Birth Stories

27-Mar-2015 27-Mar-2015

 

On this page I share with you some of the very precious birth stories of women who have been to my pregnancy yoga classes.

 

Each birth is unique. Each woman is astoundingly powerful. We are givers of life! What greater role is there? It is not about having an 'ideal' birth, whatever that means, but having the experience you have. Everything just is.

 

The stories of my own first two births are included on this page too, as they contain important learnings for me and possibly others. They are what made me want to do this work in the first place. These days I can joke with my now 13 year old son, Amrito, that he actually should be getting a commission on my classes!

My warm thanks to all the women who have shared with us here - such invaluable gifts. May all these stories of courage and grace touch, inspire and strengthen you on your own journey.

 

Manuela's Story 


Maya was born on Sunday 6th November, the day after my due date and also the day after our last email chains, where you said you were thinking of me…well, I got your love, and thoughts!
I started my contractions at 3 am in the night btw Saturday and Sunday. I woke up Paco, my partner, and…. I will never forget his beautiful smile.
We went through the night together, without telling anything to anyone, with massages, cuddle, soft lights, kundalini music from Pandora radio…. our house was full of oxytocin!
Around 8am we sent a text to Leah, our doula, who came here at home with 2 fresh coconuts, straws, electrolytes, and such a great mood! I did my labour at home, in the living room, in the shower, in the garden….trying to find good positions, surrounded by love, care and sometimes laughs! We were all so quiet, I was feeling safe, secure, free and I felt that everything was going perfectly!

Around 12 pm I went to the Family Birth Centre, as my contractions were constant, strong and very painful, I felt I was in established labour but the contractions slowed down in the car. When I got to the birth centre I didn't want antibiotics, or an internal examination, and I also declined the morphine. I was clear that it was my birth, my body, that I just needed time.

My doula was very good, supporting me and my birth plan.

Soon the contractions went back to regular! We spent the first 3 hours in the bedroom, I didn’t want any pain relief. I went on the toilet, in the shower, on the floor…Paco and Leah never left me alone and I was constantly looking at them saying thank you!

It was very painful, but I was very prepare and I was embracing the pain, breathing into it (and screaming sometime as well, saying few times “guys, I can’t do it!).

Around 3.30pm I went in the water, with Paco.

By that time the midwife was there telling me great things and helping us a lot. Leah was always ready with some water for me, Paco was hugging me and giving me cuddle, I was in the most terrible pain I could imagine, I couldn’t talk, but I remembered we had few laughs anyway :)

Around 6.15pm Maya’s head started to come out, I was exhausted but I could feel her coming and I found a strength that now, I don’t know where it came from, f not from nature and instinct and life….

I went out of the pool for the last 2 or 3 pushes, and as soon as I heard the word “episiotomy” I pushed as strong as I could and Maya came out, screaming as crazy! She was born at 6.36pm, while I was "flying”, as I wasn’t touching the ground, with my hands on the pool, my left leg on Paco’s leg and my right one on Leah’s leg….with no tear nor episiotomy!

I held her straight away and she started screaming as crazy!

I walked back to the bedroom, Paco and I went on the bed with her and she went at the breast straight away… I couldn’t believe the amount of love I felt, looking at my baby for the first time….

We kept the umbilical cord until it was pulsing, after that Paco cut it. After few minutes I entered in the third stage naturally, and I kept the placenta for encapsulation.

We stayed in bed for few hours, watching that beautiful little miracle, and feeling so blessed….and at midnight we have bee discharged and we were on our way home.

Everything was soft, precious, slow and so pure… Maya slept on Paco’s chest for the night and the following morning we couldn’t believe that she was there with us…. it has been the most amazing day of my life, after a week I was crying because it was gone so quickly and I wanted to repeat it and do it again and feel all the emotions another time….

Every night I sing Maya “May the longtime sun shine upon you”, and when she was unsettled I was putting on a long version of “Adi shakti” and for some reason, that was the only thing that could put her asleep!

Thanks, thanks thanks and again thanks.
You gave me the tools to go though my birth in such a great and happy and prepared way, and I will never forget that.

sara's story

 

Baby Giorgio is finally with us. Of course the delivery didn't go how I planned.

With my Obstetrician we decided to induce the delivery on Monday the 23th.
Giorgio was very long (born 3.840kg and 55cm long) and he was pushing a nerve. It was sooo painful, same feeling as to have a knife in my ribs all the time.
More over I was streptococcus B positive and to induce the delivery was safer for both of us.

Monday I was in the hospital, the doctor tried to break my water 3 times, before and after gel, but with no success, so I agreed for an epidural and they finally broken it.

In this way I started penicillin immediately to protect the baby, but I started to have very high temperature, around 39/40. Any way, I was constantly with antibiotics and the labour was good, of course without pain but I was very weak because of the temperature. 
The good thing is Giorgio wasn't suffering or under stress. To reach 4cm took me 10 hours but just 2 hours from 4 to 10cm. I was soo happy and conscious my baby was going to come soon. It took another hour to have Giorgio completely engaged and just 5 pushing to get him out. 
The most amazing, powerful, incredible and emotional experience of a woman life! Crying and smiling together with his beautiful eyes lost in my eyes... I want to cry every time I think about it.

Unfortunately, there is always something, he was born with 39 temperature and he got the bad blood infection. This morning is the first time I have him with me in my room and finally tomorrow we can go home. It has been such a hard time, I'm breastfeeding very very well, and I put lot of effort in it. Now he is healthy and strong but let me say the motherhood face you with such strong emotions, impossible to be experienced before!

At the end the delivery was very good. I couldn't practice a lot of yoga exercises but for sure I practiced a lot of meditation, trying to be focussed just on the beautiful and safe side of this experience. Even if I didn't experience any physical pain, because of the epidural, the emotional pain, knowing he was in danger, is worst.

Thanks again for all your support during this months.
 

Kati's Story

Manuel’s birth story – September 10, 2015. By Kati, his Mama.

 

It all started on Tuesday the 8th of September right on my very much expected ‘due date’. That day I was active, baked a healthy cake with all sorts of ingredients found around the kitchen while cleaning the cupboards. Around those days nesting was my thing. Later on that day, I went for a walk and caught up with my friends Andrea, Antonio and Cami, their one-year-old girl who was playing at the South beach park. We talked about feelings associated with overdue pregnancies thinking that I could be having one of those. However, that night while we were talking on Skype with my sister in law, I started to experience stronger contractions. These weren’t the Braxton Hicks type anymore, but it was confusing since I had been contracting for the last two weeks. I wasn’t sure if this time it was the real thing. And, well, it was!

 

That night contractions went from irregular to regular and were pretty intense. This time I knew I was going to have my baby soon. I even wrote a letter to him/her while in bed. The intensity of the contractions was increasing so I woke Daniel up and asked him to start timing. They were 20 to 15 minutes apart. At around 5am, contractions were coming every 7 minutes. I was breathing and trying to concentrate on something else. I was excited. I was scared. But from this time my mind was set on all the tools I had learnt through my pregnancy-long yoga classes and the hypnobirthing course Dani and I did together. I manage the pain (yes, to me that was painful, and I have no issues with calling things by their name) by walking to the bathroom and back, meditating, breathing. I also tried to catch some sleep, which I did but only for very short periods. At 6am I got very excited about the idea that I was going to hold my baby in my arms soon. I felt empowered, excited, and prepared. I called my mother, she was so excited and desperately wanted to support and accompany me through this unique time. At 7:12am I called my dearest midwife from the Community Midwifery Program, Tracy. She said she was going to come to our place at around 9am for an examination. From that time I used the TENS machine, walked around the house, used the fitness ball, was massaged, had breakfast. But there was a key thing I didn’t stop doing: breathing, deeply and consciously. At this stage, the breathing was my anchor, my distraction, my ‘pain killer’. Together with the affirmations, my Mum and Dani were wonderful to me. Contractions were intense, regular, and frequent.

 

In the afternoon, after a second examination, it was time to make the move to the hospital. I kept my eyes closed on our way there. I was so into my breathing and picturing the release of endorphins to help me along. My biggest worry was to regress in my labour, to stop dilating and be sent home because “I wasn’t dilated enough”. When we arrived to the Maternity and Fetal Assessment Unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital at 5:35pm, I was taken by the changes that my body was going through. I didn’t think things could get more intense than that. After waiting in a room at the emergency area of the Unit for over an hour and being examined by midwife Gaby, I was admitted and walked to a huge birthing suite, number 11, the room where my baby was going to be born. It was a spacious, well set up, comfortable room. I was pleased. Dani and my Mum did all the adjustments to make it a safe and peaceful environment. Dani even hung on the door of the room the hypnobirthing sign that was given to us by Pip as part of the course portfolio. I only learned this later and thought it was so sweet of Dani to remember this and cover everything from our ‘birth preferences’ list.

 

From that moment onwards, I did everything I could to have a natural, calm, relaxed, healthy, beautiful, inspiring birth to welcome my baby into this world under the best possible conditions. Contractions were really intense. I was managing them with the help and company of Amanda and Pat, both excellent midwifes and human beings. They were both so special to me! As I wanted to use the birth pool but couldn’t have a water birth since there was no qualified staff at that time on this type of delivery, I was offered to use it for pain relief. The truth is that in there I was so relaxed that I fell asleep and my contractions, sadly, slowed down. But on the other hand, I had a 30-minute nap (without intending to do so). I think that although I can’t recall being tired as such, I was probably needing those minutes of sleep to recover some energy for what was coming next. It was already 3am and I was still 6cm. It was like the dilatation process was stuck. My membranes were intact so they were then broken to accelerate things. I discovered that contractions could indeed become stronger!! But this was not enough to move things forward as my baby’s head was slightly tilted. I remember Dr Amin saying at some stage something like: “This can happen last minute, when baby’s head is getting into the canal, and although it is now obstructed you can have a natural birth if we give you a hand to get you there”.

Consequently, Dani and I had one of our private moments in the toilet. This happened every time I needed to pee which was pretty frequently, so we would talk, cuddle, hug in there! I needed to have stronger contractions to naturally have my baby’s head rotating. Finally, the decision was made. A very slow drip of synthetic oxytocin was administered. I discovered, again, that contractions could indeed get even more intense. It was something out of this world. I can’t properly describe the sensations my body went through. I felt I was splitting in two in order to allow a little person to pass through me and make its way out. At this stage, I wasn’t scared, I had no questions, I had no comments to make. I couldn’t do anything else than breathing and vocalizing. So many ‘Aaaaas’ came out from my mouth that night and morning. I remember someone said to me “Swear, it’s okay, swear loud”, but no bad words could come out of my mouth (in another context I would have had a huge variety of bad words coming out in Spanish but not this time).

 

At 7:30am the doctor gave me the best news ever. He said to me (literally): “You are 10cm dilated. Well done!”. Then he turned around to the midwives and said: “Start active pushing”. I was over the moon. I was so doing this! Forget about ‘breathing your baby out’, I thought, as that seemed not realistic to me (is it really possible for first time mums, anyway? I still wonder). While I was in between contractions, Lisa, our lovely stem cells collector, gave me a huge smile from the distance and said: “Well done, Katerina! You’re a strong woman!”. For the short time Lisa was inside the birthing suite, she was so kind and caring, full of positive energy. The whole team was there, in front of me, looking down, prompting and encouraging me. Pushing was an experience coming with so much intensity; body sensations that I will never forget yet they seem to fade away with time. I have been trying to recall them and consciously save them in my precious memories archive. At 9:09am my baby boy was born.

 

He was calm, long-headed, slippery, alert and sooo beautiful!!! My husband yelled: “It’s a boy!”. I stretched my arms out and said: “My baby, my baby”. Skin to skin was fascinating. We were all speechless, tearful, smiley; so proud, so humbled. Such a happy moment it is just indescribable. When a woman gives birth to a baby the whole Universe is there celebrating live. Mother nature takes care of it all, no matter what your journey is like. This is what I felt. This is what I think. I trusted the people taking care of us. I trusted my training. I invoked Beant, my yoga teacher, and her wisdom. I was holding my toolbox and using each hypnobirthing tool as I needed them. I was connected with myself and my baby. I was so grateful my mother was there with me, holding my hand, caressing my hair, looking after me with her medical knowledge. I felt so lucky to have my loving, sensitive, thoughtful husband who I know went through a lot that night and stayed firm next to me.

On the 10th of September 2015 at 9:09am I rebirthed. My new self got an added name which is printed from that moment in my cells, my blood, my mind, my spirit. That word is: Motherhood. Thank you, Manuel.

You have taught me so much from the moment you were conceived to this very moment, and I am so ready for whatever is coming next.

Kirstie's Story

Here is the story of our beautiful son Otis George Nye Probert's arrival in the world.  Otis was born weighing a healthy 3.3kg and 50cm long and his birth was the most incredible, empowering moment of my life.  Our bodies are amazing and I still marvel at how both my body and Otis just seemed to know what to do.  While we had a plan for how we wanted the birth to play out, the most important thing for me was to be fully involved in the decisions that needed to be made and to make peace with them.  Our birth didn't happen exactly to our plan but it was wonderful and delivered our precious son - looking back I wouldn't change a thing.

My partner Stu and I were hoping for as natural a birth experience as possible however we also knew that due to some risk factors we couldn't go overdue.  As the day approached I tried to keep as active as possible however a week out the baby hadn't engaged at all and my doctor warned me that if things didn't change soon he might be advising an elective caesarean.  I really wanted to avoid that if I could so spent a week practicing yoga poses, mediating, bouncing on a fitball and taking long long walks. Luckily it seemed to help and a few days out my cervix was starting to soften, meaning that we could go for an induction on our due date.  

As we arrived at the hospital I remember feeling amazed that this was the day we were finally going to meet our baby and hardly nervous at all.  We settled into the birth suite and I was examined and 1cm dilated so my waters were broken at 7.30am and I was immediately put onto a Syntocinon drip to encourage contractions.  They started straight away - very mild at first and  I spent the next few hours relaxing and chatting with the staff - then as the morning progressed I started to focus more on my breathing, using music to help me relax and focus, and then also using a TENS machine to support me through each rush.

At 1pm I was offered an epidural but was confident that I didn't need one, and was also mindful that I wanted to give the labour the best chance to progress so declined.  I had a shower and the hot water helped ease the contractions for a while.  I was getting amazing support from Stu which I needed at this point as I could feel that the intensity was increasing.  At around 2pm something seemed to shift.  Getting through the contractions was taking all of my energy and focus and I needed a lot of support and encouragement.  Stu and I held each other and danced together for a while which really helped me centre myself.  I needed to move and change positions a lot at this point.  I was then examined again at around 3.30pm and had progressed to around 4cm.  The next few hours were very challenging for me.  I found that the Syntocin was making my contractions very 'spiky' with little breaks between them - they were rolling into each other and they literally took my breath away.  I knew I wasn't breathing through the contractions in a way that was helping me to dilate - their intensity was overwhelming me and I started to doubt my ability to keep going as I was losing my sense of safety.  I knew I couldn't carry on like that so made the decision and at 5pm I had a low dose epidural.  This helped me to refocus.  I could still feel the contractions very intensely and I remember being completely self contained - I kept my eyes closed, observing some of the conversations happening around me but not engaging in them.  If felt good to just be within myself as I neared the end of this stage.  Just over an hour later I was fully dilated and needed to push.  I remember trusting my body to be strong enough to do it.  I pushed as hard as I could, using my breathing and visualising the baby moving down.   All of a sudden the head was crowning and with one final push Otis arrived at 7.21pm - we were overjoyed to meet him and I will never forget that moment of amazement and connection.

Some elements of our plan didn't play out but we had a magical experience and when I think about it I'm really proud of all of us.  My advice would be to surround yourself with people that you trust, believe in your baby - they are incredible little creatures who know what to do! Believe in yourselves - this experience has given me a new respect for the power of my body and enjoy it - it's amazing!

 

 

Kim's Story

Justin and I are excited to introduce our little man, Darcy William Carter, who arrived on September 8, a few weeks early.  I developed pre-eclampsia so had to be induced at 37 and a half weeks. It all happened very quickly!  We headed to the hospital for a check up and ended up going home with a baby!  

We went into Fiona Stanly on Tuesday morning for a routine check up, I was feeling perfectly healthy, but the midwife found i had high blood pressure. Several blood tests and monitoring of my BP indicated pre-eclampsia so was admitted.  A bit of a shock!!  My options for induction were discussed and around 1pm I had some prostaglandin gel and had a stretch and sweep. We then went down to the cafe for lunch and had a relaxing afternoon, waiting for the gel to work.

Around 6pm I started to feel some pains, similar to period pain. By 7pm they intensified and my waters broke, I was 4 cm dilated at this stage. I had a plan to active birth, with my practiced positions, massage, Swiss ball etc but once I was on the bed I could not move! Lying on my side was the only comfortable position! The yoga breathing I had been practicing was a godsend and gave me focus. Justin was amazing and in between each surge was so positive and encouraging - I needed that! By 9pm I was fully dilated, it was time to push and he arrived at 10:15pm.  It was very fast and intense which I was told happens with pre-eclampsia.  No epidural or gas, though at one point I was seriously considering it ;) Darcy was 54cm and 3825g.  I had a little tear, which has healed completely now.

He is a gorgeous little baby, 7 weeks now! Very knowing and alert. He has gained a tonne of weight and grown almost a cm a week. Breastfeeding was harder then I thought, but now I have the hang of it, it's a joy and such and lovely way to sit quietly and bond with him

 

Emma's Story

When I first started considering my options on the birth of our baby I had decided to have a home birth, and even though I had a very low risk pregnancy I kept active, ate well, had the pool ready, everything was going to plan until I found out Bub was breech at 36 weeks. I tried everything to try and get him around including spinning babies, Webster technique, acupuncture, moxa sticks and a very painful ECV.  

 

By 38 weeks my husband and I resigned to the fact we need to go plan C as we weren't comfortable for a breech birth.  I was booked for a elective caesarian birth at FSH on the 14th July with this I still wrote a birth plan with requests to have our student midwife/doula attend which they initially declined but when I requested to be transferred to Armadale hospital where they accept students they soon accepted, the other requests the surgeon said he would try to fulfil depending how the operation went. One request was to walk into theatre where I found 15 theatre staff waiting, by this time I had pretty much cried my eyes out all the way from the car to the room to unpack, to theatre so by now I was petrified however my student midwife and husband kept me entertained and reminded me to keep breathing. I was aware there would be lots of tugging and pulling & in no time they dropped the curtain & I saw my son for the first time but only briefly, they rushed him over to the warming bed, my husband joined them and after a couple of quiet scary minutes he finally let out a scream, once I heard him I was relieved. 

 

They quickly checked him over then sat him on my chest skin to skin while they stitched me up. 

 

Jordy Ian Orchard weighed a wee 3.075 kg about 6pound 8 oz, he was born in a frank breech position the surgeon was unsure why but said some babies want to be born this way. As much as I didn't want a cesarean birth it went well, my recovery is much easier than what I thought and now he is here I can't imagine life without him.. He is perfect.

 

Thanks Beant and we look forward to Mums & bubs class & ladies who are expecting please enjoy your birth however it happens and remember to breathe... 

 

marion's story

 

"I finally get a chance to seat down with a cup of hot chocolate, to write down this incredible experience. Empowering. Amazing. Powerful. Life changing. 


My baby (we are still waiting for a name to come), was overdue. As many people told me, being “late” for a first baby is quite usual. But the more i was waiting, the more I was reading things about the risks to keep the baby for too long in my belly, and also the risks of an induction. It can really put some pressure on you. So i tried a few things to gently induce naturally, like going for long walks, stimulating the nipples, evening primrose oil, etc.. 

Marilyn, my great midwife, had to book me in for an appointment at the Fiona Stanley hospital for the following Monday. to check me out, and probably convince me of an induction. 


On Sunday, one day before this appointment, Marilyn came home to explain to me exactly what they would do at the hospital, and the different options for an induction. (I really didn't want to go as I was planning a home birth).. When she left in the afternoon, I said “see you tonight for the birth hopefully!!” 

At 5pm, I started feeling some periody crampy pain, stronger and stronger. 


The contractions started really at 7pm. I kind of felt we had to start preparing everything quite quickly, and insisted for Mararo to start inflating the swimming pool. He did so, and he was thinking he could still go and buy some tea, and have a nap before anything serious happen, as he wanted to get ready for the long night. That’s when the contractions became so strong that I actually felt the need to vomit. One time, 2 times, 3 times, trying to focus and breath consciously, and trying different postures (being on my knees, doing a circle with my hips was quite helpful).


As I vomited once more, I suddenly felt something coming out and thought immediately “oh my god, is that the baby’s head already?” 

Mararo called the midwife to ask this question, as I went in the bath tub, just in case the waters would break. 5 min after, at 7.45pm I puked one last time and I broke the water (the “baby’s head’ was actually the membrane coming out…) Marilyn was on her way.


Everything went very fast, and Mararo and Marilyn quickly finished getting everything ready as I was dealing with the contractions. 

They were very sharp, and Marilyn told me it was time to jump into the swimming pool, which was a pain relief for a few seconds.


9pm was when I started pushing.

I tried to imagine all of this was part of the process, trying not to fear the pain, but to cop with it, telling myself it is an interesting sensation rather than something negative. But still, i didn't get it, until Marilyn and Mararo gently told me “use the pain, it helps you push”. The 2nd time I pushed hard, I could feel the little head already. The contractions being very sharp, I thought about doing something I read many times in articles or forum about birth. I started stimulating my clitoris. It made me relax and giggle.

A huge contraction came, and i felt like it was this one that would get my baby’s head out. But it seemed so big and so painful, I kind of stopped in the middle of it and manage to tell Marilyn something like “but it hurts” and she replied “Oh it surely does”, and then I knew it was part of the process. So i just kept pushing hard, and the baby’s head came out, with a little bit of blood (I tore). 

I was so happy! I could feel the baby’s head under the water, his hair, even his little hears! 

By this time, Gaby, the back up midwife, was here. The three of them were just amazingly encouraging. 

Then after a few last contractions, at 9.40pm, the rest of the baby’s body came, and I grabbed him from under the water and took him in my arm, against my breast and close to my heart. We were just so surprised and happy and emotional with Mararo. This little being cried a bit, and naturally started drinking at my breast. I was in heaven. 


The placenta came at 10.15pm, not too painful but still a bit hard to deal with, as I thought the labour was finished once for all and all I wanted was to enjoy this beautiful moment with my baby. With the help of the 3 of them, I got out of the pool and snuggle up with the baby on the sofa with a warm blanket. Even though I almost fainted when I stood up, it was a very strong symbol for me to be able to come out of the water, carrying my baby with Mararo on my side. Very empowering.


I'm so grateful to have met the right persons for this beautiful adventure, Beant who taught me so much at the yoga classes, not only for the pregnancy process, but also for a whole new way of seeing life, and Marilyn who is just such an amazing and experienced midwife. 


The labour went almost too fast (3hours), and although it can sound scary because I describe sharp pain, it is amazing what the woman body can do, and how quickly we forget physical pain. Women, you can do it! Your body is truly amazing. 


Sat Nam

Marion."

mel's story

Our Birth Story – Mel, Tim and Isla

 

"It all started at about 11.30pm on the 5th of May. I had an unusual sensation in my stomach, a tightening of sorts, which I’d not experienced before. It was significant enough for me to take note and say to my husband Tim, ‘that might have been the start of something’. I made a note of the time in case it happened again. Sure enough, 8 minutes later it did. After about an hour or so of excited chatter, we called the midwife to give her the heads up. We reached the on-call midwife who suggested getting as much rest as possible and staying at home until the contractions were 1 minute long and 3 minutes apart. Whilst my contractions were pain-free, and I still had my wits about me, I finished packing my hospital bag and had a shower.

 

I was way too excited to go back to sleep. This was it! Tim, on the other hand, seemed to manage to nod off without too much hassle. I thought he was wise to rest up as he’d likely need his energy to rub my back later! ;-). I laid down in bed for a while but as the intensity of the contractions increased, I set myself up in the lounge room with my yoga mat, a blanket and a wheat bag for my tummy. I used an app on my phone to record the contractions and tried to concentrate on my breathing and some yoga. After a couple of hours I became really nauseous and vomited suddenly. I called the midwife again who assured me that it was quite common. She asked how I was coping and I remember telling her that whilst it was really intense, I was managing fine at home for the moment. At this point my contractions were about 40-45 seconds long and 4-5 minutes apart. The experience had become all-consuming and I was in my own little world just focusing on getting through each contraction. I used some of the visualization techniques we did at yoga (eg. the wave), and also drew strength from that dreaded arm exercise (I’d managed up to 6 minutes of that at home). I kept telling myself that I was fine and could make it to that dreaded minute-long contraction.

 

At about 5am I decided it was time for Tim to wake up and be my wingman. Coincidentally (or perhaps intuitively) he woke up at about the same time. I ran a bath as I thought it would help with the pain. Shortly after I got in though I heard a popping sound and realized my waters had broken. I called out to Tim and told him ‘my plug’s gone’. Funnily, he looked in the bath and said, ‘no, it’s still there’. I replied ‘not that plug, my plug!’ In between contractions, which were now extremely intense, I spoke to the midwife and she suggested it was time to start making our way in. Within moments of getting off the phone, I had the urge to go to the toilet and start pushing. The sensation was so overwhelmingly strong that I was convinced the baby was not far away. I was worried I might give birth on the bathroom floor and told Tim we might have to call an ambulance.

 

Tim, the poor fella, hadn’t realised the urgency of the situation. Instead, he’d been influenced by the advice of the midwife who’d been quite relaxed about it all. She seemed to think I’d likely have a long labour seeing as I was a first timer. Tim also thought I might have been over-thinking things and panicking, which I must admit I’m prone to. But he was wrong. I instinctively knew that the baby was coming. He did his best to keep me calm and talk me through each contraction, reminding me to breathe. The drive to Subiaco seemed like it took forever as I couldn’t sit in the seat properly due to the contractions. I did my best not to push, but had no real power over what was happening, it was so automatic.

 

We arrived at the birth center at about 6.45am. Unfortunately, because my waters had broken, the midwife told me that I couldn’t have my planned water birth. I wasn’t too bothered by this stage as I knew it was too late. The midwife checked my water and told me that there was meconium in them and so they’d need a pediatrician to attend the birth – but it turned out she didn’t arrive in time. The midwife examined me and calmly informed me that I was fully dilated and the baby would soon be with us. At this point my own midwife, Sarah, arrived - right on cue for me to start pushing. It must have been about another 4 contractions or so and our gorgeous baby girl Isla was born. It was 7.14am and she weighed 3.845kg (8lb7oz) and measured 53cm. She was perfect. The next few hours are a blissful blur. Having her on my chest and breastfeeding was the best feeling in the world, what a natural high!!

 

8.5 weeks later I still feel like I’m on a bit of a high to be honest. Whilst my birth didn’t go exactly as I’d hoped (eg. meconium, no water birth), it was the most amazing, intense and rewarding experiencing of my life. In some ways I wish I could do it all again. I re-live it in my mind often. The female body is such a remarkable thing and I have a new found respect for what ‘we’ women can do. I am absolutely head over heels in love with Isla, and adore being a Mum.

Beant, the messages and exercises from yoga certainly helped me prepare mentally and physically for a quick and intervention-free labour. I also think it helped with my speedy recovery after the birth. Thank you so much. See you at Mums and Bubs soon. Mel. xxxx"

 

 

GABRIELA'S STORY

 

"Hi Beant, from the date of the email I see you wrote this at exactly the time I was in labor. 

 

So we have a little boy :) He came at 41 weeks and 2 days. That was on Saturday 2.30 and since then we been coming back to the world slowly. Today  it's the first day I checked my email, it seems that babies and computers or phones don't go very good together. But I been thinking about my story.

So this little being didn't want to come on his due day, we knew he was waiting for the full moon to pass before he arrived. And lucky us the community midwifery program for home birth give us until 42 weeks. Although at 40 weeks we start getting a bit anxious because there where asking us to go to Fiona Stanley hospital for some checks at 41 weeks.  so I decide to have a couple of acupuncture sessions before that happens. 

On Wednesday night I started with contractions but even if they were not regular and not very strong they kept me awake, happy and exited. On Thursday my midwife said on the phone that this can go for 2 days and that I wasn't in labour yet so I better have a good rest, but I was so ready than I couldn't even rest. That night contractions started stronger so even If I was really tired I couldn't lie down. Friday morning a midwife came and checked me - I was ready to start labour. At 2.30 pm labour started at home and everything was ready to go. I was tired for not sleeping and not eating much but relaxed and felt the sensations in my body. I spent the first hours sitting on a yoga ball with a TENS machine, with music in the background. My partner was giving me so much love, holding my back and my midwife and a student giving me support and confidence.

Contractions started getting harder and I could feel my shoulders start getting tense, lucky the people around me noticed as well and let me know. Relaxing my shoulders and focussing on that during each contraction was one of the best methods of pain relief. 

After I don't know how many hours, probably 6, the midwife did a check, labour was going well, the dilatation getting better and better but for some reason baby decided to move from the perfect position it had at the beginning to a bit to the side and that made the top of my cervix a bit swelled up so probably everything would take a bit longer. At that moment they allowed me to get in the pool and after a few hours of getting in and out of the pool our little Lyam came out. It was 12 hour labour.

There are moments when you think you can't  do it anymore, but I don't know from where a shoot of energy came and I decided this baby was going to come out and I was going to do my best, there was no way back. That's when this strength and full energy appeared and without realising it a magic little being was in my hands.

Thank you some much Beant for everything, those classes where so helpful. We are looking forward to being back in a month or so. Now recovering energies and learning how to feed Lyam, a full new challenge. 

Much love, Gabriela."

 

Jade's Story

"Frankie Ellen Matheson was born on Saturday 21 February at 6:59am weighing in at 3.4kg and measuring 52cm. 

We had been at a friends place on the Thursday night and didn't get to bed until 11:30pm and then contractions started at 1:30am! They were 20-25mins apart so I stayed in bed and got as much rest as possible. I messaged my doula, Feona at about 7 to let her know that I was averaging one every 12 mins and she told me to prepare for things to slow down as the sun was up - and boy did it!! It stayed like that All. Day. Long!!

Fe got here about 4pm, calmed me down a bit and helped me find a bit of a groove as I was feeling a little out of control and I ended up going to bed to try and rest again. By 9:30pm things were ramping up so I asked Jake to call Fe back. The next four hours were spent going between the fitball, shower and holding on to Fe or Jake.  

By 1:30am things were getting pretty intense so we packed up the car and made our way to the hospital. When I got to the hospital I found out I was 9cm dilated!!! Once the birth pool was set up I shuffled my way to the room and jumped on in and the relief!! It was so nice to be warm and weightless. Adrenaline had been really testing me making me hot and cold and making standing a bit of an effort so the pool offered some much needed relief. I have no idea what time the urge to push started but went with it for a while and weren't getting anywhere so Fe suggested getting out of the pool to go to the toilet. I couldn't do a wee but had three contractions on the toilet and it just felt so much more productive so my midwifes decided to give me a quick catheter and then I decided to stay on the bed on my side holding Fe's hand, one mid wife holding my legs and the other down the business end! 

After lots of very vocal pushing baby Frankie made her way and she was just perfect!!

Having Fe there was nothing short of amazing and I'm not sure I could have done it without her amazing skills!! I felt 150% supported throughout the whole thing and she just knew what to do and when to do it and she will be there if we go back for more! Now Fe's memories of all of this are probably very different, so you'll have to ask her when you see her. 

The recommendation to have a doula as a support person and attend your classes will be passed on to every pregnant woman I know! I honestly believe that those two things are the reason why - despite being very long - I feel so positively about Frankies birth and although she’s still very new I would do it all over again in a heart beat!  Your voice saying “do nothing” in between contractions actually saw me falling asleep during pushing! The midwives I had were also nothing short of amazing and i would highly recommend Armadale to anyone who is looking to have a very supported natural birth!"
 

 

Emma's Story

 

"Hi Beant,

 

I am so happy that I can now share with you the most joyous arrival of our little Ivy Rae Langford. She came into the world on Wednesday the 15th of April at 3:18pm, weighing a nice healthy 3.59kg (7lb14oz).

 

Her birth was slightly different to how I had envisioned, but it was without a doubt the most wonderful and empowering experience of my life. I had always said that I was open and willing to do whatever was necessary to get her here safely, and that is what I did. There were many wonderful lessons to take from your class but one of the most important ones was not focusing as much on how you give birth but how you feel about how you gave birth, how you feel about the experience and the decisions you made.

 

I ended up being scheduled for an induction. At my last check up my cervix was soft and already 50% flattened out and 2-3cm dilated, but Ivy was running low on amniotic fluid and my doctor didn't want to let that continue.

I came home and relaxed, did some yoga and visualised and accepted this new information, and I was ok with it.
At 2:30am the following morning, the same morning my induction was scheduled I went into labour naturally, my contractions were quite irregular but most were mild and bearable, some required my full attention and yoga breath. We went to the hospital at 7 as scheduled, my contractions were starting to form a rhythm and were 7 mins apart, my cervix was 75% flattened out and was 3cm dilated. The induction still went ahead however, at a low dose that was slowly increased.

 

After a few hours on the drip the contractions started to become unbearable and I was starting to come apart. With each surge I was breathing and focusing on letting my body open, I told myself I was powerful and fearless, my husband was an amazing support. But I started to become spaced out, and feel out of control, it was not in the calm head space that I wanted, at this stage I was still only 4cm dialated but my cervix was fully flat, I knew I wasn't going to make it, and I didn't want to, not feeling like this.

My husband and I calmly discussed the idea of an epidural with my midwife, I had not planned on having one, but did have some requests in mind in case I did. I wanted the lowest dose possible, I still wanted to feel my labouring body and I wanted to be able to feel as I pushing my baby out.
My requests were granted and from then on I had 4 hours of calm, restful labour, with surges that were still challenging but not overwhelming until I was fully dilated at 2pm. The epidural was timed perfectly, it was wearing off at the time I started pushing. I powerfully but calmly and quietly pushed little Ivy out over the course of an hour and 20 minutes. Feeling her leave my body and come into the world was simply the most amazing experience, there aren't words fitting enough to describe it.

 

So although Ivy's birth didn't follow the idea I had in my head, I was content with how it played out and the choices I made. I am a strong and powerful woman, who delivered her baby gracefully and calmly and that's all that matters to me.

 

Thank you Beant, for all you and your class taught me, it was invaluable. And to the other yoga ladies, you can do this, all of you, the female body is amazing and capable of so much, harness that power and do whatever you have to do with grace and a clear head.

 

Much love,

Emma X "

 

 

Ebon's Story

 

"So my beautiful baby girl is 2 weeks old as of yesterday! Tully Jane Allen was born 31.3.2015 at 6.25pm weighing 3.66kg and measuring 53cm long. She's amazing and my whole labour (although long) and birth was the most phenomenal experience of my life... Here's my story...

I went into labour around 10pm Sunday 29th march, I wasn't quite sure if what I was feeling were contractions so I messaged my sister (who is a nurse and has 2 children herself and was present at Tully's birth) at midnight to tell her what I was feeling, with her responding "yep that's the start of labour!!"
My contractions were around 20 minutes apart at that stage. I stayed in bed until about 3am and by this stage my contraction were abit sporadic anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart so I moved out onto the couch with my partner Mark who was reminding me to focus on my breath through each contraction and writing down how far apart my contractions were.

It became daytime very quickly and wasn't quite sure what to do, I rang the hospital at about 10am and they told me to come in for assessment. I was told upon examination that I was 2cm and my cervix was still quite long. They observed bubs and eventually sent me back home. I was told if there was any bright bleeding or any problems to come back in.

My sister had arrived at my house by this stage and my contractions continued pretty much the same all day. I rang the hospital in the late afternoon as I was starting to get pretty tired by this stage. They told me to stay home until I had regular contractions atleast 5 mins apart for an hour, I must admit I found this a little hard to take because it seemed like it was going on forever! Not long after, I did have some bright bleeding so I went back to the hospital. Again they sent me home with some panadeine forte. I took the panadeine forte and crawled into bed, my contractions were a lot more intense but were starting to get to 10-15 mins apart. At about 3am I got up, my sister was on the couch and I stayed there moving from laying down to standing for each contraction. The pain was radiating into my back and very intense by this stage even though contractions were still 10-15 mins apart. We went back to the hospital about 9.30am where they examined me again, I was 3-4 cms and my waters were buldging. They also worked out bubs was posterior and that's why things had taken so long to progress and why I was in so much pain! They were finally going to admit me!!

I went up to the birthing suite  at around midday where I was once again examined and was going to have my waters broken - fortunately once the doctor got in there my waters broke on their own. Although my plan was to try and have a drug free birth, by this stage I was needing a little relief as I was exhausted and my pain was intense so I was given morphine. The doctors also suggested an epidural as I was having a contraction (not the best time to be asking me!), in my head I thought my birth plan has gone out the window, I've been going for so long now so I answered yes to the epidural. Luckily my sister and partner Mark knew I didn't want one. Mark spoke to the midwife who then came to me and said that I was doing such an amazing job, and she thought I didn't need it for the moment and later if I did want one it could be organised. I said ok I didn't want it yet and the anaesthetist was turned away (for which later I was so thankful for).

So for the next 4 hours the best way I found to deal with my contractions was standing - on tippy toes over the bed! This position was a blessing in disguise as I think it helped move my contractions along (which if they didn't become more regular I would've needed the hormone drip to help this happen) and also move bubs into the right position and no longer posterior!

I was examined again after 4 hours and the news I wanted to hear was that I was 10cm dilated and could start pushing!!
I found it quite amazing how you do just feel the need to push, as you always say Beant or bodies know exactly what to do! I found kneeling over the end of the bed the most comfortable position to start pushing. I also found the contraction pain not as intense or as frequent once I needed to push, and could get a decent rest in between. After some time the midwives suggested I move onto my side to push, I'm unsure as to how long I was in this position before things got a little serious... Bubs heart rate went up to over 200bpm and mine also went high too, bubs needed to be out ASAP! Before I knew it I was flipped on my back, legs in the stirrups and a doctor telling me that she was going to need to use the vacuum. However once I was told I would have my baby on the next push I gave everything I had left in me and the next thing I knew I had my beautiful baby girl on my chest. My partner and sister were both in tears and I was just in awe of everything that had just happened. The midwife later told me that although the doctor had the vacuum (and used a little) I in fact pushed her out, I was pretty proud of myself when I heard this!

I just want to say a massive thank you to you Beant, your amazing wealth of knowledge, gentleness and kundalini teaching is what got me through my 40 hours or so of labour. I think I would've had a completely different birth experience had I not come to your class. I also had 2 hypno birthing sessions back in Melbourne which were extremely helpful aswell. Obviously I couldn't have done without the amazing support and love from my partner Mark, sister Kristen and the phenomenal midwives Cara, Dani and Amelia at the Royal Women's.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart Beant."

Beant's Story

 

I take a deep breath before writing this story and tears already come to my eyes. Not because it's so awful – it has been 4 days shy of 13 years since that day and much has happened since to help me process and heal. But because I am so grateful.

13 years ago I was living in Berlin and was pregnant with my first child. I was booked in to a birth house, of which there are many in Berlin. The system was a rotational roster of midwives, and you met with as many of them as possible during your pregnancy. Sometimes at these meetings I would cry because I felt pretty alone. I'd had 8 months of learning German from scratch so far, so my German was very basic. I somehow thought “Well, I think I've got a pretty good pain threshold. How bad could it be?” and I didn't really inform myself too much. We went to a birth preparation course but my husband had to translate everything and I found it hard to connect.

The due date came and went and Amrito was very content to hang around in my womb. The midwives began suggesting ways to bring the birth on and I tried them. Eventually they suggested castor oil in orange juice, which brought on cramps and diarrhea.. but not the contractions! My memory is a little hazy, but eventually labour did begin, 10 days after his due date, and off we went.

I got into the bath at home and focussed on my breath but in retrospect the surges were still irregular and mild and I would have been better off going for a walk, chatting, watching a movie, and conserved my energy and focus for later. But I was pretty serious about it and didn't have the benefit of hindsight and so I knuckled down..

After some hours we called up the birth house and the midwife on duty said she would meet us there. As luck would have it of the midwives I'd met she was the one with whom I felt least connection and her English was not great. When she arrived she seemed irritated and was having some kind of issue with the manager of the birth house, it seemed to me at least.

So my husband and I went into a room on our own while she did stuff in the office and I continued with the surges. I think I was only a couple of centimetres dilated when I first arrived so she left us to it. In hindsight, I didn't realise how important it is for a woman in labour to feel connected with those around her, and actively encouraged and supported. So in spite of my husband's caring presence, I felt quite alone. I isolated myself in my own mind and tried to cope.

After some hours there was a bigger surge and the waters broke. We called the midwife to come in and she saw that the water was brown, which meant the baby had pooed in the water. This is a sign of stress, though it's not clear when the baby pooed ie. how recently. Policy dictated that either the baby was born within an hour from then or we had to go to the hospital.

The midwife gave me some kind of injection (I don't know what that was) and I began to panic. In my memory she was rough, the way she spoke to me, and impatient. I didn't understand her properly, nor she me probably and my husband himself was in stress. I was then given air from a mask, and the whole thing began to take on a scary turn.

Of course, the baby was no way going to come out like this within the hour, so it was off to hospital. We drove there, the midwife was not allowed up with us. When I got there I just remember the coldness and clinicalness of the place, which was a shock. We found our way to the right place in the hospital and then the talks began. I got angry and refused to try to speak German with anyone. I demanded they speak English or get someone who could. They examined me and where I had been 7 centimetres or something dilated at the birth house, I had gone back to 4. By this stage, as far as I was concerned I had been in labour for more than 12 hours.They started talking caesarian.

The hospital staff told me I would need to have a sintocinon drip to reactivate the labour. I didn't know much about this and it felt strange and wrong that the experience had taken this turn where I was discussing things very intellectually it seemed with staff. I felt I had to seize control at this point, but I also didn't know in which direction I should or could steer it.

The rushes from the sintocinon drip were very painful, and at one stage almost continuous and I wasn't dilating again. They told me my baby's head was coming down at an angle and was not going to come into the pelvis or press on and open the cervix further. The pain was so intense that they offered me an epidural. At this point the thought of not being in pain was very attractive and I was still holding out some hope that I could still give birth vaginally.

They wanted to wait for a break between contractions to get the needle in to give me the epidural, but one never came, so they did it anyway. Perhaps the pain went down then, I don't remember, but eventually it became clear that it was going to have to be a caesarian.

Surreally, I found myself getting prepped for the caesar. The screen went up. They cut me open and tugged out my baby. They brought him up and tried to put him on my chest but I was shaking so hard from shock and from the drugs that I couldn't hold him really and I felt numb, physically and emotionally. My husband went with him and sang to him while they did the tests and then insisted they bring him back to me faster than they wanted to.

Then I was in a room with him and an angel of a midwife was there, who directed me to put him on my naked chest and I will never forget how he wriggled his way up my chest, nuzzling and bumping, found my nipple and began to suckle. He was like a little animal and I remember being surprised and impressed that after all that had happened his instincts were still so strong and healthy and everything felt so natural. My husband and I had had the feeling through the whole labour, inspite of worries voiced by staff that he might be in trouble, that he was strong and he was ok. We talked a little to the midwife about what had happened, began to come down and normalise and rehumanise somewhat.. and that was good.

Over the next days I kept my baby in my bed with me, refusing to put him even in the cot next to bed except very rarely. I held him as close as I could. I refused all pain killers, not wanting his system to have to cope with anything more, and I got up and walked around with him as much as I could. To the dissatisfaction of the hospital staff, we checked out as soon as we could.

Back at home I struggled to come to terms with things. My baby was healthy but I felt still somewhat numb. I couldn't carry him around to settle him and so I felt doubly useless. He seemed to cry a lot and I didn't know what to do. For the first few weeks I felt disconnected and strangely detached. My mother came from Australia to help, and that was good. I took a homeopathic remedy, Sepia, that worked wonders in lifting my mood and slowly I began to feel lighter and more present and to reconnect with myself and come alive to my baby. From then on things got better and better and as I healed physically I was able to revel in him and love him and feel part of the world again, where I had felt I had been missing in action for some time. In Berlin it had turned from winter to spring while I had been out of the world.

A mere 6 months after his birth I fell pregnant again. Hmm.. I realised, OK, sink or swim. And so I learnt to swim. I asked myself questions – what happened? What did I miss? What could I do differently? What was I afraid of? What have I learnt? What is the role of relationships and support people in birth? And maybe most critically, what do I NEED?

I learnt to begin to listen to my own feelings and intuition. I learnt to express my needs to others. I found a place to birth that I had actually felt drawn to the first time, and I made a connection with a midwife who was heaven sent. I asked her all my questions.

I meditated and did Kundalini yoga for pregnancy almost every day and learnt to trust myself. I looked into my mind and what it was up to.

I revelled in Amrito and prayed that he would learn to walk before the next baby came.

I informed myself about all the options and addressed all my worries and fears as they arose.

I made it well known to my doctor who would be present for the final stages of the birth only that I had my own opinions on things and I tested him by asking tricky questions. I felt he was a real ally for me through the way he responded.

The time of the birth came and it was awesome. I was ready. It was intense. I had music playing, a warm bath when I wanted it. Soft lighting, a supportive husband, a midwife I loved and trusted. I'd asked all my questions, prepared everything I could and now it was time to just do it. If I couldn't do it on my own terms this time and give birth more naturally then ok. But I knew I had done everything I could to enable it, so would feel ok after no matter what.

I let myself move however I wanted. I conserved my energy. I used the gravity, I swayed and moaned and sighed.

I loved it. Well, maybe not every single moment. In transition I dropped my bundle and felt I just wanted to collapse in a heap, wailing pathetically “It's not fair, it's not fair!!” .. but soon after that came the biggest ecstacy. Just standing there thinking, where are the intense sensations? I just feel amazing. And then out of nowhere came the urge to push and it felt so good.

Then it became just plain old hard work. At the very end the doctor began to suggest it was not going fast enough, and I found out later my midwife disagreed and wanted to give me more time, as the surges were more spaced out (which I now know often happens and is perfectly natural). But to her credit she did not argue with him, as that would have not been good for me. Anyway, I was deliberately only partially aware of them and just kept concentrating my strength.

They cut me a little (so what!!!? I'm about to push a baby out!!!) and THERE SHE WAS!! A girl! I was ecstatic on all accounts and felt so strong and womanly. Her birth was a total blessing. A healing. So much joy and celebration in the room. And so much love.

They stitched me up as I held her and I remember cracking jokes and just being so high and happy.

My Johanna Deva. What a gift.

I could go on and tell my third story – a different one again.. but I will save that one for later...

 

Aimee's Story

 

‚Äč"Dear Beant, 


I am writing to share our wonderful news that baby Ferguson Eric Baker was born on Tuesday 27th January 2015 at 15:17 weighing 8lb15oz and 52cm long!  He is an absolute joy and we are just so in love with him.  

Your classes and guidance were so important to my pregnancy experience and gave me the strength and empowerment to achieve the natural drug free birth I had hoped for my baby.  Suraya's story definitely contributed to this and I think it is so important for women to be surrounded by positive stories of real births so they too know that it is utterly achievable and to reduce fear and anxiety.  I am more than happy if you would like to share my labour story which I have recounted below, it is the most challenging but most rewarding and indeed life changing experience I have ever had and every time I think back to it I feel so emotional.

My labour had been building for around a week prior to my due date and prior to the contractions becoming at an intensity where I had to focus on them passing.  One midwife's piece of helpful advice was that labour really is just a continuation of pregnancy as in it doesn't just start stop, but the body starts to prepare itself long in advance of active labour.  At around 2am on 27th Jan after a night at the Aussie day fireworks (!), I decided that it was time to wake my husband after having had a number of contractions which caused me to get out of bed and lean on all fours.  

I had asked many people what a contraction feels like but could never fully comprehend it and I now realise it must be so different for every woman.  It is not pain.  For me It was a radiating tension, a muscular feeling like the body was very gradually achieving opening.  I relied on the positive messaging I had been surrounded by throughout my pregnancy and using my breath to ease the tension.  Knowing that each surge would only last a maximum of a minute helped enormously.  I knew that I could do anything for just a minute and Dan was great at counting me down and forewarning me between contractions of when another may start.  I had a bath, used favourite music and generally tried to remain calm and as collected as possible.  I was amazed at how lucid and normal I felt between the surges but remembered your advice Beant and forced myself to try and do absolutely nothing and retain my energy!

After around 6 or 7 hours, our midwife visited us at home to assess whether or not I should be going to Fiona Stanley.  By this stage, the contractions were so intense I found the only way to get through them was to be standing and holding on to Dan whilst swaying.  To my amazement, I had reached 5cm and in the process of the examination my waters were accidentally broken and so it was off to hospital time!  We drove from North Freo to Fiona Stanley with me doubled over the back parcel shelf during contractions!  I was envisaging this part being at night, not in rush hour in broad daylight!

Once we got to the hospital, everything aligned and they had the birthing pool working and a midwife who could deliver water births.  I was over the moon as had been told this wouldn't be an option.  It all was starting to feel very real, exciting and daunting, but still we tried to keep calm.  The pool was just amazing.  Dark, private, relaxing and super deep.  I could not believe the analgesic effect of water could be so great. 

I laboured for a total of around 5 hours in the pool instinctively finding the most comfortable position throughout each surge being kneeling.  My midwife was incredible, really allowing the process to happen naturally and retaining the peace in the room.  I was loud and vocal with long breaths and tones coming out of me that I never knew existed!  I had some of our yoga music playing and had some incredibly emotional moments accompanied by tears all of which helped me to refocus on what was happening.  The minute I tried to fight or control it the intensity would become more unbearable so it taught me to remove those thoughts from my mind.  I knew that everything I was going through was entirely for our baby and he or she was also part of the process and trying just as hard to come into the world.

Once I could feel our baby's head, I knew I would be able to nearly meet the life which had been inside me for such a long time and it spurred me on to the final stages.  I was exhausted (remember some energy gels if you have a dodgy tummy like me and can't usually keep food down!), but with the encouragement of Dan and my midwife I knew I had to dig deep and allow my baby into this world. I had no concept of just how hard I had to push, but it was harder than I was prepared for.! In my transition I shouted "help me" a lot of times and also did the standard, I can't do this I don't have it in me shout too!  

Eventually, baby Ferguson peacefully came into our arms through the water and Dan and I broke down entirely - as Beant says, your heart literally cracks open.  He is absolutely perfect and we couldn't and still can't stop just looking at him in utter amazement.  We are all he needs and we are overwhelmed with love for him.  

I feel so utterly blessed that I will always look back at labour with such positivity, it is something I never want to forget and I can't thank you enough for your support and guidance throughout my pregnancy.  A final piece of advice I can give is to not underestimate the intense work-out that the body will have to go through in labour and how in need of nourishment, support and love the mother will be afterwards.  I felt incredibly vulnerable and needed a lot of help to just move around in the first week with lots of lying down.

Thank you again Beant and see you soon for Mummy and Baby yoga!
Aimee"
 

SALLY'S STORY


"Dear Beant

I am so pleased to report on the safe arrival of Margot Kate! Born 3rd March at 9.24pm and weighing 3.41kg!

Margot must have been very comfortable in her womb home because she ended up being induced at 40 weeks + 12 days, still with no signs of coming of her own accord. 

So, while not everything went according to what I had envisioned and 'planned' in my birth plan, what did unfold was an incredible experience and the realisation that, as everyone says, you simply can't know how things are going to go, so you need to be prepared and equip yourself with knowledge and skills but remain open minded and flexible so you can make informed decisions along the way. I was fortunate to feel empowered and involved in all the decisions and couldn't be happier with the outcome; the safe arrival of our baby girl.

Here is my (very long!) story;

I had dearly wanted to go into labour spontaneously so, when at 37 weeks I developed high blood pressure (BP) and my Ob started to talk induction I was determined to work with him to find a way to wait it out.

We started having bi-weekly Ob appnts and while my BP didn't decrease I also didn't get any other signs of pre-eclampsia (no swelling of ankles and hands, protein in urine, blurry vision etc), which was the main thing he was concerned about for my and particularly the baby's well being. I also had two lots of blood tests (both normal), an ultrasound at 41 weeks which showed the placenta, cord, amniotic fluid and baby all appeared to be functioning and well. I 
was also going into the hospital for bi-weekly CTG's (monitoring of baby's heart rate and movement).

At 40 weeks the Ob did an internal and found my cervix favourable (ripe and dilated to 1.5cm) for a stretch and sweep. At 40+5 there were still no signs of labour. The ob was really keen for me to go in for an induction in the next day or two. I was booked in for the next evening but called the next day to say I wasn't ready. I went in for another appnt two days later and he did a second stretch and sweep, I was now at 40+7.

Despite the stretch and sweeps, I had no signs of labour and intuitively felt that the baby and I were fine and just needed more time. However, due to the gentle pressure from the Ob, I started trying a few other things to try to get things moving... I was; eating hot curries, having hot sex ;-) , walking for k's on the beach and in the water at the beach and the pool, having acupuncture and an induction massage (both of which I highly recommend for mental state at the very least, while waiting under pressure!), eating pineapple, kerb walking (yep...Google it), clary sage compress, raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on the fitball, daily tummy time for getting baby into optimal birthing position, hypnobirthing visualisations and talking to my cervix and baby, meditating, vibrating Sat Nam and focusing on my brow point to relax and open.

That sounds like I was busy but when you're waiting and hoping, it was all I could do to pass the time, to try to relax and surrender and let my body and baby do their thing.
 
Heading into the Labour Day long weekend, the ob agreed that if I came into the hospital for daily CTG and BP checks, we could wait a few more days. I agreed and booked into the hospital for an induction on Tuesday 3/3, five days time and when I'd be at 40+12, surely labour would kick off on its own by then, right? 

When my ob met us in the labour room at 7.30am on the day of the induction, none of us could quite believe that after everything and all that time it had come to this! He did an internal and I was still only 1.5cm dilated. We had discussed starting with artificially rupturing my membranes (ARM) and seeing if things kicked off by lunchtime when he'd start the syntocinon drip but I felt that was just delying the inevitable and requested he start the drip straight after the ARM. By 8.30 he'd broken my waters and the syntocinon was in. By 10.30 the syntocinon had been turned up to the max (at 30 minute intervals) and I was having massive contractions, one that lasted 6 minutes non stop...my resolve began to waiver as I wondered how I could endure this for an inderminent amount of time and where was 'doing nothing' time between contractions...they turned the synto dose down a bit and I settled into established labour for the next ~8 hours. 

This is where all the classes, research, education, yoga, aqua aerobics, reading and planning that I and my partner had done came in. I started on the fitball by the bed but found after a while that sitting on it felt like there was too much upward pressure, I moved to all fours on a mat on the floor and leaning onto pillows on the bed (which had been elevated). I then moved into the shower; standing leaning over the rail on the wall or kneeling on two pieces of thick foam and leaning forward over the fitball or just on all fours with hands on a folded towel on the floor for a bit of comfort. As soon as I got into the shower my partner held the shower rose over my lower back and the warm water seemed to melt away the pressure...he did this lovingly for hours, coaching and encouraging me and reminding me about my breathing and thinking. At some point after hours of water running over my back, the sensitive skin of my b*m crack became oversensitive and I snapped for him to 'stop spraying it down my crack!'...he just adjusted the pattern of spraying to avoid it and carried on, poor thing and I apologised later :-) He was amazing throughout the entire day and with the skills he learnt at Gaby's Active Birthing Class was equipped to deal with me and my needs all day. 

At various stages I tried other things that I thought would be great but I found just weren't for me - like going in the bath (which I found nowhere near as good as the shower so got out after only a few contractions, I think this was mainly due to the water not being deep enough), heat packs which I also found didn't suit me, massage oil which was amazing for the smell but the massage itself I couldn't bear until only much later in the day for some reason! So, I would say, keep trying different things, you just don't know what will work for you at different times during the labour.

One thing that really worked for me was being very vocal. During contractions I really used sound and let it out loudly! I had a sore throat for a couple of days afterwards - not a side effect of labour I was expecting!

At ~6.30pm I asked for them to do a VE at which I was 7-8cm with good effacement except for at the front where there was a lip of cervix that was at risk of swelling if I did any pushing. Knowing how tired I was getting and that dilation doesn't follow any rules and the last few cm could take hours or minutes, I decided I needed a break and to allow the last bit of cervix to dilate without risking me pushing and it swelling, so asked for an epidural. Knowing my preference in my birth plan had been for no intervention with pain relief, the midwife suggested I try gas and air first so I gave that a go but quickly found the sucking on the mouth piece wasn't for me so again asked for the epidural. 

Being after hours by this time, an anaesthetist was called and arrived an hour and a half later and administered the epidural at ~8pm. A VE by the Ob once the epidural was in found I was at 9cm. He said he'd be back in an hour and I'd be ready for pushing.

During that hour I was able to recover some strength, have a drink of apple juice (I had vomited at about 10.30am and had only been able to stomach water for the following 10 hours) and rest. The ob came at 9pm and said I was ready to go!

I had been alerted by some other recent new Mum's just how much effort and strength was required for pushing so, with coaching from the midwife and the ob, and encouragement from my partner, I gave it all I had. I started on my knees leaning up against the back if the bed, which had been tilted right up. The midwife coached me in which position to be and where to push. The epidural had been a low, one-off dose so I could feel the contractions, when and where to push. After a few good pushes the midwife and ob suggested a change of position would be a good idea as the baby wasn't moving down. They got me onto my back with knees right up, chin tucked in, body curled with my feet pushing on their hips (one standing one each side of the bed). Having thought I wouldn't want to be on my back, I found it surprisingly comfortable and effective for pushing and it wasn't long before the baby's head was crowning. They then guided me through the pushing out of the head which was the most incredible thing to feel and see emerge from my body, followed by the shoulders, body, arms, bottom and legs of my baby, with no tears (I did use an Epi-no from about 36 weeks which may have helped), amazing! 

The baby came straight onto my chest and they waited for the cord to stop pulsing (about a minute or so) before my partner cut the cord. A few minutes later they asked if I wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl - I was so in the moment and caught up in the little body crying loudly with eyes wide and looking around that I hadn't given it a thought! It's a girl! After about 20 minutes of crying, my new baby girl calmed down and looked for the nipple where she latched on and stayed for the next hour before she was weighted and given her Vit K and Hep B shots and we left the labour room for our hospital room at about 11pm

I was so impressed with the way the hospital staff respected my wishes as I'd set out in my birth plan. Without this I'm sure I would have got more well intentioned advice and intervention from them. I was the one who asked for the VEs when I got them and the pain relief. The most intervention from them was adjusting the telemetry CTG sensors which I wore the whole labour and then the coaching during pushing which I'd also asked for.

So, while not exactly how I had envisaged my labour starting (with the induction) or finishing (with the epidural), it was still the most incredible experience and to feel my baby come out of my body and hold her in my arms seconds later is the most amazing thing I think I'll ever do....I'm sure next time, now my body's done it once, I'll be able to do it intervention free...until then it's time to focus on breastfeeding and sleeping and bonding with my amazing now-four-week-old daughter..so far it's all going really well..but that's a whole other story!"

Natalie's Story


"Morning Beant ,
So just lying feeding my lil bub & thought I'd type this up for you .
I'm feeling awesome , loving the journey & just in love with this bundle of boy .

1.30 -So was having a lovely pregnancy massage with Gaby ( not even an induction) I'm 38 weeks and my waters break when I turn over on the table 
Went home ate , packed & slept . Few things started in the evening but nothing to serious so went to bed.
2 am had contractions every 30 mins till 4 am , then woke Paul up and things got going . Loved the shower , nice support &water & it just felt good . Tried the bath thought I would loved it , but couldn't get comfy enough ( our bath has silly contour bottom ) felt to much weight on my bum . 4-7 am contractions got down to 2 mins then made the fun hospital journey ( lucky only 1km).
Started in the shower , felt the need to push , legs got tired so I straddled the bed head - best position - was loving it and ready to go . Ob came to check , we pushed ( finally had me sitting back in the bed - even after paul saying that's not what Nat wants , well at least I wasn't on my back )and he came through at 9am :) :) :) so only 6 hours really !
Little boy , blondey blue eyes , 51cm & 3kg. His name is Bayden Hudson Marik - love him !!

To the girls - breathing is your safety - I counted my breathe in and out till the contraction finished so I always knew how much longer & you have a goal to get too!!
The labour was a walk in the park ( very brisk walk)!! The pushing is very hard to understand.... still can't believe what a great birth experience it was.
Thanks for all the great yoga & see you soon!
Xx"

 

Christina's Story

"Dear Beant 

I've been trying to write to you everyday, but the drive to sleep whenever I get a free moment has won out I'm afraid! What an exhausting business this motherhood gig is!! 

On 25 February, our beautiful little boy Thomas Elliot Murphy was delivered by elective C-Section. He stubbornly refused to budge for 20 weeks out of the breach position, despite endless work in the swimming pool and fitball encouraging him to turn. 

By 38 weeks and 2 days, my Dr was very concerned that Tom might kick his feet through my membranes and lead to a cord prolapse. As you know, I was very large and had a lot of fluid, so this was a real risk to both our safety. 

The day before he was born, I spent a glorious morning floating in the pristine ocean at Leighton Beach. This became our visualisation focus point for my husband Chris and I. We used it the night before surgery for mindfulness meditation sessions together and throughout our time in the operating theatre. I ant believe how effective it was. I also used many of the deep breathing techniques from yoga. All the staff in the hospital commented on how calm we were - they said they couldn't believe this was our first baby! I credit that to all the guidance you provided and great resources I took advantage of throughout our yoga sessions Beant - particularly Juju Sundin.

Thomas was safely and calmly delivered by wonderful, caring staff at St John of God Murdoch, weighing in at 3.45kgs and measuring 48cm. He needed some monitoring for oxygen levels when he first arrived, but the minute he was placed on my chest, he pushed his head up and stared straight at me, before finding his was quickly to the breast for his first feed. It was magical. It seems like he hasn't stopped eating since! He's just a hungry little caterpillar and we love him to pieces.

Anyway, I know this isn't a triumphant natural birth story, nor is it the one I would choose in an ideal world. But I would really like to share with others that are faced with the need for a caesarean, that we are so very very blessed to live in a country with such amazing health care and carers. The safety of our little one was paramount and the staff did everything within their power and the circumstances to give Tom and Chris and I skin on skin time and the opportunity for early and quality bonding. In the end, I relaxed into and embraced the process because I had faith in my caregivers experience and expertise- I feel very blessed to have access to it all. 

Anyway, I'll attach some pictures that speak a million words. Thank you again for all your love, energy, guidance and support throughout my pregnancy Beant. It made such a difference. We look forward to joining you for mama baba yoga in the weeks ahead.

Much love to you and the other women in the class

Christina x"

 

Laura's Story...

 

"Dearest Beant,

It is with great pleasure I am writing to you to tell you of our beautiful birth story, welcoming Nellie Lewis, weighing 3.275kg/7.4lbs and 48cm long into the world at 6:40am Wednesday morning :)

Our due date was Monday and after our last yoga session and beautiful send off I felt ready and confident to meet her. I was in no rush, Monday came and went and I felt no pressure to rush things, I knew Nellie would come when she was ready. But when I woke up on Tuesday morning I felt like I needed to dedicate the day to re-assuring Nellie we were ready. So I spent almost all of Tuesday meditating, visualising and listening to an ongoing mantra of Hypnobirthing affirmations. I also went for an hours walk in nature and felt very relaxed and positive. My husband G went to work after guiding me through a relaxation technique and I felt like I needed to rest in the afternoon so I chilled out and slept. At 10.40pm I realised whilst lying in bed I was getting period pain like cramps and part of my waters broke. I phoned my husband, I felt very calm but very excited and he said he would be straight home. I decided to call my midwife and just let her know. Whilst on the phone I noticed the surges were about 5mins apart. I knew they were irregular to start with so didn't worry but after 30mins they were still 5mins apart and becoming much more intense. I cannot emphasise enough how important your classes and support were in making me feel mentally and physically prepared. I called upon the inner warrior you helped me to connect with in the birth preparation exercises and let things evolve whilst listening to the music you play in class.

 

The surges stayed at 5mins apart, sometimes less, the whole way through. I used a Tenns machine most of the journey and actively tried the yoga exercises (pelvic hip circles etc) on the mat that really helped in the early stages. Sitting on the exercise ball leaning over the bed helped also and heat packs. But things progressed so quickly that after a few hours only the shower really made a difference - and the constant affirmations and breath!!

By 2am I knew I needed to get to king eddies birthing centre and get in the pool, and by 4am we arrived and I was fully dilated. Nellie wasn't hanging around! 

With amazing support from my husband and midwife we spent about 90mins nudging her gently down in the birth pool. I was on my hands and knees and the water made a huge difference. It is so true what you said Beant, you go so within yourself your body and mind just takes over and you know what to do and it's very primal. G was amazing and reminded me to use lower tones in my chanting / noises and to use my abdominal breathing whilst visualising the opening and I kept telling myself "I am a warrior" and "I'm going to be huge". So, after about 7.5 hrs in total Nellie joined us earth side and has been amazing us every second since. 

 

No drugs, no tearing, a huge new respect for my body and what it's capable of and a sense of pure bliss and overwhelming love I don't think words can justify. 

Ladies - you can absolutely do this. I can't emphasise enough how these beautiful yoga classes and a little Hypnobirthing can mentally and physically prepare you. It is with huge thanks and love to Beant and this wonderful yoga community that we were able to have such an amazing birth journey. 

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in about 7 weeks at the mums and Bubs yoga!

Namaste,

Laura xxxxxxxx"

 

Suraya's Story

 "Greg and I finally welcomed our little man on NYE (31st Dec 2014)!!  We had a truly amazingly beautiful natural drug free labour!! and welcomed little Adam Xavier Harharah Goddard .. weighing 3.44kg (7pounds 9oz)

 

My Hypnobirthing techniques I learned .. and our birth preparation classes at yoga definitely did the trick.

 

I got up at around 3am on the 31st .. with some lower abdominal cramping, it wasn't too bad so I went back to sleep ... at 5am, I decided to have a bit of a clean up in my house (as we had a party the night before hahaha) and was just doing small tasks like wiping the tables down ...etc.. I was insisting on vacumming and mopping the floors.. but Greg made me rest and he did it hahah..

 

At about 6am, I found the abdominal cramping were lasting about 30 sec .. and coming every 5 mins.. I decided to head to bed .. where I had a comfy chair on the side of my bed which I sat on .. and leaned over a stack pile of pillows with a heat pack on my lower back.. I was mostly in a dazed asleep position over the pillows and would sometimes sit upright (during the contraction/surges) and place the heat pack on my lower abs.. and after the surge, I'd slump back down over the pillows and rested .. doing nothing :) (thanks to hypnobirthing and from our yoga classes) .... oh and had my hypnobirthing tracks on CD playing on repeat hehehe..

 

We hired a Doula to assist us in labouring at home in the early stages.. she came over around 10am, when my surges were about 45 sec long .. I think 5 mins apart ..

at this stage.. I had a stool in the bathroom.. with a towel over the basin/countertop.. and would fold my arms and rest on it ... and when there was a surge ... I would stand up .. and do my figure 8 with my hips :)  the heat packs just did wonders for me... and greg (or the doula taking turns) would hold a heat pack on my lower back .. and I'd hold one on the front..

 

Another thing that worked for me .. was a countdown.. greg/doula would say .. coming in 30 sec. 20 sec . 10 sec .. and I could actually feel it coming like a wave (and I'd visualise myself riding up this wave .. ) and when I was over the peak greg/doula would say .. and you've just passed halfway.. and when it was over I sat back on the chair head down asleep taking a deep breath out to ensure all tension was gone..

 

We decided to leave the house.. and got to the hospital at about 12.30pm/1pm.. I was still able to walk at this stage .. and had no idea.. but when they examined me .. I was already 9cm dilated :)

 

The rest of the labour was spent in the shower .. with hot waters on my back.. swaying my hips... saying AHHHHHHH ... during a surge.. and then back seated when one was over.. when the surges lasted the full minute and started to get full on for me.. greg started singing LONG TIME SUNSHINE!!! I started crying (happy tears) and sang along with him and reminded myself that it wasn't long before I was going to see my son!

 

I moved onto the bed (which was set up with a massive bean bag.. lots of pillows .. and on an incline) and I was mostly on all fours with hand propped over the bean bag and again I went into sleep/rest mode between surges. .. soon my waters popped on it's own! (no interventions)

 

When it came to pushing I instinctively went into a squat position.. and then it became a squat on my left with the right leg raised .. sort of sideways.. assisted by greg and propped by the beanbag .. and at 5.41pm .. little adam came out!!

 

We also managed to have the delayed cord clamping and a natural placenta delivery!!

 

Beant, the experience was just truly amazing .. and yes .. extremely intensive but I feel so blessed to have been able to experience every second of it!"

 

Suraya