May 24, 2012


Beware. This post is long, but if you want to learn more about my HypnoBirthing story then read on, and if you don't care because women have been birthing naturally for many centuries, then just skip this...

I delivered our last littlest love at exactly 39 weeks. That is the latest I have ever delivered because with the previous three, I have went somewhere in my 38th week, so you can imagine that I was pretty ancy my whole 38th week. Every night I would get those consistent surges (in HypnoBirthing a contraction is called a surge), but every morning I would wake up to the same old same old and start the day all over again. Everyday that whole week felt like Groundhog Day. We even watched the movie one evening to commemorate the feeling! Then, the next morning it was Groundhog Day all over again.

Finally, in the wee hours of Monday morning, September 12th, I woke up at around 3am to some nice surges, but not nice enough. I started timing them anyways and they were 7 minutes apart. I knew they were still too nice and I just put myself in hypnosis to get relax enough to go back to sleep. The morning came and I still felt my nice surges, so I made a solo run to Target to get some necessities and hope the walking around would help a bit. Surges were still there and consistent, but still nice, though I did call my mom that afternoon to let her know it might be coming soon. I had been saying that all week, but this time felt a bit more real. Dinnertime came and went, surges were getting stronger, but were still nice, so we watched a movie and then called it a night. All day long they were consistently about 5-7 minutes apart, getting stronger as the day progressed, but this is my 4th, so I know the magnitude they need to be before we go to the hospital and they were still far too nice to warrant the trip.

We went to bed around 10pm, Ben says he fell asleep around 11pm. I knock out fairly quickly because it was combination of putting myself in hypnosis and part having the ability to fall asleep easily.

In the middle of the night, came the surge I have been waiting for all the other previous nights, the one that was finally a bit meaner to wake me up from my peaceful slumber. I woke up because I got the surge that made me go, "Oookayy...." and I looked at the clock and it was right after midnight. I started timing them and they were about 3 minutes apart and they did take some work to go through. They weren't so nice anymore and I started putting myself in hypnosis to get through them. I woke Ben up not too long after and then he called my family to let them know.

My family got here at around 1:30am, we gave my dad instructions on what to do with the girls in the morning, then Ben, my mom, my baby sister, and I head off to the hospital. This was quite different from the last time we all made the early morning trek to the hospital for Soul. Last time, the moment they walked in the door, I was crying and wincing every time a surge came, but this time around, I was cool, calm, and collected and happily listening to my relaxing music when I needed to.

As we made our way to the hospital, I tried to get comfortable but it was hard because I couldn't really get my legs up and that is the position I needed to let my body go limp, but I managed and we made it to the hospital without any tears. This was such a contrast to the drive to the hospital when I was about to give birth to Soul. During that drive, I was yelling explicatives down the freeway because I swore she was going to pop out of me and I continued yelling for drugs as soon as I was admitted. There was none of that this time around. There was pressure, but still a whole lot of calm (and smiling). So amazing! I even had my sister take a polaroid of me right when we got to the hospital and I was smiling!

We got to the triage and I think they doubted that I was really in labor because I was smiling, but they checked me and sure enough I was at 5cm and I got to stay. The worst thing is getting sent home from the hospital for false labor. All routine things were taken care of and the pressure continued. I finally got into my delivery room at about 3am and the nurse took my birth plan, they got my antibiotics administered (I always carry strep B), and I continued going to my happy place any time the pressure started.
Ben was so good because he would gently touch my arms during every surge to create goosebumps that helped release hormones to help my body relax. This too is very different compared to my other 3 labors when I used to yell at him not to touch me! It was so nice to actually be working together with Ben this time around. My mom and baby sister got the easy job since they were both passed out on the chair on my other side while Ben and I were going through all of it.
The entire time I sat propped up in my hospital bed, listening to my music, that took me to my happy place, which is a very serene song called Lake Yarina by Josh Garrels. Ben would be so amazed because he would watch the monitors and see my surges spike like crazy, but then watch my heart monitor at the same time and my heart rate would get so low from being relaxed that it would drop off the chart. Crazy right?!! All this was happening during a surge. This continued on from about 3:30am to 9:30am.
I would also go pee when I needed to and was fed ice chips when I wanted them, I even got to snack on a banana nut muffin and was chatting with Ben between some surges. When my mom and sister finally woke up, I was happily chatting with them too. It was all such a different experience compared to my other three labors.
Around 9:30am my midwife came in to check me and I was at 8cm and my water bag was blocking the hole, so they gave me an option to break it or just let things progress naturally. After a bit of a discussion, we thought it best to let it break naturally since natural seemed to be the theme of the day. I will say that after that things started to get slightly more difficult. I was feeling intense pressure and it was starting to feel like I had to go poop, but I know I really didn't, it was just the baby. As intense as things were getting, I was still able to put myself in hypnosis, but it definitely was taking more work and more concentration.
Then 10:30 came and they checked me again and I had barely dialated and was pretty much still at 8cm. The bag still hadn't broken and mentally I got frustrated because transition is supposed to be the fastest part of labor (and this is my fourth), but everything was happening so slowly. The nurse suggested I try to walk around to help get my water to break, so I did that. The only problem was that when a surge would come, I couldn't let my body go limp while standing, so if I couldn't relax then the pressure was experienced a bit differently. I tried to sit on a chair, but still my legs couldn't relax and I would have some freak out moments because I swear I had to go poop, but no one was letting me. I had a few yelps and my surges were so erratic that the special breathing technique to do right before a surge comes to help with relaxing couldn't be done.

The last hour and a half got tougher with my body being stuck at 8cm. All I wanted was my mom and I wanted my mom to just make this poop come out, but it really wasn't poop that wanted to come out, it was just the intense pressure of the baby and the bag. I tried different positions to help my body progress, but it seems nothing was working. Now, looking back and after speaking with my clinical hypnotherapist, I probably should have had the water broken because that would have made a difference in easing some of the added discomfort. Despite this super intense pressure I was experiencing, I never once did ask or consider the epidural (not that it's wrong to, I was determined to have my last birthing experience different from my previous three).
Finally, and after what felt like an eternity, my midwife checked me to see how much I had left to go when my water bag broke and in 30 seconds I went from 8cm to 10cm! Hallelujah! You can imagine my relief!

Then we we finally got in position to let this baby come out! I was so excited that I started pushing, but they had to remind me to calm down and take a deep breath and relax. I remember Ben holding my hand and my mom and sister nearby watching. Then with the next strong surge, I gave a nice, long, grunting push. Oh man! I was feeling things down there that I had never felt before. All I was thinking is... this burns!!! Nevertheless, with the next surge, I pushed again and the burning continued as little Glow made her way out. Tada! She was out! Hooray!!!

They immediately put her in my arms and I got to see this little wiggly thing that had been growing inside of me. I could see my mom, sister and Ben crying, and I vividly remember all my emotions. I was so happy she was here. Amazed that I actually did it without drugs. And dumbfounded because it still burned down there! HA! I guess with the epidural that was one sensation I had never felt.

Glow was so beautifully sweet and we were immediately in love. I couldn't believe we had another little bundle to love. I fell in love six times (one of them is with Jesus). It's wonderful! 
My midwife was the only other person who knew we were having a girl (Ben and I knew, but we kept it a secret from everyone else), so she had us make the official announcement. Then, we announced her name. Everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing, but at this point, we know our choice of names are different (ridiculous to some, but whatever), so we really couldn't shock anyone anymore.

I have to say that I am still in disbelief that I was able to do it without the drugs. I am such a chicken when it comes to pain, so I am completely amazed and in awe of HypnoBirthing. What I felt was not pain, but really intense pressure. The pressure increased as I opened up, but it was amazing because I also remember what labor felt like before I knew the techniques of HypnoBirthing and it is dramatically different. I got to 8cm without feeling any pain. I really can't believe it. Being stuck at 8cm made me extremely frustrated that it got tougher to relax, but nevertheless it was nothing short of amazing.

I have had my first three girls with the epidural and they are fine and I am fine after it, but I really wanted to do my last labor different. Now, if I were for some reason going to have another, I would definitely do HypnoBirthing again. I don't think women who do it without the drugs are superior to those who use it. I think you have to do what is best for you and your situation. If having a baby naturally means a lot to you, go for HypnoBirthing, I completely believe in it. Though if you do go that route, you will have to put the time in learning the techniques, practicing everyday and even investing in classes. In my opinion it is better to learn it from a professional instead of just reading it.
Almost nine months later, it is still so fresh in my mind and still feels amazing. If I can have a baby sans drugs, you can too! I really am such a big chicken! Heck! Needles scare me! So if you ask me if I recommend HypnoBirthing? My answer is YES!

For more information visit here or call Dr. Anna Lynne, which is the hypnotherapist who I took classes with to help make this birthing experience possible. We did 5 online sessions via skype (read about the sessions here and I practiced going into hypnosis nightly) and it really made the world of a difference. Also, I continue to use self-hypnosis when I'm at the dentist or just need to relax. It is just a good technique to learn to help calm down and de-stress. I am sure this sounds strange to some of you, so if you have any questions for me regarding this, leave them here and I will either answer in the comments or if I get enough questions, will do another post for it.

p.s. if you are wondering what i was hooked up to? it was iv and antibiotics.


  1. Amazing story!! I really enjoyed reading it. I cannot wait to have a child and I really look forward to doing it the natural way. What is hypnosis in your own words or how do you define it? How did you adjust and make the hypnosis work for you?

    Thank you!

  2. Awww....what a sweet story - it truly is amazing how God designed our bodies and what they are capable of isnt it? I am going to pass on your story to a couple pregnant ladies i know who are curious about hypnobirthing - it sounds like the way to go!

  3. I feel like this post was totally for me!! I am 5 months along and have been considering hypnosis. When did you start practicing (how far along were you), and also if you do go the natural route do you still have to have the IV?

    Thank you for writing about your personal perspective!!

  4. I am so glad the hypnobirthing worked for you! It is the most amazing experience. Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

  5. Oh yay. I've been dying to read about this. I had my first with an epidural. I had my second naturally, although I didn't plan on it. I was contracting and thought I would be at 4cm when I got to the hospital (as I was comparing it to my first labor), turns out I was at 8cm! I was feeling fine, up until they broke my water and all hell broke loose and I started thrashing and almost kicked the doctor in the face. But at the hospital t 2am had the baby at 3am, so it wasn't too bad for the 10 minutes I was out of control, but I would like to be more composed next time IF there is a next time.
    My friend read a hypnobirthing book along with the Bradley method (which is what I read) book and she said she kinda tossed the hypnobirthing aside, but when she went into labor, it must have affected her more than she thought because she felt like she was in a trance when she had a contraction.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and I will definitely read up on hypnobirthing for the next time (again with the disclaimer if there is a next time). Just hope that I make it to the hospital and not deliver in the car since my last one came shooting out unbeknowst to me. :)

  6. What a beautiful birth story. Praise God for a smooth labor and delivery. I also chose to deliver naturally and used yoga breathing technique; that, coupled with a room full of sisters and mothers (and husband!) all praying for baby and me, helped ease away the pain. God blessed me with fast L&D so I'm glad you found a technique that allows you to birth comfortably and naturally. Amazing!

    Oh, and that burning sensation? I call it the Ring of Fire. :)

  7. wow! so crazy. i am terrified of having a baby, not that i'm close to being ready, but OUCH. so i'm glad to learn about this! maybe if i combine it with the epidural, i won't pass out.

  8. Getting sent home for false labor really is the worst- I got sent home twice in the same night with my first. It's amazing how different it is to give birth without any drugs! My second came so quickly there wasn't any time for them to give them to me, and the experience was so vastly different (and better, in my opinion) than the first.

  9. way to go! Thanks for sharing this intimate part of your story with us.

    I have two children, and two polar opposite birthing experiences. Although I didn't do hyponobirthing ...I thought the natural birth was actually much EASIER than my crazy pitocin/epidural birth, with a much easier recovery, too (like, a week compared to months...). If we do have another child, I would try for the same as my last, which, even though I felt the intense contractions, was a much easier experience all around.
    Sarah M

  10. I've been looking forward to this post. I've been considering Hypnobirthing with my next child because I feel that is what would be best for my body. With my first I got an epidural pretty early on and she ended up being posterior and no amount of anything would get her to turn. After a very long time I ended up getting a c-section. I am happy that she arrived healthy but I feel that maybe if I had waited on the epidural She could've turned herself... (mom intuition?)

    Anyway I am glad to hear your experience and I feel that often the only people sharing their birthing stories are the negative ones! It's great to hear it so positive because even though I had a harder birth, I was literally thrilled with everything! The right attitude makes all the difference :)

  11. My goodness, your timing is amazing! I just found out I am pregnant and was searching your blog just yesterday to see if I'd missed reading your birth story. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful experience, it sounded very spiritual and peaceful, which is just the way I want mine to be :)

  12. I may just have to email you in a couple of years when my husband and I start having babies. I really want to go natural but don't handle pain well, at all, so this may be right for me. Thanks for sharing your birth story and so much information on another birthing style!

  13. whoop whoop! LOVE this. I just had my little guy in November, and went the hypnobirthing route. It was amazing, just like you said, 6 months later and every time I think about it I get this huge smile on my face:-) xoxo

  14. Ruby,

    I've been reading your blog for about a year now and I really just admire how honest and open-minded you are. You admit that it's hard raising 4 kids, but you don't victimize yourself like "oh poor me". You live what looks like a happy, crazy, and yet normal life, and it's really fun to read about. And really, you just seem like a lovely and fun lady.

  15. Thanks for sharing! I love a birth story!

  16. Such a great story! I had an epidural with my first daughter and I was so completely out of it, that I was determined to go drug-free with my next baby. Less than two years later, I accomplished that goal! Isn't it an amazing feeling to know that you did it drug-free?! My second daughter is almost eleven months old now, and I still feel like Superwoman whenever I think about her birth!

  17. Thanks for sharing this! My best friend is pregnant and I will definitely share this to her!!!

  18. Is it scary putting yourself under hypnosis for the first time? How did you choose your song? How long did you practice before your delivery, and when did you start your sessions with the instructor? My husband and I are trying, and hypnobirthing is something I'm VERY interested in... but I'll admit, it scares me a bit. I hate being out of control of myself, and I've never been under hypnosis before!

  19. Beautiful story!! I've actually been waiting for this post since little Glow was born, thank you for sharing! It's really similar to my birth story with my son, only I didn't formally hypnobirth him - I just found "my zone" and went there during each contraction/surge. I have a photo of me with a giant smile on my face when I was at 10 cm, about ready to push! It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad you got to have it with Glow - I really think a happy natural childbirth changed me as a woman and made me feel like I could do anything (after having an epidural with my daughter that left me foggyheaded). I hope you feel like superwoman now too. :)

    I think anyone considering natural childbirth should read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth - amazing empowering stories in there. Having confidence in yourself and approaching labor without fear is SO important!

  20. thank you all for being so welcoming about my story. it means a lot. i will address the questions in a subsequent post. i think hypnobirthing may sound new-agey to some, so i definitely want to explain my thoughts on it more. i promise the subsequent post won't take another 9 months to write! just maybe a couple days! ;) if i don't get to it, send me a gentle reminder please! thanks friends!!!

    1. So glad you're going to do a follow-up post. I was wanting to hear your thoughts on the exact things you said you'll post on!

  21. so pleased you got to experience childbirth without the medication.
    and a high five for your guy for being supportive of hypnobirthing too. :)


  22. Lovely story! So glad it worked out for you and Glow. We just had our first, (4 weeks ago!), and we used Hypnobirthing as well. It didn't go as smoothly for me (29.5 hours of intense labor) but I can only imagine what would have happened without Hypnobirthing. Love the photos! Congrats! I recommend Hypnobirthing too!

  23. Beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Love how you are transparent and real!
    You inspire me :)

  24. Wow, this is an awesome birthing story! It sounds like it was a satisfying birthing experience for you, especially since you wanted it to be different from the first three and you got that. :)

    I used Hypnobirthing for all 3 of my children. I absolutely LOVE it! I could seriously talk about Hypnobirthing all day. With my first birth I read the Hypnobirthing book in my third trimester and really wanted to try it out. Hypnobirthing wasn't very popular in my area at that time, and I found someone who was willing to teach it to me about 5 weeks before my due date. I did a lot of practice on my own and used the method to birth naturally. So, for those who are wondering if there isn't enough time to practice, I say that if they really commit to it, they can still do it.

  25. You look too gorgeous to have just gone through such an intense experience in that photo of you and Ben with little Glow. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  26. I loved hearing Glow's birth story!
    Lilla was born naturally too... If you ever wish to read our story I have it here but only in portuguese... I don't know if it will sound ok in google translate...

    I LOVE labor, and I really want to take a course to learn to be a doula...

    hugs from Brazil!

  27. I love this birth story! It is very real and honest and so encouraging.
    I had 3 all natural deliveries and 1 c-section.
    I loved my natural deliveries and remember every detail of them with perfect clarity.
    I used the Bradley method and that whole concept of relaxing through the contractions instead of fighting them, tensing up with the pain and fear is what made it work for me each time.
    WIth my last I was able to laugh and chat with my roomful of women and my husband until I reached 8cm.
    Then everyone quieted down while I softly moaned through contractions.
    It was amazing.
    And yes, that burn.
    I call it the burning ring of fire!
    My births were so wonderful that I always wish I could do it again.
    However, being pregnant while caring for 4 kids sounds daunting to say the least. :)
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful birth story.
    Love from,

  28. that is so courageous of you to choose to have your fourth child naturally after having three with an epidural! way to go! your story will be an inspiration to so many! i have been fortunate enough to birth both of my babies with no drugs, & so i have nothing to compare it to, but i am so grateful, like you, to have such clear memories of my birth experiences as a result of the lack of meds. now i can't imagine choosing any other way! both births were such empowering moments for me as a woman (i totally agree with kristin on this one!), such times of connection with my husband as my labor partner, such positive memories that i can recall with such clarity, yet with surprisingly little recollection of pain. now we're expecting our third, & i'm looking forward to a second water birth at home. by the way, i was so glad to see my husband's song helped provide a calming space for you during labor!

  29. Wow! Thank you for sharing (I have been excited to hear how Glow's birth went sent her birth)! So wonderful to hear what hypnobirthing was like for you. But most of all - I love how you express your love for Jesus through your blog!

  30. You are my second hypnobirthing mama that I've met in the last 2 weeks. I've heard great things about it! I love reading birth stories (what mama doesn't?) and need to write up my own soon. After all, my baby is nearly 8 months. We chose a water home-birth. Take care and ENJOY that sweet little girl.

  31. thank you so much for sharing!! i LOOOVVVEEE your blog!! and that josh garrels song is so relaxing, holy moley! you rock, ruby!

  32. Thank you so much for writing this. I had wondered if I had missed Glow's birth story and I have been looking forward to reading about it. I am pregnant with my second child and have been going through hypnobirthing this time around. I had a home birth last time and it went well but I found it very intense. I am hoping that some of the relaxation techniques I have been learning will make a difference especially in early labor!

    Only 3 and a half weeks til my due date... yikes:)!


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