We were both initially nervous about childbirth, particularly with all the negative birthing stories we were told. Calmbirth helped us to get a new perspective on what childbirth can be liked and we were so pleased to welcome our son safely into the world with no stress, no drugs an no tearing!
My husband and I hoped to bring our first child into the world in a relaxed and peaceful way, unaffected by drugs or maternal anxiety. We soon found that others weren’t quite so supportive of this idea and we experienced quite a bit of negativity from family, friends and co-workers advising us that this was not a possibility and that childbirth was simply just a painful process that had to be endured. Many people even scoffed at the idea of Calmbirth, thinking it was a bit of a joke. I was encouraged to ‘just take the drugs’ by many people and was frequently recounted with other people’s negative birth experiences. We persevered with our intentions and enrolled in the Calmbirth course at around 26 weeks.
We entered into the birth with open minds, knowing what we wanted, but also knowing that childbirth is indeed a multi-staged process that doesn’t always go to plan. We had prepared ourselves for different possibilities including the need for medical intervention and pharmaceutical pain relief and asked Suzanne our Calmbirth and yoga teacher if she would be there for the birth as a birth partner.
Well, we are pleased to say that a Calmbirth is indeed possible and we welcomed Flynn into the world on 12 November 2013, no stress, no drugs and no tearing! I was even able to birth my own baby, catching him myself and bringing him onto my chest for that wonderful first skin-to-skin contact. My midwife said that the birth was the most relaxed, least medically intervened birth for a first time mum she had seen out of more than 200 births. My husband and Suzanne were excellent throughout the entire labour, helping me to keep focused entirely on birthing our baby and not becoming distracted by other things going on around us.
I can only really describe labour as intense. It wasn’t necessarily painful, though it did take a lot of focus and strength. The birth was incredible; feeling your baby descend through your body is an amazing experience. I was told I was allowed to push towards the end, however had no desire to do this, only a strong feeling of bearing down. I knew my body and baby were capable and could feel the baby coming with each surge.
I utilised a lot of the strategies we learnt in both the Calmbirth class and the active birth yoga, without getting caught up in them. The strategies helped me to focus and to stay in ‘the zone’ I needed to remain relaxed. I truly believe childbirth is what you make of it, regardless of whether the birth goes to plan. Knowing that whatever you are doing or is being done to help you and your baby is bringing you one step closer to giving your buddle of joy that first cuddle.
The class itself was excellent. My husband said after the class that even if we did not quite get the birth we were after, he would now feel less like a ‘useless bystander’ and at least feel like he knew how he could support me and how to advocate for what we wanted in a hospital setting. The class was very different from what you get out of a hospital antenatal class.
Thank you Suzanne and Calmbirth for helping us to achieve the birth experience we hoped for.