Just like with my previous two babies my membranes ruptured in bed at night. It was 1.30am. The baby was wriggling around a lot, and, as I had been for weeks, I was experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks. At our weekly obstetrician appointment 2 days earlier during our scan our OB had told us the baby was well engaged and he expected me to be in labour within 48 hours, he even offered an internal to check dilation, which I refused! (I don’t need to know “progress” It’ll happen when it happens!).
My OB was very pro-VBAC (we had found him for this reason) and he had me bouncing on a fit ball for weeks to get baby into a good position. My last baby was breech and when I went into labour 5 weeks early I was rail-roaded into a C-section. My husband and I were determined that things would be very different this time, and so along with enrolling in the hypnobubs course, baby positioning had been a massive focus throughout my pregnancy. (She was breech too until around 32 weeks). I even had multiple copies of the hypnobirthing optimal baby position graphic stuck around my house and I would read it out loud to my baby and visualize her head down all the time, although my OB had also agreed to trial a breech VBAC if it came to that.
When I felt that pop of my membranes rupturing I leapt out of bed so fast, waking my husband – its time yah!! I jumped into the shower while my husband rang the hospital. We reminded them that we were VBAC and hypnobirthing and requested they read our birth preferences, which were already on my file. My bags had been packed for weeks, with all my hypnobubs resources in a file ready to go. So we were on our way to the hospital really fast. In the car on the way we listened to my favourite band and timed surges (6mins apart already)
I felt so ready to birth my baby and was really excited with adrenalin and oxytocin just flooding through my body I felt great.
We arrived at the hospital at 2 am and met our midwife. She knew exactly what we wanted and was happy to just leave us to it after our initial trace where I had to lie in bed - this was seriously so uncomfortable and made my surges super intense I couldn’t wait to get up and move around. I had no cannula, no VEs and intermittent fetal monitoring. I set up our essential oils, placed my birthing affirmations on the walls and got some music playing and for the next 2 hours I just cruised around the room, chatting to my husband, picking songs I liked on my mp3 player and leaning over the bed during surges (and regularly sitting on the toilet to change mat pads as I was still losing so much fluid!) The midwife had bought in a fit ball but as my baby’s head was already so low I found sitting really uncomfortable too. My husband had the birth partners cheat sheet on hand at all times and he was just so perfect, doing light touch massage and holding heat packs on my lower back for comfort while reading the relaxation prompts on the sheet.
Every time the midwife popped in I would ask for my OB, she was adamant doctors don’t get called before 6 am. I had to convince her he would want to be there (he is amazingly supportive) and that my first child was born in 5 hours. Eventually she agreed to call and of course, he came straight in. Things were starting to ramp up at this point and I had a couple of very strong pushy surges, and such a gush of fluid that my clothes got soaked. So it was back in the shower again then. The warm water felt absolutely amazing on my belly and lower back but I knew I didn’t want to birth my baby in the shower so I hopped out again and redressed. It was now 4.30am. My OB came into the room to let me know he had arrived and we had a laugh about how bang on he was with his prediction of my labour. He rubbed my back and said he wanted to see me get into good active labour now but then left us to it.
I knew things were progressing pretty fast anyway so I asked my husband to help me up onto the bed and I got into the position I would stay in for the next 2 hours (hands and knees). The head of the bed was raised right up and I had a pile of pillows to lean on. I asked my husband to put on the 'Prompts for Birthing' Hypnobirthing Australia track (it was go time!) and we listened to this, some relaxation songs and the 'Affirmations for beautiful birthing' track on repeat for the rest of my labour. Things got pretty intense as I breathed hard through very downward pushing surges, I wasn’t getting much of a break, but between surges I would lean into the pillows, read my affirmations and smile at my husband (I couldn’t stop smiling through my whole labour), and when I had a surge I would prop myself up on my hands so I was more upright and breath my baby down while rotating my hips and working on my pelvis opening. After about an hour and half of this, I told my husband I was tired and I tried to lie down on the bed - which of course felt horrible and I got straight back up again! Then I got really hot, threw off the cardigan I was wearing and threw up on the floor (hurrah transition!!). I had this flood of happiness then and a break in my surges. I felt really alert, I ate a barley sugar, drank some apple juice and just nodded at my husband and I think I said something like - we can do this!
Then it was time to bear down!! I made the loudest primal noises through the first few expulsion reflexes I will never forget that sound, which bought the midwife and OB back into the room, I remember saying to my husband – baby’s coming now!! I managed to regain control and breath quietly through the next few. I was very in tune with my baby and could feel every movement she made - I kept repeating in my head that my body and baby are working in harmony; my body and baby know what to do. We had asked for the midwife and OB to stay quiet through this stage of my labour, I didn’t want anyone prompting me to breathe or push and they were very respectful of our wishes. It’s such an incredible part of birth when your body really takes over and I just wanted it to happen naturally. After what felt like ages, but was actually around 15mins I could feel my baby’s head and I instinctively yelled Head Head!! I had to use all my mental strength at this point to breath and wait for the beardown urge to kick in again, which I did by imagining what I was feeling was numbness, something Melissa had said I think. A few minutes later our beautiful Silvy was born. I did it!!
The VBAC birth of our third child was hands down the most amazing experience of my life, I still can’t wipe the smile off my face 8 weeks later!! Doing the Hypnobubs Online Course gave us both the confidence to find the right caregivers and ask for what we wanted as well as face our fears and set our intentions through positive affirmations and visualizations. In the months leading up to the birth of our baby, I felt calm, positive, supported and so focused on bringing our baby into the world our way. We had absolutely no interventions and had a complete drug free 5 hour VBAC! We got the oh so precious immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and all the after checks done with the baby on me, and of course the beautiful first breastfeed. It was perfect. Afterwards, Both my midwife and my OB visited me on the ward to tell me how special they found the birth and how impressed they were, with my OB also congratulating me on sticking to our birth plan!! It was incredibly empowering!
Hypnobubs Mum Amy
Thank you x
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