To say that I was nervous, anxious and doubting in my ability to deliver my baby is absolutely accurate. The fear and self-doubt completely consumed me from around the 30th week of my first pregnancy, so when a girlfriend told me about Calmbirth, I was instantly drawn to the concept and ethos of the program.
Martyna is amazing, I found her delivery to be the perfect balance of the science but also the spiritual nature of childbirth. This really helped me connect with my sense of self and trust that my body knew what to do. I was around 35 weeks pregnant when we started our Calmbirth course with Martyna and she helped me to realise that my body had already achieved, quite miraculously, the beginning of a new life, with no additional thought or input from me; it had carried on supplying my baby with everything it needed to grow and prepare for this world. Likewise, my body would be capable of birthing my baby with the support of my own belief and of course the love and support of my husband.
Understanding what’s is actually happening within a woman's body during labour and childbirth was really key in helping me relax and surrender to the natural process. Martyna was able to clearly educate us on the process, the role that various hormones play and how these hormones are triggered. Plus the impact of fear and how this can fight or hinder the natural process. Martyna’s knowledge and experience as a midwife also helped my husband and I to understand the potential for medical intervention and opened our discussions to make us aware and comfortable in the decisions that we were entitled to make throughout the process.
All of the education provided to us by Martyna was invaluable to me and really helpful in the lead up to birth, alongside the Calmbirth guided meditations and the visualization activities. I felt empowered and my thoughts were redirected away from negativity and fear of childbirth. Instead I was visualizing our soon to be new family and able to indulge my desire to “nest” and prepare in a happy and positive way. It also really helped hubby to engage in the process and step into his role, he felt like he had an important part to play in the process following our time with Martyna.
I can’t recommend Calmbirth and Martyna highly enough!
The lead up:
My bag was packed, I was prepared with everything; scented oils, playlist, motivational posters, I even had my bikini & sarong ready for use in the birthing pool. I felt ready and got to the typical point of being done with pregnancy; the heaviness, the breathlessness, the difficulty in everyday tasks and movements. I was ready to meet my baby girl.
Our labour & birth:
At 38 + 5 I woke around 3am feeling wet and shocked, wondering if I’d had an accident in my sleep? On closer inspection the next morning I was sure that it wasn’t urine and wondered if I had lost a little amniotic fluid. I thought then that it could be the day I’d been waiting for. I said goodbye to my hubby as he set off for work, showered & dressed, and deliberated a little over cancelling my brunch plans. But the first contraction convinced me that that was the right thing to do.
The contractions were intense and completely took over me. They started as a strong period type pain then morphed into something that took my breath away. I was unable to think or move while they were coming over me. I remember trying to time the duration & also the time in between, but found it too difficult. I was unable to identify the finish of the period pain and beginning of contractions. I lost 30 minutes as I tried so decided it was time to call hubby, Joe.
I called him at 12pm and he told me to call the midwife at the hospital as he raced home. At 12:45pm he was home and asking me what the midwife had said, but I hadn’t managed to make the call. I had spent the time leaning on the kitchen bench and breathing through the contractions, unable to move further than a couple of metres in between each one. Thank goodness he was there to make the call and lead me in the right direction (& clean up after me). I felt sick all of a sudden and vomited all over the floor. The midwives then instructed us to come in to the hospital. It took poor Joe 30 minutes to get me into the car. I didn’t want to sit down, I wanted to be on all fours on the back seat.
We arrived at the hospital and I made my way up to the maternity ward (while Joe parked the car), stopping regularly on the way to brace myself while a contraction waved over me. I realised when we got to the ward that my black pants were saturated as I’d been losing fluid with each contraction. The midwives took me straight to a birthing suite and I sent Joe back to the car for my bag. When the midwife finally got me off the toilet they called Joe and told him to hurry up or he’ll miss the birth.
We were on! It was time to push with the contractions rather than breathe through them. I did my best to follow the instruction of the midwives. One push and one almighty sharp, burning pain and my daughter’s head was clear and she was bought into our world.
I was happy for a managed 3rd stage as I was completely spellbound by Matilda as she discovered my nipple and suckled for the first time. Joe and I were immediately overtaken with love for our precious little baby girl. I was in a daze.
Timeline 11/11/2019 (approx.):
3:00am I woke to some fluid loss, perhaps the membrane tore somewhere higher than the baby’s head?
8:30am I started feeling period type pains.
10:00am The period pain was followed by an intense wave that took by breath away.
11:30am I attempted, unsuccessfully, to time the duration and time in between waves.
12:00pm Called hubby, Joe, to come home because I believed I was in labour.
12:45pm First call to the midwives at the hospital.
2:00pm Second call to the midwives at the hospital and they instructed us to come in. (Apparently I spoke to someone during this call but I don’t remember).
2:30pm Left home.
3:00pm Arrived at the hospital.
4:01pm Matilda Skye Paterson was born.
My experience was so brief, in comparison to most, there was no time for posters, playlists or even pain relief. We were lucky to make it to the hospital in time. The Calmbirth breathing and education absolutely played a key role in helping through what was actually quite a violent birthing experience for me. It also helped me through the very real recovery period post partum, childbirth had changed by body in ways that I hadn’t imagined prior. But the human body is an amazing and brilliantly designed machine and so the stitches healed, the hemorrhoids retracted, the UTI passed and we have a beautiful baby girl to care for and marvel over everyday for the rest of our lives!
Thank you Martyna, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Simone, Joe & Matilda