Libby’s Healing, Confident VBAC Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“I could not be more thankful for Hypnobabies. During my pregnancy, it helped me heal from my past trauma and trust my body and my baby. It gave me confidence, patience, and excitement about bringing my baby into the world. During my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor), it gave me the tools to focus, breathe, and completely give in to my waves.”
Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis really does help you enjoy a much easier and more comfortable birthing! Use code hypno1528 for 15% off our Hypnobabies Home Study Courses.
Pregnancy & Birth #1:
With my first baby, I was determined to have an unmedicated birth. I was seeing a wonderful group of hospital midwives and we took a Bradley class in preparation. My pregnancy was healthy and smooth, but toward the end I started to get discouraged and sad that baby hadn’t arrived yet. At 10 days past my “guess date” (Hypnobabies term for due date) I agreed to an induction. I began Pitocin around 7 AM and immediately started feeling pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions). They slowly continued to intensify throughout the day. I did not handle the sensations very well, and I unfortunately fell into the fear-tension-pain cycle toward the afternoon.
By around 7 PM, I was 5 cm dilated and really struggling. I debated getting an epidural but decided to try an IV narcotic instead. It did help me finally relax, but it made my mind so foggy. I felt completely out of it. An hour later I was fully dilated, and my body began pushing involuntarily. However, within minutes my baby’s heart rate decelerated into the 60’s. My midwife tried lots of different things to help, but his heart rate remained very low and he wasn’t coming down through the birth canal quickly enough. The on-call OB came in and performed an episiotomy, then tried vacuum assistance. The vacuum failed 3 times and they had no other options. I was rushed into an emergency c-section under general anesthesia. My son spent 24 hours in NICU but was ultimately perfectly healthy, but it was a very traumatic experience for both me and my husband.
I spent a lot of the next two years processing and healing from my son’s birth. I knew immediately I wanted to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with any future babies. I did tons of research, hired a doula (who was a 2x VBAC mom herself!), and started looking for a new method to help me during my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor). I knew that even if my first baby had come out vaginally, it still would’ve been a traumatic birth, because I had felt scared, out of control, and overwhelmed. When I found Hypnobabies I knew it was exactly what I needed. I LOVED doing the course and listening to my tracks. It gave me so much peace and confidence about my next birth. It helped me learn to trust my body and my baby and to feel excited — not scared — about giving birth again. I stayed with the same hospital midwife group for this pregnancy and they were so supportive of my goals for this birth, including my plan to use Hypnobabies.
I had so much more peace and joy at the end of this pregnancy. Hypnobabies taught me that I didn’t need to “do” anything to make my baby come, which lifted so much weight off my shoulders. I finally understood that I just needed to relax and trust, and my body would do what it was made to do! I listened to the Fear Clearing track (Hypnobabies special track to release fear) almost every day for the last few weeks to address any lingering worries I had, which was especially helpful because COVID-19 was causing a lot of changes to be made at my hospital. Ultimately, I was able to have both my husband and my doula present, but I used Fear Clearing to help me mentally prepare for any possible changes that were outside of my control.
Five days after my “guess date”, I woke up around 6:30 AM with my 2-year-old and felt a small trickle. I honestly thought I had peed myself! 🤦♀️ I already had an appointment scheduled with the midwife that morning, so I asked her to do the swab for amniotic fluid, but I was pretty convinced it wasn’t my water. I declined a cervical check as I had at all my previous visits (much to the nurse’s constant confusion 😂) and we scheduled a few NST’s for the following week to monitor baby. My midwife said she would call me later when the lab had finished running the amniotic fluid test.
Shortly after I arrived home, she called — it was positive! We would be having a baby in the next day or two! 😯 She told me to go about business as usual and wait for my waves to begin, and if things hadn’t picked up by the 12-hour mark, they would like me to come in and talk about what to do next. So, my husband took my son for most of the day while I mentally and physically prepared. I just listened to what my body wanted to do: I ate a good lunch, I took a shower, I picked up the house a bit, all while listening to Birthing Day Affirmations. At noon I was beginning to feel some very mild waves. I laid down to take a nap and listened to Your Birthing Time Begins (Hypnobabies reminder of all the tools for birthing), Fear Clearing, and Deepening Your Hypnosis (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis). I was very deeply relaxed and semi-aware of the waves which were about 10-15 minutes apart.
I got up around 2 PM and felt like taking a walk. I listened to Easy First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing time track) and my waves moved to about 8 minutes apart, but still very comfortable. However, as soon as I got home, they spaced back out to 20 minutes. Feeling frustrated and stressed about the “deadline” when my midwives wanted me to come into the hospital, I texted my doula. She was so reassuring and reminded me that this was a healthy and normal way for my birthing time to happen and that I could stay home as long as I wanted to. She also suggested trying a new position, so I got down onto my hands and knees and did some pelvic rocking. My birthing waves immediately progressed to 2-3 minutes apart! 😮 They also began to intensify, though they were still quite manageable. I decided to take another shower, still listening to Easy First Stage.
By 5:30 PM, my mother-in-law had arrived to stay with my son. I ate a big dinner, pausing to sway through my waves. I was talking and laughing in between them! At that point I knew that I was still in my early birthing time, but I was beginning to feel antsy… I had a strong urge to get settled in my birthing place and be able to focus better. So, we headed over to the hospital. My favorite midwife was on-call that evening. 🥰 I was admitted and agreed to a saline lock, wireless monitoring, and a cervical check. I was 4 cm, 90% effaced. I decided to get in the shower and continue listening to Easy First Stage. I felt a little awkward and unsure of what I should be doing. But in the shower, a flip switched in my brain and I entered what I consider my active birthing time. After about half an hour, my body was telling me to get out. My doula threw a heated blanket over me and I spent some time swaying with my husband, squatting sometimes, then got down on hands and knees on the floor.
Around 9:30 PM, I was feeling tired and decided to lay down in bed. This surprisingly was my favorite part of my birthing time. My midwife asked to check me, and I was 5.5 cm. Pressure waves were very intense, but I was handling them SO well. I felt serene. I loosely held my husband’s hand on one side and my midwife’s on the other and just focused on being completely limp. I vocalized low and deep through each wave, and in between them I felt euphoric. I remember telling my midwife after a wave, “I feel soooo good.” It was so different from my first birthing time; my husband was amazed. Within 30 minutes, my body suddenly bore down during a wave and I made a deep grunting noise. My midwife asked if I had pushed and I told her I didn’t know… She asked if she could check me again and I was 8 cm! They began prepping both the tub and the delivery tools, but my body continued involuntarily bearing down during waves!
There was no time to wait for the tub to fill. A few minutes later my body pushed hard, and my midwife quickly confirmed that I was fully dilated. It had been less than an hour since I was 5 cm! We had had Easy First Stage playing out loud because I had pulled my headphones out during transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition) , but we completely forgot to switch to the Pushing Baby Out track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing). I got onto hands and knees and pushing felt amazing. Transformation had been very intense, but I didn’t feel any discomfort at all during pushing waves. However, soon after I began pushing, my daughter’s heart rate dropped, just like my son’s had. I had told my doula a few weeks ago that this would have been my worst nightmare — my first birth experience repeating itself — but in the moment I felt calm. Hypnobabies had prepared me so completely to trust that this birth was a new, different story.
The room quickly became chaotic and I was put on oxygen and moved into different positions. My water bag was bulging (I think I had just had a small leak earlier in the day) and my midwife asked my permission to release it. As soon as she did, my baby descended from -1 station to +2!!! She was still in distress, so the on-call OB once again came in to assist. She quickly drained my bladder to allow more room for baby to come down and then asked if she could try the vacuum. I agreed and continued pushing with my doula supporting my back. The OB only had to use the vacuum once, and, in the most intense moment of my life, my daughter was BORN. 😭❤️
She had a very tight nuchal cord that had caused her heart rate issues and she was very pale, so they had to whisk her across the room to help her. But I felt no fear, I knew she was in capable hands. I felt delirious joy and relief. My husband was at my side crying “You did it! You did it!” And I just laid back and cried happy tears saying, “I can’t believe that just happened.” My placenta was birthed quickly and easily. I had a second-degree tear from the urgency of her birth, but it was repaired in what felt like no time. My daughter had to be monitored for about 10 minutes as her O2 was very slow to come up, but she didn’t have to go to NICU. They brought her to me, and we breastfed immediately, skin to skin, for about an hour. 🥰
I could not be more thankful for Hypnobabies. During my pregnancy, it helped me heal from my past trauma and trust my body and my baby. It gave me confidence, patience, and excitement about bringing my baby into the world. During my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor), it gave me the tools to focus, breathe, and completely give in to my waves. It showed me how to let me body do what it was created to do. It helped me feel peace during a chaotic situation at the end. When I reflect on this birth, I feel so joyful — not because everything went perfectly smoothly, but because I felt empowered, capable, respected, and very well cared for by my support team.
For mamas who are waiting to meet their babies, especially my fellow VBAC moms: take heart! Your body is beautifully made and knows exactly what to do. Surround yourself with people who will care for you and believe in you. Be patient and joyful as much as you can. You can do this. ❤️❤️❤️
Here is another great VBAC story!