Elly’s Amazing, Calm, First Time Birth

“Dear Julie & Yoga Mamas

I wanted to share our fantastic birth story with you.

It all started on the way home from Yoga last Thursday night.  I felt very uncomfortable on our drive home & when I got home I popped to the loo & saw a tiny show which prevailed to be my mucus plug.

The show continued on both Friday & Saturday but only when I’d been to the loo.

As I was overdue I’d been booked in for an induction on Friday 13th (eek) & I must admit I was gutted & was really hoping that I could have this baby as I’d planned naturally.  My blood pressure had been up too so I was on red alert with the Obstetric hospital but luckily no protein in my urine & my bloods were clear so they’d let me go to the local Midwifery Led Unit as long as no problems.

On Saturday night Mark cooked our dinner & ran me a Clary Sage oil bath with candles to get my oxytocin going!!  He even put twinkly lights in the bedroom so it was cosy & romantic.  Just after midnight I felt a slight tummy twinge & woke every hour until 3:30am. At 4:30am I started to get a bit excited & the twinges lasted a few seconds longer so I went down stairs to get my birthing ball & my iPhone with the Contraction Timer App. I didn’t wake Mark as I knew he wouldn’t rest if he knew what was happening.

I slept between contractions every 5-10 mins & they lasted around 20-40 seconds.  I closed my eyes & used the straw breath & imagined the oxygen flowing round my body to distract me.  Then I counted backwards from 10 to 0 during every contraction adding in fractions to make my counting last longer when I needed to.

At 7am Mark woke up & I quietly told him ‘I think it’s started’. He asked me ‘what’s started?’.  I then showed him my Contraction App from 4:30am until 7am and I’d been quite busy!  I showed him what breathing I was doing and that he shouldn’t worry if I go quiet & put myself in my own zone and do my Darth Vader breath*.

I leant on my ball, furniture & work tops circling my hips & swaying until lunchtime.  We called the Midwifery Unit to say that we hope to be with them at some point but I was happier at home in my own surroundings.  They were happy with how I was doing & asked me to keep in communication.

At 1pm I felt so tired I went to bed & slept solid until 3pm with no contractions whatsoever & had a very deep sleep.  Mark had his active birth notes out & advised me I’d just had my Rest & be Thankful stage & was now at stage 2!

The contractions started to gain some welly throughout the afternoon until 6pm & the Unit told me to eat & drink little but very often to keep up my strength as the contractions were zapping up my energy.  By 7pm I’d breathed through every contraction during the day but these were now ramping up to 30 seconds long every 2-3 minutes.  We called the Midwives who said to nip in as I’d started to lose some blood and had vomitted but they advised that this was all normal and they may send me home again if I wasn’t ready.  I knew that my body was now taking some serious contractions as my legs started to shake uncontrollably & they were weak.  Every contraction I had was like a marathon to get through now but I was adamant I could do it & my body wouldn’t let me down.

We flew to the Midwifery Led Unit at 90mph as Mark knew things were getting close now.  All the way I was singing Bob Marley’s ‘Every Little Thing’s Going to be Alright’ between contractions. On arrival at 8pm we were the only people in the Maternity Unit & I was grateful for a wheelchair at the entrance. The midwives looked at me trying to climb into the chair having thick & fast contractions.  As I was so calm I think they thought I was having them on. They asked if they could do an examination & by this time I was happy: they helped themselves as I was in a my own zone in my head controlling my mind.  The midwives looked at each other In total bewilderment & advised I was 8cm dilated & how on earth had I managed that so calmly & controlled & I needed to get in the pool asap as we didn’t have that much time before our baby was arriving.   I told them it was ‘Julie’s Yoga Breaths’.  I trusted my body 100% & it never let me down once.  I sounded like Darth Vader when I wasn’t mooing like a cow but it worked for me. These 2 breaths got me through my labour.

As soon as I said I did yoga the midwives were thrilled to bits & trusted what I was telling them about my contractions.

My baby’s heart rate stopped calm through the entire birth & every contraction as I breathed us through it.

The pool was totally amazing. The pain eased immediately in the warm water & the weightlessness was heaven in my shaking legs & back.

I was given gas & air to take me through the final pushes & the midwives talked me through every step – they were both brilliant holding torches & mirrors under the water & giving Mark the thumbs up that it was going to be soon, as he was so nervous.  Luckily they were both wearing waterproof aprons as when I pushed the head out, my waters exploded out of the pool :-0 I thought the baby had popped out at first as they went with some serious pressure.

At 10:12pm Harry was born in the pool & was perfect.  Any pain went immediately.  Mark told me that we’d had a boy (as I wanted him to tell me in my Birth Plan) & I lay with the cord uncut for 10 minutes in the warm pool cuddling my baby.  After cutting the cord Mark held Harry in the reclining chair (next to me in the pool) having skin to skin Daddy cuddles while I delivered the placenta in the water.  It only took around 30 mins after Harry had arrived.  It came out naturally.  I must admit the water looked like something from the Sealife Centre when I’d delivered the placenta.  There were some rare looking things floating around!  I needed a few stitches after delivering an 8lb11oz baby but that was a small price to pay for such a wonderful gift.  I didn’t feel a thing as they gave me local anaesthetic and was done in no time.  I was too busy staring at my beautiful son to notice! The midwife took us to our private room for the night & then ran me a Lavender Oil bath & supplied us with tea & toast, and we were all wrapped up in bed before midnight.  The Midwifery Led Unit was like a private suite with 2 midwives checking us all night.  It was totally amazing.

We were back home for lunchtime the next day.

We sing Bob Marley’s song to Harry each night when he’s having a little cry in the night, to get him back to sleep & both Mark & I end up crying with such relief that everything was alright and how blessed we’ve been.  What an incredible journey we’ve been on & it just gets better.

Thank you for the birthing class & every bit of advice during the sessions.  It was totally priceless to me and I cannot believe how powerful my mind and body were.

Good luck everyone and I wish you all the love & luck for your amazing journey.  Thank you Julie,