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Tag Archives: Hypnobabies

Upcoming Classes

I am teaching another round of parenting classes for Natural Baby.  This series is so much fun!  It covers everything I WISH someone would have taught me before my babies were born.  Please let your expectant friends know about the series.  They can sign up for the entire six weeks for 80.00 or choose individual classes for 20.00.  The cost is per couple although many students come alone.  Schedule below:

March 21:   Try to See It My Way (Infant Communication) 
March 28:  Breastfeeding 
April 4:  Now What?  The First Six Weeks
April 11:  Sleeping Like a Baby
April 18:  Having a Baby without Breaking the Bank 
April 25:  Parenting the First Year 
 
My upcoming Hypnobabies class is full.  I’m accepting students for the next open series which begins Sundays (5pm-8pm) May 6.  Email me if you are interested:  j_byers (at) bellsouth (dot) net.
 
I’m teaching a Positive Discipline Class for Toddlers and Preschoolers March 31 from 1pm-3:30pm in Greenville.
 
 

Openings

I have one space remaining for my next Hypnobabies class beginning March 22nd in Greenville

I have an unexpected opening for a doula client in April or early May.  I know I’ve turned at least 10 women away for this date range and I’m so sorry!   

I’ve also decided to add another birth in June.   (Contract pending–thanks!)

If you are still searching for a doula to serve you during your birthing time or you’re interested in Hypnobabies, please contact me at j_byers (at) bellsouth (dot) net.

ETA:  All filled!  Thanks for the love!

First Time Mom (Homebirth Story)

New birth story up!

Please do not call yourself a doula if

You leave a first-time mom when she chooses to get an epidural.

The doctor or midwife spends more time with your client than you do.

You charge extra when a woman labors longer than an allotted time.

You require the client to pay your back-up doula if you have to leave.

You charge extra for “false alarms.”

You are hired by the client but really you are the midwife’s apprentice/assistant disguising yourself as a doula (so that you get paid.). Of course, this is fantastic if you are truly working for the client. But it can be easy to focus too much on pleasing your preceptor and not as much on serving your client.

You tell the client you’re on your way to the hospital and inexplicably fail to show up.

You bring your children to the hospital and ask the client’s family who are in the waiting room to watch them.

You promise to back up a fellow doula but when she calls you have excuses why you cannot. And so does her other back-up. And even her THIRD back-up.

I am sure this offends some of my fellow birth workers and this post won’t win me any popularity contests. We are only human and sometimes there are unusual circumstances beyond our control. But these are real stories I’ve been told in the last few months by women and doctors/nurses who were disappointed by a doula. In my town. A place where the natural birth community is making headway in creating change. Scenes like these send us three steps back.

Birth is sometimes long. It is (usually) inconvenient. Yes, we don’t make as much money when we have to pay a back-up or a birth is long. But at the end of the day, remind youself that you also had some short births (I have many more now that I take Hypnobabies clients!) and scheduled births (thankfully these are rare). These births “subsidize” the long ones. Figure that factor into your fee. Consistently, at the end of each year, when I add up all the hours I spent at births, it averages out to around 12 hours per couple.

Please, dear doulas, stay with your client. Serve her well. We offer continuous care. What kind of message does it send when her doula leaves? Wow, my doula has even given up. Defeat.

We have been honored with an invitation to grace a sacred space. It is a timeless space. We do not punch a timecard. Our shift is not over until our healthy client is nursing her baby postpartum. This might be two hours after the birth or several weeks later. My summer client who birthed prematurely was finally able to nurse her baby after weeks and weeks of coaxing. Only now do I close the file.

I know it is a tough job. Burnout is high. Please weigh the cost of your commitments and represent your birth community with integrity.

And to the moms looking for a doula: read the contract carefully. The doula should list any extra fees and discuss refunds if she misses your birth. Ask how she handles long births and what her definition of long is. My contract, for example, states that after 24 hours, I might call in a back-up doula so that I can rest and return. I’ve never done this but my contract allows it if I must. Knock on wood.

Good Thing She Wore Her Nike’s (Brady’s Story)

[shared with permission]

Crain’s Birth Story is one that needs to be shared. I feel that our family and friends need to hear why Crain was born at home and hear how amazing that Saturday Morning was for us. Tyler and I had to make so many decisions with Crain’s birth; decisions that are not accepted by many, but in the end were the right ones for us and Crain.

There are two subjects that I do not share my opinion on with many people and those two subjects are religion and birth. If you are close to me you know how I feel about these two, but even so, I feel that people have the right to worship how they desire and women should be able to birth how they desire (medicated, un medicated, hospital or home).

In this birth story I am going to open up about my views, some will learn from the words that I write and the natural tendency of others will be to pass judgment, but either way you will hear the story of Crain’s birth and hopefully gain an understanding of our beliefs on birth.

Tyler and I enrolled in hypno-birthing classes for Crain’s birth. Julie was once again our guide during this pregnancy, and we learned so much in our classes.  I did my Hypnobabies homework religiously and I feel that Crain’s birth benefited greatly from my hypno studies.  I had been in the care of Dr. Stafford for this pregnancy.  Dr. Stafford delivered Preston and I truly admire Dr. Stafford and I am very grateful to be in the care of such a hands on, awesome physician.  But with all that said, Dr. Stafford cannot control hospital procedures and there was something in me that really did not want to fight to have the birth I wanted.  I knew in the hospital, I would have to battle to have a true hypno birth, and so after going back and forth on the “homebirth idea” We connected with our midwife from the beginning and I felt calm and at peace about the homebirth idea after meeting with her. She was extremely knowledgeable about birth.  So it was decided a Homebirth for Crain!  We were excited and at peace with the idea, however; kept it a secret because I did not want to hear all the negative comments.

So May 7th  (Crain’s guess Date) came and no baby Crain, and boy oh boy how it  made people mad that he was not here.  I was determined to let Crain choose when and how he came into this world.  But it was hard to be out of control and it taught me the first lesson of being a good parent, PATIENCE, and most of all it made me closer to my faith.  I knew God was watching over us and I knew I was doing the right thing.  I read quotes and scriptures every day and had faith I was making the right choice.  Our birth team walked us through this wait and made me feel that it was normal when most everyone around us were asking when we were going to be induced, and when were “they” taking the baby, and don’t forget the people sharing with us why you should not carry your baby past it’s guess date.  It was a long 14 days for many reasons, but looking back I am so proud of us for having faith and waiting on Crain.  If I would have delivered in the hospital, I would have had to been induced and I am so happy I did not do that.  Thank you to Tyler, my Mom, and my sister Laura for really talking me through those 14 days and being so supportive of me.

On Friday, May 20th, I started feeling some Pressure waves, that’s hypno talk for contractions.  I went to acupuncture and had a nice relaxing session.  I texted my birth team and told them that I was having some pressure waves.  In the meantime, my parents came up (I had not told them I was having pressure waves because I did not know if it was truly labor).  That evening, the pressure waves still came and went; I listened to a Hypnobabies script before bed and decided to get some sleep.  At midnight, I got up and walked around, got some water, and tried to go back to bed.  Once again I listened to my easy first stage Hypnobabies script.  At 2:00 am, I got up and was definitely feeling more intense pressure waves.  I woke Tyler up and told him that they were getting a little intense.  I got into the tub as Tyler timed the waves.  Oh yeah, they were close together and getting stronger.  Tyler stood by my side and he does not even have to say anything to me during birth, he looks at me and I regain focus, and I instantly feel calm.  Tyler is my strength when I run out of it in labor.

We called Julie, but told her that she did not need to come yet and that we would call her back in an hour.  Tyler woke my parents and they took Preston to Tyler’s parent’s house.  My Mom knew of the homebirth, but I had just informed my Dad that evening when I thought I was in labor.  I knew he would worry, but once again my Dad surprised me and handled it beautifully.  I guess he trusts his “little Miss Magic”.  At 3:00 am Tyler called Julie back and told Julie to call the midwife.  Julie had already gotten her gear together and was on her way.  My Pressure waves were strong and very close.  I hummed during waves, yes I sounded like a dwarf from Snow White [note from Julie:  the “hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to work we go” song], but you know that is what I love about a natural birth, if you let yourself go and let your body lead you, it does things to get you through birth.  And my body apparently wanted me to hum, and so hum I did.  I told Tyler to get my “Birthing Outfit”.  Yes I like to look cute when I deliver!  My birthing attire was a knit skirt and tank and most important my Nike’s.

[note:  notice the wall behind her is covered with birthing affirmations]

Julie came in a little after 4:00 am. She just saw I had my Nike’s on and I remember she said “Oh you are ready!”  I wore my Nike’s during my labor with Preston and would have delivered in them if the hospital would have let me!  So with my outfit on and Nike’s laced, I was ready to go.  [note from Julie:  When things got intense with Preston’s birth, Brady ritualistically put on her Nike’s.  I knew when I saw them on her feet, we would meet a baby soon.  I got on the phone with the midwife and told her to hurry!]

I had had the urge to push a little right before Julie arrived.  Now the urge was uncontrollable.  Crain’s birth took over my body and of course my body knew just what to do.  I remember feeling like I was just watching myself birth.  You go to this whole entire different realm, or at least I did.  It one of those experiences in life where you are not the driver, but the passenger and you let your body drive and have faith that it knows what to do.

I think my water broke at 4:45am or so and I remember saying “that felt great.”  Crain’s birth was moving really fast and the midwife was not there, but I was not scared, I actually felt very calm.  I had Tyler and Julie there, and it was really calm and peaceful.  My pressure during pushes became really intense, so intense, and so difficult.  The only position I was comfortable in was standing up.  When I pushed it took over me and literally lifted me onto my tip toes (good thing I had that extra support from my Nike’s).  I felt burning, and knew that Crain was coming, but it was happening so fast.  I remember telling Tyler and Julie that I felt burning.  I reached down and felt Crain’s head, and saw Tyler place his hands below.  I pushed again, and my beautiful Crain was caught by his father’s hands, and my world stopped.

Crain laid in my arms and talked, instead of crying he talked and talked (you know baby cooing).  He apparently had a story to tell me about where he had been for the past 40 weeks and 14 days.  The midwife arrived within seconds.  Our birth team took great care of me and Crain in the hours to come.

So why did we have a home birth?  On May 21st, 2011 at 4:53 am, Tyler caught our 9lb 6oz son with his strong hands in the comfort of our home.  I had no nurse chasing me around trying to check me.  I was free of wires and IV’s.  I was able to have a true, calm Hypnobabies birth.  I was not met with paperwork to fill out nor did I have a nurse counting for me while I pushed.  I was able to place Crain directly on me after birth.  Tyler and I did not have to fight for anything we desired for Crain’s birth.  It was a calm, beautiful, safe birth. We have been asked if we worried or why we would take a “risk” of having Crain at home. To answer those questions yes, of course I worry.  I worry about both my children, constantly.  Did I worry about birthing him at home?  No!  I was in safe hands and I knew our birth team would never put me or Crain in an “unsafe” situation.  As far as risk, you take a risk whether you are at a hospital or at home.  Ironically, if you do some research and listen to other birth stories, sometimes hospitals and their many interventions put you and your baby at more risks.  Tyler and I weighed the benefits and risks and in this situation; and the benefits outweighed the risks.  Tyler and I educated ourselves and surrounded ourselves with birthing professionals.  It saddens me that instead of excitement after Crain’s birth, most everyone’s first reaction was that of worry and judgment.  I understand that this is not the “norm”, but to those I say open your minds to a new yet old way of birth, do some research on natural hospital births in the US, and have faith that people make decisions for all the right reasons, and be okay with women who choose to not be the “norm” when they birth their children.  I certainly do not judge other woman on how they choose to have their child.

The coolest part of Crain’s birth is that I felt so connected to my faith.  They say that God is present with every birth and by having Crain at home, and being surrounded by calm, supportive people, I felt the presence of God.  It was truly the most incredible experience. I am so happy that I trusted my gut and stayed true to who I am, and had Crain the way Tyler and I wanted to.  I look at Tyler and feel closer to him than I ever have; he truly is a great birth partner, and even a better husband and father.  I know that I am a stronger wife and mother.  I am proud of Crain’s birth, and do not look at his birth in any negative light.  I look at his birth as a gift.  Both of my boys gave me the gift of birth and I discovered if you open your body and mind to birth it is truly life changing.  On May 21st, 2011 at 4:53 am as Crain entered this world something in me changed, just as it did when Preston was born.  I cannot describe the change; it is just the most amazing feeling, and I know it was because of how we brought both Preston and Crain into this world.  I will never forget either one of their births, but especially Crain’s birth.  I grew that day, and I am so glad that I experienced the gift of birth.  Thank you to our birth team for supporting us, and helping us through this pregnancy.  Without you guys I would not have had the experience I had, and for that I am forever grateful to all of you.

Crain still “talking” to his mama an hour after his birth:

 [Note:  Brady and Tyler made the challenging choice to change care providers and birth location at around 36 weeks.  If your intuition is telling you to explore other options, it is never too late.]

Guest Post from a new Hypno-Doula

Kristin Abboud took my Hypno-Doula training in January.  I asked her to blog her first Hypnobabies birth experience.  Her clients were first time parents who took my class.  Kristin teaches Bradley birth classes and is available for doula clients.  Hire her.   

I was fully planning on studying up on hypnosis and Hypnobabies to be certified as a Hynobabies doula 2 weeks prior to the due date of a couple I would be attending in labor, so when the dad called me 3 weeks before their due date I was nervous.

All I have ever known about hypnosis is that you get called out of a crowd to go up on stage and make a fool out of yourself doing crazy things.  How in the world was that going to translate to labor?  I soon found out.

I knew the basics.  Hypno-tools like the light-switch, cue word, and special safe place.  I had learned that hypnosis can be powerful.  I learned that a lot of the time, as a hypnobabies doula, you don’t really do much.  I was skeptical.

I went to their home and all was calm…too calm.  Went for a walk.  Came back and mom laid down to rest and listen to a hypnosis script while I crocheted.  About 20 minutes later dad came in and tells me mom is crying, pressure waves are intense and they want to go to the hospital.  

Transferring slows everything down, but dad is assertive about communicating with the nurse their wishes and what hypnosis is all about – quiet.   Only positive communication can be used around a momma in hypnosis.  She internalizes everything and that will be what she feels and perceives.

I have to say that I was antsy to get things moving.  She didn’t seem to be making progress visibly.  She listened to scripts through ear phones and barely made a peep.  Once in a while she would say “peace” or make a little moan. It was during scripts that the most work seemed to be getting done.   Vaginal exams were refused.  I wanted to DO something.  Shouldn’t we be walking, swaying, massaging, praising, encouraging, timing?  Shouldn’t she be breathing harder, moaning, groaning, snapping, needing?

Time, time was what was needed.  There were hints and clues here and there that things were progressing.  I couldn’t tell when a pressure wave began or subsided so timing was no use.  When she was on the monitor we caught a glimpse of her waves.  They would rise half way and hold on for 2 minutes or longer.  I watched her when they would start, peak and end.  Her hypnosis was so well practiced and trusted, she hardly flinched at the pressure.

Patience was of the utmost importance.  Dad seemed to overflow with it.  He trusted as well.  I, on the other hand, was getting worried that she was too relaxed and this was never going to happen.  Again, I kept thinking about all the things we could be doing and trying.  I texted my wise friend and Hypnobabies instructor for advice.  She said there wasn’t anything better to do than the hypnosis stuff, and to think of it as “supporting her brain rather than her body”.

There it was again, patience.  Patience is not my forte. I can feign it pretty well though! 😉

She slid into pushing without much fuss, although I could tell she didn’t want to give in to it.  I would love to attend more Hypnobabies trained moms to see what pushing is like for them because again, not much seemed to be happening. Dad and I decided to put the pushing script on which is to be played out loud.  2-3 nurses and the doctor were there to hear it.  Mom had maybe 2 pressure waves during the 20 minute script.  When it ended, it was like a complete turn-around.  Mom got down to business and her baby emerged in no time.  And just like that mom flipped a switch and was fully present and eating up every delicious feature of her sweet baby girl.

I’m sold. Hypnosis for labor works.

Choosing for YOU

My amazing Hypnobabies students, Jenni and Brandon, were featured on the official Hypnobabies blog yesterday.  I love this story so much. 

I talk to so many women who choose to birth in a way counter to their intuition because of someone else’s desires.  They say things like “Well, my husband doesn’t want…” or “My insurance doesn’t cover…” or “Since this is my first baby…maybe the next one…”

Jenni is the only mom I’ve ever encountered who had the birth SHE wanted even after making a plan for the birth OTHERS wanted. 

Moms, please listen to your inner mama voice.  If this is your first pregnancy, you may not have heard this voice before.  Recognize it.  Your intuition is powerful in pregnancy.  You are wise.  Listen carefully.  Explore every inclination.  And in the end…birth where/how/with whom you feel safest and most loved.

Drop the excuses that are stopping you from having the birth of your dreams.

By the way, THIS is what Jenni looked like after her dream birth.  A blissed out mama!

Mission Hypnobabies

Because I’ve had such a cluster of amazing Hypnobabies births lately, I plan to do a few posts highlighting what it is all about.  To begin, the mission statement:

Hypnobabies exists, and all of our staff and Instructors work diligently every day, for the following ideals :

  • To help every expectant mother prepare for her baby’s birth in a way that helps her fully enjoy the rest of her pregnancy in health and peace, so that she eagerly looks forward to her birthing day.
  • To help every expectant mother have the easiest, safest and most comfortable childbirth experience she can, allowing her to fully enjoy her birthing, and pass that legacy along to her children, friends and family.
  • To educate and support all Birth Partners, so that they too can look forward to and enjoy the birth of their child with confidence, retaining the memory of childbirth as a beautiful, inspiring life event.
  • To help babies be born as gently and safely as possible, so that their entrance into our world can be one of joy and wonder, quiet and peace.
  • To support our Hypno-Moms, no matter what their choices are, before, during and after their babies are born. Every mother counts; every baby is loved; every birth is a gift.
  • To educate the medical community on the benefits of natural childbirth, how to work with couples who have chosen this wonderful way to give birth, and to respect each birthing woman’s choices as she comes to them for prenatal care and birthing assistance.
  • To educate the natural childbirth community on the special needs and desires of Hypnobabies birthing couples, towards an easier and more enjoyable experience for all.

Beautifully stated.  It makes me proud to be an instructor!

Wheel of Fortune

I had a Hypnobabies student birthing recently. 

She emailed me that “today was the day and that her pressure waves were getting easier instead of harder.”

Then later, an email that said she felt silly being at the hospital since labor was so comfortable and she was just watching “Wheel of Fortune.”  She was 5cm.

And the last email just a few hours later:  baby is here! 

Intact perineum, surprise posterior baby (!), and only 20 minutes of pushing.  Her words:  “smooth sailing.”   

And this is why I never have to advertise for my Hypnobabies classes…

Hypnobabies Class Registrations

Wow. 

My January class overflowed so I split out some of the couples to begin a class in Feb.  That leaves:

  • One spot available in the January/February class (Jan. 2-Feb.13)
  • One spot available in the February/March class (Feb. 20-Mar. 27)

If you are interested in a Hypnobabies series, I encourage you to contact me sooner rather than later.  I’m not certain I’ll offer an April class so if your guess date is May or June, perhaps you may want the earlier classes. 

I’m really encouraged by the wonderful response to Hypnobabies in the Upstate.  Thank you for helping to spread the news.  I know my former students are responsible for many of these registrations.  I love you! 

Email me to find out more:  j_byers (at) bellsouth (dot) net.