Nancy attended my Birth Skills Class in April and I received this lovely birth report from her in May….
“My water’s broke just after 4 am on Sunday morning, so I knew if things didn’t progress quickly enough, I might end up needing my labour augmented – and that proved to be a powerful motivator for action! On my first check about 6am I was 3-4cms dilated, so to keep things moving, my husband and I walked the neighbourhood around the hospital over and over, making sure to go up and down any stairs we came across. I kept as calm as possible for as long as possible – reminding myself that everything that was happening was just as it should be. At around 11.30am, I started using a Tens machine for more distraction, and we kept on walking. When the pain got bigger, we introduced more of the Birth Skills techniques we learned and practised in class and also some from your book – the shakers, visualisations, colourful balls, etc. By the time I was checked at 2pm. I was 7-8cms and the midwife was calling for the delivery set up which gave me the confidence to keep at it. Breathing and vocalising ended up carrying me through from 8 to 10cms in 45 minutes. After 45 minutes of pushing we welcomed our beautiful little baby into the world. The picture I have attached is in the first moments after the birth, when I got to hold our baby for the first time. I’ve never felt prouder of myself, or more admiration for my husband – and of course, we were completely awestruck at the new little person we get to call our own!
Thank you Nancy and congratulations to all three of you! A wonderful story of confidence, knowledge, self talk, distraction techniques and going with the flow with your husband, taking labour contraction by contraction and adapting to each moment together. And so you should be proud of yourselves…I’m very proud of you as well!
Juju, Lucy Brogden ( The Patron of SWG ), and my daughter Heidi
June the 1st was a freezing night, but well worth the effort of attending the screening of the ABC commissioned educational documentary on domestic violence “Big Bad Love” at the Eternity Theatre in Darlinghurst. I was shocked to hear that young women aged between 18 – 24 are the most at risk of abuse. This film, which is not too heavy, should be seen by all school children simply to open the conversation about what is okay and what is not okay regarding respect and behaviour between men and women, boys and girls.
Lucy made a most wonderful contribution to the Medical Chapter in Birth Skills, and Lucy and her husband John launched the book for Sarah and me when it first came out.
There is nothing quite like coming home to be greeted by a beautiful bunch of flowers at the front door. It’s always special as it doesn’t happen very often. Its always extra special when the flowers are sent by my children Marina and Heidi (and Marina’s partner Yanni and cat Puddy).
It’s Mother’s day again – wasn’t it only Christmas a few weeks ago?…how time really does fly. The flowers from my favourite florist GrandeFlora in Potts Point, are just gorgeous, but my children are the most precious Mother’s day gift of all. I don’t know what I’d do without them – our ups and downs, our laughter and tears, our talks and our opinions, our agreements and disagreements, our rites of passage as we all get older, but more than all of this…the love and solidarity and loyalty we have for one another.
Thank you my darlings! I love them! See you for lunch on Sunday! Mum xxxx
I am interested in anything that empowers women. Maybanke Anderson gave her first public speech on 6th May 1891, at the inaugural meeting of the Womanhood Suffrage League of NSW. The lecture is held in May every year to mark this important historical event and this year the Annual Maybanke lecture was delivered by Ms. Elizabeth Broderick AO, lawyer and recent Sex Discrimination Commissioner for over eight years from 2007 to 2015.
The lecture last night at Customs House entitled ‘Self Care, Part of Women’s Empowerment’, was brilliant. Elizabeth talked a lot about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ and that it’s enough just being who we are. We don’t have to be anything, do anything, strive for anything to be of value. I learned these things from someone I met years ago and have always been so grateful for his wisdom.
I think as so many of you approach motherhood, you need to understand this. You can stop all the striving that was so necessary in your careers, and take a step back as you move from public life into the more private home life of mothering.
You will be caring for your babies, but its vital that you care for yourselves as well.
The Maybanke Lecture is a model for resilience and courage, both of which we all need as mothers – my adult children are in their thirties and I still need these two qualities. Elizabeth says that ‘doing things that feed your soul is at the heart of self care’. She said ‘we all want to make the world a better place, simply because we lived in it’
Everyone in the audience resonated with her words. It was one of those lectures I did not want to come to an end. I am so glad I went.
Michelle Gibson, founder YogaBowl, Elizabeth Broderick AO and Juju
I was so happy to hear from another woman who came to class in late 2016… who wrote to me with the news of the birth of her baby. This mum was having her 4th baby – the first two were emergency Caesareans, the 3rd was a VBAC with epidural, and this one was delivered naturally, with no drugs, no intervention and no tears/grazes…. she wrote ‘we were all over the moon, and it was the most magical and empowering experience we could have hoped for’.
‘Our previous three babies were all posterior during labour. This time though I used the posterior prevention and turning positions during my quick labour (the first contraction was at 6pm, the birth was at 10pm) and I remained laying on my side during nearly the entire labour. This was the only real difference with my 4th labour, as with my previous three labours I had been in many different positions (including bouncing on an exercise ball) and I am convinced that my position during this labour was the critical factor in achieving a dream labour that I will forever cherish’. (Name withheld).
***I know it is the fashion to use many different positions in labour, especially gravity assisted positions, and bouncing on the large exercise ball, even walking around, but often these are counter productive with a baby in a posterior position as they can cause even more de-flexion of the baby’s head resulting in a baby that cannot rotate to the normal anterior position, resulting in more back pain, a slower labour, maternal fatigue, getting ‘stuck’, and an increase chance of medical intervention. Make sure you check if your baby is posterior, and use the appropriate positions right from the first contraction. Juju