"Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go."
-Fred Rogers

Thursday, March 14, 2013

HypnoBirthing Schedule for Spring 2013

I will be offering HypnoBirthing, The Mongan Method, on the following dates and in the following locations in April/May 2013:

** HypnoBirthing Childbirth Education Series **
Location: Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, IL
Day and Time: Saturdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Class dates: 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11 and 5/25
Cost: $350
To register or if you have questions please e-mail Tricia Fitzgerald at gentlebeginning@gmail.com 

**HypnoBirthing Childbirth Education Series **
Location: Elmhurst Yoga Shala in Elmhurst, IL
Day and Time: Sundays from noon-2:30 (3) p.m.
Class dates: 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 5/5, and 5/12
Cost: $350
If you have questions please e-mail Tricia Fitzgerald at gentlebeginning@gmail.com
To register please visit Elmhurst Yoga Shala

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Story of Hope and Love

I am honored to have the opportunity to share this birth story with you. Mirabel's mom is a courageous survivor and I am in awe of her grace and strength.
I recently gave birth to a beautiful, nine-pound baby girl. Her birth took about 8 hours, start to finish, and I have absolutely NO REGRETS. My daughter’s name is Mirabel, meaning “wondrous”. My pregnancy and her birthing have been nothing short of that. My HypnoBirthing instructor, Tricia Fitzgerald, my midwife, and my doula have everything do with the tremendous feelings of joy and gratitude I have when I think of my birthing experience.

I struggled with the decision to get pregnant for years and didn’t even try to get pregnant until I was nearly forty. Because of abuse I experienced growing up I have difficulty with gynecological exams as well as physical intimacy. I had already adopted one child thinking my fears to parent, be pregnant, and give birth were far too great to ever have a biological child. By the grace of the universe I got pregnant immediately after putting my baby making fate in the hands of the universe (and going off of birth control).

My midwife, who usually encourages her patients to pursue natural childbirth, suggested I consider an epidural given my history. My immediate response was, “No way, I will be having a c-section.” I planned to have a c-section for the first four months of my pregnancy. I talked with my therapist and she agreed it made sense given my background. Despite the support of my midwife, my therapist and my husband something did not feel right about my decision. It didn’t feel consistent with my beliefs about being the primary decision maker regarding what happens to my body and about giving my baby the most calm, peaceful and natural entry into the world.

Fortunately, I recalled my midwife mentioning HypnoBirthing classes as a way to learn tools for natural birthing. I started to read on-line and decided that the mindset and approach of HypnoBirthing perfectly aligned with my personal beliefs.

I reflected on what I believed were the key pieces of my preparation and have listed them below. Take what you like and leave the rest.

1.      I developed positive mental images and beliefs about my body and the birthing process. I did this by attending the HypnoBirthing class series, by watching as many HypnoBirthing birth videos as I could get my hands on, by listening to the HypnoBirthing mediation cd’s as often as possible, by completing any assigned HypnoBirthing reflections, by reading the HypoBirthing book, and by posting HypnoBirthing visuals such as the flower and optimal birthing position images. I bought into the HypnoBirthing approach and surrounded myself with positive birthing messages and images.

2.      I developed a strong bond with my body prior to her birth. This motivated me to persist through the most intense times of her birthing. I don’t believe I would have done this without HypnoBirthing.

3.      I hired a doula that was experienced, calm and maternal. I figured out what I needed from a doula and picked someone who fit this.

4.      I was honest with my doula, my midwife, and my birthing instructor about my history but requested that I be treated like any other patient.

5.      I asked for what I needed both before and during birthing. I gave myself permission to get an epidural or a c-section if that was what I needed. I trusted that if I was not able to give birth naturally it was ok and in the best interest of my baby. More than anything I wanted my baby to enter the world calmly and peacefully and I was not overly attached to the “type” of birth she had.

6.      I went to acupuncture every week. I selected an acupuncturist who was also a doula who had also given birth naturally.

I believe wholeheartedly that the preparation I did as a result of my HypnoBirthing class allowed me to give birth lovingly, calmly, and to some extent quickly. Giving birth was not easy. I was very scared and uncomfortable at times. I was not always calm and quiet. I was at peace with my decisions and I did feel very in control of the entire process. My baby was alert and healthy when she arrived. So was I. I am forever grateful to my birthing class, to Tricia and to other the other people who supported me in this process.

This story is another example of how we can often overcome our fears and have the births we desire. Congratulations to Mirabel's entire family.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Satya's Birth at Home

I'm excited to be sharing another home birth story. I hope you enjoy reading the birth story of Satya, as told from her mama's perspective.
I met Tricia online and was so ecstatic because, just having moved here from California, I had little support here in Illinois for my first pregnancy, especially with plans to take the homebirth route. My husband was fabulous, but we both had many questions about what to expect. Well, when we started our Hypnobirthing series with Tricia in January of 2012, we finally started getting answers from someone who had a wealth of knowledge and experience in both the hospital and home setting. By the time the series was over, all of our questions had been answered and we actually felt prepared for whatever was to come. Here’s my story:
My blood pressure began to rise at about 7 months into my pregnancy, which made us all very nervous and confused, since I had very healthy eating and exercise habits. At 41 1/2 weeks when my BP reached 140/90 I started experimenting with castor oil to augment labor so I could still have my baby at home. If my BP went up any more I’d have to be admitted to the hospital to be hooked up to monitors and IV, which was not my optimal birth plan. I started drinking castor oil by the ounce on Saturday and my surges increased but not enough to start labor. So I made an appointment with an Acupuncturist in Chicago. I don’t know if it was the session itself, or the black and blue cohosh tincture I started taking that helped the most, but this is when I consider my labor truly beginning. Now it was Monday evening and I pushed my baby out gently and beautifully in my own bed on Tues night, 30 hours later.


I give thanks for the techniques I learned in Hypnobirthing to help me get through that very long 30 hours. Using the breathing and meditational techniques from the Rainbow Relaxation CD, I was able to stay calm the ENTIRE time and after 2 hours of pushing (and a huge grunt from mama) out popped Satya Aida right at 12:00 am on 4/4/12. Her little fist was pressed next to her little cheek and was stuck behind my cervix, which was the probable cause of the long and painful pushing session. If it wasn’t for Tricia and Hypnobirthing I don’t know how I would have made it through!