Vicky Noakes Birth Story

Hi Ann

I hope you are well.  Apologies for the ten week delay! Looking after a baby is more time consuming than I anticipated, and I was disorganised before the baby arrived!

Please find my birthing story below.  But firstly I would like to say that in addition to the birth, I found that pregnancy yoga was such a useful tool for relaxation during pregnancy.  I hold the birthing ball exercises responsible for getting Rose into the optimal foetal position that she went into weeks before she was due, and hold your classes responsible for giving me confidence in my ability to relax my body and manage discomfort, anxiety and stress.

So, my birth story is as follows:

Given that my husband and I have a reputation for always being late, we were very surprised when our baby decided to arrive bang on time!  I was due on the 14th April and my waters broke at 0530 hours on the 13th.  I thought that waters breaking would be like on the TV with a dramatic release.  However, after sitting over the toilet for an hour and a half, I finally got back into bed to try and get some rest before the impending big event.  This is where my yoga breathing came into its own.  I was quite excited at this stage and also beginning to experience quite frequent contractions. I found golden thread breathing really helped me relax and prepare my body and emotions.  I remained at home using breathing to control my discomfort and to help stay relaxed until around 5cm when the midwife (121) brought me some gas and air.  I then remained at home until 7cm before leaving for Arrowe Park.

Just to mention I did also use a tens machine in these early stages of labour.  However, my advice would be to read the instructions PRIOR to your due date….unlike disorganised me!  I had an urge to punch my darling husband in the face when, during established labour he quickly scanned the instructions, assuring me he had properly read and understood them.  He then, without warning, proceeded to press the ‘on’ button on the incorrect setting, sending the most intense electrical pulses on the highest possible setting right up my back! Just what you need when you’re trying to get to grips with intense contractions!! I’m afraid no amount of golden thread breath could prevent the expletives I consequently bellowed at my husband!!

I went straight into the delivery suite upon arrival at the hospital, having now very strong contractions in the corridor, holding the wall for support. I think the on duty midwives thought I was making a fuss about nothing until to their surprise they confirmed I was 8cm dilated stating that I had done well to manage it with, now, just my yoga breathing.  I got straight into the birthing pool and have to say, with the warmth of the water, the golden thread and bumble bee breathing, and a little help with the gas, I felt entirely relaxed and was able to stay in a very sleepy calm and relaxed state in between contractions.

However, if I can give one further piece of advice for upcoming mums it would be to keep eating and drinking through labour if possible.  I was very relaxed, but maybe too much and coupled with a decreasing blood sugar level, my contractions became ineffective and after being fully dilated for around 2 hours in the birthing pool, I had no choice but to get out to be examined by the senior midwife.

Rose had apparently turned back to back but the midwife was able to actually turn her around with her hand (I actually didn’t know she had done this until she told me she had done so) and after a further hour of ineffective pushing, 18 hours since my waters broke I had to be put on the induction drip.

I would like to take the opportunity to alleviate any ‘induction’ fears among mums to be.  I had been terrified of being induced and was adamant that it must make labour more painful.  For me personally, the strong contractions it brought were a relief and I did not feel I needed any pain relief at that stage.  Breathing techniques really do make a difference (don’t get me wrong, I still had the inevitable “I can’t do this” stage just prior to Roses’ arrival….that’s when you know you don’t have long to go!) Within an hour of being placed on the drip, Rose had arrived, just 10 minutes past midnight into her due date weighing 7lb 5oz.

In short, I am made up that I attended at your classes and firmly believe they played an important part in keeping my labour drug free and very manageable.  Thank you!