My husband Dylan and I completed a Zoom Calmbirth course when I was around 28 weeks pregnant. It was a fantastic way to prepare for the birth of our son on the 6th of July 2020.
Before completing the course, I would have to say that I was quite terrified of giving birth. All I’d heard were negative stories. I tried to put birth out of my mind because I wasn’t ready to deal with it.
Sally and Lanziz were both fantastic and supportive educators. By the end of the course I actually felt keen to give birth a go, because I felt like I had some tools to work with! I was really glad the course also focused on helping partners know how to best support the labouring woman.
Over the weeks, my enthusiasm for birth waned a little, but I kept practicing the breathing, visualisation and relaxation techniques which helped me to remain fairly calm and stress free up until his expected due date. I also read a book called the Positive Birth Book, and filled my head with positive birth stories from the Calmbirth website and from Youtube, filtering out any negative stories. I had a bit of a wobble as I went past my EDD and needed to book in an induction, however Dylan and also Sally were there to support me and remind me that my body was capable and that even an induced labour could be a positive experience. The induction was booked for 41+4, but thankfully I went into labour the night before.
Labour was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. The contractions took over completely - sort of in the same way your body heaves uncontrollably when you vomit, my body heaved uncontrollably with each contraction. I wouldn’t exactly call it relaxed or calm; it was powerful. Rhythmic breathing enabled me to stay somewhat in control throughout. Also, due to the preparation we’d done and the information we’d learnt, I was without fear through the whole process, even though the contractions didn’t quite feel how I’d imagined they would.
I’m proud to say that the birth went as well as I’d hoped; I delivered without any medication or assistance, in an upright kneeling position and without ‘screaming’. I also avoided a 3rd/4th degree tear. We had a great midwife on the day, and Dylan was amazing as ‘guardian of my oxytocin’. Our baby was born 6.5 hours after being admitted to the birthing suite (with 2.5 hours of active pushing).
Now the hard work begins of being this little ones parents.
Thank you Sally and Lanziz!
- Written by Merinda