Jennifer's VBAC Hypnobirth
*This was my original birth story provided to my teacher Shari, from Belly2Birth in 2013.
When I fell pregnant with my second child I was scared and apprehensive. I had struggled through my first birth. Looking back, I see now that I was uninformed and unprepared. This resulted in a drawn-out labour peppered with fear, uncertainty and resulting in a Caesarean section. I carried many deep seated, negative feelings about my daughter’s birth. I knew I had to do something different with this baby.
When I told my partner I wanted to Hypnobirth he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the program. He questioned “how hippy” was it going to be and joked about a drum circle. He was sceptical and to a degree so was I. But I had heard many good things about Shari and the Hypnobirthing course and I knew we had to do something. So I stressed to him how important having a better birth was to me and I asked him to please support me and give the course a chance.
I quickly found the material Shari presented inspiring and relevant. Right away I saw how I could apply the information. I remember in the beginning of the first class as she read the list of birth affirmations tears began welling up in my eyes- this was the path to my healing birth!
As we reviewed the stages of labour in-depth, how the birthing body works- we realized that no one had taken the time to speak to us about birth like this before. It was enlightening and comforting. I was really thankful to have my birth partner there so he too could gain this information and learn actual techniques to help me stay relaxed and calm through the different stages of labour and birth.
After the class I focused on the elements of the program that resonated with me most
strongly. I wrote out affirmations and posted them around our home. I made time to listen to the tracks provided through the course. But with an active toddler I must admit, most of my practice took place in my vehicle in the Woolworth’s car park as my daughter napped! But I did them regularly and I felt a sense of calm and confidence as my birth approached.
Even as I dealt with a major hiccup with hospital protocol and my attempt to VBAC- the
Hypnobirthing exercises (especially the Fear Release track) kept bringing me back to my core task of achieving a more peaceful, calm birth. It was possible. I would succeed. Shari, my teacher, spoke with me during this time always supportive and offering a refresher or additional one-on-one training if needed.
So when I went into labour unexpectedly two and a half weeks early, I didn’t hesitate or
become bogged down in doubt or fear. Something just clicked inside me and I did the work. I immediately put the affirmations track on repeat, I breathed accordingly (with the help of my husband), I showered, I remained calm and quiet. I was able to embrace the process. I was not afraid.
I was amazed at how the track Surge of the Sea automatically activated within my mind and body allowing me to “ride the wave” of my surges. I literally chanted “ride the wave” probably hundreds of times in my head without consciously thinking to do so. That simple phrase was my pain relief. It is hard to explain but through my practice I became that wave. I went with it rather than resist. I still cannot believe how incredibly well that tool guided me through all the way to transition. My 14 hour labour was focused, productive and only felt like a few hours.
One of the greatest gifts of the course was the bond it created between my husband and I. We both had been negatively affected by the challenges of our first birth. We had not worked as a team. My husband struggled to support me. I know this bothered him. But the Hypnobirthing course brought us together as a birth team. We had a concrete plan of support techniques. He knew what to do for me. We birthed our son together and that is a memory I will always cherish.
Thanks to Shari and the Hypnobirthing program we were prepared. I was relaxed and in a positive mindset. I was programmed for success. The practice allowed me to let go of the residual negative feelings from my first birth and replace them with confidence in my body and excitement. I will be eternally grateful to the program and Shari for healing my heart and showing me what a humanizing, loving event birth can be. The course is worth every penny.
Make the investment in your family. You will not regret it!
Jennifer & David