42 years ago today I gave birth to my little daughter, Allison Jo, by hypnosis. My OG-GYN was Dr. Nelson Baccus, Ft. Collins, Colorado, & offered hypnosis as an alternative birth method.
His pg. moms were given strengthening exercises, which I did faithfully. At 5 months we began hypnosis classes, and sat in a circle in card table chairs. Dr. Baccus would close the blinds and in his deep, baritone voice he’d say, “Hello, Ladies.” We relaxed like rag dolls. Classes were now once a week.
We never used the word ‘pain’ – only the word ‘pressure’. The stronger the pressure, he said, the happier we’d be, because we were that much closer to giving birth. He said we’d walk to & from delivery, but we had to remember to go to the hospital. He said some of his moms would be so excited and happy, that the stronger the pressure, the more relaxed they became. He said, “When your pressure gets really strong, Ladies, please call me.”
In my first hypnosis session, Dr. Baccus asked us all to close our eyes. He went around the room and one by one brushed the tops of our hands. He said ii would feel cold like ice or rough like shoe leather. For me, it was definitely shoe leather. When we opened our eyes, we discovered he’d pinched the blood out of the skin in the top of our hands, and we’d never felt a thing … except something very cold or very rough.
I had a beautiful pregnancy, but in retrospect must say I was glad that my little baby was a second baby, and the second one through the birth canal, weighing only 6 lb. 13 oz. My first baby had weighed a pound more. Allison was born at 4:59 a.m.. The only reason I called the Dr. a little after 1 a.m. is that my mother (there to help) said that if I didn’t call the Dr., she would.
We arrived at the hospital shortly before 2 a.m. The nurses told me to be ‘very quiet’ because I was in a room with a younger mom having her first baby. They didn’t want me to ‘bother’ her since I was having my baby by hypnosis & no drugs.
One nurse finally wandered in, found me with my hand clamped over my mouth during a strong push pain (known to me, of course as ‘pressure’.) I didn’t dare make a sound. This big, (dare I say ugly?) German nurse yelled for a guerney and another nurse, and quickly I was bumped over to the cart and sent running to the delivery room. I raised up on both elbows and exclaimed, “I’M HAVING MY BABY BY HYPNOSIS AND WAS SUPPOSED TO WALK TO DELIVERY!” Both nurses looked at me like I was CRAZY and one said, “If we don’t hurry we’re going to deliver your baby in the hallway.” I remember saying, “Oh,” but then started to feel full-strength labor pains!
In the delivery room for about two minutes, with even more labor pains, Dr. Baccus walked in & said in his velvet voice, “Hello, Ladies.” I relaxed again like a rag doll. Pains were gone. He said to press my hands together hard & count backwards from 100, and my beautiful little daughter was born when I got to 89. He held her up my baby and said, “It’s a girl, Ruth, and she’s perfect.” And you know what? She really is. And now she has a perfect little boy, and the circle continues. My only regret is that I was also unable to walk back from delivery, due to one numb leg, but I was still deliously happy. And now I had a new baby girl in my arms and her big brother at home.
They did ‘station’ me in the hallway for an hour afterwards, because the rooms were full. I was sitting up in bed, chatting, smiling, writing things in Allison’s baby book (I am a writer, of course), and asked the nurses to put my baby’s hand and foot prints into the book. The young mom they’d cautioned me to ‘not bother’ was directly across the hall from me, yelling loudly for a shot, meds, anything, and I thought to myself ~ Well, Dearie. Next time just have hypnosis!