Hooi Lin's Healing Natural VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean)
Before I fell pregnant with my second baby, I was scared and apprehensive. I had an elective C-Section for my first son as I was having placenta previa and C-section was the only option. I struggled a lot during breastfeeding my first baby, though my determination drove me to breastfeed him to 15-months-old. Looking back, I see now that I was uninformed and unprepared. I carried many deep seated, negative feelings when my eldest son was born and was living in fear and anxiety since he was admitted for Kawasaki disease at 15 months-old and diagnosed of having asthma at 2 years old. Hence, I knew I had to do something different with this baby.
Through my sister-in-law who attended Bee Ting’s class and delivered her baby via water birth in Mar 2016, she strongly recommended me to attend Bee Ting’s class. Without second thoughts, I enrolled into Bee Ting’s class.
I remembered 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 healing birth that my eldest son missed out! Her continuous assurance with her own successful hypnobirth stories make me believe that delivering a baby without medical intervention and pain medication is possible. As we were reviewing the stages of labour in-depth, how the birthing body works- I realized that no one had taken the time to speak to us about birth like this before. It was reassuring, enlightening and comforting.
I tried very hard to make time to listen to the rainbow CD. But with an active and asthmatic toddler I must admit, most of my practice took place in my vehicle while waiting for him during classes. The affirmation I felt strongly drawn to was the one I struggled with the most – ‘I trust my body to know what to do’.
True enough, my placenta is at the correct position and the baby’s head already turned downward after the sixth month of pregnancy. My confidence of VBAC grows stronger month by month and I felt a sense of calm and confidence as my birth approached. Even as I dealt with some hiccups like spotting during the first and second trimester, and low platelet count during the third trimester, my faith of getting a natural, peaceful, and calm birth has never been shaken.
My body had sent me lots of signals that I needed to trust that it knew what to do.4-6 weeks before delivery, I started daily perineum massage and drinking raspberry tea.
On 27 Sep night, I felt the baby had dropped even further. I was telling Roy, my eldest son that his brother is coming very soon.A few hours later at 1 am, I saw bloody birth show. I kept quiet & went to sleep again until the contractions started 3 hours later at 4 am. I woke my husband at 5.30am to send me to the hospital to avoid the morning traffic peak hour. When I arrived at Pantai KL hospital, a vaginal examination (VE) was performed and I was told only 2cm dilated. I requested to go back, but Dr Paul asked the nurse to check my platelet counts first since I had months of low platelet count record. To the dismay of the replacement doctor of Dr Paul ( since he was away that day ), my platelet count was at super low level, 75. They stopped me from going back.
I kept getting those mild contractions at irregular intervals of 5 to 15 minutes apart. I kept doing the breathing exercise that I have been practising. At about 2 pm, my contractions started to really pick up when the VE showed cervix dilation of 4cm. The doctor told me baby might come out at night or the next day. It was like a hit on my head when I heard that as I felt I was breathing till my lips are dried up. My confidence to embrace the pain of surges without any medication was shaken. Just at that time, Dr Soo, a hypnotherapist called me. She could sense that my hips are still not opened enough. She asked me to walk around to let the energy flow. After walking around in the room, I could feel warmness on my whole spine and my body has become loosened. 20 min after, I was informed that I was 6cm dilated at 3 pm.
The surges became more regular and intense after that. I keep on telling myself that the baby is coming closer and closer this round. I was expecting to go through a transitional stage of feeling like I couldn’t do this anymore or I was going to split open while I was breathing in between surges. When I felt tremendous pressure on my cervix, I was completely shocked and thrilled that I was 9 cm already!
I don’t remember being on the bed for more than one or two contractions before I felt this uncontrollable urge to “poo poo”. I told the nurse that the baby is really coming, but they told me to hold it because the replacement doctor is not back to the hospital yet. They turned me to side-lying position and kept massaging my lower back. It made me felt so uncomfortable until I asked them to stop and take their hands off me immediately. I just couldn’t resist the urge to push along with my body. Luckily 5 min later, the doctor arrived. I automatically turned my breathing to J-breathing. I remembered still reminding the doctor that I do not want an episiotomy. After a few more surges, I felt more pressure than usual, then pop! The baby head was out together with the membrane. The water broke when a baby was squeezing his way out.
Finally, my 13 hours labour was over. On 28 Sep 2016, 5.55pm, my little boy was born! It was such a big relief, felt like the whole body becomes so light like floating on a cloud once the baby was out. And soon after, the doctor had me to use J-breathing to “ birth” the placenta out with no issues.
Baby was handed to me immediately for skin-to-skin contact. The baby just opened his mouth and start breastfeeding on his own. The doctor waited for the cord to stop pulsating before asking my husband to cut it. I was so overwhelmed and could not believe that I made it without epidural or pain medication.
Thanks to Bee Ting and the HypnoBirthing program we were prepared. I was programmed for success. The practice allowed me to let go of the residual negative feelings, especially my fear that rooted from my first son and replace them with confidence in my body and excitement.