Firstly I would just like to say how much I enjoyed the weekly classes. I really looked forward to the sessions as a time of relaxation and they were often the highlight of my week. I suffered particularly with lower back pain during pregnancy but after a few classes and through practising the positions you showed us at home the pain became manageable and greatly reduced. In my birth plan I was hoping for a water birth or at least a very active labour and the classes really prepared me for this with positions to practice on my birthing ball and all of the breathing techniques to keep me calm and feeling in control. As the weeks went on I was expecting to feel anxious as labour became imminent but I felt well prepared with my toolkit of exercises to help me through. I was actually looking forward to it! My husband Rich came to the birthing partner class and felt much more prepared and comfortable with his role during labour. He had lots of ideas of how he could keep me calm and focussed.
My waters broke at home on Monday 8th May and contractions started. I went to triage to be examined, they confirmed my waters had broken and sent me home for labour to hopefully begin. Contractions continued at home and I used breathing to control the pain, walked around and bounced on my birthing ball in the hope of progressing labour. Contractions were around 5 mins apart and lasting around a minute.
However, nature didn’t want to follow my birth plan, the contractions slowed down and I had to go into hospital to be induced at 10pm on Tuesday night. I had been using your techniques to breathe through contractions and when I got to hospital I used them to keep calm. When I was shown into the very medicalised room where I was to be induced I gave myself a brief ‘grieving period’ for the birth I had hoped for, using golden thread breath and counting to focus myself. I was put on a drip and the midwife estimated as a first time Mum starting from my point of 3-4cm dilated that I was probably going to be in labour for 18-24 hours. Well, it turns out that I am very sensitive to Syntocinon and contractions came hard and fast. I coped with gas and air as long as I could, I really think that breathing techniques helped me to use it more efficiently. Later I had an injection of pethadine as the pain intensified. I was getting the urge to push but wasn’t due to be re-examined until 6am when it was hoped I would be 4-5cm. I really had the urge to push and asked to be examined. I was almost 10cm dilated. I had been on the bed as I was attached to two drips and foetal monitors which made moving pretty difficult.I stood up and really had a strong urge so began pushing. I was determined to have my little bit of active labour and stayed standing to push for an hour. The baby got a little distressed and had to have a clip put on her head I was advised to get back into the bed to be on my left side as this was best for baby. Before long the head was visible and with the last few pushes our beautiful Pearl was born at 5.20am on Wednesday 10th May, weighing 7lb 5oz.
The labour couldn’t have been more different to what I had planned but I truly believe that the breathing techniques I learnt in class helped me to deal with everything that happened and the speed of the birth. We were very lucky to have no complications and both are happy and healthy after the speedy delivery. My advice for everyone is don’t get hung up on your birth plan and practice your breathing so that it’s second nature. Without your techniques I think I really might have freaked out. Thank you Ann, you brought a sense of calm and control to my labour. I would recommend your classes to any pregnant ladies.
Much love, Emily xxx