More Hypnobirthing Birth Stories

Hi Cynthia!  We welcomed Everett Welty Lewis on August 9th! Because of your fabulous childbirth classes, I felt completely in control and was able to have the birth experience that I had wished for the first time around (no Pitocin this time!). I was so focused and never even considered having any sort of pain relief. At one point, during the late stage of labor my husband told me he thought that I was asleep because I was so calm. I have recommended your class to all of my friends because I feel like you are so full of knowledge and really empower people to take back the birth experience. The doctor said I should be the poster girl for labor and delivery! Thank you so much again for all of your knowledge and keep up the wonderful work!  – Becky Lewis (Stamford Hospital)

Cynthia Overgard has a professional and very informative style and is passionate about the subject of HypnoBirthing. It was an absolute pleasure to attend her classes, which were well-managed, fascinating, inspiring, thought provoking and ultimately life changing for me and my husband; the 3 hour classes seemed to fly by every time. Thank you Cynthia for your inspiration. This most major life event happening at home in water was all due to you and having taken your class. I’m sure you change many people’s lives with your class, and for changing mine I am very grateful. – Lydia Heilmann (Home-birth in Fairfield, CT with midwife Joni Stone)

Cynthia, We are now proud parents of a healthy beautiful daughter, Ella Cassen Brunetti. We had a beautiful birthing experience and a lot is due to you and hypnobirthing. Thank you for all your advice and teachings. We delivered at Norwalk Hospital and had a wonderful experience there with the staff and facility. Our nurse was very supportive of a natural birth even though she does not see many of them. The day after delivery she came to visit us and told us how beautiful and refreshing our birth was. She said she would have loved to have that video taped because that’s how all births should be…I was very appreciative of her compliments. I had told her I had been preparing for it by practicing the hypnobirthing methods, and she was impressed to say the least. My doctor even told me that my birth experience reminded her why she had gone into OB. It was all in all the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had! Thanks for your advice with everything. – Cassen Brunetti, Fairfield CT (Birthed in Norwalk CT Hospital)

Cynthia, I’m writing you tonight to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful job you did coaching us  through the hypnobirthing class.  Over my career I’ve had the ability to have many of the world’s foremost coaches in my profession.  I can say I would sincerely rank you among them, as you come from a place of such passion and knowledge. You have given both my wife and me the fortitude to have the birth that we dreamed of.  Thank you again. – Dr. Damian Ortelli, HypnoBirthing in Stamford CT (Home Birth with Joni Stone)

Cynthia, We wanted to write and share the incredible story of Emerson Catherine’s birth as well as express our deepest gratitude for the knowledge and resources you generously shared with us.  We truly believe that the tools we learned through HypnoBirthing allowed us to have the natural birth we worked so hard for. After mild surges on and off for a day, we headed to Bridgeport Hospital at 6pm where we learned that I was only 2 cm. The hospital insisted that if I stayed, I would be required to receive morphine order to get some rest, so we instead decided to return home. Surges continued to intensify and we returned to the hospital a second time about 11pm. At 3am I was only at 5 cm. As my surges began to slow as a result of uterine exhaustion, we began the tough discussion with our midwife as to how to proceed. She was beginning to be  concerned, but knew how important a natural birth was to both of us. We began to discuss an epidural to give my uterus a rest, and while receiving fluids as part of the preparation process, my water broke about 4 am and I dilated from 5 to 10 cm in less than an hour…truly a miracle. I began to push and an hour later my midwife said to me, “Reach down and grab your baby”.  As I pulled Emerson onto my chest I felt an incredible gratitude for my daughter as well as the team of loving and supportive practitioners who shared my goal of a natural birth.  Cynthia, we consider you to be such an important part of this team and are so thankful for giving us the confidence and strength to navigate a challenging birth.  In spite of it being the hardest work I’ve ever done, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’ve never felt such joy and confidence and can’t imagine a better way to enter the world of motherhood.  With deepest gratitude. Jennifer Masi, West Haven CT  (Birthed in Bridgeport Hospital with Dr. Ronika Choudhary)

Dear Cynthia, My twins, Peter and Ewan were born on May 9th (just a few days after your breastfeeding workshop!). My membranes ruptured early in the morning on Tuesday the 7th, and it was a long 53 hours until they were born on Thursday!  I am proud to say that they were born vaginally, Peter (the first) was head down and Ewan was footling breech. Our midwives lead the show in the OR, but we had quite the party because 5 OBs wanted to witness a vaginal breech delivery as they had never seen one before! (This was in addition to the usual OR team of anesthesiologist, pediatricians, nurses, etc., who also watched.)  I made it until Wednesday night using the breathing techniques and continually switching up positions but, with no sleep and my energy sapped from several hours of 8-10 minute “compounded contractions” with 30 second breaks in between, I elected to have an epidural. I feel good about the decision, as it allowed us all to sleep a bit and I could get some energy back for the double delivery the next morning. The births were amazing, and Thomas continues to tell everyone just how amazing it was to watch a footling breech delivery. It was a festive atmosphere in the OR, as we had brought in our speakers to play my birth mix that we had played on a loop for the previous several days. We had and amazing team and a happy and memorable labor and delivery experience.  Megan Kavanaugh (Vaginally breech-birthed her twins at Yale-New Haven Hospital)

Dear Cynthia, Paxton (Pax) Lindenmayer arrived last Sunday night at 10:07, weighing in at almost 8 lbs. I was in labor for 24 hours and things stalled out at 7 cms for over 7 hours, so I ended up on Pitocin. Thanks to HypnoBirthing and the inspiration of women like you, I delivered him naturally. It was the most intense, transformative, and empowering experience of my life. This bliss of motherhood began to set in from the moment he slipped into my arms and that feeling has not left. I am overwhelmed by my love for him and I am changed forever. It is all so amazing!!! I am so grateful to you, Cynthia, and the philosophy of HypnoBirthing. – Ellie Lindenmayer, Farmington CT (Birthed at Hartford Hospital)

 Marin’s birth was perfect…there is not a single thing about the experience that I would change!  The techniques we learned in Cynthia’s Hypnobirthing class, as well as all of the knowledge that she shared during her classes, empowered and enabled us to have such a wonderful experience.  Since this was my first pregnancy, I didn’t fully understand this at the time, but it’s really unusual (and difficult!) to expose yourself to the facts of pregnancy and birth.  So much of this information just isn’t discussed or published in places that are easy to find.  After taking Cynthia’s class, we had a clear idea of what we wanted for our daughter’s birth.  We made the decision to plan for her birth in a place that we felt complemented our personalities and would be understanding and supportive of our birth plan. My labor lasted about twelve hours, and I would not describe any moment of this time as painful…it was an intense, exciting, amazing time. I used Hypnobirthing techniques for relaxation throughout my labor. My husband, Brett, was able to receive Marin as she was born and he placed her on my chest. We were together from the moment of her birth and we were not separated once. Cynthia, thank you for sharing your passion and knowledge with so many women. I’m sure the impact of your efforts spreads further than any of us can know! – Amanda Alstead, Ridgefield CT (Birthed in Danbury Birthing Center)

During my second pregnancy, when I insisted on trying a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), my doctor discouraged me with at least 10 different reasons why I would not be able to have a vaginal birth, and said I should save myself the hassle with a scheduled C-section. I however, had the miraculous opportunity to find you, Cynthia, when I was already 36 weeks pregnant. That first phone call with you changed the course of my birth and my life. It was the beginning of a wonderful journey for me. I immediately joined your HypnoBirthing classes and applied all the tools you taught me. I followed your advice to consider leaving my unsupportive OB even so late in pregnancy, in order to find a practitioner who was aligned with my dream for a vaginal birth. Just a few weeks later, in my home and under the expertise of two wonderful mid-wives, I birthed my baby vaginally, naturally and calmly. I had a HBAC (home birth after cesarean) and my baby weighed more than 8 lbs! Ina May Gaskin was right…My body is not a lemon! I hope many, many more women will have the courage to believe in themselves as I did, and feel the power of being a woman, and birth healthy, strong babies that are free of after-effects of “medical deliveries”. Cynthia, my journey was only possible because of you and it began when I first called you. I thank you, Cynthia, for changing my life! I am forever grateful for that first time we spoke and you made me believe this was possible for me. I will always remember you and my two wonderful mid-wives (Joni Stone and Gengi Proteau) and for the awesome experience of natural birthing at home! – Richa Gautam Menon,  Stamford CT (Home birth after cesarean in Stamford CT)

Hi Cynthia – I can’t wait to share our full birth story with you! Here are the highlights: We had an 18 hour All Natural Hypnobirth! Our precious baby girl Charlotte Cynthia Yannieh was born this Morning Sunday August 4th at 12:51am! 8lbs 9oz! All Natural! With support of our doula we had active labor at home and by the time we got to Bridgeport Hospital I was 7 cm dilated! We continued to use our techniques and made it to 10cm within 1 hour! Such a wonderful birth experience! I attribute our wonderful birth experience to several things and the number one thing is our HypnoBirthing of CT course with you!  Nicole Yannieh, Milford CT (Birthed in Bridgeport Hospital)

Penelope Rose was born at 6:42am as the sun was rising on the morning of Monday November 14 weighing in at 8 lbs, 1 oz. It all started with Dad’s ‘induction pasta’ (spicy eggplant, sage, rigatoni and cheese). About 30 minutes after dinner, I felt my first surge which felt like a mild cramp. I hung out on my bed on my hands and knees during each surge and remarkably, I was able to doze off in between. By midnight I insisted that we head to the hospital. The 30 minute drive to Yale felt like it took 5 minutes- in retrospect I realize that this distortion of time was similar to how I felt during hypnosis in your class. When my midwife we were shocked that I was 8 ½ cm dilated. And then I stayed at 8.5 cm for four hours! I am so happy that I listened to my body and didn’t prescribe to notions about how long it ‘should’ take for labor to progress. Eventually I was ready to push. I felt excited and present. I really did enjoy this phase of labor although it lasted for over an hour and was very challenging. I listened to my body and did not push with every surge because I wanted to conserve my energy and I didn’t want to tear. When Penelope was born it was very surreal and took a while to sink in that I was holding my baby. Once she latched on I felt a wave of happiness/giddiness and satisfaction roll in and then it became real. I can truly say that I had an ideal labor. Jen Terra, Easton CT (Birthed at Yale-New Haven Hospital)

Cynthia’s classes at HypnoBirthing of CT in Stamford taught me that when it comes to giving birth, I’m in charge. She was thorough, knowledgeable, kind, giving of her time outside of class.  A pleasure!  Cynthia even went out of her way to help us to find local childcare for our son so we could attend her classes 90 minutes away from our home. Cynthia, you’re passionate and informed, and it shows. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about HypnoBirthing through you. – Monica W. (Natural VBAC in Central NJ Hospital)

During my third pregnancy I spoke to and met with as many people as I could, researching and educating myself as much as possible. I already had two c-sections and didn’t feel I needed a third. One of the first people I contacted was Cynthia after two friends of mine strongly recommended that I take her course. I am so glad I did. Cynthia’s class helped me realize that I could play an active role in my healthcare rather than being a passive recipient. I knew I could prepare for the vaginal birth I always wanted, the birth I felt I had missed out on.  In the end, my labor ended up being so quick that despite the fact that we had planned on birthing at Yale hospital our daughter was born in the calm and quiet of our bedroom. I’m so proud to have had a VBA2C and to finally have felt what it was like to give birth. Lynne Chesbro, Home Birth After Two Cesareans in Fairfield CT

Hi Cynthia! I wanted to let you know that I had a beautiful baby girl on August 28th. It was the most beautiful, empowering, incredible experience I have ever had. So much of this is a thanks to your wonderful HypnoBirthing classes that I took with my first baby four years ago! My third birth was almost identical to my other two. I was perfectly comfortable, and only felt these beautiful waves of tightening. I called my midwife and she arrived around 3:30. Since this was my third experience giving birth I already had the HypnoBirthing mindset engraved in my thoughts and mind. Your class taught me so much that it honestly became my natural thought process and belief system about pregnancy, labor, and birth. Through the entire birthing process I was smiling and talking to my baby. This was one of the things you said that moved me the most, “…your baby is birthing with you.” I had my husband and two other children ages 4 and 21 months watching, smiling, excitingly waiting for their sibling. They were never even once for a moment nervous, because in their experience birth is a natural, beautiful process. Elise Juliette was born weighing 8 lbs 9 oz. My entire labor was under 1.5 hours. My first labor was under 3 hours, and my second was under 2 hours. I cannot thank you enough because I know that because of your class, my body and mind were so peaceful that my births were quick and completely comfortable. All I feel are waves of tightening and then pressure as I prepared to push. When people ask how this is possible, I tell them about your HypnoBirthing class and how it educated me and changed my view of childbirth. I cannot thank you enough. Our family is forever grateful  to you. Please share my story. People need to know how wonderful you are. Eva Rizio (Home Birth in Pawling, NY)

Our little boy entered this world into mommy’s arms without any drugs or intervention after 20 hours of beautiful labor at 9:16pm on April 16. I swear he must have been listening in on all of our hypnobirthing classes!!! I can not even begin to tell you all how essential your HypnoBirthing education, techniques, and affirmations were during our birth. I am forever thankful and forever in awe that we we able to bring Paxton into this world in such a peaceful environment. – Shenton King, Bridgeport CT (Norwalk Hospital with the Avery Center group)

Cynthia, this is long overdue but I wanted you to know along with any fathers-to-be how beneficial I found your class.  I will always remember our first class – probably because it was the last thing I wanted to do. Bare with me. I remember that I had to cancel on a boys’ weekend and was going to miss a Yankee game because they conflicted with your first class. Most of my friends spent a couple of hours in hospital birthing classes and told me how awful they were. So there I was, arms folded and completely resistant to hypnobirthing. And then it happened. Within 30 minutes of your class I realized it was up to me and my wife to define this moment – not conventional wisdom and “TV” births. I’m more of a handshake guy but the hug I gave you after our first class was my thanks for opening my eyes and allowing me to look at birthing in a whole new light.  Thank you so much Cynthia. PJ MeElroy, Stamford CT (Bridgeport Hospital with Dr. Ronika Choudhary)

Cynthia, I just wanted to say that I was truly overwhelmed by the first class. I wasn’t prepared for this utterly breathtaking new perspective. Rarely do I encounter a concept that overturns conventional wisdom so decidedly and with such force. And you present it in such a clear, well intentioned, passionate and honest manner. I’m honored to be taking this workshop. We are both excited by your energy and dedication, and of course the terrific content. Dana and I came out of that first class with a new sense of confidence. I think you mentioned that the doctor in that film was heroic. I wholeheartedly agree and I think you are heroic, too. What an amazing gift this is! I wish every pregnant woman could take your workshop. Thank you. –  Email received by a Dad after the first class session.

Hi Cynthia, We wanted to send you our news! Ava Rose was born at home on July 6 at 10:36am. The labor was about 11 hours, and we were able to implement hypnobirthing into the process. We want to thank you so much for having a contribution to our beautiful birth. Please feel free to use our story or use us as a resource if anyone has questions about a home birth. I am so glad to see you continue to touch so many people’s lives with your class and can have such a positive impact on the most beautiful times in people’s lives. Dr. Keith and Melina Mirante (Home Birth in Meriden, CT)

My wife Sandy and I took Cynthia’s class earlier this year prior to the birth of our first child, Emma. I was a little skeptical of HypnoBirthing at first, but after spending each class with Cynthia and the other couples, and experiencing the natural birth of our daughter Emma at home in August, I am a believer. Up until about 28 weeks into our pregnancy, we were planning on a “normal” birth with an OB in the hospital, and were following whatever direction the doctors gave us. Through Cynthia’s class, we learned we had options – many more than we thought (who knew!?). We shifted gears entirely, found a wonderful midwife (courtesy of Cynthia!), dropped our OB/GYN practice, and ended up having a natural water-birth in the comfort of our own home. As a husband and father, I can tell you that it was the most amazing experience, and both my wife and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I felt so well educated and prepared that I was there to help her every step of the way. And following the techniques learned in class, my wife made labor and birth look easy. Three days after giving birth, she was already talking about having a second! My recommendation to any couple pregnant right now, no matter where you would like to give birth: Get educated, get empowered, take Cynthia’s class and learn about child birth from a whole different perspective. It will open your eyes. Thanks Cynthia for helping us to make Emma’s birth such a beautiful experience for both me and Sandy!  Mark Beyerly (Home Birth in Fairfield)

My favorite quote of Cynthia’s: “Hear everyone; Listen to yourself.” I appreciate that Cynthia’s opinions are based in her extensive research. I highly value her confidence and conviction in the subject matter—ultimately I found that her overall demeanor has given me more strength to have conviction in what I want and what I believe. For us, HypnoBirthing has been excellent mental preparation for our journey through the rest of this pregnancy, the beginning of our baby’s life and our roles as parenting partners. We learned and regularly practiced techniques to get to a deeply calming place, and we feel this will benefited us tremendously during labor and in life overall. I have found incredible strength within myself as I ventured through your class. Penelope Kate arrived in our home with the incredible assistance of Joni Stone. She weighed a hearty 9 pounds and 13 ounces and was 21 inches long. We truly had the birth of our dreams, and I am so grateful for all of the preparation that your class provided for us. To think my OB said I would need a C-section just because my baby was measuring large…I’m just so grateful that landing in your class led to so many wonderful things for us! – Lindsay Hurty (Home Birth in Darien CT)

I must admit, I approached Cynthia’s HypnoBirthing class with some skepticism at first. However, Cynthia does a great job getting couples really comfortable with the birthing process and nature’s role in it. There were some concepts that just resonated with us, and the she provides the research to support it. The birth of our daughter, from the moment we entered the hospital to the first feeding, was a truly an amazing experience. While my wife Melissa gets all the credit, I tip my hat to Cynthia. We both felt comfortable and prepared.  – Justin Whitehead (Bridgeport Hospital)

At first I was quite skeptical about the concept of Hypnobirthing – I assumed it might be too flower-power or something…but after reading the book and seeing how it transformed my wife’s confidence and then our birth experience, I can only recommend it. HypnoBirthing combined with a great doula made all the difference for us and allowed us to have a fully natural birth despite my wife having to endure 13 hours of labor on Pitocin followed by nearly 4 hours of intense pushing. But our unborn son and Gina remained so calm throughout the whole process and had a steady heartbeat so there where never any panic or screaming – just the HypnoBirthing CD or classical music played in the background. I am confident that had it not been for Cynthia’s HypnoBirthing of CT class, we would have ended up with a C-section.  – Henrik Hansen, Stamford CT

Cynthia is very knowledgeable about the procedures used in hospitals and birthing centers. I felt I was provided with a well-rounded amount of information (both pros and cons) that will help me make the best decisions for my own birthing process. I was made aware of many things that I never knew of before that I am very thankful to now know about. I honestly think the class environment was wonderful. It was very comfortable, inviting and the snacks were wonderful! I feel like I came away from the class with all the knowledge I was hoping to obtain. There are so many things I now know to ask my doctor and the birthing plan check list was a tremendous help. Our baby boy was born January 17th weighing in at 9 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches long. No one expected him to be such a big baby! I am only 5′ 1″ and weigh 115. Just another person to show that you don’t need a C-section for big babies! Anna M., Trumbull CT (Birthed in Bridgeport Hospital)

It was obvious from day one that Cynthia is very knowledgeable and passionate about birth. I’m am so grateful for the variety of topics she covered and feel like I walked away with the tools I need to take control of my birth. My husband was worried about feeling excluded before the class started but that was not the case at all. Cynthia makes sure to include the birth partners and let them know how important they are in this process. It was nice to be in a room with like-minded people. We missed class when it was over! I’m so grateful that HypnoBirthing of CT exists to teach women what they’re capable of. Thank you, Cynthia! I’m going to recommend this class to every pregnant woman I meet! – Brenda Torres, New Haven CT (Birthed at Yale New Haven Hospital)

Cynthia, last night Jon and I were discussing this, and we both feel that the price we paid for your class was an incredible deal for the amount of information we received. I don’t know where we would have gotten this info otherwise, and it was a true blessing that we found you. Jon wants me to add that the lessons we learned with you not only have benefited the way in which we birthed our baby, but our lifestyle as well. You were very influential on me as a whole, and your class rocked!  I successfully HypnoBirthed at Bridgeport Hospital on August 15th. It was a long labor- 33 hours. I was so tired, but was determined NOT to get the epidural or C-section. Long story short, HypnoBirthing totally worked for me. All the nurses at the hospital could NOT believe I was walking the halls at 9 centimeters. They thought I was amazing. Thank you for everything. I could not have done this without your class. Adrienne Wilson (Birthed in Bridgeport CT Hospital)

Cynthia! You will be excited to hear that we welcomed our new daughter, McKenna, this morning, June 14th, through a successful vaginal-birth-after-cesarean HypnoBirth! McKenna weighed 9 lb. 6 oz. at birth.  She’s beautiful and doing well. Thank you for all your love, support and wisdom! I wish I had known about your classes for my previous births. You have empowered me in ways that I realize every day. I am thrilled and so excited to have welcomed this new little baby into our lives in this life-changing and peaceful way. Leanne O’Connell, Shelton CT (Birthed in Bridgeport Hospital)

Cynthia, I’ve been meaning to email you and thank you for such an informative class.  Tom and I really learned a lot and became even bigger advocates for what we wanted for our birth. Thank you! Good thing we were informed and had a very specific birth plan.  She was out in three pushes, literally less than five minutes from when the doctor arrived! Ahvah Mae was born, at 1:48 p.m. It was the most amazing feeling, she was placed on my chest immediately and breastfed within minutes. At the end I got what I wanted a healthy baby girl and a natural birth. Sandra Marino, Shelton CT (Birthed at Yale Hospital)

Hi Cynthia! We welcomed our daughter, Evangeline Marie Maler, into the world on Tuesday, December 18 at 10:17 pm. I had my first surge at 2:43 am and was surprised they were coming so quickly, but I was excited because that meant things were progressing. At 10 am, I was at 6 cm and the surges were getting much stronger. Labor slowed and after 29 hours I was beyond exhausted. After a lengthy discussion with my doula and husband, I decided to get an epidural. My midwife prepared me for the possibility of not having a vaginal delivery. When I heard those words, it was as if a fire was lit in my body. I pushed 3 to 4 times every 60 seconds until I was told to stop. At that point, Evangeline’s head was out and at 10:17 pm; our little girl had finally arrived! Evangeline laid on my chest for the first 2 hours and began nursing immediately. Although my birth plan changed and I ended up getting an epidural, I was not disappointed at all. I don’t think I would have had the energy to push for over 3 hours if I had not received it, which may have resulted in a C-section, so I believe I made the right choice. I want to thank you for your wonderful class. Because of you, we were informed when it came to the procedures conducted on a baby within the first few hours of birth, i.e. Vitamin K shot, eye drops, etc. Thank you, Cynthia! – Matt & Courtney Maler, Southington CT (Birthed in Bristol Hospital)

Cynthia, We had such an amazing birth experience thanks to the lessons we learned through your HypnoBirthing of CT class. As predicted, my labor went very fast. I started having small contractions around 2:00 on Friday the 2nd. It wasn’t until about 3:30 that I was convinced it was actually in labor and started calling my husband, midwife and doula. My surges got closer together and stronger quickly. My water broke around 6:15. That’s when Joni, the midwife arrived. After just a couple strong pushes, baby Quinn was born at 7:04. I remained calm throughout the process and at no point was anxious or afraid. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you so much for preparing us to have the birth we wanted. – Lisa Bauerle (Home Birth in Stamford CT)

Dear Cynthia – I am finally sending you my birth story. My family thanks you so much for your knowledge and support during a very special time. Our baby girl arrived via VBAC!  Her name is Lennie Sandra Otelia Hunter. When we got settled into Norwalk Hospital I was at 6cm. The surges were pretty intense and it continued for what felt like all day. I focused on my breathing, which of course was key. I have done collegiate gymnastics, triathlons, adventure races and a c-section – but natural childbirth is by far the most difficult feat for me and the most rewarding. My son Cassius was 6 lbs 13oz. My doctor would not have allowed me to vaginally deliver, but I did it! Erin Hunter (Birthed in Norwalk Hospital with the Midwives)

My favorite quote of Cynthia’s: “Hear everyone; Listen to yourself.” I appreciate that Cynthia’s opinions are based in her extensive research. I highly value her confidence and conviction in the subject matter—ultimately I found that her demeanor gave me more strength to have conviction in what I want and believe. For us, this has been excellent preparation for our journey through pregnancy, birth and our roles as parenting partners. We have learned and regularly practice techniques to get to a deeply calming place, and we feel that this will benefit us tremendously during labor and in life in general. I have found incredible strength within myself as I’ve ventured through this class. On November 19, our daughter, Penelope Kate, arrived in our home with the incredible assistance of Joni Stone. She weighed a hearty 9 pounds and 13 ounces. As you’ll recall, at 34 weeks my OB suggested a c-section, and you helped us to change to a more supportive provider. We truly had the birth of our dreams. I’m just so grateful that landing in your class led to so many wonderful things for us. – Lindsay Hurty (Home Birth in Darien, CT)

We welcomed our beautiful little girl, Juliette Parker, on March 14 at 4:13am. I was a week past my “guess date” and our doctor was patient with us, allowing us to let it happen naturally. Around 8:00am, as I go out of bed, my membranes released. We were off to the hospital a couple of hours later. The baby was monitored intermittently and then I was free to walk around again. Around 10:00pm the surges were getting very intense and my nurse suggested that I get in the shower. I did and it was fantastic. I was in there for about two hours. Our doctor and nurse were happy to allow us to work through the surges in peace. I used the breathing and visualizing techniques, listened to relaxing music and had the lights dim. I got to a point where I wasn’t sure if I could go on. I was exhausted. My nurse (also a mid-wife) was familiar with hypnobirthing and reminded me that this was a transitional point. I remembered that discussion at one of the Hypnobirthing classes. She offered to check me, I was fully dilated. Around 3:30am, things began to pick up and I felt the need to push. I used the surges to breathe deeply and would find myself with my eyes closed (practically sleeping) between them. Finally, after 20 hours, I felt my baby coming into the world. I didn’t tear. I was immediately given our baby. The three of us were left alone in the room for bonding and the baby latched successfully. We had an amazing natural birth at Greenwich Hospital! Thank you again Cynthia for all of your guidance. I felt so prepared, informed and in control of my birthing experience.  I am so grateful for all of your support, guidance and knowledge.  – Jessica McInnis (Birthed naturally in Greenwich Hospital)

Elijah River was born on October 11th in the comfort of my bedroom. His arrival was the greatest gift I could have imagined as his birth was a VBAC and a dream come true. I labored peacefully for 25 hours at home with the support of my midwives, doula and incredible husband Joe. Though it was a long labor, I wouldn’t change a thing. There wasn’t a moment of doubt in the room that I would be able to do it. Through Cynthia’s teaching I felt so prepared and therefore confident in my abilities to birth naturally. I’d learned the tools to help stay grounded in my body and leave my mind behind. I trusted that my body and my baby would work harmoniously to bring him into the world. I felt so supported the entire time. It was a birth without incident or complication, but there was a profound awareness after all was said and done that had I been anywhere but in my home, I surely would have had a repeat C-section. I am absolutely overflowing with gratitude for my experience and the amazing people in my life who guided and supported me through this incredible journey. Rachel Beninati (Home Birth after Cesarean in Stamford CT)

Mike and I just wanted to write and tell you about our wonderful birth! Mike and I had our little boy Owen Michael on March 20th. He was 9 lbs. 10 oz. Our labor was great, and I think the HypnoBirthing helped me to relax and let my body gradually and gently open up so that I could have the easiest, best birth possible. We delivered when I was 41 weeks, 2 days. My membranes released at midnight and the surges started right away. By the time we got to the hospital just after 1:00 am, I was checked in and I was 9 cm dilated, and at 10 cm about 20 minutes after that. Owen was born at exactly 2:00 am for a total of 2 hours of birth from start to finish (and no drugs either). I couldn’t have imagined doing it any other way. It was so wonderful to finally have the all natural, empowering birth that I always knew I could have. Lauren Specht, Yorktown NY (Natural VBAC, Hudson Valley Hospital, NY)

Cynthia, I couldn’t have had a home birth VBAC without your HypnoBirthing of CT class. I’ve been wanting to send you a long overdue email regarding my home birth — It was awesome! Thank you so much! My entire family thanks you!  I couldn’t have done it without HypnoBirthing of CT. I still have to remind myself that a VBAC is a big deal in this day and age because it really didn’t feel like a big deal when I had Olivier. I hope that doesn’t come out the wrong way but it was really easy for me to have a home birth. Cynthia, women should be lining up your door! – Rocio Stasi (Home Birth VBAC in Stamford CT with midwife Martha Roth)

Cynthia, I wanted to let you know that baby James arrived on March 12. After much investigating and stress over changing care providers and hospitals through January, we decided to have him at Danbury Hospital attended by the midwives from the childbirth center. This turned out to be completely the right choice for us – I got my VBAC and had a natural labor and delivery. The midwives were wonderful and the experience was incredible. Thanks again for your support and kindness throughout the course. I definitely credit HypnoBirthing with opening my eyes to the options as well as giving me some good coping tools for pregnancy and labor. I would not have changed a thing about the whole experience, and we have a gorgeous little boy to show for it all. – Lisl Dunlop, Rye NY (Natural VBAC at Danbury Hospital, CT)

Cynthia – here is my story, which I feel like shouting from the rooftops to let all women know they can do it too! Our home birth was amazing – it was exactly what I hoped and prepared for and I’m still just beaming over the whole experience! I started feeling some surges at 11 PM on Wednesday. By 2 AM the surges were about 3 minutes apart and when Joni got here they were fast and furious. I was at 8 CM when she checked me and I just kept progressing. Soon it was clearly time to start pushing and that was a big relief – definitely the part I liked better! All that time I was using breathing techniques, visualizations and affirmations. In that last push Lucienne emerged and Joni put her right on me. It was just spectacular! Chris and I are just thrilled and couldn’t be happier! I really want everyone to know how possible this is! I feel like Lucienne, Chris and I were all given such a gift with this experience. Thank you so much for being part of my beautiful birth experience – it couldn’t have gone the way it did if I hadn’t been so well prepared by your class!  Danielle Daure (Home Birth with HypnoBirthing in Stamford CT with midwife Joni Stone)

I attended Cynthia’s class in October and had a wonderful home birth in January. The information Cynthia provided and the techniques she teaches really helped me to focus and have the best birth possible. Cynthia is a caring instructor and was always available for any questions or concerns I had. Our daughter was born on January 22, at 8:05 pm. I was really happy with the way things turned out, have great memories of the event and a precious little girl – I couldn’t ask for more! – Ashlee Anderson, Weston CT (Home Birth with Joni Stone)

Cynthia, I’ve been wanting to write since my daughter was born! I know you’d be pleased to hear that I got my natural VBAC birth! I was extremely anxious during my 40th week anticipating the scheduled C-section at the 41-week mark, and on Thursday, April 7th, I was in labor! I felt super relaxed and excited through the surges. I labored in bed and slept in between surges until 6am. When we got to the hospital around 7am, I was 5 cm. Things got really intense, and I was no longer able to relax. I went from 5cm to 10 between 7 – 9am, and Jane Margaret was born at 9:28. I was so proud to have had a natural VBAC birth – especially on the morning I was scheduled to have a repeat C-section. Thank you so much for all of your support and good advice. I am so appreciative!  – Emily Dolan, New Milford CT (Natural VBAC in Danbury Hospital)

Dear Cynthia, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the things we have learned and you have done for us. I am so blessed to know you and so happy that our paths crossed. You are truly amazing at what you do and on top of it you have a very kind and warm personality. To my surprise my husband loved your classes too and we could hardly wait to go each time. HypnoBirthing is a wonderful method and I recommend it to everyone. When we took your class you asked everybody how we’d like our birthing to go and I said that I wanted this to be the best experience of my life. Well my wish came true and I am so happy that it became even more beautiful and peaceful then I expected. Having a wonderful experience means so much to me, and therefore I am so grateful for you and I will always be.  Mariann Balogh (Home Birth in Stamford CT)

Dear Cynthia, Thank you so much for the loving way you deliver your class material. You are a wealth of knowledge and both my husband and I have gained invaluable information that we will take with us through our birth journey. As first-time parents-to-be, you’ve enabled us to make informed decisions and have given us the confidence to deal with any situation that may arise during the birth. Each and every time we entered your space and were greeted by your warm and loving presence (and delicious snacks!), we felt comfortable and able to ask questions or speak our minds whenever necessary. It is clear that you have a true passion and respect for hypnobirthing and for the birthing woman in general and that infectious quality comes through you and seeps into the people sitting in your class. We’d make the hour plus drive again in a heartbeat and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything! Alicia and Gary Comitto, Ossining, NY (Home Birth)

Dear Cynthia, I’ve been wanting to write you since I gave birth last Wednesday, as I was so excited to tell you my birth story of my second child, Eva Victoria Black. First of all I feel fortunate to have attended the refresher gathering you held at your home just a few weeks before I gave birth. I felt as if I was right back in your …class from a couple years ago, and it all came back to me. The group settling lead by you was powerful and helped me to be fully engaged. So guess what – I had an unassisted home birth, just me and my husband, John, Wednesday morning July 13th – in our bathroom. I woke early on Wednesday July 13th at 4am not being able to get comfortable. I noticed I was having some surges lasting pretty long, but I didn’t bother timing them. I decided to tell my husband at 4:15am that he shouldn’t plan of going to work today. By 4:30am I had my iPod playing Rainbow Relaxation and the affirmations, and all I remember was “Trust in your body”, etc. I was sitting on a yoga ball, leaning over a pillow on the bed and breathing through my surges. I thought to myself, “These seem kinda close.” But I just kept my focus. My poor husband was trying to get me to talk to him but I just didn’t have the words to speak, I was totally in the moment. He was trying to figure out if he should time the surges, call my doula, call the midwife, get the car ready, etc. I was in a cool bath by 5:30am, again breathing thru my surges. At this point I realized, “I don’t think I can go anywhere.” I didn’t want to move to get in a car and these surges were coming pretty fast. I got out of the tub by 6am with the help of John, and managed to tell him to call the neighbor to watch our 2 year old son. Around 6:15am I stood briefly, my water broke, and decided my hands and knees was the best position. I leaned against our bathroom vanity rocking a bit and could tell this was it. Now at 6:28am my husband asked if we were going to Hudson valley, as planned. I shook my head no, then he asked, “Are we going to Greenwich hospital?” I shook my head even more, and said, “”I’m having the baby, now!” With 2 more surges I could feel my baby just work herself down and out, I was remembering the unassisted-home-birth story you told in class, also in a bathroom, as we were. I trusted in my body. And at 6:32am my husband guided our daughter out and told me it was a girl. The placenta followed and I lay back on the bathroom floor, baby against me, covered in a towel, with placenta attached and level with the baby so it could pulse (my husband had the midwife on the phone now, giving simple instructions.) I rubbed the her little back and she let out a little cry. I could hear my son downstairs say ‘baby’. I was the most peaceful, gentle, amazing experience. Our doula came 20 minutes after the baby was born, she was on the way to the hospital to meet us until my husband called back to let her know we just had a baby girl. She met us at the house, helped me and the baby into the back of our SUV, back seats folded down, pillows, me, baby, placenta and her with John driving – I’m sure it was a sight if any of our neighbors saw. We proceed to Hudson Valley where my OB/GYN and pediatrician were located. A popular question was why not just call 911, and I reply it wasn’t a medical emergency. I just had a baby, that’s all. We arrived at Hudson Valley hospital, my midwife met us there. They were all very supportive and respectful and we were both examined in the room, spent the night and left the next day. She weighed 7lbs 8.5 oz 19” long. I feel I truly experienced HypnoBirthing, and it is by far the most amazing powerful tool that every pregnant woman should experience. It’s empowering! I always wanted a home birth in the back of my mind – I guess I got it! Much love and gratitude, Cynthia, to a wonderful HypnoBirthing teacher and guide. – Lee Black, Greenwich CT (Unassisted Home Birth)

From the moment I first called Cynthia Overgard, her warmth, personality, compassion and interest made me feel so comforted and cared for. Cynthia has a genuine spirit and a love for what she teaches to her expectant parents. My husband and I agreed that taking Cynthia’s course was the best thing we could have done during our pregnancy. Cynthia opened our eyes to a world we never knew even existed when it came to the birthing process. They say that “ignorance is bliss”. Before we met Cynthia we were blindly walking into this process of “having a baby”. We never knew we had so many options and so much power over our individual situation. Cynthia helped us to quickly realize that we could take control and have the birth of our dreams. The HypnoBirthing techniques aided my husband and me in coming into total relaxation every night before bed. We’ve never slept better! We talked openly with each other about our hopes and dreams for our daughter’s birthing day and grew excited every time we thought about how she could be born under the circumstances we really wanted. I am an educator. I always tell my students that the best stress reducer is preparedness. Well, I finally took some of my own advice and, with Cynthia’s knowledge and guidance, Mark and I felt very prepared for our daughter’s birthing day. And you know what?  It was completely stress free! What an amazing journey.  Emma Frances Beyerly was born on Tuesday, August 16 in the peace and tranquility of our home. Our dogs, Molly and Cosmo, lay peacefully outside in the hallway during the entire delivery. Mark, Emma and I relaxed on the bed as a newly expanded family as Joni and Gengi checked on us and began their post-partum care for me. We were so relaxed and happy just hanging out in our room. I could breathe deeply and feel all the love and gratitude fill my heart. Sandy Beyerly (Home Birth in Fairfield)

Our daughter Neve was born January 6 at Danbury hospital via VBAC. She weighed 9lb 3oz. Overall, the birth experience was the most challenging, exhausting, exhilarating, empowering, amazing thing I’ve ever done. I felt like I ran a marathon – both in terms of the level of exhaustion and the rush I felt! About 4 hours in, I was 8cm along. I used the birthing tub which was great and our doula, Ashley, who was absolutely wonderful, suggested various positions to labor in. Four hours later I was still 8cm and five hours after that I was between 8-9cm. At that point I had been actively laboring for about 15 hours and was exhausted. I decided to have an epidural at that point in order to save my strength for pushing. Having a VBAC was the most important thing to me and while I struggled with the decision to have the epidural, especially at that point in labor, I decided that if it helped me to achieve my goal of having a VBAC, then it was the right thing to do. I rested for a couple hours after that and then when it came time to deliver the baby, I pushed for three hours until she was born at 11:05pm. I have never felt the sense of accomplishment I felt after she was born. She was perfect and almost 2 pounds bigger than her brother had been! I had the most incredible team supporting me and really feel like the preparation that Sean and I did prior to the birth was invaluable for us. Your class was an essential part of our preparation and I definitely have you to thank for all of the support, advice, and information you provided, as well as your recommendations for Ashley and the midwives. In the end, the birth was everything I wanted it to be. I have no regrets and I feel so incredibly empowered. I’ve been on cloud nine ever since! Thank you, Cynthia, so much for everything. Your class and your advice really helped me to develop my plan, prepare and then achieve my ultimate goal of VBAC.  – Jill Curren, Norwalk CT (VBAC in Danbury Hospital with the midwives)

Hi Cynthia!  I’ve been thinking about you!  Owen came Saturday on his due date, haha. We had the most amazing water birth at Danbury Birthing Center. It was everything I wanted it to be this time: I was really vocal about what I wanted and needed from everyone and I approached my fears about birth head on! And the coolest thing happened…I was laughing and singing in between surges and there were many moments when it felt easy. It was still hard work, but it was joyful work. Owen James is a beautiful baby…and so big. He was 10 pounds, 1 ounce at birth. Maybe it was the warm water or the fact that he gave me the most blissful breaks between surges at the end…but I don’t have a single tear. I pulled him out of the water onto my chest, with Chad sitting behind me in the tub…it was an almost ecstatic experience. I felt so much overflowing love and support and relief and pride! Words don’t do it justice!  Thank you for helping me get to this place. I feel so grateful that I had this experience. I wonder sometimes what kind of birth I would have had if I had never found you. Remember when I asked for a new affirmation at the refresher class earlier this year…the one I first took said something I already had from the HypnoBirthing class. The one I got after a second pick said this: “I envision my baby moving smoothly through me and into my arms.” It was perfect — exactly what I was wishing for…And it’s exactly what I got!!  So much love, Amy Walker (Birthed in Danbury CT Birthing Center)

Hi Cynthia! On Thursday, October 17th (six days before my “guess date”), my labor began at 3 a.m. We lit candles, sat in the dark, and talked between surges. I was chatty and social for minutes at a time in between–and had a great sense of humor all the while as well. At about 9 p.m. we left the house for Danbury. At about 1 a.m., my water broke and just one hour later, I was 10 cm dilated. I remember being on the bed, on all fours, and three very strong and vocal pushes later, Maxim was born, a pink, healthy, beautiful baby. I recall that after my very first push on the bed, my midwife said, “You could be done with just one more push!” and hearing that gave me all the strength I needed to bring Maxim into the world. I couldn’t even imagine the need or desire to be medicated–not once during my labor did the thought cross my mind. I found labor to be totally manageable from start to finish. So thank you, Cynthia, from the bottom of my heart, for opening my once afraid eyes to the very real possibility of attaining a gentle, peaceful, natural birth. It changed my life. It was empowering. I feel so overwhelmingly grateful to have met you. – Natalie Telyatnikov, Stamford CT (Birthed in Danbury Birthing Center)

Hi Cynthia! We had our baby girl on Nov 7 at White Plains Hospital. My amniotic fluid was low according to three separate tests and so we had to get induced. The birth was vaginal which was what our goal was all along. The OB who admitted us strongly suggested C-section, but we were adamant about how we wanted have our baby. So everything was a big success! The techniques you taught us helped me relax and it helped work with the Pitocin to dilate my cervix. Thank you again for your class, Cynthia. – Jennifer Corpus (Westchester NY, Birthed in White Plains Hospital)

 Hi Cynthia! We did it!!! I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while now, but haven’t been able to put into words how grateful we are for you and all that we learned from you. Everything from the course itself to all of the fabulous resources – our doula, the birthing center, the post-pregnancy peri-wash herbal tea–is so appreciated. Words are just inadequate for how grateful we are to you for setting us on this course, and helping us realize a natural, loving birth for our daughter and each other.  Our Tess December 2 weighing 8.3 lbs and 21″ long.  She came into the world in an extremely peaceful, calm and loving way–in the water, with us, her mom and dad, just as we had dreamed. This whole experience has been just life-changing for us. We feel so close, so connected to one another, and I feel so empowered as a woman. I fully understand now all of the positive things you were saying in our classes because I have finally experienced them for myself! On top of that I feel fantastic, was up and around after 12 hours, cooking breakfast, taking care of the kiddos and the house. I DO feel sorry for my husband that he won’t ever have this experience birthing our babies, and at a loss that none of my friends has ever experienced this in their own births. Thank you, Cynthia! Hilary and Adrian, Westport CT (Birthing in CT Birthing Center)

When I became pregnant, I knew I wanted to do things differently. In Cynthia’s class I learnt far more than I ever expected. Cynthia helped me to express and release my fears – fears I didn’t even realize I had until the class began! Cynthia is so knowledgeable and insightful. Leaving her class I felt empowered. She helped me to believe that I could have the natural birth I’d always wanted. Remembering Cynthia’s guidance in labour, I was able to remain calm and tranquil, even when special circumstances (heavy meconium) meant we had to transfer from the birthing centre to the hospital just before delivery. Malakai was born naturally (sunny-side-up), weighing it at 8lbs 13oz on March 30th 2009. To my delight, Cynthia followed up with a phone call a week or so after our son was born and helped me to talk through and process the experience, which is a gift I will never forget. The greatest thing that Cynthia taught me is that it doesn’t matter how long or short your labour is, but that it is simply about allowing your body to do what it knows how to do naturally, in the time it needs to do it. I will be forever grateful that I took Cynthia’s class. – Karen Fryer, Newtown CT (Birthed in Danbury Birthing Center)

Cynthia, I want to tell you how grateful I am for having met you and taken your course. I couldn’t have had such a beautiful delivery had it not been for what you taught me. I knew going into labor that the chances of him being born on his due date were slim. However I awoke at 11:45 pm on Monday the 26th with my first surge and within an hour I knew this was the real deal and my baby was actually going to be born on his due date! I immediately had my husband put on my Rainbow Relaxation CD, which would play throughout the entire birth and keep me calm and breathing correctly. By 12:30 pm I was settled in at the birth center and had dilated to 9 cm within that past hour. At 12:45 my membranes ruptured and I got in the tub to push. Finally, at 2:04 pm on August 27th Jackson Duke LeMay arrived! I am so happy that I had the tools you provided to know how to birth him naturally. His birth really was perfect and better than I could have imagined! Thank you again for being such a huge part of our experience. We are forever grateful! Jessica LeMay (Birthed in CT Birthing Center)

Hi Cynthia!  Olivia is amazing and we are so in love with her, it is unbelievable.  The birth was an amazing experience and HypnoBirthing was absolutely a huge part of that. My labor began with castor oil ingested by way of chocolate frappe, then I fell asleep to my Rainbow CD.  When I woke up I was feeling “funny” and then later started feeling the surges in my back. Mike was tremendous, reminding me to breathe, to walk, repeating some of the wonderful messages from the affirmations…kept me in my zone. Betsy came just in the nick of time, relieved Mike, and looked right into my eyes with her calm voice and eased me back into my HypnoBirthing when the surges got really intense and we all knew that it was time to get to Danbury. I have to say that I was intensely focused and quiet on the car ride over. Got to the center, 9 cm dilated, and Olivia was born at 3:47 a.m. I felt so empowered and so in control of both of our destinies. Thank you so much for everything, all of the support and guidance. It was not easy, but never once did I feel hesitation or fear.  She was so alert and responsive when she was born and as tired as I was I felt so connected, not to mention invincible. Besides your HypnoBirthing course and your refresher class, which was a major confidence booster, I cannot stress enough how you helped BOTH of us to feel confident in the weeks before birth. Melissa Miele (Stamford CT, Birthed in CT Birthing Center)

Dear Cynthia, We want to convey our deepest gratitude to you for sharing your expert knowledge of natural childbirth through your HypnoBirthing course. Thanks to your loving guidance we were prepared and calm for the birth of our son and able to witness the unfettered power and beauty of birth. As a woman I have gained extraordinary confidence in myself and credit the act of birth as the epitome of my empowerment. Living with a certain form of ovarian cysts and Crohn’s disease had once made me believe that I would require interventions and rely indiscriminately on my obstetrician. Our son Kenz was born on December 6th after twenty hours of incredibly challenging back labor. I am certain I would have been pressured into interventions elsewhere. I was 4-5cm dilated when we arrived at the Birth Center and was 9-10cm within two hours. I credit advancing my labor to the breathing techniques learned in HypnoBirthing. I labored in the birth tub in the Center, stood and swayed my hips, and even had a few bites of food in between. It was exhausting and otherworldly. My son arrived calm, alert, and with a desire to nurse immediately. Birth has ultimately changed my life and I feel I can overcome any challenge that crosses my path. Motherhood would not be the same. Thank you for your love, sincerity, wisdom, and support.  Zina Aghdasi, Stamford CT (Birthed in CT Birthing Center in Danbury)

Cynthia, I have to tell you how thankful I am for taking your class and learning hypnobirthing– it was my savior during my birth and I really don’t know how I could have gotten through my experience without it!  That being said, I also want you to be able to have a positive story to share with your future couples, and for women to know that it is possible to have a natural birth even with an induction (which I was skeptical of prior)! Here’s my story…I went to the CT birthing center for my 39 week check-up.  Everything was fine until she checked my blood pressure. It was scary how high it was (170/115)!  The decision was to begin the induction process that morning.  At that point, I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect with an induction.  Thankfully, because of your class, we had prepared ourselves for having a hospital birth, so we knew what decisions we wanted to make ahead of time. At 9:30 Thursday morning, I was about 3 cm dilated, and I believe fully effaced, so they all were happy their induction process seemed to work.  As a side note, I had been listening to my music and doing my breathing throughout the entire process, which helped to keep me calm and relaxed that whole time.  That was when I was started on the Pitocin drip. I started to really feel the surges around 11:30 – 12ish, and I continued to listen to my music and do my breathing that we learned in your class.  From that point, I did everything from walking to sitting in a rocking chair, to sitting on the ball, and I finally ended up in the tub somewhere around 4:30. The surges were very intense and very close together, but thanks to my hypnobirthing, I was completely calm and able to keep my body relaxed as I breathed through each of the surges as they strengthened. In a little over an hour, I went from 6 to 10 cm and was ready to deliver our little girl! It’s amazing how your body tells you exactly what to do, as you said. All of a sudden I felt the urge to “push”!  At 7:33pm, after a little less than 2 hours later, our beautiful daughter was born. It was the most amazing experience of my life. Remembering the story you had told us in class, Kris took his shirt off and after that, she was content lying on his chest, and it was such an incredible bonding experience for him and Grace, and for me to see! I honestly can’t even begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all of the information you provide in your class, and for offering HypnoBirthing to women as a way to make the most out of their birthing experience. We felt completely in control of every decision we made every step of the way, and I know that the breathing and meditating techniques that we learned in your class definitely helped me control my body during each of the surges, which ultimately helped me control my labor. I was skeptical whether I could have a natural birth after being induced; but now I can’t share my story fast enough to let women know that it is possible to have a natural birth even with some of the most extenuating circumstances. Thank you again for having such an impact on our birth!  – Mia from Danbury (CT Birthing Center in Danbury)

The first time I spoke with Cynthia about her hypnobirthing course I knew she was the right fit for us. My husband and I took her class a month later and we were so thankful that we chose Hypnobirthing of CT. Cynthia immediately makes you feel relaxed and welcome. From day one you will know that she cares about each of her clients as individuals. I felt comfortable asking questions and Cynthia is a wealth of knowledge. She has all of the characteristics you would hope to find in a birthing teacher: passionate, supportive, friendly, smart, informative, and caring. Thanks to Cynthia, I had found the confidence I needed to believe in myself and my body. I left her course knowing I had all of the tools to make my dream of a natural birth a reality. In late February, the birth of my daughter was everything I had hoped it would be. And after only two hours I was fully dilated. I truly believe that this happened so quickly because of the techniques I learned from Cynthia’s course. As a result of the hypnobirthing, my increased self -confidence, and a supportive midwife and husband, I birthed a beautiful baby. I am forever grateful! – Jaime Hoffman (Birthed at the Danbury Birth Center)

My birth was amazing! I could not have imagined it going any better. My membranes released at about 12:30am when I heard a ‘pop’ sound. I was GBS positive, so we had to go to the midwives’ office to get some IV antibiotics right away. I went back home to labor. My surges were three minutes apart by 2:30 am and they continued that way throughout the night. I had my HypnoBirthing track playing on my iPod and I kept repeating “My body is made for this!”. We finally headed in to Danbury hospital at about 10am. At that point I was six centimeters. I was met by Cathy Gallagher and our wonderful doula, Judy Burke. I labored throughout the day, trying different things to be comfortable. I used my Hypnobirthing techniques to stay focused, I was very quiet and calm. By 4pm I had progressed to eight centimeters, and it was suggested that I try the smallest dose of pitocin to help progress, and to avoid the hospital’s time constraints. I agreed and things became more intense after that point, but I was still very much inside myself and kept calm. At about 7:30pm I started to push, and my beautiful baby was born at 9pm weighing exactly nine pounds. I am so grateful that I was supported throughout my pregnancy by so many wise, wonderful women – my classes with you, Cynthia, my midwives and my doula. Katie Fritz, Pawling NY (Birthed in Danbury Hospital)

Cynthia’s hynobirthing class was a joy to attend. The classes were full of valuable information that my husband and I found to be eye-opening and transformational in the realm of child birth. With our second baby we experienced a night and day difference from our first birth.  We felt prepared, calm and much more in tune with my body and experiencing how labor can be such a glorious event. I came from a place of tremendous fear from my first birth, and with my second an amazing transformation took place, resulting in my birthing peacefully and joyfully. Cynthia’s class is presented in a passionate, enjoyable manner.  She has been a wealth of knowledge to prepare us for the birth all women intended to have.  I wished I had taken her class for my first baby! – Alexandra McLaughlin (Birthed in Danbury birthing center)

Cynthia, I can truly say I had a HypnoBirthing experience. I arrived at the birth center at 7am, and two hours later I dilated to 10 cm. Just 2 hours later William was born. During the whole birthing process I felt relaxed and confident. I was extremely alert and aware of my surroundings and was able to converse with everyone between my surges. I would like to thank you for helping me release any existing fears I had about birthing. The classes I took with you gave me exactly what they were supposed to: a secure, safe and confident birthing experience. – Bojana Staley, Rye NY (Birthed at Danbury CT birth center)

Hi Cynthia! I just wanted to let you know that our daughter was born on July 29th. Her name is Veronica Trinity Raven Leigh and she was 6lbs 9ozs. In labor I kept visualizing my breath, as if it was its own entity, throughout each surge. By the time we got to the hospital the surges were on top of each other. There, I got in the tub and my doula poured water over me as I continued my breathing. I felt the urge to push while in the tub and did a few times but was in a bad position so I moved to the bed but stayed on all fours. The baby was born 20 minutes later and they passed her to me from between my legs. Then we spent two hours laying skin to skin and she was able to climb up my chest and start breastfeeding. Without the help of your class I do not think I would have been able to have my birth this way. I still can’t believe that I did it completely naturally and managed to stay focused the whole time and not get anxious at all. I still can’t believe I did it! Josh said the delivery room was quieter than he ever saw and that I did what I wanted the whole time despite what the nurses were asking me to do. I would recommend your class to everyone, and I do all the time as a matter of fact! Thanks for everything! Next up is the sleep class that you offer!!  Dena Leigh from White Plains, NY (Birthed at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY)

Cynthia, I wanted to let you know that Chris and I had a baby girl, Anoka, on July 18th. Thank you so much for all that you taught us not only about hypnobirthing but about everything else. Your class really helped us prepare for labor and post labor. Without your class I am not sure we would have ever made the transition to the Danbury Birthing Center, which was definitely the right decision for us. We didn’t quite have the birthing scenario we planned, as we just barely made it to the center, but the birth was perfect. You have no idea how much your class made a difference in Anoka’s birth and we really want to express our gratitude. We will definitely recommend hypnobirthing and your class to anyone we know who is expecting. – Mallika Nair (Stamford CT, Birthed in Danbury Birthing Center)

Cynthia, I am happy to announce our daughter Georgia Rose was born on Wednesday. She came into the world pink and very alert, and she breast fed soon after. I’m very proud of myself for staying so calm and not letting fear get the best of me. I was really able to let my body do what it needed to do. Thank you teaching us so much. Hypnobirthing and your classes have been such a blessing for all of us for both of our daughters’ births. – Sachi Porizkova, New Milford CT (Birthed at Danbury CT birth center)

Cynthia, I disappeared into my room last Saturday afternoon with mild irregular contractions around 3pm. I started to listen to the birthing affirmations while doing the breathing. My mother in law was with me (as you know, she’s a midwife). She checked me at 4:30 and I was completely effaced and 1 cm. Somewhere between 4:30 and 7pm I went from 1 to 8 cm. I was feeling the urge to push. I got in the car and Kym drove 85 and blew red lights. I really had to concentrate to not have the baby in the car. We got to the birthing center at 7:39 and Astrid was born at 7:42 after only 3 little pushes. It was the most amazing birth! I feel great and healing well. Astrid is very peaceful. Once again HypnoBirthing and your class has proved so incredibly effective for me. 🙂 – Sachi Porizkova, New Milford CT (Birthed at Danbury CT birth center)

Cynthia, your childbirth class at HypnoBirthing of CT was excellent! I wanted to let you know that Freya Elizabeth Hope Parsons arrived safe and sound on Sunday, January 2nd, 2011. Her arrival into this world was everything we had hoped (and visualized daily): calm, gentle and beautiful. I felt total trust in my body and in my baby girl’s ability to make her journey safely. It felt so primal and natural. During all this time Mike was using the light touch massage and telling me what great job I was doing. His reassurance and calmness was exactly what I needed. I knew that everything was fine and my baby girl was doing exactly what she needed too. Mike was kissing my forehead and telling me how amazing I was. After a further 20 minutes and six or seven more surges, during which I was able to keep contact with her head, Freya Elizabeth Hope arrived safely and calmly at 8.54am. She was placed straight on to my chest where she stayed until the cord stopped pulsing then Mike cut the cord (in between his tears) and took her from me while I moved onto the bed. I delivered the placenta naturally about 10 minutes later while Freya was skin on skin. Thank you, Cynthia, for giving me the confidence and skills to trust my body and my baby and allow me the birth I wanted. Tina Parsons (Birthed in CT Birthing Center)

Cynthia, We tried everything under the sun to get this baby out… We ended up at Danbury Hospital at 43 weeks with Cathy Parisi as our Midwife and Sylvie as our Doula. Labor was all natural and surges were VERY strong – Wow! What an experience! Luna ended up being born at 8:58pm that night and as soon as she came out, Ross passed out! LOL – docs rushed in and used smelling salts to wake him. Now, to back track a bit… A week before, my previous doctor at Greenwich said they would not release me to birth in Danbury, and tried to scare me because I was 42 weeks… My frame was too small, baby was too big, I am too old, my fluids were low, I would end up having a C-section…Unbelievable! I am sooo glad I found you and took your class. Thank you, Cynthia, for teaching and spreading the information you have! – Vanessa Cesareo, Greenwich CT (Birthed in Danbury Hospital)

I’m so excited to finally share our birth story with you!  After a stressful couple of weeks leading up to it, we ended up having the most beautiful, all-natural home birth, and it was more amazing than I ever could have imagined!  I listened to the Rainbow Relaxation CD on repeat and tried to breathe my way through the surges. I was able to reach down and pull our beautiful baby out with my own hands and bring him straight up to my chest. Westley Loudin Reid was born at 4:40am, after less than 5 hours of labor. This was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced, and I am so grateful to you for empowering me to make the decision to have the birth we wanted. Your class helped us find the courage to ask questions and challenge the “standard of care” when we knew it was not the best option for us.  You have truly transformed our lives for the better and I can’t thank you enough for everything! Marcie Reid (Home birth in Fairfield CT)

Cynthia’s hypnobirthing classes were recommended to me by a friend of mine when I was 8 weeks pregnant. Signing up for the course was the best birth preparation my husband and I could have undertaken. Each of the sessions were very informative and interesting. Cynthia was always fully prepared and very passionate about the many topics discussed. She always encouraged us to ask questions and to take control of our own circumstances while in labor. We welcomed our daughter in a calm and very relaxed atmosphere of a bedroom at a birth center. Magdalena Gorzkowicz (Birthed in Connecticut Childbirth and Women’s Center)

I feel blessed to have found Cynthia’s class which has given me the tools I need to believe in the natural wisdom of my body, rather then ceding control to others who claim to know best. Cynthia is extremely well-read and up-to-date on the latest thinking around pregnancy, birthing, prenatal care, etc. – she is a wonderful educator and true advocate for women who wish to experience a birthing experience that is truly magical. I cannot thank Cynthia enough for the gift she has given me and my family. The birth of our first child 6 years ago was very difficult – hospital drugs, prolonged labor, baby in ICU, difficulty latching, postpartum depression, etc. This time, with Cynthia’s help and guidance, we enjoyed a natural birthing process which was very empowering and extremely healing for me and my family. For that, I am forever grateful to Cynthia. Our son, Pranay, was born November 22 at 6:06am, morning of a full moon/blue moon. Seema Dasani, Wilton CT (Birthed at Danbury Birthing Center)

After taking Cynthia’s hypnobirthing course with my husband, I gave birth to my 9 lb. 1 oz. son in 7 hours with no complications. By the time my husband and I got to the birthing center I was fully dilated, and after about half an hour of pushing, my beautiful son was born. I think the invaluable thing hypnobirthing did for me was allow me to approach birthing my son with confidence, optimism, and even eagerness. We birthed our son in exactly the way we had hoped. Thanks, Cynthia! – Evelyn Fetridge, Brewster NY (Birthed in Danbury Birth Center)

I was so very impressed with Cynthia’s sincerity, big heart, excellent time management, reliable follow-up, easy-going communication, and perfect class presentation. She covered the topics in an organized manner ensuring the concerns and questions from the group were addressed (without rushing). It was a very satisfying experience overall. We also loved the materials she prepared for us (well-organized, color-coded, and nicely-bound). This is definitely the best thing we spent our time, effort,and money on while preparing for our baby. Cynthia’s class inspired and empowered us to have a birth we wanted to have. Taking her class was the best thing we did while waiting to meet our baby in person. It made us grow as parents before we even became them. Cynthia, you are an inspiration! We became much more empowered because of you.  Giedre Minkauskaite, Stamford CT (Birthed in Danbury birth center)

Cynthia Overgard is knowledgeable & helpful with HypnoBirthing as well as prenatal and parenting information. She is very caring and empathetic. Our hypnobirth was better then I could have imagined. It was empowering and solidified my belief that bringing a child into the world can be a magical and peaceful experience. Thank you, Cynthia, for helping us gain a clearer vision of how we wanted to bring our baby into our lives and the world. I wish every woman could have the same experience. – Marie-Alana LaChance, Waterbury CT (Birthed in Danbury CT birth center)

At first, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from HypnoBirthing. Now I can say, this turned out to be an excellent decision. Cynthia’s passion to inspire, prepare and empower us was extraordinary. I was also impressed with how well she was prepared for each session. We gained so much from each class. I can’t think of anything that wasn’t helpful for me. I was also impressed with Cynthia’s friendly manner and willingness to help us out in any way she could. I enjoyed all the sessions and felt I was more and more prepared and inspired after each class. It was an excellent experience. My husband and I still talk about how glad we are that we found you. In the end, I had a long birth, and I ended up needing Pitocin with intervals of antibiotic, but I had no epidural at all – not even a drop throughout the whole labor. I didn’t even consider it as an option. I kept telling myself, “I can do this.” When I finally pushed my baby out, it was a true moment of ecstasy. Henrik said I didn’t make a sound. If we hadn’t met you, I don’t know what my birth experience would have been like. I am sure it would have been completely different. Many thanks again for your inspiration and wonderful advice over our birth choices. Gina Hwang. White Plains, NY (Birthed in Danbury Hospital)

Hi Cynthia, Just wanted to let you know that on February 19th at 7:23 p.m. our little angel finally arrived. We named her Stella Ruth DeGregorio and are totally in love. I started having surges and my waters released at 6:30 a.m. I did my best to breathe through each surge, holding Joe’s hand. We went to the center at 4:30 and I walked the stairs and tried different positions until at 5 p.m. it was time to get into the tub. As soon as I got in the water I felt I needed to be on my hands and knees and the moment I did so baby flipped into position so that her back was to my front and my back labor blissfully stopped. Shortly after that I felt the need to push. It took an hour and a half but the moment she came out was the most incredible moment of my life. I held her skin to skin immediately while the midwives helped me deliver the placenta and allowed the cord to finish pulsing. She was nursing within minutes and very alert. My labor and birth was by far the most challenging and intense experience of my life but I am so happy with the way things turned out. I am so glad I learned about how normal and natural birth can be through your class as well as the breathing techniques to stay calm. I didn’t have any pain medication or IV’s and was back home twelve hours after delivering. Thank you for helping make birthing my baby the happy, loving experience I knew in my heart it could be. Alissa, Joe, and Stella DeGregorio, New Milford CT (Birthed in CT Birthing Center)

I gained so much from Cynthia’s knowledge and awareness, all relating to the things I consider important when it comes to birthing my baby. It was so refreshing to be around her. I loved her kindness, gentleness, and free-thinking manner. HypnoBirthing is amazing, I’ve already told all my pregnant friends about it. I loved this class, and only wish I had taken it earlier in my pregnancy to have more time to practice and research what we learned. – Michelle D’Ambrosio, Milford CT (Birthed in Danbury birthing center)

Here is our Greenwich-hospital birth story! Signing up for Cynthia’s HypnoBirthing class was one of the best decisions we ever made! Cynthia was so accommodating and her sessions are fun and packed with so much valuable information and knowledge!  At 38 weeks, we had a scare when we picked up my Mom at the airport. I had some cramping and strong bleeding. It was too strong to be just the “bloody show”. We called our OBGYN office and they told us to go to the hospital to make sure everything is okay. The doctor on call diagnosed an abrupted placenta. It was very frightening and within 20 minutes he mentioned the word c-section 3 times! Then the specialist said she can’t see any abruption so we decided to prepare for delivery as no one knew why I was bleeding so much. On Thursday morning I was given Pitocin to induce labor. I wanted everything all natural and without intervention but in the end I accepted the situation and our gut feeling said it was the right thing to do. Around 4pm the surges got strong. A squatting bar on the bed and my husband and our doula, Ashley, supported me. At 5:46pm our OBGYN came back from another delivery and our baby was already coming out!  At 5:48pm our healthy and happy baby, Hayleigh Sage, was delivered naturally at 8lbs. 4oz.!! She was immediately placed on my chest, skin-to-skin, and within 20 seconds she started breastfeeding on her own without any coaxing. Other than 2 minutes for them to weigh her, next to me, Hayleigh was on my chest for 12 hours straight! Oh yes, and immediately after birth, we asked to wait 20 minutes before they clamped the umbilical cord and then Erik got to cut it. In the end we could not have asked for a better birth and, yes, it is possible to have an all natural HypnoBirth even at Greenwich Hospital! We want to thank Cynthia once again for all her support and amazing classes which gave us the needed tools to have our dream birth! Franzi Herman (Birthed in Greenwich Hospital)

Cynthia, I just wanted to send you a huge THANK YOU!  I experienced a beautiful and what I believe to be an easier birth and I give the credit to the Hypnobirthing techniques I learned in your sessions.  Ike Axler arrived Thursday morning, January 5th at 7:36am!  I gave birth at Norwalk Hospital with the doctors from the Center for Women’s Care. I am extremely happy about my experience and their respect to give us the experience we desired. With each surge I was able to labor through, I gained more confidence. My surges were intense and without a break in between. Then my husband told me he loved me and how great I was doing. What seemed like minutes later I started pushing and 25 minutes later, Ike arrived into my arms. Thanks to Hypnobirthing and you, Cynthia, I delivered him naturally. Also thank you for opening up a door with access to strong women who believed in themselves and shared their positive stories.  Tara Axler, Norwalk, CT (Birthed in Norwalk Hospital)

Cynthia’s HypnoBirthing childbirth classes were engaging and fun, and she always honored where we were in our process. Cynthia’s passion, energy and devotion were inspiring and helped me to feel empowered to give birth completely naturally, and to trust in my body. Her class taught us not only about our minds and bodies, but also prepared us for what to expect at the hospital. She enabled us to make informed decisions in advance of the birth rather than feeling overwhelmed when the actual time came. Cynthia was always flexible and attentive to our needs. My birth was 3 hours from start to finish, and then we met our beautiful son. – Katherine Silvan, Wilton CT (Birthed Naturally in Stamford CT Hospital)

Cynthia’s HypnoBirthing childbirth class in Stamford was very effective at helping me to release my emotional anxiety and giving me the confidence I needed in order to choose a natural birth. Cynthia is very caring and well-informed,and went out of her way to support us by being very accessible in all ways. Even though we were concerned about birthing in a facility with a high C-section rate, our HypnoBirthing tools and information really taught us how to remain in control of events in the delivery room. We ended up with the birthing experience we wanted because we were so prepared. Because of this, Cynthia was among the first people we called from the hospital to share in our joy after naturally birthing our beautiful daughter. – Lindsey Defillipis, Pound Ridge NY (Birthed naturally at Stamford CT Hospital)

Cynthia, you have been on my mind every day the last few weeks as I have been trying to set aside some time to tell you about the birth of Baby Miles! Miles Lewis Geller was born at 12:33am on May 27th.  Labor was a 40 hour affair! We went to Greenwich Hospital around 4am on Thursday morning to find out that I was just 2 centimeters. We decided to return home to continue with the labor. It was about 10am and Noah he took charge reminding me of all the HypnoBirthing techniques we had worked on. We kept the Rainbow Relaxation CD on repeat on my iPhone all day and while Silvie helped to rub my back and feet, Noah coached me through the contractions, in between which I seemed to fall asleep sometimes! We returned to the hospital around 5pm Thursday evening- and I was SEVEN centimeters.  Both Noah and I began to cry! The staff at the hospital honored our wishes by leaving us completely alone to labor, except to check the baby’s heart rate every half hour. As the night went on, and I was told to report when I felt the urge to push. And by 12:33, Miles emerged healthy and strong! The nurses we worked with at the hospital said she couldn’t believe how quiet and calm I seemed. I look back on the event and feel so proud of myself and Noah for making the choice to experience this birth naturally. We were both so present and IN it.  It was amazing. I am so happy with how it all turned out. While I do feel lucky that it happened as it did, I also feel like I made it that way, and that’s an incredible feeling. Thank you again for your support and enthusiasm. I am so grateful for your childbirth class and the support you were able to provide that gave us the knowledge and the confidence to have a natural childbirth in Greenwich hospital! – Jill Geller, Port Chester NY (Birthed in Greenwich Hospital)

Cynthia was exactly the kind of HypnoBirthing childbirth instructor we were looking for when it came to childbirth education classes. We had already been sold on the Hypnobirthing approach from what we had read online and heard from friends. But when you take classes with Cynthia, you get much more than the Hypnobirthing curriculum. Cynthia has years of knowledge and research behind her, which she shares with her students along the way. From factoids, to tips, to surprising discoveries, my husband and I learned so much from her–and much of it was information we would not have found ourselves! Equally important, Cynthia’s emotional support and confidence-boosting helped strengthen us through certain challenging situations that we encountered along the way in our pregnancy and labor. I continue to highly recommend Cynthia to my friends, strangers, my hair dresser, anyone who dreams of having a natural birth!   Angelika Schlanger, Stamford CT (Birthed in Stamford Hospital)

I had a good experience with the Putnam Gynecology Group and had a very calm labor experience. I had a few friends who had C-sections with them and that made me a little nervous but it was not my personal experience. The birth plan and the education in your HypnoBirthing class was very helpful and gave me more confidence to handle any situation that could have occurred during my labor.  You  are a wonderful teacher and helped me to have an enjoyable and calm birth. My son is very calm and hardly ever cries unless he is very hungry and I do believe his birthing experience had something to do with that!  – Mia Wallack, Stamford CT (Birthed in Greenwich Hospital)

Cynthia, our birth was an amazing experience. I was so relaxed that I napped for 3 hours during my surges. The nurses were shocked when they observed strong surges on the monitor while I rested peacefully. One kept asking what my pain level was until I threw her out and ordered no one to enter the birthing room except the midwife. 🙂 The baby was birthed shortly after, in 2 hours. My natural birth left me energized and full of joy, as Leya nursed contently. Victor and I loved the entire process, it brought us closer. Thank you so much! – Emily Chen, Westport CT (Birthed in Norwalk CT hospital)

Cynthia was always on time, respectful, knowledgeable, encouraging, and positive. We will just miss this class so much!  Post-Birth Update: Cynthia! Since we spoke last I had baby boy Ezra Cooper! He was born completely naturally and pain free using all of the HypnoBirthing techniques I learned from your class! I had a wonderful experience with the midwives at Norwalk Hospital, and was smiling and laughing through my beautiful labor! Thank you so much for everything, Cynthia – Rhonda Trust (Fairfield CT, Birthed with Norwalk CT Midwives)

Cynthia, my birth did not go as originally planned. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at my 36 week appointment. All of a sudden my plans of a minimal to non-intervention birth went out the window in the interest of my and my baby’s health. They decided to induce me on February 28th (37 weeks and 1 day). Following the release of my membranes, the surges became far more intense, and since I was being induced, constant monitoring of the baby was required. With the breathing and visualization techniques (along with the Rainbow Relaxation hypnosis), I was able to focus that intensity in birthing my baby. After pushing for 1.5hours, Charlotte was born at 11:32pm. I really felt like I was an active participant the whole time, and when I think back on everything, I feel very proud and satisfied with how things went. Even with special circumstances, you can still have a perfect birth free of unnecessary interventions and medications. Even with the initial interventions, I never felt like I like I lost control of my birth. They placed her immediately on my chest, and we actually spent almost an hour bonding prior to them even checking her weight. Geoff and I were handed a difficult situation, and together along with HypnoBirthing we survived it. I truly believe that without your HypnoBirthing class, I would not have had the birth that I did.HypnoBirthing of Connecticut is truly a gift to this community! – Carrie Burr, Stratford CT (Birthed with the Midwives in Norwalk Hospital)

Cynthia is a great instructor. She is a very good speaker, organized, interesting and engaging. I appreciate her conversational approach, her anecdotes and her knowledge. She is obviously very connected with the subject matter and I feel like we gained so much from her insights. I would recommend Cynthia to any friends interested in natural, unmedicated childbirth. She is a great resource well beyond the classroom, and I feel very fortunate that we found her! – Ashleigh Radar, Darien CT (Birthed in Norwalk Hospital)

Hi Cynthia! Balaji and I welcomed our baby boy, Akshay Konark, on November 1st at 6:49am! I wanted to share my birth story with you because it was such a wonderful and positive birthing experience and it’s all thanks to you and your class! On October 31st, I woke up with more back pain than usual but I figured this was what the last couple of weeks would be like so I brushed it off. Around 11:15pm, I decided to go into child’s pose because I always found that that pose felt good during my pregnancy. As soon as I did, my membranes released. I was actually glad because I knew this was real labor! It got me into action mode instead of wondering whether or not it was time. I had made a birthing playlist and just listened to that the whole time in the car ride – I sang along while I could and did the slow breaths when the surges came. I found a spot on the wall to go to during each surge, leaned against the wall and did my slow breath while my husband used counter pressure on my lower back/hips. Sometimes I didn’t make it to that spot in time for the surge and I’d start to come out of my relaxed mode but my husband would help me back and remind me to do my breathing. He was amazingly supportive during my labor – he really kept me centered and relaxed throughout the whole experience. Over the next 4 hours while I was in labor, we used a birthing ball and a hot shower – both of those were AMAZING! and since it was the middle of the night and I was so calm and relaxed, I actually fell asleep in between surges while on the birthing ball. I was that relaxed! After the shower, it was almost 6am and I had started to feel the urge to push. The surges were pretty much constant at that point, so pushing felt so much better! Plus, I knew that meant that it was almost time to meet our baby! I pushed for about 30 minutes and at 6:49am, Akshay made his debut! Thank you so much, Cynthia, for all your help with everything. Your class really opened our eyes to the kind of happy, calm birth that was possible. Akshay’s birth was the most intensely happy moment of my life – one I will never forget and one I never want to forget! Thank you again – I couldn’t have done it without you or your class. Archana Venkataraman, in Stamford CT (Birthed with Midwives in Norwalk Hospital)

My wife and I took Cynthia’s HypnoBirthing course two years ago, and feel it is no exaggeration to say the positive effects are still being felt in our lives today. Cynthia has a truly rare and remarkable gift for conveying the techniques of HypnoBirthing, which proved so powerful and beneficial for us through both of our son’s births. Her impassioned, caring, fun approach made all the difference in helping us learn to apply this method to achieve a beautiful, peaceful birth. – Eric Daure, HypnoBirthing in Stamford CT

Hi Cynthia! I’m so sorry it took so long to get this to you but I can’t say how thankful I am that I stumbled upon Hypnobirthing of CT when I was pregnant!  I always wanted a birth with no pain meds but after speaking with you and taking your class, I was fully committed to having a natural childbirth.  Thanks to you, I was able to achieve just that on April 7th, when our son, Ryan James Brozek, came into the world! Once I started breathing, I went into my own little world.  It was amazing! All was going quite smoothly until I reached 6cm. At this point, Ryan decided that he wanted out and was really making me feel the urge to “breathe him down”.  I couldn’t control it and after a bit, the nurse told me if I wasn’t able to get it under control, I was going to have to get a c-section. That was all I needed to hear! After standing, holding onto Betsy’s shoulders and swaying my hips, I was finally able to get control of the urge. As soon as I did I went from 6 to 10 cms so quickly that my doctor actually came running back into the delivery room. Forty minutes later, Ryan James Brozek came into the world with his sweet little hand on his cheek.  Ryan was immediately put on my chest and it was the most amazing feeling!  They did wait, as we asked, for the cutting of the cord but to my dismay, I found out that they had actually clamped it off soon after Ryan was born.  However, all other requests were followed.  I never would have thought that I could have this type of birth, let alone in a hospital but it truly was an amazing experience and one I will never forget.  Later that morning, I was the talk of the floor with all the nurses coming in to tell me how impressed they were that I didn’t get any pain meds.  Definitely an unusual thing at Greenwich hospital! Thank you Cynthia for helping to make this experience the most incredible and emotional experience I have ever had! Our heartfelt thanks – Kelly, Gregg & Ryan Brozek in Stamford, CT (experienced HypnoBirthing in Greenwich Hospital)

Cynthia, I’m thrilled to tell you that on October 2, my daughter was born.  My birth story could not have gone better, and my husband and I have you to thank in large part for that. I had a completely natural birth–no epidural, no interventions. Before taking your HypnoBirthing class, I was scared of labor, couldn’t imagine going through it, and definitely never thought I could do it completely naturally. Throughout my pregnancy, I remained calm and relaxed because of what I learned and practiced from your class, and I realized I wasn’t scared anymore–I actually looked forward to labor! I went into labor around 1:50 am on October 2. Around 4 am I decided that it was time to go to the hospital; I was admitted at 4:30 am, and they told me I was 4 cm. By around 6 am, I was 8 or 9 cm. My membranes broke naturally soon after that, and my daughter was born at 7:11 am. My labor was only about 5 total hours. Throughout the surges I focused on my breathing and staying relaxed–at one point, I even verbally said out loud, “relax, relax, relax,” while focusing on a point on the wall, and listening to the HypnoBirthing CD.  Thank you again for all that you taught us and for helping to make this experience so amazing. I’m so grateful for you. – Lauren Sylling, Stratford CT (Birthed in St. Vincent’s)

Hi Cynthia!! I wanted to let you know about my amazing birth with my son Connor! He was born on Monday (10/6/14) and what an amazing experience it was! I know I couldn’t have done it without the hypnobirthing techniques that I learned in your class! I can’t thank you enough for all of the wonderful information I learned in your classes. It was sooooo amazing and unbelievable. Breathing him down through the contractions got me through the labor. I think that at some point I thought the laboring was going to get much worse, but it never did. It was very manageable. THANK YOU so much for everything, and I can’t wait for you to meet little Connor!! Lauren Ferris, Stratford CT (Birthed in St. Vincent’s)

Dear Cynthia, I wanted to tell you about our birth! It was so great! My due date was on August 28, and our baby Anastasiya arrived on 8/23. The morning of 23rd, I felt little weird. All day my belly was tight. Then around 7:00pm we took a walk with my mom and my sister. I continue feeling that my belly was getting tight from time to time. At 9 pm I felt first surges, I call Sarah, she said that every surge should be one minute. We start timing them…they were 40-50 seconds, but very frequent and strong. I used all our techniques, breathing and visualization. At 1:30 AM I realized that we had to go (as you said at one of our classes – there will be a point when you feel you just have to get to your birthing facility and to trust that instinct). So, we got to St. Vincent Birthing Center at 2:00. Sarah didn’t tell me how many centimeters I was dilated for, she just said that I am ready, and with the next surge I can just let it go and start pushing. So, our baby girl was born at 3:25, and I was pushing not even hour and a half. When she put her on my chest I just start laughing…I just couldn’t control my emotions. It was the best moment of all my life! Unforgettable! I cannot thank you enough for all your support and information! I just want to kiss her little cheeks all the time! Evgeniya Fedotava, Orange CT (Birthed in St. Vincent’s Birth Place)

We welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Azelie Carleen Skidd, on Tuesday, August 6th – a full twelve days after her guess date! As you can imagine, we were more than ready for her appearance, especially since the threat of induction loomed large. I was actually scheduled to be admitted to the hospital to begin the induction process at 6 pm the day she was born, but she beat us to it!  As it turned out, her birth was better than I had ever allowed myself to actually believe that it would be. I woke up Monday morning feeling decidedly “different,” but a visit with my midwife that morning indicated that my cervix was nowhere near ready to allow the passage of my baby. My husband and I returned home determined to do everything we could to start labor – I mean everything. Walking, squatting, climbing stairs, bouncing on my birth ball, getting acupuncture, eating incredibly spicy foods, etc. I kept using the breathing techniques to relax between surges and visualization to focus through them. Around 6, I told my husband to call the midwife, it was time to go. She met us in the lobby of the hospital at 7 am, hurried us upstairs to the birth center, and checked me – I was fully dilated! I was full of such awe and joy in that moment! My membranes released right then, I got in the tub, and after about thirty minutes of pushing, little Azelie was born. She weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz. I am still overcome with gratitude that I was able to have the birth I wanted, in spite of every indication that it was not going to happen. I thank you, Cynthia, for helping us learn to stay positive and work with our bodies to give life to our children. Everyone I speak with seems to be amazed at our birth story, but looking back, I realize that, as momentous as it was for us, it really isn’t that outlandish. It is what my body was created to do. One of my little nieces came to visit the baby and asked me if “it hurt,” and I was so happy to be able to tell her, with complete honesty, that it didn’t. I do not associate that event with pain at all – it was one of the most exhilarating and wonderful experiences of my life.  – Kelsey Skidd  (Birthed at The BirthPlace at St. Vincent’s)

Hi Cynthia!  I have been dying to message you and let you know that my birth went amazingly!! I am so grateful. I cannot thank you enough for your class. It was amazing. I believe it was your class that gave me the courage to have such a calm, relatively quick, and natural birth. I wish there were instructors like you all over the US. If there were, I think a lot of the horror stories surrounding birth would go away! Everyone deserves to know the things you told us: birth really can be a wonderful, peaceful experience. Thank you so much! – Katie Lloyd Martin, Derby CT (Birthed at Birth Place in St. Vincent’s)

Lincoln Patrick Callahan was born at the Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortland Manor, NY weighing 8.5 lbs and reaching 20″ long at 3:55pm on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012. He was born with the calmest disposition and has remained this way.  I…’m proud to say that I was able to follow my birth plan and did not need to use a single intervention. Much of the reason is all thanks to the Hypnobirthing Method. What I learned through the practice helped me remain calm and focused. The 1st surge started around 5am. The surges were initially 10 minutes apart and I wondered if it was true labor. So, I got out of bed and tried to do a few things around the house. But after an hour or so the surges drew closer together and were gaining in intensity. I birthed at home until 10:30 when the surges were consistently lasting for a minute and were coming every 5 minutes. At that point we got in the car and made the 45 minute drive to the hospital. When we arrived around 11:30am I quickly changed into my birthing gown and was assessed. I was already 5 cm dilated! I immediately got into the tub to continue my breathing and visualizing. Around 2:30 I was already at a 9! It was at this point that I started to lose my focus and began to wonder if I could really continue on. Clark, my midwife and the nurse were all very encouraging. I decided to get out of the tub and onto the bed where I tried a host of different birthing positions. After about 30 of the most intense minutes of my life Lincoln made his entrance, still in his amniotic sac! My water never broke! I was asked a few times at my 40 week check-up and again when I arrived at the hospital if I wanted them to break my water. Both times I said, “No! My body knows what to do.” While snuggling with my son, the midwife told us that being born in the sac, or “in the caul,” is so rare (only 1 in 80,000) and once meant in tribal communities that the child would grow up to be either psychic or very religious and they often appointed these babies to be the medicine men of their tribes. The staff was very impressed with how quickly Lincoln came into the world and how strong I was. I sang lullabies to Lincoln as I birthed the placenta and he looked up at me with the most loving, alert eyes. It was the most beautiful experience of my life. Sallie Chase, New Canaan CT (Birthed in Hudson Valley Hospital, NY)

Cynthia, I just wanted to say that I was truly overwhelmed by the first class. I wasn’t prepared for this utterly breathtaking new perspective. Rarely do I encounter a concept that overturns conventional wisdom so decidedly and with such force. And you present it in such a clear, well intentioned, passionate and honest manner. I’m honored to be taking this workshop. We are both excited by your energy and dedication, and of course the terrific content. Dana and I came out of that first class with a new sense of confidence. I think you mentioned that the doctor in that film was heroic. I wholeheartedly agree and I think you are heroic, too. What an amazing gift this is! I wish every pregnant woman could take your workshop. Thank you. – Berl Kaufman, Westchester NY (Email received by a Dad after the first class session)

My babies were born at 1:34 am and 1:50 am after about 34 hours of labor. Noah was 5 pounds 9 ounces and Liam was 6 pounds 3 ounces at birth. HypnoBirthing helped me achieve a vaginal birth of twins with no pain medication whatsoever, despite challenging conditions.  The day before my due date I developed high blood pressure that my doctor was worried about was early preeclampsia. The risk of preeclampsia is higher with twins than with single babies. I had been resisting the recommendation to induce, which for twins is recommended at or before the due date. The day after my due date, I agreed to stripping of the membranes and moving up the induction schedule since my blood pressure was still high. Around 4 PM on Wednesday, my membranes released for Baby A, about 20 minutes after the stripping the membranes procedure. .  (Baby B’s membranes remained intact until just before he was born.) This was not supposed to happen but did. So I went immediately to the hospital (Northern Westchester) because my doctor wanted to do follow up tests for the high blood pressure and keep me monitored for the same reason. My contractions weren’t very strong and around 7 am on Thursday morning I’d developed a slight fever that my doctor said was a sign of infection from the membranes releasing. I was then put on IV antibiotics for the remainder of the labor. This wasn’t what I’d hoped for! But, as the Hypnobirthing CD reminded me “I am prepared to meet whatever turn my birthing takes.” A few hours later, around 10 am, the contractions still weren’t very strong and I hadn’t dilated since the exam in his office the day before (2 cm both times). So I was put on Pitocin – level 4 – and remained on it for 13 hours. Things progressed slowly. I don’t think I could have gotten through the long labor without the Hypnobirthing technique which allowed me to relax for hours at a time. I listened to the Hypnobirthing CD over and over again. At times I think I briefly fell asleep as I had a strong association with it of sleep and relaxation, having listened to it before bed for several months before the birth. At 9 cm I wasn’t progressing and my doctor said my cervix was swollen and implied a c-section may be necessary. After 30 hours of labor it was disappointing to hear that, but at that point I just wanted the babies to be born and I knew that if I did need a c-section it wasn’t from lack of trying everything else!  He gave us another 1.5 hours, during which time I did more Hypnobirthing, and when he came back I thought there was no chance of a vaginal birth since I wasn’t feeling the urge to push as I’d been told I should. However, my cervix had softened enough, perhaps from the Hypnobirthing, and/or perhaps from more time passing. Anyway, to my great surprise, and I think to the great surprise of everyone in the room, my doctor was able to stretch my cervix with his fingers to 10 cm. He then told me to push and I did and the babies arrived at 1:34 am and 1:50 am on Friday morning. Horrah!  Thanks to you, Cynthia, for all your help during my pregnancy – the Hypnobirthing classes were excellent and being able to do Hypnobirthing for so much of the labor was incredibly helpful! I would recommend your class to anyone hoping to have a natural birth with as few medical interventions as possible.  — Catherine A., New Rochelle, NY (Birthed twins in Northern Westchester Hospital)

Cynthia, I wanted to share the wonderful news. I had a baby boy on May 3rd. Dan Morgan Black was born at 10:40pm in an all-natural water-birth at Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s Birthing Pavilion.  He was 7 lbs 11 oz and 20 inches long.  The staff, my doula and my doctor (and John of course) were all amazing and they honored my wishes 100% and were 100% supportive of my natural birthing choice. My surges started early – Friday night then all Saturday so Saturday night about 11pm we drove 45 minutes to the hospital only to find out I was only 1cm – Ugh, I couldn’t believe it.  But the good news was that hospital and nurses suggested I go home and wait it out. On Saturday I went to the hospital around 6:00 and by 7:00 I was in the tub, my doctor came shortly after and Dan was born at 10:40. My water broke in the tub right before the baby’s head crowned. John lifted the baby from the water, placed him on my chest and we waited as the cord pulsed out. John cut the cord and we all just stayed quiet and took in that very precious moment.  No drugs, no episotomies, no compromises. It was so amazing. I just wanted to share that with you and thank you again for your wonderful class, all your knowledge, insight and advice.  – Lee Morgan, Greenwich CT (Birthed in Hudson Valley Hospital)

Our experience at HypnoBirthing of CT was absolutely essential to this pregnancy. Not only were we able to meet and get to know other expectant couples with similar birth goals, we also found Cynthia’s teaching and class materials invaluable. I was 10 days overdue when I finally went into labor. I had mild contractions for about 24 hours. By early afternoon the next day, things began to intensify. The midwife checked my cervix and I was dilated to 3cm. Gary set up the birth tub and I got into the warm water. As soon as I was immersed, I felt as though I’d left the planet. My mind was completely consumed with the feelings in my body and I focused on imagining the ribbons unfurling, the cervix dilating. Just a few short hours later, at 8:58pm of October 22nd, our gorgeous son, Adrien Fox Faulkner, was born into the water. It was the most dramatic and life-changing moment in my life. I turned over from my hands and knees to hold him in my arms while my husband cried beside me. Our dreams had all come true. Thank you so very much for your support, for sharing your own story, and for your class. Moya Meckel (Home Birth in NYC)

Hi Cynthia! We had a wonderful hypnobirthing experience.  No intervention, no drugs, laboring at home.  Our son Cole Luca Vozza is a happy, healthy two week old now!!  My water broke at sunrise. I did my yoga poses, got nice back massages and hip squeezes and kept eating like a prize fighter.  I rolled around on my ball. We all laughed a lot…letting all those sphincters keep relaxing and dilating. Well THAT did something. Within 45 minutes I told Rocco to grab Debbie since I felt like pushing!! We left the car in ER bay at Hudson Valley Hospital running, made it to maternity to see my midwife Susan Schmidt standing in the hall with open arms. I could hear the tub filling for my planned for water delivery. But I would never make it inside–instead, Susan just had me lean next to the bed, nurses peeled my clothes off in seconds. Susan just laid some pads on the floor where she was kneeling. She looked up so sweetly with smile and said, “Kirstin, just open your legs.”  And with a mighty OM, I pushed once and Baby Luca Cole Vozza entered the world at 4:35 pm on Feb. 27.  Daddy announced it was a boy, we let the cord pulse a bit, Rocco and my daughter cut. I laughed as I took him into my arms and slid into bed. It was simply glorious. Kirsten Cole, Mahopac NY (Birthed in Hudson Valley Hospital with Susan Schmidt, CNM)

Cynthia, Thank you so much for your wonderful HypnoBirthing classes. The HypnoBirthing helped me a lot in the birthing room. Your instructions taught me how to stay focused which made the birth go very smoothly. I was relaxed and calm throughout the entire birth. Even my midwife said that I was a “model” HypnoBirthing mom. And now we have a beautiful, loveable SON! – Shira Tarantino, Stamford CT (Birthed in Phellps Hospital with Midwives from Full Circle Family Care)

Cynthia, we took your HypnoBirthing class 6 months ago, and I can honestly say that you’ve changed our lives forever. While the birth didn’t always go exactly as planned, you empowered us with the knowledge to fight for the experience that we wanted, every step of the way. You gave us a voice in the birthing process; in a country where we’re taught to blindly follow medical advice without question. Thank you for being brave enough to stand up to conventional ways, and for teaching us how to get our dignity back in an often demeaning and dehumanizing process. I’ll never forget what you’ve done for us. You’re a gift from the universe (and so are your homemade breads!). – Mike Ginicola, West Haven, CT