Second baby, private workshop April 2014
After having a long labour and an emergency C section 6 years ago with my first son I was quite determined to have a VBAC with my second pregnancy. My doctor was quite supportive and told me the best chance of having a VBAC was to go into spontaneous labour and go as natural as possible, as any intervention would probably end in C section.
I started listening to the Maggie Howell CDs when I was about 6 months and also read her books and Ina May guide to child birth. My partner and I also did the course with Ruth which helped to practice the techniques. Through these avenues I built up belief in myself and my ability to give birth. I also read lots of success stories about vbac and made notes along the way. I was careful not to talk to people about the birth if I knew their views were different as I didn’t want to hear negative stories or comments.
The journey started at 39 weeks after going for an acupuncture session at 3 pm, by 7 pm my waters had broken so I laid down and rested at home, lights off, until around 11 pm. I was having contractions by then but they were manageable… We spoke to the hospital and they were concerned and asked us to come in so we went in at 12.30. They allowed us to create our own environment with lights off and we had relaxation birth music playing and we covered the emergency equipment. We agreed with them that I would not have continuous monitoring… Though we had to be very forceful about it and the midwife came every 15 mins and checked the heart beat. By 2 am contractions were really strong and it took all my focus to keep breathing through them. When I found it hard to keep focused my partner was amazing, he kept saying ‘relax and breath’ and ‘you are ready to do this’…
I went into heavy labour at 4 am and by 7 am our son was born. The last hours were so intense but I just kept thinking it would soon be over and our son was nearly born. And I wasn’t open to any alternatives other than it being a natural birth, in my mind it was the only outcome. When things got difficult and I had my self doubt phase, my partner took my affirmation board and showed me the pictures and wordings which really brought me back to what outcome I wanted.
It was so so amazing to feel the head coming down then to have our son on me during skin to skin and he was happily feeding by 8. It was very emotional having achieved the vbac with no pain relief or drugs…it felt like such an amazing achievement and I still am in awe that we did it. We cried tears of happiness and relief as we held out son for first time. Then we were at home by 4.30 the same day so our son could meet his big brother.
I do believe that without the hypnosis and preparation we would not have had such a positive experience. It made us closer as a couple to experience the birth.