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The beautiful birth of Rakshaa and the power of the breath

Birth Stories

Anjana tells a beautiful story of Rakshaa’s birth.

We had our little angel Rakshaa on the 19th of April 2024 and here are some snippets from our birth story!

I was scheduled to have an induction on the 21st of April at RNSH (induction due to gestational diabetes) however our little girl had other plans – she couldn’t wait till the 21s to meet us.  She came rushing out on the 19th itself!

I had a beautiful birthing experience, needing no pain relief – I didn’t need to take even a Panadol all through labour! This was possible only because I was fully aware of the journey my body went through during labour and because I was consciously breathing through each contraction, taking one contraction at a time and not getting overwhelmed by the pain..

My waters broke at home on the 18th April at around 8.30 pm . I monitored the colour and amount of the fluid.

We drove our older child to our cousins who live nearby and went to the birth unit at RNSH at about 10.30 pm.  After being checked, we were given the choice to either go home and get some rest before the big day ahead or stay back at the hospital. To my hubby’s surprise, I chose to go back home so that both he and I could get a bit of a rest.  Around midnight we left  to go home.

From  2 am onwards, I could feel the contractions getting stronger and more regular. I was awake the whole time, timing the contractions. My husband went to sleep. Once the contractions were about 3 to 4 minutes apart, I woke him up and said it was time to get to the hospital. So we were back at the birthing unit at about 4.30 am. We went straight to our wonderful birthing suite. The midwives did an internal exam and confirmed that I was  3cm dilated and it might be a while before the baby arrived.

I tried to lie down and sleep but couldn’t do any more than ten minutes since the contractions made it uncomfortable to lie down. So I decided to keep moving around, which made me feel heaps better. I played some soothing music on my phone, walked around the birthing suite, bounced gently on the gym ball every now and then – and most importantly was consciously breathing through every contraction.

I inhaled through my nose and exhaled through my mouth. While exhaling I would close my eyes and do a pushing action with both my hands- helping me visualise as if with every breath, I was helping my baby move down a little further!

I made an effort to smile and moan, rather than clench my jaws or fists or show any tension on my face. I alternated between box breathing – 4 counts, and calm breaths – inhaling for 4 counts and exhaling for 7 to 8 counts. My husband was there supporting me, holding my hand when I asked to be held and massaging my back when I wanted him to. I was truly in the zone, fully aware of what was happening, not panicking – but observing the changes in my body with each contraction. My husband kept saying how great it was to see me handle it so well and his words of appreciation only motivated me to stay calmer and focus more on my breathing. As labour progressed I became very silent, saying very few words – I was just breathing, counting in my mind with eyes closed and moaning gently while exhaling.

After a while I went to have a nice hot shower and boy, did that feel amazing! I was in a state of complete peace while the warm water soothed my aching back and belly. It felt so great that I stood under the water for almost an hour. I decided to then go back out and made a mental note to come back for a second shower once the pain became unbearable.

After the shower, the midwives did a second internal exam and I was still 5cm dilated.  I then went on the Syntocinon drip to help labour progress- while I was still focussing on moving around, breathing and counting. Within two hours of giving me the drip, the pain became intense. At this point, Walking, moving from side to side and bouncing on the gym ball all started to get uncomfortable.

I then decided to get back in the shower. This time my wonderful husband and the lovely midwives came in with me. While my husband held the shower head to my back, the midwives kept appreciating me and motivating me to focus on my breathing. I tried to go on all fours on the floor, sat on the gym ball, tried squats – but at this stage I was in a lot of pain and found it hard to be comfortable in any of the positions.

It was at that moment that my genius midwife asked me to sit on the toilet and see if I had to wee. The minute I sat on the toilet, I had a severe urge to push. The midwives then checked to see if the baby was crowning and she actually was- they could see a little head!

I then  went on all fours on top of the bed. I was absolutely silent at this stage- trying harder than ever to breathe silently through the intense contractions – simply did not want to waste any energy talking or shouting or crying. Tried hard to not furrow my eyebrows or clench my jaw – but to keep a still and calm face and focussed only on breathing and pushing when contractions came.

With the first few pushes, our lovely baby’s little head came out while the rest of her was still inside of me- we could actually hear her cooing and making the cutest little noises (oh what a moment that was!). I had to wait another minute for the next contraction to come knocking, and as soon as I felt it, I pushed hard once more and the rest of the baby came out too! It was so surreal. She came out squealing and crying and she went on my chest right after..

The Calmbirth classes really helped me understand the importance of breathing through contractions, how to stay calm during labour even though the body was going through so much. The knowledge from the sessions made me feel very empowered and positive during labour and gave me the confidence that I could do it. It also helped my husband understand what was going on and helped him stay calm and be super supportive throughout the journey.

We did the two day workshop at North Shore Private with Louise spread across two consecutive Sundays. Thank you Louise and much love to you!

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