By Logan Scheidt
Empowerment in birth and pregnancy has been not only a transformational experience in how we were able to experience our birth but also how we have been able to carry ourselves into parenthood.
Being the expert and the one in power in your pregnancy, birth and in your life is one of those funny things you don’t even realize your giving away your power, till you realise, you were giving away your power. We walk into the hospital and see the white coats and automatically take every word they say for our truth, to be absolute. We think that if we question what someone says we are going to start confrontation, but in fact we are just trying to understand what is happening and what options we have. From there, we then can make an informed choice now knowing all the details.
If I could give myself one piece of information that I would listen to before I ever got pregnant, it would be to educate myself. Know as much as you can and find the right people before entering into the space of becoming a parent, from pregnancy, to birth, to post partum care.
For me, in birth, this was Calmbirth. It gave me so much empowerment in birth, which I already thought I was the expert on. It’s funny what you think you know, until you’re put into a situation you never imagined could have happened. My first son was born by Emergency C-section when we found out at 39weeks and 5 days he was a footling breech. By 39weeks and 6 days I was in labour at 10am and he was born by 5pm. The experience of my first birth while experiencing the most love I had ever felt in my life left me feeling disempowered, robbed of what is my God given right to birth vaginally.
I cried for several months after he was born and although it was an extremely elegant birth, I couldn’t help but feel sad about how everything played out. When we chose to have our second baby at 10 months post partum, I had seen many health care providers that recommended elective C-section to avoid any possible risks because my babies were only 19 months apart, and of course the possibility of complications. I won’t lie, there were more than a few times I considered this as the outcome, until I found Calmbirth and started educating myself on all the possible outcomes of a VBAC and all of my other possibilities.
The reality of our birth was that we planned to have an all natural, no drugs, water birth. We did not want, nor think we needed any intervention to have our second child because we had been through it before, and we knew what it would take. We knew all the breathing exercises and I was very fit, educated and empowered to have this baby the way we wanted.
What we didn’t anticipate was that I would have a posterior labour, the intensity would have me use drugs to help with this intensity. I hated the way the pool felt and how cold I was in the water. I would end up with an epidural after 13 hours, and that I would give birth on my back with the assistance of a vacuum.
No, this was not exactly how we pictured our birth, the difference was that we were empowered, when things happened so differently to what we had planned, all we had to do was inquire about the possible choices that were available to us, stay strong in believing and knowing my body was capable and that we both felt empowered with the information and skills we had. Together we created an experience that was what we wanted and not what someone told us we had to do. All of these tools we learned in Calmbirth which helped us to cope better with the unexpected things that happened along the way, this left both my husband and I with a feeling of strength and empowerment.
Lachlan, my birthing partner said, “Coming out of the experience we felt a lot closer than ever and that we brought our minds and hearts together to make choices that we knew would make us feel good about our experience. We also had so many useful tools to draw on during the long, intense labour, such as breathing techniques, meditations, calming language and positive affirmations. ”
Lachlan said, “Before I entered into Calmbirth I felt I had quite a good understanding of being a birthing partner. Everything Logan learnt, she was so excited about it, and had to tell me all about it. So after we planned a water birth for our first son and it didn’t go to plan, the education Logan had given me had helped, but I definitely didn’t feel empowered and there was no way I could help her in what she was going through as a husband and birth partner.
“After we found out she was pregnant with our second child, we were somewhat confident that we could deliver this baby and have a successful VBAC. Deep down I had doubts and fears around the birth and had expressed this to Logan, so when she found Calmbirth, of course I was looking forward to transforming my doubts and fears. And this was exactly what Calmbirth delivered.
“About an hour into our first session with our Calmbirth facilitator, Eslana, I was blown away and ready to give birth to our son, right there, in that moment, on the floor. Literally. let’s do this. With the education around the birthing process, what she has and will experience, and shown the different scenarios that could confront us, I was given tools to be at her side and empower her as a husband, and birth partner.”
“When things came up during the birthing process, the doctors would come to me first as I could confidently make a choice about what was to be done in favour of what was best for my wife and the choices we made together, this was something we chose to bring in prior to going into labour so Logan could stay calm, centered and in her experience. Calmbirth gave me the ultimate confidence and ability, to be the guardian and support during my son’s birth. To be the man my wife needed me to be in those moments. While both expected and not expected things happened in our transition from a family of 3 to a family of 4, what we got from the experience is a feeling of closeness, bonding, love, and harmony. While it still took debriefing and process afterwards, we will never forget how Calmbirth prepared us and brought us together as a family.”
To watch Logan an Lachlan’s beautiful birth unfold click onto the link below.