Story by Sarah Thomas
This is the birth I was hoping for and wished I’d had with my previous two. This birth was in stark contrast to both of those, during which I experienced incredible pain and overwhelming fear. Calmbirth gave me the tools I needed to believe in myself, my body and my baby. To not be fearful of the process but to embrace it. For that I am truly thankful!
My contractions started Monday night. They were infrequent and no more painful than mild cramping. I was able to sleep that night but woke up early. Being ANZAC day Reece was home so we decided to take our 2 boys out for a walk in the morning. My contractions kept coming but remained sporadic and bearable to manage.
I kept practising my breathing techniques each time one came, trying not to get too excited as I knew I might have days like this ahead.
That afternoon I had a rest. After waking I noticed my contractions seemed to be getting a bit more intense but not lasting long. As the evening progressed so did the length and intensity of the contractions but I kept breathing through them and didn’t find them painful. At about 8:30pm I put on the Tens machine as I was finding the contractions to be more and more uncomfortable. By 10 we called the hospital as my contractions were such that I needed to stop what I was doing each time and focus solely on my breathing. The midwife on the phone didn’t believe I was in established labour but gave us the option to come in with the possibility of being sent home.
We decided to go in so we quickly packed the car and organised my parents to come over to mind the boys. The whole car trip in I worried my pain threshold wasn’t actually that good and that I would be sent home. We arrived just before 11 and I was taken to a room for an examination.
The whole time I kept using the Calmbirth breathing techniques and Reece spoke encouraging words I had written down such as “your body knows how to do this” “our baby knows how to do this” “we’re going to meet our little girl soon” and “it’s just intense pressure”. I found this helpful. I was told by the midwife that I was 5cm dilated and so they started to prepare to take me to a birthing room.
I quickly got up off the bed as I didn’t want to get stuck in a lying down position during a contraction. Pretty much as soon as I stood my waters broke. We made it all the way to the doorway and then I began to feel the need to push so we stopped. After about 3 intense contractions and pushing the midwife was catching my baby and I had her in my arms. Sienna was born at 11:35pm. It all happened so quickly that I never had time for any drugs. I can’t believe that.
I never thought it would be possible to remain as calm as I was and continue breathing through the pain and to birth a baby without any pain relief. It was a great feeling and I was so aware of the entire experience. One thing I remember clearly was being told by the midwife at the end to just push slowly and instead of being overwhelmed by the pain I was able to focus on the task by calming my breathing and doing as she said.
This is the birth I was hoping for and wished I’d had with my previous two. This birth was in stark contrast to both of those, during which I experienced incredible pain and overwhelming fear. Calmbirth gave me the tools I needed to believe in myself, my body and my baby. To not be fearful of the process but to embrace it. For that I am truly thankful