If you have any questions or would just like more information please don't hesitate to get in touch by clicking the button below and filling out the contact form.Contact Vicki
My birth was truly amazing!
It was all thanks to the amazing support I received from my husband, my Hypnobirthing Australia practitioner Vicki Hobbs and two amazing midwives, hypnobirthing and believing in myself, my body and my baby!
I wanted to share my (very loooooong) birth story with you, in the hope that it will help/encourage you to get the birth you want.
Thanks for reading!
Just a quick background, my first vaginal birth was 30 hours – 20 in active labour. I had planned on a drug free birth. The techniques I learnt (not hypnobirthing) was to ‘distract’ myself from the pain and to get bigger (louder) than the pain. I was tense, used the gas most of the time, got stuck in certain positions paralysed by the pain and because active labour started at night, I was extremely exhausted after many hours of doing this. Ended up ‘needing’ an epidural at the 26 hr mark to get rest or risk a C section. When I started pushing – with no feeling and flat on my back, she wasn’t coming and her heart rate started dropping. I then had an episiotomy and vacuum extraction. It was a very tough labour, but I was glad I still birthed her vaginally.
My second was a ‘semi-urgent’C section due to breech presentation and low amniotic fluid. I found out two days prior that I had to have a C section at only 37 weeks. I cried through the whole procedure and my daughter was taken away from me immediately because she was having breathing difficulties, despite me having two steroid injections. Also, when I was moved from the operating table, the epidural fell out of my back, which no-one noticed, until the pain was so excruciating that I could not cry, talk or move, but only mouth the word ‘HELP’. They then checked me and saw that the meds were just going all over the bed and not into me. So, I had just had major surgery with no pain relief!
For this birth, I was determined to have a VBAC as I did not want to experience the trauma of another C section. I did A LOT of research, finding all the evidence based articles I could. I also completed a Hypnobirthing Australia course, as the concept of birthing this way just made total sense to me.
I believed by being well informed, completing the hypnobirthing course and being surrounded by love and support, I could get the relaxed, calm, drug free birth that was best for baby and me.
Thursday morning I lost my plug / had bloody show. The night before, my braxton hicks had also really ramped up. So, I thought, this is it, my labour has started and I will soon have my baby in my arms! My surges also started that morning but were very irregular, ranging from mild to strong. I had my 40 week check that afternoon with my ob. I was surprisingly offered a stretch and sweep which I politely declined. I’m not sure why he offered that, as my body had already started the labour process, why interfere with that?? I knew that my baby would be born when it was ready, that my body and baby knew how to birth and that interventions were just not necessary.
More days and nights passed with no baby! I tried to keep positive with affirmations like “my body and baby know how to birth”, knowing that my baby would come at exactly the right time. My surges continued but were still very irregular and seemed to ramp up at night. I might get one every 10 mins for a while and then none for a few hours, one every hour etc. I continued having bloody show from here, it was mostly brown and mucousy, like at the end of your period with more blood in the mucous closer to birth.
Every day I made sure I kept active, but also relaxed. My husband stayed home on Thursday and Friday (as we thought we were going to have the baby), so we went to the beach each morning with our two daughters. At the beach, I swam and walked. When we came home, I ate, then had a sleep, listening to my hypnobirthing tracks / relaxation music. During the days, I also bounced on my fit ball, got on my hands and knees, did pelvic tilts/figure 8’s, squats etc. to make sure baby could get into the best position for birth. I also used clary sage and had my daughters talk to /cuddle me and baby to try encourage labour to ramp up.
Saturday came, still no baby, still getting surges and more bloody show. I decided to get a massage as I knew being relaxed might encourage labour to take off. My husband took the kids out and I got a massage therapist to come to my house. It was so nice and relaxing, she also used clary sage and did my acupressure points. I had surges through the night on Saturday, but by Sunday morning they had slowed again and were still irregular. After breakfast, we went to the beach and I went for a long walk. When we got home, my husband and I had sex (hoping this may move things along!). I then had a nap. That afternoon, I went for another 30 min walk. Sunday night we watched some stand up comedy to get that oxytocin flowing. I had surges through the night, many of them waking me up as they were quite intense, but I tried really hard to stay relaxed and try sleep as much as possible because I knew I would need my strength once it really took off. Monday morning came and my surges were around 10 – 20 mins apart and I had more bloody show. I wasn’t sure if today was the day, so we decided to go car shopping! On the way there, I had a strong surge in the car which was extremely uncomfortable, at the car yard I had about four surges in the 20 mins we were there. They were getting stronger, I had to stop, close my eyes and breathe through them. I told my husband I needed to get home. I had a rest at about midday and my surges slowed to about 30 mins apart again.
I thought I would be in labour forever!
At this stage I was starting to worry that my body wasn’t working as it should be and I reluctantly called my ob. He was not available and I was told to call birth suite. Best thing I did! I ended up speaking to the most beautiful, caring midwife who reassured me my body and baby were doing exactly as they should. She said it was very common to be in early labour for that long especially for a third baby. She really put my mind at ease, I cried with happiness, a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could really relax and focus again.
It was the afternoon and my surges were now 4 to 14 mins apart, ranging in intensity. My husband made dinner at 4.30pm, I ate and then my body was telling me to rest, so I just remained calm and relaxed, breathing through each surge. At around 5.30pm, I decided to get in the bath, it was so nice and took the edge off the intensity of surges, they were now under 10 mins apart. I closed my eyes and listened to my hypnobirthing tracks, affirmations and relaxation music. I was really in my zone focusing on exactly what was happening in my body. At this stage, we knew this was it and my husband called my mum to come over to look after our other two daughters. After about an hour in the bath, I wanted to get out and change positions to help move things along. I remembered my first vaginal labour, getting stuck in certain positions and feeling paralysed by the pain and not progressing very fast, I was so tense. I didn’t want that to happen again so I kept moving. After I got out of the bath, I went to my bedroom, got three pillows to lean on while in a squat sit position, leaning forward, pelvis opened. A short time later, I had the most intense surge and then literally felt my baby drop right down into my pelvis, it was amazing to feel and at this stage I knew it was time to go to the hospital (10 mins away).
I arrived at about 7pm, got taken to the observation room where they did a trace and asked me if they could do a VE. I consented as I was sure I had been dilating (with the amount of show I was losing and my surges) and wanted to know how far I had progressed. I was so happy to find out I was 5cm, my husband and I cried with joy as it took me a very long time in active labour to get to this stage with my first. My body was working! I then got taken to birth suite. The midwives read our birth preferences and Matt set up the room, hypnobirthing sign on door, vision boards, music, dim lights, candles. I had agreed to CFM as long as I had the telemetry one. I did not consent to a cannula – this was discussed prior with my ob and was also in my birth preferences, so was not mentioned at that stage. As soon as the midwife set up the telemetry CTG, I was able to do what I wanted. We were left alone, it was quiet, calm and peaceful. I decided I wanted to labour for awhile in the bath, the lights were off with just my candles for some calm dim lighting. I had one of my vision boards on the wall and I just lay in the bath, listening to my hypnobirthing affirmations and breathing through the surges. I used my hypnobirthing techniques to get through each surge. I totally surrendered, let go and embraced the feeling, knowing this was my body and baby workingto birth my baby, it was good, it was positive, I felt safe, calm and relaxed. I really focused on what was actually happening inside my body. With each surge, I visualised what my uterine muscles, cervix and baby were doing. Breathing is so very important during labour and learning about the different breathing techniques, really helped me get through it. Breathing deeply and slowly through each surge helped immensely with the pain, it was amazing!
After a while (not sure how long), I decided I needed to change positions as I wanted to help keep things moving. I decided to get in the shower as I was loving the water. I sat / bounced on the birth ball, with the water on my back, it was really nice. I also kept standing up, swaying / rocking my hips, had the water running over my belly. It was when I was standing up that my body just started bearing down and I knew it was time to birth my baby. I decided to do my own VE in the shower and got so excited when I could feel my baby’s head really low! I was not comfortable birthing in the shower, I just felt like I needed to be on the bed, I went on my side – the top of the bed was up a bit and my husband held my leg up. It was just my husband and I and two midwives at this stage, which I was happy about. I think they were surprised I was already ready to push. My midwife just told me to listen to my body and do whatever I needed to do – AWESOME!
I had no VEs while in birth suite, even to check full dilation. My midwife said she could tell I was in transition just by observing me and my surges. So I started bearing down with each surge – which I couldn’t actually help but do. I was squeezing my husbands hand very hard, which also felt good. In between each surge, my husband reminded me to relax my whole body, which I did. He said he could see me totally relax instantly. My ob got there a short time later. At this stage, my waters had not gone and were bulging out as I was bearing down. They then noticed that I had meconium in my waters which made my ob a bit worried. After a few pushes, which I could feel the head come out a bit and then go back in, my ob asked if he could break my waters as this would help get my baby’s head out. He also asked if he could perform an episiotomy. As I had one for my first birth, the skin where the scar was, was just not able to stretch. So I agreed to him breaking my waters and to the episiotomy.
Her head came out and I was then told to just pant / blow – this was extremely hard as my body just wanted to keep pushing! Then one more push and she was out, 20 minutes after I started bearing down and three hours after arriving at hospital. I had asked for delayed cord clamping and before my baby was out, my ob explained to me that due to having meconium in my waters, he would wait to see how my baby was at birth, if she cried out and was fine, I would be able to do DCC and skin to skin immediately, but if she came out poorly there was a risk she could have aspirated the meconium, in which case he would need to clamp and cut the cord straight away and take her over to the paed for treatment. I was happy he had explained this all to me and was obviously happy to comply.
My baby came out perfect, she let out a small short cry/noise to let us all know she was OK, she looked perfect, perfect colour and was alert, but so very calm. I got delayed cord clamping and immediate skin to skin. I am not sure if my ob had done DCC before because he seemed a little stressed waiting for it to stop pulsating. He was holding the cord up near her belly and quickly let me know once it had stopped. My husband and I made sure it had and then consented to clamping and cutting. I decided to have an assisted third stage so had the synto injection after that. My placenta came out a short time later. My baby was then taken for a couple of minutes for the paed to check. I then got her back and started breastfeeding her while I was getting stitched up.
After I was stitched up, we were left alone to bond for a while, it was so nice. My midwife came back at one stage with my placenta, I had asked to see it as I think they are amazing! The midwife then weighed and checked my baby.
Our baby girl Ella was born at 9.56pm, 21.03.16. Weighing 3.59kg, 53cm long and 34.5cm headcircumference.
Her Apgar scores were 9 and 9, she was perfect!
To me, this birth was absolutely amazing! I loved it. I was on a high for so long and still am really. I could not sleep that night or the next day! It was such a healing birth for me and I was so immensely happy and proud that I achieved my calm, relaxed, drug free, VBAC hypnobirth that I had really wanted.
Why I LOVE Hypnobirthing Australia
I completed the Hypnobirthing Australia course when I was around 20 weeks pregnant. It was seriously the best thing I could have done to help me prepare for and achieve my calm, drug free VBAC.
Everything about birthing this way made total sense, even to my facts/science man husband! I just wish I had known about it for my first birth. The techniques I learnt really helped me to cope and I am not sure I would have been able to do this without this knowledge. I wouldn’t say my birth was pain free, but I was easily able to cope with the pain of each surge. For each surge, instead of trying to distract myself from the pain or go tense and try to just ‘make it through’ each one (which is what I did in my first labour), I totally surrendered, let go and embraced the feeling, knowing this was my body and baby working to birth my baby, it was good, it was positive, I felt safe, loved, calm, relaxed, supported and comfortable.
I really focused on what was actually happening inside my body. With each surge, I visualised what my uterine muscles, cervix and baby were doing like I was taught in the classes. The long muscle fibres draw up the circular muscles and help to move my baby down. The circular muscle fibres relax and draw up – allowing my cervix to thin and open. Breathing is so very important during labour and learning about the different breathing techniques, really helped me get through it. Breathing deeply and slowly through each surge helped immensely with the pain, it was amazing! The birth breathing while bearing down just felt so right and natural – I did practice during my pregnancy when I went to the toilet!
When I was labouring at home, I remained really relaxed and calm, even through the way I moved and spoke, my three year old even asked me “why are you talking like that mum?!” Guess I’m not normally that slow and calm, haha! Relaxing in the bath with hypnobirthing tracks / relaxation music was so nice. I was comfortable and relaxed and totally in my zone. When I felt it was time to go to the hospital, I got my husband to call to let them know we were on the way. I was still in my zone, moving slowly and calmly. I listened to my affirmations in the car, keeping my face and body as relaxed as possible. When we got to the hospital and I was checked in the observation room, I used my relaxation and breathing techniques to remain as calm as possible while having a vaginal exam.
When we got to the birth suite, after I had the telemetry put on, I wanted to get in the bath straightaway to get right back into it. My husband ran the bath and set up the room so I didn’t have to think about anything at all. Spending the rest of my labour in the bathroom was amazing! It was totally dark with just my three LED candles on, I was by myself in my zone, my husband was close by onthe couch just outside the door, so I could call him if I needed something. In hospital, I mostly listened to my birthing affirmations and relaxation music, it was perfect!
During my labour I kept quiet as I was so relaxed and calm. Very different to my first birth where I vocalised with each surge, the higher the pain, the louder I got, it was low ‘aaaagh’ sounds, but doing this for most of my 20 hour active labour was more than exhausting! With this labour, I was only vocal during transition and birthing. I just started making low, soft aaaaaagghh sounds when I was breathing out, I didn’t really think about this, it just happened and felt good doing it.
When my body started bearing down, I did get a little louder and couldn’t really help it, still low sounds, apart from when I stated that I couldn’t do it anymore! My husband was great, he remained calm, telling me I could do it and I was doing it and we would soon be meeting our baby. He also reminded me to fully relax between each surge and told me after, that he could see and feel me completely relax from head to toe. This really helped. My daughter was born about 20 minutes from the start of me bearing down. Although I had meconium in my waters, my daughter was absolutely perfect, she came out so calm and alert and latched onto my breast easily. She is such a chilled, happy and easy baby.
Hypnobirthing Australia and my practitioner Vicki Hobbs helped me achieve my calm, relaxed, drug free VBAC.
For me, my birth was amazing, I loved it! I have been and will continue to, recommend hypnobirthing to every pregnant woman I come across!
I believe it is the best thing you can do to prepare for the birth of your child. It helps to release your fears and makes you excited to birth your baby. It truly can help you to achieve a beautiful, positive birth experience, no matter how your baby is born.
Thank you Hypnobirthing Australia, thank you Vicki Hobbs for all of your amazing support and thank you Melissa Spilsted for your voice!
Michelle & Matt
Perth, Western Australia
My name is Vicki Hobbs and I am a Childbirth Educator (Back to Basics Birthing), Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, Remedial Massage Therapist specialising in Pregnancy Massage, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Placenta Encapsulator, Hypnotherapist, Aromatherapist, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach. I am based in the northern suburbs of Perth and can be contacted by email by [email protected] or phone (08) 9303 9111.
If you have any questions or would just like more information please don't hesitate to get in touch by clicking the button below and filling out the contact form.Contact Vicki