Alex and I can’t thank you enough for the tools that you taught us through Calmbirth. When I became overdue with Charlie, the hospital started pressuring me to be induced due to his size. I really wanted to go into labour naturally and as a result of the course felt empowered to ask loads of questions and to push the date back as far as possible, believing that my body was perfectly capable of birthing the baby that it had built.
Annoyingly, labour never started. So at 12 days overdue I was booked in to be induced via Prostin Gel. I was terrified of the hard and intense labour I’d heard about with inductions but Alex remembered what we learnt in the Calmbirth course – you can have a calm induction; you just have to work harder to keep your head space. So we focused on this.
I went into early labour one hour after the final gel application, at 3am alone in the hospital. I remembered the importance of resting between contractions, visualised my body opening with each one and used some aromatherapy on myself to make the hospital room seem as homely as possible. By 4:30 I was having consistent contractions 4 minutes apart, I let the midwife know and she celebrated with me and told me to keep going.
I used the shower in the room for over five hours, listening to my favourite music and singing along. When the midwives called Alex to come in at 7:30 he was shocked to find me singing in the shower with my eyes closed – truly in labor land. I focused on using deep noises and widening my mouth for each contraction, knowing my body would open with it.
At 10am the midwives took me to the birthing unit. I knew that this was a crucial time to maintain my head space and the natural oxytocin that I’d built. Alex encouraged me and kept reminding me that today was the best day of our lives as I breathed through the cervical check – 4cm! – and when they broke my waters.
Unfortunately, bub’s heart rate became really fast for a period of time and I was asked not to use the shower for a bit.
Alex helped me into a range of different active poses to see what helped. We laboured together for a few hours and he coached me like a champion, pressing my acupressure points and encouraging me to see the “pain” as “pressure” and “productive.”
The hardest part was the few hours I felt an overwhelming desire to push – we now know because of his weight on my cervix – when I wasn’t fully dialated. It was really hard and Alex had to coach me through every breath. I used the gas for a bit at this point but I now know that Alex had it turned down and off at some points, noticing that I coped better without the dizziness (classic placebo). He reminded me that I was in transition and that this was the hardest bit, but that every contraction was getting us closer to meeting our boy.
Finally, I cried out for the epidural as I was completely exhausted and not coping with not being allowed to push. Alex talked me through it, knowing I didn’t want it but respecting my decision. The anesthetist arrived, gave me the legal spiel and my midwife checked me – to give me the best news on earth – I was fully dialated and ready to push!
40 minutes later I got to hold my beautiful boy in our arms. It truly was the most epic and challenging day of my life, I’ve never felt more proud of my body and the way it nurtured and then birthed my beautiful son.
The Calmbirth course made us both feel so empowered and in control, Alex especially felt confident in the ways he could help me get through.
Thanks again for everything Calmbirth.