Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story details Joycelyn’s positive VBAC experience.
💕Zyon Bruno born 19 Jan 2021
💕Due date 20 Jan 2021 💕6lbs 4oz 💕VBAC – Gas & Air 💕Delayed Chord Clamping
January 18th at a growth scan, baby’s weight had slightly dropped so I was booked an induction on 22nd January, which I agreed to but truthfully didn’t want to have. At about 10pm that same day hubby and I decided to take a walk up a hill to see if we could get labour started. We walked slowly for about an hour,I was exhausted by the time we got back however I was determined to not have the induction. Through the night I started to feel period pains and what at the time I thought were braxton hicks (as I was not aware those were contractions and early labour had began)!
19th January – the following day – I bounced on my gym ball throughout the day, still feeling period pains and cramps, plus kept using the toilet for both 1 and 2 more than the usual (still hadn’t realised I was in early labour). The pains got more intense getting to the end of the day, I then realised labour had already began as contractions were happening every few minutes. I rang triage (Birmingham Women’s Hospital) to check this at around 5pm and was told to take paracetamol and time the contractions (which I hadn’t thought to do earlier) and if pain intensified I should make my way to the hospital. I took paracetamol and at about 6.30pm the contractions were happening every 5-7 mins so I rang hubby to come get me to the hospital! The was still no mucus discharge and water hadn’t broken.
We arrived at the hospital and the pains were getting stronger! I was placed on a monitor, checked at 7pm and told I was 9cm dilated! (Still doubting myself I asked for an epidural knowing it was too late!) Midwife quickly rang hubby who was sitting in the car at the car park to come in quickly as I could have the baby at any point! I was rushed to a labour room and was given gas and air on the way there. Hubby caught up with me just as I was being wheeled into the labour room! When we got there I couldn’t move onto the bed so the midwives helped me.
At that moment I felt the urge to push and was still only on gas and air which felt like I was in heaven. The midwives kept complimenting on how well I was breathing throughout, thanks to this course!!
My daughter was born at 7.39pm (39mins later)!! I had some grazes and a tear which were well stitched up and almost fully healed and no pain 3 weeks later.
I never, ever, thought I could labour naturally until I took this course! Reading others stories inspired and encouraged me! Thank you all for sharing your experiences and thank you Beth for this course!
Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.
Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place…. This positive birth VBAC story is with Georgie’s second baby. She used breathing techniques, hypnobirthing and had a positive water birth.
I won’t go in to detail of my previous pregnancy as it was not a positive one, twins (who are now 4) boys by C-section and I had no say in any decisions…however, this is the complete opposite and want to focus on how amazing it was and you have control over what you want! So, fast forward to this pregnancy and I was determined to fight for my rights and have the positive birth I felt I deserved! I was going for a VBAC. My friend actually recommended Hypnobirthing, I’d not heard of it before so I did my research and found Beth’s ‘The Bump to Baby Chapter’- and I was so pleased I could do it all online and it’s something I can keep forever (even though this will be the last baby).
I completed the course slowly across 6-7 weeks and then once I started mat leave I re-visited the chapters that would suit my birth plan. I also listened to the audios nightly before bed to get me ready for the right frame of mind!
Due date came and went…Was getting a bit fed up and midwife offered a stretch and sweep on the Tues (40+5). Typical that mon night I started to get my bloody show. She said cervix was quite difficult to get to but she managed a successful sweep. I was 1cm and cervix 2cm thick. I had a bit of cramping, but nothing manifested. Until early hours of Wednesday morning I was getting irregular contractions but it was all under my belly button and around my lower back (they were strong enough for me to be gripping the bed) and quite intense pain on my scar so I went in to be checked. They did some monitoring- baby was happy and scar was ok. They agreed they were strong contractions but not regular enough.
I agreed to an examination to find I was still 1cm and 0.5cm thick- so felt really deflated because I thought this was the start. They sent me home with codeine and paracetamol and told me to get some sleep and to just rest. Contractions fizzled out slightly but was still getting the odd contraction so was hopeful and I took this as my body is still doing something so I rested and let it do its thing. I also stopped timing them as I felt I was concentrating too much and almost delaying letting my body do what it needed, another tip from Beth to not over analyse and just go with the flow.
Instead I focused on all the techniques I learnt from Beth and kept on breathing through each, imagining the waves building and reminding myself they’ll wash away within a minute or so and I CAN DO THIS, MY BODY WAS MADE TO DO THIS. I also had the use of the TENS machine to cause distraction. At around 6:30pm things started ramping up but again I didn’t want to focus on timing so I got my husband to do it. I got in the bath and spent a bit of time in there, got out and he made me a hot curry 😂.
I kept my breathing steady and after 2 hours I said I think we need to call MAU.
Then suddenly, I started to get bouts of mooing/roaring 😂 (at my assessment in the morning I did say to my OH I wonder if I will moo as I’d heard someone else at that point!). I got to the MAU assessment just before 10pm and was examined to find I was 4cm but could stretch to 5cm.
She mentioned how controlled my breathing was and I’d do really well with gas and air if I wanted. She said we could go up to delivery suite and I said no, I’ve been accepted to go on MLU and would like to give that a try – I believed that if I’d have accepted then I was giving in and then my mindset would’ve expected intervention. Same with the cannula- I refused because I wanted to keep positive that all would be fine. We got to MLU just after 11, the mood lighting was on, the pool was running, and they had HEART radio on in the background. They let me get in the water, it was like my body was waiting for that first part of my birth plan as then things moved very quickly from there.
Within 20mins my waters went and a few moments after that I said my body was pushing. The midwives were all shocked because they said how well I was breathing they thought it was going to be a long labour. They carried on respecting my wishes to let me do what I felt I needed to and to only start to guide me when I felt I needed it. Before we knew it I was told to reach down and feel his head (a lot of hair- that would be the heartburn) then his face popped out along with a hand up by his face like superman! It was such a surreal experience. Then came the final instruction to push down as hard as I could to birth his body. At this point I was so glad I kept HEART radio on because they were playing club classics and the bass beat of the song played alongside my final contraction and allowed to me to be in complete control.
Then, out he came at 1:04am! I lifted him out of the water and felt that rush and also disbelief of, “Oh my god I did it!”
Having never laboured before I had no clue what I was in for but thanks to Beth and her course I was in complete control the whole time! My husband cut the cord after 15mins, and he had skin to skin whilst I got out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I then had skin to skin and he had his first feed, the midwives sat down next to us and we all had a lovely relaxing time just talking. I was then sutured up. I had a small tear near my labia- they think it was because of how he came out with his hand by his face, and had a small scratch but very fortunate to not tear anywhere else.
I got my successful VBAC! Focus was key and my body took over and knew exactly what to do 💙
It was such a calming experience and one I will never forget so thank you Bump to Baby chapter for equipping me with the tools to do this 🥰
Baby boy Ellis 💙,
Born 8lb 2oz at 1:04am on 15th Oct
Exactly 41 weeks
Click for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited and confident for birth.
My waters broke at 3.50am and we went to triage at 5.45am after my parents arrived to look after my 4 year old son. Mild contractions started while we were there. We went home with rough plans for either an induction or caesarean the following morning if things didn’t progress due to waters having broken and associated risk of infection. As a VBAC mum I wanted to keep my options open.
Once home I used my Hypnobirthing techniques to help bring the contractions on fully. Things that really helped:
– watching my favourite film eating doughnuts and chocolate
– having a bath with dimmed lights listening to Hypnobirthing script
– using TENs machine once out the bath listening to my favourite songs
– using the contraction timer from Freya
By 12pm I was finding the contractions intense and they were 3 in 10 minutes. As a VBAC mum I wanted to go to hospital so they could monitor me more closely.
In the car my contractions ramped up and I started to panic when we hit traffic so I used my breathing techniques and put the radio on (kisstory!) to keep myself in the zone
I contracted four times from the car to triage and just blocked out all the things around me. I never imagined I could stay focussed in the middle of GRH car park! We randomly bumped into my community midwife on the way in which was great to see a familiar face!
When I got to triage they hooked me to a monitor but didn’t offer any pain relief or gas and air so I kept with my TENS machine and breathing.
At this point things went a bit off plan, the monitor showed baby’s heart rate was dipping when I was contracting so I was admitted to the labour ward to be examined. I was allowed to use the jasmine room which is a special room with mood lighting and birthing pool a bit like the rooms in the birthing unit.
I was 3cm dilated but cervix was stretchy. I went on the gas and air and wireless monitoring whilst my husband set up the room with aromatherapy, photos and tea lights. The contractions were coming very close together and were very intense. The midwife and doctor were concerned about baby’s heart rate and the doctor examined me to find I was now 6cms dilated just an hour after the last examination. Labour was progressing quickly but baby’s heart rate was really worrying me and I found I couldn’t focus on my breathing as well. Then baby turned back to back and I had the overwhelming urge to push but knew I couldn’t. This is when this labour started to feel like my first labour. My first baby ended up being born by emergency c section and had a short spell in special care with no skin to skin for over 24 hours and my ultimate outcome I wanted this time was to avoid this baby being separated from me.
At this point my baby’s heart rate was recovering well from the contractions so I knew she was ok. My instinct was to ask for a c section. The dr explained there was no medical reason for this but they wanted to take a blood sample from baby to see how she was coping. They explained the results would take an hour. I agreed to the test but shortly afterwards decided an hour is a long time if baby is in distress so I finalised my decision to have a c section. Instead of feeling a failure as I’d expected if my VBAC failed I actually felt really empowered and that I was following my instincts for the best outcome for my baby.
Preparations were made and my midwife, Beth, was fantastic at keeping me calm and had obviously read my birth plan as she informed the theatre staff what we wanted. My playlist was put on and I heard all the staff singing along to sex on fire and mr brightside! They were all so happy and relaxed. Everyone introduced themselves and said encouraging things to me. My tealights were put out and after the spinal was put in and I was lying down the anaesthetist asked me and my husband about our son and a recent holiday. I kept watching the tealights, thought back to the holiday and my breathing and trembling (from the adrenaline) calmed down. Not long after that my beautiful daughter was born. She had delayed cord clamping, was weighed in front of me and had skin to skin for an hour while they completed the operation.
Olivia had no health problems and she stayed with me in recovery (and every minute since😂)
The doctor visited me in recovery and explained the blood test for Olivia had showed she was in distress so they would have recommended a c section had I waited for the results. There was also something about my placenta which was unknown during pregnancy which could have resulted in a serious bleed and risks for me and Olivia as labour progressed. He was pleased I’d followed my instincts and it was absolutely the right birth for me and Olivia.
Without Hypnobirthing classes I wouldn’t have had the confidence or knowledge to decide on a c section and the techniques/toolkit helped in so many ways on the day I can’t recommend it highly enough!
If, like Emma, you want a toolkit of techniques to help you in all birth scenarios then…
Two and a bit years ago I was bouncing on my birthing ball watching Bake Off, feeling a bit peeved that it was my due date and nothing seemed to be stirring. I’m a very punctual person and spend a significant portion of my life (pre-children anyway) waiting around for people/transportation/appointments. So although I knew statistically things were unlikely to kick off at exactly 40 weeks, it still irked. And then – splosh – my waters came gushing out just as Mel or Sue announced star baker. Talk about a soggy bottom.
We were living in Cornwall and it was a quick 10 minute journey to the hospital for a check. I was excitedly waiting for the first contractions and felt unnerved when the two options were to have an immediate induction or wait 24 hours to see if things started naturally. Another deadline for my poor pedantic brain. Anyway, despite some epic hoovering, nothing occurred and we trundled back in the following evening.
From that moment everything becomes a bit tumbled and jumbled in my memory – like an amazing night out but with fewer shots and more vaginal pessaries. My ideas about an active labour, ideally in the birthing pool, were usurped because I needed to lie on my back and be monitored. As the intensity of the contractions increased I moved from gas and air to Diamorphine to an epidural in a blur. After a day of this and less than 2cm dilation, a wonderful surgeon examined the baby’s heart rate and said it was time to get her out.
The caesarean was smooth and quick, our daughter burst onto the scene in perfect health and two days later we were home.
In the beautiful chaos of life with a newborn it took a while to address the fact I wasn’t ok with how the birth had gone. Countless well-meaning people said nice things like ‘well you’re both fine and that’s the main thing’. And it truly is, but I still struggled to talk about it truthfully. The strongest feeling was a lack of control; it was like something that happened to me, rather than by me or even with me. I read lots of helpful things about not letting yourself feel like a failure… made less easy when the phrase ‘FAILURE TO PROGRESS’ is written all over your medical notes.
When I fell pregnant last year I was very keen to have a different experience. The doctors said there was no reason not to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and I tried to walk the line between hoping I could labour and deliver ‘naturally’ and bearing in mind that it might not happen. Pregnancy yoga was a great help (big up Ann at Lotus Bud Yoga in Cheltenham) and then the opportunity came up to attend the hypnobirthing with The Bump to Baby Chapter.
Aside from meeting some lovely expectant mums in a beautiful setting with regular tea and shortbread breaks, it’s no exaggeration to say it transformed how I was feeling about the birth. I had expected to learn about breathing and visualisations – and did – but it was also the practical toolkit of methods and information which enabled me to feel more prepared, calm and positive. The entire day and the book we trotted off home with made me confident that although I might still encounter the same circumstances and language and influences, I’d be in a whole new position to question them and deal with the upshot. Beth gave us each a set of the excellent Yesmum cards and the one I held uppermost in my mind from then onwards was: ‘I make informed decisions that feel right for me and my baby.’
In this new mindset I felt comfortable making contingency plans in the days running up to my highly inconvenient Boxing Day due date. As induction wasn’t a good option the consultant, midwife, my husband and I had a discussion about what to do if I was overdue. They were keen for an elective caesarean earlier rather than later but as I wanted to give the baby as much time as possible to make an appearance we compromised at eight days. As it was, on the evening of day four I had a show and on New Year’s Eve I started having contractions. I felt warm and calm and excited that things were progressing. In the car on the way in I used the time between contractions to make a new playlist of songs which suddenly seemed the most obvious tunes I would want to give birth to in the world.
I would love to tell you we rocked up, whipped out our LED candles and hopped into the birthing pool for a quick delivery with no pain meds in time to watch Jools Holland. In fact, I pretty much saw in the new year with a lovely midwife’s hand up my lady parts discovering my waters had broken discreetly some days ago (that cheeky little trickle I’d thought was an excitement wee perhaps). Knowing the risk of infection and with the knowledge there was nothing doing on the dilation front, I allowed myself to feel a moment’s disappointment that I wasn’t going to get my preference (again) and have a crack at pushing this one out, and then we moved on. That was one huge difference hypnobirthing made – months of resentment and feelings of failure reduced to about a minute of slight grumpiness. Then we got excited that we were about to meet our new daughter and made sure we could bring our playlist into theatre.
Everything we had learned and practiced during hypnobirthing came back out to bat for me during the operation. I breathed through the contractions in order to stay still during the initial spinal injection. I stayed calm when my heartrate dropped and everything swam and flickered about. When they needed to use forceps to pull out our stubborn baby and the weight and pressure felt untenable, I made myself imagine I was paddling out towards a set of waves on my surfboard, feeling the swell picking me up and then carving through the water towards the beach. It was one of the most powerful sensations I’ve ever known.
Ultimately, we have to choose what to hold on to and what to let go of. Things didn’t happen as I would have wished but, thanks to the steps and help I had taken this time, I was present and focused for the whole shebang. I wasn’t a passenger and that counts for a lot. And I got to whip out my tarpaulin-sized c-section knickers for a second outing. Every cloud…
If you want to know about ways to have a great birth then…