A wonderful VBAC Hypnobirthing Birth Story
Here is a wonderful positive hypnobirthing birth story from a mother having a vaginal birth after a caesarean birth (called a VBAC). So inspiring and lovely to hear a positive birth story. Do contact me if you'd like more - I have lots I'd be delighted to share with you from hypnobirthing mums. Hearing all about positive birth when we are pregnant is so important (and please stop people telling you their negative birth stories, it really doesn't help you prepare for your birth in a positive way).
"I think my birth is probably the most positive testament to hypnobirthing that there can be. I did a hypnobirthing course with you early last year and I have been meaning to send you my birth story as I think you might find it interesting or useful. I’m still in awe that I met my sweet son and got my VBAC on Tuesday. Here’s my (long) story!
As a bit of background, this was my second pregnancy following a traumatic emergency caesarean delivery previously and because of this I started your course with quite a lot of ‘baggage’ and fear. I desperately wanted to avoid another caesarean but because so many things had gone wrong during the my first birth and I was very much stuck in a pessimistic mindset – I had very little faith that things would go ‘my way’, however much I wished for it. My first birth had proved to me how little control you can have, how birth can be something that is ‘done’ to you.
I think I was an excellent candidate for hypnobirthing. On one hand you’d imagine the best person would be someone with no pre-conceptions, but as someone who was tied up by the sheer awfulness of her previous birth I can say that the course was revelatory. I had no idea what it would do for me and I didn’t imagine that it would guarantee me a VBAC or intervention-free delivery, but I did feel strongly that it would help me towards a more positive mindset, and that can only be a good thing. I left the course on the second day feeling very positive – I really did feel as if I could do it, that a vaginal delivery was not an impossible dream and that hypnobirthing had given me the tools to a) enjoy the rest of my pregnancy and not stress about the delivery, and b) have faith that I could take control of elements of my labour. This last point was no small deal as my first labour and birth had felt totally beyond my control. For next ten weeks of my pregnancy I continued listening to my hypnobirthing download mp3's (on my iphone), read and re-read the Hypnobirthing Book and the workbook, and really tried to understand the physical element of labour – what was going to happen to my body during it and how hypnobirthing/my breathing exercises and visualisations could help. I also talked to my doula and spoke to a pro-VBAC senior midwife at my hospital – in short I did all that I could to get everything in place.
After 40 weeks came and went, I was up and down emotionally—feeling great in the morning and then discouraged by the evening. At 40+3, I had cramping all night long and I woke up to my bloody show and plug. I took a long walk but no labor began. By Monday morning I was frustrated and convinced labor wasn’t coming. I went about my day and around noon I started having contractions. I ignored them. By 4 pm, they were getting stronger, but were a bit all over the place. I took a bath, a walk and ate to keep my energy up —they were still coming. Around 7 pm, I finally decided it was the real thing. I wanted to go to the hospital at 10 p.m. Unlike last time, I really wanted to get to the hospital in time to get settled and make a safe, relaxed space.
When the nurse checked me, I was still at 2 cm, but almost completely effaced. My contractions were coming every 2-4 minutes and were hard. After around 3 hours, I opted for an epidural. (With my first birth, I was DEAD-SET on no interventions and I had all these expectations—with this birth, I went in totally open-minded. All I wanted was this VBAC and I was open to whatever came along to help me get there.) As I laid there resting (with my husband snoring on in a chair), I continued to visualize my cervix opening like I had learned with the hypnobirthing classes. I’d watch a contraction on the monitor (I could still mildly feel them, too) and say “open, open, open.” By 7:30 am I was at a 9 cms.
My doula and my midwife worked in tandem to get me in good positions to move my baby down. We let my epidural wear off and my contractions were getting stronger and stronger. By 9 am, I was going through transition (og wow, so emotional at this point) and at 10:30am I started pushing. I could feel each contraction and I could feel him moving down. I pushed for an hour and a half. My husband, my doula and my midwife were my invaluable cheering squad, supporting me with positive words.
At 11:56 am I watched him birth from my body. I was sobbing with joy, as was my husband. It was pure, pure magic.
My mindset was one of, if not the most important pieces of my VBAC. I had my moments, but I believed—truly believed—I could do it. In my bedroom, I hung affirmations and pictures of flowers blooming and a baby birthing vaginally. I visualized him coming out. I visualized my cervix dilating. I visualized posting this story! I practiced mantras. I believed in my body to birth my baby.
My husband was a huge sceptic about hypnobirthing. But he was very supportive of my decision to do it but I think he felt it was probably a load of old mumbo jumbo and would involve him having to do something embarrassing whilst sitting cross-legged on a beanbag (not true of course). Once he understood the science and having seen me in labour he is now a complete convert and thinks everyone should do it. He says I was calm and seemed almost pain-free, even though I felt very far from that.
To my mind, hypnobirthing is a very personal thing and it works in different ways for different people. Perhaps some people do manage a pain-free delivery with hypnobirthing. That didn’t happen for me but what it did give me was an ability to control and understand what I was feeling in my body, and wow was it intense. It changed my understanding of the physiological and mental and emotional elements of birth and allowed me to see it as a positive process that I could be part of rather than subsumed by. Hypnobirthing gave me freedom and control and emotional peace on that day. That is a great testament to its power.
My advice to any pregnant woman would be to do hypnobirthing. It can’t guarantee you a pain-free, intervention-free birth or even a vaginal birth but it can give you a positive, euphoric and life-changing experience whatever the outcome and that is priceless."
Hearing other people positive birth stories is great during pregnancy. So here are some more resources for you where you can find more positive VBAC (and other types of birth too) birth stories, there is a great resource called 'Tell Me A Good Birth Story' http://www.tellmeagoodbirthstory.com/ and for more positive Hypnobirthing birth stories you can head to the Birth Story section of the KG Hypnobirthing website http://www.kghypnobirthing.com/birth-reports
I also have some other hypnobirthing birth reports here on my website too including this great Father Hypnobirthing Birth Report.
Do let me know if I can be of any more help to you in any way. Susan x