So how did this all begin... I had many
emotions when I found out I was pregnant.
I felt excited, anxious, joy, and worst
of all a deep seated fear of going through
labor and delivery. I was never really
good at handling pain. In fact, when I
have blood drawn at the doctor's office,
I usually bring someone to hold my hand
(yes, even as an adult). So how was I
going to deliver a baby?
About a year and half ago I saw a special
on Dateline about women who used hypnosis
to get over their fear and pain of childbirth.
I figured I had nothing to lose so I started
looking for a hypnotherapist in the Atlanta
area. That's when I found you Laura.
You made a very good first impression
on the phone when we spoke. You really
cleared up my misconceptions of what
hypnosis really is. All I had ever really
seen were shows where audience members
of hypnotized and told to do silly things.
So I made an appointment. Our first
session was wonderful. I did not think
I would get so much out of one session.
You told me I was going to feel very
good after I left and I did. I continued
to come back for a few more sessions.
I could certainly see where it was helping
During my eighth month, I began taking
a childbirth class. One of the things
they taught us was about the different
stages of labor and approximately how
long each one lasts. You and I discussed
this in one of our last sessions. You
asked me how long I thought I would
be in each stage of labor and what and
where it is I would be. You wrote it
down and then added up the time. It
came out to 10 hours. I thought that's
too short for the first baby. After
all, there are some women who are in
labor for a few days. You told me my
labor can be more of what I want it
to be and less of what some book says
it should be.
Around 6:30AM I called the doctor
to tell her about my contractions.At
7:45am as I was putting on my coat to
leave for the hospital I felt a pop
and suddenly my pants were all wet.
My God, my water had broken. This was
for real. The baby was really coming.
When I was 10 centimeters the nurse
said, You're ready to push. I started
pushing at 11:30am. At least I felt
like I was pushing. I started to hear
your voice from one of our sessions
as you told me to visualize the baby
coming through the birth canal. I really
felt like I could see this and I was
able to focus on where I needed to push
(even though I still couldn't feel it).
At 12:10 my beautiful baby girl was
born. The whole labor and delivery lasted
10 hours, just like I said it would
during our last session. In fact, the
whole thing occurred almost exactly
like I said it would. How long each
stage would last, where I would be for
each stage, how dilated I would be when
I arrived at the hospital, etc.
This experience has made me a true
believer in the strength of the mind.
About an hour after she was born, I
decided the whole experience was so
worth it, I'm already looking forward
to the next (although I can certainly
wait a few years). I know I babbled
a lot to tell you about this whole experience
but I don't think I could have done
it without your help. You were certainly
right about how we can make things worse
than they have to be when we let things
we've heard or past experiences influence
our minds. I have already, and continue
to advocate hypnosis for anyone woman
who fears going through childbirth or
for stress in life in general. If I
hadn't gone through it myself, I wouldn't
have believed it could really work.
My daughter, Ayanna, and I thank you
from the bottom of our hearts. Here
are some current pictures of Ayanna
who will be four months old March 26,