Dawn, I wanted to thank you for the Calmbirth class.
We had our little girl almost two weeks ago, and everything you covered in Calmbirth made me feel extremely prepared for her arrival.
Labour didn’t quite go to plan, but it also went better than I could have imagined…I’d had really irregular contractions since 12:30 AM, nothing consistent with timing (20 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes), and certainly not increasing in strength – I used them as an opportunity to practice my breathing, but they were barely a hindrance in my day.
Around 4 PM, they started becoming more regular – around every 10 minutes, so just before 5, I decided to hop in the shower, in case things did happen later, at least I could start feeling fresh, and then I figured I’d put on my TENS machine. When I got out of the shower, contractions were starting to come every 5 minutes and they had increased in strength, so we got the TENS on, and I had my husband throw together some dinner – I didn’t want to be hungry as things went on. But when I came downstairs, my waters broke. There was a bit of yellow, so we called the birth suite, and they said, yeah, come in, but maybe just leave your bags in the car, and we’ll check out where you’re at.
So, into the car we hopped, 5 minutes down the road to the Hospital,
Through all of the contractions, I just kept practicing my breathing, and I felt pretty good – they had gotten to a level of pain that was distracting, but I felt alright. I had a few contractions between the car park and birth suite – so things had clearly gotten quicker than once every 5 minutes, but I’d still walked in, refused a wheelchair when someone offered, and walked up the stairs. We walked into birth suite, and the midwife asked me to get my pad so she could see the colour – when I was in the toilet, I felt the urge..I thought to poo, but of course it wasn’t…
They got me on the bed and did a check – I was 10 cm dilated and it was time.
I had done heaps of prep in the weeks leading up so I was comfortable and prepared to labour in a squat or on my hands and knees…so of course things didn’t go to plan at all, and I laboured on my back (I just didn’t want to move out of the spot once I got there, and when I tried shifting to my side, apparently that didn’t go as well).
An hour and 5 minutes after I walked into birth suite, my daughter was in my arms.
I don’t know how helpful the TENS machine was…I can’t say that it really got a chance to make an impact. But I got the unmedicated birth I was hoping for.
And even while labouring, I still felt in control of decisions with my partner – they asked about putting on a fetal scalp clip because they were having trouble (I think distinguishing her heartbeat from mine), but rather than just agreeing, I’d asked if I could just try shifting so they could try again with the external monitoring – and it worked.
Thank you so much for everything – I knew before birth that I’d recommend Calmbirth to others, but my experience reaffirmed that.