Steve and Eloise: Abigail's birth
In the weeks leading up to the birth of our beautiful girl Abigail Steve and I had been practicing our Calmbirth techniques where we could, and were feeling confident with putting them into practice.
On Thursday night of my 39th week I started having mild contractions and by early Friday morning they’d started to ramp up. After speaking to my midwife we packed up the car and headed for Dalby hospital.
Not long after arriving to hospital I had my first strong contraction and had a crisis of confidence. I was very lucky that a midwife on duty at the hospital talked me out of being in my head too much, letting the tension go and to focus back on my Calmbirth techniques. After this I was back on track and handling the contractions with confidence again. I found the breathing and visualisations very helpful during this time. For me- strongly focusing on the visualisations of a flower opening, and being in my favourite safe place in nature while continuing to breathe helped to keep me feeling grounded and safe. I starting also using a tens machine later in the day as the contractions got stronger. Not to mention the support of my partner who was unwavering during the whole labour.
After contracting regularly all day at 10pm Friday night they started to get more intense so I called the hospital midwife to say I was ready to call my midwife in and head to the birth suite. The hospital midwife didn’t believe I was acting like a woman in active labour and tried to discourage me saying “I’m sorry but you don’t look like a woman who’s about to give birth”. Being my first birth I began to question myself but glad that in the end I insisted. When my midwife arrived shortly after I was past 6cm dilated. My husband and I laugh about it now but just think this speaks volumes for the Calmbirth techniques.
I’d made it this far without drugs but used the gas once I got to the birth suite. I had my heart set on a water birth but after 4 hours in the tub going through what felt to me like the transition my baby was staying put. I thought my waters had broken and there was fluid in the tub but my midwife thought it was best to get me out and have a closer check. I was fully dilated and her head was right there but my waters wouldn’t break! My midwife thought I could have been fully dilated for quite some time. She broke my waters for me but by this stage I was so tired that I didn’t want to get back into the tub. During the pushing I just kept focusing on how excited I was to meet my little girl. I birthed on the table and at 3:10am Saturday morning Abigail Kathryn Maree Smith made her appearance. For the entire 5 hours in the birth suite my husband didn’t once stop counting for my breathing and was an absolute rockstar that I couldn’t have done without. My midwife later told me how impressed she was at how well we worked together as a team. I ended up with a tear and needed stitches but I was just so glad to be holding my baby.
Thank you Sally for being an amazing educator! Steve and I have been singing the praises of Calmbirth to all our friends and family since the birth. My midwife was also impressed saying that we had a really good birth. We wish you all the best with it all.
- Written by Eloise