Whitney, Mark, & Louis's HypnoBirthing Story


"My husband and I got married in March of 2017. What a surprise when May rolled around and we found out we were expecting. Of course, I soon scheduled my 8 week appointment with my OB/GYN who I had been seeing for close to 10 years. As I started researching, I realized that I would want to be supported through pregnancy and birth by midwives, so I switched to seeing midwives within the same practice. 

We did not find out the gender of our child nor any genetic testing, so we had to make birth and after-birth plans for all outcomes. Attending HypnoBirthing classes with Danielle prepared us not only for a calm and peaceful birth no matter the outcome, but she also asked “tough questions” that we probably would not have considered as a couple until decision time came. At 20 weeks, we started talking about touring hospitals. I knew I wanted to birth with as minimal interventions as possible. We had heard wonderful things about Royal Oak Beaumont’s natural birthing center but could not tour until very close to our due date. Upon further investigating, we found out about an event at St. John Providence in Southfield called “Meet the Midwives”. We were able to tour their ABC unit and immediately fell in love with their expertise and the homey feel. Unfortunately, I was still on my own health insurance which did not cover any of the midwives in the practice. 

At 36 weeks, we went on a tour of Beaumont’s birthing center. What a beautiful facility! My heart was still unsettled, however, about going through the triage process. At 38 weeks, we had long since completed Danielle’s class, and we signed her up to be our doula. The 3 of us had been reviewing our birth plan, and I was still not 100% comfortable. We found out about an OB that was covered under both mine and my husband’s insurance, but attended births at St. John Providence ABC! This was very important, as baby could arrive in 2017 or 2018 under either insurance plan. I immediately texted Danielle about my crazy idea of switching providers 2 weeks before my due date. Not only was she supportive, but the OB, Dr. Prezzato, was also on board. Little did we know, it may have been 2 weeks before my due date, but it would be 4 weeks before we actually met our son. 

With a new plan in place, we were ready. But, our due date, 1/9/18, came and went. We made a plan A, plan B, and even C, D, and E. Thirteen days after my due date I arrived at the ABC for “natural induction”. This includes experiences I never want to endure again, like castor oil, and techniques we learned in our HypnoBirthing class, such as Spinning Babies, relaxation techniques, as well as squatting, stairs, and LOTS of walking. If only I wore a FitBit! My husband was right there with me, step by step, wandering the halls to keep contractions going and quite literally walk the baby out. At 42 weeks exactly, after a long night of squats, walking, and 3 hours of sleep, it was time for Plan C. We had tried to let baby come naturally, we tried natural methods of induction, but it was time to get this stubborn babe out into the world! I had my water broken at 10 am. With no meconium, and contractions starting what felt almost immediately, we walked the halls and climbed the stairs, myself, my husband, and our trusty doula, for what seemed like hours, until I couldn’t stand it any longer. Contractions were coming on predictably, and my husband kept time while also performing hip squeezes (those are wonderful!). Our nurse on call kept me motivated with her tough love, while Danielle kept myself and my husband calm and sane. At about 1 pm, the nurse stepped out to tend to other duties, and Danielle stepped out to call her family. I was laboring in bed on my side. I told my husband, “I want to move, but I can’t”. He looked at the charting of contractions, and they were lasting about a minute and a half, 3 minutes apart. He stepped out and told the nurse what I had just said. She checked, and I had gone from 5 cm at 9am to 9-10 centimeters. She said, “We’re having this baby!” The nurse called the OB, and about 2 hours later, on 1/23/18 at 3:10 pm, Louis John Swistock changed our world."