By Jen Moyse
I’m now very passionate about birth preparation, having experienced the benefits myself!
I wanted to share my birth experience from July and how it was shaped by my Calmbirth education that I received in April. Sorry it has taken me so long, I’m absolutely in love with my baby girl and caring for her very much consumes my time.
I really enjoyed the Calmbirth weekend because it gave me permission to look forward to giving birth, and also gave me coping strategies to get through anxiety issues I had due to finding out our baby girl had talipes at 20 weeks.
After Calmbirth I chose to hear all birth stories objectively, despite the opinion of the story teller.
I continued to listen to the meditations and practiced calm breathing daily which helped in other areas of my life, not just birth preparation. I believe this, in addition to recommendations from my midwife such as using an epi-no, taking raspberry leaf tea capsules and in the later stages, acupuncture, all contributed to my feeling of readiness for labour, and I did feel I had done as much as I could to be ready for whatever kind of birth I had.
Due to having GDM, I was determined to labour at home as long as possible, as my midwife informed me that I would require 2 hourly BSLs during labour at the hospital. Obviously this aligned with the Calmbirth belief of labouring where you feel safe and comfortable – for me, it was my home. I also intended to avoid pain relief as much as possible, particularly an epidural as my preference was to be mobile and in the bath if possible, and I didn’t want to be restricted to the bed.
The day my daughter was born, 6th July was the day before my due date, and I started having contractions at around 8am. They were very manageable so my husband and I went out for brunch for my father- in- law’s birthday. I managed to conceal from family I was experiencing sensations, the only discomfort it caused was an increased need for the loo!
We got home eventually and decided to go for a walk, after letting our midwife know the situation. It was here that the sensations started to bother me – I had to stop walking occasionally and lean on my husband. We got home around 3:30 and I had a bath and took some panadol, and listened to the meditations. I was so relaxed here, I almost fell asleep. I decided to get out and try to lie down and sleep.
Once I got out of the bath the contractions increased in intensity. I rolled on my fit ball on the bed, rocked back and forward on the edge of the bed, all the while listening to the meditations and imagining an ocean tide ebbing and flowing. My husband gave me a massage and I was very focussed on what I was feeling. By 5pm I felt we had better go to the hospital and we arranged to meet my midwife there at 6pm – we live 5 minutes away from the hospital whereas she was about 45 minutes away! I continued in the same manner while I waited.
On arrival at the hospital my midwife called and advised she was running late, and to walk around the car park for a while. I was very uncomfortable but managed to slowly make my way around the carpark then up to the birth unit, with my husband pressing into my lower back during contractions making it bearable. I made it to the outside of the birth unit and in hindsight I know I went through the transition there – I got very hot, sweaty and clammy. Someone from the birth unit saw or heard me labouring outside and let us in, and thankfully my midwife met us in there.
We were admitted at around 6:25, into the last room available at the birth unit. The room didn’t have a bath as I originally requested, but at that stage I didn’t give a hoot, I just wanted to get in the room because I desperately needed the loo (again). I headed straight for the loo, and when I stood afterwards, my waters broke in a spectacular gush all over the bathroom floor. My midwife put some gloves on and put her hand between my legs. She then announced she could feel the head, I was fully dilated and I was about to deliver my baby. This was a shock to me, I was not expecting to be ready to push minutes after arriving at the hospital! She instructed me to take off my clothes and get on my hands and knees on a mat she had placed on the bathroom floor. She instructed me to listen to what my body was telling me in terms of pushing. It took me a good couple of contractions to coordinate the pushing – I really didn’t understand that I had to push along with the pushing sensation I was feeling, but I got there eventually.
After about 5 minutes of active pushing, and 25 minutes after I arrived at the birth unit, our baby girl Gretel was born on the bathroom floor by the light of my iPhone! I delivered the placenta without syntocinon, and had lots of skin to skin with my baby girl. Everything happened as I had desired, it was better than I had expected it and I put that down to the positive mindset I held given to me by the Calmbirth classes.
My sincere thanks to you for the extremely valuable content that you delivered, it was a major contributor to my successful birth and rather than having bad thoughts or trauma associated to my birth, I only have positive thoughts and a major sense of accomplishment!