“I felt my first cramping-like pain at 1am on the 24th December, I then lay awake feeling a pain every 10 minutes until 3am when the pains then became more frequent coming every 5 minutes. I woke my partner as I thought I was in the latent phase of labour. To deal with the pain I used deep breathing, ensuring my out breath was always longer than my in breath. At 8am they stopped completely and I slept for 2 hours, I was disappointed as thought it must of just been Braxton Hicks. However at 1pm that afternoon the contractions started again and were coming every 5 minutes and increasing in intensity. I had 2 warm baths that afternoon and played a tranquillity CD. During contractions I practiced bumble bee breath, Ouija breathing, golden thread breath, straw breathing and between contractions I took deep relaxing breaths and tried to stay focused on remaining calm.
By 5.30pm my contractions were every 2–3 minutes so Danny rung the hospital to say we were coming in and asked if there was a birthing pool available. I took my tranquillity CD in the car and lay the seat back, at this stage I found the golden thread breathing the most helpful in dealing with the contractions. I am a believer in positive thinking so I was reciting some positive affirmations on the way to the hospital, I recited “I am so grateful I am in established labour” and “I am so grateful that our baby is healthy and born in the birthing pool.”
We arrived at the hospital at 6.30pm and had to wait in the waiting room for a floor to dry in the assessment room, half an hour later the floor had dried thank god! I was assessed and told I was 5cm dilated, I was very relieved to not be sent away. At this point the midwife went to prepare a birthing pool room, I dimmed the lights, and put my CD on and I got into the pool at 7.30pm. I instantly felt more relaxed being in the water. I was given gas and air as pain relief and I used this only when I had a contraction. At 9pm I felt the need for more pain relief. I had to get out of the pool to be examined, however when the midwife checked I was 10cm dilated and my waters broke, therefore it was too late for any further pain relief. The midwife let me get back into the pool where I had to fight the urge to push. At 10pm when I was told to start actively pushing.
At 10.26pm Mila (pronounced Mee-la) Rose Joyce was born weighing a whopping 9lb 13 and half oz, she floated up to the top of the water and started crying after 10 seconds and I held her close to me in the water for 5 minutes, while Danny was able to cut her cord.
The birth of our baby girl was everything I had planned and hoped for it to be and more, I cannot thank Anne and the pregnancy yoga classes enough. All the wonderful breathing techniques, helped me to achieve this ideal labour. I can’t recommend pregnancy yoga enough!”