Lisa Loved Her Hypnobabies Hospital VBAC
“Baby came out with her waters in a splash on the bed! I pulled the cord from around her shoulders and held her close to my belly and said, “you’re so wee!” She had the cutest, tiniest face and was awake and alert.”
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I had a wonderful birth this April using Hypnobabies, this was a hospital 2VBAC and I can say it was by far my easiest, most comfortable, and calmest birth yet. This birth was very healing and empowering since the first in hospital was unexpected and traumatic.
My first birth was a C-section done quickly and unexpectedly for my preemie, second birth was a successful VBAC in water using hypnobirthing techniques, with midwives attending, and this third birth was in hospital with minimal staff and no interventions.
My sister used Hypnobabies for her two births and loved the experience, so I was excited to start the program. I started training around 28 weeks, practicing every day and listening to the tracks and affirmations. Having a schedule to follow and time each day to dedicate to practice really worked for me, also having the weekly tasks for birth partners helped keep my husband involved.
My birthing waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) started in the early morning, I had been having tightening sensations the whole previous week, but these were more intense and rhythmic, so I knew it was time. I lay by myself on the couch and listened to Your Birthing Times Begins (reminder of all the tools for birthing) and Birthing Day Affirmations, also Deepening Your Hypnosis (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis), Fear Clearing (Hypnobabies track to release fear) and Special Safe Space. I used the finger drop technique to turn my light switch off for every wave and imagined the waves as a blood pressure cuff tightening. I can say I was very comfortable during this time and didn’t need to vocalize. This early work really set the stage for keeping calm the rest of birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor).
The waves let up after 4 or 5 hours, enough I could say goodbye to my older kids going to school, and let my husband know today was the day. I got a short nap in after breakfast, then waves started again mid-morning. By this time, I had started listening to the Easy First Stage track (Hypnobabies main birthing day track), love that one. I used the birth ball to bounce on, turned my light switch to center (technique for being in hypnosis with ability to walk and talk), and vocalized occasionally, using my Peace cue (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort).
Eventually I moved back to my bedroom and the waves let up enough to let me nap a bit more. When I woke the waves were more intense and closer together and I was having to breath and use the Peace cue more. I also started to feel slightly nauseous, which made me think we were closing in on transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition). I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t seem to need to move as much or vocalize to work through each wave, like I had with my second birth. I told husband we should think about transferring to hospital to have time to settle in. I was still calm and using my Peace cue quietly and breathing out the waves. I felt happy and ready to go.
The car ride was fine, I was on all fours in the back seat, listening to Easy First Stage with ear buds in. Once at the hospital we walked to maternity, with waves coming every 3-4 minutes. The nurse assigned to us was amazing and she immediately reviewed our birth wish list with us, which requested zero intervention and minimal staff around for the birth. The attending doctor came in to meet us, who was also very supportive and happy to let me do my work. During a wave I would vocalize Peace while husband squeezed my hips, then calmly resume conversation with nurse and doctor. I had one ear bud in always and would stop it to communicate but otherwise Easy First Stage was playing constantly. The nurse took one doppler listen to baby’s heart rate then left us.
We filled the tub and kept the bathroom lights off. Water gave relief right away and seemed to slow things down, in hindsight I was likely going through transformation because I felt a bit queasy sitting in the tub. Waves quickly got more intense then and I focused on my cue words to keep steady. My husband was a great hypno-partner, he had a towel around his neck he had me hold on to and pull during waves and repeated the Relax cue every single wave. I would feel my muscles instantly release a tiny bit. Some of the waves were so intense I couldn’t say Peace anymore so had my husband say it out loud, this still worked to calm and focus the comfort.
Was not long in the tub before I felt the pushing sensations, and knew baby was coming fast! The pushing feeling was familiar, but the intensity felt greater than previous birth and my body just knew what to do. My doula who had literally just made it to hospital to meet us noticed we didn’t have enough water in the tub for safe birthing and softly suggested I consider moving to the bed. I was still calm and clear headed enough to process and understand what she was saying and literally leapt out of the water and hopped to the bed, while supporting baby’s bulging head (or waters not sure which).
By this point the nurse had come in to take another heart rate and heard me grunting and rushed to get the attending doctor. I knew I wanted to be on my hands and knees to birth and catch baby, in the frantic rush I registered my husband was trying to play the Pushing Baby Out track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing), but I still had Easy First Stage playing in one ear. I ripped out the ear bud and threw it away not wanting to hear two different tracks going. I did my best to slow down the pushing waves by using Ahhh sounds, but wow those waves were powerful. It only took two or three good ones before Baby’s head crowned and popped out; I do remember someone suggesting I keep pushing but I just said NO and waited for the next wave to birth the body. Baby came out with her waters in a splash on the bed! I pulled the cord from around her shoulders and held her close to my belly and said, “you’re so wee!” She had the cutest, tiniest face and was awake and alert. She was a bit gurgly, having come through the birth canal so quickly there wasn’t a lot of time to squeeze all the liquid from her lungs. The staff just let me hold her and rest on the bed, I had her pressed to my front so tightly no one knew the gender till I announced it.
I birthed the placenta not long after without intervention, no active management from the staff I just let my body do it. The whole time I held baby, and no one tried to touch or fiddle with her. This was one of my wishes and I’m so grateful the staff held to it. I did have a mild hemorrhage that took a little while to finish but no complications otherwise. I had a small repair done on one labia that ironically was from a previous birth that just re-opened (I used the Relaxation music and Release and Relax cues during that procedure). Otherwise, baby and I were healthy and calm. We told the staff we would be going home early, no overnight for us. We were home late that night and were able to introduce baby to her two older brothers and Grandmas, and we got to sleep in our own bed.
I loved this birth and am so glad I put in the effort to prepare for it. I know for myself birth feels like its 80% mental 20% physical, and I had a list of techniques and therapies I was using to have a healthy, calm pregnancy and intervention-free birth. Hypnobabies was lovely to have every day and compared to hypnobirthing it just took it to the next level. Thanks everyone at Hypnobabies!