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Pregnant During The Coronavirus Pandemic

I’m 29 weeks pregnant and the time is flying by much faster than I’d like it to.

Spoiler Alert: FREE hypnosis track to relieve stress and anxiety at the end of this post PLUS some exciting news! 

We’ve been pretty quiet lately, just trying to get through one day at a time as this Coronavirus Pandemic continues to change the way the entire world functions.

When I was pregnant with Brig, the Zika virus was running rampant across the world. Now, pregnant with Waverly, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is wreaking havoc everywhere with a completely different set of concerns. We currently have 30 confirmed cases in the US Virgin Islands and it’s only a matter of time before cases and deaths in the territory mimic those of other regions all over the world. There’s no evidence yet of increased risk to pregnant women or babies, but of course there’s many unknowns.

The only thing keeping me grounded right now is the Hypnobabies Childbirth Education course I took when I was pregnant with Brig. I’m 29 weeks now and I’m so excited that I get to start week 1 (of 6) of my Hypnobabies Home Study course again for this pregnancy! The ideal time to start is 28-30w to leave enough practice time after the course is done but it can even be done on an expedited schedule for those that need to. With all the unknowns of this COVID-19 stuff and evolving options for prenatal care and deciding where to birth my baby, I’m SO grateful for this program, now more than ever. I’m easily able to enjoy this pregnancy, devote time and attention to my almost-3-year-old, and help him look for hermit crabs (that’s what he’s holding in the picture!) and lizards without being consumed by stress and worries. I’m confident that whatever happens, I’ll be prepared to have the best birth experience I possibly can, regardless of the things I can’t control.

For anyone that doesn’t know what it is, Hypnobabies a complete childbirth education and self-hypnosis course for easier, more comfortable and totally empowered childbirth (often pain free). Hypnobabies is NOT the same as Hypnobirthing yet contains some of the same basic concepts. During my first pregnancy I was introduced to the Mongan Method Hypnobirthing book, read it 4-5 times and marked up the whole book with notes and a highlighter, felt really excited, but ultimately decided it just wasn’t enough to prepare me for my birth. The tools in that book alone just weren’t enough for me. Many women love hypnobirthing; I just needed something more. I’ve heard an in-person Hypnobirthing course is much more helpful than just the book but that wasn’t an option for me at the time. Not long after I finished the Hypnobirthing book, I was introduced to Hypnobabies – which was created by someone who taught the Bradley Method for 10 years and also Hypnobirthing but recognized a need for more tools and a slightly different approach to childbirth as a whole. There are in person classes for Hypnobabies too (and now many instructors are offering remote/live video classes to keep social distancing) but I was SO glad to learn about the Home Study version during my first pregnancy which I was able to do at home in my own spare time whenever it was convenient for me.
They normally offer a hardcopy version of this Home Study which I still have from my pregnancy with Brig, but due to the current virus issues and mandatory business shut-downs, the only way to purchase the Home Study right now is actually their cheapest option – the new ONLINE version. It’s all the same materials just completely online instead of on paper. SO perfect for social distancing and still getting to take an awesome childbirth education course!! 😍
Hypnobabies is amazing for learning about all possible outcomes and choices during childbirth regardless of how your birth unfolds or where you birth your baby. It can be used for homebirths, birth center births or hospital births. While geared toward natural minded mamas to help eliminate and prevent unnecessary interventions (and of course provide the most comfortable, peaceful experience possible) it can also be incredibly helpful even if receiving an epidural or cesarean. It literally rewrites the way we think about childbirth, removing any negativity we may be exposed to now or in our past. There’s also an amazing support network facebook group and many instructors and admins are always available to help answer questions along the way.
If you are (or anyone you know is) interested in the online course or any other hypnosis tracks or training courses they have available, please consider using my affiliate links 💕 (I do receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my links. A little bit goes a long way and allows me to spend more time doing what I love! See announcement below 😉). Also, message me to get help finding the biggest coupon code currently available for the specific item you are wanting to purchase.


Even if you aren’t ready to do the course, or even if you’re not pregnant at all, Hypnobabies is currently offering a 💕FREE💕 hypnosis track for ANYONE to listen to for Eliminating Stress and Anxiety – such a powerful tool with everything going on in our world right now. No payment info required at all, totally free and only available for free download from now until the end of April. It’s a fabulous way to get a first hand feel of how the Hypnobabies audio tracks work:  https://www.hypnobabies-store.com/product/eliminate-stress-and-anxiety/?ref-hyp=WhyseBirth

Also Announcing…

Since doing the Hypnobabies course myself, I fell in love with it so much that I completed the training to become a trained Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula! I simply want to be able to help anyone that is looking for Doula support with their Hypnobabies birth because I wasn’t able to find it when I wanted it, here in the islands where I live. Regardless of how many people ever actually contact me, my heart is full knowing I’m able to – at the very least – offer Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula support (as someone familiar with and trained with the specific terminology and tools of the Hypnobabies program) IF anyone is looking for it, as I once did. Birth is such an amazing and beautiful experience and everyone deserves the support they are looking for 💕
I’ve chosen the name WHYSE BIRTH for my new business because I’m always asking WHY. Why do we do things this way, or why is it recommended to do things that way. I ask why almost to a frustrating level, but I can’t help it. I’ve always needed to fully understand things before feeling good about a decision I need to make. I put great value in staying open minded, learning, researching, using critical thinking, and making informed choices instead of blindly following the advice or recommendations of others, and I always recommend everyone else does the same. I’m always looking for a better choice, always asking WHY!
This name was actually chosen as a spin-off to the original (and very exciting) WHYSE project i’m currently working on and I hope to be able to announce that too in the coming months… stay tuned!!
I’ve created a Facebook and Instagram page specifically for my new business to share Doula and birth related topics. Check them out and Like/Follow/Share if you’d like to show your support!
I’d be SO happy to answer any questions I can 💕 Send me a message, I’d love to hear from you!

When My Birth Plan Fell Apart

**Disclaimer: The following contains the details of Brig’s birth story so if that doesn’t interest you, I suggest you skip this post.


I’ve always been a planner. It’s a way to organize my thoughts and I feel much more productive if I can follow a plan for everything I do. Even if I change my plans and wing it, I quickly come up with a new plan once I know the direction I’m headed.

My pregnancy was no exception. During the beginning of my third trimester I discovered a childbirth program called Hypnobabies. It’s what all the other natural childbirth methods have evolved into these days. From Lamaze to the Bradley Method, to Hypnobirthing… but it’s important to note that Hypnobabies is a completely different program than Hypnobirthing.

I was first introduced to the Mongan Method of Hypnobirthing, a program highly recommended by my good friends Eben and Genevieve. I read the book after they sparked my interest but that program is better absorbed if you can take a local class in person. Here in BVI, childbirth education is severely lacking and I definitely didn’t have access to the kind of class I wanted to take. There was a generic childbirth class available at the local hospital but based on my experiences with the medical professionals here so far, I felt like I could learn more from Google. So, I did what I always do in situations like this… I started to research.

It turns out there are several different Hypnobirthing philosophies, one of which is Hypnobabies. Hypnobabies was developed by someone who used to be a Bradley and Hypnobirthing instructor but also found those programs to be lacking the techniques that women really needed to achieve a deep level of hypnosis during the entire birth.

The cost was about $170 – enough to discourage me from even considering it. As I continued to research more and more, I decided I’d bite the bullet and just order it. I mean, if I actually wanted to do any other class I’d be spending money on that anyway. With this one, I would have the freedom to go at my own speed at home and potentially have an amazing outcome. The Hypnobabies Home Study Course is a complete childbirth education program which comes with a binder of info and a ton of audio tracks to download. While I could’ve purchased a used older version for slightly less money, I decided to get the newest edition as some of the info and tracks had been supplemented.

After the first of 6 weeks into the course I was completely hooked. It requires daily practice and I got to the point of nearly being obsessed with listening to my audio tracks and practicing the techniques. I was totally in love with everything I was learning and it truly prepared me mentally for everything that could happen during the birth of my baby. I knew it would take practice and conditioning. I knew there was a chance I could have a completely pain free, easy, comfortable, drug free natural childbirth. I also knew there was a chance that everything could fall apart.

I created a birth preferences sheet for the birth process as well as a baby-care preferences sheet for everything related to the baby. During my hospital tour I met the OB that would be on call during the birth, as well as the midwives that pretty much run the maternity ward. I explained that there is language used in the Hypnobabies program that replaces harsh terms for softer ones such as Pressure instead of Pain, Pressure Waves instead of Contractions, birthing instead of labor etc.  I even printed out articles to give to the doctor and midwives explaining the evidence based items they didn’t understand. For the most part they were all very receptive and curious about my program, but there was still an underlying skepticism laced with regimented routine. I had learned so much and felt so educated and empowered and I was very proud to be able to go into the birth with knowledge about what I wanted done and what interventions I was going to refuse. I felt confident I would be able to take charge of the birth process when the time came, even if the nursing staff wasn’t familiar with my plan.


For some reason, I had it stuck in my head that my baby would arrive a week after his guess date (due date). I really thought I had so much time. At 38 weeks on June 13th, my water released at 6:30 am. I had been sleeping and woke to feel a small gush. I snuck out of bed, careful to not wake Peter so early. This is when my denial really took hold. I was in such denial that when Peter woke up to get ready for work I almost thought it would be okay for him to go! I thought for sure it would take me all day and possibly all night to be ready to give birth. I was still trying to convince myself that this was really happening.

Luckily we decided it would be best for Peter to stay home from work and have Scott drive down and take the charter out for him. I had started timing my pressure waves (contractions) and they were averaging 4 minutes apart, but there were some gaps of 10 minutes in between. So here I was thinking they weren’t regular enough for the 5-1-1 rule. I was waiting for them to be 5 minutes apart for 1 minute duration – consistently for one hour. Well, they were all less than 5 minutes apart but with such a thick skin of denial over me, I kept telling myself and Peter that we had plenty of time. Poor Peter kept asking if it was time yet, and what we needed to do. I kept telling him to relax and that there was nothing we needed to do. That’s when he pulled an All Is Lost moment… he started to shave! I mean, what else is a guy to do when anxiety is overwhelming him yet there’s nothing that can be done? That scene seemed so stupid in the movie but it actually makes sense to us now :)

All morning my mind was so focused on timing my waves and figuring out if it was really time. I slowly gathered my hospital bag and helped Peter decide what else we needed to take with us. I had started listening to the first track I needed to play on my birthing day. It wasn’t a deep hypnosis track but it was part of my plan. I was pretty anxious myself and of course still in denial so where I really screwed up was by not putting myself in a deep hypnosis right then and there. My only job was to just do what I had practiced. I failed. My mind was so preoccupied that I wasn’t focusing on what was really happening.

Around noon I still hadn’t gotten into my hypnosis yet. I was feeling great, no pain at all. I was actually enjoying the pressure waves, remembering that my body was made to do this. Peter finally insisted that it was time for him to take Betsy over to Jen on Three Sheets and head to the hospital. I agreed but still just wanted to relax and progress at home as long as possible. I was actually kind of irritated that he was making me go just then. That’s when I should’ve known it was time.

We got in the dinghy and I needed a little help getting back out. That’s when things started getting painful. I had told myself I’d start the deep hypnosis tracks once I got in the car, but the walk to the car put me in a totally different place. I couldn’t speak through my pressure waves. Oh how I wish they were still just pressure waves! But by this point lets just call them what they were – contractions. I attempted to sit in the front seat but that was just not going to happen. Peter cleared out the back seat for me and I climbed in, laying on my side. I immediately put my earbuds in and tried to get relaxed again with one of the deepening tracks but it just wasn’t working. My contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes. We had about a 25 minute drive to the hospital along a bumpy road. Needless to say, I was never able to relax again from that point on.

Starting to realize that our little boy was coming NOW, I told Peter to park the car and help me walk in from the parking lot, instead of dropping me off at the entrance. I timed my waves and walked from the car past the front desk while I barely mumbled to the ladies that I was already checked in and that I was going to the 4th floor. I didn’t want to sit so I refused their wheelchair and they looked at me like I was crazy. It’s a good thing they followed us though because there were several security swipes that were needed to open all the doors. By the time I got to the maternity ward I was in tears. I was an emotional mess as I realized then in that moment that this was really happening whether I was ready or not. It wasn’t going the way I had planned at all. I didn’t feel the happiness I thought I would feel as I walked in. I knew where I was going but I felt so lost. Everything I had planned had gone out the window hours before.

My birth preferences were still flashing through my brain despite the chaos and pain. I knew I had planned on minimal checks but upon arrival they wanted to see how dilated I was, as expected, and I didn’t have the energy to refuse. Turns out I was at 6 cm when we arrived at 12:45pm. Here’s where they started going against everything in my birth preferences. Peter was trying so hard to be supportive and he tried to enforce my preferences but the midwives were very demanding. Keep in mind, at my earlier hospital tour everyone agreed that I could move about as I wished, be in any position I wanted to, and that basically they could not force me to do anything. Well, here I was in the worst pain I had known my entire life and the damn lady would not let me lay the way I was most comfortable. They wanted me in a position that was convenient for them. Things started to escalate so with a defeated whimper I asked what my options were for pain management, should I change my mind. They told me there was nothing they could give me if I was past 7 cm so they would have to check me again to be sure. I agreed. By the time the midwife came back in to check me, maybe 20 minutes had passed by and I was at 9 cm.

My plan for having this baby without drugs was happening, except I was missing the part that would’ve prevented the pain. Without being in hypnosis from the beginning I felt like there was no way I could ever achieve it at this point. The worst moments of it all were when they took several unwanted steps to hurry the process instead of letting my body go at the speed it wanted. They forced me to lay on my back with my legs in stirrups and it was the most uncomfortable position I could be in. This was just one of many instances that they insisted on something that was more convenient for them, not for me. They insisted on an episiotomy, something the doctor was advocating from before the birth which tells me it’s a routine procedure for them. He told me it’s easier for them to stitch an episiotomy than to chance a natural tear. Even though I did not want them to do it, they told me horrible things to convince me to agree.

Just 2 hours after arriving at the hospital, Brig was born. I was still in shock after everything had spiraled out of control so fast, but once the pain was gone I was finally able to take charge of the rest of the procedures. They weren’t very happy about it and I was probably a terrible patient in their eyes but I didn’t care. I couldn’t wait for my hour of uninterrupted time with my baby and my husband. We were required to stay at the hospital for 48 hours. By the end of those two days I was more than ready to go home.

My poor mom missed the birth by one day and arrived the day after he was born. Although she was sad, we agreed that it was probably best she wasn’t there for how they were treating me during the birth. It was an experience that Peter and I were supposed to go through together and we made it.


Looking back, I SO wish I could have had the amazing Hypnobabies birth that I wanted and that I was prepared for. I know there are a lot of you that are thinking to yourself… “I told you so” or “that stuff doesn’t really work” but I really do think I could have had a better experience if I had just done what I was supposed to do earlier.  Everything happened so fast and so much earlier than we expected. He was born two weeks early, and really three weeks before I thought he would. I think all my practice allowed me to stay so calm and relaxed that whole morning without even needing to put myself in a deep hypnosis, and I didn’t even realize it at the time.  I could look at it like the program didn’t work for me, but I know that’s not true. If we have another baby in the future, I will ABSOLUTELY be using Hypnobabies again. I will do my best to not be in denial and I’ll embrace my birthing day without fear. Most importantly, I will NOT give birth in BVI ever again. They are too set in their ways and they did not support me like they said they would. I think I can absolutely have a different experience next time.

If you’re interested in learning more about Hypnobabies please send me a message and I’d be happy to talk more about it. There are so many beautiful birth stories from other hypnomamas and that is what inspired me to try the program. Just because my birth story didn’t turn out like theirs doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. I am still so grateful for all the knowledge I learned from the study materials and it truly helped me feel confident throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I recommend doing your own research as I did, but if you decide to try the Hypnobabies program, please consider using my link as I do get a small commission if you purchase anything on their website by first clicking my link HERE.