So one day after his estimated due date our wee surprise arrived...turned out to be a boy! July 9th, the story of our amazing and empowering homebirth of baby Rowan.
Rowan arrived after a week of early labour signs...constant backache and a few irregular contractions that would come and go. On Wednesday night after trying to get comfy and ending up on the couch in front of the fire i got up to go toilet and thinking I had wet myself, realised my waters had broken so at 3.45am things started to move along a bit more. A few hefty contractions followed but again nothing really stuck so I tried to get some rest. By 7am things were ticking along and we let my midwife, Jo know what was happening.
I was feeling so calm and at peace this whole time, lots of pacing and hip circles and warmth were helping me ease through the contactions.
Our daughter Olive was up now and reminding me to "breath and stay calm Mamma" whilst helping me do my EFT as I paced around the house. Nothing like a 2 year old to remind you why you are doing this! At 10am my midwife arrived and asked if I wanted to be examined to see how many centimetres I was dialated...turned out only 2cm. Midwife, Jo left, but was doing visits in the area as now we are thinking this could all go on for a while. To say I was really dissapointed would be an understatement as I felt like these contractions were pretty darn full on already...but I didn't let this get to me and tried to get some rest and sleep in bed. After 10 mintues of being insanely uncomfortable in bed, it was a hot shower that made me relax again and the loud labour began!
I was stomping around like an elephant, breathing through contactions and shouting through them too. Massage was also a life saver with Jo's special birth oil which I couldn't get enough of on my lower back. My Mum was pottering around the house and at about 12pm I told her I needed to get my Partner, Maarten who had taken Olive to the playground home as this was getting full on. Midwife, Jo arrived not long after him and it was all hands on deck for the birth pool as I was fast stripping and making sounds I didn't know I could make! I felt like I was splitting in two and that the intensity of each contraction could not increase anymore. I kept visualising each contraction as a wave that would gush in and out, or in my case I would shout it out!
Going between the toilet, stomping around the lounge and leaning on walls, I felt it was time to push and climbed in the not quite full birth pool. My Mum and and Maarten were racing between the kitchen and bedroom filling as fast as the water would boil! That birth pool was amazing, gripping the high sides and resting between each massive contraction was brilliant.
At 2.26pm Rowan made his entrance like a wee fish in the pool squirming around, after my amazing midwife Jo untangled him, cord wrapped around his neck twice and his body once I lifted him to my chest and a little blow on his face he let out quite the cry! At this point Olive and my sister returned from the park...I will never forget her face as she met her baby brother for the first time, a look of pure disbelief, love and awe as she saw us in the pool! After delivering the placenta, Olive watched as her Daddy cut Rowan's umbilical cord.
Climbing into my own bed for skin to skin was perfect and having my family surround me was just beautiful as we all got to know our new family member.
I feel truly blessed to have experienced this amazing birth, where I felt totally in control of the situation, trusting my body and baby and having a midwife who believed in me and gave me the space to do my thing, which I really valued. It was an intense and short active labour, but thank goodness for freedom of movement, that is what got me through those "I can't cope" moments. I know that your preggy yoga classes and all that I have learnt from you, also greatly shaped this experience, so thank you Jo for all your wisdom :)
I shall be booking in for that postnatal massage soon!!
In the early hours of Monday 21 July 2014 I woke up around 3am, not because I was in labour but because the rain was so incredibly heavy. When I woke up I had a strong urge to write a letter to my “Baby Bino”. So up I got, and proceeded to write a letter expressing how I was feeling. It went something along the lines of “I am now 6 days overdue and losing my mind. I know you will come out when you are ready but if you don’t come out soon then we are going to have a c section on Wednesday and I really don’t want to put us thru that so today would be a good day to be born please”.
It’s funny because right from the moment I decided I wanted to have a VBAC, I just knew that little Bino was going to arrive on a Monday. Don’t ask me why.....It was just a feeling. My EDD was July 15th. Well, we had missed Monday 7th and 14th so Monday the 21st had to be the day. After I had finished writing the letter I tucked it away knowing very well that someday I would pull it out and read it to my Bino. Then I went back to sleep.
For me, there is something so healing about writing things down that just seems to make everything ok. When night turned into day I awoke feeling the best Id felt all week. I had some funny cramps in my stomach but to be honest I didn’t really think anything of them. I’d had cramps all week and twinges here and there so I just kept it to myself.
Off I went to the obstetricians for my scheduled 41 week check up where I burst into tears on hearing my confirmed c section time and date. I guess I should give you some history as to why Id had a previous elective c section and why there was another one scheduled.
In the summer of 2008 I suffered a serious spinal cord injury when I dived head first into a shallow swimming pool. I broke my neck in several places and was instantly paralysed. After spending months at the Auckland spinal unit and many years rehabilitating, I can proudly say I am a walker. I no longer require a wheelchair and looking at me now you would never know what my body, mind and spirit was subjected too. However, the complications arising with such an injury are often internal and the risks associated with a vaginal birth are much higher. Hence, for my first baby, we all agreed that a c section was the best option. And I don’t for a moment regret that decision. I had a fabulous birth with my daughter Ruby but this time around I had more faith in my ability to bring my baby into the world the way my body was designed too. My mantra was “I learnt to walk on my own two feet again; therefore I can birth my baby out my vajayjay”.
However, as that dreaded c section date loomed closer; I decided that Bino might need some encouragement to come out the natural way. I guess I’m a little bit ‘crunchy’ and avoid western medicine as much as I can, opting for natural approaches or alternative therapy, so I booked myself an appointment with a Chinese doctor for 2pm on the afternoon of July 21. When I arrived for my appointment the lovely Chinese doctor looked at my tongue, took my pulse and observed my body before explaining that my energy or ‘chi’ wasn’t flowing nicely. The top half of my body was great but it wasn’t connecting with my lower half and in order for me to go into labour naturally, it needed to be unblocked and flowing as a whole. He began an ancient technique on me, where small incense like sticks are placed on pressure points and set a light. Well, we only got through one side of my body before I went flying into fast and strong contractions that were roughly 5 minutes apart. Hallelujah I was in labour (or I was having some freaky weird reaction to these incense sticks).
There was absolutely no way I could drive, although the thought did cross my mind as I wasn’t too keen for my beautiful man to come and pick me up knowing he’d have to launch our gorgeous girl out of her afternoon nap. But too bad because I was in labour and this was real, it was actually real and I was super excited and over the moon that my Bino was on the way. This probably sounds crazy but I’ve never been so happy (well apart from the time I learnt to walk again and the first time I looked into Ruby’s eyes) this was way up there on the happiness scale. The next hour is somewhat blurry. Ian did come and pick me up, along with Ruby and our wonderful friends came and collected her. I must have called the obstetrician and then all of a sudden (thanks to Ians driving skills) I was at the hospital.
It was about 4.30pm when I checked into North Shore Hospital and when my obstetrician arrived to examine me I was already 7cm dilated. I knew that if I didn’t progress or things went backwards or my body showed signs of autonomic dysreflexia (a serious condition with high level spinal injuries) that I may end up having an emergency c section. I was really calm and feeling good and just happy that I had gone into labour. It was all up to me and my Bino now and I knew that my body would amaze me.
The contractions were pretty strong but I have a high pain threshold and in comparison to the pain I endured with my spinal injury, this was actually bearable. The last thing I wanted was to feel paralysed again by an epidural so for me it was mind over matter and a few massive inhalations on the gas. The majority of the time, I was up on all fours leaning over the bed with my eyes closed just riding the waves and listening to my beautiful man’s voice. At some point my obstetrician broke my waters and then it was all on. I was 10 cm dilated and I’ll never forget him saying in a very serious doctor like voice “Hannah, you are going to delivery this baby vaginally very soon”. Those words were all I needed to hear and although I still needed to push my Bino out I felt a sense of relief that I had avoided a c section. I pushed for half an hour and that was bloody hard work. I knew this would be the hardest part for me as I cant engage my pelvic floor muscles very well due to my injury but I gave all the strength I had until my legs started spasming and I needed help to control them. My body was so fatigued that it was share releif when my obstetrician decided to help me and my baby by using the ventouse. And with one last push my beautiful Bino was out and lying on my chest. I had just given birth to our gorgeous daughter and I felt on top of the world. On the 21 July 2014 at 7.39pm Olive Millie Robinson was born weighing 8.7pounds. Olive is a dream, her birth was incredible and my body continues to amaze me.
Hannah with baby Olive
Brooklyn Maci was born on 10th July at 5:26pm … a healthy 7lbs 1 oz !
This birth was a totally different experience to the birth of my daughter (almost 19 years ago!) where I had no idea about breathing techniques and after being induced found I was unable to cope with the pain of the contractions and willingly took pethidine (which was the first and only form of pain relief offered to me). With the edge taken off the pain of the contractions I was able to relax and as a result my labour progressed quickly, dialating from 4 to 10cm in just over an hour. My daughter was born 1 ½ hours later, affected by the pethidine which was still in my system. Fortunately she had no long term side effects from this less than ideal introduction to the world.
My daughter is now 18 years and in her first year of a midwifery degree. Our birth plan was ideally to have a drug free labour without any medical intervention with my daughter assisting my midwife with the delivery. I believed if I could work with my body this time and relax without the need for drugs this was an achievable plan. I started taking mum omega ( a supplement of Omega 3 and omega 6 –essential fatty acids) early on in my pregnancy to give my baby and me the best advantage.
There had been concerns about my baby’s size and I had been having growth scans from 30 weeks, with induction having been discussed as a possibility if the interval growth was not satisfactory. I appreciated you taking the time Jo to remind me these were my decisions to make.. not the doctors, and sharing stories of other women who’s pregnancies sounded similar to mine and delivered healthy sized babies.
Although my fundal measurements were significantly smaller than they should have been the growth scans continued to show that my baby was growing well, she was just tightly packaged.
I had acupuncture at 39 weeks and 3 days to encourage a natural induction. (as although the growth had remained satisfactory induction after my due date had now been recommended due to my ‘advanced maternal age’) The acupuncture worked! I had mild period like cramps from about 8pm. Although these were not painful the sheer anticipation and excitement of what was to come meant I got very little sleep. My waters broke at 8am the following morning. I phoned my midwife to let her know and she was happy for me to stay at home as long as I was comfortable and to let her know when the contractions were stronger. My contractions were 5-8 mins apart at this stage and very mild so we had breakfast and I enjoyed a nice long shower.
By 11am the contractions were getting slightly stronger so we drove to my parents house in Castor Bay so we would be closer to the hospital. We stopped at Kennedy Park on the way and went down and up the stairs (this had always been part of our birth plan as I believed it would help the baby to get into a good position for labour) I did not anticipate how quickly it would speed things up though! When we arrived at Kennedy Park my contractions were still about 5-6 mins apart… after decending and climbing the stairs just once the frequency increased to every 2 mins. When I had to stop for a contraction half way up the stairs, again at the top and once more as we walked back to the car my partner felt we needed to call the midwife again! We got to my parents place at about midday, and my contractions continued at 2 minute intervals but the intensity was quite strong now. We decided to head to hospital just before 1pm.
They monitored my baby on arrival and she was coping well with the contractions so there was no need to continuously monitor her. My midwife examined me and I was 3cm dialated. It was a little disheartening to hear that I was not far along at all as the contractions were quite strong at this point.
I had always said I did not want to be confined to the hospital room during my labour and had planned to walk around, but found at this point I was most comfortable kneeling on the bed leaning on the raised end. From this position I focused on breathing through each contraction… with the emphasis on trying to remain relaxed! I did not look at the clock once and focused on just getting through each individual contraction. My partner was amazing… supporting me mostly in silence, offering words of encouragement at just the right times. The rest of my support people remained respectfully quiet in the background. (My daughter Nikita, both our Mums, our midwife and a student doctor were also present during the labour and delivery)
Despite the somewhat crowded room, it was peaceful. I kept my eyes closed and breathed… focusing only on myself. I wanted to delay using the gas for as long as possible hoping that by doing so it would be the only pain relief I would need. I remember hearing my Mum say that the contractions must be getting really intense now because she can see with each one I was curling my toes… and she was right… the intensity had got to the point where I could no longer remain relaxed. At this point the midwife said she would like to examine me again. I asked for the gas as I could not bear even the thought of having a contraction lying on my back. I must say the gas was AMAZING! I had pretty much reached the limit of my pain threshold and the gas was such a welcome relief, making me feel in control again. What was even better was upon examining me my midwife said I was almost fully dialated! I was so surprised and relieved that I cried!. I looked at the clock and it was 4:30pm. My midwife gave me the option of waiting for the last of my cervix to dialate, or she said she could simply push it back herself… I chose to wait. I was enjoying the gas … probably a little too much!
By 4:50 I was ready to push… but I wasn’t ready to give up the gas yet! After quite a few contractions of, as my midwife put it ‘ineffective pushing’ I agreed to lay off the gas and focus all my energy on pushing. The contractions without gas were not as bad as I had expected… definitely not as intense as they had been previously. I guess as I focused all my energy on pushing it seemed to distract me from the pain. This stage was the most exciting of all as knew we would soon meet our baby girl. Being able to feel my baby move with each contraction was really motivating, and my family were really encouraging. My daughter, who admitted to me afterwards had felt quite nervous during the earlier stages was now gloved up and buzzing as she watched my baby’s head crown. My midwife then took her hands off Brooklyn’s head and Nikita was able to watch how she independently turned her head navigating her way into the world.
Brooklyn was born at 5:26pm, my daughter assisted my midwife to deliver her, and together they lifted her up and onto my belly. She was all pink and perfect! I had forgotten how real the saying “love at first sight” is when you meet your child for the first time. Her birth was such a positive and incredibly emotional experience for us all. I was so proud of Nikita and the very important role she had in Brooklyn’s delivery. Brooklyn took her first breath at birth. We enjoyed skin to skin contact and Brooklyn was looking to latch on within minutes of birth. We were able to delay the cord clamping. I delivered the placenta at 5:35pm. Brooklyn latched successfully and her first feed was close to half an hour long!
I was delighted with my entire birth experience. And my perineum was intact!! Nikita was overwhelmed with excitement about her chosen career. It was so special that her little sister was what midwifery students refer to as ‘her first catch’ .The student doctor thanked me for allowing her to observe such a peaceful delivery! My midwife told my daughter that births are usually only as peaceful and relaxed as mine when an epidural has been administered and not to expect the next birth she observes to be the same!
I know that attending pregnancy yoga, and your words of wisdom gave me such an advantage in achieving my goal of a natural birth. I have been recommending your classes to any pregnant Mums I speak to.
Dear Jo and yoga girls, At 41 weeks and 1 day, on a Saturday morning 3am, finally something started happening. Fairly mild and irregular contractions. I thought it would be like my daughter Leela's birth where the early contractions also started at 3am and she was born by around lunch time. So we called our neighbour Amisha who had agreed to take the kids while the baby was born. Tulsi (4) and Leela (2) went up there around 9am. Just to set the scene, we live on a house bus in Kaukapakapa where we planned the baby to be born. Simon and I had a very rare next few hours with no children. It was so quiet and the bus was so tidy. We realised we had not spent any time just the two of us since Leela was born two years ago! Pretty ridiculous!
As far as the labour went, not much had changed. We went out for a nice walk and came back. I managed the contractions by stopping and breathing and moving. At home I would hang from the skylight of the bus and do those belly dancing hip circles. A bus has a lot of great features for giving birth that you wouldn't find in an ordinary house, like strong metal bars on the ceiling to hold onto and open bus windows at the right height that you can hold or hang from. We also have some vertical poles around the fireplace.
At around 1 o' clock I rang my midwife Irene as it seemed like I was having contractions every five minutes. However when she arrived she examined me and said it was still just the latent stage of labour. She said she would go home and come back later. She also suggested we go for a power walk to get things started.
After she left I got in a bit of a panic as I had thought the baby would be born that day before the kids came home. Irene said the third baby is the joker so doesn't follow previous patterns. I felt really bad that our neighbour had changed all her plans to look after our kids and the baby hadn't even come yet. My husband kindly reminded me it wasn't my fault, that the baby was taking it's time.
I went home and had a lie down. Time dragged on. Contractions started to get stronger. By about 6pm we had to deal with the kids. Simon's plan was to pick up the kids and take them for a drive to get them to sleep. Contrary to my previous ideas of not wanting anyone at the birth, I suddenly didn't want to be left alone. I rang Irene and asked if she could come while we settled the kids. She said she would come and see how things were going and maybe go to Margaret's place up the road if not much was happening (Margaret was my midwife for Leela's birth, now retired). She arrived before the kids and started laying things out ready for the birth. She examined me and said I was about 2cm dilated. It all seemed to be taking so long!
The kids came home and I was surprised how happy I was to see them. They didn't seem too concerned about me bending over the pillows on the couch and making funny noises during contractions. Simon went with them off to the bedroom to get them to sleep. (This has been a time of many firsts as he has never got both children to sleep before). Not long after things started to get a more intense. The contractions got much stronger. Simon had been helping by pressing/ rubbing my lower back but now he was busy! The fire needed more wood. The contractions were consuming enough now that it was quite hard for me to perform this simple task of putting more kindling and wood in the fire. Irene was rubbing my lower back during contractions but the way she was doing it made me feel nauseous. I was trying to be polite but then burst out “I don't like the way you're rubbing my back”... She wasn't offended she just asked what would make it better. So I told her to press harder.
It was a relief when Simon came out with the kids asleep. Irene never managed to go to Margaret's house. She checked me at about 8 o' clock and said I was 4cm dilated. The rest of the story is less clear in my mind. I spent time in different parts of the bus.
For a while I was kneeling down bent over some cushions piled up on the couch. Simon would come during each contraction and massage my lower back. The room was nice and dark with a few candles burning. Irene and Simon were very quiet. Everything was so similar to two years earlier when Leela was born in the same space, same couch , same fire, etc. Only that time it was daytime and I could see the trees out the window.
I spent quite a lot of time sort of bent over the kitchen sink being sure I was going to vomit but never did. I remember resting my head on the cold metal water spout between contractions. Very comfortable! Then I decided I needed to do a wee so I went to the toilet which is a very small pokey room. The thing I liked about it in there was that it felt private. Every time I sat on the toilet I would get a huge contraction so I don't think I managed to actually go to the toilet. When the contractions came (which were quite full on by now) I kept trying to find something to hold onto above my head, eventually starting to put my left leg up on the bench. My husband was trying to help by making mooing sounds but I told him to stop as it was annoying me. Another thing I was doing was holding onto the two taps on the sink. My husband very sternly told me to stop doing this as he he plumbed them in and said they would easily come off and start a flood that would mean he'd have to turn all the water off in the bus.
I ended up going back out to the lounge room couch where Irene examined me and said I was 7cm. From then I was completely overwhelmed by relentless contractions. I was so hot and nauseous. There was no comfort to be found anywhere. I was writhing around with my head and arms on the couch trying to remember to relax and let go. I also found it quite helpful to do the soft loose camel lips. I seem to have a habit of repeating the midwife's name like some sort of mantra. So I started saying “Irene, Irene, Irene”. Last time it was “Margaret, Margaret, Margaret”. She assured me everything was alright. I was sure I couldn't take anymore.
Suddenly I got a respite period where I had a bit more rest between contractions and I started feeling the urge to push. I tried some different postures like leaning over the cushions and kneeling on all fours. In the end I stood up. Irene had to be very strict with me, telling me to put my leg up to make room for the baby. I was scared and holding back. Suddenly the waters broke which was quite a relief. There was a bit of meconium in the waters which I didn't realise until later. Before I knew what was happening the baby was moving down and the head was seen. Irene was encouraging me to push push. I felt the baby come down again and the head crowned. What a strange sensation! With the next contraction the rest of the body wriggled out. What a great relief! Baby was born at 10.22pm.
They got me to sit down and put baby on my chest. I was shaking all over from shock. Baby was crying. At some point the baby was passed to Simon. The cord was cut when it stopped pulsating. And then I got a contraction and knelt down while the placenta came out. Finally it was all over! Irene said the total active labour was only 2 hours and 5 minutes. A bit too quick in the end. I was happy because there was no tearing or stitches needed. Irene said that was because the baby was in the OA position. The second midwife arrived just after the birth of the placenta and stayed for about half an hour to write things up.
I lay down with the baby for a while and baby had a bit of a suckle at the breast. Then Simon took baby and I had a lovely bath. We set up the bed and hopped in. I was in for a bit of a nightmare. All I wanted to do was sleep but baby wanted to feed all night and it was very painful. I had a splitting headache and was pretty annoyed rather than overjoyed. The next day I went to the Helensville birthing centre and we discovered that Anja has a tongue tie like my son had, which has since been snipped. Breastfeeding is going a lot better now although not perfect.
Thanks for the yoga classes and all the truly helpful advice an information I was given. You're fantastic Jo!
See you soon
I wanted to let you know that we welcomed a beautiful little girl Lily into the world on Monday night (7/7/14) and send a little birth story for you to share with the other yoga mums.
I woke up on Thursday morning at period like pain and cramps which got worse and worse through out the day until I had to phone Todd at 3pm to come home because I wasn't coping with Quinn during the contractions, over the next 6 hours the contractions got longer and closer but unfortunately slowed and became very irregular around 3am. This pattern continued for the next 3 nights!
I kept in contact with the midwife who reassured me that these contractions were doing important work and getting us ready for the main event. I must say Sunday morning was a pretty low point for me and I wondered how many more nights I could handle! On the plus side there was lots of opportunity to put Todd's new massage skills into practice! (learnt at the Massage in Pregnancy & Birth Workshop - Jo :-) )
On Monday night the contractions started again and at about 9pm I felt like they were slowing, I decided to have a shower and try to go to bed as lying down actually seemed to bring them on. Todd came with me and sure enough trying to lie down bought on the contractions. With each contraction I was on my hands and knees rocking or doing the hip circles we do at yoga. These helped hugely with the pain. At around 11pm I felt a change and pushed involuntarily with the next contraction and my waters broke. The next contraction came while I was in the bathroom and this time the push was strong and unstoppable! I told Todd to phone the midwife and she said she'd come straight to us as I didn't think I would get to the hospital in time. My mum was staying with us to help out and Todd went and got her too. While we waited for the midwife I could feel baby moving down the birth canal with each contraction and then slide back in between. Mum and Todd were great reminding me to keep my vocalizing low toned and keeping me reassured. Fortunately our midwife and back up were there within 25 minutes and I have never been so glad to see some one! The midwife had me change position and check babies heart rate before hoping back on the bed on all fours to deliver bubs. Lily arrived at 11.59, less than an hour after my waters broke, and was passed between my legs so I could pick her up and enjoy that precious first cuddle. She weighed in at 9lb 2oz and is perfect. We stayed at home for a couple of hours before heading up to Warkworth Birthcare for a couple of days.
I still can't believe that I had such an amazing birth, a truly wonderful and healing experience for me after my first birth via c-section. I honestly feel that all those weeks of yoga built up my arm strength and got me through the labour and 4 days before too. I could go on and on but this is probably too much already!
Thanks so much for the wonderful pregnancy yoga class that you run, it really was a highlight of my week during this pregnancy. I'm also really looking forward to seeing you for a post natal massage at Bella Mama in the next week or two.
Our little boy, Benjamin Oakes Stimson, arrived at 2.40pm on Tuesday 11th March 2014, weighing 3.54kg (7lb 13oz). This is the story of how he entered our world…
Our first born, Samuel, now 2 yrs 9 months, arrived 6 days before my estimated due date, so I was convinced that our second born would be early too. This turned out to be wishful thinking as I approached 40 weeks with discomfort and sleepless nights.
On Monday 10th, after another uncomfortable night, I rang Bella Mama for a last minute massage appointment. I was in luck, and enjoyed a pampering by Jo and her new therapist, Basil.
The next morning at 4.30am, 5 days after my EDD, light contractions started. Whether Jo’s massaging of specific pressure points kick-started the labour, or whether it would have happened anyway, who knows – but I was relaxed and ready, excited in the knowledge that we would soon be meeting our little boy. The first task was to attach the Tens machine (hired from Bella Mama). I called my midwife once contractions were 10 minutes apart (around 8.30am) but we decided I wasn’t yet ready to go into hospital. They slowed down when I sat down to do some computer work, and my midwife advised walking up and down some hills to get them going again - so off my husband and I went! Over the next hour or so, the contractions increased in intensity and got to about 7 minutes apart, so once we were got back home, I called my midwife again and said I felt ready to go in. (We were expecting it to be a relatively quick birth and there was no way I wanted to be caught out in the car!) A quick shower and a final check of the bags, and we were on our way, with my mother lined up to collect Samuel from daycare that afternoon and look after him until further notice!
At 11.45am, I was admitted to exactly the same birthing suite at North Shore Hospital where Samuel had been born. My contractions slowed down a bit as we got ourselves settled and my midwife broke my waters, but before long they were back on course and labour started in earnest. Benjamin’s heart rate was monitored between contractions and all seemed well. I was happy leaning on the bed during this stage of the labour, intuitively rocking back and forth, using gas and air to help me through the contractions. It also helped to shout when exhaling during the contractions – not a shout from the throat but a real guttural noise – something Jo had told us about in yoga - I recall being quite surprised when I did this during Samuel’s birth; however, it appeared to be my natural way of coping with the process, so I was more prepared for it during labour with Benjamin.
By around 1pm I entered the second stage of labour, I got up on to the bed and lay reclined on my back – a comfortable position for me when I had previously given birth - and started pushing. The gas and air – as well as my husband’s forearms to grip and pull on! – remained invaluable. After an hour or so, my midwife consulted the hospital midwife and the registrar, as Benjamin wasn’t progressing as we had expected. The registrar confirmed that he was still in the ‘OT position’ (occiput transverse position – head turned sideways). Whilst most babies start labour in this position, they then usually turn to posterior or anterior facing during the second stage of labour.
There was some discussion of a possible ventouse birth, but the registrar was happy to wait and see if Benjamin would turn as I pushed, which he did. At 2.40pm, Benjamin was born and immediately placed gently onto my stomach for a cuddle, covered with a blanket. Those first few moments were magical. This tiny wrinkly bundle I had grown and nurtured inside me over the past nine months was now here, lying on me, still attached, eyes closed, and happily squirming on his mummy’s tummy. And those magical moments have never stopped… We remained skin on skin whilst my husband cut the cord and I completed the third stage of labour. After a while, Benjamin was weighed and dressed, ready for more cuddles with Daddy and Mummy. Due to complications after Samuel’s birth, a precautionary dose of Syntocinin was intravenously administered to help my uterus contract. My husband and I were then left alone in the birthing suite to wonder at and bond with our little miracle.
Jo often talks about the best place to birth being where you feel safest and most secure. For some people that place is at home; for me that place was hospital with a midwife in whom I had complete trust. Continuity of care is a fantastic reality here in New Zealand - mothers are able to choose a midwife with whom they feel comfortable, build a strong relationship with them over 9 months of pregnancy, knowing that their midwife will be with them every step of the way. That shared knowledge of the preferred birth plan, post natal wishes and so on, affords the mother a degree of confidence, thereby reducing the anxiety before and during labour. My midwife, and the hospital staff, gave me options at every turn, and I certainly felt their aim was to avoid intervention where they could. This was something common to both my birth experiences, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We were discharged from hospital at 6pm the same day (a very different experience from my first birth, after which I had spent 3 days in hospital – receiving fantastic care whilst there), and soon on our way to the wonderful facility that is Warkworth Birthing Centre. What a fabulous retreat for mothers and their newborns! With 24 hr midwife care, delicious meals, and a peaceful environment, Benjamin and I were able to bond; and I was able to get some rest, before returning to everyday life at home.
Life with Benjamin….on one hand the past 5 weeks have gone so quickly; on the other, it feels like Benjamin has always been in our lives. We have slowly got ourselves into a new ‘routine’ (in the loosest possible term!) and are adjusting to being a family of four. There is no doubt I am more relaxed this time around – you don’t have much choice with a 2.5 year old running around wanting attention! – and that is certainly helping Benjamin be such a settled little thing, I am sure. Also my own post birth recovery has been far quicker than I experienced last time, which has been a pleasant surprise!
I feel incredibly fortunate to have had two good birth experiences, and I am in no doubt a number of things have contributed to that – feeling well informed prior to the births; being confident that I made decisions that were right for me and my family; getting support from various sources such as my family, my midwife, the hospital and Jo; sharing the experiences with my husband; and, of course, my body which somehow knew what to do! Life is just wonderful, and I am so excited about our future as a family of four!
I woke up at 5am as Dom was about to leave for work, suddenly aware that I’d had occasional tummy cramps through the night, though I’d mostly slept through them. They felt like menstrual cramps, so I wondered if they could be Braxton Hicks as I’d never had any. I told Dom I thought I’d probably have the baby today but it’d be a while, so he might as well go to work. He said I should go back to sleep but I needed to go to the toilet badly! Afterwards, I got stuff ready for when Ronan woke up, made myself breakfast and went back to bed to eat it while reading my book. Luxury!
Ronan woke up at 6.10. I’d realised I was actually having contractions so I texted Sharon that they were 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long. She said she’d be over once she’d had a shower. I said I’d keep timing them because they seemed to be changing. I had quite a strong one while I was getting Ronan up, so I woke Mum and asked her to take him downstairs for breakfast while I made some calls and had a shower. 6.30am,still timing. I texted Sharon contractions were now 2.5 minutes apart and 1.5 minutes long. Called Dom & said he needed to come home now. Called Holly (my best friend and doulah for Ronan’s birth) and said “how would you feel about not going to work today?” Finally got in the shower and spent most of it on my hands and knees while I was having contractions - having the hot water run over my back felt really soothing. 7.10am. I was trying to dry myself between contractions when Sharon arrived. She examined me – I was VERY surprised to hear I was 6cm dilated and fully effaced already. Sharon’s calm demeanour was slightly ruffled as she tried to get hold of her backup, Marty, and got her voicemail, then tried Linden. (In the end, both turned up.) I asked Sharon if I should put the TENS machine on now. She said it was a bit late for that!
Dom got home shortly after Sharon arrived, having first been to Mitre 10 to get a fresh hose to fill up the birthing pool... which I never managed to use because Caleb came too fast for Dom & Mum to fill it! Holly arrived shortly after Dom. Mum did a fantastic job of keeping Ronan entertained downstairs. My biggest worry with having a home birth was that Ronan would be distressed, but he never was. He had fun with the 3cm of water Dom and Mum managed to get into the birthing pool, splashing everyone. With all the people there, Ronan thought it was another party in his honour, just like Saturday!
No more times now, I was too busy to notice the clock. I had planned to labour downstairs, mostly in the pool, but I never got past our bedroom. I tried some hip circles, but what worked best was getting down on my knees beside the bed, leaning my upper body forward onto the bed. I was wearing my big terrycloth robe to start, but it got too hot to wear anything after a while. Once Dom was convinced to abandon filling the birthing pool, he rubbed my back while Holly, kneeling over the far side of the bed and reaching over to me, let me grip her hands and pull on her arms like anchors. I changed position, keeping my left knee down and right knee up, that instinctive pose Jo had told us about in yoga which opens up the pelvis, providing more room for baby to come through. I stayed in that position for the rest of the birth.
I kept waiting for someone to touch me or tell me what to do – through the edge of my focus I could see Sharon and it seemed like she was texting! Marty and Linden both sat so quietly ( I was initially concerned about having them there as I hadn’t met either before, but they were fabulously discrete, sitting against the wall out of my line of sight) that I nearly forgot they were there. But shouldn’t someone touch me or tell me when to push? Then I realised that they were leaving it all to me because that’s what I’d said I wanted. I was actually being listened to!
I had been wanting to push for a while by this stage, but a) having read that breach babies are sometimes born too quickly because of an overwhelming need to push from early on that should be breathed through I was trying to heed that advice and b) having been told what to do right throughout my labour with Ronan (and I was suggestible, so I did what I was told, which is why I think I ended up with so many interventions I didn’t want the first time) I was expecting more of the same. Once I realised no-one was going to tell me what I “should” be doing, I pushed.
Since I’d had no drugs, I could feel everything that was happening. At times it felt really weird. Caleb knew what he was doing: he went through all the twists and turns, came down and (what felt strangest of all) went back up again, just as I’d read he would in Maggie Banks’ (fabulous) book. I have to say I think I’m fabulously lucky. I really didn’t miss the lack of drugs. The worst thing about the whole labour was the burning feeling of my perineum stretching (closely followed by my waters breaking just before Caleb emerged – I thought I had peed everywhere and felt hideously embarrassed - another thing I hadn’t experienced the first time: there was just a slow leakage then they were broken for me). The contractions weren’t so bad, they were manageable with breathing.
Caleb came out bum first. The meconium was squeezed out of him like a toothpaste tube by the process – no tar-like first nappies to change! At one stage, he got stuck, trapped by his balls! (They were very swollen when he was born, poor boy.) This is the only time Sharon touched me, stretching my perineum further. “Ow, ow, ow!!” I moaned. “What are you doing?! Don’t touch!” She told me she had to get them out. His feet were next, flipping out one per contraction, another thing I could feel distinctly. I don’t remember feeling the arms or shoulders being born. Caleb’s chin was tilted down (phew) and once his face was born he hung suspended between contractions, and Linden joked “oh, you’re wearing your mother like a hat!” Sharon encouraged me to lower myself down until Caleb was “sitting” on the sheet below me.
8.50am Another push and he was out, lying on the sheet, pale and tiny. I “oooohed” but just stroked him with my fingertips, not knowing what to do until Sharon said “you can pick him up you know.” So I did! We got into bed and a few minutes later he had latched on and was feeding. He was 3.22kg and 52cm long at birth, rosy (his APGARS were 8 one minute after birth and 10 ten minutes after), happy and healthy. And calm! We named him Caleb (strong and faithful) Geoffrey (after Dom’s dad, meaning “peaceful” – I thought that would be nice in a baby!) Hamilton (a family name from my father’s mother’s side) Bish.
9.10am Dom and Holly brought me a fruit smoothy and sushi and Ronan came in to meet his baby brother. Mum met her latest grandchild and got to hold him while I had a shower – completely without assistance from anyone! I remember thinking, “wow, that’s how women used to give birth then get straight back out in the fields!” Not having had any drugs, I felt physically and mentally 300% better than I had when I gave birth to Ronan.
I wasn’t at all fazed when Sharon told me there wasn’t a bed available at Warkworth. I considered not going at all, but a bed came free the next day and I’m glad I did (as much as I missed Dom and Ronan) as it gave me some very precious time alone to get to know my sweet, beautiful new baby boy. When we got home 3 days later, Caleb opened his eyes, looked around and smiled as if to say “Ahhh, I’m home!”
This pregnancy and Caleb’s birth was a real eye-opener for me. It made me aware of the politics of our medical system and quite cynical about issues of funding and liability around birth. Not to mention the frequently shocking, disempowering treatment of women who trust themselves to that system, believing it’s the “right” thing to do. It strengthened my trust in my own (educated, informed) judgement, my understanding of what I am capable of, mentally and physically, and confirmed that being strong-willed is not necessarily a bad thing. It also made me aware that I had previously thought of home births as somewhat fruity – maybe most kiwis do? But why on earth should it be that way? Hospital births are still the exception to the rule in many countries and from my experience, rightly so. Being at home made the whole experience so much quicker, less painful, more relaxing and actually enjoyable (rather than just something you’re supposed to enjoy).
I’ve also had a lot of women – other mothers, midwives and nurses – tell me how brave and heroic I am. I’ve found this puzzling and kind of embarrassing each time. I felt like I didn’t have any choice but to have my baby at home. It was a calculated, informed decision. I didn’t want to be bullied, coerced or threatened by unsupportive staff at the hospital. I did not consider the obstetrician’s view that I would have to give birth on my back, in lithotomy, most likely with an epidural, as representative either of a natural breach birth or what was best for me and my baby. I did not want forceps anywhere near my baby. All medical opinion, tests and scans showed that Caleb and I were both healthy. Frank breach is the most straight-forward (and common) of the breach presentations, and breach presentation is normal, even if less common. I live 5 minutes drive from the hospital, and if it had become medically necessary to transfer we could have done so easily. In short, my main concern was that I have a healthy baby. Secondly, I wanted to come through the process well enough that I wouldn’t have problems looking after either him or Ronan by myself, since we don’t have family here. Sharon Weir, my fabulous midwife, is coming for our 6-week sign off today. Caleb’s put on over 1.55kg since birth and is a gorgeous, happy boy. I completely recovered weeks ago. It turned out to be a good decision.
Hi Jo,Yep, it’s a boy :) Talen Tom Nesta Jennins was born on Wednesday 17th July at 10:20am. The final stages were pretty quick and Dadda almost missed it while parking the car!
So, after weeks of full on Braxton Hicks and nights of thinking maybe tonight I finally started feeling ‘proper’ contractions around midnight on the Tuesday. I went to find the wheat bag just to put on my lower back and then try and get some more sleep, thinking it may not even be labour, or just the really early stages. Anyway, still couldn’t sleep and kept needing to go to the toilet so started thinking maybe this was really it and just ended up camped out in the bathroom as I didn’t want to be too far away from the toilet!!
Basically I just sat there all night with my phone alternating between googling pre-labour vs early labour vs active labour signs, still not 100% sure I was actually ‘in labour’. You’d think the bowel motions, vomiting and pain would have been a dead giveaway but to be honest I felt so in control and was coping so much better than last time that I really wasn’t sure I was very far down the track.
Cj and I had talked a lot about the effect of fear on labour and the importance of being calm and confident and I really felt able to apply it all. We read a great book ‘Confident Birth ‘ by Susanna Heli which we would recommend to everyone. We did hypnobirthing the first time around and definitely used a lot of those concepts but we felt this book is more realistic about birth and it truly helped us greatly.
Anyway I was just concentrating on letting go completely during each contraction, trying to release my areas of tension one by one and concentrating on feeling heavy and relaxed. I had thought of some mantras beforehand but the one that ended up coming naturally was Accept, Embrace, Let go. I said that to myself every time and after a few hours of this combined with catching up on my twitter feed I ended up lying down on the bathroom floor and snoozing a little. I had let Cj know things were happening by this stage so he was just in bed sleeping, ready to come if I called. About 6am I was still dozing when, pop, my waters broke. I called out to Cj and he rung my mum to come get Skyla and the midwife to let her know. Skyla was up soon after and blissfully unaware of my pain, just totally excited that she got to go to Nan’s before she’d even had breakfast. So, Kathryn, our midwife had given a guideline of coming to hospital, contractions 5 mins apart and lasting a minute. We settled in for the wait, still in the bathroom.
My contractions never seemed to get the regularity in length but they were quite close together. I would have one lasting a minute and then another 30-40 second one just 2-3minutes after that. I was starting to get frustrated and still just sitting on the bathroom floor. I decided to start moving around and we thought it would be a good idea if I got in the shower. They got more intense then and although I was reluctant to get out we both decided we should ring Kathryn again and go to hospital. Just as well we did in the end.
It was all pretty intense at this stage and probably when I started to feel a bit overwhelmed. We hopped in the car and I looked at the clock and it was 9:22am. We’re in Torbay so decided not to go on the motorway in case we got held up. I had my eyes closed just dealing with the contractions at this point, still irregular but pretty full on, in fact I was started to feel it in my bum. I opened my eyes and we were still ages away so I decided it was best just to keep them closed!
We arrived and Cj got a wheelchair and wheeled me up to the birthing suite. My midwife was still on her way and the hospital midwife hooked me up to the monitor to check things out. I had a contraction while she was there and she commented on how relaxed I was. I remember partly feeling pleased that she thought I was handling things well, and then worried that maybe after all that work I was probably not very far along. I was getting a bit anxious at this point and desparate to see Kathryn and get assessed. She arrived and started getting sorted and Cj went off to move the car. The first contraction after he walked out the door I must have sounded pretty primal because Kathryn whipped her head around and asked if I needed to push. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with Cj not there but there was definitely something going on. Turns out I was fully dilated and probably had been in transition since we left home.
So, left home at 9:22, had Talen at 10:21. Not a bad morning’s work;) Cj came back in time to hear me bellowing down the corridor and he was thinking oh, someone is near the end, turns out it was his wife, much to his surprise. We both thought things had gone so smoothly that I must only be 5 or 6 cms. Talen’s heart rate dropped a bit during pushing but I managed to get him out before any intervention was necessary, in fact, a little too fast in the end. We had to forgo the delayed cord cutting as he needed some oxygen and suction but he was all good, and almost a kg heavier than his sister! No wonder I was so uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy.
People ask me how the birth went and they are all taken aback when I say awesome. It was hard, it was painful, but it was empowering and amazing and just such a positive experience. Thanks again Jo for all your knowledge and Talen and I look forward to seeing you in Mum and Baby yoga sometime soon. Oh and I’ll keep you posted on my Yoga Mamas community group, I hope to have it up and running in a couple of months.
It was 3:23 am on Tuesday 9 July 2013, one week before the due date of our baby. I had been awake for some time. At that moment, I felt the third wave of contractions move across my lower abdomen, legs and body with gentle rhythmic pain. The feeling was delicious, like ocean waves – gradually getting larger and longer. I knew this was it. My mother and father were in the air from the USA, speeding on their way to see us, expecting to get here before the baby would. But the baby had different ideas. I had a small conversation with the person inside. “Really?” I said. “You want today to be the day?” More contractions confirmed it. I said silently to him: “OK, I’m all in – I’m ready to do this thing with you, little one.” I thought I’d wait until about 6am to wake Arden and call our midwife, but Arden woke at about 4:45 am. He rolled over towards me with loving eyes as he does each morning, and said, “How are you feeling today?” I said, “I think I’m in early labour.” We kissed with delight and excitement. “How wonderful!”
We both got up and showered together, the contractions kept coming and we were full of great joy, knowing we had finally arrived at the day we would welcome our baby into the world. By 6am, we had assembled all the last minute things into our hospital bag, and I was experiencing very strong contractions, that lasted between 45 and 55 seconds, about one every 4 minutes. I called the midwife, Matty, and she said “Let me know when they last about a minute and I’ll come to you.” I was equal to the pain of the contractions now – essentially by kneeling on the floor, leaning my forehead on my arms on the seat of the sofa and doing nice big circles with my hips, breathing deeply, and moaning as I breathed out. In yoga class, Jo taught us how longer out-breaths could occur by using our voice, and it was working well.
Our midwife arrived at about 7am, and found me to be 3cm dilated. She said, “Things are progressing perfectly. They will probably progress at about 1cm per hour. You’ll see your baby around lunch time.” I was amazed. I thought it would take a lot longer! “You can go to the hospital now, or wait until a bit later here at home, if you prefer.” I wanted to go to the hospital and get the travelling out of the way. Contractions in the back seat of the car proved to be an extremely challenging experience, although Arden navigated the traffic to North Shore hospital brilliantly. I felt very relieved when we arrived as I knew this was where the baby would be born and I could focus completely on the love I felt in my body and the job ahead. I felt nausea. I vomited, simply allowing my body to react to the pain. I had eaten nothing and it did not matter. I stood at the end of the bed, and when a contraction would come, I would bend over and grasp the end of the bed with both hands, rotating my hips. The midwife advised me to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. She suggested I focus my energy on my breath rather than my voice in the out-breath. “Blow it away,” she said. I did. It helped. Arden massaged my lower back. It felt wonderful. I leaned on him and felt so much love for him and for the baby and so much gratitude for the experience. I was surprised at how quickly time passed. I was living so much within my body and within each individual moment, just one contraction at a time that time did not exist for me. I used the moments between contractions to breathe peacefully and to lean on Arden.
When contractions got more of an edge, we went to a room with a hot pool that the midwife had prepared. It felt splendid and helped the contractions a great deal. I could kneel or lie back, and Arden was with me. There were twinkly lights in the ceiling, it was warm and all other lights were low. I felt the romance of the setting; Arden looked so very handsome and I felt so in love. He was so strong and so calm and so loving and so present to me, letting me hold his hands and arms with my hands tightly when I was in pain. After each contraction, I would tell him I loved him, and he would say with gentleness and love in his eyes, “I love you so much. You are doing a wonderful job. You are so amazing.” After a time, I wanted to stand up again, and to be dry. We went back into the other room, and upon inspection, I was 9.5 cm dilated. I was so surprised! I didn’t think it would happen so fast! “You are almost there!” said the mid-wife. “You are almost there!” said Arden. “You are doing a wonderful job!”
I got up onto the bed and first knelt, and then squatted there for a time, with the back of the bed tilted upright behind me for support. Arden kept close to me and continued to massage me with healing and generous touch, which was very powerful and helpful. Before long the contractions were incredibly intense. I had reached transition. This was more pain than I had ever experienced, and yet I felt very safe and very ok, because I trusted my body completely. I knew that it knew precisely what to do. It had the evolutionary memory of millennia of women before me. I knew I was strong and that the Holy Spirit was present at this moment too, along with Arden’s great love for me and our great love for the baby. I also knew that the baby and I were still in partnership for this day and for this very momentous part of our journey.
Matty advised me that now, with each contraction, it was time to push. She said: “Do you feel pressure in your bottom now? With this contraction, we will get three strong breaths in. With each out-breath, you will need to push out.” At first, I cried out with the pain while I pushed out. But Matty suggested that I focus carefully and channel all of that intense energy of my voice, going upwards, instead to go downwards in to the lower part of my body – into the pushing itself. I did. I could feel it working. Then, with each out-breath, as I pushed, she would coach me through it, saying “keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing” in quick succession as I reached the end of my breath. I was finding breath and powerful spirit from all sorts of corners in my lungs in order to keep pushing out with each out-breath. In between, I would tell Arden how much I loved him and he kept on saying calmly and with great conviction, “I love you too. You are wonderful! You are doing an amazing job!” The amniotic sac began to bulge, and there was a brief discussion of whether to pierce it in order to speed things along. On the very next contraction, it broke on its own.
Matty then said, “I can see baby’s head.” I was so filled with joy. Matty asked if I wanted to see it too. I said no, as I was very focused on what was happening inside me with each moment. I was surrendering to the pain, and yet I felt incredibly empowered by that very surrender. I wondered how many more contractions it would take to see my son. I figured there would be still a long road ahead and was steeling myself for a very difficult path. At one point, I was aware the baby’s head was being squeezed rather too much and I knew I wanted to really push on the next contraction to get him out of there. I was nearing the end of my energy reserves, and – just then – I felt the baby kick inside me, up towards my lungs. His message to me was clear, “I’m here and I’m seriously ready to get out! I’ll help you!” I thought, “Oh yes – we are a team!” I said silently to him. “I’m here for you and I’m going to do my part, little one! I’m all in!” With the next contraction and the biggest breath I could find, I pushed with all my might, and all at once, baby was there! I felt every universe came together into oneness at that moment. He was covered in delicious and shiny pinks, reds and blues from being inside me, and they put him right on my chest instantly. I was so full of ecstatic joy! It was the most brilliant experience of my whole life. The cycle of life took hold of me and baby and Arden in this incredible sacred moment. I said to Arden “Wow! He’s perfect!” I was incredulous and in awe. “Absolutely perfect! What a miracle! I’m so in love!”
Epilogue: The time of birth was 1:35pm, after ~10 hours of labour, and I had had no pain killers or other interventions. Aldwyn was incredibly alert right from the start and I could feel his wisdom, strength and creative energy. A few minutes later, we were able to see the placenta. The midwife held it up, declared it to be showing all signs of excellent health and even gave us a tour of its many wonders, including the amniotic sac that had held Aldwyn. We cheered for it with gusto and for all of its good work over the past 9 months. Hooray 43-yr-old body! Hooray placenta! Hooray for yoga and breathing and active surrender to the natural beauty of ‘what is’! I am so grateful to my husband Arden, to our midwife Matty and to Jo Hogan and the Bella Mama yoga class for sharing, teaching and supporting me so much. With unbridled joy and affection we celebrate every moment now with our newborn son.
I'm really pleased to let you know that Aidan and I happily welcomed our little girl, Addison, into the world on Sunday 23rd June (2 days before our EDD), weighing 3.15kg (just under 7lbs) and 52cm long. It was a fantastic experience, that went almost entirely to plan, so please feel free to share this story with the rest of the yoga class. Addision was born at home at 7:41pm on Sunday after my labour started at about 11pm the night before. I had been sure she would hang on for another week or so, as both Aidan and I were born a couple of weeks late, but it turns out she had other plans and proved me wrong - probably not the last time that will happen!
I was lying on the couch waiting to watch the Black Sticks women take on the Netherlands in a semi-final to qualify for the World Cup when I felt the first contraction. It wasn't strong and I was a little unsure what it was at first, but a few minutes later I felt another one and thought to myself, is this what I think it is? I had several more contractions over the next half hour, and told Aidan that I thought I was in the early stages of labour.
The contractions continued like this for a while at roughly 5 mins apart, but as they were only lasting up to about 30 seconds each and were quite bearable I was comfortable to be on the couch watching the game using my yoga breath to help them pass, while checking in on the timing every now and then to see if the regularity of the contractions had changed. As we were planning for a home birth, it was so late at night and my waters hadn't broken I decided to wait a while to see if there would be some more progress or a significant change in my contractions before calling my midwife Creaghan, so we went to bed to try and get some rest. Unfortunately my contractions started to get a bit stronger (though not any more frequent) at this time, and I found it difficult to lie still, so I got up again and kept myself busy getting some of the home birth equipment ready for when we would need it. During this time I discovered that the most comfortable position for me when a contraction came was holding on to our kitchen bench, circling my hips, concentrating on my breath and doing some chanting like we did in yoga class. I also got some birthing oil diffusing in the living area, took some Birth Aid homeopathic spray and put a hot wheat bag on my lower back, then managed to doze on the couch a little in between contractions for some of the night, but didn't really have any decent sleep.
The night seemed to pass by really quickly, and before I knew it it was about 6am. I called my mum and my friend Bonnie, who we had also planned to have as support people for the birth, to let them know that it was all on. When they both arrived at the house and were busy getting the birthing pool set up with Aidan I also called Creaghan to let her know where we were at. She came around about an hour later to examine me and I was about 3cm dilated at this stage, and my cervix was paper thin. But as my waters were still intact and I had a good support group with me she left again to get a few other jobs done. After the examination my contractions started to intensify some more and got a lot closer together. The pain was really getting into my lower back now. Aidan was fantastic at this point, using the massage techniques that you taught us in the workshop to help me through each contraction, but after not having any sleep all night I was struggling with some exhaustion and still finding the pain difficult to handle. I decided to try getting in the birth pool at this stage to see if the water would ease some of this pain. I found the heat of the water and the weightlessness helped a great deal, and this gave me some much needed pain relief and a bit of a break to get my strength up. I sat in the pool for a couple of hours, keeping hydrated and snacking on ice blocks and some spiced apple cake that my mum had brought with her. The contractions continued throughout this time, but I was able to remain calm and be part of the conversation in the room for most of the time.
Creaghan had returned during this time, and noted from some of her checks that being in the pool seemed to have slowed the progress of my labour, and although though the baby was not showing any signs of distress, she advised that if things didn't pick up again soon I should get out and do some more moving around to get things going again. By this stage I felt a bit more rested and relaxed again, and I was ready to get some progress happening myself, so I got out of the pool. My contractions quickly picked up and became stronger and more frequent again once I was out of the water, and although I was tired I welcomed the progress this time with the thought that it was bringing me closer to meeting my baby. Creaghan examined me again after this had been going on for a while, and I was now about 6-7cm dilated. We discussed the option of breaking my waters to help speed things up, but decided to give it a bit more time to try and happen naturally, as things were progressing well now and the baby was still not in any distress.
I walked up and down the stairs in our house a few times to encourage my waters to break, and just to do something different from holding myself up on the kitchen bench, but nothing much more happened. I think it was shortly after this that I went into transition, and things started to get a bit overwhelming for me. I could feel the pressure from the unbroken waters with each contraction, and found this uncomfortable and very frustrating. Creaghan again gave me the option that if they hadn't broken by 5:30pm she could rupture them for me and hopefully speed things up.I agreed to this as I was exhausted and very ready for anything to speed things up by now. When my waters were broken I felt relief from the pressure that had been driving me crazy and after a short rest lying down I ended up on my knees, holding on to Aidan who was sitting on a chair, circling my hips and having my back rubbed with each contraction.
It wasn't long after that I got the urge to start pushing. A second midwife, Marti, arrived around then to assist with the delivery, and both Creaghan and her coached me through how to push. This was the main part of the labour that was not like anything I had expected it would be. It felt like it took a long time for me to figure out how to direct my strength and energy to the right place in order to help the baby come out, but eventually I got used to it, and with a lot of encouragement and instruction from both midwives and Aidan I got her head out. The rest of the delivery was quick and is a bit of a blur to me, all I remember is being handed my baby to cuddle and being with her and Aidan in a little bubble while everyone else went about their business in the background.
So, after almost 20 hours of labour we now have our beautiful little girl to enjoy, and although there were times towards the end of my labour when I doubted it, I am so glad that I trusted my body, my baby and my midwife to do what was required to have a successful, drug free home birth. Even though I don't get a medal for doing it, I think I have an even better reward in Addison. She is very alert, but also very cruisy and relaxed, and is an absolute delight!
Thanks so much Jo for all of the support and advice you have offered and provided throughout my pregnancy...in the yoga classes, the birth partners workshop, and the amazing massages! It might be a while before I make it back to the Yoga Room while we get ourselves settled, but hopefully I can find some time to come for a post natal massage soon, and perhaps bring Addison along to say hello too :o)
Just a quick email to say Phoebe Alice Coughlan arrived nice and safely…ON CHRISTMAS DAY!
I’ll share my birth story with you and the yoga class-it was actually quite a nice and positive labour-never thought that could fit into one sentence but there you go!
On Christmas Eve at 7pm I sat down on the couch. I jumped up as quick as I had sat down-My shorts were soaked! Had I just wet my pants?! I briskly walked to the bathroom hoping my family who were up for Christmas were not looking at my behind…Yup pants were wet definitely. I announced to my family I may have wet my pants…My husband who had previously sat through ‘what to expect when you are expecting’ said that was a normal sign of pregnancy at this stage as she was sitting on my bladder…Mmmmm. I ran upstairs for a shower and to recover from my leaky bladder… My mum told me to lie on my side on the bed-if it kept leaking it was my waters broken. (I was convinced It was not my waters as
* A) I heard no pop (I really thought there was some sort of tell tale sign)!
*B) It was way too close to Christmas for my liking this was not happening now!
Sure enough it kept leaking. Wow this is really happening! I grabbed a pad and started putting any last minute things in my bag. My bag was full-I had packed like I was going on a resort holiday-I was most looking forward to my spa bath and the stars in the ceiling. I re-read my hypno-birthing book and listened to my CD-Yup I was cool calm and collected….I rung my midwife and she said to come in the next day for antibiotics and stated I may not actually go into labour on my own and that they would induce me on Boxing day (I was 4 days late). I was not keen on being induced.
At around 2am I started having contractions but they were irregular-I let Barry sleep but when I heard him turn over I told him I was having action! Never thought I would want a bit of pain so badly! The next day I danced around the living room (badly). I did a lot of belly dancing actually and yoga poses trying to bring on labour. My family drank their Christmas wine (sob) and laughed at me. I didn’t want a Christmas baby but I didn’t want to be induced even more!
At three pm after a day of irregular contractions I went into hospital for my antibiotics. I told the midwife I was having contractions. (It was a bummer-my midwife had gone on holiday! I had her partner midwife who was lovely-but when you have built up a relationship for 8 or so months you feel a bit cheated)! She put me on a monitor and for the full half an hour I had NO contractions. Would you believe it?! She asked me if I had heard of Braxton Hicks! HA! She said they were a severe Braxton Hicks and that I would come in in the morning for an induction. She would not do an internal but I am positive if she had she would have seen I was in labour!
I got into the car at 5pm and burst into tears. I had danced all day. I was exhausted and if they were Braxton Hicks how on earth was I going to handle a real contraction? They were not without pain-but it was the sort of pain you thought ‘I am getting closer to seeing my child’ so I could handle it. I now felt deflated and nervous about the induction. (I am one of those people who don’t like drugs-I am just scared of them…)!
We got home and I was able to eat Christmas dinner. I ate between *severe Braxton Hicks….I did not have a panadol, shower or use my tense machine as I did not want to waste pain relief options on Braxton Hicks. At 9:30pm I’d had enough-I wanted to go into hospital! I was not having 3 contractions in ten minutes-they were still here there and everywhere. I told Barry to tell the midwife they were regular as right now I was fantasising about taking every drug possible (yes the girl who is afraid of drugs and had in her birth plan no drugs). I was in the transitional stage-although did not know it.
At ten to ten I was in the hospital-hooked up to a heart monitor. I told the midwife I wanted the works-every drug possible please and more. She did an internal and I was 7cm dilated. She also said I could not have any drugs till they had taken my bloods and sent them to the lab-this would take 30 minutes. I could use the gas if I wanted. I tried it but it did not appeal to me. It didn’t make me sick but I like my head feeling unfuzzy! I hate that floating feeling…I used my yoga breathing and went into my own wee world. Barry asked me if he could do anything and I said, ‘yes stop talking’. I heard the midwife laugh…. I had this HUGE urge to do a big poo. Sorry about the too much information thing but man I needed the loo. The midwife assured me it was labour pains. I argued with her to and fro but she was convinced I was having a baby not a poo. (Why did she not believe me a few hours ago)?! At ten thirty my body started convulsing and pushing on its own! I was not ready for this! My contractions were not even regular! Where were my drugs? Where was my resort spa bath? My massage from Barry? Where was my walk around the room to get into yoga positions etc? My midwife said it was too late for pain relief and the baby’s head was already in place so another position wouldn’t be of any benefit. She now started to tell me to push with every contraction-at one stage the midwife asked me to touch the baby’s head-I am so squeamish-that did not go down well with me. She said I would regret it if I didn’t-however I have no regrets about that-I think it would have made me more fearful! Phoebe was born after an hour of pushing-7 pounds 11 ounces . After a 7 hour labour-I was in hospital just short of two hours. My bag of snacks etc did not even get opened! I could not believe I had had a baby! It is such a weird feeling.
I was surprised how crazy your thought patterns go in the transitional stage and that the actual pushing part was less painful than expected! Once you start to push it is nearly a relief and the contractions don’t hurt any more. It still felt like I was having a giant poo though. I am happy to say I only had a baby that day though!
I did require quite a few stiches as Phoebe tried to come out with a sideways superman arm. I did not feel a tear at all. (Something I was so fearful of)! And now 8 days later I have just taken Phoebe on a 45 minute walk around my neighbourhood. You heal so fast! I am also glad I managed to have her without even a panadol. Even if I did ask for drugs and lots of them! The next day I was wide awake and Phoebe was also drug free.
I look forward to bringing Phoebe to Mum and Baby Yoga classes this year! She is a wee cutie!
Love Jo and Phoebe x
Hi Jo, I've been meaning to write for a while so you can share my birth story at pregnancy yoga. I really enjoyed the two stories I heard when I was there, so I hope the girls enjoy mine :).
I had a show at 10.30pm in the evening. I went to the toilet and as I was walking back to bed my waters broke. It wasn't a big gush or anything dramatic, just a trickle which continued for sometime. The color of my waters was fine, so I put a maternity pad in and went to bed, thinking this could be ages away.
The contractions started straight away, they weren't overly painful and were completely irregular so I tried to ignore them and doze between them. Eventually they got the better of me, so I got out of bed and went into the room next door thinking that I may as well leave my husband to get some sleep. I got on my hands and knees and did hip circles through each contraction. I was timing the contractions using an app on my phone. In between contractions I was lying on the floor trying to sleep to conserve as much energy as possible. Soon the contractions were less than 2 mins apart and lasting more than 90 secs. I decided it was time to wake my husband and call my mid wife.
My husband started organizing things and packing the car. When I spoke to my midwife she said it sounded like I was managing well and it might be too early to go to the hospital. She decided to come to my place to check how far along I was, then we make a plan of when to go to the hospital from there. I was now standing in the bathroom leaning over the sink rocking from side to side and doing long breaths through the contractions. At this stage my birth affirmations were running through my head, telling myself to relax and let my body take over. I started to feel extremely sore, and I was thinking "I do anything to take this pain away, if I was in hospital I would take any drug to get rid of this pain!". Luckily I wasn't in hospital. This feeling of being over whelmed by the pain lasted no more than 10 mins. I then got on my hands and knees again on the floor, I called out to my husband to help and got him to put a cold flannel on my head. My mid wife arrived shortly after and examined me. She told me I was 8cm and that we should get to the hospital now.
My husband phoned my sister who was joining us for the birth so she could meet us at the hospital. In the car I was in the back seat on all fours. I knew the baby was coming as I could feel massive pressure in my bottom. I got my husband to give me a running commentary of where we were in the journey to hospital. Once we arrived we got up to the delivery room and then my mid wife told us that I was actually 9.5cm dilated at home but she decided our carpet was too nice for a home birth! I didn't want to have the baby before my sister arrived so I was not letting the contractions make progress. I stood up beside the bed waiting. She arrived 10 mins later. I got on the bed on my hands and knees as I thought this was how I'd like to deliver. Then I had an over whelming sense of fatigue, so I decided to have a nap. I lay on my side and said I'm having a rest. I could vaguely hear my mid wife telling me I needed to have this baby, but I said I will do once I've had a rest. Apparently I went to sleep for about 20 mins, during this time I was having contractions but I just wasn't letting them do anything. They no longer hurt. My midwife got me to lie on my back so she could examine me. At this point I thought, it is time to let go and let my body take over. Here I completely relaxed letting my breath out. On the next contraction I gave a push - not a big one, just a push so I could test the waters and see what happened. Once I did this I realized I could hold onto the progress I'd made from pushing using my breath. I did another small push then held. Once I did this I then just breathed down into my bottom and within three breaths my baby was out.
It was rather like an out of body experience, when my baby was placed on me I wasn't yet back in the room, I didn't think wow this is my baby. I was still in some other place trying to bring myself back into the room. I delivered the placenta naturally which took 45mins, and unfortunately I was bleeding behind it so lost a lot of blood and later had a blood transfusion. However this didn't take away from the wonderful birth I had.
I have a healthy baby boy who weighed 3.225kg (7Ibs2oz). He was born at 4:24am. He is absolutely gorgeous and I love him more each day!
I can highly recommend listening to birth affirmations and doing pregnancy yoga as both of these greatly assisted me during my labour. I can also say, if you are in hospital and think you can't handle the pain, wait another 10 mins before doing anything as the time might pass that you are feeling over whelmed.
Blake and I are looking forward to doing Mums and Bubs yoga in February - so please put us down on your list!
Hi Jo and all the other fantastic ladies at Bella Mama who have helped me. Baby Olive has arrived on Thursday 11 Oct 2012. Attached is my birth story....
Earlier in the day 10.30am check-up with midwife, everything business as usual – baby not fully engaged. Blood pressure good, baby heartbeat good. Talk of what happens if we go over 40 weeks, next week book in for a check-up at around 41wks 3 days….
Wednesday night around 6.30pm was my first sign but as usual even though I was supposed to be paying attention to everything I just thought it was another Braxton Hicks. I think in hindsight I thought the real labour contractions would be stronger or different to these ones I have been experiencing throughout the pregnancy!
These were around 30 mins apart so the timeframe also didn’t ring any alarm bells. Just had a regular night, cooked dinner, watched TV, put our daughter to sleep and for some reason we told her tonight if she wakes up in the morning and Mummy and Daddy are not here but Grandma is then we have gone to have baby sister! Freaky looking back J
Went to bed at around 9.30pm and finished reading my HypnoBirthing book, had a couple of contractions but again nothing out of the norm. Told my hubby and (he is so clever) he thought to pack up his work van in case they had to come pick it up tomorrow because we were in labour, did a quick clean of the house and did the dishes as he didn’t want to leave them around – just in case!
Went to bed at 10pm and thought I could not be bothered with the perianal massage tonight and fell asleep. Every now and then I would wake and need to go to the toilet or move and casually glanced at the clock. The last one was around 2.22am and then at just before 3am I had that urge to get up and go to the bathroom quickly … as I was walking to the toilet, waters broke! Well I think they did, I always expected it to be a gush of water but no just a little trickle. No funny colour so I was not sure what was going on as this was the first time I had experienced this. Called out to my husband who was asleep and sat there for a few more minutes until I thought something might have just happened. He finally got up and said to text the midwife and let her know. I’ve always had in the back of my mind I don’t want to call her all the way out especially this time of the morning and it not be the real thing. But like she has always said, this will be another quick one so it’s better to call first and assess each turn of events.
So I called Loraine and she said to time the surges and give her a call back in 30 mins and we can go from there. My husband started arranging the house and completing the half packed homebirth kit while I was on the toilet telling him each time I felt a contraction. After 15 minutes of them being 2 minutes apart he called the midwife and said she better get here quick! Again it wasn’t painful, just intense feeling in your muscles for those few seconds. After having my last daughter on the toilet by ourselves (see birth story below!! - Jo :) ) I asked Dave to run a bath as we had to upgrade this birthing suite from the toilet! Luckily we managed to get into the bath and then what I call the labour started. My hip started to hurt! (no idea why) The main discomfort I felt was in my hip, knees from being in the all fours position (dancing bear yoga very helpful) and my elbows! For some reason I was holding all my tension in my shoulders and no matter what and how many times I tried to relax them it was always up around my ears and reminded of Yoga on Saturday Jo when you mentioned people with very flexi elbows to try and face them inwards. So I managed to get 2 repetitions of Gayatri Mantra (10mins each) on my Ipod in, during which time the midwife arrived. Every time she went to listen to the babies heartbeat another surge. I think she heard it once and then the rest of the labour is a blur but from her notes the intensity ramped up at 4.18am when baby was coming down, had the show at 4.25am and by 4.50am out was our beautiful little baby Olive Miller 7lb 7oz and 54cm long! I did remember Loraine telling me it was time to push during this stage but I was confident I could wait until the next surge and using my deep Ujjayi breath (aka Darth Vader breathing) breathe her out as I didn’t want to tear or anything.
Mission accomplished beautiful healthy baby girl born, no drugs, only a slight graze but nothing needed to be done, cord not clamped until it stopped pulsing, didn’t quite make it to BirthCare Warkworth (which I fully 100% recommend postnatally) but husband didn’t have to deliver bubs, heaps of skin on skin right away. I think everyone should be listening to the Hypnobirthing Affirmation CD and if your keen on a relaxed birth definitely give it a go along with preggy yoga and Bella Mama Massages!
Our wee man, Archie, arrived - appropriately - on Labour Day, Monday 25 October, at 6.55pm weighing 6 lb 14 oz.
I can only say that I was extremely lucky (perhaps a bit of good management too) and had an excellent labour experience considering it was baby number one. The first sign of action was when I awoke to a show on Sunday morning. I let my midwife know and the rest of the day continued uneventfully...except for some concentrated nesting activity! Then at five to 11pm that night, my waters broke. I called my midwife again as knew I had to go in for IV antibiotics as soon this happened. However because I'd had no contractions to speak of, it was agreed we'd meet at the hospital at 6am the next morning. I managed to get about four hours sleep with just five or six mild pangs and into the hospital we went.
At that time discussions turned toward possibly needing to give things a nudge along since there were still no contractions to speak of. I really wanted to avoid having to augment things as I knew this would mean a more intense labour and almost certainly an epidural (although I didn't have an issue with the latter as such). We agreed to reconvene at 12.30pm and re-evaluate then when we came back for the next lot of antibiotics. I went home, rested and went for a walk during which there were a couple of decent 'tightenings'. At 12.30pm we returned to hospital and my midwife had spoken to the specialist who said we'd be OK to go home for another six hours, enjoy the afternoon, have dinner and come back at 7pm. This decision bought us more time and certainly resulted in us achieving the seven-hour, drug and intervention-free labour that followed. Thank goodness!
We had no sooner got home at around 1.30pm than contractions started in earnest, five minutes apart.. It was on with the TENS machine and I coped my way through them by rocking side to side leaning on a swiss ball, humming, using rescue remedy and having Mark do hip squeezes.. After two hours, things were getting intense and it was time for the dreaded car trip to hospital which went, thankfully, much more quickly than I'd anticipated...even though we had to change route when we struck the Labour Day traffic on the motorway! Then it was into the hospital, a contraction on all fours in main reception, then up two flights of stairs to maternity (no time to waste waiting for the lifts!)
After a quick check on baby and a couple of contractions on the bed (I was 2-3 cms dilated at this point), we moved to the birth pool. This was bliss and I'd highly recommend it...warm, dim, quiet, upright support and definitely offers pain relief...although you realise that more in hindsight! My biggest allies were breathing, locking eyes with Mark and having him breathe with me in the pool, and visualisation. I imagined with each out-breath that I was blowing the sail of a boat and helping propel it toward a finish line...which was the rest at the end of the contraction. The pain during the breathing wasn't pleasant, but if I lost control of my breath and started to cry or 'give in' to it, it was a lot worse. After about two hours in the pool baby's heart rate was dropping with each contraction and in between the last three contractions I was starting to ask for an epidural so it was time to get out and reassess. Back on the bed, my midwife was surprised to find I was already at 10cm, and after an hour of pushing, Archie had arrived! Afterwards the midwife said she was amazed that I'd dilated to 10cm and although she thought an epidural would be the next step, she didn't really think I was as far along as I was as I'd asked for the pain relief so calmly in the pool! I can tell you, I didn't feel that calm!
I still can't believe that I had such a short and 'straightforward' labour as I was fully expecting a marathon. I'm very lucky and proud of what my body managed to achieve. I had great support people in Mark and my mum who both brought different strengths and would fully recommend having two 'right-hand men/women'...as long as you know they're the right people for you. Ten days on and we're getting sleep patterns sorted and Archie is gaining weight just as he should...go the 'booby juice'! We're settling into a new way of life and looking forward to mum and baby yoga.....
Good luck to all the girls.
Sorry it's taken so long to get this down. I've had a challenging first 9 weeks! With Olive wearing the harness and the reflux. We got the harness off on Wednesday, so that is one less problem that we will have to deal with now. We're enjoying massaging her after your lesson! But, anyway...you want to hear about the birth, so I had better get into it!
Signs that I was going into labour started at about 8am on 14 Feb (Valentine's Day) when I had my "show" and not long after that I started getting contractions (although mild at that stage). Tim and I decided to get things going by taking the dog for a walk along the beach. By the time we got ourselves sorted and into the car, I was starting to get uncomfortable. Contractions were quite frequent already, sometimes only a minute or so apart, so I didn't feel like venturing too far from home. I called the midwife on the beach, and before long, I felt the need to get back to the house.
At home we started timing contractions, and set about making lunch for the long stretch ahead. All the time, I was relaxed and just excited about finally getting to meet our baby. I spent time bouncing and circling my hips on the swiss ball. Things progressed very quickly and by 1pm contractions were coming at least every minute, and were ranging between 3-5 mins. I really had to focus to get through each one. We'd done the hypnobirthing, which all seemed to go out the window on the day! I couldn't lie on my back like you see in a lot of the hypnobirthing videos, instead choosing to lean forward over a stack of pillows or against the wall. I circled my hips for each one which seemed to really help a lot. Tim helped by holding my hips and circling them for me, as well as reminding me to breath through each contraction. I really used the "Just this breath" and "I am coping, it comes and it goes" mantras, as well as counting. But most help of all was breathing. Slow controlled breaths in through the nose, and out through the mouth. I just concentrated on breathing as slowly and deeply as possible, and it seemed to really help. I can't believe how everything just gets so foggy and you can't remember all your tools on the day. It's good if your partner has some idea of what you want to use, a list or something to remind you, because my mind really wasn't clear enough to think "what else can I use to get through this?".
At 2.30pm we headed off to Birthcare, and that was a really awful trip - now I see why people don't wait too much longer to get to the hospital - it's too blimmin uncomfortable. I had three contractions on the way there. I was 4cm dilated on arrival, and midwife was able to do a stretch/sweep which increased it to 6cm. I hopped into the birthing pool, and spent the next 2 hours kneeling forward leaning on the step in the pool, breathing through each contraction. I found that the best way for me to deal with each contraction was to focus on the breath.
Transition was fleeting - I recall one thought of "What if I can't do this?" and the options at that stage would be to transfer to Auckland for an epidural, which was unthinkable considering how uncomfortable I was - contractions coming on top of one another! So I just pushed the thoughts out of my head, and said to myself "You CAN do this".
Unfortunately I couldn't have the waterbirth i had wished for. At 6.30pm I was told that I could push... and after a few attempts in the pool, my midwife suggested that it may be easier out on the bed. After 2 and a quarter hours pushing, Olive was born. Her head was slightly cocked to the left, so "breathing her out" was impossible - I definitely had to push!
I am certain yoga helped me get through the labour without medical pain relief. All the breathing exercises, mantras and focus practice was so helpful. I also had made time for relaxation/meditation every day. and I studiously repeated a page of affirmations to myself every morning for about 4 months. The one that I'm certain made a world of difference was "My baby's birth will be easy because I'm so relaxed". It really rang true for me on the day (I'm NOT a relaxed person by nature!). I still can't believe how calm and relaxed I was throughout the labour and birth - given how exciting it all was.
I had SUCH a positive experience. It didn't matter that I didn't do things exactly as we planned. I was open to anything on the day, and that made it so much easier mentally to get through. Thanks so much for all your advice and encouragement during yoga. It was invaluable.
I had my second boy on the 8th of April. I'm pleased to tell you that I had the VBAC that I planned for. I went into labour the day before my family and I had planed to go to Waiheke. My brother in law was getting married on Friday in the Island. I had packed my bags at 10.00pm went to bed. By 11.00pm the contractions started, and went on till 4.00pm. This was not established labour. I went into the birthing unit at 4.00am and had to come back at 9.00am. My husband was great with the massage on the lower back, helped a lot. At 4.00pm my midwife asked me try the castor oil with juice, which I did. Half an hour later the contractions were 5mins apart.
The Midwife came at 6.00pm and said that we had to rush to the birthing unit as quickly as possible. When I was in the car I felt the baby coming right down. I thought I was going to have the baby in the car. I remembered to breath at every contraction slowly, but at times I would sream. When I asked my husband about it later of what he thought he said " it didn't bother me because I knew it is just the women's thing". After I got there I went into the water and stayed there for about an hour. I had to have the gas. My midwife was rubbing my lower lower back which was soothing. Becase i didn't want to have a water birth they got me out qickly. by this time I had the urge to push. At 8.40pm my baby was born (not named yet working on it).
Thank you Jo for your yoga classes and for your enthusiasm. They were inspiring, positive and fun. For me I feel that the yoga classes helped me to positive, as well as hearing about the other births. I have told my midwife about your classes and how it helped me with different postures and to bring baby in the right position. She will recommend them to her ladies.Thank you again and I wish all the best to the ladies with their pregnancy and birth.
PS: Baby now has a name - Jay Nitai :)
Our new baby girl Milly was born in the water on Friday 14th August 2009 after a 3 hour labour. She was well past her due date by at least 10 days and I’d been experiencing practice labour for a week leading up to her birth.
Throughout the week I’d been relaxing through any of the practice labour, breathing and listening to affirmations. I found the CDs very useful to get to sleep to – just like I’d found them very useful throughout most of my pregnancy. I felt I was well rested by the end of the week. On Thursday night I went to bed with the usual mild practice surges (contractions/Braxton hicks) hoping that tonight would be the night. To be honest I was totally fed up of being pregnant – along with the constant pressure from friends and family enquiring as to when would this baby be born! I woke a few times in the night disappointed that nothing seemed to be progressing. However I slept soundly between 3-6am and was woken suddenly at 6am with a stronger sensation.
The surges weren’t regular – some coming every 5 mins, others every 2 or 3 mins and some were long, some short. So I was unsure of where I was at. Nevertheless we called my Mum to come look after the kids and by 7.40am I’d decided it was time to start to make a move to the birthing centre. Meanwhile I’d been focusing on breathing and relaxing through each and every surge plus I had some breakfast and a shower.
We got into the car and towards the end of our 10 minute journey I noticed feeling pressure intensifying and very low down. On arrival at the birthing centre at 8.15am my midwife checked baby and me, I was 8 cm dilated, baby had descended right down and her heartbeat was fine. I got into the pool – bliss to be emerged in warm water. Phil used some affirmations and an anchor through the next couple of surges, but very quickly I felt the intensity and pressure increase and the need to breathe downwards. Our baby crowned and I continued to breathe her out – relaxing and letting go as much as I could. My body and my baby did all the work – all I needed to do was breathe through each surge.
It was truly an amazing experience to feel her head crown and feel it emerge – the water giving incredible support to my body. After her head was born one more surge and out came her body. The midwife passed her to me, cord still intact and we just enjoyed watching her in my arms, waiting for the placenta to detach. It felt like a long time for this to happen as I felt this part of the process was quite uncomfortable, and it was harder to remember to breathe and relax when you have this new little person in your arms! Finally after 30 mins the placenta detached and was born, the cord was clamped and Milly had some bonding time with her Dad while I got out of the pool. I then breastfed Milly, enjoying the surreal feeling of having had an incredible experience over the past one hour. A lot had happened in a very short time.
I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to give our daughter a gentle and calm entry into this world. Once again I credit the tools and techniques of HypnoBirthing that helped give me the knowledge and confidence to release, relax and let go. My body and my baby truly knew what to do.
For more information on Hypno-Birthing see www.positivebirths.co.nz