BIRTH STORIES — FROM KRISTIN’S PAST STUDENTS
Mia (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

It is with great pleasure that we announce the birth of our daughter, Mia Ariel Walker. A 4th of July baby! She is 6lbs 10ozs, healthy as can be and with a full head of hair. I’ve actually been meaning to write you a personal note, since your Birthing Through Hypnosis class and personal stories of homebirth were a huge influence on our decision to pursue a homebirth. AND, we could not have made a better decision. In fact, that Monday after your weekend class, I started calling midwifes to get the ball rolling on it. Everything went amazingly smooth, and the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques, primarily the visualizations and breathing, helped me get thru the birth. From the moment my water broke at 12:30am on July 4th, I felt myself go into a very inward trance state, which allowed me to focus on working with the baby to get her into this world. I had mantras that were streaming thru my mind throughout the entire labor, and of course our doula, Kara Engelbrecht was able to provide a ton of support. Once I was 5 cm dilated, just one hour after my water broke, I got in the birth tub, and was in there for the remainder of the birth. Just 6 hours later, Mia came into this world. My husband was in the tub with me, and caught our little baby, something that is so meaningful for all of us. There is no doubt the entire experience was incredibly intense (I certainly wouldn’t call it pain necessarily), but as I’ve told many people who seem most interested in whether I wanted drugs at any point in the process, it hadn’t even crossed my mind. I knew I could do it, and I think I was able to will it to happen. I’m very fortunate to have had the time and energy in this first pregnancy to focus on not only physically preparing my body, but emotionally preparing my mind and spirit – the latter of which I don’t think many people spend enough time on. I want to thank you so much for providing us with not only some incredible Birthing Through Hypnosis tools, but most importantly empowering words that helped us have such a beautiful birth. Continue doing what you’re doing, because it’s very inspiring to many people!

Best Wishes,
Joy

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Joaquin (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,
My hospital phobias got too intense — we had a home birth afterall! It was a wild, beautiful, and great experience. Below is the announcement we sent to family and friends:

Big news… the baby has arrived!

Joaquin was born Friday, June 6 at 7:27 a.m. He weighed in at 8.0 pounds.

Janine went into labor around 4:30am Friday morning. Just over two hours later, her water broke, and 45 minutes after that, with an unforgettable look of fear (well, terror) and disbelief on Lome’s face, he declared, “!!I see the head!!” (Janine will never forget that look – it was pretty funny.)

We planned a home birth, but the labor was so incredibly fast (and extremely intense), we didn’t plan for Lome to deliver the baby! It was just the two of us in the bedroom – and then it was just the three of us. (Janine’s mom, Theresa, was downstairs in the kitchen cutting watermelon to hold us over for what we thought would be a much longer labor.)

As labor had barely begun, we were anticipating many more excruciating hours. Little did we know, Janine’s labor was precipitate, meaning the stages of labor advanced so very quickly that we altogether missed its more gentle beginning stages. (Think of the accumulated discomfort of 15+ hours of labor concentrated into 3 hours. Yikes.) Luckily around 6:30am we called Diana, our doula, and asked her to come over. We’d also spoken to our midwife Beah on the phone, but none of us realized how quickly things were advancing. Seeing the baby’s head got Lome to call Beah a third time. By the time he could speak to her, the baby’s head was already out. Via Beah’s instructions, Lome told Janine to give one last big push to get the baby’s shoulders out. Lome caught the baby, and brought it to Janine’s chest. Whew. (Theresa later said that from the kitchen she heard the baby cry, and froze – it couldn’t be the baby. The midwives hadn’t arrived yet!)

Seconds later, Diana arrived. With Beah still on the phone, Diana helped Janine birth the placenta. Later Michelle, the apprentice midwife arrived, and finally Beah (she lives an hour away).

Needless to say, two weeks later we’ve already had too many adventures to count, and too little sleep to think in complete sentences. We look forward to many more adventures with this little one (that won’t stay little for long…)!

Hope you and your family are well,
Janine, Lome, and Baby Joaquin

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Elena (First Baby)
Dear Kristin,
I took your class in December and wanted to let you know about my beautiful little one, Elena, and the incredible experience I had when she came into the world.

Elena is my second child; my first child was born with an emergency c-section and I was very emotional in your class. Your words and the exercises in the class were extremely helpful to stay present with this second birth and to let go of the fears from my first birth.

You had asked to hear back from us with our birth stories. I have a beautiful story to report! Here it is:

For weeks, I practiced the relaxation exercises and took walks along the ocean visualizing my little one happily sliding through a warm cave onto a beautiful sunny beach squealing, “wheee!” I also read Ina May Gaskin’s book 3 times (no kidding) and had been doing the mantra, “I am getting huge” since my 37th week. Anyway, I woke up on Feb 22 (2 days after my due date) around 5 am with contractions. I had been 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced for a couple weeks already and tried to not read too much into the contractions and find myself disappointed from a false alarm once again. I had been having “real” (I hate that term!) contractions for 4 weeks that never became regular.

I just let my body do what it needed to do and went out for a pedicure and tea with a friend that morning and had a very happy time. My water broke at 1pm when we got back to her place…my friend joked that the baby was excited to see Mama’s toes looking so pretty and wanted to come check them out! I had a scheduled midwife appointment that afternoon, so my husband and I packed up the car prepared for whatever might happen. My contractions continued and seemed to be getting more regular and closer together, but the pain was very manageable. The midwife confirmed it was my water that had broken and that I was 4cm and completely effaced. We had something to eat and walked outside before checking into the hospital. The pain honestly wasn’t bad and my husband and I had a very joyful time knowing our child had decided to come that day. I checked in and was given an I.V. and monitored. Because of my first birth history, no one thought I was going to significantly progress until the next morning at the earliest, so they agreed to let me do intermittent monitoring and walk the hallways with the I.V. that Friday afternoon and evening. Basically, since I didn’t look like I was in pain, they left me alone which was exactly what I wanted.

Thanks to Ina May Gaskin’s good words of advice in her book, my husband and I kissed, cuddled, laughed and danced as I labored. Can you believe that? As I write it, it’s hard for me to believe that what happened could actually be possible. The doula was super supportive of being present but also protecting time for my husband and I to just be together (if that makes sense).

I wasn’t in unmanageable pain. I could feel the contractions, I could feel the baby dropping further and further down, but I felt ok. It sounds so crazy, but I felt good for the majority of my labor. I continued with the breathing and visualizations from Birthing Through Hypnosis and felt connected with my body and the baby. Thinking about each contraction bringing my sweet girl closer to my arms and picturing her sliding out onto a warm beach with joy really carried me along.

We all agreed that my husband should take the time to get some dinner around 8:30pm since I seemed fine and the doula was there with me. The doula said afterward that she sensed something might be up because I kept repeating that I didn’t want my husband to go far away, to try to find someplace close to eat. Sure enough, as soon as he left the contractions started getting very close and increasingly intense. I couldn’t sit or lay down, I had to stand and sway my hips…I’m sure it did look like a dance! I began to sing a song to the baby that I had sung to my son and to her through my pregnancy. Eventually, the contractions felt like they were almost back to back and I hung onto the doula who did my hip swaying dance with me and locked onto my gaze with very calm and supportive eyes (big help!)…that was truly painful! The doula said afterward that I was beginning to make the sounds that women make when they are about to start pushing…I felt like I had to go to the bathroom! The labor nurse came running in to see what was up and discovered I was fully dilated and ready to go! We had to call my husband who came running back just in time to jump behind me as I was already pushing around 9pm.

Elena was born at 9:27pm 8 pounds, 1 ounce.

Sadly, she had labored breathing when she was born. After a beautiful, brief time of holding her on my stomach, they had to call in a pediatrician to help her out. She had TTN which went into pneumonia and had to spend her first week on the outside in the hospital nursery. The doctors said the TTN is more typically seen with c-sections since there is no labor to prepare the lungs; so, I was told that the baby is very fortunate that I had the VBAC and that things could have been worse had I elected to have c-section instead.

She is doing great now, though. We are all home and doing great as a family of four.

I am so very grateful for your class and for your encouragement. I tell all my pregnant friends about your class and my Birthing Through Hypnosis experience. Thank you so much, Kristin!

My best wishes to you and your work,
-Luci

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Tyler (Third Baby)
Hi Everyone,

I wanted to let you know that we have a new son!!!! He is our 3rd child, born on 3/30. He was born at 8:10 a.m. My water broke around 2:30am, so I only had about 5.5 hrs of labor. The girls call him Baby Ty. He is almost 10 lbs and he is very long at just over 22″. I don’t know anyone in our immediate family that had a baby so big. The girls were both around 7.5 lbs. We were expecting this baby to be about the same size since I was the same weight that I was with Eva. Of course, this is the baby that I decide to birth totally natural at home!


I don’t know if we are more shocked over the fact that he is a boy or his size. My midwives actually asked me if Tim was in shock when Tyler was born because he was so calm and quiet. But, that is just Tim under pressure. The birth was a beautiful experience. We really wanted to do a hypnobirth in our Jacuzzi at home. I did all of the labor in our jacuzzi and it was wonderful. I was able to use the jets on pressure points along my spine. The Birthing Through Hypnosis helped me to get into a trance so I didn’t really feel any pain until the last 20-25 min. That is when I started to push him out and realized that he was stuck. His head was coming out, but his shoulders were slamming against my pelvic bone. It was beyond excruciating. So, I had to get out of the tub and switched to the birth throne (a.k.a. the toilet). His head was partially out, but I still couldn’t get his shoulders out. Then, instinct kicked in and I stood up and Tim held on to me tight to keep me from falling. Within 2 pushes, the baby was out. Fortunately, the midwife was right there to keep him from falling into the toilet ;) It was the best sense of relief in my entire life when his shoulders finally came out. I could never imagine giving birth in a hospital again. This was the best experience and the best medical care that I could have ever imagined. We had 2 midwives and 2 doulas present. One of the doulas flew in from Ireland just for the birth. (She helped me through the pregnancies and births of both Angelina and Eva.)

He was blue and flaccid from only his head being partially out for so long when he was stuck. All the blood was rushing to his brain to protect him. But, the midwives were able to treat him very quickly and he started breathing and turned pink in less than a minute. It was incredible. So, he actually got very good apgar scores (7 & 9). Angelina was able to cut his cord, and he started nursing in less than an hour after being born. His head is much bigger than the girls so he barely fits into a Pooh hat that was at least an inch too big for the girls at birth. Also, the newborn t-shirts and diapers barely fit him. He is so chubby. Fortunately, I didn’t tear, but I dislocated my pelvis and sacrum. My chiropractor came by this morning, so I should be able to walk down stairs by tomorrow. My milk came in yesterday morning and he is eating voraciously and loves to sleep. So far, he is just the perfect baby. Amazing!

Love,


Carolyne

Yes of course you can share my story! I have already had a few people ask me for Nancy’s contact info. I hope that more women will have the confidence to do Birthing Through Hypnosis and home birthing. I finally had the kind of experience that I really wanted. Plus, I know it was the best thing for me and the baby. If I had been in the hospital, then they probably would have sucked him out of me or cut me open to get him out. I would never have been able to stand up to get him out naturally, if I had an epidural. Plus, I didn’t need an epidural or any other interventions because I was able to do everything at home without any interruptions or transitions to the hospital. Endorphins are incredible.

Your stories, advice and confidence gave us the confidence to do it at home. It was an amazing experience that we can’t wait to do again! (Just one more time though….)

Carolyne

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Bryce
(First Baby)
I was in your May SF Birthing Through Hypnosis class. I was going through some of the paperwork from my pregnancy yesterday and was reminded that you were interested in hearing/reading our birth stories. Mine is below. Thanks again for your class. The balloon breathing and top-down breath were instrumental in my labor and birth, and while we didn’t use the scripts (even though we practiced them quite a bit), I definitely used visualization with the help of four photos from our honeymoon and had bits of the honeymoon script my husband and I created running through my mind between 6 and 9 cm dilated.


We are so proud to announce that Bryce was born Wednesday 8/15 at 7:30am at UCSF Medical Center, one day before my due date. After 26 hours of a wonderful labor at home with our midwives, doula and my cousin, Bryce was born naturally and unmedicated just 45 minutes after our arrival at the hospital. He came out a little blue and needed some help from the neonatal ICU staff, but all signs and tests are showing that he is completely healthy, alert and now breastfeeding. He is 6lbs 15.8 ounces and 18.89 inches long. He has dark sandy blonde hair (like his parents) and it looks like he’ll have blue eyes


Thanks for all your love and support and please understand that it might be a while before we can call or email you back.

Our love,


Eileen & Chris

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Tyler (Third Baby) (Third Baby)
Dear Kristin,

I took your Birthing Through Hypnosis class 2 years ago before I had my son. It worked so well, I used the technique again for my daughter, just born 3/22. You can feel free to use this story anonymously if it gives other expectant mothers encouragement and reassurance. Your class helped me greatly to reduce my fear of childbirth and give me a great tool to take control of my birthing experience. With your help, I delivered both my children with not too much pain or trouble, relatively quickly and easily, and no pain medication. In both cases, my birth experiences were better than I had hoped.


Thank you!


- Lily

For my first child:

Five weeks before my due date, I took the train to the office and began feeling mild contractions. Though I felt a little “off,” the contractions did not continue, so I went ahead with a presentation to 100 people. That night, at 3:30 am, I felt a sudden gush of water. I knew my waters had broken, and I started laughing because it was so ridiculous that labor started so early. I called the hospital, and after the nurse grilled me and pronounced that I told a pretty convincing story, she asked me to come in. I had not packed my hospital bag, so my husband and I scrambled to throw things in. I sent emails to work to explain that I had to cancel meetings because I was heading to the hospital. We arrived around 6:30 am. I was having mild contractions. The doctor confirmed that my waters had indeed broken and warned that because of risk of infection, if I did not deliver on my own within 24 hours, they would induce. I had dilated only 1 cm by then. The rest of the day, contractions got steadily stronger, and by the evening, they became quite uncomfortable. At midnight I was hoping to hear that I had dilated maybe 6-7 cm, but I was really bummed to discover that I had only dilated 3 cm. The doctor wanted to induce me then, but I begged to try on my own just a little longer. They agreed to wait one hour.

I put on the Birthing Through Hypnosis CD and turned off the lights and entered “the zone.” When contractions started, I felt intense pain and I would bring my knees up and squeeze. Then I willed myself to focus on the “voice” in the rainbow relaxation meditation and I would relax and the pain would melt somewhat. When the contraction finished, I would fall asleep until the next cycle. I was dimly aware that the nurse came in to check every once in a while.

At one point the “voice” stopped. I panicked and called my husband to somehow make it come back. I frantically asked for “Track 2! Track 2!” Meanwhile contractions were coming and I tried desperately to remember the “strawberry mist,” but it was not really working. Finally the “voice” returned, and all was well again. Turned out the batteries had run out, but thankfully my husband had bought backup batteries at the gift shop.

Finally, around 2:30 am, I needed to go to the bathroom, so I stripped my monitors off and headed that way. Meanwhile my husband wondered where all the doctors had gone, so he went hunting. While in the bathroom, I felt especially strong contractions and began moaning. I was wondering if maybe I was 5-7 cm and if maybe it was starting to hurt enough that I might think about asking for an epidural. The nurse outside the door asked me to come out to be checked, first sweetly, and then more insistently. I told her, “In a minute. After I go first.” Finally I gave up and went back to bed. She checked me quickly and declared “10 cm and pushing.” She pushed some magic button and all the lights went on and people and equipment appeared suddenly from nowhere. I was amazed.

They pleaded with me, “Don’t push. The doctor’s doing a C-section next door.” Though they asked me to breathe a certain way, I did not know how I could possibly keep my body from doing what every fiber meant it to do — push the baby out. Finally, the doctor arrived. After 30 min, I finally pushed the baby out at 3:07 am, less than half an hour before my 24-hour goal.

For my second child:

Five days before my due date, at 3 pm, I was driving the car home and started feeling mild contractions and my own leaking that could mean my water had broken. I called the hospital, who recommended I come in. We arrived just before the Ob-Gyn Department closed at 5 pm. During the drive, my contractions came every 3-4 minutes and lasted 50-60 sec each. A doctor saw me at around 5:15 pm and confirmed that my bag of waters had indeed broken. Immediately after he left the exam room, water poured out all over the floor. He predicted that, given how fast my previous labor had gone, I might deliver within 3-4 hours or so. He was kind enough to take me himself in a wheelchair down to the Labor & Delivery Department around 5:30 pm.

My nurse and began admitting procedures. Contractions started hurting more, so I put on the Birthing Through Hypnosis CD maybe around 5:45 or so and blocked out everything going on around me. The contractions got worse and closer together. I told my husband to watch the monitor for the next time I had a break between contractions so he could help me go to the bathroom. But the nurse was never able to get the monitors to pick up either my contractions or the baby’s heartbeat because I was so deep in my “zone” that I never responded to her attempts to move me. The contractions would keep coming in one wave after another, and never seemed to subside long enough for me to make it to the bathroom. I was surprised they seemed to hurt so much so quickly and I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to control the pain as well as the first time. I just wanted very badly for it to all be over as quickly as possible.

Then maybe around 6:20 pm, the doctor came to check me. I took off the Birthing Through Hypnosis CD so that I could respond to her questions. She checked my lungs and I was gripped by really tough contractions and the sudden urge to go to the bathroom. The doctor and nurses are reluctant to do an exam to see how much I had dilated because they didn’t want to introduce risk of infection. But they finally decided to check and, to their great surprise, declared that I was “complete.” I asked, “What does ‘complete’ mean?” Someone told me I was 10 cm dilated and the baby was coming NOW.

The pain was so bad I started screaming and flailing out of control for a minute, but then I calmed down and tried to systematically push. I asked for a mirror to watch what was happening, and I could see my baby’s head coming into view. But mostly I closed my eyes and concentrated on pushing. Then at 6:39 pm, I felt a big bloop . . . and then relief. I thought, “That must be the head – what a relief! The rest will be easy.” Then another bloop, and she was out.

The nurse said in her 15 years, she had never seen anyone focus so intensely, cope with pain so well, and deliver in such a controlled and deliberate way. The next day, another nurse told me people were still talking about my birth on that floor.

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Colton (First Baby)

Hi there:


Just wanted to let you know Colton was born last Friday! Thanks to Kristin’s class, we wound up going with Homestyle Midwifery, which was a magical, wonderful experience. We had Laura Pliska as our doula, who provided amazing support and got us through a long, long labor without an epidural. Hooray for all the support there is out there for pregnant moms. Kristin, please keep giving your class–it was an incredible turning point for us.


Cheers,


Melissa

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Tallulah (First Baby)
Hello and congratulations on your baby girl! You are an amazing woman. So glad to hear you are back to teaching soon-to-be parents about Birthing Through Hypnosis and their choices at birth. It helped us greatly. Thank you again. I had an amazing birth…..or should I say Tallulah had an amazing birth! All totaled, it lasted about 7 hours, barely made it to the hospital (Homestyle Midwifery angels at St. Luke’s), no drugs, no stitches, no tearing, but WOW, it still felt like a train drove thru me! Tallulah was 8 lbs. 2 oz, 21 inches and is just gorgeous! She’s 7 1//2 months now, can’t believe so much time has gone by so quickly. I attached one of the million photos of my little love.


Be happy!


Radha and Tallulah

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Collin (Second Baby)
Hi Kristin,

I just wanted to let you know how much my hypnotherapy refresher helped me through my labor. As with my first baby, I didn’t get to use a lot of the techniques. However, hypnotherapy helped me stay calm. This was very important since my labor/delivery took under an hour and our son Collin was unexpectedly born at home! Staying focused was good for me, the baby, and my husband as we were all under stressful circumstances. I know things went more smoothly because of the skills I reviewed with you.

Hope you and your new baby girl are well-and thank you again for your help!

Joanna

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Grace (Second Baby – First Baby Born with Birthing Through Hypnosis, too)
Congratulations! Not sure if we remembered to get you on the email announcement list but just wanted to let you know that we had our second baby girl on September 6. Thanks so much for all of your help – it was invaluable once again! Just to give you a quick rundown: My water broke at about 8am on Sept 5th, and I started to have light, infrequent contractions. After getting Avery settled with some friends, we headed to the hospital where I labored all day and most of the evening. By 10pm, I was still only about 5cm, and my midwife (who was 38 weeks pregnant herself at the time) was getting tired.


After some discussion, I readily agreed to, as we put it, a “whiff” of pitocin, and sure enough that was all I needed. I went from 5 to complete in one hour, pushed for 20 minutes, and she was out! It was quite intense, but I was happy to have had the chance to experience so much of my labor without the pitocin, and of course the techniques that you went over with us helped throughout the entire process.

Now our beautiful little Grace is happy, chubby, and sleeping, well, as much as I guess she feels she needs to! Congratulations again on your little girl. I hope you and your family are all adjusting well.


Take care,


Lillian

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Nico (Second Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Thanks very much for your response, and sure, I’d be happy to have my birth story posted on your website.

My husband and I took your Birthing Through Hypnosis class in May, and our little boy, Nico, was born on August 29. You mentioned that you always like to hear how the births of your students go, so I’m just dropping you a line to follow up. I also wanted to send you extra special thanks for helping us to think about natural childbirth as a viable possibility. I’m pleased to report that the birth of my second son went so much more quickly than the first, and my recovery has been much smoother and easier, too. Not using an epidural or any pain meds this time around was definitely the right approach for us.


This birth was so different from my first son’s birth, during which I had back labor, and ended having an epidural and a forceps-assisted delivery. For Nico’s birth, I had several weeks of preamble, during which I was walking around at 3+ cm dilated with constant mild contractions, expecting to go into labor at any moment. When my water finally broke, I was grocery shopping and assumed that I had plenty of time before the delivery, so I paid for the groceries, drove them home, put them away, loaded the car with a bunch of yoga props for my labor, and asked the babysitter to drive me to the hospital. As it turned out, I almost didn’t make it to Marin General in time — Nico was born scarcely two hours after my water broke! Although I did have back labor again, I was able to hang in there with it, and really felt that I was able to stay present through the whole experience. And this time, I was fortunate enough to have fantastic support from my doctor and from a nurse who had given birth to three children of her own through natural child birth. Together they walked me through the stage 2 process by just giving me very clear and concrete instructions on what to do. It was an intense experience that left me feeling very empowered and elated.

Despite the rapid pace of my labor, I managed not to panic, and I thank you and the Birthing Through Hypnosis philosophy for that. I had practiced the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques throughout my third trimester, and I feel that they helped to alleviate my anxiety and helped me to keep my intention focused on surrendering to the process. Because I was already hitting stage 2 by the time I arrived at the hospital, I wasn’t really practicing the other techniques from the book during my labor, but I was able to continue to surrender and trust that the process was natural and all was well.


With respect to the pain, I must confess that I had always taken a bit of exception to the Birthing Through Hypnosis perspective. Having been through one child birth, I knew that the process was painful, and also knew that I really couldn’t play any tricks on my mind to distract myself or to convince myself otherwise. So in my preparation for Nico’s birth, I focused more on how to relax within discomfort and prepared to give myself over to the pain without resistance or panic. Luckily, I was able to do that, but I actually learned a great lesson in this birth — as it turned out, in order to get that baby’s head past my tailbone, I couldn’t retreat from the pain or even just surrender to it. Instead, I actually had to harness the pain as a tool and press against it from the inside in order to get past it. It called on a different kind of faith than what I had expected, and all the strength I could muster. It was a valuable life lesson for me, and will undoubtedly influence the way I approach other “painful” situations going forward.


Thanks again for your help in preparing for this birth, and I hope the birth of your third child is the smoothest and easiest yet!


Be well,


Rebecca

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Baby Girl (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Just wanted to let you know I delivered a 9 lb, 12 oz. daughter without drugs on Thursday at 1:05 pm!!! THANK YOU so much for all that you taught me (and JP) about Birthing Through Hypnosis – it has been invaluable.


Love,


Jeannie

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Baby Girl (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Thank you for your kind words, and yes, with my doula’s help, I was able to get in “the zone” somewhat in between pushes. I’d be happy to be a part of the website or any other way that I could help to get the word out!

My husband and I took your class and it changed our path completely! You asked for feedback on our births, and I wanted to give you mine. After your class, we looked at hiring a doula, and found Kara, who was wonderful. She said she didn’t work with CPMC anymore, so we switched to St. Lukes, and boy are we grateful. The midwives there were unbelievable (Yeshi and Cynthia were with me) and the experience very memorable. Although I did push for 8 hours, and had to take a huge dose of pitocin, I avoided the epidural, and most importantly, a C-section. Anywhere else, I would have had a C-section for sure. Thanks for helping me birth a healthy daughter; we couldn’t have done it without you!


Best,


Laura

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Baby Girl (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Matt & I took your class in November. We welcomed a beautiful baby girl last Thursday, she is precious. If I remember correctly, you like to hear about the labor & delivery, so here is a quick rundown. I woke up about midnight on Thurs morning with contractions, about 5-6 minutes apart. By 2 am, they were closer to 4-5 min apart. Used balloon breathing technique. By 3am, they were closer to 3min apart and then my water broke. We arrived to UCSF just before 4am with contractions, water, and vomiting. I was 4cm dilated and within 2min, I was 10cm dilated. She was born at 524am – 8pounds, 10oz. I’ve been told it was the easiest labor & delivery known to mankind. I don’t know that I would say it was easy, but I do realize that comparatively speaking, I’m very fortunate. Natural child births are for me.


I would also like to add that the staff (docs, nurses, etc) at UCSF was fabulous, I was very pleased. They were quite willing to accommodate our wishes of no IV, no eye ointment, no Hep B, etc. BTW, the vit K shots used do not contain mercury anymore.


Thanks again for the class, we really did get a lot out of it. My labor was quick, so we did not utilize all the techniques, but I definitely used the breathing techniques and I really felt like I was in my own hypnotic zone.


All my best,

Natalie

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Zack (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Just wanted to let you know our little bundle of joy arrived (a couple of weeks early): Zack Schwerin-Daro was born 2/10, 6 pounds 13 ounces, 18.5 inches. And we definitely used/appreciated all our Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques. On Friday my water broke at 9am, I started having surges at noon and was complete by 5pm! I did push for a few hours as Zack decided it wasn’t a good idea to come down due to the cord around his neck, so with an epidural (what a relief!), my pushing and the doc pulling, we got him out in good health at 10:30pm.


Thanks, all the best!


Ellen & Aman & Zack

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Audrey (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

We took your class in November. Here is my birthing story. I had a natural birth, and I was able to do it! Kelly Olmstead was my doula, and I think Birthing Through Hypnosis really helped.
Jenn


Thursday, January 12 02:45 am


Felt small gush. Thought it was water breaking. Turns out it was mucous plug. I had an appt. w/my midwife at 10:00 am, and she confirmed it was just the mucous plug, and bloody show. Said birth would probably happen in the next 24-48 hours.

Occasional contraction, especially in the evening. DH, DS and I went out to dinner and I had some spicy food.

Friday, January 13 12:00 am
Contractions started coming about every 10 minutes, and sometimes closer together. Tried to rest in between. This continued throughout the night.


8:30 am DH took DS to preschool in the morning. I called my doula to tell her what was happening. She advised taking a shower. So I did. She came over about 9:00 am to assess how far along I was. She thought I was on the edge between prelabor and labor. She suggested taking a walk with Ron outside when he got back.


10:00 am Ron and I walked around outside of our house. I had several strong contractions that made me stop and grab on to something. I labored outside for a while. But I soon realized it was time for me to go to the hospital. On the way I had a few contractions in the car, and was able to breathe through them.


12:20 pm We arrived at the door of Dominican Hospital. My doula walked me to labor and delivery admitting. On the way, I had to stop 3 times for strong contractions. They tried to get me in a wheelchair, but I refused. The 3rd contraction I was on all 4′s in the hallway of labor and delivery. One nurse thought I would deliver right there. They got me into a delivery room. I spent some time in the bathroom changing into a gown and having some more contractions. A couple of contractions on floor with birth ball. Then I got up on the bed and had birth ball underneath of my chest where I could grab on, and I was again on all 4′s. Upon check-in into room, I was 6 cm. A few minutes later when my OB arrived, I was 8-9 cm. My OB stepped out of the room for a minute, and in the meantime, I had some major contractions and had to push.
1:26 pm I pushed twice, and out came Audrey. My OB was called back into the room just in time. Audrey had meconium in her lungs and had to be suctioned out. The neonatologist was there in no time, and they took great care of her.


That was Audrey’s birth!

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William (Second Baby)
Hi Kristin,

William was born yesterday at 4:07 am. He was 8lbs, 8oz. Mom and baby are doing great and our daughter Linnie is beside herself with excitement.


Alison used the Birthing Through Hypnosis technique throughout the delivery. It was amazing. She did it without any drugs. She was calm, relaxed and in control almost the whole time with the exception of about 10 minutes after she learned she was at 6cm.


Here’s the story: We went to the Dr. (Lawson – she was excellent) for her routine checkup Monday morning and found her fluid was low and her placenta was calcified. The Dr. wanted to start induction at 8pm that night. Her plan was to administer cervadil throughout the night and then induce the next day if nothing happened. So we went home and called our acupuncturist (Shanna Guzman) and she stuck Alison’s feet with needles. By the time we went to Sutter at 8, she was in the first stages of labor. They added the cervadil for extra measure anyway, but removed it after only 3 hours. We called Kelly Olmstead (our doula) around midnight as things were beginning to intensify. She was a huge help and we were very lucky to have her. At 3am, the nurse checked Alison’s progress and she was 6cm dilated and completely effaced. Being 6cm was a bit of a blow to Alison’s confidence at that point so she slipped away from her relaxed and controlled state for a few contractions – she begged for drugs for about 10 minutes. But it became clear that it was too late for intervention (and Kelly did an excellent job getting her through that part) so she buckled back down and regained her confidence. By 4 am, just one hour later, she was ready to push and the baby was born at 4:07. Officially she was pushing for 15 minutes, but in reality it only took about 10.


Alison did so well using the relaxation techniques! Without our meeting and those techniques, she would not have had the confidence to make it through. It made the process achievable in her mind and therefore she was able to maintain control and confidence. She was very happy to have experienced the natural process and is blown away by the way she felt afterwards. Thank you so much for your help and guidance!


Sincerely,


Jim, Alison, Linnie and Will

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Luciano (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

I forwarded your info about your class to all my pregnant friends. I just want you to know that my labor was really wonderful! It was the most amazing experience of my life! It was 32 hours and my baby was posterior but we did it completely natural and we got through it because we were focused and stayed positive.


We played the Birthing Through Hypnosis audio tracks the entire 32 hours! Thank you for making your class available and fitting us in. My son entered this worked peacefully and I thank you!


Sincerely,

Savita, Dale and Luciano

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Hudson (Second Baby)
Hi Kristin,

We had our son on Sunday. The birth was such a wonderful, joyous experience, and I so attribute so much of its success to the relaxation techniques we learned in your class. It was our second birth, and what a contrast. My body worked so well, and labor progressed so quickly, I think because I wasn’t afraid. Hurray!! Just wanted to quickly let you know before it’s time for another feeding. :)


Thanks much for the great info–


Natalie

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Ethan (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

I have to say that taking your class really prepared us well, and I don’t think we could have had the birth that we did without learning what we did in your class. We didn’t use all the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques, but I especially found the top-down breath helpful during pushing. And I really believe that it is simply the whole approach and perspective of Birthing Through Hypnosis that must have helped my body move from 0 to 9 1/2 cm in 6 hours. I also had a great birth team (my husband along with Cynthia Banks as my midwife and a great doula who continued to reinforce all of the principles of Birthing Through Hypnosis with each surge.


We are happy to announce the early arrival of our new baby boy!


Ethan


Born July 24 at 11:00 am

6 pounds, 8 ounces


19 1/4 inches


Here’s a short story of the events.


1:45 am – Cindy wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but there is more.


2:00 am – Ed pages Cynthia (our midwife) and she says that my water has broken and is leaking.


2:43 am – Cindy starts feeling contractions at 10 minutes apart.


3:50 am – Cindy eats 2 pieces of toast.


4:26 am – Contractions are now 3-4 minutes apart.


6:45 am – Our doula comes over to the house to labor with us.


7:00 am – Ed eats breakfast. (We can’t forget about Ed’s stomach!)


7:22 am – Full bag of waters breaks in a big gush on the bed.


8:40 am – Our doula drives us to the hospital.


9:15 am – Cindy is dilated 9.5 cm!


10:59 am – A baby boy is born!


12:50 pm – Cindy eats half of a turkey sandwich.

We feel so blessed to have had such a natural, uncomplicated, and speedy birth with Ethan.


Love,


Cindy and Ed

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Kai (First Baby)
Dear Kristin,

Dear Kristin,

Thank you so much for the wonderful class I took in March. I’m so lucky I found you in time because I ended up going into labor 5 wks early.

The class helped me right away by giving me reassurance and confidence.. My husband and a friend I called immediately after the class remarked how calm I sounded. And then the real benefit came when the action started:

The labor ended up going amazingly better than I would have ever imagined due to your class. My water broke at 3:30 am 3/23 Wed am. By midnight I had only dilated to 3 cm and my contractions were about 5 min apart, and starting to get uncomfortable. I was starting to think about maybe giving in and doing the pain meds. The doctor came and said because of risk of infection because my water had been broken for so long, they wanted to give me pitocin to speed the labor along. I asked if they could wait just a little longer to see if I could naturally move on my own, and they reluctantly gave me maybe an hr or 2.

So then I put on the audio tracks from the class, turned off the lights and really focused. Even though contractions sere coming more frequently, I concentrated on the Voice’s images of rainbow mists relaxing my pelvis and the pain would just soften somehow.

Sometimes I fell asleep and lost focus on the Voice. When the contraction awoke me, I involuntarily clenched up my legs from the pain until I could remember to focus on the Voice, and then I could relax.

My husband and the nurse told me after the fact that whenever they would check on me I looked lost in another world and they decided it was best to just leave me be to do this in my own way.

Then at one point the Voice stopped and I panicked. I frantically called out pitifully for “Track 2! Track2!” My husband scrambled in the dark in our bag for the backup batteries and finally got me relief with the tinkly music and the Voice commanding me to picture “peach mist” enveloping my cervix and making it open widely.

After 2.5 hrs, the doctor had still not come to check on me and I needed to go to the bathroom. I started moaning, and the nurses went into alert urging me to come out “SOON!” so they could check me. To my great surprise I had gone 3 cm –> 10 cm and pushing. They paged the doctor and somehow a ton of equipment and nurses magically appeared urging me not to push. Finally the doctor came & half hr later out came the baby at 3:07 am Thurs morning.

I pulled the baby to my breast right away, but he seemed to dazed to nurse. After the cord stopped pulsing, my husband cut the it. We named him Kai. He had trouble breathing at first and had to go in and out of intensive care the first week for jaundice and temperature fluctuations, but now he’s just like any run-of-the-mill newborn thankfully.

Thank you so much again for your great help! I’ve been telling all my pregnant friends about how much of a difference your class made for me. Other moms who have already been through birth sounded skeptical, but I’m a believer!

Lily

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Baby Girl (First Baby)
Kristin,

I’ve been meaning to email you to let you know how much the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques helped with my pregnancy and delivery. I listened to the relaxation cd all the time and it really helped me relax. The affirmations helped me release my fear of childbirth and I managed to begin to look forward to the process instead of dreading and fearing it. The birth did not go as planned. We decided, in consultation with the midwives, to induce labor a few days after my due date. I was not happy about this, as I had wanted to avoid induction for many, many reasons, but there were medical grounds for the induction that we believed were valid. We went into the hospital Friday afternoon and the midwife applied cervadil to my cervix. Nothing happened all night, so they reapplied in the morning. Again, nothing really happened all day Saturday, so the midwife inserted a balloon-like thing (can’t remember the name) into the cervix to apply pressure (I was not at all dilated yet). This brought on some contractions, but nothing strong enough to accomplish dilation, apparently. Sunday morning, the pitocin drip started around 10:30. I labored until about 2pm (5 centimeters) and then requested an epidural. After the epidural, I dilated completely by about 3pm and started pushing. Fortunately, the epidural didn’t quite “take” all the way on the left side, so I could feel when I was having a contraction and knew when to push. This was very lucky because the machines were not registering my contractions for some reason. I pushed for about 15 minutes and baby girl flew out at 3:17 pm. I had only a tiny tear. Baby girl was so perfect and pink!! 7 pounds, 7 ounces, 21.5 inches long. Very calm and alert. It was love at first sight and she nursed like a champ right away. She is the sweetest little baby and very easy going (we feel like we won the baby lottery!!). :) My recovery was incredibly quick, too- no pain or problems!

My dreams of an intervention-free, natural childbirth went out the window, but I consider my labor and delivery a positive experience, thanks, in large part, to the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques. I’m very proud of how my husband and I were able to cope with a long, emotionally and physically difficult birth experience. Being in the hospital and being induced meant almost constant monitoring, which was extremely nerve-wracking and upsetting. It was key that we could relax through it all and that I could get some sleep despite being monitored every hour all night long. The affirmations helped me stay positive about an unexpected process. Of course, next time I want to go for a natural birth and I would not recommend induction to anyone that can avoid it!! That pitocin is some powerful stuff!! But I wanted to let you know how useful I found the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques even for a high-intervention birthing situation. I can’t imagine that I would have felt so positive about my experience if I had not had the Birthing Through Hypnosis tools.

Thanks again for a great class. God willing, we’ll be back for a refresher one of these days. :)

Liv

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Finn (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Finn Eric has arrived and is doing great! What an incredible time this past week has been. Thank you for your help. Marie was incredible! We did have to transfer to Dominican Hospital for Pitocin assistance. At home the midwifes were amazed how well she did with her ability to control her contractions while remaining focused and calm. At the hospital the nurse and doctor made the comment that they have never seen someone so calm between contractions. Again, thank so much for your help. We’d love to share more of our experience with you sometime. I’ve attached a few pictures of our special day.

I have been telling everyone how much the Birthing Through Hypnosis had helped me through the contractions. I really impressed myself. That would be great if you put our email on your website. Finn is doing great. We can’t stop looking at him.

Thanks,


Eric, Marie, and Finn

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Zack (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

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Dahlia (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Wanted to share with your our birth story web site, http://www.kapelke.com/dday/dday.html It was a week ago today that I was breathing and humming my way through this – overwhelming to think of…
I was a posterchild for Birthing Through Hypnosis. Midwives said they never saw someone go so deep… Pushing phase was tough. But we slipped past the c-section that loomed. It all worked out.

So…after more than 42 weeks and 17 hours of labor (including 5 hours of strenuous pushing), our baby finally decided to show herself, and it was well worth the wait. Weighing in at 9 1/2 pounds, Dahlia Catherine Miner Kapelke is big and healthy — and she sports an astonishing head of hair.

Now comes the hard part — just 18 years to go (and counting)….

Anyway! Hope you are well and thanks so much for the coaching…

It was a great experience.

Thanks!

Cindy & Chuck & Dahlia

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Liv (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to write to you! My husband Scott and I were in your Birthing Through Hypnosis class over the summer. Our daughter, Liv Plum, was born in August. I’m back at work now and am finally able to use some office time to catch up on correspondence.

We had an beautiful, peaceful birth. I started labor early evening on a Friday. We labored at home (on my hands and knees on the bathroom floor mostly). Scott stayed in touch with both our midwife and Doula by phone. We didn’t even tell the doula to come over because we were managing well on our own, and were enjoying our privacy. Our labor process was very calm and quiet. I was extremely internally focused. I needed to know Scott was with me, but I didn’t want massage or touch or talk. Around 2:45am I told Scott to call the birth center and tell them that I was pushing and we were on our way. I rode in the back seat of the car, again on hands and knees. When we arrived at the birth center, our midwife asked me not to push until they had checked too see my progress. She checked and said, “there’s no cervix here, only the baby’s head. Let your body push.” It was the best thing I’d ever heard! Liv was born at 3:45am, after about 40 minutes of pushing on a birthing stool. She was so beautiful, and perfectly healthy. I had no tears, and felt great. We returned home that same morning at 8am with an enormous box of pastry from Tartine and a little girl to share our lives with.

I credit the Birthing Through Hypnosis and our classes with you with building my confidence. I had so much fear surrounding the birth process, and your visualizations really helped me to put that down and trust myself and my body. After delivery I said, “I have to do that again in this lifetime.” Two weeks of sleep deprivation later, I wasn’t so sure ;-)

Two pictures are attached. One of the family just a few weeks after delivery, and one recent picture of Liv.

Best wishes,


Nancy

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Fiona (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

We wanted to thank you for meeting with us and teaching us about Birthing Through Hypnosis (on December 14th). The birth of our daughter, Fiona Lynn Berek, was a very happy and satisfying experience. Although it certainly didn’t go as planned! Around 1:30am on the December 30th my membranes ruptured. Since I had Group Strep B we checked into the hospital early (around 2:45am). Because I wasn’t experiencing consistent contractions and was GBS+ we allowed the staff to induce labor after holding off for 6 hours. We were disappointed at first, but were told it was UCSFs policy to induce immediately. At 7:30am they administered the Pitocin and by 8am I was having very strong contractions. I tried to focus on relaxing and “getting huge” to encourage the baby to descend. By 8:15am the amount of pressure was incredibly intense and I didn’t think I would survive the enormity of each contraction (there was only about 15 seconds between each contraction and some were longer than 90 seconds) without the intervention of medical pain relief. Micah and I worked on our Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques, but the Pitocin was making it very difficult for me to relax. It came to a point where I thought I would need pain killers if I were to handle the pain for more hours. I asked if I could have an epidural set up and they said it was a bit early and they should check the dilation of my cervix first to see how far along I was. Less than 10 minutes later the midwife checked my cervix and to her (and our) amazement I was completely dilated and they could already see the baby’s head. This gave me renewed strength and confidence. Without delay we began the birthing phase and at 9:33am Fiona was born without the use of pain medication. The doctors were shocked by the speed of the delivery, said I had a birthing body and that they wished it was always like this. Unbelievably I experienced no tearing and felt almost completely back to normal soon after she arrived. While we didn’t have the opportunity to utilize all of the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques, I do think they were pivotal in helping me relax as much as I could between contractions and during the birthing phase. Fiona Lynn Berek was born completely healthy: 8 pounds 14 ounces and 21.5 inches long. We came home the day after she was born and are all healthy, happy and adjusting to our new life. Happy New Year and thanks for all of your help. We’ll be recommending you to friends in the future.

Take care,


Margaret, Micah, & Fiona

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Elliott & Everett (TWINS – First Babies)
Hello Kristin,

Tracy Gordon here, writing to you between feedings. YES!!! I did it.

Monday, February 8th, Elliott Peter was born @ 8:23am 5lbs 2 1/2oz, 181/2 inches, Everett Thomas @ 8:24am 5lbs 3 oz, 18 inches.

I used the Birthing Through Hypnosis relaxation CD to get myself to sleep the night before the C-section. Also, to calm myself while being prepped for surgery. It was evident on the monitor’s graph, used for the boys, how well it worked. The lines went from hard spiking, to soft waves as soon as I began listening to Track 02. At the most crucial point, when they administered the Spinal block. Both the nurse and anesthesiologist, said how surprisingly well I reacted. I gave the credit to Hypno-birthing.

So, Thank you again for your time and blessings.

Peace to you,


The Gordons


Tracy, Elliott, Everett, and Tom

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Declan (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Well, we have a beautiful baby boy – Declan. he was born at UCSF at 8:18pm on sat eve. the birth was an incredible experience. mom and baby are doing swell. here’s a few details.

water broke on wed (14 days early). by 2pm that day we were at UCSF and it was suggested to return by 4am (on thurs) considering the circumstances (chances of infection). by 6pm, we decided to continue forward with homebirth. Gretchen (michelle’s sister) was contacted and flew down from Portland at 11pm wed nite. thurs when i called you we spent the whole day preparing for home birth – castor oil and nipple stimulation and a LOT of napping.

by friday morning (about 46 hours after water broke) we returned to UCSF since michelle’s cervix was not too interested to open (she was less than 1cm). arrived at UCSF and soon was put on pitocin- plan was to check how baby responds to contractions- by 8pm friday eve, ended pit and applied cervidyll (sp?- cervix ripener)- by this time still little to no contractions. michelle and baby still doing great.

Sat morning, ended cervidyll and returned to pitocin. around 2pm active labor started (pit remained between 1-10mgs). gretchen and i stayed with michelle throughout every contraction- doing various positions and riding through the surges- used tennis balls for back massage, jacuzzi for relaxation, sitting on toilet helped for many contractions, heating pad, did a few yoga moves. really intense contractions (about every 2minutes) began around 45 minutes prior to birth. preparation and techniques from your class provided us with a super foundation during the whole experience

gretchen worked with us to reinforce our birthing plan and inform the ucsf team of our interests. they fully cooperated and let us do our thing- michelle was not told how wide her cervix was or was not asked if she wanted pain medication (except of course up admissions when her options were explained to her). Michelle’s parents joined us for the last few hours.

with bar on hospital bed installed and sheet wrapped around it as a strap like thing, michelle birthed Declan without any tears to her perineum. a few comments made by michelle was that she did enjoy too much the IV with pit and units on her belly to monitor baby and contractions- though we worked through it. The Birthing Through Hypnosis breathing techniques were extremely useful but she said the two tennis ball massage on lower back helped more with back pain- in terms of other pain- the back pain was the most uncomfortable. she was not happy with the burning sensation that occurred during last 15 minutes due to stretching.

Kristin, we are grateful for your work and feel our birth and our happy, healthy son arrived into this world with love from you and so many others.

hope this message finds you in good health and spirits.

warmly,

marty and michelle

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Logan (First Baby – Home Birth)
Hi Kristin,

I wanted to thank you for your wonderful instruction and share our birth story w/you. My husband Peter and I had two private Birthing Through Hypnosis sessions with you this past summer. After having a better understanding of Birthing Through Hypnosis and not being satisfied w/our care at UCSF we decided to have a home birth. We definitely made the right decision.

We ended up finding the perfect midwife for us: Jennifer Holcomb. We were also lucky to have Dana Fox at the birth as well.

Labor started on October 13th around 4am. I just knew I would be early. I was due on October 17th. My surges were becoming consistent but not at all uncomfortable. I woke my husband and began practicing my breathing techniques and listening to my tapes. We called Jennifer and kept in touch with her throughout the morning. My surges started getting more intense by late morning so I hopped in the hot shower. Peter started to get the birthing tub ready for us. When I felt a surge coming on Peter was there to support me and breathe or OM with me. What a difference the breathing and vibrational sounds of OM made. Jennifer arrived at 12:30 to find me in the birthing tub. When she checked me I was 9 centimeters! Wow! Peter and I were so proud that we had come so far without any problems. The next few hours were more and more intense but, I stayed focused and relaxed. Baby Logan was born in the birthing tub at 3:50pm. We were so overjoyed that we had the perfect birthing experience. Yes, at times the intensity of the surges were almost too much to handle but, as you said it was a totally manageable pain. Again, we are so thankful to have had these Birthing Through Hypnosis sessions w/you and to have had the perfect birthing experience. Thank you!

Kristie

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Ethan (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

I wanted to let you know the birth story of Ethan, although I doubt you will be able to use it on your site, since nothing went as planned! He was due on 12/5/04. We practiced the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques a lot. We hired a doula. We were going to have acupuncture during labor. I had a great birth plan, and my Dr. was on board with all of it. And then, in my 33rd week, Ethan went breech. I tried every technique to turn him – acupuncture (I turn breech babies in my practice!), midwife postures… I had a chiropractic appointment set up for Webster technique, and I was going to call you to see about hypnosis to turn him.

On 11/3, I got the flu pretty bad, and I spent the next 12 hours vomiting. The dehydration led to severe Braxton Hicks contractions, but my Dr.’s office expected me to be fine. On Friday, 11/5, I felt fine. I was reading the paper at 7:30am, and suddenly my water broke! I was shocked, especially since I was only 35.5 weeks along! And Ethan was still breech. To make a long story short, I had an emergency c-section that day. All in all, it wasn’t as bad as I expected, and I think all the Birthing Through Hypnosis practice is what kept me calm through it all. Ethan had some problems with breathing & eating at the same time, so he was in NICU for 8 days, but he came home on 11/13 and is doing great. He was 5.10 pounds at birth, 18.5 inches long. So, no Birthing Through Hypnosis for me, which I’m disappointed about, but under the circumstances… Maybe next time!!!

- Cindi I, L.Ac.

Hi Kristin. Yes…you can use my birth story on your site. Let me know
if you want more details about any part of it. I think the Birthing Through Hypnosis balloon breath helped keep me calm before the c-section, and also I just felt calm – I think that was from listening to the Rainbow Relaxation so many times. I know myself, and a c-section was my worst fear, and I think my normal reaction would have been to freak out. But I just felt calm, and the only thing I can attribute it to was the practice I did for Birthing Through Hypnosis. That, and being prepared. I had thought about a c-section and talked with my Dr. about it, so I did have some info going into it. And like you said, there was really no other option. Plus, I had an amazing team of doctors and a great anesthesiologist. That helped!!! My Dr. actually apologized to me for having to throw my birth plan out the window!

I loved your class, and I’ve recommended it to several people. I hope to work with you again in the future.

Thanks!


Cindi

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Hayes (Second Baby – Home Birth)
Hi Kristin,

Just wanted to update you on the birth– we had a beautiful, healthy (big–9lbs.1oz.) baby boy on october 3 at 2am– His name is Hayes. he was born at home, and in the water/birthing tub with only 34 minutes of pushing– quite a welcome change from calder’s 5 and 1/2 hours! I didn’t even really realize I was in “real” labor until transition so it was really only about 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours of hard work (again a big change from Calder’s 28 hours!)– so I am sure our session had a positive impact! Calder was even there for the last half hour and stood there by the tub next to Maria with his medical kit “helping” — he was calm and joyful and we were delighted he could be there and was so present for the birth– it was really a beautiful, wonderful experience. I so enjoyed and appreciated our session and I’m really glad I got a chance to work with you–

Good luck with everything and thanks again–

best to you all,


kate

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Sienna (Second Baby – VBAC)
Hi Kristin,

My husband and I attended one of your recent Birthing Through Hypnosis classes and want to thank you. Your class really helped us give birth to our sweet (large) baby girl, Sienna–9lbs, 2oz. Sienna was a VBAC baby, born naturally at home, in a tub. Many of the choices (changes) we made around the birth (like not being in the hospital and using a tub) were influenced by you and your class. I used what I learned with you to visualize during my contractions–and it worked! I really was able to use my energy constructively. The transition phase and pushing were NOTHING like the videos (a little disconcerting), but the overall peace and joy in the experience couldn’t be matched.

Thanks so much for what you do. We are so happy.

Kim (and John and Sienna)

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Caycie Paige (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Well, little Caycie Paige came 2 wks early on 7/10. I have the best story!
So, Sat morning I wake up @ 2am w/some very mild contractions..go back to sleep thinking they are Braxton-Hicks, not time yet…wake up @ 4am and they are stronger so I start practicing my breathing still not believing it’s time yet cuz it didn’t hurt too much. By 6 am, I called to cancel my brunch plans for the day and woke Greg up to tell him I thought I was in labor…we both weren’t sure if it was the real deal yet, but I just kept breathing and relaxing…tried listening to the tape, but then I KNEW it was real as the sound of anything started to annoy me…by 8am I was in the bathtub at home doing very well in between but having to go underwater w/the contractions. At this point I started to work w/them, visualizing getting HUGE…it must have worked because around 11AM I told Greg it was time to GO to the the hospital…he didn’t believe me because I was too calm, but I knew they were hitting hard and we had to leave. We got to the hospital and I was 4 cm dilated, they said it was good I had come…that was 12…now it gets good…

They hooked me up to a monitor while they got my L& D room ready. they tried to give me an IV and I had to refuse 3 times…I told them NO drugs no IV’s! Got to the L& D room and I was now 6cm…I felt the urge to push, but the nurse said I couldn’t yet. So I got into the tub and the nurse left the room…a few moments later I felt the urge to push again…this time it wasn’t me, it was the baby coming out. I told Greg to get the nurse and he told me just to breathe through it. But as you know once the baby is on the way, you can’t hold it back. The nurse comes running back into the room and declares that I am complete and i can now push…haaaahaaaa…of course I could have told them that! The Dr comes in and all I can do is scream at her that I don’t want to be cut (it wasn’t my regular OB)…she was comedic and said, do you you see any knives in my hands??? I was actually pretty funny looking back, I was very focused on the few things that were important to me and I felt very much like a wild wolf woman looking after my baby.

Anyway…..3 pushes later and Caycie was born. I spent a total of 48 minutes in the L&D room and had the most joyous experience…I declared myself Superwoman and felt ready to run a marathon. Nobody believed I had just gone through labor. I wasn’t exhausted at all! The Dr.. said next time I have to go to the hospital the moment I go into labor as I barely got there in time. They also told Greg that he has a very strong willed wife…but he already knew that :)

Thank you for your support and for the wonderful class. The breathing is what helped me along w/the visualizations. I’m so glad I didn’t have any drugs and I don’t know what I was so afraid of, it was the most amazing and powerful experience of my life…. Now, if I could just get some sleep… :)

Take Care and thanks again!!


All the Best!

Olivia, Greg and Caycie

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Annabel (First Baby)
Dear Kristin,

Drew and I have a baby daughter! She was born on July 9th at UCSF and we had a BEAUTIFUL birth. Miraculous! Your class and our session were incredibly helpful. Drew read the scripts to me for nights on end and I was calm and relaxed throughout the labor. Eventually, my uterus just led the way and Annabel Langdon Fiero emerged after a half our of pushing. Thank you for helping us give our daughter and ourselves this most precious gift of a peaceful celebratory birth into the world. We can’t thank you enough for helping us get our family off to the right start, the effects of which will last a life time.

Feel free to put our e-mail on your website. I agree with you fully that it is empowering for women to know that birth can be a great experience. Thank you, again, Kristin. You are a wonderful therapist. We are spreading the word!

With much affection,


Wendy, Drew & Annabel

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Amissah (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

I was in your Birthing Through Hypnosis class in May. My name is Nyarkoa and my husband is Gregg. Remember us? Well our beautiful son was born on June 10th at home as planned. It was a powerful experience. Especially the end when I ended up on all fours and my UTERUS pushed that baby out all on its own magnificent POWER!!!!!
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your class was very helpful during the labor. Gregg and I were such a great team. We used the balloon breaths and the top-down breath. Very
helpful. I am happy to say that my birthing experience was an empowering positive one. Thank you. I know that if and when we have another child I won’t approach labor with so much fear. Feel free to share this with others.

Love,


Nyarkoa, Gregg and Amissah

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Katie (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

I wanted to let you know that we had a baby girl on Monday, May 17th. The labor and birth went well. My water broke around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 16th and I had a long and fairly minor labor process throughout the majority of the day on Sunday. I was able to labor at home (with the help of my husband and doula) until about 12:30 a.m. on Monday. We arrived at the hospital at 1 a.m. and Katie was born at 2:05 a.m. When they checked me at the hospital to see how far I had progressed I was “complete” and they said I could push when I felt the urge. The pushing stage lasted about 5-10 minutes. I was able to have a birth free of any medications, which was great.

While laboring at home I listened to the Birthing Through Hypnosis relaxation audio tracks. I found them to be particularly helpful. Bob was great at reminding me to use the top-down breath during the pushing stage. The focus on childbirth as a natural process was very helpful for me and this is something that I thought about often
throughout Sunday the 16th and Monday the 17th.

All in all it was a wonderful experience. Thanks again for your support. We enjoyed your class and found it helpful!

Take care,

Nancy

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Nicholas (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

This is a late reply but I did want to share my story with my fellow Birthing Through Hypnosis classmates.

I had a baby boy, Nicholas Augustin Negulescu, on Wednesday, May 5th at 7:45am. He weighed in at 7lbs 14 oz and was 20.5 inches long. He arrived ten days early but we were very happy to welcome him on Cinco de Mayo!

I lost my mucous plug on Monday, May 3rd at 7:45am but felt no signs of labor until after 11pm on Tuesday, May 4th after having dinner downtown and taking in the broadway musical, Hairspray at the Golden Gate Theater with my husband. My lower back ached a bit and I joked with my Peter as we left the theater, asking him how he felt about a Cinco de Mayo baby. I knew I was in labor. The contractions were very different from the Braxton Hicks I had been experiencing since mid-February but I said nothing to him thinking that I would be in early labor for most of the night. I wanted to let him sleep knowing I would need him to be well rested. We were in bed by 11:40pm but I awoke twice to go to the bathroom and by 1:40am could no longer sleep. I went downstairs and spent the next two hours walking, rocking in the glider, squatting, or on my hands and knees on the floor, interspersed with trips to the bathroom. Throughout I visualized my cervix blossoming and used the balloon breath concentrating on relaxing. I timed my contractions and found them to be 6 minutes apart but only 30 sec in duration. I finally woke my husband at 3:30am and asked him to time me while I moved from floor to glider, to the bathroom and back again as it became more difficult for me to time and focus on breathing through the contraction. By 5am, my contractions were three and a half minutes apart but only 45 sec in duration so Peter & I were convinced we still had a long way to go so I went upstairs, showered and changed. By 5:45am, I knew I wanted to leave for the hospital and asked my husband to pull up the car. When we arrived at the hospital at 6:15am (it took me awhile to get down the four flights of stairs and then made my husband drive at 5 MPH!) they warned us that they might have to send us home if I wasn’t far enough along as the wards were full of laboring women due to the full moon. The nurse went to check me and her face looked shell shocked. Peter was momentarily panicked thinking something was wrong but fortunately I was occupied with a contraction and was only focused on breathing. I was 9cm dilated and the nurse was just caught off guard! They moved us as quickly as possible into a labor & delivery room. At 7am, my doctor arrived and announced that I was fully dilated, through transition, and ready to push. She broke my water at 7:10am. After 35 minutes of pushing, coaching from my husband and the delivery nurse, and a minor episiotomy to avoid tearing forward, Nicholas’s head and shoulders emerged. My doctor asked if I would like to pull him out of the birth canal and place him on my chest. I reached down and did just that! She commented that she had never had a patient be so present and responsive especially during the final phases of delivery. I was thrilled I am fully convinced that the breathing, relaxation, and visualization techniques I learned through your Birthing Through Hypnosis class made it possible for me to have such a positive, drug free, birthing experience!!! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

Feel free to share my story with others as you see fit!


Kris

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Hugh (First Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Hugh was born last Thursday at 5:21. Life is wonderful. Both he and Zoe are doing exceptionally well. I must let you know that Z’s labor was under 2 hours and was the talk of the hospital. She had about 45 minutes of what I would call intense surges and about 30 minutes of pushing. And presto, he was out. Could not believe it. No drugs. Could not imagine it. In fact, they billed it as a “spontaneous delivery” on the report. No small feat considering he came in at 8.5/23.5″. Big bambino. Cheers to you and thanks so much. We attribute this to your class and can not thank you enough.

Ciao,


David

I know that David already emailed you to say thank you for all the wonderful preparation in terms of the birth experience but I wanted to echo his thoughts – it could not have gone better and I felt so comfortable going into it because I knew I could do it. I think a large part of the reason our fist days with Hugh were so wonderful was because he had no drugs in his little system. So, thank you. I have already told a couple of people about the class and will put them in touch with you should they be interested in attending.


Thanks!


Zoe

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Anya (First Baby)
Thank you, Kristin! Here’s what I found most helpful from your class. The balloon breathing (I think I did 8 counts in and out) was what got me through the toughest parts of labor. I did most of my laboring at home. When active labor started, I would sit on a ball and keep my legs spread, hips rotating, then stand and lean over something and breathe deeply through the contractions.

When the contractions started getting super strong, I found lying down and balloon breathing to be the best. I actually noticed the difference in feeling less pain through the contractions when I started lying down on my side and just breathing into the crest and out of it. Lying down and focusing on opening also seemed to speed the labor along. I was 9 cm by the time I got to the hospital, and that last part/transition seemed to happen very quickly.

The most intense contractions, I couldn’t manage breathing through. I could only yell my most primal cries ever (save for when I bungy jumped over 200 meters). I found the pushing to be so fundamentally different and physical than the rest of labor. What helped me there the most was switching positions constantly (all fours, squatting and “squatting” on my back) and actually swim breathing during the pushes.

She was born on October 15 @ 6:39 a.m. She was 6 lb. 11 oz., 19 3/4 inches long


Best wishes


Martina

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Annie (Second Baby)
Hi Kristin,

Annie was born on August 17th and she was 9 pounds! The Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques were helpful – especially when I pushed (the top-down was my best effort).


Leith

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Baby Boy (First Baby)
I had a healthy baby boy in August, my labor was 3 hours, I had no pain medication and felt no pain. It actually kind of felt good, if you can believe it. I didn’t get much of a chance to use “Birthing Through Hypnosis” b/c my labor went so fast, but I think the classes gave me the confidence I needed to feel at-ease and comfortable with the birth. The only unfortunate part was that I did have extensive tearing, but I think that was due, in part, to a nurses’ insistence that I push a certain way. Anyway, thought I’d give you an update and thanks for the sessions!


Adinah

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Baby (First Baby)
I have been meaning to write you for months! I wanted to let you know that my birth went well, as well. It was hard, but I did it without drugs. I have to admit that I didn’t practice as much as I should have beforehand, but a few things really helped me a lot: relaxation techniques between contractions, particularly during and after transition, the top-down breath was amazing, balloon breathing at the beginning. For me, it was much too difficult to concentrate on visualizations most of the time, but the breathing and relaxation techniques helped a lot. Thanks a lot for the great class! I will recommend it!


Kimberleigh

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Liam (First Baby)
Kristin,


Thanks so much for your birth story. It was inspiring. My own went well until the pushing phase. I went into labor at 1:30am with contractions 10 minutes apart. They were every 3 minutes by 3:30am…I did the balloon breathing for the entire dilation phase. It worked amazingly well. I woke my husband at 5:30, and we decided to call our midwife at 6am. She was here by 7am. I was at 7cm by 9am and pushing by 10am. I was very excited because I thought we’d have a baby by noon, but no such luck. After 2 1/2 hours of pushing, I couldn’t get him past +2. His head was cocked at an odd angle. So our midwife suggested that we go to UCSF before I got too exhausted. We drove there and were immediately descended upon by every medical person known to mankind. To make a long story short, I pushed for another 5 hours, including one attempt at vacuum extraction before I had a c-section. They had to pull him back out, he was so deeply embedded in my pelvis. Then he developed a huge hematoma because of the vacuum with a subsequent bout of jaundice that sent him to the ICN for two days. After grappling with the difficult ICN nurses who all have differing ways of doing things, we were glad his bilirubin count went down so we could go home. He’s been growing like crazy ever since. IN one month, he’s grown 3 inches and put on 4 pounds. The pediatrician says he’s in the 97th percentile for his age. So we’re happy he’s doing well. I’ve recovered from the physical trauma but I don’t think I’ll ever recover from having so many people with so many different agendas at my birth. The three anesthesiologists (two third year residents and the attending) had trouble agreeing about what type of pain medication I should have. Apparently, I was no longer a candidate for an epidural (because of previous back surgery), so they had to agree on a spinal and then explain to me the consequences and have me sign papers (while I was pushing!!) that said i knew the dangers of the spinal. So after a wonderful 5 hours of pushing, they decided that I wasn’t progressing…something our midwives had recognized 5 hours earlier. I can’t tell you how swollen I was for at least a week after delivery. In the OR, there were no less than 25 people when I delivered. It was my worst fear, and I guess I was meant to deal with it. That’s why it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I think that Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques really helped me get through it all. Dilation was a breeze, and I can’t say that any of it really hurt. It’s more like an intensity that can’t be described. It does hurt NOT to push when every fiber of your being says “push.” I tried not to push while we were driving there in the car. Several times I just had to give in and push. Our midwife was worried that Liam was so close to coming out that he’d come out in the car if I pushed there. But by that time I didn’t really care where he came out, I just wanted him out. :o )

His name is Liam Calder. Liam is the Irish diminutive of William, “strong protector” or “defender.” Calder means “stream or brook” and is also the last name of our favorite sculptor who designed the first mobiles, sculpture that is designed to move with the wind. He was 8 lb 3oz and 20 1/2 inches long at birth.

Thank you for all your help. I will recommend your classes and services to every pregnant couple I meet.


Take care,


Jill

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