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September 21, 2010:
Gracie has arrived!
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What Professionals are Saying:

"It was amazing to watch someone labor with seemingly no pain!" - Laurie Perrin, Obstetrician

"This is how all births should be! Calm, focused, relaxed." - Sid Kamrava, Obstetrician

"As a midwife that has attended over 3,000 births, both in the hospital and at home I can tell you HypnoBirthing is a comprehensive childbirth class you and your partner will be grateful you took. HypnoBirthing will teach you and your partner techniques that will help you achieve a more peaceful, relaxed, and satisfying birth. Mandie is a great instructor that brings a plethora of book knowledge, but more importantly she has successfully used HypnoBirthing with both her daughters. HypnoBirthing got Mandie through a 47 hour labor with her first in the hospital and 10 hour labor at home wit her second. No matter what the birth of your dreams looks like, HypnoBirthing and Mandie can help you achieve it." - April Kermani, Certified Professional Midwife

Wow! Your baby is so much calmer than most of the newborn babies I see. I need to learn more about HypnoBirthing!" - Lee McGarey, Pediatrician

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Another Mother's Story:

The class taught me to embrace contractions (surges). "Think of them as bear hugs," our instructor would say. For the first time in my type-A life, I learned to relax. Most of all, I learned to trust my body. With each passing week, my confidence grew. I would have no problem giving birth. It would be a magical experience. My body would know what to do. I could picture it." - Beth Fisher, 2006

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Discover HypnoBirthing:

Birth Stories from HypnoBirthing Moms:

Rachel's Story

I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant, I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I have always wanted to have a water birth at home, I can't think of a better place to experience such a miracle than in your own home. Soon after we found out about our pregnancy, I started researching homebirth and looking for a midwife. Baby's 1st Day was the first webpage I looked at and I felt an instant connection with April just reading what she had to say about her philosophy on birth and the power of women. Jeremy and I went and met with April and we knew she was who we wanted to deliver our child! She has the same sense of humor as I do and being able to laugh and talk together was very important to me.

We started seeing April very early on in our pregnancy and from day one, I felt great. I actually felt so great, that for a while I kept taking pregnancy tests to be sure I was pregnant! We reached the last month of our pregnancy so quickly, I couldn't believe how fast it went! On August 4th we were scheduled for our 37 week appointment. I called April that morning because I noticed a significant decrease in activity. The baby was usually so busy and that day was unusually quiet. She said to pay close attention and if I still felt worried she would do a non-stress check at our appointment that night.

I was still concerned, so at our appointment we checked and the baby was great! April checked me and I was 3cm and about 70% effaced, she said she wouldn't be surprised if this baby decided to come before our due date of August 23rd! We went home and had lasagna for dinner and shortly afterward I started feeling cramping. April had warned us this might happen, so I didn't think much of it. The cramping continued to get stronger and I started to suspect this was more than just a result of being checked. Jeremy called our doula, Mandie, and she said it sounded like early labor and he should try and get me to relax and try to get some sleep. We tried several things to get me to relax, but I just couldn't do it, the surges were coming so closely and strongly that I was worried something was wrong! Wasn't early labor supposed to be more spread out?! Jer called Mandie again and said he really thought she should come over. When she arrived at about 11pm, she said she heard the sounds that were coming from me and knew we weren't in early labor! At this point, the only thing I wanted to do was sit on the birth ball and make circles with my hips. I made clockwise circles over and over again through every surge. Mandie had called Sherry, who was apprenticing with April and when she arrived and checked me at midnight, I distinctly remember her saying, “call April, this baby is coming.” I was already at 10cm! April arrived at 1am and we started pushing. We tried so many different positions for pushing; squating, leaning over the birth ball, on the floor on my back, on my knees, hanging from Jeremy's many! I was so glad I could move around! We had been so intent on a water birth, but since labor had started 3 weeks before my EDD, we hadn't set the tub up. Some time during pushing, April asked me how committed I was to a water birth, I remember looking at her, in between pushes, and saying “I don't really care anymore!”

Quinn Thomas VanHorn was born at 4:07am on August 5, 2009. We didn't know what we were having and it took us a couple of minutes to remember to look, because we were just so excited the baby had arrived! He was a beautiful 7lbs 12ozs and was 20.5 inches long. He went right to my chest and stayed there for the next 45 minutes or so. The whole process took about 8 hours, but it flew by for me. I used HypnoBirthing and felt like I was in a whole other place through my whole labor. I feel blessed to have had my son at home, surrounded by my husband and wonderful, strong, supportive women. Giving birth was the most empowering experience I have ever had – I am a fierce momma! The only thing I will do differently with our next pregnancy is set up that tub much earlier!

Jennifer's Story

Dear Anne,

I wanted to write my entire HypnoBirthing experience to you so that you may share it with others who are considering HypnoBirthing. If my journey not only completes my life, but encourages someone else, it will only make it that much more fulfilling.

Words truly can not thank you for giving me the gift of HypnoBirthing classes. I had the most magical, amazing birth! I feel that I am a true testimonial that ANY woman can do it!

I am the type of woman who when I get a hang nail, I complain to my friends and family for days. When I had my first son, I got to 1 cm dialated and begged my best friend who was an anesthesiologist for an epidural. With my second son I was induced and got my epidural before I was 2 cm dialated. When I found out I was having a girl and that she was going to be my last child, I decided not only did I want a natural childbirthing experience, but a HypnoBirth.

I hired Melissa Kneen, my doula, and since my husband was doubting my ability to HypnoBirth, he decided that he did not want to attend the classes with me, so Melissa went as my partner. I practiced the affirmations and the rainbow relaxation daily. Most of the days I fell asleep. Even with falling asleep, I learned how to get in touch with my ability to deepen my relaxation over time.

I was dialated to 2 cm and 50% effaced for 2 weeks and then once I was one week overdue my doctor stripped my membranes to get me to 3 cm dialated. My daughter was 11 days overdue and looking back now, I thank God because during those days she was teaching me how to relax during my surges and that there was no reason to have any fear when they occurred. The surges always felt like wonderful bear hugs. The last few days of my pregnancy, I tried every technique to naturally induce labor, acupuncture, nipple stimulation with a breast pump, evening primrose oil, sex, spicy foods, enema, even an "induction pedicure."

I was determined to have a natural experience, but my doctor wanted to induce me. I did a lot of fear releases and realized that even if my doctor breaks my water I can still do HypnoBirthing with no fear. I reminded myself that lots of women naturally break their water on their own.

On Jan. 13th I had been having surges all night long after attending a Birth Year Network meeting of women telling empowering birth stories. All of my surges were wonderful feelings of love and gentle opening of my cervix. I slept on and off that night and when I arrived at the hospital at 8am to be induced the nurse checked me and said that I was 5 cm dialated. I was so excited, I had never gotten to 5 cm, much less 2 cm naturally! They gave me IV antibiotics for 3 1/2 hours because I was gram beta strep positive. At 11:30am I was 6 cm dialated and still not even feeling the surges that were recording on the monitor "off the charts." I hadn't even started listening to my rainbow relaxation or doing any breathing, I was just so used to the surges that they were waves that kept bringing my daughter closer and closer to me.

Once the nurse told me that my doctor wanted to break my water I listened to the rainbow relaxation for the first time at 11:30am. The nurse was very aware of her words and told me that I would feel a "wonderful warm sensation." It really felt so great when she broke my water, I was so relaxed that she was amazed.

Within the next hour and 1/2 I went to 7 cm by walking around. The next hour I went to 8 cm and started using a lot of breathing techniques. At this point I put on my headset and listened to the birth guide continuously from then on. Melissa took me into the bathroom and had me take a shower and sit on the toilet. At this point I was beginning to feel my surges, but never once did I think of "pain medicine." Melissa truly helped me stay in the moment and relax during the final stages of opening.

The nurse wanted me back on the monitor and called the doctor at 2pm. He checked me and said that I was complete. I remember thinking "there is NO WAY that I am 10 cm." I looked at Melissa and started to cry tears of joy and said, "this is EVERYTHING I ever imagined my birth to be and SO much more!!!!!". I was ready to have my daughter.

I began birth breathing and squatted at the edge of the bed to shorten my birth path. My daughter's head was slightly tilted and little to my knowledge, she was a large baby. My doctor wanted me to get on my back or side and try to hold my knees. Melissa then reminded me that by squatting I had already shortened my birth path and by changing positions it would help her arrive.

The next few moments were like a fantasy dream come true. My doctor had me put my hands down and feel her hair. It was the most exhilarating experience to feel your child 100% coming into this world. It was the most incredible gift that I could have ever given myself. I felt her come down and the "ring of fire" lasted one-second and I loved it because it meant that she was here.

Touching her hair and then holding her head as she was coming out of me was a moment so indescribably wonderful! Feeling her whole body then slowly release from mine was more incredible than words can describe. Pulling her out of me and putting her on my chest was a moment so incredible I want every woman in the world to experience this empowerment.

I then pulled the umbilical cord over to "make sure she was a girl" and again it was everything I had every hoped the moment would be and so much more. She is so perfect in every single way!

I had 13 people in the room all in awe of what I had done and how calm and heaven like me and my daughter were during and after her birth. She breastfed right away and has been the best eater ever since. She weighed 9 lbs. 6 oz and I did not have one tear, no episiotomy, no stitches and no pain. I had no medicine before, during or after.

This birthing experience truly is a testimonial for HypnoBirthing. If this "wimpy" 5 foot 3 inches pre-pregnancy weight of 108 lbs. of a woman can birth a 9 lb. 6 oz. baby with no fears, any woman can have the HypnoBirth of their dreams! I wanted to shout "I DID IT!" and let everyone know what an amazing empowering, magically wonderful experience childbirth is!

The one thing I love the most is that every day my HypnoBirthing experience gets CLEARER and CLEARER in my mind. I love sharing my story over and over again of how my daughter made my dreams come true!

Thank you again Anne!!