to the arrival of Alexyi Smith Muehllehner
(name finally chosen after a day of pondering the new offspring), May
14, 2012, 7lb.15oz, 19.5inches.
My natural VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) around lunchtime after
9-10 hours of labor and arrival to Jackson South Hospital, together
with my amazing husband and doula debra (birth assistant) helping me
along every second of the way! Big Sis Teah came to visit the next day
asking; "Mama is that the new baby?, let me see your belly, is it empty
Alexyi and Mom are very Happy and Whole, Hooooray!!!!
Having Debra as our Doula during the birth of my son was so important
in achieving the birthing experience I was dreaming of. After taking
the HypnoBirthing® course with Debra and asking her to be our
Doula, she kept communicating with me to make sure that everything was
going well with my pregnancy. The day I started labor, I labored at
home as much as I could while keeping her informed of the progress. On
that day, May 11th 2012, I started to feel some sporadic contractions
at 9 am. At that time I adventured myself to the gym as I had done
during my entire pregnancy, and afterwards I cleaned the house just in
case this was not a "fake labor" and I had to actually go to the
hospital and come back home with the little one, I wanted a clean
house. By the time I took my shower I realized that my contractions
were 20 minutes apart and that I had some "birth show." After that, I
drove to Lincoln road to have a nice lunch with my aunt and then headed
back home and made myself comfortable in the bathtub. Communicating
with Debra throughout this early labor continuing until my contractions
were 10 minutes apart. I stayed home practicing all of the relaxation
and breathing techniques that Debra had taught me in her classes.
Heading to the hospital, when the contractions were under 5 minutes
apart, I arrived and was dilated 7cm with 100% effacement. Debra met us
at the hospital and was by my side at all times, giving me care, love,
and support. I felt connected to Debra and to my husband throughout my
whole birth process. Debra's voice was very soothing and could easily
keep me focused and relaxed through the strongest surges. She prepared
different "stations," around the room, such as kneeling while holding a
birth ball and squatting on the toliet, which were tremendously
helpful. Also, she massaged my lower back continuously to ease the
discomfort during the strong surges providing me a great amount of
relief. With Debra by my side, my son Derin Efe Yazici was born 10
hours after arriving to the hospital on May 12, 2012, weighting 8.4lbs.
My birth experience was all natural and drug free just as I had wanted
it. I had a minimal tear, no episiotomy. My Doctor also, was very
supportive of me and my loved ones, including Debra. After birth, I
also took my encapsulated placenta capsules which were prepared by
Debra. These supported my quick recovery after birth and also increased
my milk supply. My husband and I know for a fact that having Debra as
our Doula made all this possible, and we are looking forward to repeat
this experience for our second child in the near future.
Thank you Debra for your love and care during my birth experience!
Natasha Yazici, Volcan and Derin Efe Yazici
Hello My Favorite Doula!!
I want to thank you for making the entire birth process for me so much
more memorable. You should be called an angel rather than a doula! I
put all of my trust and more importantly "faith" in you and I am sooooo
happy to have done so. From the time I first became pregnant with
Alvin, I literally started your prenatal yoga classes. I was 12 weeks
with Alvin, a few times with the twins and now again with Ariana. You
are not only part of my memories when I gave birth but during the
growth of my little ones in my belly. I wish I was a person that could
express myself easily in words to the impact all that had on me and
what you, Debra, represent to me. I love you and I am blessed that God
put you in my path. May you always be happy, healthy and holy,
Namaste my friend.
Little Ariana, baby two!
Blanca, Alex, Alvin and Ariana Acosta
one year ago today I gave birth
to my baby girl, Ariana. With you by my side, I put all of my
you. It’s like everyone else didn’t exist and all that was there
and me. If I was not so old I would have at least two more
to experience what I did with you once more. Debra words cannot express
blessed I felt to have you by my side. Had you not been there
“unusual” delivery I don’t know how I would have handled it. My
are my world. Nothing can compare or even come close to the love
feels for their children. Happy Birthday Ariana and thank you my
friend. You will always remain in my heart. God Bless
You. Blanca & Ariana
Birth Story #2...
This was my second birth experience with Debra as my doula, and just as
with the first, she and my husband helped me achieve exactly the kind
of birth I hoped for! Being my second child, it was much quicker,
however, just as powerful if not more. Late on a Wednesday night labor
progressed normally throughout the night. By 9am Thursday they were
quite strong but still manageable. All were front contractions, no back
labor like the first time. By 12pm Debra and I had been in touch and I
told her of my progress and told her I was still doing fine at home
with my husband. Because of the education & training during my
pregnancy, I was very calm, and handled all contractions with my deep
breathing and focus on the baby. I wasn't sure if I would know when to
go to the hospital, as the contractions were so different than with my
first labor/birth. I remember Debra told me, "Don't worry, your body
will tell you when it's time." And so it did. At about 12:45pm we
decided to go to the hospital. We all arrived and I was 8cm dilated and
80% effaced. Once settled in, Debra suggested to me that maybe a few
squats would help the baby's head break water. It took only one!!! Very
quickly thereafter I was ready to bear down, our wonderful Dr. Bitran
came in and our precious baby girl arrived. Only about an hour after
arriving baby Catalina was with us, in my arms. I was able to
labor medication free and it was the most powerful experience of my
life. Thanks Debra for the education, teachings and love, and
to Mt. Sinai's staff and OB/GYN practice Dr. Mauricio Bitran!! Thank
you! Denise and Danny Fernandez
D.O.B. March 18, 2010, Catalina Fernandez, little sister to Sebastian.
I want to thank you for all your words of wisdom throughout the months
I attended your classes. I put them into practice and I could not be
My birth story...
I began having contractions on Mon 11/30, maybe helped by me working
all day, some quality time with the hubby, and extreme nesting when I
got home (vacuumed, mopped, laundry, I couldn't control myself). I
wasn't sure that what I was feeling throughout the day were
contractions so I kept going. Then at 11:30pm my husband
started timing them, they were 7 min apart, soon after I lost
my birth/mucus plug. We used the techniques we learned in the partner
prenatal yoga class and we finally decided to head to the hospital at 4
am. I would have stayed home one more hour but I wanted to know how
far along I was. At this point my contractions were 4 min apart.
We got to the hospital when I was examined, I was 7 cm dilated
and 100% effaced and at station -1. We were shocked we did it
on our own and were both feeling great. 3 hours later I was 10 cm
(with no medications/epidural) and the baby at station +1. I
was asked to change positions to help the baby rotate down into the
pelvis for ~45 min. My water had not broken so we decided to allow the
doctor to break my water. I pushed for (-)1 hour (with no episiotomy)
and we finally got to meet our baby, Sophia!!!!!! It was an
incredible experience and I want to thank you for all your help along
Sophia was born Dec. 1, 2009 @ 9:26 am, 6 lbs. 10 oz. & was 18
She is perfect!!!
Sabrina, Greg and Sophia
My Birth Story
Miriam was born October
28, 2009 at 6 pm, exactly (8) days after her "estimated" due date...
Thanks to you, Debra, I survived this never ending waiting time, as
well as the pressure I felt in having to make the decision every day
whether to wait for her to arrive naturally in this world or give into
the pressure of being induced - which was enormous. It was worth
waiting, every second! I know you leave the decisions and choices to us
but being in classes with others and having the knowledge and support
My son Nicolas, 2 1/2, woke me up at 7 in the morning, the 28th of
October, when I felt a very light pulling in the abdomen, and could not
believe the contractions finally were there! After getting Nicolas to
school, I went for a long walk and saw Debra at noon who used some
acupressure points with me at yoga class. At that time, I still made a
joke of the acupressure being more uncomfortable than my early labor!
At 2 pm, feeding lunch to my son, I felt the contractions getting
stronger and I retired to concentrate on myself, the breathing and the
business of birthing. My husband came home from work at 3 pm, and we
called Debra who arrived at our house by 4 to continue the labor with
And here's where my birth story really gets short and simple! Arriving
at the hospital at 5 pm, I was 6 - 7 cm. dilated and 100% effaced. Being
baby number 2, just 45 minutes later, our little Miriam was born!
The cooperation between my husband, Debra, the nurses and my doctor was
just perfect, and I could not believe how wonderful every second of
this birth felt to me! Without any drugs, birthing can be such a
natural, simple and joyful experience. I wish this to every woman
on earth. Take the time to labor and embrace the patience of labor.
Keep on doing what you do Debra! Pregnant women need exactly the
knowledge, love and support you give us and allow us to give each other!
Thank you so much again for everything.
I want to thank you so much for supporting me throughout my pregnancy
and with my decision to have a home/water birth. Helping me figure it
out early on and encouraging me to pursue what I truly wanted. This
was the most perfect birth! It was pretty much exactly how I envisioned
it, natural and pain-free.
My Birth Story
At 8:22pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009 my water broke. I began having some
slight cramping about an hour later. I was very excited and anxious
because I knew that this was the beginning and that I would get to meet
my son soon. I called my midwife to let her know. She told me it would
probably be a long night so to try and get some rest. I figured that
these cramps were a part of the first signs of labor and didn't give
them much thought. I sat on my rocking chair and talked with my cousin
as my husband and her husband went to go get some groceries.
At 11pm I tried lying down to rest but was uncomfortable (it had
started getting uncomfortable to lie down a few days earlier) so I went
back to the rocking chair. I put on my HypnoBirthing CD and decided to
calm myself to see if there was some pattern to these. After practicing
the meditation, I realized that there indeed was a pattern and asked my
husband to start timing them. Well at first they were steady at two
minutes apart and then became inconsistent. I tried the birth ball, and
also tried leaning against the bed on the birth ball and began pacing
and walking back & forth which felt comfortable for me. Then as the
surges got closer together I told my husband to call the midwife again
and that this felt more active. I began taking a deep breath in,
filling the belly like a balloon and then humming out for the duration
of the surge. This helped.
what seemed like no time, I felt my tailbone move and my hips shifting
and within seconds after that felt a strong urge to push and bear down.
I told my husband to get on the phone with the midwife and tell her
that I felt like pushing. The midwife told Markus to tell me to blow
out like I was blowing out a candle. It was getting difficult so she
prepared Markus in case he had to deliver the baby. Markus got very
excited at the thought of "receiving our baby" and wrote down what he
needed to do.
She arrived fifteen minutes later. My husband was like superman with
the compressor and the hose getting the pool ready in no time. I got in
the pool and had Elias in about thirty minutes after getting in the
water. The water was amazing, I was instantly more relaxed. As soon as
I got in the water, I did the "J" breath and had to do a few of those.
I felt the baby's head and then it was just one more "J" breath and he
was out! He was brought right to my chest and remained there until it
was time to get out of the water. It was an amazing experience and I
don't remember any of it being painful. I was so happy to have a
natural and drug free birth.
Thanks to all of the preparation in the yoga classes and the education,
I was able to remain calm and relaxed. The classes not only
strengthened and prepared my body for the physical aspect of the birth,
but they also helped prepare me emotionally to believe in myself and
trust in having a natural and beautiful birth. Spiritually I was able
to go within myself and become one with my body to experience the birth
that I had visualized and envisioned for both my son and myself. During
the labor I felt as though we were working together, he gave me cues
and I followed so that we could finally meet and hold each other and
continue our bond outside the womb. Thank you and see you soon.
Elias Rigoberto Gomez Zisselsberger arrived June 24,
2009 at 3:57 a.m. weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces.
We are back in Kingston and I wanted to say 'THANK YOU!' again for
birth of Farley. It was wonderful having you with us and you helping me
an amazing experience. With you and Chris there, I felt perfectly safe
way. I am sooo happy I managed natural un-medicated childbirth and am
very grateful for the support, encouragement and information you gave
all along the way in the prenatal yoga and childbirth education
Now that I'm starting to join playgroups here in Kingston, I hear moms
moan about their birthing experiences and I think every time: for me it
was such a wonderful and amazing experience, which I think of only in
the most positive light - o.k., maybe not the internal examinations and
I already recommended you to a yoga mate: Leticia from Spain. She'll be
in Miami in a few months.
Little Farley is doing well. He's a wonderful little person, taking all
new experiences in stride. I find him generally quite uncomplicated and
easy going, which is great and makes my life easy!
Big Hug and all the best from Jamaica,
Marion, Chris & Baby Farley born Feb. 7, 2009
just wanted to let you know I had my baby! On Thursday I had
some “practice” contractions but I stayed home and took time listening
having small bites of food and hanging out with my husband who danced
into Friday! My water broke at around 6:00pm on Friday and shortly
contractions started coming stronger. I had time to take a shower and
headed to the hospital with my mom and sister. By the time we got
was in what seemed like active labor and the contractions were getting
more intense. As soon as I was admitted the nurses exclaimed "we
need to do a c-section" because the baby's heart rate dropped for a bit
during my contractions, both my husband and I were appalled but I took
and started breathing, at that point his heart rate stabilized and it
that way. My blood pressure was a bit elevated so they also used
a reason to mention c-section but I have had a history of hypertension
pre-pregnancy and I was not preeclamptic at any point during my
I was dilated about 5cm. An hour or so later when doctor walked in when
I was about 7cm. So I kept having contractions and things were
up on their own, so the doctor left to do a c-section and by the time
back I was at about
9cm. They called for pitocin even
though I was in active labor. At the height of my contractions I was
communicating my birth plan and said no, they responded by saying they
want me to hemmorage and they use pitocin for the uterus to
contract to get the
placenta out and to stop major bleeding. I said no, to wait for
to be born, the Dr. responded by saying I want to get home! He left the room and the nurse came back in
and said she was starting pitocin. I said that I did not consent to that
she said the Dr. just said I did, I told her she better go back out
check because I know for a fact I did not consent to that, within 5
min. I had
three contractions and I was ready to push. He checked, I was
within 3 pushes my baby was out. I used no epidural and I felt no
had a natural high, even my contractions were manageable with the
my delivery was absolutely amazing!! My husband was so proud & said
in a zone. My baby was born at 9:23pm
that night and I am so happy I did not get an epidural because I think
have robbed me of knowing I could do it. I really did not feel any pain
was not a traumatic experience it was an enlightening one! Thank you for all your guidance as we learned
so much from your classes and the childbirth workshop we attended.
baby is a few weeks old we will both be at your
postnatal w/baby class!
Chris & Mel - January/2012
January 30, 2009 -
Ruizs' Birth Story
Debra and the Girls,
Sorry I missed the class last Thursday, little did I know that I would
go into labor the next day. On Friday morning, Jan. 30th I woke up to
some light contractions. I got dressed to go to work and while at my
desk, the contractions began to be about 15 - 20 minutes apart. Around
11am, one of my coworkers found me on the floor of my office, on my
hands and knees doing my big hip circles and breathing. I sent a couple
of emails and got some work done, but I could not get comfortable in
the office chair. My husband was having some cell phone issues, so I
could not get a hold of him. I did not have my car that day so I got a
ride home and by 1:30 pm. My contractions were steady at 10 minutes
I made myself some lunch and got comfortable. I began using the ball
and other poses to get me thru the contractions. My sister-in-law was
very impressed with my demeanor and how I was breathing thru them. Tell
the girls...Breathing is so Key!!!! At 2:15 pm, I felt a strong
contraction, I got up and felt a the baby's head had dropped even
lower. I realized that my water broke. I got into a hot shower and
practiced our pose against the wall like when we give our massages to
each other in yoga class. It felt great to do that. I
called my Dr. and he said that even though the contractions were only
10 minutes apart, since the water broke, I should come to the hospital.
Here is where my story gets unique and a bit crazy. My husband can
panic easily and "loose it" so I was careful of what I was telling him
on the phone. I asked him to come home so we could go to the hospital.
He was conducting business on Fisher Island which meant he had to take
the ferry back and then beat traffic.
So now its 2:30 pm and my contractions were about 7 minutes apart. I
kept breathing thru each contraction and concentrating on the 3rd eye.
By 3:00 pm they were a steady 5 minutes apart. My husband was
getting frantic sitting in Miami traffic on a Friday afternoon. He went
into a panic and even got lost trying to find "short cuts" to make it
home. At 3:40 pm the contractions were starting to come every 3
minutes, ... steady. At 4 pm, I realized that with this traffic I
wasn't going to make it to the hospital with him.
So, I called 911, the paramedics and my husband
arrived at the same time. They inserted an IV & were convinced I
would give birth in the truck. They were really nice and were breathing
with me thru the contractions. They even told me that they were
impressed I was doing this all on my own. At this point, I wasn't going
to make it to Mt. Sinai and went for the closest hospital to my house -
South Miami. In the rig, I was 2 minutes apart, I could feel
the head so low. We arrived around
4:30 pm to the ER, got checked for 2 seconds and the nurse
said..."Take her straight upstairs!" The paramedics got me up to the
3rd floor and next thing I knew I was meeting another Dr. who would
deliver my baby (he was kind of good looking too). At that moment I
said, Great, get that epidural going! Everyone in the room laughed and
said, you are going to start pushing now...you are 10 centimeters
dilated! So I had 2 minutes to tell this Dr. my entire Birth Plan!
I began to push at 4:40 pm and my baby was out by 5:50 pm! Please
tell the girls how important those SQUATS are that we do! The
nurses had a name for me..."Strong Legs!" I do have to say that I felt
prepared. The best thing I did was the Yoga classes and walking.
I needed ALL MY ENERGY. The baby was placed on my chest immediately,
the umbilical cord pulsed out, husband cut the cord, then he was
cleaned up and back in my arms 15 minutes later. I kept him on my chest
for about 45 minutes more before he had to go to the nursery. I was in
my own room by 9:30 pm and the baby came back around 10 pm. We kept him
in our Room all night so that we could breast feed.
Debra, I did it! NO DRUGS! ALL NATURAL! YAY!!!
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services in Miami, Miami Beach,
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Plus - Yoga is a Registered School with the Yoga Alliance
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