(2VBAC= second vaginal birth after a c-section)
We attended the hypnobirthing course at around 28 weeks and from the completion of
the course, ask anybody close to me, I was ready to labour and birth!
18th Of May, my due date came and passed as it had done with my previous vaginal
birth. I was well prepared for a few extra days, mentally. Over the next few days, I
had random hours of on and off surges, some that would really stop me in my tracks
and made me question… is this it? They would often ramp right up of a night but come
sunrise, fizzle out. This itself was a mental game for me so come the 24th of May, 40+6,
I was offered a stretch and sweep which I accepted. The midwife said it was a “sweep
well done” and I was 2cm dilated. I used my breathing techniques whilst the sweep was
being done and felt completely comfortable throughout the procedure. A Dr spoke to me
at this appt and strongly advised that I book in to have my waters broken in which I
I left the hospital and made the hour trip home feeling very relaxed. By 9:30pm I had
some period like cramping but nothing really to complain about. But by 10:10 I was
struggling to stand straight and the only comfort I got was to stand/sway in the shower
whilst using my breathing techniques. I knew I had a long road ahead and a little in
denial that this could be the start of labour so I got into bed with a heat pack whilst my
husband used some light touch to help me drift off to sleep. I had a wrestles night with
cramping, back pain and a few random surges.
41 weeks, I woke feeling yet again disappointed as everything had fizzled out by
sunrise. I went about the early morning with a few niggling sensations but whilst
dropping my boys to preschool surges started to come a little more noticeably. I went
home and pottered around the house, not yet counting surges as I was so over getting
excited for labour, counting surges for it to come to a stop. But by 12pm, I started to
count my surges, 5 mins, 3 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins, 4 mins.. a little all over the place.
During each surge I would stop whatever I was doing and flop over, remind myself to
relax my jaw and start my breathing techniques. Not so much to manage the surge
intensity but to practice and get myself in the right head space.
At some stage during the morning my husband, Sam, came home to check up on me
and during this time he helped me apply the tens machine. I rested in bed till around
2pm, using my tens machine. To be really honest, I still wasn’t fully aware I was in
labour. If anyone has gone over their “due date” will know that 1 day, 5 days or the
week that you go over is the LONGEST WEEK IN ALL OF YOUR PREGNANCY... so,
I’m sure I had conditioned myself to believe and accept that I would be pregnant
2pm I went out for a walk, listening to my own playlist feeling so many emotions;
excitement for labour and to meet our little baby but so much sadness that I would be
away from my boys for a few days. During my walk, surges were still coming 5-10 mins apart and some enough to make me stop and flop but most I tried to continue to walk
We picked our boys up from care and whilst Sam tried to tell me to rest I just felt the
need to keep moving. My husband trains horses, so we headed to the stables to let the
kids run free whilst I helped feed up and walk around.
At around 6pm I logged off mum duties and ran myself a bath and added a few drops of
clary sage while Hubby put the kids to bed. Surges were still 5-10 mins apart lasting 30-
90 seconds as they had been since lunch time but whilst in the bath the intensity
ramped up. I was listening to my affirmation tracks and doing my breathing throughout
each surge. I was in my own world so much so that I didn’t even notice my toddler was
refusing bed and putting on a nice show for Sam. It wasn’t until I was in the bath that I
started to think, YEP THIS IS IT! I had been in denial all day, for sure.
I got out of the bath about 8:30pm and said to my husband that I think it might be time
shortly to call his mum, who was going to help watch our older boys and that I would call
the hospital for advice on when it is best to travel over.
Sam looked confused, he asked if I was sure I was ready to go as I looked calm and
very much in control. I really wanted to stay home as long as I could and that was the
plan the whole pregnancy but with the hour travel, my third baby, the hospital advised to
head over and I was actually relieved to hear that… I wanted to get there and set up my
bubble and get into my zone, I was so excited to labour and birth our baby. I potted
around hanging some washing and folding until my mother in law arrived, flopping and
breathing with each surge. We phoned out student midwife, Monique, who travelled
over behind us.
The drive to Canberra was nothing like I had imagined it. It was so calm, intense, as my
surges were now 3 mins apart and lasting around 90 seconds long... but calm. I was
using the tens machine and listening to my playlist during each surge all whilst talking
and crying to Sam in between. The thought of leaving my boys really bought me to tears
each and every time I thought of them. I knew they were in good hands but my heart
ached for the enormous change they were both about to experience.
We arrived at hospital at 12am, the midwife had gone over my birth preferences prior to
my arrival and offered me a vaginal exam on arrival. I was 4cm! I was hoping to be
further along but so over the moon that my body had gotten to 4cm and it was go time,
in good time! We were left to set up our space. I was so excited, with each surge I knew
I was getting closer to meeting our little human. And because of the tools we had learnt
in the course, I was so excited to experience labour in a different and more positive way
then my previous births. Over the next hour, surges started to come quicker and A LOT
more intense. I was in a good mind frame, reading and listening to my affirmations and
really zoning into my bubble with each surge… at 1am, I got into the bath which gave
me an instant sense of calm and comfort. It didn’t find it helped so much with the
intensity of surges but I felt calm and relaxed in between, allowing me to stay focused. I
laboured in between the bath and shower for 4 hours, using the birthing ball and a hand comb for relief. Sam would often use acupressure points and my all time favourite, the
hip squeeze! At 5am I was really having to dig deep and stay focused, my vocals
changed and the pressure was different. It wasn’t intense (I say that now! Haha) but it
just felt different. The idea of an epidural kept popping up in my mind and I kept thinking
to myself that surely I had to be close if I’m feeling like this. The surges were on top of
each other will very little break.
At 5:15am a midwife popped her head in to check on me and noticed my pulse was
really high and my body temp was too high so she asked me to step out of the shower
to cool off. I felt disappointed to have to leave the shower but I felt the need for a
change of position, so agreed. I got out and put the tens machine back on and was
ready to continue to labour around the room, however, as quick as I got out of the
shower my surges all but stopped. I was disappointed but appreciated the rest. Fluids
were ran through my drip to help with my pulse. This was taken off a short time later. My
waters still had not broken and I was offered an internal to have them broken. I knew
the risk of this and originally wanted little to no interventions so declined at the time but
did, however, ask to see how dilated I was roughly.
At 6am I was 4cm….. Man, I felt defeated. I was beyond exhausted. To raise my arm to
hold Sam’s hand felt like a task let alone the thought of one more surge. At this stage I
asked for an epidural and my birth team kept encouraging me to keep going without
one, offering me everything I had asked them to offer me before I asked for an epi…
they had been warned to stay strong for me! Haha. I was feeling way exhausted
physically, mentally I felt really good but I was struggling to stand on my own even in
6:30am – Epidural. Waters broken by midwife. Everything I originally didn’t want but at
the time, its exactly what I wanted. I wanted to do anything to get some rest, which I got.
No surges were being picked up on the monitor, everything had stalled since getting out
of the shower. I knew deep down, not that I would change a thing now, that I should
have stayed in the shower, given myself 10 minutes more. I believe something was
shifting at the point I was asked to step out.
Hand over was done at 8am and I was the luckiest women on the ward when a very
experienced and passionate midwife, Jess, walked in. She backed me and my birth
10:30am – It had been 4 hours since my last VE so I was offered another (hospital
policy) which I was excited to accept, I had rested and was ready to hopefully start
pushing. The Dr there at the time spoke to Sam and I and suggested that if I had “failed
to progress” (the most cringe worthy line) that we would look at going down to theatre
for a c section. Something that I did not ever want to experience again, after an
emergency c section with my first born. VE done, 4cm. I bawled my eyes out, whilst I
was accepting and content with having a c-section in the case of an emergency, mine
and the babies observations were fine, there was no threat so we asked for more time.
Time to process what was happening and what was being suggested and then
ultimately more time for my baby and body to keep going.
10:45am, the Dr returned and was happy for us to wait considering observations were
good…. He offered me “the drip”, Syntocinon. Being a VBAC, I had always been told I
would never be able to receive syntocinon as it can cause to much stress and pressure
on my scar and rupture my uterus, so we were very shocked to be offered this. Again,
we used BRAIN, spoke with Jess, looked at some stats and decided that I would accept
a very small amount. I had laboured and birthed before so I was confident my uterus
could handle it! The Dr said if labour was not progressing within 4 hours of being on the
drip, we should consider theatre.
I rested on and off for about 2 hours, every time I would wake, I would ask Sam if the
trace was picking up any contractions. Each time he replied with a lump in his throat,
“no darlin… nothing at all. But its okay…” We spoke about going down to theatre, how
we would still be able to have our preferences and we came to terms with the fact that
our plan was changing, and we were happy to roll with it. I continued to doze on and off,
thinking of the things I would need to change at home to make recovery with a newborn,
2 year old and 4 year old work after a c section. I was getting prepared, and I was at
terms with what was about to happen.
Jess woke me at 1:25pm, with 1 hour to go of trying the drip, and excitedly told me that
she thought I had opened my bowels, could she please do a VE as often this can be a
good sign. Jess had hardly lift my leg up (I was laying on my side) when she half
shouted, “Oh my god! The head is right there. Your about to push this baby out”
I looked at Sam, who was crying already. The relief flooded me and I couldn’t stop
Jess knew I wanted to labour in an upright position, so she and Sam helped me to turn
over, crawl up the bed and lean over the bed head. The baby’s head was coming fast
and things started to feel a little rushed so I asked Jess if we could take one minute to
just register what was happening. One minute I was ready for theatre and the next I was
about to start pushing. Whaaaaaat was happening?! Haha.
Sam by my side, I started to push at 1:30pm. I remember looking up at the clock and
thinking this could be a few hours (I pushed 2 hours with my first vaginal birth). Because
of the epidural it took me a push or two to get the hang of it. Jess encouraged me to
reach down and feel my baby’s head, something I had wanted to experience and had
put into my preferences. Feeling my baby was one of the most surreal feelings I have
ever felt and one I will forever remember.
Baby was a little stuck and the emergency team was called. I remember Jess telling me,
so calmly, that the room was about to get busy. I didn’t panic. Normally I would panic in
any foreign situation but instead I went to my bubble. They managed to release baby’s
shoulder by manoeuvring me and encouraged me for another push, so so so much
pressure and then nothing… 1:41pm, I knew our little (not so little) baby was out. Loud
and crying! Another dream come true, to hear my baby cry on arrival.
Louie Richard Hewitt, 3.805kg, 54cm long. Our third beautiful boy. It was all so fast!!!
I had never had skin to skin with my older boys and it was such a big thing I wanted this
time around. Jess and Monique, advocated for that. NICU wanted to take Louie away
due to him being stuck but Jess monitored him for a few short moments and then asked
me to reach down and bring him to my chest, another moment I will forever remember
and be thankful that I was educated enough to write a birth preference as the midwives
encouraged and supported all of our wishes. We had delayed cord clamping for a short
moment as I then began to haemorrhage. Louie remained on my chest at all times,
another preference I noted down. I felt calm throughout the emergency, the fact I had
Louie on my chest I truly believe made the difference. Once I was stabilized, we had
uninterrupted skin to skin and bonding with Louie for 3 hours before any weighing or
Louie’s birth was nothing like I had envisioned, I wanted to labour drug/epidural free. I
ended up with an epidural but I still couldn’t be more proud of myself and Sam. We were
the best team! I had the most healing, empowering, educated labour and birth and I owe
a lot to Tina and Hypnobirthing.
I didn’t have to bend Sam's arm to much to get him to come to a Hypnobirthing course
but I know he wasn’t that excited to attend originally…we were questioned why we were
doing this course seeing as it was our 3 rd baby, what more did we need to know??
Well, if there is ONE thing Sam and I would recommend to any parents, especially new
parents now that we have done the course… It would be to INVEST, invest in Tina and
the hypnobirthing course. Sam says he wishes we took the course before the birth of
our first son, as do I. He says he was more confident in supporting me and informed
about our choices in the birth our third baby then our first two births.
I used tools learnt from the hypnobirthing course throughout the “fourth trimester” and I
know I will continue to use them throughout life. Thank you, Tina, every birthing mum
needs to know what you teach. You have supported us and backed us throughout our
journey and we will always hold a special place in our hearts for Tina, Monique and