2nd Time Mom’s Healing HBAC Hypnobabies Water Birth
“Hypnobabies helped me so much with staying in a calm mindset and reframing it to a positive one when I felt out of control. It reminded me constantly that these sensations we’re normal and that I was safe. And that I just needed to trust in my body.”
Hypnobabies® – Natural Childbirth at its best!
My first girl (non-hypno-baby) was an attempted homebirth with an OP baby, I was in my birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor) for 36 hours, with INTENSE back pressure waves (Hypnobabies word for contractions) felt nowhere else, got to ten centimeters but she got stuck and I was eventually transferred to the hospital that ended up in C-section. It was very traumatic for me, as I was not expecting any of it and I had a horrible postpartum recovery. I was terrified of getting pregnant again. Once I did, I couldn’t find a truly supportive provider and landed on trying for a homebirth again. Hypnobabies helped me with those initial fears and I felt confident with finding a birth team who trusted in my abilities to birth my baby at home and gave me loads of confidence. (so, don’t give up on fighting for what you want, birth is not a medical emergency!)
On Aug 26th, I woke up by a pressure wave and didn’t think anything of it, because it was really mild and I was having the same sensations the night before and they had fizzled out. I went back to sleep but realized more pressure waves were continuing to wake me on and off, at this point I looked at the clock and it had been an hour since I noticed the first one. I thought it strange but went back to sleep because they were so manageable. Just before five I had gotten up to use the restroom and went to lay back down. I was starting to get anxious at the time passing because I had an 11:30 prenatal appointment that day for my 41 week visit to check on baby, and I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to drive to it, and my husband had to leave for work in just a couple of hours.
I laid there praying in bed asking the Lord to just reveal to me whether or not I was in my birthing time, because I didn’t want to ask my husband to stay home for nothing. Shortly after, I had a pressure wave that was a lot stronger, and I felt a quick jab down low in my uterus. I thought “man, that was really uncomfortable, there’s no way that was the baby, and last time my water broke, I felt and heard an audible pop in my back” I got up to go to the toilet to see if it was my water, and it gushed out like a hose! I noticed it had meconium in it slightly, and that worried me. So, I called my doula and told her what happened, and she advised me to call my midwife. I called my midwife and told her what was going on, and she informed me to go back to sleep if I could.
Well, I laid down and put on the “Your Birthing Time Begins” track (Hypnobabies reminder of all the tools to remain comfortable), I had a hard time focusing on it because it was too upbeat for me and I just wanted to move on to the other tracks but I finished it and then had to run to the restroom because I was starting to clear out. At this point, I knew there was no way I was going back to sleep, so I showered and was stressing about what track to listen to next because I wasn’t sure how long this birth was going to last.
Around 6 AM I wanted to put on my TENS unit because you’re supposed to use it as soon as possible, to release oxytocin. I knew I couldn’t do it myself so once my husband rolled over, I told him I was in my birthing time and my water had broken. He responded with “NOOO, are you serious??” I asked him why he was upset about it? And he said “I didn’t want your water to break already! And Ellie (our 18 month old) is going to be awake for the whole thing now” (My previous birth I was GBS positive, and my water had broken early too, and I ended up going passed the 24 hour mark and he wanted our daughter to sleep through most of the birth so he didn’t have to worry about taking care of her the whole time) he got up and put my tens unit on, and I started my birthing affirmations track. I knew that this track was going to be something I needed to replay to stay in a positive mindset and not let fear creep in since I was trying for another homebirth, and I didn’t want to start my hypnosis track (Easy First Stage which is Hypnobabies main birthing day track) until I really needed it, because I figured I was in for another long birth. Around 8 AM or so my 18-month-old daughter woke up, and my husband got her up and made her breakfast. He was determined to pull the weeds in our front yard because of having a birth team over at our house, he didn’t want them in the front yard, ha (they weren’t even bad) anyways, I let him go do that.
While I paced around the house, I had listened to birthing affirmations about two or three times, the pressure waves were still pretty manageable, during one I would press the boost button on my tens unit and sway back and forth with my eyes closed while the sun shined down through the window, it made an orange color behind my eyelids, and I would picture my hypno-anesthesia being directed through them down to my uterus, I felt calm between each wave knowing that I just had to get passed each one. I’d imagine about 30 minutes went by or so (I’m not sure cause time truly rushed by) I decided to switch to Easy First Stage because things we’re picking up, I was worried about whether or not I was in hypnosis or if the tracks we’re helping because I wasn’t able to shut completely off during my pressure waves, or lie down first then go to center.
Every time I would try to lie down and turn my light-switch off, I felt like I tuned more into the discomfort, and would start to panic, so I would quickly get on my hands and knees to stay grounded. I called my husband back inside and said I needed him during them, he washed his hands and said “okay, I’m going to go walk the dogs then do the dishes real quick” I snapped back at him in frustration and said WHO CARES ABOUT THE FREAKING DISHES!! he laughed and said, WOAH, I think that’s one of the signs, okay okay. I told my husband to start filling the birthing pool because I didn’t want to wear my tens unit anymore, it was starting to get annoying, and I just wanted to be in warm water. He said that the pool doesn’t take that long, and I should wait (the whole time he was thinking it would be another long birth as well) but regardless, he started quickly filling the pool. At this point, my waves were around two minutes apart lasting for about 50 seconds.
I kept waiting for them to get more intense and was thinking (I haven’t even hit the 5-1-1 rule, how is this possible?) I called my doula and told her what was happening and that I wanted to get into the birthing pool but I didn’t want it to be too soon. She informed to call my midwife, and I had told her that I haven’t gotten to 5-1-1 LOL! (My paperwork from my midwife stated that’s when I should call her, so I didn’t want to bother them in case they were in a prenatal appointment, hahaha) I called her anyway, and she said that I could get in the pool if I wanted and to call her back when my pressure waves started to pick up. During this whole call, I knew that they were already starting to get intense, but figured I still had a while to go.
I kept thinking about the toast I had made, and how I should eat it for energy, but I was nauseous and shaking already, and couldn’t stomach it. I remember thinking “nausea and shaking are transformation (Hypnobabies word for transition) … there’s no way.” It’s funny because when Kerry would say every hour would feel like 20 minutes, I’d get frustrated and think “whatever, this is taking forever.” (It wasn’t LOL) As my husband was filling the pool, I ended up on my hands and knees during a pressure wave, feeling a bit out of control, saying loudly PEEEEEACE (Hypnobabies word for instant physical comfort). To try and direct my hypno-anesthesia. I kept thinking to myself, it doesn’t seem like this is working, there’s so much discomfort.
My husband would notice me struggling and would come embrace me and gently speak to me encouragement, saying I need to focus on my bright orange hypno-anesthesia or tell me to relax, and just feeling him embrace me would calm me down more and I would slowly sink into the sensation and relax my body, especially after a wave I would go limp and loose waiting for the next one… I could feel them building on top of one another, and it seemed like every time I would tell myself “peace” Kerry would say “say Bubble of Peace” (Hypnobabies tool to keep negativity away) and I started getting frustrated, because I was trying to direct my hypno-anesthesia, and in my mind I’m like I DONT NEED MY BUBBLE OF PEACE! 😂 When in reality, it probably kept me from thinking negative thoughts, because it would direct me back to the positive affirmations that my baby and I were safe, and that the sensations I was feeling were normal, and not painful, just very uncomfortable, and intense.
Every time a pressure wave would start to build, I would tell myself, once you’ve hit the peak of the wave, it’ll subside, just get through this one. I started to feel very hot, and told my husband I need to wet my hair down (I had just curled it, thinking I was going to keep it that way, I did this with Ellie’s birth too and that always goes out the window) he told me to go into the kitchen because it was easier to wet my hair in that sink, so I did. And right when I got into the kitchen a VERY intense pressure wave came where I needed to bear down, I told him I need to call my doula. He said, Nah it’s too early. And I said no, it’s not. I need help. So, I texted her to come over, and she said she was waiting for her sitter. I started to panic a bit and my husband said it was fine, that gives us time in case it was too soon. I just looked at him thinking, “says you” haha this was around 8:45.
Anyway, he proceeded to want to wet my hair down, and when I walked to the sink, I had to stop and bear down again, during this pressure wave I started to have bowel movements, that I couldn’t stop. (gross I know but hey, you’re going to do it whether at home or in a hospital bed) this is just the beauty of a homebirth. (I’d much rather it happen at home with my husband anyways) he proceeded to clean me off and I said, I NEED TO GET IN THE POOL NOW and you need to call my midwife, he was like “I’m not done” and I said “OH WELL, call Sarah now!!” and ran to the bedroom and hopped in the pool.
As soon as I got in that tub I had that “ahhh” moment that Barbara Harper talks about with waterbirth being nature’s epidural. It didn’t take away the discomfort completely, but it was GREATLY reduced. And I felt immediate relief, the warm water was amazing. My 18-month-old was sitting in the living room in her stroller from when he walked the dogs, he left her to call Sarah and I could hear him on the phone telling her he thinks I was pushing (and apparently she could hear me) he came in and told me Sarah would be here in ten minutes, that was a relief. I was still bearing down with each birthing wave. What seemed like not much longer, my doula arrived. I was so happy to hear that. She immediately started applying counter pressure to my back during a wave, and that helped greatly as well as putting the warm water on my back and using a cold wet ice rag on my neck (I was still listening to my Easy First Stage track) and told my husband he needed to put on the Pushing Baby Out track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing), out loud.
I threw off my headphones and he struggled to find the track on my phone, I started to feel like I was losing control when the tracks weren’t playing. Once it started, I felt at peace again, even though it was hard to hear, I would catch things from it, like “you and your baby are safe” or “with every push you feel stretching. Your cervix is opening” which helped me so much to reframe my mindset with feeling the intense pushing sensations, that they weren’t painful, but truly a stretching. My midwife April had arrived, before Sarah. And I remember my husband whispering “April is here ” I immediately felt safer knowing that she was there and I could just work with my body now.
She was so encouraging telling me I was doing a great job and was very hands-off and let me work with my body. As each birthing wave increased, I would get nervous knowing it was going to be uncomfortable and that I’d have to keep pushing. But I would try and push those thoughts out of my mind and tell myself “I’ll be meeting my baby soon, I just have to finish the job” with the next push, I placed my hand down there because I knew it would encourage me to keep going if I could feel what was happening. They told me they could see her head, I was in disbelief, and so was my husband, (he somehow still thought we had a long time to go LOL) I felt the bulge and was so happy that I made it this far. After pushing, she would immediately get sucked back up and I started to feel discouraged.
My daughter still sitting alone in the other room could hear me and would cry a bit wanting to know what was going on. I kept wanting to say something about her but couldn’t open my mouth to talk. My midwife Sarah eventually arrived and kept her company which was nice. As I continued pushing there were times where I felt like I wasn’t in control, that it was too intense, but my husband would speak encouraging words to me and tell me Peace or Relax and I would instantly go limp and loose between birthing waves. I kept reminding myself to shut off between them. And when I started pushing again I heard Kerry in the background to say “ahhh” with each push, and to keep my jaw and hands relaxed, so I did. And that helped tremendously.
It started to get to the point where I knew that I had to stay relaxed and let my body just do what is needed in order to get this baby out. So, I would gently push between waves to try and ease her head out and stop myself from tearing. I just breathed during this time, trying to stay as relaxed as possible. I remember saying “is this normal that I feel like I’m making no progress?” And April assured me that it was my bodies way of stretching slowly so that I wouldn’t tear. That was encouraging though difficult because I really didn’t want to tear. Although during the pushing it felt very intense, looking back at the video I was able to remain calm and in control, sometimes not making much noise. (It’s amazing how you don’t realize you’re in hypnosis at the time) because a lot of the time I was worried it wasn’t working enough.
As I kept pushing, it got to the point where I knew her head was almost out, I could feel discomfort starting to arise and I told myself “pressure, pressure, pressure, it’s just stretching, you’re fine, you’re not going to tear, push past this and you’ll be done with the head, you’re not in pain, it’s just pressure and stretching” keeping my mind busy and changing my mindset helped. Her head eventually popped out and I felt immediate relief, I thought to myself, “now it’s just her body this is easy” well it wasn’t as easy as how some babies slide out. Birthing wave on top of birthing wave was happening, and again I started to worry, it felt like her body was stuck and I was going to be pushing the rest of her out for another hour.
My midwife was telling me “keep going, push push push” and even though I felt like I was running out of energy, I knew I needed to push past the discomfort, it was so close to being over. I continued to push fiercely because I wanted it done with, everything felt REALLY intense but I kept telling myself “it’s almost over, I’m almost done, just keep pushing, your baby will slide right out” then April said “okay she’s almost out” I had felt her grab something. Come to find out her hand was by her face and that’s why I was having trouble pushing her body out. Once that was out of the way I felt her slippery body come right out, and I hear April say “she’s here mama, grab your baby” or something along those lines.
I can’t tell you the joy I felt hearing those words. Being stuck in the pushing phase was one of my fears since I got nowhere with Elianna. I immediately started crying and was in disbelief that I got my HBAC. It was over and I knew all the work was done. My husband couldn’t believe how calm I was. He told me that if I wouldn’t have said a few things here and there about the discomfort that he wouldn’t have known I was pushing or was so far along. Hypnobabies helped me so much with staying in a calm mindset and reframing it to a positive one when I felt out of control. It reminded me constantly that these sensations we’re normal and that I was safe. And that I just needed to trust in my body.
This experience was an amazing one and I will be using it for all subsequent births. Having a steady stream of positive affirmations in my mind, kept all the negative ones out. Come to find out I truly did utilize my Bubble of Peace! And my birth felt quicker than I had imagined. From my water breaking at 5 AM to giving birth at 11:04 AM, my body progressed smoothly and it was truly over so fast. When I visualized this birth I always thought of it starting in the night and giving birth during the day. And that’s exactly what happened. Thank you, Kerry, for such a great program. Outside of Hypnobabies, I worked hard with keeping my baby in an optimal position and preparing not just my mind but my body as well, with weekly chiropractic Care, aquastretch, spinning babies, yoga, walking, and eating healthy. Not having an OP baby this time was a game-changer in and of itself, with no back pressure waves. Hypnobabies helped me to utilize all my self-care tools and remind me that my body was made to birth babies. I prayed for this HBAC for so long and the Lord heard my cries and answered them. It was such a beautiful, healing birth for me. 🧡