Hypno-Mom Bethany’s Successful Hypnobabies HBAC
“I asked my husband to turn on Pushing Baby Out (Hypnobabies track just for pushing). The warmth of the water was delicious!! I kneeled and leaned up against the edge of the pool and my husband continually poured warm water on my lower back.”
I got my HBAC!!! My hypno-baby Cecilia Ann arrived Sunday morning March 29th at 4:55 am after an incredibly fast (4 hours start to finish) and smooth home water birth. She was 7lbs 3oz, 20.5” long.
If you’re curious how Hypnobabies worked for me, here are the details:
A week before my birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor) occurred I switched from a hospital planned VBAC to a homebirth. The decision to make the switch precipitated from all the escalating uncertainty and risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, but that was not my only motivation. I used to dream of a home waterbirth long before my first birth ended in an emergency c-section. Before Hypnobabies I had resigned myself to that dream never becoming a reality. However, the curriculum gave me so much fact-based information and subsequently confidence in my ability to make informed decisions!! I felt very at peace after making the switch!
My birthing time started at 40w+4d at 1 am with a lower back ache and what seemed like the same Braxton-Hicks I’d been having every night for the past week. I tried going to sleep with my headphones playing the hypnosis track VBAC Birth Visualization (Hypnobabies special track for VBAC moms), but I couldn’t fall asleep. I got up to use the restroom and decided to switch to Your Birthing Time Begins (Hypnobabies reminder of all the tools and tracks for birthing) and Birthing Day Affirmations tracks to get some practice just in case it was the real thing.
At 2 am I woke up my husband to let him know it might be my birthing time as I was needing to breathe through my waves (Hypnobabies word for contractions). He timed my waves and gave me lower back pressure lying in bed together while I tried to get into my Easy Comfortable Childbirth hypnosis. After 15 minutes he let me know the waves were only 2 minutes apart and he was going to call the midwife and get the birthing tub set up. I was feeling the need for lower back heat, so I drew myself a bath and switched to Easy First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing time track). But my birthing time was escalating in intensity quickly and I realized I wasn’t able to fully relax in the bath nor was I in first stage anymore!
I got out of the bath, threw up my dinner, and then I returned to the bed and switched to Deepening Your Hypnosis (Hypnobabies special track to deepen level of hypnosis). I was worried I would struggle with the same unstoppable nausea & vomiting I had with my first birth but that was the end of it!! After a little longer on the bed I felt my body telling me I needed a new position and I went to sit on the toilet, leaning on my husband’s shoulder during waves. This was the most comfortable part of my birth where I felt like I was finally able to get into hypnosis and fully relax my whole body.
It’s only looking back now I realize, that was when I was in transformation (Hypnobabies word for transition)! The waves were still very intense, but they changed to feeling dulled at the edges. It was so peaceful getting to fully release and relax into my husband’s arms. I didn’t really want to leave that position but I also wanted to birth in the tub not on the toilet so I asked my birthing team to help me walk to the living room and get in the tub around 4 am and I asked my husband to turn on Pushing Baby Out (Hypnobabies track just for pushing). The warmth of the water was delicious!! I kneeled and leaned up against the edge of the pool and my husband continually poured warm water on my lower back.
The next hour went by quickly as my water broke and my body pushed my baby down. I only remember hearing snippets of the hypnosis track, mostly bringing to mind the affirmations I had been repeating to myself for months. At one point I remember hearing something like “you may make sounds like a karate sensei” and both my husband and I burst out laughing because I did use a low guttural “Ahhhh” sound during my waves for much of my birthing time.
I also remember asking my midwife halfway through pushing if this was still transformation or if I was pushing because it felt so different relaxing and letting my body push from my first birth when I was doing coached pushing. It was incredible and empowering feeling my body know exactly what to do! I felt the urge to more actively push along with my body when my skin started to stretch, and she was almost out. I did feel it sting a bit but not the ring of fire some describe and my body’s response to the sensation was curiosity and active relaxation rather than fear. Then in the course of a single wave I felt her head pop out and swiftly after her shoulders. I got to reach down and pull her up onto my chest myself, taking in her big eyes and tiny face.
My body gave me a few minutes reprieve to just cuddle her and then ten minutes later in two very tolerable waves out came my placenta. I spent the rest of the morning nursing and napping with my baby and husband in our own bed while my midwife and her helpers tidied everything up and did the laundry. I had a mild second-degree labial tear but otherwise my energy and appetite were high. My daughter had an Apgar score of 10 at birth and was calm & thriving which was such a delight to me after my first daughter’s struggles. The baby’s tests were done, and the midwives left minutes before my toddler woke up and we got to cuddle together as a family of 4.
Reflecting on this birth in comparison to my first I can say Hypnobabies definitely worked for me but in ways I didn’t expect. The program helped me change my perspective from craving control over my birth to trusting my body. I got the birth of dreams and the smoothest beginning to my daughter’s life, but I also got a narrative of positive affirmations that made unexpected changes less stressful and gave me confidence when communicating my wishes to my care providers and family. I think the speed of my birthing time took me by surprise and made it more difficult to get into hypnosis, but I never once felt out of control or overwhelmed.
When I think about using Hypnobabies for my next birth I want to do much more consistent practice of my light switch (Hypnobabies tool for entering hypnosis), release cue (Hypnobabies cue for entering hypnosis) & hypno-anesthesia because I think that would have made those elements more powerful and effective tools. I couldn’t be happier with how my birth went and I hope my story can encourage some of you as you prepare for your own births. Thank you for letting me share my experience with you!!