Entries Tagged as 'birth stories'


Feet First Miracle: A natural breech birth story

photographs by baby Zara’s father, Eiijah C. Eyre

Julie and Eli’s birth story is one I have to share. I was so happy to read their beautiful birth story and am grateful when couples like Julie and Eli share their stories to inspire and educate.  When I became a birth doula my first client ever delivered her vaginal breech baby naturally.  A breech baby does not automatically mean you’ll need to schedule a cesarean section.  Yes, it really is possible to have a vaginal breech birth.

At 36 weeks Julie’s baby was still breech and she decided that her body was capable of birthing her baby if they took the right steps.  She felt confident in her decision to birth her breech baby. She also decided that she would allow her body to go into labor naturally. Julie and Eli’s support team were incredible.  The team including the midwife, the birth doula, the supportive daddy, and amazing mama share the beautiful natural vaginal breech birth story of baby Zara.  Read Zara’s birth story to learn about their feet first miracle birth experience.

Welcome to the world baby Zara Jade Eyre!  Congratulations Julie and Eli, and thank you so much for sharing your birthing story!



Hypnobirthing For Calm, Comfortable Births

Jennifer Ingvoldstad shares the birth of her son, Omari Joseph Ingvoldstad, on September 18th with kstp news 5 Minneapolis.  You may read more on the kstp article “Hypnobabies says women can have calm, comfortable births.”  Thank you to my friend Jennifer for sharing such a beautiful birthing experience with the world and congratulations on becoming a mama Jennifer!  Lots of love!!

Those who are interested in self hypnosis for natural childbirth and its influential power on the way we think, feel and behave are strongly encouraged to research and consider the following two options; Hypnobabies and Hypnobirthing.

As a birth doula I’ve attended births using both Hypnobabies and Hypnobirthing, both of which create a calm and comfortable birthing environment, remove fear and create confidence.  I also attended a birth this summer where mama used Hypnobirthing for her second birth and Hypnobabies for her third birth, where she was able to compare both methods of birthing.  Self hypnosis often reduces or removes the feeling of pain; many laboring mothers referring to the feeling as pressure sensations throughout labor.  Active labor time is also often greatly reduced when using self hypnosis for childbirth.

While the two programs significantly different, self hypnosis for childbirth is helpful in preparation for a calm and comfortable childbirth.  According to the Association for Psychological Science article in Health News Digest, regular practice of hypnosis alters a pregnant woman’s brain and creates positive change preparing her for a more positive birthing experience.  Science supports hypnotic relaxation and breathing, visualizations and positive suggestions in order to encourage a pregnant woman’s brain to produce more oxytocin, in turn enhancing pregnancy, confidence for birth, a peaceful labor, and often a much shorter than average birthing time.


What is hypnobirthing?

“HypnoBirthing is a childbirth method that focuses on preparing parents for gentle birth.  In HypnoBirthing classes, you will learn proven techniques in a well-thought-out program of deep relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis. All of these are designed to help you achieve a more comfortable birth. HypnoBirthing encourages a calm, peaceful, and natural pregnancy, birth, and bonding experience for families.”

Is it true that I will experience a pain-free birth with HypnoBirthing?

“HypnoBirthing does not promise painless birthing, though many HypnoBirthing mothers do report having a relatively pain-free birth or one that they were able to manage easily.  When the cause of pain–fear that constricts the birthing muscles—is eliminated, birthing can be accomplished in a shorter period and much more comfortably. A relaxed mother’s body will produce more endorphins, nature’s own relaxants.  HypnoBirthing mothers may still experience sensations of tightening or pressure; but most describe their birth experience as working with their body through the sensations, and thus avoiding the excruciating pain that is frequently spoken of by women who choose other methods of preparation for birthing.”



Natural Home Birth Story

Dear Lil’ Berry,

So there I was in the hallway of our home on Vine Street…Andrea looked at me like…whoa…I think I’m pregnant. Looking back, that pregnancy scare was probably a miscarriage. She wasn’t actually pregnant. It kind of was a good thing. We were both in school and not planning at all to have a family. I was in grad school for counseling. Andrea was in massage therapy school. We went on vacation up in the mountains after that with some surprising sadness that she wasn’t pregnant. So, here we are, coming off of a freak-out moment that we’d be parents and then feeling kinda sad that she wasn’t actually pregnant. It was wild for us. Andrea had this sadness I’d never seen in her. It wasn’t this debilitating sadness…but it was one mixed with the fear of not being able to have children if we waited too long. As a husband and a counselor in training, I wanted to be able to  make it all better. Andrea said, “I think I want to have a baby!” And I said, “Of course! Let’s have a kid.” I laugh when I read that now because of what I was actually saying yes to. I had no clue.

We pulled out the goalie with the thoughts that we’d just see what happened. It wasn’t but a few weeks…bam…preggo. As the good vegetarian fixed gear riders that we were, the thought of going to the hospital for something that is a natural part of life didn’t feel right to us. I already had skepticism for the medical model based on my professional work in counseling. Did I agree with medicine? Not entirely. But what were the options? None of our friends had been pregnant or had kids. We just didn’t know until we ventured into a hippie store on Colfax Avenue there in Denver. In the back was a book shelf with all sorts of heal yourself style reading material, and there on the shelves was a book called “Gentle Birth Choices” by Barbara Harper. Andrea picked it up, read parts of it in the store, bought it, took it home and proceed to tell me stories from the pages. There was no turning back after reading the sections on the history of birth in the medical model.

At some point we looked for midwives, and by that the time sickness began. Oh, the sickness. Andrea lost weight. She was puking in the mornings…the day…the evenings…the night. Smells became overly vivid for her and the sense of overwhelm in our house grew to a maximum and stayed. When Janet, our first and only prospective midwife, came to the house, she came to our back room bedroom and sat next to Andrea in bed. Janet sat there with a sense of concern and care that meant the world to us, and without question we decided she was exactly the person for the pregnancy and birth. Janet would come over routinely and sit in the rocking chair of our front room while we drank tea and reviewed our options for birth. To Andrea and I, having her there became a familiar and welcomed activity in life. We all became friends and are still to this day.

Here’s something that might surprise you: As a counselor in training, I found that I was resistant to hearing information from my wife because I thought that it would make me look like I didn’t know what I was doing. That is interesting to me now. I “had” to hear the info from other people in order to “believe” it. I think I am mostly over that now, because I talk to other guys about birth and it feels good to know that I am helpful, and that they, too, experience something similar. I think we want our wives and partners to think we are super smart. “Yeah, I know, honey.” It’s wild. Ego.

We did some prenatal classes that weren’t exactly geared for our decision to homebirth, so we didn’t continue those classes. We learned from Ina May Gaskin’s books….Andrea read them and told me stories…and we learned tons from our midwife, Janet. By the time baby was ready to come, we were ready as we could be. I got the tub ready and in the front room right where Janet would rock in the chair. The labor was the better part of an entire day and Sacha came out with both fists up at 3.07 in the afternoon on Friday, May 8, 2009. Andrea moved out of the water and into the birth chair to birth him while I supported her from behind. Andrea’s arms were around my neck. I hadn’t eaten in a while and it got to be a bit much for me after a half hour of this position, so I ask the midwife’s assistant to go in the fridge to get the chocolate pudding I had prepared earlier. I thought she’d come back with a bowl and a spoon. Nope. She came back with a heaping spoon that she lopped right in my mouth. Andrea, the one who wasn’t eating anything for, like, 9 months, pointed to her head. Midwife’s assistant came back with another spoonful, and then Sacha was born within five minutes. What a great day. The hormones coming off of Andrea all day were absolutely and blissfully intoxicating. I would take deep nostril inhales behind her ear for routine “fixes.” It was awesome.

Our experience of birth has inspired Andrea and I to start a blog called Empowered Papa where we support dads in getting involved. There just wasn’t anything geared for dads that we found during our research in pregnancy. So, now I teach childbirth ed to dads through 1:1 and ongoing support through the website. I am now a certified therapist and work with families through difficult transitions. I also speak and work with the gentle birth movement and just got back from speaking at the DONA conference in Cancun. Wow. That was rough. Beautiful sandy beaches. Luxury resort. Gawd. But somebody had to do it!

I will be putting out a new class in Sept/Oct that teaches doulas special counseling skills so that they can make deeper impacts with their clients. The class is called Get Him Onboard!

I love the Yoga Peach / Lil Berry name and the stuff I’ve seen you do. Thanks for providing a way for me to share my story.

Much love.  Joe

That’s the room where he was born.

 Here’s us now.


Essential Ingredient: The Doula

via DONA International

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