Mama E – “I’m proud to say, no pain relief – just the all important breath and mindfulness”
Firstly, a big thank you for everything. It was a pleasure to attend yoga during my pregnancy and the breathing techniques as well as physical strength exercised in class certainly went a long way for me to enjoy a positive birth experience. So here it is…my birth story!
As you know, I had been feeling a little apprehensive in the final weeks of pregnancy, albeit my second labour. I also had quietly planned a home birth which only a few people were privy too. However, I was open minded that where a medical situation may arise, the hospital wasn’t far away. I spent most of my first week of maternity, as well as relaxing and nesting, psyching myself up! I’d printed some birth affirmations to display around the house and the one that kept repeating itself to me was “the baby will arrive when the time is right.” Every night I went to bed convincing myself “tonight will be the night” and I’m sure this began to irritate my husband.
As a teacher, my first week off was nicely timed to be half term and my partner had taken annual leave to spend time together, before our family of three became a family of four. As the week came to an end I silently wished baby would arrive before my partner was due to go back to work. Saturday evening we ventured out for mountain air to watch the fireworks in Caerphilly. It seemed like a good idea but it was drizzly, crowded and our son insisted on climbing further up the hill to get a good view. I powered on, albeit frustrated I couldn’t even do my coat up in the rain. After 20 minutes, we’d had enough and returned to home comforts. Low and behold that evening I was feeling some tummy cramps. I woke at 2.30am to relieve my bladder (nothing out of the ordinary) but by 3am I woke my husband to say I think it’s happening.
My waters appeared to trickle so I decided to take a bath for relaxation and lit my lavender calendar whilst my partner stirred and was put to action to get us birth ready. He lay out the birth pool for pumping and cleared space in the dining room. My surges seemed to ramp up a notch and by which time I was out of the bath and rocking on my birth ball and with each surge I called for my husband to hold my hand or rub my lower back whilst focusing on my breathing. At this point we called the hospital to inform them and decided it was best to get a midwife to the house to check how I was progressing. Little did I know, progression was pretty swift and as we’d put setting the birth pool on hold until the midwife arrived, my partner suggested I moved into the living room. Finally the midwife arrived and she was a calming presence, encouraging me to focus on my breath and listen to my body.
At this point, my out breaths changed to primitive groans instinctively. I really felt like I needed a poo! I then overheard the midwife call the hospital for a second midwife to attend but commented that the baby would likely make an appearance before she would arrive. Shit! I’m really having this baby soon I thought, and with that I caught my breath and tried to recompose myself. Now, I’m pretty sure I entered transition at this point – the overwhelming feeling you can’t go on but you can and you must. At full dilation and a mighty push, the head felt present. Within a matter of moments and following the lead of my bodily surges, our baby slipped out with a fist covering her face, super girl style, just without the cloak! True to form and the mystic meg affirmation, her timing was perfect. I cradled my daughter between my arms, cord dangling between me.
Exhausted. But it’s not over until it’s over. We enjoyed immediate skin to skin and as I sat on the sofa for her to nuzzle into my breast we waited patiently for the cord to stop pulsating. After around 45 minutes, my partner cut it. As I intended to keep my placenta for encapsulation we decided to have a physiological third stage and within an hour I delivered it. I’m proud to say – no pain relief just the all important powerful breath and mindfulness. The most beautiful thing was my son waking up a few hours later and coming down stairs to meet his baby sister which we captured on video.
And so it begins, a whirlwind, joyous and emotional time adjusting to newborn demands and growing as a family of four.
Myself and my little girl look forward to starting baby yoga with you soon!
Good luck fellow mummies to be and wishing you all safe, healthy and positive births! You got this 🙂