The hypnobirthing refresher course with Sakina gave us the confidence and the tools we needed to for a fulfilling and successful Hypnobirthing VBAC homebirth, here’s our story…
It was my midwife, Kelly, who suggested I get in touch with Sakina and we are so glad she did.
Kelly knew that there was a lot that we had felt upset about during the birth of our eldest daughter and felt that working with Sakina would be a good way of processing what had happened and focusing on preparing for a more positive experience second time around.
We’d used hypnobirthing during our first pregnancy and found it useful. I found the relaxation tracks kept me feeling calm as my due date approached (and passed!), but the tools we’d been practising helped me manage the first stage of labour, before we went to the hospital.
Unfortunately, once we arrived at the hospital we found things quickly moved away from what we’d hoped would happen and I found it difficult to focus of the visualisations we’d been using earlier as the surges became very intense and I began to feel more and more anxious about what was happening. We were determined that when baby number two came, we’d do all we could to make their birth as calm as possible.
This meant we had three ‘aims’ for our course; practising tools for the most intense part of birth, understanding what we wanted to change and how to focus on planning for the positive, calm home birth experience we wanted.
Sakina completely understood what we needed and was the perfect person to help. I attended her birth reflections meet up (a group for women who’ve had difficult birth experiences) and found it very powerful. It made me realise that I hadn’t really given myself enough time to properly reflect on how I felt about my own difficult experience and actually how hard it can be to talk about it honestly. I’d really recommend the group for anyone who has any strong feelings about their experience and wants a safe space to talk openly about it; no matter how old your baby is.
We then had our two refresher sessions. Sakina was very accommodating with our childcare needs and could arrange the sessions around us. She is such a warm person that we felt completely comfortable with her immediately. Listening to her read the relaxation scripts was wonderful; so soothing!
Her pack had little discussion points and exercises in which made us really focus on things like how we would handle a hospital transfer this time and reframing our ‘don’t wants’ into ‘positives’. We practised breathing techniques and short phrases David could use to help me in the second stage of labour and when pushing, just as we’d asked.
After our two sessions we just had to practise and wait.
When I went into labour, I found that actually I didn’t really want to listen to a long track, but that the breathing visualisations and affirmations were amazing in helping me breathe
through each surge. Our midwives hung the affirmations we’d printed close to the pool and helped us stay focused using them as things progressed, exactly as we’d hoped.
The course really made us feel confident that we could have a positive birth experience, whether it was at home as we hoped or even if we did have another c-section. Again, the course was really boosted for me by being able to attend Sakina’s local positive birth movement group in my last few weeks of pregnancy. I really focused on letting go of my fears by sharing them with David and my midwives, which meant that in the moments I did start to feel anxious, they could reassure me and the worry slipped away.
We are so delighted to be able to say that we did indeed have our little girl at home, in the pool, as we’d hoped. It was hard work but definitely the most amazing experience of our lives and we feel so grateful to Sakina for helping us prepare: and to Kelly for recommending Sakina in the first place.
Thank you both for sharing your amazing VBAC homebirth story with us.
If you’re in Croydon Borough check out the excellent Crocus Croydon Home Birth team
For evidence based information about VBACs check out AIMS