Dana’s Hypnobabies Home Birth after Cesarean (HBAC)

“My husband was such a great support. He held me and breathed with me, made me feel safe. I fell even more in love with him which I didn’t know was possible.”

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Our beautiful baby girl was born on Monday, July 8. While her birthing didn’t go exactly as I had visualized, I got my HBAC and my daughter was born right in my living room surrounded by love <3

My last birthing experience was traumatic. I was GBS+ (in my urine) and had PROM. I was induced 3 days before my guess date, which failed, and ended in an emergency cesarean. I now know that my baby was not ready to be born yet, she was not engaged and I believe that is why the induction failed. This time I knew I wanted it to be different, and I knew I wanted to have a home birth. I did my research and talked to all the professionals and decided that it was the safest choice for us.

But as my guess date (Hypnobabies word for due date) came and went, talks of inducing came about and I had a lot of anxiety that things were going to happen the same way as last time. I had a couple of good cries about it all, but I knew that dwelling was the worst thing I could do. I listened to Fear Clearing (Hypnobabies track to release fear) and Come Out Baby (Hypnobabies track to encourage birthing time (labor) to begin) daily, and I tried almost all of the wives tales for getting my birthing time started. I can’t say if any of them worked because I did too many at once lol, but at 41 weeks and 2 days, my baby decided it was time to come out and into my arms.

I began feeling some crampy waves (Hypnobabies word for contraction) Sunday morning at about 5:45. Having had a few false alarms, I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high but I knew right away that it was the real deal. We took our 3-year-old to her best friend’s birthday party and I noticed they were starting to get stronger and stronger as the day went on. We got home in the afternoon and I decided to time a few waves to see where we were at, and they were pretty consistently 10 minutes apart and lasting almost a minute.

The excitement started! I put on Your Birthing Time Begins (Hypnobabies reminder of all tools to remain comfortable) and then Birthing Day Affirmations. I had started making a sock monkey for the baby the day before and decided it *needed* to be done before she was born, so I kept listening to my Affirmations while I did that, pausing and breathing through my waves. I stayed in the center (Hypnobabies technique for being in hypnosis while being able to be up and moving) at this time, my waves were still mild enough that I didn’t feel I needed to turn my switch off.

Then I went back to my bed to lay down and listened to Deepening (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis), then Affirmations again while I timed some more waves. At around 6 pm my waves were 7-8 minutes apart. I called my best friend, Jessica, who was going to be a part of my birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor) and she came over around 8, while my husband was putting our 3-year-old to bed. I laid down on the couch and listened to Deepening again while I used my switch and rode through my waves.

By about 10:00 my waves were 4 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute, so we decided it was time to call our doula, Tracey. She arrived within an hour and started setting up the pool as soon as she arrived. By now I was having a really hard time maintaining control. She suggested I use the TENS machine, which did help for a while. I used it along with my finger drop (Hypnobabies tool for entering hypnosis), but I wasn’t able to remain motionless and quiet during my waves {editor’s note: Hypnobabies does not require being motionless or quiet}.

I was on my birthing ball, making low moans and swaying my hips through my waves. Then my headphones started bothering me. I took them off and started playing my tracks out loud, but unfortunately, I completely lost control at this point. My only regret from my birth experience was taking off my headphones! I thought I could manage for a little while without them, and then put them back on but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

My waves were getting stronger, fast. At this point, my waves were less than 3 minutes apart. Then I felt a POP and my water broke! That was such an interesting feeling! I didn’t feel it pop with my daughter because it broke in my sleep, I thought something was wrong for a minute but Tracey reassured me everything was fine. She suggested we try the shower because I wasn’t ready for the pool yet. So, we went into the shower and I hated it lol. But my waves were getting so strong and I felt pushy, I thought I was already in Transformation (Hypnobabies word for transition)! These crazy grunting sounds I never even knew I could make were coming out of my body. We decided it was time to call the midwife. I got out of the shower and went into the pool.

It took the midwife about an hour to arrive. My husband and Tracey were coaching me to breathe deeply through my waves but because I was feeling pushy I wasn’t able to. At this point, I wasn’t coping anymore. I was asking to go to the hospital for morphine. My support team was so wonderful, they knew that wasn’t what I really wanted. They never told me, no, but they also didn’t say yes. Tracey asked me to ride through a few more waves (I was mad at her for that lol). Our midwife, Sylvia, checked my cervix when she got there. I was only 5 cm!

That was the most disappointing news I had ever heard. I totally thought that feeling pushy meant it was time to push. So now I *really* wanted to go to the hospital, I really felt like I wasn’t able to do it. Sylvia suggested trying light, rapid breathing to take some of the pressure off while I finished dilating. That worked like a hot damn! I was able to regain control. I never did get back into hypnosis after I lost it, but I continued to play my tracks out loud in the background, and with this new breathing technique and hearing some (if only a few) of Kerry’s cues I wasn’t suffering anymore. I rested between waves, I still said “I can’t do this” more times than I wish, but I was starting to regain my confidence.

I’m not sure how long it took after that to fully dilate, but it wasn’t long. At some point our second midwife, Krista, arrived. When Sylvia said “ok you can start pushing now” I felt a huge wave of relief. Unfortunately, nobody remembered to put on Pushing Baby Out (Hypnobabies track just for pushing), but Easy First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing day track) was still on which was helpful. I had about 2 or 3 big pushes for each pushing wave. I don’t know how long I pushed for, it honestly felt like forever and like seconds all at once. The baby started crowning, and that gave me the encouragement I needed. 2 more big pushes and her head was out! One more push and the rest of her came out. Emilia Leigh was born at 4:54 am, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz.

My husband was such a great support. He held me and breathed with me, made me feel safe. I fell even more in love with him which I didn’t know was possible. I am so grateful for all the support I had from all the people who were there. Tracey’s support was invaluable. The two midwives that were there were my two favorites of the four. I liked all of them but I am so happy with how it worked out. My best friend being there was just so crazy cool, she was able to take some photos for us. I didn’t think we could get any closer as friends but turns out we could!

I regret that I wasn’t able to maintain my deep hypnosis. I do know that my practice and using it during my early birthing time made a huge difference. I had this vision of a calm, quiet birthing, which wasn’t quite how it happened but I got my HBAC and I cannot believe how powerful my body is. This birthing experience was so vastly different than my last experience. I truly could not have done it without all the wonderful people who supported me, and Hypnobabies. Even though once my active birthing time started I had lost my deep hypnosis, it was such a huge help getting me through my early birthing waves calmly and peacefully. My husband says he doesn’t want any more babies, but if we do decide to welcome another baby into our lives, I will choose Hypnobabies again. And again, and again <3

 

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