Story by Melissa & Leon
Isaac was due on 26 August 2022. We attended Bec’s Calmbirth in Mittagong mid July. We drove up from Melbourne and made a weekend of it. I knew deep inside that it was very important that Leon and I educate ourselves about a physiological birth because we had deep rooted anxiety about it. This is because I have severe anxiety and we come from a country where elective caesareans are the norm and it was just assumed that I would have one too.
The Calmbirth method really resonated with me and so off we went to Mittagong. The course was incredibly enlightening and Leon and I came away empowered, inspired and excited for the birth of our baby (something I honestly never thought I would feel!). For the remainder of my pregnancy I practiced all the breathing, visualisation and meditation regularly. I also made an effort to walk a lot in my garden and in the forest near by.
There were times when I started to panic about labour but I would always get out of my head and bring myself back to the breath and other techniques, knowledge that we learned on that Calmbirth weekend. 40 weeks comes around and still no baby (no surprise there) and the hospital booked me in for an induction just in case. Then on 31st August, 40 + 5 days, Leon and decided to prune the last of the fruit trees. I started to feel some light cramping and had to pause a few times until it passed. We moved onto planting some potatoes.
I was planting them on all fours which was honestly such an amazing position to be in at that point.
I took my cat for a small walk and sat in my garden and absorbed the sunshine. Little did I know that I was actually practising all the Calmbirth techniques in my gardening that morning. I really believe that my body automatically kicked in to this gear because of my practicing in the last weeks of my pregnancy. The pressure started increasing at around 3 pm. At This point I knew that this baby would be making their appearance today. I hopped on the birthing ball and Leon put on Grease and sang along to the songs. We only watched 20 minutes after which I had to move. I decided to try the shower. The waves of pressure was so intense and honestly very interesting.
Every time one would come I would remind myself that they are PAIN – purposeful, anticipated, intentional and natural. I had my affirmations floating around in my mind and Leon to support me in my movements.
My last location was in the baby room and after spending some time there, I started to become aware of an involuntary urge to push. We decided it was time to head to the hospital. The car trip was incredibly uncomfortable and to top it off, my waters broke in the car, 10 minutes before arriving at the hospital. The pressure increased substantially but Luckily we were at the hospital and the midwives got me onto a bed and pushed me into the maternity ward. At this point, the urge to push was so strong, I was encouraged to do what felt right and it was such a relief to finally use the pressure experienced to actively push.
At this point, I didn’t feel any pain, just hard work using the pressure to push and resting in between. I was so amazed by these sensations – how the pressure would build and fade and build and fade and how I was working with it to birth my baby. One of the attendees at our Calmbirth class said that she imagined her birth would be like a dance with her baby and I imagined this too. Just us two, working hard to bring them earthside safely and calmly. 2 hours after arriving at the hospital, our baby boy was born, unmedicated. Something I never ever thought would be possible for me.
We were so proud of our courage in trusting nature, the power of breath and our inner strength. I would like to thank Bec and Calmbirth for helping us overcome our fear. I don’t believe that I would have had this kind of birth without the knowledge we gained from Calmbirth. Thank you!