee for the staff and we got checked in, my doctor was at the hospital that night so we were so happy and relieved that she would be delivering our little man. When we got settled in I had Adam read the balloon trip script to relieve any anxious feelings I was having and it definitely helped me to be calm. I decided to use the Hep lock instead of IV and was happy to be able to frequent the toilet and be able to walk around the halls in my little labor gown I bought online and my furry Uggs without something attached to me. Things started progressing around 12:20am and I had my IPOD in my ear with my rainbow relaxation on repeat the whole time and Adam reading my scripts to keep me calm. I got checked and I was 5 cm dilated. I had both Adam and my Mom there doing whatever they could to keep me comfortable they were truly "MY DREAM TEAM". Things started moving quickly and I had the urge to push around 1:40 am, so the doctor checked me and I was 9 cm dilated. At this point not pushing was the hardest thing to do, but my "Dream Team" encouraged me to blow whenever I wanted to push. I went to the toilet so many times I thought he would have been delivered on the toilet. Finally I reached 10 cm and was able to push, this was such a relief and it actually felt good. After about 40 minutes of pushing, I was able to reach out for my baby!!!! After Papi Bear cut the chord and we just stared at him and both felt a love like no other. It was the most surreal experience and I was so happy that it had gone exactly as planned, it was truly beautiful... It felt so good to bring Aiden into this world naturally and to accomplish my goal. I could not have been so relaxed and pain free without my amazing husband and Mom, they were by my side the whole time helping me with whatever I needed.

What happened next was not part of the plan, but thanks to my hypnobirthing classes I took I remained calm throughout the next sequence of events. One minute I was enjoying my new baby and family, and then the next minute the doctor had a very concerned look on her face and was covered in blood. The first time I had really felt the pain was when she had to put her whole hand inside my uterus to try to stop the bleeding. My doctor then informed me that I was hemorrhaging so bad that I may have to have an emergency I am thinking "this was the most amazing experience and then this is happening right now? This must be a nightmare, and I am not going to be able to have any more kids? My mind was racing and all I could do was go back to my place of focus, think positive and be thankful that I have my son, husband and family all there supporting me. I had to be rushed into the OR at that point no discussion, no talking about options. I was frightened and just wanted to be with my baby.

We are now home settling in and enjoying time with our little man, our lives are forever changed and we feel so blessed.

Congratulations Katie & Adam! You did a great job! Even with the special circumstance that happened at the end. I hope you've fully recovered now and are enjoying being parents! Thanks so much for sharing your story!

If you are interested in learning more about HypnoBirthing classes in San Diego, please visit Carol's website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. Carol Yeh-Garner & Kelly Pappas teach classes in North County San Diego. If their classes do not work with your schedule, please visit the website and go to the Find a Practitioner section to find a practitioner near you.