The Birth of Silas Liam – April 21 2022
“We are so grateful for the resources we had going into labour and birth and for all the support we had during and after as well. What could have been a very scary experience for us, was quite beautiful and calm.”
As our due date started to creep closer with our first baby, my husband and I started to feel like we really needed some kind of guidance around what to expect with the whole labour/birth experience. We had moved to Tasmania a couple years prior and with our family all living away, it was important for us to feel confident going into this experience.
The Calmbirth class had been recommended to us by work colleagues and midwives and we felt it aligned with what we were looking for.
After attending the first session, we knew it was the right choice. My husband and I left the course feeling a lot more confident, reassured and excited for the birth/labour journey we were going to experience. We felt well informed and had a good understanding of all aspects of birth and labour and felt the course combined the best of both western and eastern practices.
The weeks leading up to our birth were both mentally and physically challenging for me as the anticipation of his arrival was exciting and frustrating all at the same time. I experienced a handful of nights where I had cramping and backaches thinking I was going into labour, only to wake up the next morning and it had all disappeared. Reflecting back, it gave me an opportunity to implement and try some of the Calmbirth strategies to help me through the discomfort. We used acupressure points, massage, meditation, and I continued to practice the Spinning Babies exercises.
My due date came and went and I started to wonder if he was ever going to come. I was 40+4 when I saw a doctor and we began talking about induction options. I decided to have a stretch and sweep and it was then that they noted I was already 4 cm dilated. On one hand I was happy, on another I couldn’t understand why my body wasn’t going into active labour yet. That day, I did a lot of walking, ate spicy food, bounced on a ball and hoped that it would be enough to encourage labour to go ahead.
I went to bed that night and at 2 am the next morning my waters broke. I called the midwives to let them know and quickly realized that my contractions were coming quickly and intensely. Within an hour we were at the hospital and I was using the breathing techniques and positions we had gone through during the Calmbirth course to get through my contractions. Within a couple hours I was requesting an epidural based on the fact that the contractions had started so intensely and close together that I hadn’t been able to move much out of the 4-point and high kneeling positions I had been using and I was absolutely exhausted by this point.
After getting the epidural I felt much more present and able to communicate my needs/wants. It wasn’t long after that they checked my cervix and I had already dilated to 10 cm. Shortly after his heart rate started dropping and I was informed I’d have to start pushing. The doctors and midwives guided me through pushing during each contraction. They talked me through having to use a vacuum, forceps and an episiotomy as he had quite a big head/shoulders and required some extra help. During this whole experience, I felt so calm and had a lot of trust in the medical team as I understood what each of these interventions meant and knew that the team was making the best informed decisions based on our situation. At 7:56 am, nearly 6 hours after my waters broke, our beautiful son, Silas Liam, entered into the world healthy and crying.
Our journey since then has been such a precious time. We stayed a little longer in the hospital for further monitoring for Silas which allowed us to really establish breast-feeding. I will always be very grateful for the community of midwives we had in those early days. My recovery has gone really well as I’ve maintained a positive outlook and been careful to not push myself too hard but have continued with daily walks and the recommended pelvic floor exercises.
We are so grateful for the resources we had going into labour and birth and for all the support we had during and after as well. What could have been a very scary experience for us, was quite beautiful and calm.
Kassie + Matt