“Amy Victoria Smith was born on Fathers Day at 6.44pm and weighed 7lb 8oz. My contractions started on the Saturday evening at around 7pm after eating a spicy curry to try and bring things on. We were unsure at this point whether the labour was actually starting so decided to play a game of scrabble to distract ourselves and I would wiggle on my ball in-between each scrabble move. The niggles I was feeling were becoming more regular around 7 minutes apart but I was still not convinced this was the start of labour. At around 10pm that night I had an overwhelming urge to go to the toilet but as I stood up my waters went in the living room. Once I had recovered from the shock I rang the hospital who told me to come in but I may have just had an accident. The hospital confirmed that my waters had gone but the contractions were still 7 minutes apart and quite mild. If I was not in established labour by Monday they planned to induce me so in the meantime sent me home.
I went home and tried to go to bed to get some rest but things started to move a bit quicker. Within 3 hours I was sat on the end of the bad with my straw in my mouth trying to remain calm and keeping my out breadth longer than my in breadth. My contractions were now 3-4 minutes apart so Andy ran the hospital again who told me to come back up. Even though my contractions were close together the hospital were not happy that they were long enough and because my waters had gone they did not examine me because of the risk of infection. The hospital gave me some pain relief and sent me home again until my contractions were lasting at least a minute.
3 hours later my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting at least 1 minute and we were back on our way to the hospital. When they examined me I was 7cm dilated and felt relieved that the pain I was feeling was because things were moving quickly and was in the later stages of labour. By this point the straw was not helping but I remained calm and concentrated on my out breadth being longer than my in. I have to say this coping strategy is the main thing that helped me through the whole of my labour. I asked the midwives for gas and air and to get in the birthing pool. After 3 hours in the pool I was fully dilated and ready to push. They left me to my own devices for 2 hours to push when ever I felt the urge and to try and follow what my body was telling me to do. I know this sounds like a long-time but trust me it flies by. Unfortunately I had to get out of the pool to deliver on the bed and they took the gas and air off me because I had become too relaxed and the contractions had slowed down. The last half hour is a bit of a blur, it’s not called labour for no reason but it is worth it and not as bad as you think it is going to be. Remembering to stay calm and relaxed is the best advice I can give and I know that all the weeks’ preparation at yoga helped me to do this and feel empowered to cope with the pain of labour.
Finally I would just like to say how much I miss coming to pregnancy yoga and hi to all the girls. I also wanted to say a big thank you to Ann. Coming to yoga really helped me throughout my pregnancy and gave me useful coping strategies to use during my labour.”