VBAC Natural Birth of London Grace
Long before we fell pregnant with London I had decided this pregnancy and birth was going to be a completely different journey. We were going to educate ourselves and find an OB that would 100% support our decision to have a Vaginal Birth After Caesarian (VBAC) and I was going to deal with my anxiety about the unknowns of being in labor and birthing. Very early on we decided we would hire a doula, a birthing partner to advocate for us throughout the pregnancy and during the birth itself. After our first child was born, we decided the FIFO lifestyle we were living and family life weren't going to work for us. We packed up our lives and started moving from town to town following Julian's work. We were very new to Gladstone, so I started asking around as to whether there was somebody providing doula services in the area. That's when I was pointed in Shari's direction.
Hypnobirthing... What on earth? The last thing I wanted was a hippy, naturalist that I didn't have any hope of connecting with or that would approach this birth on the same level as us. I needed more information and decided I needed to meet this lady and see exactly what Hypnobirthing had to offer. I discovered the most informative, down to earth, common sense approach to birthing I could have ever hoped for. After meeting Shari herself, I knew we were having a Hypnobub! I wanted a safe, calm, drug free and intervention free birth for my baby. I was mentally prepared to be pregnant the full natural term of 42 weeks before even considering any kind of induction method.
At 37+3 I woke at 7.30 am with a quite intense period like cramps. I didn't think to much of it, assuming it was my body preparing for the coming weeks. I did know that I hadn't felt this before though and told my husband 'There may be a small chance we are having a baby today.' We decided to go about our day as normal. affirmations and concentrate on my breathing. Around 4pm I asked Julian to call his brother and ask him to come back, things were amping up quickly and I was getting very little break between surges. At 4.30 the surges were 2 mins apart lasting 50sec, I knew it was time to call the hospital and they told us to come straight in. We arrived at 5.15pm. We were taken to a birthing suite where we dimmed the lights and removed the clock from the wall. Time was not important! The midwife insisted she do a vaginal exam, as my membranes hadn't released yet. It was the most painful and violating experience and I refused any further from this point in. They hooked me up to the continual feral monitor whilst I was on the bed. The 3 surges I had while on my back were the hardest of the entire labour. I couldn't get off that bed quick enough!! I got myself back into my zone, using the relaxation breathing techniques we had learned with Shari and counting backwards from 40. Before long the monitor was no longer working and I was being told I would have to spend the rest of the labour on my back on the bed. This was completely against our birth preferences. I felt so safe and warm standing, swaying with my arms around Julians neck and my face nuzzled into his chest, I knew I was right where I needed to be and so did Julian. The midwife was saying I must return to the bed as it was hospital policy that VBACs must have continual monitoring. It was at this point that I was I so grateful i had educated myself on maternal rights and discussed this situation possibly arising with Shari during a our fear release session. I felt completely safe and empowered in refusing her requests. I was aware of the lack of evidence around the accuracy of continual monitoring and I knew I had Julian's complete support. At this point Dr Tyrrell entered the room and asked if we were happy to continue as per our birthing preferences. He was very familiar with Hypnobirthing techniques and supported our preferences 100%. This brought the calm back to the room, along with a new midwife that was also familiar with Hypnobirthing. From this point on we were left in silence to breathe and sway our way through the surges. At 6pm I couldn't deny the urge to push, I knew to listen to my body so when it pushed I went with it.Around 2pm Julian returned home with his brother in tow. I told him I thought I was in fact having surges but to go about setting up the Tv. By 3pm I told him his brother had to go. I needed the house to ourselves as I knew staying home as long as possible was going to give us the best chance of achieving this VBAC. As soon as he left we ran a bath but found it impossible to relax with a toddler insisting on joining me. I decided to just go and lay in bed, listen to my positive birthing It was a Sunday and thankfully Julian was home from work. We went to the hardware shop to pick up a few things and to buy a new television for the upcoming football grand final. We returned home around lunch time as our Son was due for his nap. I decided to lay with him and rest as the cramping hadn't stopped and Julian headed back to purchase his TV. I thought I'd time them thinking they were very irregular, however half an hour of timing showed I was indeed having surges... 4 mins apart and lasting 45 sec.
At 6.15 I got up on the bed on my knees and rested over the headboard with Julian holding my hands. I was in such a beautiful place. The surges were now back to back but the discomfort was dispelled by the need to bare down. I felt the need to drop my bottom down when my body pushed and in between surges I would come back up to my knees and continue to sway, it was so instinctual, my body knew exactly how to birth our baby. At 6.40pm she crowned and was completely out with the next surge!! The placenta followed about 30 seconds later. We had done it! My body and my baby worked seamlessly together and we ROCKED our beautiful, 100% drug free, Hypnobirthing VBAC. We had immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping. Our birth and our baby girl were perfect! Hypnobirthing with Shari gave us all the tools, knowledge and confidence we needed to achieve the birth we wanted all on our own. The experience was amazing and has brought Julian and I even closer as team. 'The power and intensity of your surges are not to much for you because... They are you!' Thank you again for everything! I am still so grateful we found you Shari.
Lisa & Julian