Alyssa’s Hypnobabies Grounded and Calm VBAC

Alyssa’s Hypnobabies Grounded and Calm VBAC

“I know that having listened to those Hypnobabies tracks so many times with my first birth and again this time for my VBAC, built a connection in my brain between the music and voice on the tracks and complete relaxation. When the tracks were playing, I felt grounded and calm and felt no fear or anxiety.”

I originally wasn’t going to submit my birth story for this birth because I had felt like I didn’t use Hypnobabies during it, but upon further reflection I’ve realized that my training was key to keeping relaxed, calm, and grounded through the entire experience, and I’m happy to share my story.

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Three years ago I completed Hypnobabies in preparation for my first daughter’s birth ( We’d hoped for a birth center waterbirth with no interventions, but she was a very stubborn footling breech baby and so we ended up having a scheduled c-section that was quite traumatic.

For this second birth, we knew we wanted a hospital VBAC waterbirth. I wanted to use Hypnobabies again but with a toddler running around I found it hard to find time to practice and listen to my tracks until I was on leave from work 3 weeks before my guess date (Hypnobabies term for due date). I found myself not feeling confident in being able to put my Hypnobabies training into practice this time around, but spent time visualizing my birth: waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) would start, far apart, at bedtime, so I could listen to my Deepening track (my favorite one, which never failed to put me into a deep state of hypnosis and relaxation) and get some rest before heading into the hospital.

New Family holding Newborn in tub after Hypnobabies Grounded and Calm VBACAt 39+2, waves did start at bedtime, but they were 2-3 minutes apart from the start! I didn’t have enough time between waves for my mind and body to switch off or go deeper, despite listening to that track in bed and trying my best. Eventually I got up to take a shower to see if they’d slow down (I was in denial that they were even real waves), and they were so strong that I had to lean over and breathe through them in the shower. I yelled for my husband to come in, but he was sleeping in our daughter’s room and couldn’t hear me (I hadn’t told him they had started). After about 10 minutes in the shower, I got out and ended up on the toilet. Eventually he heard me yelling and came in, and started running around packing up the bag, timing my waves, and calling our doula and midwife for advice. They told us it was probably “early labor” and that we should try to get some rest, but then I vomited, and the decision was made that I should get to a hospital since things were obviously progressing.

After a 4 am phone call to our neighbor to come look after our daughter, we left for the hospital. From this point onward I had an earbud in and was playing various hypnosis tracks for the entire remainder of my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor). Upon arrival at the hospital, I was found to be 5 cm dilated, so was admitted and immediately sat backwards on the toilet while my team started setting up the birth pool. After about 2 hours I was ready to get into the pool. I vomited again, after which I accepted some anti-nausea medication and a partial IV bag to rehydrate. After about 2.5 hours in various positions in the pool they checked me again and I was at 9 cm. I agreed that they should break my waters to keep things moving along and had about 30 minutes of transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition) and then 30 minutes of pushing before my beautiful daughter Elyse was born into the water. I caught her and lifted her to my chest and we got to cuddle her in the water for about 45 minutes before getting out and drying off. She was 8 lb 3 oz, with a full head of dark hair.

The entire experience was so healing after the trauma of my first birth. Everything went smoothly, and despite the experience being much more intense than I even expected the only times I felt ungrounded or anxious were the few times that my hypnosis tracks turned off or the earbuds stopped working. I know that having listened to those tracks so many times with my first birth and again this time built a connection in my brain between the music and voice on the tracks and complete relaxation. When the tracks were playing, I felt grounded and calm and felt no fear or anxiety. My body did exactly what it was supposed to do and the only time I ever vocalized negative sentiment was 3 minutes before Elly was born, when I said, “Why does anyone do this?!” (Everyone in the room laughed). Other than that, the entire experience was calm and focused, and I credit that to my Hypnobabies training. I so appreciate having this tool to use in birth and in life.