One of my couples just recently had an unplanned VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) homebirth!
The mother had a c-section for her 1st birth using the Bradley Method. She found HypnoBirthing & thought that it would be a good class to take in addition to her Bradley Method techniques. She & her husband often had to leave early from class due to childcare issues. Her husband also had to travel quite a bit during the 5 weeks of class due to a death in the family & family health issues, so they would come to another class session or come after her husband had been up for almost 14 hours traveling. They even missed the 5th class because their daughter was sick!
They were a motivated couple, but with a toddler at home, both parents working (mom going to grad school too!) & a traveling husband, they were definitely busy! I remember that the mother said after the 4th class' fear release hypnosis sessions, that she still felt fearful of having another c-section, of having things go wrong during her birth & that she still didn't feel the confidence she was hoping for. I encouraged her to meet with a Hypnotherapist for a deeper fear release session to help in getting rid of those fears.
Luckily, they had a few months time to continue to practice the HypnoBirthing skills AND they hired a monitrice (a labor support person in between a doula & a homebirth midwife) to help them so they would be able to stay home as long as possible & have support in the hospital. Well, lo & behold, the mother went into labor & by the time the monatrice arrived, the baby was well on its way!
Here is the link to the monitrice's (Barbara Herrera, who is also a homebirth midwife) blog where she describes this HBAC from her perspective: http://navelgazingmidwife.squarespace.com/
I'd say the HypnoBirthing techniques really helped this mother & father remain calm during a very surprising situation!
Addendum: I spoke with this mom today at length & she is elated her birth went so well. Some of the things that she mentioned were that HypnoBirthing really helped her even though she wasn't that confident it was going to work. She said that the only practice she was able to do was to listen to her Rainbow Relaxation CD every night as she went to sleep. She also read the book & read Sheri Menelli's Journey into Motherhood book.
She said one key thing that helped her was that as soon as her surges started, she put the CD on & really listened to the words of the Rainbow Relaxation. She said that even at the most intense surges, she really felt like things were manageable. She said that she felt that HypnoBirthing gave her more information about what to do vs her Bradley classes which she thought gave her more info about how to avoid a c-section & how to manage pain. She said going into this birth, she felt okay if she needed to have another c-section & that HypnoBirthing helped her feel like if she needed to have a c-section, that it wasn't a failure on her part.
She said that changing her language (contractions=surges, pain=sensation) also helped her go into her birth knowing that birth could be natural & normal. Even when people around her asked her during her surges, "Are you in pain?", she'd correct them (at least in her head) & would focus on the sensations.
She said that this birth really healed a lot of her past trauma & guilt from the c-section of her 1st child & that this birth was even better than she could have imagined. The mom said that the HypnoBirthing videos from class also really helped her see that birth is natural, normal & healthy & gave her something to visualize for her birth experience since her memories were of special circumstances that ended in an emergency c-section.
She said that she also used her own version of the HypnoBirthing breathing techniques during her surges & during her pushing stage. She said that she knew she needed to breathe slowly & not hold her breath, so what worked for her was to repeat her own mantra's over & over again to ensure she was breathing out & breathing slowly. During surges, she repeatedly said "Let go....let go....let gooo." And during her birth breathing/pushing, she repeatedly said "Don't leave me, don't leave me, don't leave me" because she didn't want her husband to leave the room.
Her recovery has been really easy compared to having to deal with an incision going across her pelvic area in addition to the fact that baby #2 is nursing well, which didn't happen for baby #1.
One thing that really made me get teary-eyed was her description of her husband's involvement in this birth & in caring for baby #2. The mom said that her husband was there for every step of this birth, involved & interactive, & was able to stay calm as he called 911 to tell them his wife was having a baby right now! She said that for the 1st birth, he was there, but because things became an emergency, he wasn't able to be as involved as he was this time. She said that he commented that he really felt like he "was a part of this birth"...that's the part that made me teary-eyed. I mean, isn't that what all partners should feel like during their baby's birth? And that's what HypnoBirthing can really accomplish...empowering not just moms but dads as well to know how to BE there for the birthing mom.
I really encouraged the mom to write out her birth story as this is something that can really be inspiring to so many people. She plans to write a little here & there since there is SO much to be told & because of her time distortion from being so "in her zone" from HypnoBirthing, the details are all kind of mixed up. She kept remembering more bits & pieces as we talked, which is normal. Once she has it all together, she plans to share it. I can't wait!