Following is an email I just received from one of my class members who attended her Birth Skills Class in late 2016.
I can’t believe it’s taken me three months to write to you.
I wanted to tell you about my wonderful birth and thank you for the amazing skills I learned at your course and reading your book – I honestly couldn’t have done it without your teaching.
I think the main thing you helped me with was by giving me the tools and therefore giving me confidence. My labour was shorter than my first, but once again my baby was in a posterior position. After having an epidural with my first baby after labouring on my back in agony I just could not get my head around how Mother Nature could give women such strong pain in labour, but seemingly no way of coping with it. After my first baby, I never thought it would be possible or that I’d want to try birth again without an epidural, but inevitably once I became pregnant for the second time I became intrigued about birthing without one.
The first course I did gave me zero skills and seemed to be based on the theory that labour doesn’t hurt and you just need to concentrate, relax and breathe – what a joke – as soon as I experienced my first labour pains first time around I was completely out of control.
This time around I found my way to your class, and especially following your instruction re posterior births and an amazing midwife, I was up and actively trying to turn her in all the posterior positions you taught. I was 7-8 centimetres when I arrived at hospital and found the stress balls immensely useful from that point. At one stage, I thought ‘epidural’, but I still had tools to try, so I put myself to work and kept going.
Long story short, I had about three contractions in transition, then pushed her out in the all fours position. She had turned from posterior to anterior, unlike my first posterior baby who needed manual rotation by the doctor, as well as ventouse, with a dropping heart rate as I was on my back, and with the epidural in, not feeling anything nor participating in any of it. With this birth I honestly thought I was going to rip those stress balls apart when I was pushing ( my lifesaver), also I was incredibly noisy – screaming and shouting rhythmically and quite naturally – my God it blocked the pain! I felt so self conscious previously about ‘making noise’ but in reality it was so normal, so releasing, so empowering, and the midwives were absolutely fantastic and encouraging about it. My midwives were so happy to see someone having a go at it, and that they could get involved, and coach me, and help me through it.
I never thought it would be possible for me to be someone who genuinely enjoyed their birth – it still hurt – but I managed to ride the waves of labour pain with that perfect balance of control and surrender – what an amazing and powerful thing that is!
Your course and book empowered me and enabled me to get my head around the pain and understand it, which was what was necessary for me to be able to relax enough to let go, trust, and not be fearful. I am a doctor, and therefore a control freak, and I’ve seen a lot of traumatic births. You helped me understand that Mother Nature gave me all the skills I needed to cope with childbirth, I just had to be taught how to use them.
Our little darling Rose is already three months old!