Van's Birth Story
written by Bonnie Cortez

In preparing for the delivery of my second child, I made a conscious effort to explore options that would allow me to have a more relaxed birth than I had with my first child. My first labor went well after the Epidural, but before this I was in extreme pain and did not know how I was going to be able to manage my experience and have my baby.

I was given the number of Elly Laser and thought I would explore Hypnobirthing as an option. I had doubts about the hypnotism involved in this technique. I thought, "What's she going to do - make me cluck like a chicken?" I knew nothing about the process or how it worked.

My husband and I arrived at Elly's house, where she began her practice. Elly was warm and relaxed. As she led me through her relaxation techniques, I began drooling in a matter of minutes! I began to believe in the process. Elly showed me a tape on families who had used Hypnobirthing along with reading material and a couple of relaxation CDs. I met with Elly for a few more sessions and I practiced the techniques every day for about 45 minutes. The visualization/relaxation tapes that Elly gave me were so effective. I could see the process of labor so clearly. I felt a deep connection with my baby and my body. I knew this process was a natural experience that did not have to be met with fear.

With my first pregnancy, I had trouble sleeping in the latter weeks of my third trimester. I slept well throughout my second pregnancy and I attribute this ease to the relaxation practice that I learned through Elly.

During my first labor, I felt very anxious. I went into labor at night and couldn't sleep at all. I didn't drink or eat very well because of my fear of the unknown. During the latter stages of labor, I threw up several times and I reached a point where I was dehydrated and could not handle the pain I felt. I literally did not know how I would handle the remainder of the labor.

With my second labor, I began contractions at night again, but I was able to get a full night's sleep. The next day, I continued progressing, but I was able to play with my son, eat breakfast and lunch and take a nap. I called my midwife and experienced just what I had seen in the tape Elly had shown me. I was so relaxed, my midwife did not believe I was in labor, but said if I wanted to come in to be checked, I could. We did go in. I was four centimeters dilated. I labored comfortably in the shower and experienced what I saw in those other moms as well. I was so connected to my baby, my body and the natural process of labor. I was so relaxed and connected to my baby as he moved deeper into the birth canal. I was beginning to feel more pressure and was checked again. I was at 5 cm. I labored more and felt like things were progressing. I went from 5 cm to complete in 15 minutes. I pushed twice and Van was born!

I currently work as a doula and I recommend Hypnobirthing to all my clients. I have assisted a number of births that involve moms practiced in Hypnobirthing and they are incredible! The mothers I've assisted are so connected to the process, even though they are first-time moms who have never experienced labor before.

I highly recommend Hypnobirthing training with Elly Laser. She is a skilled practitioner who will show you techniques that will help deepen your attachment to your baby, your body and yourself.