Thank you to all the women who have shared their unique and special stories below. May they encourage and inspire you to approach labour with confidence and strength.
Just thought I would write and let you know how it all went. Philippa Elizabeth was born on the 20/9 at 5.01pm. 3.74kg, 51cm and 36cm head.
After weeks of ‘niggles’ and the babies head being fully engaged for a week, little Philippa decided to make an appearance.
Last Thursday 20/9 my waters broke at 6.30am in the morning. Which was great because I had had a great nights sleep and so was ready. The contractions started but were irregular. I walked my son to preschool, thinking it might get things going a little better. I rang my midwife about 9.30am to say things had started and we decided to meet at the hospital at 11am for a check and an antibotics injections.
We arrived at the hospital around 11.30am were checked over and left to ourselves. My husband and I walked the hospital corridors for about 2 hours, contractions were becoming more regular and stronger. We returned to the birth centre room and with lots of deep squatting from me and support from my partner we were progressing well. The midwife checked my progression about 3.30pm, I was 3cm, a little disappointed as the contractions were close together and strong. Another hour passed and the contractions were about 30sec apart and going for 1 1/2 minutes. Under my instruction the midwife checked again, I was 5 cm. I hopped in the bath and along with some gas this offered some relief. The contractions were very long and strong at this point. At 4.55pm I suddenly felt the urge to push, the head was out and I freaked out a bit because it was happening very very fast. Less than 5 minutes later Philippa was born. She was very purple and was quickly brought to my chest, while the cord was cut and clamped. I was in a little bit of shock from the intensity and speed of the final half hour. We got out of the bath and Philippa didn’t leave my chest for about an hour. Overall it was a wonderful experience.
I just wanted to thank you for the the encouragement throughout my 3 pregnancies. I first joined prenatal yoga with my first pregnancy in 2006. As much as I didn’t go through the birth centre with my first baby I had a wonderful delivery (At TCH) and I owe it to the yoga classes I attended leading up to the birth. The techniques and advice you gave meant I felt empowered to have the birth I wanted. Thank you.
I might try and come down to the class on Tuesday night and share, as I think its important for people to hear great stories about birth.
I just wanted to let you know that we welcomed our baby girl – Evie into the world on Sunday 18 November at 2:57pm via a successful vbac.
Evie was posterior so my labour was quite long and painful but it was all worth it when she was put onto my chest. Being able to feed straight away and walk around without the complications of surgery have been amazing.
She was 3.7 kgs or 8lb3oz and 51cm long. Thank you for all your helpful advice. I credit yoga and labour techniques I learnt in class to being able to successfully have a vbac. I will look into doing postnatal classes so will see you soon hopefully.
Just wanted to let you know that Elodie Ruby Morrison finally made an appearance on the weekend. After 3 weeks of prelabour, I finally started getting regular contractions on Saturday – my due date.
I had mild contractions all morning but was able to go about my day as normal (with breaks to stop and sway through contractions). I had a lovely lunch in the garden and went for a walk. By the afternoon the contractions were getting more regular so we made our way to the birth centre. My husband thought this was great as our room had views of the cricket being played on Garran oval.
At 5pm, things really kicked off and I was definitely in active labour. I found that rocking, making sound, using the TENS and back massage helped me manage. It also helped to have a routine for each contraction – kneeling in the same place, boosting the TENS, and getting my husband to rub my back in the same way.
I delivered Elodie at 8pm still kneeling on the floor and caught her myself.
It really helped control the pushing stage to be holding her head as she crowned.
Even though it was late, Elodie’s big sister, Beatrice, came in for a cuddle
Little George is doing beautifully and I had a very positive birthing experience. George was born just after midday on 8 October (a day early, on our wedding anniversary) after a very short four hours of established labour! I woke up on the morning of the 8th not being able to keep anything down (a good sign of transition) but didn’t recognise I was so far along – I thought I was just starting pre-labour. Reflecting on it now, I think I was in pre-labour probably for a week beforehand, but didn’t recognise it as such because he was so well engaged and I just had a few period-like pains. I did some of the yoga relaxation poses to try and get comfortable, but what I think really helped was the ujaya (sp?) breathing – it was so good at keeping me focused and worked really well as the contractions set in. I arrived at the hospital a few hours later and was 9 cms dilated, so it’s lucky we didn’t wait any longer, otherwise we may have had an accidental home birth!! I didn’t need any drug relief, though I did get given oxycontin because I haemorrhaged, due to the quickness of the labour. I’ve since recovered well and am enjoying time with my little man.
Anyway, looking forward to getting back into yoga, and happy for you to share this with other mums.
My daughter was born, weighing 3595g and 48cm long, so a perfectly average baby.
The labour itself was long and a lot of hard work (not that I ever thought it would be anything else). The contractions started at 5pm on the Wednesday afternoon, and continued throughout the night. I found that they were far enough apart initially that I could relax between them and I tried (in vain) to get some sleep. On Thursday morning we had an appointment with the midwife who said that things were progressing nicely and I should make my way to the hospital.
At the hospital they did all the usual checks and found that I was still only 4cm dilated. From midday Thursday to midnight I did what I could using as many of the techniques that you taught us in both the yoga classes and the ‘preparing for a positive birth class’. I found that stamping my feet in the shower worked well, as did bouncing on the gym ball and different types of breathing. Just after midnight the midwives and the doctors where toying with what to do next, in the end they suggested a sleeping tablet and panadol so that I could try and get some rest. Of course not long after I dozed off my waters broke and we were off again though the decision was then taken to put me on a drip with Syntocin to keep things progressing.
By 6am on Friday morning I was feeling really tired but still only 5-6cm dilated so the midwives talked me through the options (I did the BRAN on everything they suggested) and in the end I opted for an epidural. It wasn’t how I had wanted things to go but after 39 hours of contractions and the end nowhere in sight it turned out that it really was the best thing for me. Only a few hours later I was ready to push and at 12:28 my baby was born.
A huge thank you to you – without the techniques I learned through the classes I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did without pain relief. It was great to have a lot of different options to deal with the pain and I think my husband was glad to have some ideas on how to support me through things like massage and providing positive reinforcement.
Sorry it has taken a few weeks but I wanted to let you know that I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Wednesday 12 September (which still feels like yesterday!)
I did come into this birth with a lot more understanding and strength to do what was right for me. My contractions started at about 2 pm but we thought they were just braxton hicks as I was only 38 weeks. But by 5 pm they were regular and decided not to go to yoga.
In early labor I used a lot of movement and stamped and walked through the contractions and the fit ball. By 8 pm they were getting more intense and closer. During this time I used affirmations and breathing techniques and noise. The midwife came out at 9pm and I was 3cm dialated. We decided to meet at the birth centre at 11pm. I had something to eat and had a long shower, while my husband had a nap.
When I got to the hospital my contractions were very strong and closer together. My waters broke in the foyer of the birht centre and I was ready to push. I made it to the suite and gave birth to our beautiful boy on all fours in 6 pushes.
Samuel McCallum was born at 1053 pm weighing 4.01kg.
This birth was so positive and exactly how I had imagined it going (except cutting it a bit close at the hospital). The practices I learnt at yoga and my previous birth prepared me to make it this way. Thank you Julia and all the ladies in the class that assisted in making this journey and hope to see you in post natal yoga!
I woke to my daughter Ali (2 ½) around midnight when I was 39 weeks and as I got out of bed my waters broke. She came into bed with me and I started to have mild contractions. She was very excited to think that her baby brother or sister might be coming and was a good distraction early in labour. She went from the bed with me to ‘assisting’ my husband pack the labour bag. A couple of hours later my contractions were picking up and my sister came and took Ali to her home.
Soon after our doula Vickie arrived and sent my husband to bed! The contractions were much stronger now and I was using breathing and movement to get through them. I found visualising my body releasing my baby to me very helpful in welcoming the contractions. I remained in bed as long as I could but eventually had to get up I then got into the shower and then sat on the fit ball. Things continued to intensify and around 6.30am we decided to go to the hospital.
We arrived at the birth centre and I got into the bath with the shower on my back. I continued to have strong contractions and some involuntary urges to push. Then my labour slowed and the contractions weakened. We tried lots of things to strengthen them including homeopathics, aromatherapy, iv fluids, lots of different positions and an in-out catheter to drain my bladder. I had my first examination at this time and was fully dilated. Things eventually picked up again and I had good contractions and started to push.
After I had been pushing hard for about an hour my midwife, Jenny, examined me again and I was disappointed to find that the baby had not descended at all. We transferred to delivery suite where I was told that my baby had moved to a posterior position, this surprised me as I had not had back pain and the baby was anterior when I commenced labour. They applied a kiwi cup – I pushed and the doctor pulled and my beautiful son Edward was born in two very intense contractions. He cried immediately and was placed on my chest and with some encouragement started to feed. It was such a thrill to meet him and discover that he was a little boy.
The support of my midwife and doula were invaluable in helping me use non pharmacological ways of managing the pain, guiding my decision making around the birth and helping me think through what happened afterwards. Although it was not what I had planned, I feel very positive about the way I laboured and birthed my son.
Little Audrey Grace has arrived safe and sound, a healthy 7.1 pound baby (3.2kg). I’m happy for you to share my birth story with the other ladies.
At 37 weeks, my waters broke on Monday (labour day!) and then we had to play the waiting game for a few days. The hospital gave me an antibiotics injection to avoid the risk of any infection and told us to come back in 24 hours for another shot if nothing had happened. I felt a few niggles on Monday but contractions didn’t really get started until Tuesday afternoon. I tried to get lots of rest and keep busy, I went for a walk, watched a couple of movies & even played a board game with my partner & housemate! As the contractions grew more intense, we retreated to our room which was nice & quiet, lit candles & tried many of the yoga techniques you taught us. I was extremely relaxed & in the zone and by 10pm the contractions were 3 mins apart and strong and regular so we headed back to hospital.
The midwife laid me on the bed & hooked me up to an ECG monitor for an hour, despite my requests to want to keep moving. Every time I tried sitting up, the monitor would lose the baby’s heart beat so I was really limited in movement. I started feeling very agitated and as a result contractions slowed down. A vaginal examination revealed I was only 2cm dilated so they sent me home with pain killers & sleeping tablets, exactly the opposite of what my body wanted to do. After a few hours of painful, intermittent sleep, contractions eventually stopped – very frustrating! Although I was still feeling lots of period-pain like symptoms & pressure in the bum constantly.
We returned to the hospital for our next antibiotics injection the next day after lunchtime (now Wednesday), and as we were 48hrs past waters breaking they took blood tests which came back with high protein/white blood count levels so they suspected that I might have an infection and recommended an induction. We were both not keen to be induced but eventually decided it was the safest option. A few more hours of waiting and fear had unfortunately set in. I was really scared and nervous, and not feeling confident at all about the birth after hearing how induction can be really intense. I was seriously considering pain relief options despite previously wanting a natural birth. Three more sets of antibiotics and then another vaginal exam showed that I was already 4cm dilated! The midwife was impressed! It seems my body had been ‘silently’ labouring. Then I was finally hooked up to the sintocinon drip at 10pm.
It didn’t take long before contractions were strong and regular. Luckily I had experienced these the day before so I was able to manage them pretty well. Even though I was hooked up to a drip and a foetal monitor, I was determined to be able to move when I needed to. So with the help of my partner I was able to sit up & stand and go to the bathroom (they let me unplug the monitor briefly). I even snuck in a quick shower. By 11.30pm, an hour & half in, contractions suddenly changed – I could feel my cervix actually open up! It was like it literally gasping for air, expanding with each contraction. I was in awe and remember saying to my partner quite excitedly in the rest periods ‘wow, I can feel my body open up!’ It gave me so much confidence in my body so I was able to really relax and go with it, even enjoying it somewhat!
By midnight, I was on my knees leaning over the back of the bed, breathing through each contraction. The doc said he’d be back in 4hrs to check on me but I was pretty sure baby was going to arrive sooner than that. The midwife decided to do an internal just in case and I was 9cm! Soon I was pushing and I felt sooo much pressure in my bum, like I needed to do an enormous poo. Half an hour or so of intense pushing and the midwife realised the baby wasn’t descending so she asked me to roll over on to my back. I was hesitant to lay on my back but decided to trust her & was keen to try anything at that point. I placed one foot on her hip and the other on my partner’s hip so they could push back against me & I could really open up. The next contraction came & her head appeared! It still took some time before she was born but the labour process was incredible. My partner could watch everything happening & the midwife gave me very clear instructions, telling me to push for longer instead of taking breaths in the middle of contractions (she would creep back up when I did). I was already making lots of noise but the midwife encouraged me to ‘get angry’ & scream louder. It was very raw but invigorating.
By 1.40am, baby was on my chest. We were so in shock that the midwife had to remind us to check if she was a girl or boy! I had the sintocinon jab to help with the placenta, which I was grateful for as I was exhausted so was was glad to have it over quickly. Turns out I was only in ‘active’ labour for 3 hrs with no pain-relief! I had a 2nd degree tear because Audrey’s hand was near her face but I didn’t feel the tearing because the entire area burns as it stretches and the pain is over pretty quickly.
The whole experience was intense but absolutely incredible. Thank you for everything you taught me, I was able to really let go and trust my body.
I’m happy to bring Audrey into yoga class this Saturday if you like. Is it okay if Marcus comes too? The ladies might like to hear a male’s perspective on the whole thing.