Caroline attended my Birth Skills Class in July. Rosie was born on the first day of Spring!
Caroline’s Birth Report began with ‘Labour and Birth was an amazing experience! I can definitely credit this to the Birth Skills Class!’
Let’s see what Caroline is really saying…
“After a couple of days of pre-labour at home (some signs of labour, but no established labour – many women have this), and after a full uninterrupted night’s sleep, I woke up at 6.30am with a few strong contractions at 10 minutes apart. I stayed in bed for as long as possible, then had a bath to see if they would slow down but they increased to 5 minutes apart.
I utilised everything I learned in your class which I didn’t realise that I remembered until I was in the throngs of labour!
Here are some of the skills…I either squeezed or banged the stress balls – usually on the bath or wall. I used the mantra ‘healthy pain’ or ‘baby down’ whilst visualising my uterus pushing the baby down and around and the cervix opening. I said ‘AAAHHH’ and ‘OOOOHHH’ and breathed. I mixed things up for each contraction and found it helpful for my husband to count me out of a contraction saying ’15 seconds to go’, ’10 seconds to go’. etc.
The contractions must have been about 3 to 4 minutes apart when I said we should go to the hospital – 15 minutes from home. A quick spontaneous vomit of the days’s small snacks, and into the car.
In the car I continued to use a heat pack and used the wooded massage tool from the Birth Skills Kit, rubbing it against my thigh or between my hands which really helped distract me from the pain of the contractions.
I was 8 centimetres on arrival at the hospital. I was so happy I was so far along.
The transition phase between 8 to 10 centimetres was the most difficult. I had my husband and midwife massage me, used a heat pack and cold towels, and made sure to drink lots of water and hydralite. I also used the bath a lot and found that this helped to pass the time. Once again the wooden massage tool was extremely useful again, and sitting on the toilet was my chosen position for much of the time.
This took me from first stage to second stage but I couldn’t tell if the initial sensations were pushing urges or not. I found the pushing the most difficult and really wanted to get the technique right, but it took a few contractions to get there! Using a mirror really helped. After I eventually got the hang of pushing, a little while later our baby girl arrived at 3.07pm.
I was able to give birth without drugs, except for two paracetamol- and the Birth Skills I learned. I also had no tearing which I think is thanks to preparing with the Epino (available at the pharmacy).
Our first few weeks together have been amazing, which I attribute to the positive birth experience I had. I was on such a high after giving birth that I wanted to have another baby immediately!
I was never scared of labour and very much looked forward to it. I know I was very lucky with my birth experience, but it is amazing how many people say ‘have the drugs’ or ‘get a Caesarean’. I believe that with the right attitude, education and preparation, natural birth is the best option and there is no reason to fear it. You really just have to take one contraction at a time, not think about the last one or the next one. And thankfully, they only last for one minute.”
Caroline finished her report by saying ‘ I believe I can tackle anything now!’.