Updated: Jan 31
Where to begin. To start with I wanted to say how much Nick and I enjoyed Marty’s Calmbirth classes. We did them in the comfort of our own home. Marty made us feel so comfortable and her knowledge and passion was amazing. She taught us the benefits of remaining calm; not only for labour, but for any stressful life events. Being stressed and constantly running on adrenalin can be harmful for the body, and in labour can slow down the natural birthing process.
I first utilised the calm breaths a couple of weeks prior to going into labour. The obstetrician was a bit concerned that my fundal height hadn't grown and sent me up to the ward for an ultrasound at 38 weeks. I had to wait in the waiting room for an hour before being seen by the midwife and doctor. I found myself starting to get worried with negative thoughts entering my mind. “What if there’s something wrong with the baby”, “ Is my GDM affecting the babies growth?”, etc. I decided to play some of the Calmbirth meditations and started doing some of the calm breaths. These simple strategies really helped me keep calm and not get too worked up about the situation.
Tuesday night at 10.30pm was when I knew labour had started. I was getting period like cramps that were consistently coming on every 15 minutes and were pretty intense. I chose to try and ignore them, trying to sleep in between each contraction and not tell my husband (Nick). By 1.30am I couldn’t lie down anymore and must have been making a bit of noise as Nick woke. I whispered to him “ I don’t think you’ll be going to work today Mr”. He was like …”what!” and got excited.
I told Nick to try and go back to sleep and not think about it but that was obviously very hard for him. Nick put the TENS machine on for me and I used that to help get through each contraction. Nick lit candles and we played our ‘labour playlist’, as well as some of the Calmbirth meditations.
At 7am we notified the hospital that I was in labour however had decided to stay at home for as long as we felt comfortable as liked the idea of being in our own home environment. Contractions continued to get more intense at home. I just moved around the living room or sat on a chair back to front to try and rest a little in between contractions. I decided to try and have a shower to ease some of the pain which actually felt quite nice. By about midday the contractions were getting very intense. I was having at least 3 contractions, each lasting at least one minute in a ten minute cycle.
We headed into the hospital after 14 hours of labouring at home. Here we were greeted by our midwife who was such a calm, lovely person and respected our birth preferences (which we handed to her when we arrived at the hospital). She let us do our own thing; playing our music and just walking around the birth suite. She bought in a Pilates mat and exercise ball for me to use as I wanted. She helped get us set up for another shower to try and ease the pain.
I won’t lie when I say that the contractions were the most intense feeling I have ever experienced. I wanted to crawl out of my skin at times, however each time I focussed on my breath and swayed to the calm music I got through each contraction. I was so focussed on utilising my Calmbirthing techniques that I totally forgot about asking for pain relief!
I was ready to push by about 6pm, just after my waters broke. This second stage of labour took 49 minutes. I found ‘pushing’ extremely physically exhausting however it was here that I found the calm breath so useful. I kept thinking to myself that I must keep calm, and take deep, slow breaths in between pushing to allow enough oxygen to get my uterus so it can continue to do it’s job.
Our little girl Rosie came flying out! Nick and I were overwhelmed with love. I had a physiological 3rd stage of labour with the placenta coming out after 24 minutes- what a relief that felt!
Overall I found my birth the most amazing, challenging, yet empowering experience. I was so proud with how calm I remained and felt so lucky to have my supportive husband by my side. The Calmbirth classes helped us so much! They gave me confidence that my body (and mind) were capable of bringing our little girl into the world.. and I did it completely drug free! I am a huge advocate for your Calmbirth classes and would recommend them to anyone!