We did it! We had the most beautiful birth that followed our plan almost exactly, and are now relishing in the sight of our healthy baby boy.
At 12:45am yesterday (March 22) my waters released while I was listening to my rainbow relaxation to put me back to sleep. Needless to say, I never made it back to sleep. Since I was gbs positive, we went to the hospital around 2 so most of my labor took place there. The staff put a sign on the door, read the birth plan, and we got busy laboring. I listened to scripts David had recorded for me as well as relaxation music. I never once laid in bed - I labored through the most difficult surges either on the birth ball or leaning over the back of the bed.
If I said we looked like the quiet hypnobirth families we saw examples of, I'd be lying. I was moaning through every surge (as you had shown us how to do in class) starting at around 6cm dilated. At the time, only David knew this was how far along I was though since I didn't want to know. He was my hero through the 17 hours we labored together. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to give up when I thought I couldn't handle another surge. David knew just how much a natural birth meant to me and kept me right on track.
At 5:46pm, after only about 20 minutes of breathing down, our son was born and put directly on my chest. Within 10 minutes he was breastfeeding. He stayed on my chest or David's chest until our parents showed up about 3 hours after his birth and of course wanted to hold him :). Every test and exam was preformed in our arms.
Jack weighed in at a healthy 7lbs 15oz and is 19.5in long. He is absolutely perfect just as his entry into this world was perfect.
We are so grateful to you for giving us both the strength and wisdom that allowed us to have our son in such a beautiful and natural way.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Marra, David and Jack Smith
Mary's Birth Story
Baby Girl Born February 9, 2012 in front of ER Door at Keiser Permanente Hospital at 2:30 am. Husband, Josh caught his daughter while ER doctor and nurse looked on.
Here are some pics of our parking lot baby :) The name we finally chose for her: Hanna Kaitlyn Young Hanna means "grace" and/or "God has favored me." Kaitlyn means "pure" ... And she certainly had a pure birth!! :) Hoping to type up my birth story soon. I'm also getting Josh and my dad to write it from their perspectives.
All the postpartum nurses were amazed at how calm I was and that I wasn't "stressed out" from having my baby outside. I kept telling them it was because I trusted my body and baby and knew everything was going to be just fine. One of the students was so fascinated by "natural birth" she asked if she could do her report on me haha. I agreed because I want her to share with other nursing students that birth is not a "sickness" and that women with healthy babies and pregnancies don't need interventions or medicines etc.. We just need supportive people :)
Anyway, hope we'll see you soon so you can meet Hanna. Thank you again for all your help and support as well!! You're the best!
Luci's Birth Story
I wanted to share our birth story with you because you were so instrumental in making it a reality for us. Feel free to share it with anyone you'd like if it will help them in their journey.
Valerie photographed some of the labor and delivery as well as after he was born. I attached some of those for you to check out.
Tues night after dinner, I began to have pain in my back, around my left kidney. It was bad enough by the next day that I could only do a half day at work. It was very pinpoint in my kidney area and it didn't come in "waves" like I would expect if it were back labor. My mom came to help me out on Thurs and take me to the doctor on Friday, as Jon was at work. Based on the symptoms I described, Dr. Cap diagnosed it as a kidney stone. He admitted me to the hospital for an IV in order to help flush it out. I was disappointed because this was already against my birth plan. But at that point, I was willing to go along with just about anything. I tried to keep my anxiety in check but I was terrified that if labor was anything close to the pain I was having in my kidney, I wasn't going to make it. After a few hours in the hospital plus some tests to rule out kidney infection, I was requesting to go home. My 2nd IV was almost done and they were going to release me when it was finished. All the while I was having surges that I continued to chalk up to practice labor. They didn't seem all that intense, were irregular, and were high in my tummy, not like period cramps. At 3:30 pm there was a feeling of a "jolt" and my waters released. I hate to admit but I was actually disappointed because I knew I wasn't going to be able to labor at home at all. My mom called Jon and Valerie.
This was the point that I realized things don't always go as planned but that is ok because we had practiced for this. I put on my rainbow relaxation, which fortunately was downloaded on my phone, and started to get "in my zone." Dr. Cap came in a short while after my waters released and gave me an incredible pep talk. A side note for praise for Dr. Cap: he takes the time to learn about his patients and his pep talk was truly genuine and tailored for my personality. He's pretty great like that!!
I have no idea what time they moved me into a labor/delivery room but Jon and Val both showed up around 5:30 and I was already in there. Jon brought me a birth ball at some point and I had two surges while on the ball. I'll be honest that though I loved the ball during pregnancy, it did not work at all during labor. I knew he was still sunny side up so I did a lot of moving my hips throughout labor. My most comfortable position was standing while leaning over the bed. It must've worked, though we're not totally sure exactly how he came out. Jon and Valerie were both completely awesome, rubbing my back and tummy and doing everything to make me comfy. A little after 7 my surges changed in behavior and severity. Jon described it as transitioning from being relaxed and mellow to a guttural animal growl. I was terrified that I completely lost everything I had been working for. My relaxed state was blown. I was so bummed to think things may carry on like that for however many more hours. I went to the restroom and had another big surge. It felt like I had to push, but I thought there was no way, I hadn't been in labor very long and I thought the nurse would never believe that. This was the point that you said might come. I was done. I told Jon I was done and I was so sorry but I couldn't take anymore. The nurse said she wanted to check me, though Jon requested that she didn't and if she had to, to not tell me (I was so proud of him). She informed me that I was, in fact "done" as I was fully dilated. Phew. That gave me a whole new sense of hope and I knew I could last now.
The nurse went out to call Dr. Cap and Jon helped me into bed. I climbed into bed on all fours and said, "Jon, you're going to have to catch him!" He said, "No, babe, you're ok, it's probably going to be awhile still." Nope! Here he came. With Jon's help to guide him to the bed, we delivered our son together. Tristan John, 6# 8 oz, born 4 hours after waters released. The one thing I forgot from class was breathing him down while pushing. It was kinda an all or nothing event. I had just a small tear fortunately.
Thank you so much for your guidance and confidence. It was an amazing event and I had the utmost faith that it was achievable. Also, after my waters broke, I didn't have as intense of kidney pain. It was completely gone by the time I delivered. Dr. Cap is still not sure whether I had some rare form of back labor or if I passed the stone during labor. Either way, labor was a breeze compared to that!
One more thing, he was born on Valerie's 30th Bday!! She said she couldn't have had a better birthday.
Luci, Jon and Tristan
Tristen born February 24,2012
Thank you Jo for helping us prepare for Sky's entrance into the world!
We had a long labor of 29 hours. Thankfully, most of it was spent at home with our doula. At 7 cm we went to the hospital. There, we quickly discovered that my blood pressure was extremely high, which categorizing me with preeclampsia. The safest and least invasive solution to lower it was with an epidural. We (because Eric was very much apart of making it all happen) brought Skye Michael Culley into the world on Aug 22 at 7:58am. We are thankful everyday for him.
We called upon many HypnoBirthing techniques. The most empowering use of this training was when the Doc came in during a lull in my dilation and said "Wow, you have a BIG baby, looks like we'll have to consider pitocin!" I knew the big "C" word would shortly follow considering my preeclamptic situation. I responded with a clear and assertive "My baby is the perfect size for my body!" That shut him up and hopefully gave him something to think about for the future:) We laughed about it later. Sure enough, I then progressed with out pitocin or a C-section and vaginally birthed our healthy 8lb 9oz little miracle. Also, during the medical procedures and hussle bussle to get my blood pressure lowered, I remained without fear because I was far away from that tense environment and completely content being at my own secluded "mental" beach.
What a beautiful, empowering and challenging experience that was worth every single minute of pregnancy and labor. Hope you all are well and enjoying parenthood as much as we are.
Courtney and Eric
November 1, 2009
I just wanted to make sure to email you and tell you thank you for everything. I am sorry this will probably be a babbling all over email, but I want to make sure you know what a difference you have made in my/our pregnancy and life.
I was always the person who was afraid of babies and pregnant women. I was afraid of the thought of birth and the pain associated with it. I always told people, I cannot imagine getting pregnant, as it is just 9 months of thinking about how awful it will be to give birth. None-the-less, my parents, family and friends, were all shocked when Mike and I got pregnant. Some thought I never would want to, but about a year ago, Mike and I knew we were ready for this next step and would be thrilled to open our lives up to a new baby. That being said, I just assumed I'd have to suck it up and deal with the painful birth and horrible pregnancy you always hear about.
A month after we conceived, we learned I was pregnant. I really feel the first 4-5 months of my pregnancy were plagued by my nerves, anxiety and just plain being scared. I took care of myself and ate right and exercised, but I wasn't mentally taking care of myself, or the baby. I was just scared of the whole thing, mostly the birthing part. All I knew were the stories everyone told me about how painful it was and what I saw on TV-people screaming and yelling-but I really wanted a peaceful, pleasant birth. I told everyone I knew I'd be asking for an epidural as soon as I hit the hospital...that I couldn't see why women wouldn't want it, as I thought that was the only way to have some sort of comfort. Then during one of my OBGYN visits, I told my Dr I wasn't really thinking Lamaze would be for me. He told me about your class and Hypnobirthing and that a gal had just taken it and raved about it. With my touch of Hypnotherapy in the past and knowing how well I liked it, I was in. I called you and signed up.
Then Mike and I took your class. My whole outlook changed. Why did birth have to be so negative, so painful and so awful? Plain and simple, it doesn't have to be. Between the book, the CDs, the videos we saw in class, your handouts and everything we did in the class, I realized that the birth I really wanted and envisioned for myself, Mike and our baby, could really happen. Overall, each week we learned so much, that each week, I felt so much better about everything. I even enjoyed being pregnant much more, because I wasn't afraid and I wasn't anxious. Instead, I was EXCITED! What a concept. I was excited for the birthing day. I felt so powerful and confident that I could do this, that I was ready and prepared and that this would be the best birth. I can't even begin to explain how much my thoughts and feelings changed. I knew I did not want or need an epidural, it wasn't even an option. I learned about all the other items that went with HypnoBirthing and the birth plan to make sure the Drs don't intervene in medical fashion unless I wanted or approved it. I learned I didn't ever want to be induced and that I should labor as long as possible at home, as I'd be more comfortable there. There was just so much great knowledge in class, that I just felt great about all of it. And especially when Mike and I did our hospital tour, the questions people asked-it is amazing how much people Don't know. We felt so much more confident and ready because we were prepared through your classes and knew what questions to ask and what we needed to know to be ready for our big day.
As I mentioned on the phone before I went into labor (and probably said better than I am wording in this email), you really are amazing and you really made my pregnancy and thoughts of birth positive and exciting. I was counting down the days until the birth day would come, not just to meet our little one, but also to show what I could do...I felt strong, confident and ecstatic. I owe that all to you and Hypnobirthing and I will (and already have) told everyone I know about it and how they should look into it for when they get pregnant.
Now, after having had Oliver and been through the birth day, I wanted to add a touch more. First of all, thank you for your help the morning I thought my waters broke. I knew I needed to trust my body and instincts, which were to not call the Dr but to let things happen, but speaking with you allowed me to relax to allow it to happen, and it did. And with what I learned in class, when the surges began, I wasn't afraid, again I was excited. I couldn't believe this day was here and I was ready. I knew exactly what I needed to do and I remained calm. I think prior to class, I would have been a nervous mess and sobbing, terrified of what would come next. When the surges became more regular, I kept thinking, this is not bad at all, if this is labor, I can do this. I also used the, I can do anything for a minute, which you told us in class. What a huge huge help. Not only did it let me get my mind off things, but it was true and kept me thinking about each surge getting me closer to the baby. I was doing just what we practiced and honestly, I felt like I could have been in the birthing videos in class. There was no screaming or noise, just me going inside myself and relaxing whenever a surge started. And Mike was a huge help, touching me as the surges got stronger and rubbing my back. All of the advice from class helped. I even had a mask on my eyes and listened to my relaxation CD while we drove to the hospital. But the main thing with the labor was just how happy I was. Being happy and excited made the time just fly and really, it was not bad at all. I honestly thought in my mind, man the next baby will be easy because this one is.
Getting to the hospital, when the Drs told me I was full dilated, I was amazed and so proud. And then the shock of having to do an emergency c-section, I really feel your class helped to prepare me to be ready for anything and to treat each thing thrown at us relaxed. I just kept my feelings level and didn't get worked up. And after feeling a bit sad about not getting a natural birth, my spirits were brought back up with comments from several Drs and nurses. One told me they would have thought the way I handled my surges that I was about 3 centimeters dilated....another came in the OR just to tell me that I was amazing, truly amazing and she was so impressed. She remembered me a couple days later when I saw her again. On of the other Drs said he was amazed at how I handled myself and the surges....all of this feedback made me realize that even though everything didn't go 100% as planned, I still was able to use what I learned and labor the way I wanted, so I really and truly am proud. I also was able to use the breathing and relaxation techniques for several items while in recovery and also to help me relax while breastfeeding. The lactation consultants were impressed with how relaxed I was while breastfeeding.
I think I said it way better on the phone, as I have babbled too much in this and given way to many details that don't really matter, but bottom line is I really really cannot thank you enough for your class and teaching Mike and I all about Hypnobirthing. You changed my pregnancy, my birthing day and honestly my life, as I believe our baby is happier having a healthy birth, I will use this all for future children and I will use the techniques in all aspects of my life. Plus, the power, confidence and strength I got through the whole labor/birthing process has made me a better, stronger person that I know will be a better mom and wife than I would have been before. So thank you so much.
May 23, 2008
Well Curren Gene Beck is here! He made his way extremely quickly, into this world on May 23rd at 2:29 AM. Basically after I sent out that email, I just laid low at my parents house and we were planning on sticking around there since we were delivering at Mary Birch, closer to mom and dad's home. And that night, right before we were going to bed at around 11pm, my water broke. So back out of bed and get ready for the hospital. We got to the hospital around midnight and I was about 5 cm dilated in triage. Contractions were coming faster, but doing alright. They admitted me and we got into our room around 1 AM. Got all settled in and as the contractions started getting closer together, we were able to really do our HypnoBirthing set up and it was AWESOME. Devon is the best coach out there, even if I did have to tell him once to shut up. Didn't like one of his motivational speeches :) No harm, no foul, we kept it going and at 2:29AM, only about an hour later, Curren was born! So this kid wanted out for sure! He was tired of waiting. And it only took us about 3 hours from when my water broke, to when he was born to make that happen.
We are excited beyond words. He weighed in at a whopping 6 pounds 4 ounces and 19 inches long. He is healthy, MELLOW, and just a cutie pie. Has a lot of Kayla's features as a newborn, but has tons of really brown hair, almost black. But did I mention he is MELLOW?! So rad. Is sleeping well, loves the boobs (what boy doesn't), and is just a good kid. Kayla loves him so much. Gives him kisses all the time and then will ask, Who Dat? Just a rad set up we have and we are stoked to be able to share it with you all
Love, The Beck Crew
Devon, Jaime, Kayla and Curren
January 24, 2008
Here she is....Kyra Sage Poulin. And here's her birth story.......
Mom finished her last day at work on Tuesday, January 22nd. Although, Kyra was expected to arrive on Friday, January 25th, mom was hopeful that she would have at least a week to transition from working to being a mom and to mentally prepare for labor and delivery. But, Kyra had been patiently waiting for mom to finish up at work and she just couldn't wait anymore. Around 5:00am on Wednesday, January 23rd mom had very mild, short contractions (lasting about 30 seconds, approximately one hour apart) and was still very much in denial that she would have a baby soon (she still thought she had days before baby would arrive). By 4:00pm on January 23rd mom's contractions became a little stronger, longer, and closer together (lasting about 45 seconds, approximately every 7 minutes). Mom was still preparing for baby by grooming the cats (brushing off shedding hair and clipping long nails), vacuuming, and packing her bags for the birth center. Mom is a neat freak, germ phobic who wanted everything to be clean for the baby’s arrival. Around 8:00pm mom felt she was completely prepared for the baby’s arrival so she took a soothing, warm shower, ate, and then watched a movie with dad. Up until now, the contractions were mild enough that mom was able to move around and comfortably take care of other tasks. However, at about 10:00pm labor had progressed further, contractions were more intense and closer together (approximately 5 to 6 minutes apart and lasting about 45 to 60 seconds). At this point, mom had to find ways to manage the contractions and found it difficult to focus on other tasks. Mom focused on getting into a rhythm with the contractions so she coordinated her breath and movements with the contractions. Mom found it helpful to move up and down (like doing squats) and visualize that she was hiking because this was a familiar pain that she had endured many times in the past. She was only able to keep up the squatting movements until about midnight because she became tired. But, she continued the rhythmic breathing and hiking visualization, and added “oh” and “ah” sounds. Mom found that making low pitched “oh” and “ah” sounds helped to release the tension and kept her focused on managing the contractions. During one of the contractions, dad rubbed mom’s back and she liked it so much that she asked dad to rub her back during every contraction.
Mom called the midwife to give her an update and was advised to stay at home until the contractions were even stronger, the “bloody show” appeared, or her water broke. At about 1:00 am, mom asked dad to call the midwife to inform her that she saw the “bloody show” and contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart and lasting 60 to 90 seconds. She didn’t call the midwife herself because she was busy breathing through contractions and focusing on her visualization. Also, the contractions were closer together so it was hard to talk. The midwife asked mom and dad to go to the birth center. Once the car was packed, mom asked dad to stop at Vons to pick up a bottle of olive oil, which would be used to help with stretching during birth. The car trip to the birth center was probably the most uncomfortable part of the childbirth experience for mom because every bump in the road caused sharp pain in her pelvis area (probably the baby’s head bouncing around). Unfortunately, Vons was closed so dad made a trip to Rite Aid then Ralph’s where he was finally able to purchase a bottle of olive oil. At approximately 3:00am, mom arrived at the birth center with two layers of clothes and a blanket wrapped around her because she had been feeling unusually cold. The midwife checked mom and found that she was five centimeters dilated. The midwife suggested choosing a room on the first floor of the building because it was warmer and mom requested the room at the back of the building to have more privacy since the lobby of the birth center is in the front of the building. Once mom was settled in the room she sat in a rocking chair so the midwife could administer the antibiotic, which was needed to protect the baby from Strep B. The midwife provided the mom with a birthing ball, which mom sat on for a few minutes. However, mom found that she was the most comfortable in a seated position. The midwife also offered to start the tub for mom’s water birth, but mom was still feeling cold and was not interested in removing her clothes to get into a tub. For the next six hours mom continued to use HypnoBirthing techniques (breathing, visualizations, and low pitched "ahhhs" and "ohhhhs") to manage the contractions, and dad continued to hold mom and rub mom's lower back through every contraction. The midwife suggested different position to mom to help her cervix dilate such as lying on her side and getting on her hands and needs. After talking to mom and getting her consent, the midwife also ruptured the baby’s amniotic sac. This procedure was also very uncomfortable for mom because the sac was ruptured during a contraction, which made the contraction feel more intense. Throughout the process of laboring, mom had complete trust in the midwife and found it easy to follow her lead. At the same time, the midwife was respectful of mom’s spoken and unspoken desires.
Around 9:00am the midwife informed mom that she was fully dilated and ready to push, and although mom did not have the natural urge to push she followed the midwife’s guide through the pushing stage. Mom pushed a bit on the bed, on the toilet, and finally on a birth stool. The pushing stage was the most challenging part of labor for mom because of she was resistance to push the baby out. First, mom was scared of how it would feel for the baby’s head to pop out. She was afraid of tearing and the “the ring of fire.” Second, mom wasn’t ready to let go of her baby. Unfortunately or fortunately, mom never came to a place of being done with the pregnancy. She really enjoyed her pregnancy. Half way through the pushing stage, mom realized she was pushing and tensing her pelvic muscles at the same and thanks to her HypnoBirthing classes she knew that wouldn’t work. So she decided it was time to let go. Although she was still scared of what it might feel like to have the baby emerge from her body, she was also very tired and ready to end labor and delivery. All of a sudden mom felt an intense pressure in her pelvic area and within seconds Kyra made her appearance in the world. Mom sat up on the birthing stool and Kyra was placed on mom’s lap. Kyra immediately released meconium on mom’s lap, which mom laughed about. Five minutes later the placenta was delivered. After receiving stitches for two superficial tears, mom breastfed Kyra and Kyra latched on without difficulty. Although mom was terrified of feeling burning, tearing, or “the ring of fire” the most intense pain she remembers is the intense pressure in her pelvis as the baby emerged. She doesn’t even remember feeling any burning. The midwife was fantastic in facilitating Kyra's safe arrival to the world. Kyra arrived at 11:49 am on Thursday, January 24, 2008. She was 7 pounds 12 ounces and 20 inches. Brought into the world, naturally, at Best Start Birth Center. Mom and dad are very happy to have a healthy, beautiful baby girl.