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Lucy's story

Women had different experiences in labour and some were more attached to those experiences than others.  However doing the Calmbirth course made me realize that deep down I was actually frightened – not so much of contractions in labour, more so the thought of tearing or the chance of something being not quite right with our baby. Calmbirth allowed me to address these fears. My partner and I emerged from the course with a confidence, calm and sense of excitement about the delivery.

 

With all the preparation I believed mine would be a totally natural birth. I was doing all the “right things”: yoga, swimming, and the Calmbirth meditations on a regular basis. Each time I went to the antenatal clinic from 38 weeks onwards, I was told our baby’s head wasn’t engaged and my pelvis might not facilitate a natural birth. But it didn’t bother me. I felt that what would happen, would happen.

Our baby was born on the 6th of July at Calvary Hospital and it was a delivery “with the lot”.

At my 41 week check up the ultrasound showed that there was not enough fluid around our baby. And on examination my cervix was closed and posterior. So I was admitted to hospital that afternoon with gel inserted to get the show on the road.

Overnight the CTG showed regular contractions, which I didn’t feel, and the next morning I was only 2cm dilated. That day I was having 4-5 minutely contractions which my partner and I were managing with massage, gentle movements and music. At 4pm, I was just 3cm dilated, so they removed the gel, broke my membranes and started syntocinon. I knew that syntocinon would make the contractions more intense and the labour faster and possibly harder to cope with. It did. I used the relaxation breathing and kept moving around (with all the cords and attachments). A few hours later, without relief between contractions, I had an epidural.

When it came time to push, I did so for about 90 minutes but the baby’s heart rate was not bouncing back so in the end they suggested a ventouse delivery. As they pulled the head out, the doctors and midwives were all surprised to see our baby facing the roof: a posterior baby. This explained, in part, why it was hard to push. And to top it off, I had a large postpartum haemorrhage. But while the birthing suite went into emergency response mode, my partner and I were just gazing at our baby in amazement.

Some people may read my birth story and say it was the complete opposite of a natural birth or even a calm birth, I feel differently. Calmbirth allowed me to feel genuinely excited about labour and the delivery right up until the day. On the day I was able to enjoy the early labour. As the contractions intensified my partner was able to support me using everything in the toolkit.

We rolled with all the punches in our cascade of interventions and had a beautiful baby girl.

I believe it’s important that we don’t see women who don’t achieve a ‘natural birth’ as those who were not able to cope. That is why I have told my story. There were moments I felt I had failed, especially when I requested an epidural. But it was only one part in a big day and in the end, it all faded into insignificance when I met my baby.  Courses like Calmbirth are important in giving women the confidence to believe natural childbirth is possible and the humility and calm to accept help when it is required. I am already looking forward to having another baby.