Story by Skyra
Where do I begin… my birth would not have looked or felt the same without Calmbirth. As I dove further and further into pregnancy the more scared I got, of course I was, I had absolutely no knowledge surrounding birth or labour and that made me petrified. After completing the Calmbirth course with my partner that fear was gone and I was so so excited to labour and give birth to our little girl.
I knew going into this that I wanted an all natural birth and I had a vision in my head of what my birth ‘needed’ to look like, after doing Calmbirth we felt informed and had enough knowledge to make any difficult decisions if anything were to stray off course because you are taught about all choices not just one.
My beautifully spontaneous labour started at 5pm on the 14th of April, I was relaxing and laying on the couch with my partner when I started to feel tight cramps that would come and go and they were building in intensity. I didn’t want to get to excited so we put on a comedy and just kept going with our afternoon. At around 7pm Tom asked my mum to bring over some dinner and explained to her what was going on, everyone was very excited!!! by this point my surges were about 6 minutes apart lasting 40 seconds and I was struggling to talk through them any more, after dinner we turned off all the lights and put the low light lamps on I then bounced on an exercise ball for an hour before going to bed to try get some sleep before the most amazing morning of my life happened.
I woke at around 11pm with strong surges that were lasting 60 seconds and were about 3-4 minutes apart, we went into the lounge and I did some deep calm breaths (a tool we learnt in Calmbirth) to get into a deep relaxing Rhythm and to get to a point where I could control the pain that was coming with each invigorating surge.
I now knew my baby was ready and I knew my body was ready, I knew my hormones were starting to dance when I had no fear about what was to come but instead felt the need to finish a job.
Tom ran me a bath with clary sage and lavender and put some candles on, I laboured in the bath for another few hours practicing my deep moo’s and sounds until the positions I was in didn’t feel comfortable anymore and I then moved to an all fours position on the couch where I could sway my hips and move my body with each surge, then a felt a pop and my waters had broken, we called the hospital as my waters were a little yellow and went straight in. I kept up with my calm breaths in the car and all the way to the door of the labour ward. This was honestly probably the hardest part, I could feel everything in my body tense when I entered the hospital doors as I had left my safe warm low lighted house and was now in a new very less comfortable place, so I tried to calm myself down and really dive deep into what my body was trying to do.
When we got into the room things started getting more and more intense. I had meconium in my waters so the midwife wanted me to be on constant monitoring which was a very uncomfortable experience for me, I felt very restricted and was constantly being touched and it didn’t feel right so I refused to be monitored any more. I used the bath at the hospital but after a while it didn’t feel right which surprised me as I always dreamt of a water birth.
I then retreated to the beautiful bed space that my partner Tom had set up with posters of birth positions, fairy lights, candles and positive birth affirmation cards. I stood bedside for a while breathing into my surges, at this point they were getting so intense I wondered if I could do it, I remember shaking my head at my partner as if to tell him I can’t. He always reminded me that I am the power and the ‘pain’ is smaller than me. This helped me get back into the right mind frame and keep going.
This part of my labour is a bit of a blissful blur to me, I feel as though I was hardly in the room, it’s the most incredible feeling really. My body knew exactly what to do and where to be and I was totally in another world. I remember closing my eyes and envisioning my baby being born and slowly bearing down. Eventually my surges became even more powerful and I noticed I was pushing at the end of them just by the tone of the sounds I was making. My midwife then helped me into an upwards hand and knees position for optimal pushing as it had been a little while with not much progress, things then moved quickly. This part of my labour I was still in a whole other world but I remember all the emotions I was feeling, I was using the gas at this point to help take the edge off and to help with my deep breathing, with each surge that came I could feel my whole body bear down and without almost any effort my body was pushing so so so hard. I could feel my baby moving downwards and I could feel when her head started to crown. After a few more BIG surges her head was out and I could hear all her little noises, then the most amazing opportunity came to me, my midwife offered for me to catch/pull her out!!! Without any thought I listened to what he told me to do and with the next surge I grabbed her and pulled her up and onto my chest as I sat back. In absolute awe and a whole lot of tears I had my beautiful daughter Ocea Bloom on me. I looked into her beautiful big eyes and fell instantly In love.
To me labour and birth was nothing like I had expected but so so so much more, it’s the hardest thing I have ever had to do but I would do it all over again. I am so so so happy that we chose to do the Calmbirth course as I know without it I wouldn’t have had such an amazing experience. Having a well thought out birth plan that I was able to give the midwives helped so much! Some of the things I had on there were, no pain relief to be offered, no internal exams and low lighting and noises. The midwives read this and followed it perfectly, they knew I wanted a calm birth and they respected everyone of my wishes. This is another thing we learnt to do in the Calmbirth course.