Story By Tamara Taylor
My whole labour and birth experience was the most amazing experience I could have ever imagined. I was so empowered, listened to and respected. I am not hesitating at all to recommend to anyone to do the calmbirth course.
I first heard about Calmbirth when my sister in law and her husband did it in the lead up to having their first child in February this year, when I was pregnant with my second. They were saying how good it was, and my thoughts were yeah ok, let’s see if you still say that after bub is born, very pessimistic, I know. Fast forward to her enduring a 3-day labour and giving birth to their beautiful son, and her declaring that the Calmbirth techniques were what helped her through it with minimal pain relief.
Flash back to when I was having my first child in 2018, my husband and I did the antenatal classes offered by the hospital and I read a birth skills book and thought, yep, I’m prepared! Oh how wrong I was. I was induced because they ‘didn’t want baby to get any bigger’ at one week 3 days over (he was born at 3675g) and I didn’t feel I had the ability to say no. I got to 4cm dilated and I felt that I was losing control and became terrified of the back to back contractions, so I asked for an epidural. Up until that point I had not had any other pain relief. After the epidural I slept on and off until my boy made his way into the world.
As my due date with my second born loomed, I remembered my sister in laws experience with calm birth and signed up for the course with educator Natalie Grinbergs. It was held over Zoom, thanks to COVID-19, however, this did not take away from the quality of the information or delivery of the material. Natalie has been an amazing support and point of contact with the many questions and concerns I have had. I can not thank her enough!
So, with being armed with the knowledge imparted by Natalie through the Calmbirth course, and an amazing midwife in the Midwifery Group Practice, which I was accepted into at about 32 weeks pregnant, (thanks again to Covid19 for cancelling her travel plans). I was practicing my breathing techniques daily in the lead up to the big event. I knew active labour was looming when I was continuously going to the bathroom at 1 week 3 days over my due date. My dog Also not leaving my side also signalled that bub was on her way! I called my midwife the afternoon prior to giving birth as I felt that my babies movements had reduced. After being monitored and everything being fine with bub, she checked my dilation and I was 4cms! (This was about 9:30pm).
I came home, had a shower and had the realisation of being nearly half way there and having had no pain! This made me feel euphoric in the difference already in this labour compared to my first. So after this, I tried to get some rest and cuddled up with hubby. Within half an hour of laying down, I had to get up as my pains had started. He offered to get up with me, but I told him to keep resting, I’d call out if I needed him. So to pass the time ( because I didn’t know how long it was going to be) I pulled food from the freezer, and planned on repacking my hospital bags (because I have no idea how to pack light) and brush the dog. I then turned on my battery operated tea light candles in the bathroom, as I was still continuously emptying my bowels and had a dim light in the living room to keep up the melatonin.
The furthest I got in my distraction plans was taking food from the freezer and bringing my bags from the bedroom to the lounge room before the contractions started increasing exponentially. I was alternating between labouring in the lounge room, leaning over the fit ball and sitting on the toilet. I was using the rhythmic focused breath through every contraction and the calm breath to recover. By one in the morning, hubby got up to go to the loo and saw me mid contraction on the toilet, then it was quickly followed by another. I was having 4-5 contractions in 10 minutes. Despite the intensity and frequency of the contractions,
I felt completely in control, comfortable and not overwhelmed at all! The Calmbirth breathing and the knowledge Natalie had taught us in the Calmbirth course took away all the fear and anxiety I had had prior to doing the course.
He made the call to his mum to come stay with our son who was fast asleep, and our caseload midwife, then put the bags in the car. In the 10 minutes we were waiting for his mum to arrive so we could leave, I was on the toilet and felt immense pressure so I called to hubby that I thought baby was coming, then my waters broke. Wasn’t that a relieving sensation!
During the 5 minute drive to the hospital my body has started pushing during every contraction. We arrived at the hospital, with hubby parking in the drop off zone at the same time as my superhero, I mean midwife was arriving. He asked Rochelle, our superhero if she thought he had time to park the car properly. She took one look at me, as I finished a contraction and quickly commenced another, said nope, it can stay there and we started our journey to the birthing unit.
We stopped so many times I lost count, and because of the renovations taking place, the hospital was a maze! We were in a deserted corridor when I couldn’t walk any further and Rochelle ducked off into a conveniently placed side corridor and came out with a wheelchair!
She said sit if you can, and I was partially sitting, using my arms to support my weight and she started moving very fast! Up in the elevator than into the birthing unit. We went into the birthing suite and I needed to go to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and immediately felt babies head coming and said nope! She’s coming now! Rochelle took a peek and said yep, we need to make a quick decision, where do you want to be? I replied with in the bath. There was no time to run the bath so I was kneeling on the bathroom floor with my forearms on a chair telling hubby I needed water with a straw, not the drink bottle where I would have had to lift my head to drink and the only thing I could concentrate on was my breathing and not screaming as the sound of my own screaming scared me. I refocused and concentrated hard on my breathing.
Within 10 minutes it was over and my little girl was out, over due but still completely covered in vernix. It was amazing to see! My husband and Rochelle helped me over to the bed so that we could lay down and have our skin to skin. Our baby girl fed within the first hour or so with a perfect latch!
Naomi Ruth was born in July 12, at 1:49am and weighing 3950g.
A huge thank you to Natalie Grinbergs for delivering the course amazingly and for all the help and advice since. Between you and our wonderful midwife, my whole labour and birth experience was the most amazing experience I could have ever imagined. I was so empowered, listened to and respected. I am not hesitating at all to recommend to anyone to do the Calmbirth course.
Thank you so much!