yogababy Birth stories
Rupert Howe, son of Helen and Mike, born 23rd May 2017
Meet Rupert Howe, born on the 23rd May 2017 at 2:23am. Our labour began with an impressive movie-style breaking of my waters in the middle of the night. I was lucky to have supportive midwives who were happy for me to stay at home and labour for as long as I wanted, and I spent about half my labour at home with my husband and dog for support.
After attending the Active Birth Workshop, Mike and I had a bag full of tricks to get me through the contractions. The most helpful were the breathing techniques we had learnt, and as the labour progressed, we used the low vocal sounds a lot as well. Mike felt that he knew how he could support me during this time, which made him feel useful and included. Around lunch time we went to the hospital. While in the birthing suite, I laboured in the bath.
My labour was very long, and we did end up using some pain relief, but I can honestly say that the workshop allowed Mike and I to make informed, evidence-based decisions about the birth. We felt confident to voice our concerns and decisions to the medical professionals which was such a gift. I feel so proud of myself and my family for our birth and I have nothing but positive feelings about it, and I think a lot of of that is due to Suzanne's support and the workshop!
Helen attended the Active Birth Workshop with Suzanne.
Iris, daughter of Tamsin, born 18th March 2017
I am just over the moon with happiness and Iris is a dream. I had an excellent delivery. It was very quick and all happened naturally. My waters broke just before 1am and I had gentle cramps which became regular and a bit more intense around 2am. Mum drove me to the hospital around 2.20am arriving around 2.35am and my sister arrived at 2.50, the doctor at 3ish. I was 8cm dilated when I got to the hospital and was involuntarily pushing. I felt a real need to walk and be upright and leaned on the midwife during contractions. I felt a real desire to be upright and everyone was very supportive, going with the flow. I kneeled next to the bath and she was born just minutes later (my sister thinks after three contractions)... it was totally incredible. My mum and sister were there, and the obstetrician who delivered Sylvia who I feel very close to, and I got very lucky and had a gorgeous midwife who followed my wishes in my birth plan so closely. She was so supportive and encouraging. My doctor put my hands down to draw Iris up to me and I just held her and looked at her discovering she was a girl. It was so beautiful. I had no drugs, not even gas, so it's all so vivid in my mind. She was crying when she was only half out which the midwife said is not common and it was quite wonderful. All four women at the birth played such important roles and were amazing. I just felt so supported.
It was so quick there wasn't a lot of time for the techniques but what I did do was so important and critical to me being in a good headspace. I found the breathing and vocalisation really good when I was in transition, and the positive empowered thinking, to remind myself I could do it when it was all getting intense around the pushing, really helped me get in a good head space. Thank you for everything Suzanne, and for all your support and confidence in me.
Eden, daughter of Sarah and Sam, born 27th January 2017
I had a wonderful birth and express my gratitude for your Active Birth Workshop and yoga classes.
Everything happened very quickly. My labour was 4 hours from start to finish, and this was my first baby. It was hard to deal with the contractions as they came on very quickly and were very strong so I didn't have much time to get used to them! However, with breathing techniques, visualisation and lots of vocalisation, I managed to get through with no pain relief or intervention. During the pushing phase I mooed like a cow and it felt fantastic. My partner Sam (who came to an active birth workshop) was great. He gave me heaps of sacral massage and mooed along with me. After 17 minutes of pushing I gave birth to our beautiful girl, and we named her Eden.
Thanks Suzanne for all your guidance during my pregnancy. I can't thank you enough!
Elle, daughter of Brooke and Jon, born November 2016
I had my baby through an amazing labour!!! THANK YOU... THANK YOU...THANK YOU!!!!
I was 6 days overdue however I didn’t opt for any induction techniques as I knew my body and trusted she would come when she was ready. We did do the pressure point and massage exercises to try to help her along. I started having contractions at 4am, got to the hospital at 8am already 4cm dilated (thought I could just go back home at this stage) and had her at 12.45pm. No gas, epidural, tearing, drugs or pain killers post birth. I have heard for my first baby this is pretty good.
The breathing exercises you gave us were invaluable!!!! I felt in control and aware of my body the majority of the time (Jon quickly pulled me back if I lost it for a minute) and with the breathing techniques I knew exactly how long my contractions were going for and felt empowered that I could handle it. The knowledge that you gave Jon was absolutely the best thing that I could have wished for. He was hugely supportive, took control and when I needed a bit of a break he went into relaxation mode which just made me completely relaxed between contractions. The midwife actually asked us after the birth what courses we did as she has never seen a partner so helpful and in tune with the mother than us. We were so lucky.
My beautiful baby Elle is now so chilled out and calm and I have put this down to the amazing birthing experience I had. We can’t thank you enough and have been recommending you to every mother I meet.
Brooke and Jon attended an Active Birth Private Session with Suzanne.
Felicity Marcella, daughter of Rebecca, born 26th September 2016
I gave birth to my baby girl the day on 26th September. Thank you Suzanne for your wisdom and resources you provided in both your private class and the course, we had a spontaneous labour with natural vaginal birth. The birthing team were very proud of me and stated they felt privileged being part of such a birth (a rare occasion they felt). I found the use of breathing, letting go, positioning and vocalisation extremely helpful throughout labour and birth. I found practising visualisation and breathing in class and at home built my confidence in myself and my body 'to do what it does' and things came to me naturally. I am recovering very well and my baby girl appears to be settling into life outside the womb okay.
I look forward to the wisdom, resources and joy for yoga you will transfer to me and my girl together in the Mummy & Me Babies classes.
Rebecca attended our Active Birth Yoga classes and Private Session with Suzanne.
Baby Miles, son of Michelle and Malcolm, born 2nd September 2016
I just wanted to let you know we had a baby last Friday at home.... 4 hr labour. It was too quick to set up the pool so I birthed in my ensuite... so so so very happy. Baby Miles weighed 2.1kg. All is well. He is drinking and sleeping well.
I just wanted to thank you for all that I learnt from you at the yoga baby classes and in particular the active birth private session with Malcolm. I couldn’t have got through it so well without your teachings and your voice continued to remind me what I needed to do.
Breathe.... each contraction is only 5 breaths... open up.... don't clench..... use different postures... sit on the toilet... breathe.... visualize.... my body knows what to do.... I will meet my baby soon... I can do this... Thank you so much!
Michelle attended our Active Birth Yoga classes and a Private Session with Suzanne.
Grace Maria Beatrice, daughter of Kathleen and Glen, born 12th August 2016
Grace meaning "beauty of form", Maria meaning "wished-for child" and Beatrice meaning "bringer of joy." We wanted to honour Glen's mother, Jan Maria, and Kathleen's Oma, Anne Beatrice, who passed away last month at age 99.
Our little girl was born on Friday, 9:35pm 12th of August, 2016, weighing in at 8.6 lbs and 20.5 inches long. It was a very quick birth - lasting just under 3 hours with the first contraction at 7pm, we left for hospital at 845pm, and Grace arrived 20 minutes after getting to hospital; no time for a water birth but our speedy little lady seemed to just want to join us after being nearly a week overdue! We are all doing well, resting and getting used to life with two little girls!
Kathleen attended our Active Birth Yoga classes.
Isla, daughter of Anthea, born 5th April 2016
We welcomed a little baby girl into this world on the 5th April 2016. Isla Elaine was born at 12.40 pm weighing in it at 4.5 kg! Isla was due on the 1st April, when she had not arrived by the 5th April, I elected to be induced. I made this decision for her and my safety given that all my babies have been very big. The induction went fine, my labour was very manageable (and exactly like my labour with Rory). I stayed mobile on my feet, breathing and counting through contractions or rocking on the birth ball. I also used a TENS machine which I find really helps with the sense of control and rhythm through the contractions. When the pressure in my bottom was getting strong, I lay down and started to use my voice (low with loose lips) through the really intense contractions until it was time to push.
Like my other labours, I found it best to lie on my side with my right leg up during the pushing phase. We all thought Isla would be out in just a few pushes but she decided to turn and come out posteria with her chin up. This made for a much longer pushing phase compared to my boys (40 mins). The pushing was very intense as Isla kept sliding back in at the end of each push -- so it was push push push push! There was a moment when I did not think she was ever going to come out, but she did, and she is worth every bit of pregnancy discomfort. We had not found out the gender so Ged looked down and cried out 'oh my god it's a girl, and she has hair...and its black!' (both boys were bald and very fair!)
Thank you Suzanne for all your wonderful classes. Our family is now complete and I am a very blissed out mummy cuddling my beautiful daughter at every opportunity (occasionally I let her sleep in the bassinet!)
Anthea attended our Active Birth Yoga classes.
Evelyn, daughter of Jenny, born 19th March 2016
I just wanted to let you know that I gave birth to Evelyn on Saturday 19th March.
After a long natural labour that seemed to be going perfectly, she had to be delivered by emergency caesarean after getting stuck at the very last hurdle (not even a vacuum shifted her). It wasn't the birth I was hoping for, especially because I needed a general anaesthetic in the end, however I kept calm throughout and baby's heart rate stayed normal the whole time - something which I really believe is down to your classes and me being able to maintain a relaxed state of breathing.
Thank you so much for all of your support and guidance over the last few months - it not only helped so much with the birth, but kept me calm and happy throughout the final phase of the pregnancy. Evelyn arrived with the most amazing hair style!
Jenny attended our Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes.
Ari, son of Amy, born 19th March 2016
Just wanted to share a little more about Ari's amazing birth on March 19th.
The labour was such a positive and beautiful experience in the end and felt really quick! We both drew a lot on the breathing techniques, postures, and other advice from the Active birth classes and the calm birth workshop. After a few nights of mild cramping overnight, contractions started in earnest at 3am. I remembered your advice not to get too excited or wake anyone up early on. I kept breathing very slowly through each one, focusing on my out breath and on relaxing in between.
By about 5am contractions were between 5 and 7 minutes apart and pretty strong. I finally decided to wake up Leo. Leo kept reminding me to breathe out long and pushed on my back through each contraction. With the help of the breathing and movements we practiced at yoga, the tens machine, and some time in the bath, we managed to stay at home for most of my labour, just as we had hoped!
By the time I got to hospital around 10am, I was 7cm dilated. It all went so quick from then. The midwife stayed mostly out of our way until I was ready to push. She said we were doing great and to just pretend we were still at home and keep doing what we'd been doing. I was making low moaning sounds through transition which helped a lot, and used the gas for the stronger contractions during transition.
I had really wanted to get in a tub or birth pool but this was not available at the time. To my surprise it really didn't matter: the midwife got us a mattress and beanbag so I could push crouched in the shower area, using the bars there for support in squat positions and hands and knees. I kept the tens on rather than turn on the water. It took quite a few pushes to get Ari 'round the bend' as the midwife put it, as it turned out his hand was up on his face when he came out. Having been through the mechanics of birth in class helped me a lot: I knew what she meant by 'bring him round the bend' and finally managed to lift myself up a bit to open my pelvis further and help him move down. He crowned and then slipped out very quickly after this. We played our relaxing music through the whole labour, and towards the end Leo put a more triumphant hymn on to give us a bit of a boost.
We made the birth room our space through music and pictures. But in the end we were only in labour there for what felt like a very quick 2hrs. Ari was born at 12.10pm, 3.9kg. I am so happy that using our active and calm birth skills we had a very smooth and calm birth, with no tears for me, and just a bit of gas! I had a lot of fears about labour early in my pregnancy, replaced slowly over the course of it with confidence and excitement thanks largely to the active birth classes. They made a huge difference physically and mentally to prepare us for a great birth.
Amy attended our Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga and Calmbirth workshop.
Scarlett, daughter of Rebecca, born 5th March 2016
I just wanted to let you know that little miss Scarlett arrived happy and healthy into this world on Saturday 5th March at 4.56 pm, after 10.5 hrs of labour in a completely natural and drug-free delivery – something that I know was only possible because of everything I learned through my yoga baby classes and amazing support of the birth centre midwives - so I just wanted to thank you and thought I would share my birth story (I know I loved hearing about other's experiences!).
The night before Scarlett was born I had been invited on a last minute outing to a concert with a friend – I was 41 weeks and as yet, had had no inkling that things were about to kick off. All week I had been fighting off people’s enquiries about whether or not “there was a baby yet”, but thanks to my yogababy knowledge - as well as the support of the birth centre midwives at the RBWH (which I can’t recommend highly enough as an option for birthing!), I knew that 40 weeks + 8 days was the average for a first baby and so, was feeling completely relaxed about the whole situation and not really expecting anything to happen just yet.
However, while I was eating dinner out that night, I had the first signs of the ‘bloody show’ . On the way home, I called my husband to give him the heads up and asked him to run me a bath. After a nice long soak, I hoped that I would be able to have a good nights sleep, as I felt certain that things were going to kick off the next day.
I awoke on the Saturday at 6 am, still with the dull period pain ache, however just half an hour later my contractions started! Right from the very beginning they were just 1 minute apart, lasting for about 30 seconds and they stayed 1 min apart pretty much whole labour. Knowing that these things could take hours and even days, I prepared myself for the long haul and began dealing with my contractions by using the breathing exercises we learnt in class as well as a warm bath and a TENS machine. With your voice ever in my head Suzanne, I even planned on making a cake and was determined not to get to the hospital too soon, as my worst fear was being sent home again.
By 9.30 am, the breathing and meditation was no longer enough and I had moved on to vocalisations (particularly low ‘ohms’) and was on all fours with a gym ball. Around this time I thought we should probably update the birth centre and they suggested I come in. When we arrived it turned out I was already 5 cm dilated! (The journey from the car to the birth centre itself was quite interesting – I had a lovely contraction out the front of emergency vocalising like a banshee, before flinging myself on the floor of the lift on all fours!).
I had been hoping for a water birth, but none of the midwives on at the time were certified, so in the heat of the moment, I thought if I couldn’t have a water birth, I wanted an epidural. My student midwife there turned out to be invaluable and there is no doubt that she helped ‘talk me off the edge’ and out of having an epidural – I can completely understand how having a Doula or a birth support person other than your partner, can really help change the course of your labour.
By 1.30 pm I was 8 cm dilated and around 2 pm I was transitioning – and it was this promise of how close I was that kept me going. I spent most of my time in the shower and between that and the support of my husband, I can say that they were the only things that kept me going. My husband and I had attended a one-on-one workshop with Suzanne and it was wonderful because he really took on board some of the things we had learnt. At one point in my transitioning (when I’m not gonna lie, I just wanted to die), I remember him very calmly and gently doing some very low ‘ohms’, which reminded me to focus and helped calm me down, particularly as I found it tempting to want to use my upper vocal register because of the pain. I remember also doing some ‘brrs’ over and over and kept hearing Suzanne’s voice reminding me that “loose lips = loose bits”.
By 2.30 I was fully dilated and able to start pushing. Around the two-hour mark the doctor came to check on me and although she said that usually after the 2-hour mark they gave episiotomy’s, I was so close, she left me to it. After another half an hour, Scarlett was finally born!!!!!!!
One piece of advice that came back to me and something the midwives also commented on, was that I really had not drunk enough water and therefore hadn’t been passing any urine, so I think this slowed things down – so keep up the fluids ladies! Another (very positive!) surprising thing is that while I kept waiting for that ‘burning ring of fire’ that is so often described when the baby is finally being delivered, for me it never happened – and this is something the midwives attributed to perineum massage. So I can’t recommend it enough! I only ever did it a couple of times a week for my last few weeks and always wondered if I was doing it right, but apparently that was enough to help, because not only did I not experience that burning pain, but I also didn’t tear!!! All I came away with was a slight graze.
The second it was all over I was overjoyed that I had fought through it without the epidural (however I was still saying “next time I’m having a caesarean”) and felt absolutely amazing. As she was being born, I reached down and felt her little hand grab mine, which was really special because I had requested if at all possible, to help birth her and to be the first to touch her. Immediately her healthy little lungs filled the room with her screams and beautiful little Scarlett entered our world.
Two weeks on, my husband and I haven’t stopped talking about what an amazing experience the whole day was and now that I can re-live it (without the pain!), I love remembering how amazing and special the whole day and my entire birthing journey was. And I look forward to (yes that’s right!), hopefully birthing naturally again one day – (but not too soon!).
Rebecca attended our Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga and Active Birth Workshop.
Josephy Henry, son of Lisa, born 16th January 2016
Our little man, Joseph Henry, arrived 16th January 2016 (on his due date!) with help from our yogababy lessons! We had a wonderful birth and feel yogababy helped us achieve that. My waters broke 15/1/16 but I didn't go into labour until 16/1. I was in early labour for 4 hours, active for about 4hrs and pushed for 13 minutes. The labour was so quick that it was quite intense and my husband was very good at helping me count my breathing and letting me know how long I had to go before I had a break which was something we did with you. We also had nice music and lights dim in birth suite (made the labour room our own space which we also talked about with you) and I was holding on to him and swaying as standing was least painful for me (I gave birth standing) and a midwife walked in and commented how beautiful it was, that there was heaps of oxytocin in the room and that a baby would be born any minute!
Aoife Olive, daughter of Freya and Dave, born 10th October 2015
My husband Dave and I welcomed our baby girl into the world in October and honestly labour was THE BEST experience of our lives! I joined the active birth classes when I was thirty weeks pregnant. I had a breech baby until just over 38 weeks. Each day Dave and I would talk to our girl and asked her to do what was right for her, we also visualized the birth we wanted. We tried to visualize as much detail as possible, where would we be when I went to to labour, what would we do next, her head lowering into my pelvis, vaginal birth etc. At just over 38 weeks she turned and locked her head down. :)
The day she was born my husband and I enjoyed a day at the coast, made love and settled in to watch a movie. Not long into the movie my waters broke, we stayed at home for a few hours as I hadn't had any contractions yet. When we arrived at the hospital at about midnight, ( Dave was getting a bit nervous staying at home) we where checked and sent to a room to get some rest and get checked on the next morning.
I was feeling a little uncomfortable but certainly not in any pain and remembered you saying the first part of labour is a secret. We went to bed and got some rest. By 2.30pm I woke up breathing though some slight pain remembering holding the ice and knowing it's good pain and it will be over in no time. Dave woke up then and asked if he could tell the midwife that I had started contractions. When the midwife came in at 2.50 to check on me I was fully dilated and ready to birth my baby. I had slept through most of my labour!
In the birthing suite Dave was an amazing help. He has since told me and friends that he felt confident and comfortable in knowing how to support me form the weekend workshops. He breathed with me, encouraged me, pushed some pressure points and was in the moment with me. The midwife and OB actually didn't come near us until after our baby was born. They later told us that we were breathing our baby out together so nicely that they didn't want 'medical' people to interfere. Thanks for giving us the skills, knowledge and confidence to give our baby the best welcome into this world possible.
Freya attended the Active Birth Yoga classes and Active Birth Workshop with her partner.
Tarn, son of Kathryn and Alex, born 1st November 2015
This is our little guy, Tarn RJ, born 1 November.
I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful classes. When I first booked in, I wanted to learn about the physicality of birth - what my body would be doing, how I could best work with it, and what would work best for the baby. What I learned was so much more. One of my most memorable moments was in my first class when you asked us to discuss our 2 greatest fears with the person sitting next to us. I was sitting next to Kirsten and we developed an instant bond which we have maintained post-yoga classes. Arriving as two complete strangers, by the end of the first class we were able to discuss deep-seated fears we held and help each other recognise the essential elements of those fears and how we could overcome them and focus on our positive attributes.
My labour was way more intense and overwhelming than I had imagined but I am so proud of how I responded and so proud of my wonderful support team of Alex (my amazing partner) and my mum, and an incredible midwife, Pene, who breathed through just about every single contraction with me. I did end up asking for morphine which is ok as it was the best decision for me at the time. Tarn was born via natural delivery (that was SO exciting!!) and the placenta came shooting out 5 minutes later. I was in a state of bliss seeing my gorgeous little baby and my loving partner.
Everything is going well at home - everyone is getting enough food and sleep which seem to be the only important things in the world right now! We do stretching and massage with him every day and I fit in some yoga and meditation when I can.
Kathryn attended our Active Birth Yoga classes.
Lea, daughter of Ilaria and Ales, born 25th August 2015
Our little Lea was born on 25/8, happy and healthy (at 40 weeks, 5 days). Everything went according to our plan. We had a natural birth with no pain relief and no assistance. It would never have been possible if we did not attend your classes, so thank you soooo much!
That’s how things went:
- Days/Weeks prior: we used some of the natural methods to bring on labour that you recommended us and I think by the time labour started my oxcytocin levels were very high.
- Night from the 24/8 to 25/8: I felt some contractions at night, but not stronger than the Braxton Hicks that I have been having for the entire third trimester. Started to loose the plug.
- 9.30am: We made love and lifted my hips to get more sperm on the cervix
- 10-12: I felt some contractions, but again, they weren’t too strong so I kept doing stuff around the apartment
- 12.15: called Ales to come home from work, and started having stronger contractions that I managed with breathing techniques (and always using positions favouring gravity during the contractions)
- 1pm: Ales arrived home, my contractions were 6min apart.
- 1-4pm: contractions were very painful. Used tens machine/hot bath/ breathing techniques. Ales took charge and was giving me advices and helping with breathing, etc. He was feeling very confident thanks to the tips that you gave at the workshop.
- 4 pm: Strong contractions every 3 min. Went to Mater (breathing and vocalisation in the car). Assessed: 9.5cm dilated. Taken straight to deliver room. Midwife (Carolyn Mustard) was AMAZING. She did the calm birth course with you. Both, her and Ales worked really well together and guided me through the process.
- 5pm: Waters broke.
- 5.57pm: Lea was born. Happy and pink. APGAR score 9. Best feeling ever :)
- We tried physiological release of the placenta, but it did not work. I had to get the injection and a doctor had to come in and extract it manually.
- I ended up with a tear, but rather minor. Light 2nd degree. They gave us the options to choose whether we wanted stitches or not.
In the day post-delivery I found very useful your advices for toilet position + opening mouth. Thanks to that technique I started having normal bowel movements on day 2 and had no problems since.
Thank you immensely for all the skills that you tought to us! They have been invaluable!
Ilaria attended our Active Birth Yoga classes and Active Birth Workshop with her partner.
Harrison James, son of Rebecca, born August 2015
On the Wednesday night I had some bleeding, which by Thursday meant I needed an emergency cesarean. It wasn't the birth I had planned, but the calmness, visualisation, breathing, affirmation and other skills I had learnt at yoga were all amazing in keeping me calm and feeling good. What could have been a really scary experience wasn't at all! I felt calm and ok with the chaos and like i had skills to draw on when needed.
We had our beautiful little boy Harrison James at 2.05pm, weighing 2.89kgs at 35.5 weeks. He's doing wonderfully and we're looking forward to Mummy & Me Babies yoga down the track.
Rebecca attended the Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes.
Olivia Anne, daughter of Elise and Dean, born 16 August 2015
Dean and I had our baby girl on Sunday night. 38 weeks to the day. I had a feeling she was coming for the last few days. She knew I was ready, even though I wanted a few more weeks to myself... she just knew. 4 hours, quick all natural home birth. Wonderful and amazing experience. Loved the whole lot. Yes there was pain. And I got through it. All fine during birth and labour.
Olivia is very content. Dean is an amazing support, was during labour and now at home.
Elise attended the Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes.
Darcy Teilo, son of Isabel and Ceda, born 18th July 2015
My little boy Darcy Teilo Byrne arrived safely on 18th July. I attended prenatal yoga at West End in the middle of my pregnancy, as well as Active Birth Yoga in Auchenflower. My partner Ceda and I also had a private workshop with Suzanne. Darcy is now 9 weeks old, smiles a big gummy grin at a friendly face, and is, in my very unbiased opinion, the coolest little dude going around!
The process of bringing him earth-side was long and, although not the beautiful water experience I had planned, somehow very empowering. My contractions began in earnest at midnight on a Wednesday, three days before my scheduled induction. Although Suzanne's voice was in my head telling me to stay in bed and rest, I found lying down almost impossible! It was much more bearable when moving around. So the next six hours saw me pacing, showering, and breathing through each wave. This was the time I found the active birth positions I had learned from class most helpful. At this stage they were coming about every five minutes, but my visualisation and breathing techniques kept me feeling in control.
We went into the birth centre the next morning to be assessed, and were disheartened to discover we were still in the very early stages - only 2cm! We later found out that he was posterior and had a deflexed head position, which was stopping my cervix from dilating and my body from moving my baby down. I returned home and continued to labour all that day and the following night.
By now I was exhausted and relied on my partner or my mother to help me through each contraction, as all my energy was focussed on breathing. At last, at 5am, my waters broke. Hallelujah, we said! Off we trundled to the hospital, excited to meet our baby... or so we thought! I was at 4cm. I spent that day in the birth centre, and here I'd like to spruik your couples workshops! My partner Ceda was brilliant throughout the entire labour, so when I had used my energy reserves, he just took over! He preempted each wave, physically held me up throughout, counted steadily through each breath, and kept me relaxed enough to ride it out.
Not only were those skills were taught in our workshop, but our communication was improved too - he had a better idea of what I was experiencing, and so could adapt and respond without being told. So thank you, yogababy!! Later that afternoon we realised, despite the wonderful support and all our active birth skills, labouring was not bringing baby fast enough. My cervix had not opened any further, and was actually thickening again. As it had been 36 hours with no sleep or food and contractions were coming thick and fast, it was suggested I have an epidural, to which I agreed. Although definitely not a part of my birth plan, it still felt empowering - just another tool to help my body labour. And the best thing was, it worked!
A few hours sleep helped me go from 4 to 9cm in no time. Darcy was born early on Saturday morning, without any medical assistance. He flipped at the last minute, and wiggled his 4kg little body out face down, 49 hours after the first real contraction. Someone helped me scoop him onto my chest and there he has pretty much stayed for the last nine weeks!
I want to impress how helpful my yogababy classes were in the face of a challenging labour. The breathing techniques in particular were probably the difference between a natural birth and a caesarean for me. Thank you so much, Suzanne!
Isabel attended the Active Birth Yoga classes and the Active Birth Workshop.
Neve Margaret Joyce, daughter of Melissa, born 19th May 2015
Baby 'Neve Margaret Joyce Corthorn' arrived safely on the 19th May. I had a fantastic labour and birth, all natural as I had really hoped. With the birth of my son 2 years ago I came away feeling so disappointed with how it went, I was adamant that I wanted it to be different this time. I attended Pregnancy Yoga and then Active Birth Yoga classes right until 40weeks. I honestly believe the classes gave me the knowledge and courage to work with my support team to have such a fantastic birth experience. At so many points during the labour I thought back to the classes and practiced what I had learnt. The phrase Suzanne kept telling us 'crisis in confidence' took place a few times - as she said it would - by having that knowledge I was able to recognise it!
So thank you to Suzanne. I am so incredibly grateful for all of the effort you put into those classes. I hope that Neve and I can get back to a yoga class at some stage when I can get someone to look after my very active toddler for a few hours!
Melissa attended the Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes.
Ella Rose, daughter of Laura Campbell, born 19th May 2015
Ella Rose Barnes was born at 01:37am Tuesday 19th May. 6 pounds, 48cm. Natural delivery. I was in early labour on Monday afternoon when i self discharged to give labour a chance to commence and progress at home. I was further along than i thought. Contractions increased in the car on the way home, i progressed quickly on arrival home but got to practice my active birth moves for another 2 hours. Contractions became more frequent and intense and we drove into the delivery suite for me to be met by my birth centre midwife. By the time i was hooked up to monitoring and examined, I was 8cm!! Bubba arrived at 0137 tuesday a.m. 1 hour of pushing, no drugs or interventions and a small tear. All in all a good result. Thank you to Suzanne for doing what you do. It was your tuition and information (along with a supportive ward midwife) that gave Liam and I the confidence to go home and allow my body to do what it needed to do.
Laura attended Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga classes, and the Active Birth Workshop for couples with her partner.
Ivy, daughter of Kate, born 29th April 2015
I wanted to write and thankyou for the very beneficial and empowering active birth classes that I attended earlier in the year. It was a great refresher too as Remy's birth was 4 years ago!
We welcomed a baby girl, Ivy Jean into our lives on the 29th April! She was born at home and another water baby! I loved the comfort of home and the awesome support of my husband, Remy and midwives. Remy loved seeing his sister being born and views birth as a natural part of life and also thinks all babies are born in a big pool! My entire birth was physiological and my physical and emotional recovery has been a blessing this time.
Kate attended the Active Birth Yoga classes.
Luisa, daughter of Katelyn, born 24th December 2014
Thank you for the active birth yoga classes.
I found a number of the techniques really useful in labour. Our baby girl Luisa was born Christmas Eve. It was a quick labour - woke at midnight having contractions, went to hospital at 3:30am and she was born half an hour later! But in that time I used the low vocalising, breathing techniques and some of the first stage and second stage birth positions you taught me. I felt really wonderful after the birth.
Katelyn attended the Active Birth Yoga classes and Active Birth Practical for couples.
Arlo, son of Haidee and Alex, brother of Jack, born 15th February 2015
We had our baby boy at 6:17pm on Sunday 15th February, 3.92kg, healthy and gorgeous. A gorgeous little brother for Jack.
After going overdue 4 days he must have had enough and arrived in a big hurry... on our bathroom floor at home. Not a planned home birth! I'd had niggling intermittent contractions throughout the day and then had an hour (yep, one) of established labour before he was born. Luckily we didn't make it as far as the car! The ambos arrived just as he was born.
While it all sounds very dramatic I actually felt very calm, safe and totally happy to follow my body. Alex did a great job being my midwife (mid husband?). I believe that the skills we learnt in your classes with my first pregnancy, and refreshed at the Active Birth workshop last year helped us have an amazing, empowering experience in a situation that might have otherwise been very frightening and stressful.
Thank you for your wonderful classes, and for all that you do to help birth be instinctive, beautiful and calm.
Haidee attended the Active Birth Workshop for couples for this pregnancy. She also attended our Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes before.
Finn, son of Sandra, born 13th November 2014
Just wanted to share my happy news with you. My little man has finally arrived last Thursday. It was a very hard and long labour as he had his hand on his head to protect himself from coming out too quickly. I got to use quite a lot of the breathing and vocalisation exercise and the lose lips which was very helpful to release tension.
When he was born we discovered that his cord was wrapped around his neck three times so he needed the time to come down slowly. Funny how it can work out all natural if we let it and just trust in our baby's and body's to work together. He came out as planned at home all pink and wiggly. I was pretty exhausted from the labour but am getting my energy back now. I love being mum and Finn is absolutely perfect.
Sandra attended Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga, and the Active Birth Workshop for couples.
Lewis, son of Anna, born 3rd October 2014
Lewis George was born at home in the caul weighing 9lb at 40+6. on the 3rd October 2014 at 2.58am. I am madly in love.
Anna attended Active Birth Yoga classes and the Active Birth Workshops for couples.
Wren Elsa, daughter of Emma and Dave, born 16th September 2014
We had our gorgeous baby girl Wren Elsa Pratt on a sunny spring morning (I had thought I would have a boy on a rainy evening so there you go!) after 13hrs of labouring at home and 4hrs pushing at the birth centre.
I had contractions every night for 5 nights leading up to the birth and the labour itself was overnight. Suzanne’s guidance helped me to stay calm and basically try and sleep between contractions from 6pm until 7am and I managed to get to the hospital fully dilated. Without the Yogababy classes, I would never have been able to do this. Dave was amazing and even did one of the contractions for me (I literally felt nothing and he got the pains instead! How is that possible??)
Anyway, at 5 days old she is beautifully calm (so far, touch wood it continues!) as she was throughout the pregnancy. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Suzanne for your help.
Emma attended Active Birth Yoga and the Active Birth Workshop for couples.
Ella Rose, daughter of Krystal and Frank, born 25th August 2014
Ella Rose Mercuri was was born on 25th Aug at 2:45am. 11 days before due date. We had a successful drug-free calm natural labour which was our goal. Contractions started at 5pm and active labour started bout 8:30pm. Went to hospital at 11:30pm and thankfully was 5cm dilated. By 2am, I was fully dilated and 45mins later she arrived.
We used breathing and positions over the fit ball and Frank did lower back pressure. I used a tens machine & then alternated with shower at hospital.
I just wanted to thank Suzanne for her wonderful advice and guidance during the active birth yoga & workshop. We had the labour we hoped for.
Krystal attended Active Birth Yoga classes and the Active Birth Practical for couples.
Harvey, son of Liv, born 8th June 2014
Harvey Wilson Mills arrived on the 8 June 2014 to our immense delight! It was love at first sight to see this little person that had been my bump for the last 9months - I couldn't believe his little face, hands, feet - his whole body had been created by us!
I had intended for a natural birth into water, however Harvey had other plans getting stuck posterior and after 22hrs of labour and me willing him to turn around, he was born by emergency Caesarian. As soon as he was on my chest and his little face peered up at me, all my plans & pains faded away :)
Everyday proves more fun than the last.
Liv attended Active Birth Yoga classes and the Active Birth Workshop for couples.
Milton, son of Juliana & Oliver, born 26th August 2014
Our bubby was born on the 26th of August, at 8.04pm, two weeks earlier. The birth was natural. I had the first contractions at 4am and around 10am they started to get more intense. By 5pm we headed to the hospital and Milton was born at 8.04pm.
Juliana attended Active Birth Yoga classes and the Active Birth Workshop for couples.
Elsa, daughter of Paula, born 21st April 2014
I had a beautiful (albeit a tad intense) natural birth to our lovely daughter, Elsa, on 21st April at 6.46 am. Thank you to Suzanne for the support and input around the possibility of having a natural birth in a time where medical interventions and birth seem to go hand in hand.
During the transition I did ask for an epidural but then discovered I was 10 cm dilated so it was too late and I'm so proud that i didn't have anything in the end. I stayed at home as long as possible with the support of my partner and good friend using heat backs, movement, birth ball, meditation, music and humming and moaning - sound vibration. For the car journey I knelt with my back to the front of the car and continued 'loose lips' and moaning and vocalisation and I used the visualisation technique of being on the beach at Stradbroke Island watching the waves whilst walking into the assessment unit where the contractions were coming hard and fast – 4 contractions in process of walking into reception from car!! 6 hours later she was born naturally with me leaning over birth ball near the toilet and my partner was able to catch her…amazing.
It was lovely to be able to be totally present for the birth of our daughter. This time around we have had hardly any visitors and just spending time getting to know our new family member…nice quiet times with bits of rest here and there!!
Paula attended Active Birth Yoga classes and the Active Birth Practical couples workshop.
Raquelle, daughter of Gina, born 4th June 2014
This was my second baby and birthing experience. My first birth was a fast, ecstatic natural birth, so I was excited and a little nervous about going into labour for the second time. My obstetrician had the expectation that I was going to have another fast birth. So when my labour was taking longer than expected my Obstetrician wanted to induce me a number of times to speed things up, but I refused the induction drugs and calmly and confidently told her "NO, my body will do this on its own."
I knew that my body was well able to birth this baby. So I focused inwardly. The dim lighting, zen music and essential oils burning all made a huge difference throughout my labour.
Through the first stage of labour I practiced all the active birth yoga positions I'd learnt from Yogababy class, I also laboured in the bath, in the shower and I 'danced' with my husband. It all flowed beautifully, helped me focus inwardly on my baby and on my breath.
That night, both my body and my baby surprised me. My contractions completely stopped. So my midwife set me up comfortably in bed and told me to try and get some sleep over night. Well I didn't sleep much but I rested, and practiced relaxation and yogic breathing. I really let go. When morning came my body suddenly kicked into full established active labour and went straight into the intensity of transition stage.
I used both vocalisation and visualisation to get through the pain with each contraction. Letting out a long and deep/low Aaaaahhhh sound, sending the energy down into my womb while visualising holding my new born baby in my arms and taking her home. Other times I visualised gentle waves rolling in on a beautiful beach. This was so affective for me that I went from 5cms dilated to wanting to push! And my midwife didn't believe me when I shouted, "I want to push!"
Suddenly she was saying, "I see the head!" My body knew exactly what to do and I just gave myself up to each sensation. It took only two pushes and my beautiful daughter Raquelle Harper was delivered straight onto my chest. What a beautiful moment I will never forget. I held my beautiful baby to my chest and she immediately started searching for my breast to feed.
I held Raquelle for two blissful, uninterrupted hours and breast fed both sides before she was weighed and I walked to my postnatal room with Raquelle in my arms.
Gina attended Pregnancy Yoga for this pregnancy and is now attending our Baby Yoga classes.
Sylvia, daughter of Tamsin, born 15 June 2014
Sylvia Eilis Anne Cull arrived on Sunday 15 June at 9.48pm. She weighed 3.25kg (7lbs 2oz).
I had an amazing birth - I couldn't have asked for more. I ended up having only three hours of intense labour and pushing and no epidural or pethidine. I was given some oxytocin to induce me but it was all fine and very well managed. My mum had very quick births and in the end it seemed some of her genes were passed on to me! It was undoubtedly the most wonderful and beautiful moment when she arrived. My mum was there and it was so special and happy.
Tamsin attended Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga.
Catalina, daughter of Patty, born 12 June 2014
On 12/6/14 we were blessed with the arrival of Catalina, our new bundle of joy, weighting 3.95 kgs!!
I had a quick 4 hrs labour and have to THANK YOU for all the skills, tips & tricks learned in the active birth yoga classes since these allowed me to have a beautiful natural birth!!
Pattyattended our Pregnancy Yoga classes.
Daniel, son of Melanie, born 29 May 2014
On Thursday 29th May I gave birth vaginally to our baby boy Daniel! My waters broke whilst at home on wed so went into the rbwh to get checked.
I did focus on my breathing a lot and did manage to calm myself down using the techniques you taught me.
Melanie attended Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga.
Evie, daughter of Lisa, born 15 May 2014
Thank you for all you taught my husband and I in Active Birth Yoga and the workshop.
We had a healthy baby girl, Evelyn (Evie) Jill Sullivan, on the 15 May after an 18hr labour using lots of yoga positions (rebozo even featured) and no medical pain relief.
We both felt empowered and informed after the classes and the positive affirmations definitely helped me.
Lisa attended Active Birth Yoga and our workshop with her husband.
Lucy, daughter of Michelle & Josh, born 28 January 2014
Josh and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl on the 28thJanuary.
We wanted to say a big thank you for all your knowledge and wisdom.
Your weekly classes and Active birth workshop was extremely helpful and we are proud that I was able to delivery Lucy naturally (gas required towards the end).
My body responded so well. 9 hours of labor during which we used your skills taught to successfully turned Lucy from posterior into optimum position for birth with no tears or complications ! Lucky me.
Both Lucy and I are doing great and we are so blessed to have a lovely little girl to brighten our days (and nights).
Many thanks and I will be sure to recommend you to any pregnant women I come into contact with..
Michelle attended Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga and the Active Birth Workshop with Josh.
Mala, daughter of Teagan, born 4 June 2014
On Wednesday, 4th June, we were blessed with Mala our gorgeous baby girl now Earthside and our incredible Home Birth journey
Teagan attended Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga and our Active Birth Practical.
Hugo, son of Anna, born 26 March 2014
I had such a wonderful experience. Hugo was born on the 26th of March at 7:18pm weighing 2.7kg.
My beautiful boy was born two days before his due date, after a beautiful and very quick and easy birth. My waters broke at 2pm, with no sign of contractions. By 4pm I thought I may be having some contractions as the sensations were regular, but they were very small.
As things intensified, I shut myself in my bedroom and leaned on the bed during contractions. Things slowed down a little, and so I said to my baby 'I'll be seeing you soon'. I then felt a huge 'clunk' and had a whopper of a contraction, so I knew we had to go to hospital.
We got to hospital at 7pm, and they insisted on doing an internal even though I really didn't want one. The midwife said I was 5cm dilated and I burst into tears as I thought I had come to hospital too early!! But with the next contraction I needed to push.
I was crowning as I walked to the delivery room, but I still managed to kneel in the shower for the next couple of contractions. I then reached down to pick up my gorgeous baby boy as he slipped out and let out a hearty cry!
A big thankyou to Suzanne for helping me to prepare for this amazing experience!!.
Anna attended our Active Birth Yoga classes.
Edith, daughter of Kimberly, born 26 June 2014
Edith Dawn was born Thursday 26 June, 7:19pm, weighing 9lb 6oz, 58cm and a completely natural vaginal birth. This was amazing for many reasons.
I must thank the wonderful people in my life who got me through those dark hyperemesis days. Cheryl for those cuppa catchups and birth support, Suzanne Swan for her encouragement - you always made me feel like my pregnancy was beautiful even in the tough times. My family and mum for physically caring for Jack and I. And my husband Anthony for enduring the journey of yet another hyperemesis pregnancy.
I was blessed to have my ideal birth.
Kimberly attended Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga.
Ellis, son of Neti & Pete, born 29 May 2014
We had a wonderful uncomplicated epidural free (yay) birthing experience. Pete and I worked so well together as team, incorporating lots of lessons from our time with you, especially relaxation, lunges, spiralling & massage.
Neti attended Active Birth Yoga and the Active Birth Workshop with Pete.
Ryder, son of Tracey, born 10th February 2014
Our happy & healthy little boy Ryder was born on 10th Feb at 40weeks + 3 days, 9lb 9oz, at the Mater Mothers, and it was a beautiful, natural, drug-free birth! I am really excited and grateful about it all. There are so many wonderful things that I learnt at your active birth yoga classes that I put into play on the day! So much of what I had learned from you had such a big influence on my pregnancy/labour/birth and for that I am so very thankful and grateful. As well as your classes being so helpful and insightful, you connected me with some amazing people too; the past pregnant women who shared their stories, your recommendations for acupuncturists and massage therapists were all so very appreciated.
There was so much about the birth that I look back on and feel so grateful for and there’s so many things to mention, so I’ll try to keep it short…..It nearly went a completely different way at the beginning when they thought my waters had broken. They kept me in overnight where they wanted to induce me the next morning. The great news was they found in the morning I was actually in labour and 3cm already! We then chose to go up to the rooms and start the active birth! We did lots of yoga through the day, all the various positions, breathing, visualizations, vocalizations, affirmations etc! I know they were all making a difference too – in particular the squatting position; the loose-lips and low-tone vocalisations; focusing on the breathing and being in ‘the zone’. Having my husband there to time the contractions and being a great support in all the yoga techniques was wonderful too. Through the course of the day we had been offered to have our waters broken 3 times and was close to being induced. Without there being any concerns, I was able to choose not to have any intervention and I didn’t even think about having any drugs! My waters broke on their own at 8pm and our little man came out at 10:37pm. It was such an amazing experience.
Tracey attended Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga with Suzanne
Flynn, son of Imogen, Born 12th November 2013
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.
We persevered with our intentions and enrolled in Yogababy. 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.
Imogen attended Active Birth Yoga and the Calmbirth Course with Suzanne. Imogen is continuing with Yogababy's Mummmy and Me classes.
Mika, son of Jodie, born March 2014
I attended active birth yoga classes with you for 5 weeks during the end of last year upon recommendation from a good friend.
I am so proud to say that I have welcomed a baby boy into this world through a natural birth thanks to your yoga teachings. After my first born being a breech baby and a emergency Caeserian only 21months ago, the chances of me being able to attempt a natural delivery were slim, I don't think anyone had faith it would happen in the early days. But I searched for alternative methods to put my mind and body in the best shape to allow a natural birth to happen and it did.
First you helped me turn my baby at 28weeks and then got me through almost my entire labour drug free. However in the end I did opt to have an epidural but for a first vaginal delivery I am proud of persisting through a 10hour labour and 1.5hours of pushing ( I thought pushing was suppose to be quick and easy!)
Here is a pic of my little one, named Mika. A healthy and happy 8 pound boy. We get to go home today thanks to a great recovery process with natural birthing.
Thanks again for coming into my life and especially making Mika's journey into this world a pleasant one.
Jodie attended Active Birth Yoga classes with Suzanne.
Noah, son of Esther, born 4th of February 2014
10 days after my estimated due date, I felt like I had tried absolutely everything to naturally bring on labour. This included acupuncture, a stretch and sweep, massage, belly dancing, baking a welcome birthday cake with my 2 year old, and the list goes on.
On the 4th of February, I was woken around 3am by tightenings of my belly. Trying to go back to sleep was too hard, so I welcomed the contractions gladly.
In the early stages of labour I meditated using the word ‘surrender’. I used visualisation, slow breathing, dancing with my son, tens machine, massages from my husband and different positions we had learnt in yoga (squat, lunge, cat, hip rotations, leaning on kitchen bench). I also took time to rest.
My active labour began at about 4pm. I used loose lips and vocalisation to get through each wave of contractions, my husband by my side supporting me in every way. It was clear that I knew it was time to go to the hospital around 6pm. At this stage I felt that I couldn’t do it. It was then that I remembered Suzanne saying that this feeling would be a sign of transitioning. This kept me going.
I arrived at the hospital at 6.30pm 8cm dilated. It wasn’t too long before 2nd stage of labour began. At 7.30pm my waters broke and only 3 minutes later my beautiful baby Noah was in my arms.
I had minor complications of meconium in the water, loss of a lot of blood after a physiological third stage and some stitches. Even so, I feel like I was blessed with such a perfect birth. Thankyou Suzanne for everything you taught us.
Esther attended Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga and with her partner the Active Birth Practical. Esther also attended Yogababy classes in her previous pregnancy including the Active Birth Workshop.
Rory, son of Anthea and Ged, born 9th January 2014
Rory was born at 39 weeks and 3 days and weighed in at 4.3 kgs and 57cm long (he was kicking my tonsils out!).
Because I had gestational diabetes with this pregnancy and the fact that Ewan was so big, I was advised to be induced a little early with this bub. I was very worried about this but by the time the inducement date came around I had made peace with this which I think meant that I looked forward to the day with joy and not nerves.
Before the inducement date I walked and drank raspberry leaf tea and had lots of acupuncture so when the day came I was already 3 cm dilated and had experienced a few days of pre labor - I knew my body and baby were ready so there was nothing to fear. The labor was only 4 hours and was intense but with the skills you taught me I managed to get through it with no drugs and no intervention. Despite the intensity that I felt in the contractions, the room was calm and I was allowed to birth the way that best suited me. Rory arrived healthy and happy, I did not tear this time so I was also a whole lot happier than last time!!!.
All is going well. Rory is feeding beautifully and putting on weight. Ewan is generally disinterested in his little brother and Ged and I are getting some sleep.
Thanks again for helping me find the power to birth another beautiful baby.
Anthea and Ged attended the Active Birth Workshop for this birth and Active Birth Yoga and Active Birth Practical for her previous pregnancy.
Thomas, son of Kathryn, born 9th September 2013, 18.18pm
Meet Thomas Henry Tauzowski. He was a natural birth (just used gas). He was 3.505kgs, 51 cms and 33.5cm head circumference.
I was just under a week overdue and originally booked in for an induction on the Sunday night (8/8), but on the Friday rang to change it to the latest possible date i could go over with the Dr. (10 days). Around midnight on the Sunday I lost a bit of my hind waters, but no contractions and i fell asleep waiting for them to begin. I called the hospital in the morning and was told sternly that i should have called last night and to come right in (oops!).
At midday after monitoring etc, Dr Joubert gave me my options and we decided to break my waters fully to avoid and see if it prompted contractions, or she would induce me with the drip after 2-4 hrs. Thankfully, i started by 2pm, and within a couple of hours i was fully dilated and pushing. Then Thomas was here!
I loved your classes, and will be sure to attend them for a refresher before/when the next bub is due!
Your classes are wonderful preparation for birth, especially for first time mothers.
Thank you for all your help!
Kathryn attended Pregnancy yoga, Active Birth Yoga and with her partner; the Active Birth Practical.
Luca, son of Rebecca, born 11th December 2013
The birth of my son was nothing like I expected but perfect in everyway. Luca was born at 8.13am on Monday 11 November, four weeks before his due date. My contractions started four days earlier at fairly regular five minute intervals however, as my due date was still a month away, they were assumed to be Braxton Hicks.
Over the next four days my contractions became more intense at night but would be quite mild during the day. On the day before Luca was born I attended the Active Birth workshop. Throughout the day I had steady contractions and was actually able to practice the techniques in real time. As the day went on I began to suspect that this might in fact be actual labour. There was no dramatic belly grasping contraction to signal the onset of active labour, just a gradual intensifying of my five-minute apart contractions.
Throughout the night I had a circuit set up in the lounge room and I worked through the exercises from the active birth class. I also danced around listening to my favourite music as I found that being upright and moving was the best pain relief for me. By 3am I decided to go to the hospital to see were things were at. I expected to be 2 or 3cm dilated and sent home but was shocked to discover I was already 8cm!
Over the next few hours my husband Paul and I were able to put into practice the things we had learnt the day before. I continued to walk and dance around for as long as I could in the delivery suite and Paul swayed with me massaged by lower back when things started to get more intense. It ended up being the straightforward birth I had hoped for and, despite being early, Luca arrived healthy and strong at 2.63kg and 48cm.
I want to thank you for giving me the confidence to listen to my intuition.
Rebecca and her husband Paul attended the Active Birth Workshop with Suzanne.
Lila, daughter of Sarah, born 11th September 2013
Lila is finally here and joined her big sister Sasha on the 1th September. She was beautiful, perfect, and so was the birth!
Thank you so much for all you have taught me during this 10 weeks course, it just changed everything! I arrived peaceful, confident and in charge of my body and my emotions for the birth and I had a completely different experience than with my first child Sasha.
I did it! i gave birth without medication, in control from the start until she arrived, and it was incredible. My partner still can’t believe it. It all started at 6 am on fathers day, i had a few cramps and wasn’t sure it was it… I started the day as usual, I had a few cramps but they weren’t painful at all, weren’t getting stronger or longer. It was just a bit messy! I thought I was going to be there for mother 48 hours before giving birth.
At 8.30 i decided to call my midwife to tell her the contraptions were every 2.30 minutes, she told me to come in. I really insisted telling her the contractions were not painful and that this was not it, that I did not want to spend my day in hospital etc… but she really insisted and told me I should organise care for Sasha and come in.
An hour later we dropped Sasha off to our friends’ house and made our way to hospital. Arrived at 11.30. The midwife tells me I am barely dilated, but she will strap me for half an hour to monitor the baby.
And there it started. As soon as the straps were on… my waters broke and I was onto pushing straight away. They rushed me to a room, barely had time to put the gloves on and the baby was there!!! 5 pushes and she was out! incredible!
She was 56 cm and 3.85kg, perfect.
Because i hadn’t taken any medication I was able to take a shower, and enjoy her strait away, It was just wonderful.
Thank you so much for all your advice, you truly made a difference and I will be forever grateful!
Sarah attended Active Birth Yoga Classes with Suzanne.
Nathan 'Nate' Lian Tan, son of Wendy, born 28th December 2013
The birth went splendidly and perfectly, Nate was born at home in water on 28/12/13.
He was born in calm and love.
I picked him up and cradled him in my arms and welcomed him into this world. At that same time I treasured the last few moments we shared together as one and kissed him as his journey through life began. Thank you for being a part of this perfect moment.
Wendy attended Active Birth Yoga Classes and with her partner the Active Birth Practical and Calmbirth Weekend Program.
Matilda, daughter of Tanya, born 22nd September 2013
I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl on 22nd Sept (happily 2wks early) and had a wonderful birth experience. I honestly could not have asked for a better birth! I am certain it went so well because I felt prepared and well informed which allowed me to stay calm.
I was in active labour for only 4hrs which I absolutely largely attribute to being able to recall and use many of the tools we learnt in class. So many of your words ran through my mind throughout the whole process which really helped. Especially as it gave me the confidence to stay at home in the early stages - I was 5cm dilated by the time I arrived at hospital which was an absolute dream!!
Anyway, I could go on and on...but truly I just wanted to say a big thank you, your class was by far the best thing I could have done.
Tanya attended Active Birth Yoga Classes with Suzanne.
Solomon David, Anna's baby born 9th August
Born beautifully after 40 w 5 days of growing in the belly, on the 9 th August.
My labour was grounded, earthy. I needed to be upright feet on the ground. It felt real, I was there, I knew what my body needed to do. I allowed myself to feel all the sensations and then release them in movement, in sound, humour, tears, words- whatever was needed to move into the next moment.
Then it was water that allowed me to surrender and have the mobility, courage, patience to allow my body to deliver to me my son-Weighing 4.6 kg, 37 cm head circumference, 54 cm long. Amazing! Perfect! Peaceful!
I was given the power to surrender and allow my body to deliver him in its wisdom- forcefully but slowly allowing my soft tissue to stretch and not tear.
I was given a midwife who supported me in doing this and who by the way was beautiful in her approach (no vaginal exams, numbers, talk of time- just encouragement to listen to my body).
I was given a baby who positioned himself so perfectly and did the best for both of us:). We just love him!!
Thankyou for your part in this Suzanne. Your beautiful spirit. You teach woman to trust our bodies and how to draw on our power and strength in vulnerable and gentle ways. Everything we need!
Anna attended Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga and with her partner the Active Birth Workshop.
Zia, daughter of Cerae and Rene, born 3rd June 2013
I had a long pre/early-labour of 4 days and nights and a 7 hour active labour. I was nearly 2 weeks overdue. The hospital had me booked for an induction at 12 days over. I rang them and - despite their wishes - pushed it back another day (remembering your advice of leaving the induction to the last possible minute).
My contractions were getting stronger all the time and we thought that if I just let my body have a little longer, I could avoid going down the intervention path. Just as we'd hoped, that night things hotted up and I started having more regular contractions.
We went into hospital in the morning and found that I was 3cm. I elected to have my waters broken by my midwife to speed things up a little and we then spent the next 11 hours (undisturbed by any doctors) in the birthing centre. I mainly used the techniques of being upright. Lots of walking. I used a stress ball in the early stages in hospital, leaning against a wall while Rene (my husband) pushed the sacrum point you showed us. When things started hotting up we moved to the double-headed shower where I used a birthing ball and vocalised during the contractions while Rene pushed pressure points.
The final two hours were spent in the birthing pool and I birthed our beautiful daughter Zia for Rene to catch. She opened her eyes in the water and is a very calm and alert baby. I only had some minor grazing - no tears.
The main thing that got me through was focused breathing. I was calm, had no fear and breathed through the whole process. I did use gas for a while in the pool to help with the pain but otherwise all was natural. Oh, and Rene used the hip pushing technique that you showed him in the Active Birth Workshop just before Zia was born.
I wanted to thank you for the skills and wisdom that you passed on during the Active Birth yoga classes I attended earlier this year. It was a beautiful birth - almost as I'd planned it. Things are going well now - Zia is 2 weeks old today.
Walther, Laura's baby born 22nd March at 10.42am
We welcomed Walther, baby brother to Maximilian, on Friday 22 March at 10.42am. By resisting and stalling, I avoided induction and Walther chose his birth day and time.
My contractions started at 2.50am Friday morning. I didn't wake my husband at first, as I wanted to get a sense of what was really happening. The contractions were around 15 minutes apart and stayed regular. I stayed in bed until around 4.30am to get as much rest as I could, before getting up and having a shower.
I am glad I went to the birth suites then because by 8.30am my contractions had gone from 8 mins apart and manageable to 2 mins and very full on. At first the midwives were concerned when they examined me, because they could not feel the baby's head and they worried that the shoulder was lodged in my pelvis. Further examination though showed that the head was just so far engaged that it couldn't be felt from outside anymore!! Things were really happening.
I was incredibly blessed to have a wonderful midwife and student midwife there to support me with breathing, massage and warm water while my husband was with Maximilian. I had told the midwife that my last labour was drug free and that I wanted this one to be the same.
Thanks to the midwives commitment and support I had another wonderful, natural drug-free birth, using the breathing, massage and relaxation techniques learned with yogababy along with the birth ball and warm water in the shower. She was totally supportive of my desires, and helped me to count my breaths and was so incredibly supportive both physically and emotionally. It was quite stressful not to have my birth partner and support person there with me. Fortunately everything with Maximilian went really well and my husband joined me at the birth suite just before 10am.
Walther was born at 10.42am, only 12 minutes after my waters broke, just in time for dad to be there. We had a wonderful, peaceful birth with only the midwives present, in a darkened room and in the squatting position that felt right for me.
I won’t ever forget having my baby passed up to me while I was kneeling on the bed, still attached by umbilical cord to the unborn placenta, and looking down in awe – it was several minutes before we even looked to see that we had a wonderful little boy!
A truly magical experience.
Darcy William, son of Alison, born 28 March, 2013
He came on his due date and was very eager to arrive- actice labour began around 10am and he was born just after 1 pm naturally. Lots of gas but no time for an epidural!
Thank you very much for having me as part of your active yoga classes, they really helped me to relax during pregnancy and gave me some clarity.
Alision attended Acitve Birth Yoga Classes.
Jack, Haidee & Alex's son born December 18th
I love that I can share such an excellent birth experience with you. Both the midwife & the obstetrician commented on how calm I was, and that they were surprised how well I coped with the intensity of the induced labour.
The stats: born at 1350 on 18.12.12, 4.24kg, 57cm long, definitely a boy.
Labour was induced as we went 8 days overdue - probably a scheduling thing due to Christmas but it meant I got to see my own obstetrician who I trust. Thanks to whatever factors (ante-natal prep, genetics, child-bearing hips, great obstetrician, luck) I am unscathed & stitch-free. Labour lasted just under 6 hours & everything went as it should - I feel so grateful that everything progressed well. The things I found most helpful were massage/acupressure, the birth ball, shower, bath & then during 2nd stage - nitrous (good stuff!). It wasn't all rainbows & slippery slides as I'd hoped, but it all went well & I reckon I'd do it again. I walked up to the ward from the birth suite & have been really comfortable & mobile since, thank goodness.
I found the Yogababy & Calm Birth stuff really helpful - particularly the birth affirmations, relaxation, breathing & visualisation, 'blissing out' between contractions, consciously releasing tension, 'loose lips, loose bits', and the continual reminders that the body is designed to do this. (This idea took a bit of a knock when I had to be induced, but luckily from then my body did it all & I was just along for the ride). I'm still finding some of the breathing & relaxation techniques useful as we deal with breastfeeding challenges and the paranoia for his safety that seems to have arrived along with the intense rush of maternal love.
I was surprised that I didn't want some of the stuff I was certain I would during labour (eg. music, to be left alone) & felt happy to be guided by my midwife (who was just awesome) rather than feeling untrusting.
Just a note about perineal massage... Tearing was probably my biggest fear of giving birth, and I am so grateful that I am intact. The above factors probably all contributed, but I really think that doing perineal massage daily from 20 weeks helped. I think this, combined with having a patient obstetrician who controlled how quickly bub was born (coached pushing ain't so bad!), really made the difference.
Anyway, thank you so much for all the wonderful pregnancy & birth classes. I really believe I would not have had such a great birth experience without the info & prep I did with you. Looking forward to seeing you at Mum & Bub classes when Jack is old enough!
Haidee attended the Calmbirth workshop, Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga, Mummy and Me Babies and Crawlers Yoga.
Sarah Caitlin, daughter of Jess, born 31st January 2013
After 5 days with no power, feeling completely defeated, I checked in at 41 weeks to have my waters broken.
After just 45 minutes our baby girl was born! It took a lot of convincing my obstetrician not to start an oxytocin drip - happy I forced my opinion on this one!
Within 15 minutes I was on my knees (contorted cat position!) on the bed counting out 2 min contractions - the clock on the wall was good for that! I called in the Swiss ball to for my upper body to lean & rock on! The ball for some reason, reminds me to focus on my breath! With my cheek pressed firmly against the Swiss ball (admittedly a bit of dribble too!) I rocked my way through the final contractions.
Short labours are so exciting! I just showered, fixed my hair and finished my cup of tea! We are all doing well and settling in to being a family of five.
Suzanne, thank you again for your support, and kind words of wisdom. You have played a substantial role in each of my birthing experiences. I can't thank you enough.
Jess has attended both Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga Classes
Poppy Luca, Prue's baby, was born 21st January at 1.29am
We had a very quick 3 hour labour, While I didn't get to use any of the active birth moves during labour (no time), your classes and workshop certainly helped me prepare my body and mind for labour. I went into it all very well prepared!!!
Poppy looks just like her daddy. We're completely in love with her.
Prue attended Fertility, Pregnancy and Active Birth Yoga and the Active Birth Workshop with her husband.
Sasha Rose, daughter of Melissa, born 21st November, 2012 at 1.26am
Our little bundle of joy, Sasha Rose Dyer, was born in the water at the RBWH Birth Centre. We were home by 9am later that morning and have been delighting in our gorgeous baby ever since. We had a great drug-free, natural, relatively quick birth and I've recovered really fast which is handy. She's a beautiful and very relaxed baby and Mummy, Daddy and big sister Ella are all loving having her around.
Melissa has came to the Active Birth Workshop as well as attending Active Birth Yoga and Mummy & Me yoga.
Ruby, Kate's baby, was born 20th September 2012
My waters broke on the Sunday night but I had to patiently wait for Ruby to finally arrive on Thursday 20th September 2012. Over those days my contractions came and went, mostly coming on in the evenings and stopping each morning. The active birth classes helped me to trust my body and gave me valuable tools to draw on during labour and birth, particularly hip spiralling and rocking, breath counting, womb breathing, ‘loose lips’ and ‘ohmming’.
For me, second stage was the most challenging part as I was very tired after several days of contractions, however, having a range of tools and positions to draw on from the classes and workshop really helped me to stay relaxed and active, and knew that I could do it. I felt calm and connected to my body and baby, and although the sensations were intense at times, I wouldn’t describe them as painful. The Active Birth workshop also gave my husband more understanding of birth and confidence in his role, so he was able to stay calm, tune in to the support that I needed, and remind me of things I had learnt. Thank you again Suzanne for all your support and guidance in the active birth classes and workshop as it made such a difference to my pregnancy and helped me to have an joyful, drug-free birth.
Kate attended Pregnancy and Active Birth yoga and the Active Birth Workshop with her husband. Kate and Ruby are booked in for Mummy and Me yoga and Connected Parenting Study group in 2013
Olivia, Daughter of Isis, born 4th Sept, 2012
It was completely natural despite complications. She is 8 pounds 1oz! yoga techniques: I used a lot of loose lips the entire time which was a GOD SEND technique! The active birth workshop worked wonders on my husband who did a lot omming which made me do the same during the hard contractions. Thanks so much for the wonderful classes and hopefully I will be able to join the baby yoga classes soon.
Isis attended Yogababy's Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes and with her partner - the Active Birth Workshop. Isis is continuing Yogababy postnatal with our Connected Parenting study group.
Vishaan, Kavina's baby, was born 10th July 2012
Just wanted to say Thank you! I did yoga with you in June/July and found it helped my labour and delivery. I had my baby on the 10th July at Mater. I laboured at home and went to hospital fully dilated and delivered 1 hour later! I was amazed at how quickly and effectively it all happened without any pain relief.
Your yoga exercised definitely helped me. I would like to come to Mummy and Baby yoga once bub is a little older!
Kavina attended Yogababy's Active Birth Yoga classes and is continuing with yogababy Mummy and Me babies Yoga classes.
Jasper, Son of Wendy and Scott, born 28th Sept, 2012
Jasper Daniel Agnew was born on Friday, 28 September at 6:02pm after another whirlwind labour. He was perfectly average at 3.59kg (7lb 14 oz), and 51cm long, and we couldn't be happier.
Scott did a brilliant job of doing exactly what we discussed at the workshop and reminded me that when I'm thinking epidural, I'm usually at or near transition, so it would be a good idea to ask for an internal exam before making that decision. I looked forward to the labour ward showers which had 2 showerheads, as I was getting strong back pains between contractions, and wanted hot water both front and back.
I asked that I not be made to lay on the bed, so I was allowed to stand next to it, and bounce on a fitball, but no shower.
Scott did a fantastic job of applying continuous sacral pressure during the pushing phase, which helped a lot. I did think to open my eyes and look at this point (and saw his head full of dark hair (much to my surprise) before I delivered the rest of his body. Jasper was beautiful. He pinked up very quickly after some intense vocal workouts while we waited for his cord to stop pulsing before clamping (I stopped the midwife just in time, and they easily honoured my request).
I had the birth I wanted in most respects: My pregnancy lasted the full term (40+3), I went into labour spontaneously (induction was booked for the following Tuesday, which I had managed to have pushed forward one day), I knew to listen to my body when the labour was laboured 'spurious' to stay in hospital and make myself comfortable again, my membranes ruptured spontaneously (they were artificially ruptured in both previous births), I delivered Jasper lying on my side (like I did for Owen), and Jasper was a lovely average size.
Thanks again for the wonderful preparation from the active birth yoga classes and the Saturday workshop. I know Scott got a lot out of that afternoon as well, and used a lot of the massage techniques in the lead-up and during the labour itself.
Wendy has been a returning Yogbaby student with her pregnancies. Attending Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga, Active Birth Practical with her partner, Mummy and Me babies Yoga and Crawlers yoga.
McKinley, Son of Seleneah, was born 16th July 2012
I had a perfect home birth on 16 July 2012 . My son -McKinley decided to join us 11 days before his EDD.I had the gym ball and bean bag ready for different positions but they were unnecessary.
My birth was fast with moments of euphoria in my trance like state. Active Labour was 4hours and 47 mins. I found spiraling of the hips and breathing very soothing and exhilarating at some points. I found hypnobirthing with yoga techniques was a winning combination for me. I could really get in relaxed state and maintain focus. Waterbirthing was also amazing- I could totally let my body relax. I used the ohm vocalisation at the very end which worked a treat.
In fact I have just gone through the file notes with my midwife and she said she was surprised how quick and in control I was. Interestingly she mentioned that McKinley's heart beat didn't follow the usual pattern because he was so well oxygenated and relaxed during the birth. I visualised him being wrapped in white light the whole time. He was in the sack for most of the journey- he broke it at the very end.
I just wanted to thank you for all your insight and encouragement.
Leo Charles, Son of Gemma and Sean, born 7th Sept, 2012
I just wanted to let you know that I had my baby boy a few weeks ago and to thank you for all your advice and guidance during my pregnancy. Leo Charles Rivers was born via natural delivery after a whirlwind 4.5 hour drug-free labour on 25 August. He was a healthy 7.4 lbs and is adorable.
I truly feel that your active birth workshop that my husband and I attended, and the months of your pregnancy and active birth yoga classes really helped to get me mentally and physically prepared for the labour and birth. I went into labour at 2.30am and after waking Sean and getting up and re-reading your handouts on what to do, we went back to bed as it was the middle of the night, and I went into my deep breathing relaxed state. I was so relaxed I almost went back to sleep between my contractions, which were 8 mins apart at that time. I was woken by my waters breaking at 4.30am, at which point I got into a warm bath and continued with the deep breathing. During the next 30 mins my contractions went from 8 mins apart to 1 min apart and I was worried I wouldn't make it to the Wesley.
Thankfully I did, just in time though. I delivered Leo, using gravity like you taught us, up on my knees, with Sean using your sacral massage techniques on me, totally drug-free by 6.30am.
Jonathan, Son of Serena.
I delivered my baby at home all by myself. With just over 3 weeks until our baby was due, my husband and I attended YogaBaby’s Active Birth Practical session. That night I fell asleep on the couch, woke at 10pm and decided to go to bed. My husband gave me a massage in bed but after not too long my cramping became stronger. It was then that I realised I wasn’t having Braxston Hicks contractions and that I was actually in labour. My husband was putting his Active Birth learnings into practise by massaging the pressure points in my back. About an hour later my contractions were every 3 or 4 minutes, time to call my mother and ask her to come over and look after our son. I went to the toilet, had another contraction and quickly got back onto all fours on our bed where it was more comfortable. Then suddenly, I had the urge to push and I felt the head of our baby start to crown. I quickly realised my baby was going to be born here and now and I was going to have to deliver him myself. I pushed twice and our baby boy was born on our bed. I quickly picked him up, laid down and put him on my chest to cuddle and keep him warm. The paperwork in the hospital took longer than my whole labour. Thanks to Suzanne’s wonderful classes, I had the confidence to go with my body’s natural instincts during labour and was able to deliver our healthy baby boy all by myself.
Sofia Isabella, daughter of Livia, was born July, 2012.
Thank you for all the knowledge I gained through Active Birth Yoga classes with you and for giving me the tools I needed to bring my baby girl Sofia safely & naturally into the world. I stayed focused & relaxed through out my labour. I cant recommend your classes highly enough.
Liam, Son of Alison, was born on the 15th July 2012.
After me expecting this birth would be like Aidan who came early at 38 weeks. Liam had other ideas and hung in to 42 weeks only emerging under threat of induction. But at least he had the forethought to come on the night of our threatened eviction from the birth centre.
Everything went well and we progressed easily once it was clear I was in labour and I wasn't consenting to an induction!
Basically a 5 hr labour from start to finish. My midwife commented on how calm I was throughout: and that thanks to you and yoga baby teachings.
Zoe, daughter of Ursula, was born on the 18th May, 2012.
The birth went perfectly and was entirely natural. I'm elated and very thankful of the skills and knowledge we learned at Yogababy.
Jesper, Son of Sophia, was born on the 30th April 2012.
It seems like such a long time since the active birth classes but wow it all came to good use during the birth! During the birth my partner was remembering things from your workshop that I had completely forgotten! We had a beautiful boy by natural water birth... most incredible day of my life! So thank you so so much for your support & guidance throughout the pregnancy!
William, son of Elizabeth, was born on the 18th May, 2012.
I had high blood pressure from 36 wks so was in and out of the Mater from 36 weeks. At 38wks and 2 days after being home from hospital for 2 days i went to my regular OB appointment and my BP was still high but this time there was protein in my urine so I was induced the following day. I made a decision upon my OBs advice to have an early epidural as induction can be quite full on and after having a pretty stressful few weeks w my high blood pressure I just really wanted a nice birth and epi meant my BP was stable during labour.
As far as labouring went, before i had the epi I used the birthing ball, I set the room up nicely w aromatherapy oils, tea light candles and Mozart music. During the more uncomfortable moments of being induced, epi going in etc I use the visualisations with the song 'deep peace...' that we learned in class and of course the in for 4 out for 8 breathing also was good.
I guess the course really taught me how important it is to be ok with every decision whatever that decision is. This was especially important as it was necessary for me to have a 'managed' labour.
Our little William is so beautiful and we are so very happy.
Claudia, Daughter of Gina, was born on the 12th May 2012.
We are both doing well and home yesterday.
I wanted to say that my second labour was very different to my first and I was able to use the positive affirmations, visualisations, different positions and 'birth hopes' (as opposed to fears) that we wrote down in one of the classes to help me feel a lot more in control, stay at home longer and have no episiotomy or forceps delivery. My husband was also very good at his breathing and 'loose lips, loos bits' impersonations and massage techniques (from our workshop).
Michael, son of Helen, was born on the 22nd March, 2012, a week and a day after his due date.
He arrived ten minutes after we got to the Mater, and 8 minutes after my midwife arrived! I only had four contractions in the birth suite and he was out, I was standing up and was very surprised to see him so soon. I'm not sure if the standing up delivery made it easier, or because it was my second baby, but physically I felt pretty good afterwards: no shock, no tearing, no shakiness. Michael was a healthy 3.7kg.
During the labour, which began at 4am with contractions 10 minutes apart (and stayed that way for hours), I thought I was coping well at home, and didn't feel the need to be in hospital. The difference between "coping" and feeling like "I need to go to hospital NOW" was really swift. Luckily my instincts kicked in (eventually!) and the traffic wasn't too bad. Michael was born at 10.44am. I'm not that fond of the hospital environment, so it worked out perfectly, in my view! We stayed our requisite 4 hours then were off home to relax and enjoy our new baby son.
Big brother George picked the "enthusiasm" card from the Pregnancy and Birth Oracle cards the morning his little brother arrived, and it was spot on - he has been nothing but enthusiastic about the baby. I have made sure that I give him one on one time every day, and this is definitely helping him adjust. There are times when he wants me to put him to bed, but I'm feeding the baby so Dad has to do it (and explain why) and he seems to get it.
Thank you for the Active Birth classes, I got a lot out of them (including a night off from toddler duties!) and it really helped me to be in the right frame of mind for the arrival of our new baby.
So, thanks again, and perhaps I'll see you at Mummy and Me down the track....
Lily, Daughter of Miriam, was born on the 7th April 2012.
After being 12 days "overdue", Lilly has finally arrived on the morning of the 7th of April, after a long night of labour. I guess she was just waiting for the full moon. We had a lovely and safe home birth, just as I had imagined it, and all went really well. I spent most of the night in the birthing pool which had been set up in my bedroom, but finally Lilly was born in the bathroom after about an hour of labour on the toilet (this worked really well for me).
Thank you again for all those wonderful techniques you taught us in your class, I am sure having all these skills and the re-assurance made it so much easier for us. Having a homebirth was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Levi, son of Jenn, was born.
On a sunny spring morning, my beautiful son celebrated his birthday. This was after an intense and relatively quick labour. I was lucky enough to be in the care of the RWBH Birth Centre midwives who would help me to carry out my plan of a natural drug-free birth (and the possibility of birthing in the water bath). I practised yoga, breathing, positive thinking and took care of myself for the upcoming event. I gathered my support team around me, my mum (to care for my two and a half year old angel), my husband (who rubbed my back and helped me make sure that my ohms were low in tone) and an amazing midwife (who wiped my brow and passed me tissues to blow my nose in between contractions). My son and I did not have a water birth, but we had an amazing six hour journey together, followed by a three hour beautiful bonding session while waiting for theatre (due to tearing). After a drug free natural birth, I would receive an epidural to repair the damage. I was bummed. The experience of an epidural assured me that the drug-free way was the right way for me to go about birth. I also got an epidural headache (think migraine x 3) that persisted for a couple weeks to remind me of the pain of drugs. My son and I bore the bruises of our journey, me with my tearing and him with a massive bump on his head, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. He is a very special, happy and smiley baby, my son, Levi.
Isla, Daughter of Adele and Ben, was born on the 25th Febrary 2012, weighing 3.48kg.
I had a seven-hour labour (mostly at home) and a beautiful drug-free water birth at the RBWH Birth Centre.
It all went so quickly that I only used a few of the active birth positions - leaning forward on the end of the bed at home and on all fours in the water - but Ben and I are sure that what we learned at your Active Birth workshop and at the yoga classes helped immensely. My labour progressed really well because Isla was in an LOA position, because we knew to stay at home where it was safe, dark and private, and because Ben and I knew what to expect so we stayed calm. I did use a lot of "vocalisations" and noticed during the second stage that my voice became high pitched so I deliberately switched to a low groan. Moaning and groaning helped me to lengthen my out breaths - I found counting too hard.
The Birth Centre midwife, Jill, was absolutely wonderful - during the second stage she constantly reassured me that I was doing well, so I knew that the pain I was feeling was normal and not harmful. The idea of pain relief didn't even cross my mind!
Thank you for all your excellent support and advice at the workshop and in the yoga classes.
Arden, daughter of Tegan, was born on the 5th September 2011.
I did the pregnancy yoga, active birth yoga and full-day active birth workshop with yogababy and am happy to say that your courses helped me achieve a positive, natural birth, despite some complications. Baby presented in a slightly posterior presentation so I had a long and painful pre-labour, plus there was meconium in the waters and some drops in baby's heart rate. Thanks to the yogababy courses, an unbelievably wonderful midwife at the RBWH, a great husband and more bravery than I knew I possessed, I had a natural birth, free of pain medication. And now I have the cutest, smartest, most wonderful 5-month-old baby girl in existence! ;)
Hugh, Son of Belinda and Steve, was born at 8.37pm on the 12th Jan, weighing 3.67kg.
Everything is going really well, he is very entertaining!
I had a wonderful birth experience and much of the credit goes to you as you provided Steve and I with the tools for a successful and relaxing birth, so a big thank you!!
We arrived at the hospital at 5.30pm and although the doctors said Hugh wouldn't be joining us until the next day he managed to join us just 3 hours later! I was fortunate to have a natural birth with the assistance of pethadine and gas (I started on the loo, then a beanbag and then delivered on a birth stool!! I didn't even go near the bed until after he was born!!).
Amelia, Daughter of Shantala and Paul, was born on the 6th of August 2011.
Our bub arrived a week early! (on the 6th August) We have a baby girl, Amelia :) I've attached a few photos.
The birth went extremely smoothly - no drugs and no caesarean! :) I had only a minor tear. It all happened very quickly once I realised it was actually happening - I spent pretty much the whole of first stage thinking it was probably pre-labour pains, and waiting for what I thought contractions should feel like (pain in the abdomen - I basically had none, it was all in the back and backside!).
In hindsight I would've gone to hospital a fair bit earlier - I left it a bit close (I freaked Paul out a bit - "we didn't agree to a homebirth!!!") By the time I realised the time had definitely come to go, I think I was actually starting transition! When we got to the hospital, they didn't bother measuring dilation, or doing any monitoring in the assessment unit, they just rushed me straight into the birth suite, and we were only in hospital for about an hour before she was born!
It's funny, after all that preparation about active births, I actually spent most of first stage lying down! It started at 2am and I assumed I'd be going all the next day, so I lay in bed and tried to sleep in between contractions.
Patrick, Son of Leesa, was born in late 2011.
I was recently in the active birth classes in Paddington on a Thurs morning and I am really delighted to tell you that I had a really great, empowering birth at the Wesley Hospital which was both fast and without drugs (aside from a few mouthfuls of gas at transition). It was my second birth and my first one didn't go that well by comparison - epidural, vacuum suction, episiotomy etc.
My husband really rose to the challenge and is telling everyone how much better the natural birth experience was.
A few things that surprised me were how much control I was able to maintain over myself during the birth. I found that the breathing exercise, in for 4 and out for 6 really helpful. I didn't find that I needed to swear or scream very much at all- and I was able to scan myself to make sure that my jaw, shoulders, and buttocks were relaxed.
I had also done yoga before getting pregnant and had purchased the Bliss from Within yoga dvd from your online shop. The Ob. commented that I had really good control. And then a few days later the hospital physiotherapist was also surprised about my general core strength and how quickly my stomach had gone back in.
She said she could tell that I had done yoga.
Ameika, Daughter of Jessamine, was born at 1:59am on the 12th of October 2011.
Ameika was born only 5 days before my due date (!) last Wednesday. Slow buildup but only two hours once contractions were coming faster. She is absolutely perfect.
Ari, daughter of Lyndal, was born on the 4th of September 2011.
I just wanted to thank you very much for the wonderful yogababy workshop and 8 week course. I got so much out of it, particularly in relation to my confidence level going into the birth. I didn't end up with my VBAC in the end. He was born happy and healthy though, so all in all, it was a positive experience.
Xaviera, Daughter of Dannelly, was born at 9pm on the 17th of September 2011, weighing 3.00kg.
I am writing to you first of all to thank you for the wonderful journey you took me on with all I learnt from the course, and to let you know that I had my baby.
I had a wonderful birth, and a very happy first week in my home with my husband, my mum and my baby. Now my husband has gone back to work, but thankfully i have my mum's help. She's very calm baby and so far she's been very good.
Keira, daughter of Karen and Bear, was born at 8.22pm on the 24th August 2011.
We achieved an amazing calmbirth with no drugs, no gas and no tearing. We are so so pleased and truly had an amazing and empowering experience. She is a stunner (of course I'm biased!!) and we are completely and utterly in love.
The calmbirth course was absolutely amazing for myself and my partner. It helped us to bond better and to have a common plan and technique for how we wanted to approach the birth of our baby. It allowed us to have "trained" together and to understand the process of the birth so much more clearly and also to ensure we could support each other throughout. We were able to achieve an amazing and empowering drug free birth which was truly magnificent. I felt so elated and empowered after the birth and was in great spirits and health. I bonded with our little girl so well and really felt that the calmness of the whole process made this possible for us. I would highly recommend calmbirthing to everybody. The ability to let go and allow your body to do what it needs to do was just amazing.
Thanks once again. Our birth experience was fantastic!!
Posey Cue, Daughter of Simone, was born on the 8th of September 2011.
I attended some active birth classes with you, which were wonderful, and gave me some great breathing techniques, positions and mantras.
After the first birth of my son 2 years ago, which was traumatic, I had mixed feelings about this birth. After going to your classes I felt empowered, and hoped the birth was a positive memorable experience.
Well I have to thank you as it was Amazing! I breathed through 24 hours of contractions, felt so focussed, and kept giving myself positive affirmations that when we finally got to hospital I was in transition for 20 minutes, a few pushes and the baby was out! No tearing, no suction, no episiotomy,and back home within 4 hours!
I can't thank you enough for your classes. I will recommend them to everyone, but just can't believe how a simple task of breathing and focussing on that can just take your mind off pain.
Thanks again for all of your great advice. I'll remember to breath when they are teenagers!!
Hayden, son of Jacquie, was born on the 13th September 2011.
This morning our family bed consists of 3 little boys, when yesterday morning there were only 2 in there! Our newest little baby boy was born yesterday morning at 422am after a beautiful water birth at home, in the same bathtub that his 2 brothers were also born in! I certainly used so much of the calm birth teachings and really enjoyed every moment (although I'm also glad it's all over!).
Brooke, Daughter of Lisa, was born on the 19th of July 2011.
My partner and I loved the full day active birth workshop we did with Suzanne. It helped us feel a little more prepared on the big day, like we had some tricks and strategy up our sleeves and like we had had an opportunity to "practice" before hand. This helped my partner to know what I liked so he could support me during the birthing. I loved my time with yogababy and we had our perfect birth experience. Any preparation helps, that's for sure!!!
Johannes, son of Louise, was born in June 2011.
I went into labour on the Wednesday morning and had 3-minute contractions all day long. They weren't too painful and I managed them by using a TENS machine, walking around and having hot showers. By the Wednesday night though I felt like I had been doing the same thing over and over and needed a change of scenery, so I had my husband drive me to the hospital. At the hospital the midwife examined me and I was only dilated 2cm, as my blood pressure was slightly elevated my doctor asked the midwife to admit me. This was about 12:30a.m. on Thursday morning.
Once I was in the hospital room my contractions got stronger and soon I felt like I needed to start pushing. The midwife on the ward took me downstairs to the labour room where I was informed that I was fully dilated and needed to start pushing. I had gone from 2cm to 10cm in 4-hours. By 4:30a.m. little Johannes Kun Han was born and all of my friends who are mothers are annoyed with me as I keep on telling them that my birth wasn't so much painful as uncomfortable, and I truly hold with that.
The active birth workshop helped in the sense that it gave my husband an idea of what to expect and he gave surprisingly helpful suggestions. Unfortunately, by the time we got into the birthsuite I was so far along that there wasn't time for him to give me the sanctum massage he was offering or to get into a hot bath. I also found the breathing excercises to help a lot, once I took control of my breathing I had control of everything else and I could control pushing Johannes out much better. In the end though, he just popped out and it was love at first sight, a feeling that has only intensified with the passing days.
Adam, Son of Kerry, was born on the 25th May 2011, weighing 8lb 14oz.
Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful knowledge I gained doing your Active Birth Yoga classes and workshop, I found them really beneficial on the big day and think they played a big part in my successful VBAC.
I managed to avoid any pain relief, had a 6 hour active labour (1 hour 2nd stage) and my sons head circumference was the same as my first son, born via emergency c-section - a large 39cm! I also came through it with no tears or stitches.
Jessica, daughter of Susannah, was born on the 15th of June 2011.
My birth was a beautiful experience and your classes I believe were essential in making my labour and birth so positive. My partner was an amazing pillar of strength during the birth, and constantly reminded me of the techniques we learnt in your classes to help me through my contractions. After a very long slow labour I made the decision to have a vacuum assisted delivery with an episiotomy.
Your classes made the birth of our baby such a positive and wonderful experience, thank you so much!
Owen, Son of Wendy, was born on the 6th of May, weighing 2.49kg at birth.
It was a very quick birth - from membrane rupture to delivery was only an hour and a half. And although I think the speed was a shock to both our bodies, I am pleased to report that there were no long-term detrimental effects to myself or Owen - he did not require any intervention and I did not require any stitches. Even though it was not the birth I would have planned for myself, I have no regrets or disappointments about the choices that were made, but instead am very thankful for the safe arrival of my son, and am pleased that even when my original plans for labouring had to change, having other options to go to helped me continue to feel in control and positive. And although much of the intense 90 minute labour was not as calm as I would have liked, the lead up to it (walking the hospital grounds with my husband) and the time immediately following (where we spent a long period just the three of us, admiring Owen, bonding and feeding before he was weighed or measured) certainly lived up to the calm birth I had hoped for.
Frankie, daughter of Rebecca, was born on the 26th of June 2011 at 1.17am.
Labour started spontaneously for me at 37 weeks when my waters broke. After traveling to the hospital, we were monitored for a short time. This was the only time during the birth that I was unable to use the yogic breath and movements I'd learned in my Yogababy classes. Labour was short, only 9 hours from waters breaking to baby in arms!
The best part about my active birth classes was the weekend partner's course. Together, we were able to create a space for me to labour comfortably, without intervention and ensure the most natural, and beautiful, birth experience for our daughter. Suzanne taught me that in some cultures, they believe the baby chooses your family for a particular experience you can provide. We wanted to honor our daughter for having chosen us by giving her a natural and intervention free start in life.
Mettaya, daughter of Lana's story.
I just wanted to thank you for all you taught me during my pregnancy, birthing my daughter was an incredibly empowering experience and even though I needed to be induced and was put on the syntocinon drip I was able to birth Mettaya without any further interventions, in such an aura of love, thanks to the wisdom shared by Suzanne and Ulrike. I have attached my birth story just in case you want to share it with others, particularly those that need to be induced, it might be comforting to know that a beautiful and otherwise relatively natural birth is entirely possible :)
In my life, and particularly during my pregnancy, I was blessed by the positive birthing stories shared by my mum, my mother in law, friends and on the web. I focused on these and truly relished a healthy, happy pregnancy, a strong trust in my body, active birth yogababy classes, calmbirth workshop, lots of reading and learning about pregnancy and birth and the anticipation of meeting our little one. These all helped me to feel prepared and look forward to giving birth for the first time...
Xavia, son of Leah, was born on the 15th of June 2011.
He is now 3 weeks old, a big boy though, born 9 pounds 11 and a half! It was an amazing experience. I was due to give birth at the Birth Centre at RBWH.
A quick overview of Xavier's birth: I started getting period like pain at around 4am to the point where I couldn't stay lying down. By 10am I was having good, strong, regular contractions (about 40/50seconds long every 3 mins). The midwife confirmed over the phone that I was in established labour at this point and asked that I hold on at home for another hour. At almost exactly 11am I called Deb (my midwife) again and said that I wanted to come in as contractions were nearly 1minute long. Meanwhile my husband had been running around a bit frantically getting the car and food etc ready!!
Once I arrived at the Birth Centre Deb did an internal exam and was pleased to tell me I was 6-7cm dilated and it wouldn't be long. Throughout the labour Xavier had a low baseline heartrate of around 110bpm which Deb kept monitoring. I used the bath, shower and beanbag, while Deb and the student midwife did something called Chunging to help relax my pelvic floor as Xavier had turned posterior. I was also trying not to push as I was not fully dilated (this was hard!!). Finally my waters broke at around 3.30pm but then bub got a bit wedged and his heartrate started to go down.
Deb called in another midwife and the decision was made to transfer me to Birth Suite. After another internal exam I was 8-9 cm dilated and they were hoping to deliver Xavier vaginally but then his heartrate dropped to around 60-70bpm for about 3mins so the decision was made to do a c-section even though they could see the head. They were going to give me a general but thank goodness the epidural worked quickly and I was able to stay awake for his birth.
So while my fear of having to have a c-section came true (I remember sharing this fear in class), at the end of the day to hear his cry and know that he was ok was the greatest!
Joseph, son of Karen, was born on June 27th 2011.
Thank you for your wonderful input. The couples workshop and course were so helpful in relaxing and mentally preparing for the birth And I hope to get along to yoga at Southbank in Oct.
Lilia, Daughter of Lena, was born on the 31st of May 2011.
My labour was quite difficult... My waters broke on Monday, however I had no contractions at that time... My OB had advised then that if I didn't go into labour by the morning, I would have to be induced & that there was a 98% chance that Lilia was posterior... A few hours later - after I went into spontaneous labour - I had used lots of techniques you had taught to bring on labour, and then in the early stages of labour. My active labour was 6 hours long and extremely difficult, being posterior it was very hard for me to move, but we did use the birth ball / shower and breathing techniques to get me through.... -I had a drug free birth and at the very last minute as Lilia was coming out -she turned back to anterior which was great for her and I.. Our beautiful baby girl arrived safe & sound and is just amazing... Thanks again for all that you teach...
Leo, son of Karen and Scott, was born on May 18th 2011, weighing 8Ib 7oz.
Just wanted to let you know we had a little boy.
Thanks for the classes, it really helped both Scott and I understand and cope with the birthing process (I was going to say enjoy the process but I think I may have been pushing it a little!). We had a 14 hour labor – I’d say 6 hours of that was truly ‘active labor’. I kept myself busy, even spent two hours at a car cleaners pacing up and down the reception area before picking up my husband – I was having 5 min contractions by that point! Not quite the serene place I had wanted but I did get that alone time in my head which was great.
Ended up with an emergency c-section as baby’s heart beat was dropping, my blood pressure was increasing and I had only dialated 1 cm during the last 5 hours. I guess I’ll never know if we could have waited but I am happy that we followed our birth plan pretty much to the letter. Your classes (yoga baby; active yoga and the practical workshop) helped me feel more in control to make that happen so thank you very much.
Baby of Helen, was born on April 8th 2011.
I had a wonderful birth. Half the time and effort of the first one! Only a first/second degree tear instead of an episiotomy, and no intervention (vacuum extraction last time). I again gave birth drug free but this time used a mirror to see the baby arrive. My husband received him and then placed him onto my chest. I happily breastfed not too long afterward and am enjoying a fantastic breast feeding relationship with my baby. I found breastfeeding very difficult the first time, and so I treasure my current success even more.
Thanks for great info, camaraderie and stretching at yoga baby active birth sessions. I attended while pregnant with my second child in the first term of this year. I really enjoyed the companionship, support and useful information as well as the mediations, yoga and relaxation. I felt privileged and humbled when listening to many women recount the births they had experienced.
Thank you Suzanne for all that you do.
Freya, Daughter of Catherine and Gilbert, was born on the 28th of March 2011 weighing 3.101kg.
She is the most beautiful baby in the world. We had a remarkable birth with such loving support from our midwife Julie and Suzanne our friend. It all took just 7 hours with the best part of it for me being when I pushed her out. She graced us with her presence, in the water of the RBWH Birth Centre at 2.12am. We were overjoyed. Thankyou Suzanne for your Yogababy classes and your serenity throughout our birth journey.
Nell, daughter of Heidi and Mark, was born on May 24th 2011, weighing 2.790g.
She has jet black hair, and we think she's just beautiful. Thank you for all your help in the ABY and the one day workshop. I used a lot of the skills you taught us, especially the vocalization (which is funny because I found this the most difficult to practice!!!), and I found these a huge help. Thank you! Looking forward to attending mummy and me yoga in July.
Alexandra, Daughter of Melissa, was born on the 20th of February 2011.
She weighed in at 3.865kg (!) and 53 cm. 22 hours of labour - 12 active and close to 2 hours pushing :) but ended up with a C-section as my contractions slowed down. Oh well, I tried! We used all the positions learned in baby yoga and I felt pretty calm the whole time (no pain medication either). She is beautiful and healthy - breastfeeding like a champion from Day 1!
Oliver, Son of Kessie, was born on April 2nd, 2011 at the Birth Centre.
He's healthy and a beautiful baby. Thank you for your wonderful classes. They helped me to bring about the birth I wanted.
Arki, Son of Priscilla and Gav, was born on the 11th of March at 1:08am.
He was 3.6kg (8 pound), 50.5 cm long, has a full head of hair and perfect in all respects. He obviously really wanted a symmetrical birthday 11/3/11 - cause he made me wait through a long day of labour from 6:30am but we made it in the end. Gav was a champion and didn't pass out, he felt like a spare wheel at the end, but did a really good job of keeping me comfortable all day.
Elise, daughter of Claire, was born in late March.
My little baby girl is currently sleeping peacefully and I have been meaning to let you know that we had a very good birth experience this time around. For my first child I had an epidural and I was sad about how disconnected I felt from the whole experience. This time around was so different - I was definitely experiencing it all! It is also very nice to be looking back on it rather than in the middle of it, because it was hard, but it made such a difference to have strategies that I could use to help me through it, and even take charge a bit at times.
I had a great midwife (I was at the RBWH Birth Centre) but even so, I think it helped enormously that I felt I had my own knowledge about what to expect and what I might do. Thanks to you, I was so empowered I insisted on being allowed to puff (even though I was being told to do, and I know you are supposed to do, long slow breaths, it just wasn't what I wanted to do towards the end and so I didn't - I also allowed myself to yell very loudly when I pushed!) Afterwards I asked my husband whether he was glad we had a natural birth (he had always been keen on the epidural) and he said that what made it better this time around was the fact that I seemed in more control. And I think that is very much thanks to things I learnt through you.
So thank you very much - I am glad I had this experience and that I will be able share with my daughter if one day it is her turn to give birth.
Sophie, Daughter of Wendy, was born in late January.
I attended your yoga baby classes when I was pregnant. I just wanted to thank you, attending your class was so helpful. It gave me the confidence and knowledge on everything I needed to know about labour. I had a beautiful natural birth thanks to you and your hand outs. From the bottom of my heart I thank you. I have also recommended you to others.
Fredrik, son of Melanie and Noel, was born on the 22nd of March, weighing 3.46kg.
It was a long labour (20hours). I was 9cm dilated 3 times during the labour. The final attempts to push aside the cervical lip were successful and after a long pushing stage, we had our little baby in the water. It was such an empowering experience. His name is Fredrik Alexander and he is adorable.
Thank you again for all the support and advice given in classes and the workshop. I have found that the exercises are so helpful even now after birth.
Gulliver, son of Kate and Morgan, was born on the 30th of December.
One of the recommendations of my doula was to attend an active birth workshop prior to giving birth and a friend suggested Yogababy. I particularly liked the focus on our partners for the full day workshop and the lead up with just the mums for the weekly active birth yoga classes. The lessons I learnt about natural birth through Yogababy were invaluable for me during labour. The most inspiring thing I learnt was the techniques of slow breaths and sound vibrations during each contraction to manage sensations and keep control. I went on to use this technique for my whole labour and went on to achieve the natural, drug-free birth I was hoping for.
I spent the day in the baby pool on the verandah with sun streaming in—the first sunny day in many weeks of flooding rains. Morgan gave me lovely kisses and contact. I tried to rest as much as is possible with contractions 5mins apart. I laboured at home until 3pm. Upon inspection I was at 4cm and my cervix was completely effaced! Thank goodess. Active labour had begun.
I was now admitted into the birthing suite. I began active labour on a fit ball in the shower with my doula hosing my back with warm water. The shower had great hand rails, so I was able to move around very comfortably.My psychology was so much better in the suite than at home. I felt like things were moving. After an hour or so, I moved to the fit ball by the bed, resting on the mattress between contractions. This was the last time I really spoke much between contractions. We then filled the bath. I was allowed in, just as long as my contractions got stronger. Getting in the bath at 6pm, I didn’t leave until ready to push at 10pm. The bath was amazing. My doula poured cups of water over me. Morgan held my arms and vibrated through contractions-steering my pitch low as it got ragged or high.
The birth suite was dark and silent the whole time, lit only by a lamp. My midwife was amazing, she did occasional Doppler checks of the baby’s heartbeat, my pulse and my temperature, all while I was in the bath. There was almost no intervention. In fact, the ritual and supportive environment meant that good surges of my own oxytocin and adrenalin were released throughout active labour and I didn't feel the need to request any pain relief during this time, when pushing or post-birth (until day 3 when some panadol and Voltarin was good). At 8pm, the midwife even did an internal check in the bath! It was a triumphant moment when she prounounced I was 8.5cm dilated!!! I had progressed about 1cm per hour since arriving. No one was taking me out of that bath! I finished stage two by 10pm and then felt the urge to push.
So the midwife got a birthing stool and Morgan sat behind me. Having Morgan there and gravity was brilliant. Soon I was able to crown the head. The moment I did though I also lost sensation (pins and needles feeling) in my hands and arms. Not to worry.
To finish the job I was moved to a different position again (to reduce tearing). This time I was standing, leaning over the bed. My OB came in at this point and the midwife, doula and OB all coached me through moving out the shoulders, breathing and finally, at 11:09pm 30th December 2010, a baby came shooting out! They quickly passed him through my legs and into my shocked arms.
As soon as I could I clambered into bed and held onto my little boy skin-to-skin.e was measured, 4.3kg (9lbs, 8ozs). I fed him again before we headed up together to the room where we fell asleep together. A new family!!
Amari and Zavier, daughter and son of Paula, were born on the 7th of January at 12.30pm and 12.42pm.
I was induced 5 weeks before term due to pre-eclampsia, but had a dream birth experience! A little less enjoyable than a spontaneous labour, but an empowering experience nevertheless. 3 hours of stage 1 contractions with continuous electronic fetal monitoring - so no baths, showers or even hot pack for relief! The method I used to divert my attention away from the strong surges was to very gently stroke my knees with the tips of my fingers and focus on the sensations felt by my fingers.
I managed to stand my ground and convinced my carers not to confine me to a bed. I spent most of the time standing and swaying and then leaning into the bed during contractions. I delivered the twins while lying on my side - that was the best feeling ever! I felt very much in control. With no tears, stitches or other intervention... All in all, it was better than I could have ever have dreamed of and I wish I could do it over and over again!
Your classes truly helped me remain focused and gave me the skills I
needed to bring my babies to this world in an empowered, calm and gentle
manner. And as an added bonus, it was a busy day in the labour ward that day so I also avoided the 'twin circus' with only two midwives and an obstetrician present at the birth.
Babies spent two days in Special Care Nursery until Drs were confident that their body temperature and blood sugars were stable. Am I am told that they are the ‘role models’ for good attachment and breastfeeding! Life is manic, but I am organised and determined... and they are healthy and that is all that matters!
Theodosia, daughter of Bronwyn, were born on the 15th of February.
In terms of pain, I would say that I mostly experienced "cramps". I was waiting for them to get more intense as a signal to go to the hospital, but when they did get more intense it happened quite suddenly and dramatically and then it was all over very quickly. If I had to guess, I would say that it was transition stage by the time I could really feel things. I don't remember the second (pushing) stage as being very painful, either - mostly I remember the strange sensation of being able to very clearly feel what was going on! The - what I presume to be - transition stage was definitely the hardest pain-wise, but I found the vocalisation and visualisation techniques made it very much within coping range, and in fact there was a sense of achievement with each contraction; that we had got through and marked another one off the list, so to speak. Although I must say I thought I had a few more to go!
We definitely needed the techniques from the yoga classes, as she arrived so quickly she even beat the ambulance! The breathing, visualisation and vocalisation techniques in particular helped us to stay calm and focussed and maintain as much control over the circumstances as Thea allowed us. We hadn't planned a home birth, and we certainly hadn't planned on doing things alone, but everyone is very happy with the way things turned out.
Ella, daughter of Melissa and Tnee, was born on the 27th of September at 4.14am.
Our modern world is obsessed with numbers in pregnancy, birth and child rearing. The story of my birth can be summarised pretty quickly in numbers: 40 + 6 days, 4.14am, 27 September, contractions every 6-8 min, 30sec | regular until 9.30pm | increase to 2-3 every 10min, 40sec-1min | 1.20am enter Birth Centre, contracting 3-4 in 10min | 1.40am waters break, 5cm dilated | 3am enter pool | 4.30am exit pool | 5am enter pool, 2nd stage | 5.40am exit pool, move to mattress on floor | 6.08am birth | apgars 8 at 1 min and 9 at 5 min | 6.30am placenta expelled | 3.97kg, 8pounds 7ounces, 37cm head circumference, 51cm length, female. There we go, 89 words to describe the most astounding, profound, life-changing 25hours and 56minutes of our lives.
The thing is, when I look back to our amazing birth, I have no concept of time or numbers whatsoever! I recall looking at the wristwatch on our midwife Jo once, at ten to three. But I wasn’t really considering time. I just remember the shape of ten to three, with the big hand and little hand making a satisfyingly open v-shape on the tiny face of her wristwatch. A slow, late afternoon, walk in the park | lowering chin to chest and breathing deeply into each sensation | the warm buoyancy of the birthing pool | two huge liquorice coloured eyes, as round and shiny as buttons, blinking opening for the first time | the delicate, warm, new breath of our baby on the side of my neck. These words are probably a little closer to the real story, but still, it’s challenging to honour the extraordinary experience of giving life even in beautiful words.
Your Active Birth Yoga and weekend workshop were without doubt the best preparations Tnee and I could have done in the lead up to our birth. The concepts, practise and education offered by your teaching fit so well with us. We enjoyed a drug-free, natural birth of our beautiful baby girl Ella Abigail, I birthed in one of the yoga poses (without really realising it!), and I didn’t have any tears or stitches. Once again, my deepest gratitude in helping make the birth of Ella Abigail a truly wonderful experience.
Zakari and Zebedee, Sons of Mel, were born on the 11th and 12th of December.
Less than a week after we attended the Active Birth workshop our twins decided that they would like to make an early appearance (as twins often do!) and I was rushed up to Mater Hospital in Brisbane for their delivery.
Zakari William was born just before midnight on 11 Dec and Zebedee Anthony was born just after midnight on 12 Dec. As nothing was going to be normal about their appearance it made sense that the identical twins would actually have different birthdays! I was fortunate enough to deliver both bubs without C Section even though Zebedee was breech. I would definately say that being fit helped with the pushing side of things. The boys were so tiny but beautiful and received amazing specialist care in the ICU at Mater. They never needed any oxygen and went really well on the breathing side of things (Zeb was a little slower to catch up to his slightly bigger brother). We returned home a week last Sunday as the boys were transferred to the Tweed Hospital. It is bliss to be back on the Coast after living in accomodation close to Mater for 5 weeks. The boys are doing so well and were moved out of their humidcribs into a cot together a week ago which was a huge milestone. They are about to hit the 2kg mark so are growing nice and fast at the moment.
Thanks again for the great info we received at your workshop. It definitely helped on the pain management side of things even though I didn't have a 'normal' birthing experience!
Ruby, daughter of Sarah, was born on the 1st of July at 11.44pm.
Birthing beautiful Ruby was a wonderful chance to know myself & the start of a long journey of knowing my daughter.
We hoped for a low intervention birth in the water at the RBWH BC, and my early labour progressed beautifully at home, and then at the birth centre. The many strategies for active birthing practiced at yogababy allowed me to match my discomfort & have a wonderful, memorable last day with my husband and the bump.
A rapid first stage of labour lead to a long.. long....longer second stage, and to my surprise I found myself leaving the water to try and hasten the birth of my baby. Once in the regular birthing suites, the full cavalry arrived, and Ruby was born not in the dark, in the water as I had imagined, but with my legs up in stirrups, via venouse with a cast of thousands. While technically it wasn't ideal, I wouldn't change a thing. I remained engaged and connected with the birthing process throughout, and even with the chaos, I felt powerful and so so strong. Delivering Ruby and seeing her sweet face for the first time was a kind of magic I could never have guessed.
The one hour a week that I was able to slow down and connect with my baby at yogababy classes were just what I needed to prepare for both parts of my labour and delivery
Estelle Violet, daughter of Chloe.
We ended up having her manually turned at 37 weeks without any problems - she turned first try. I then went into labour naturally 2 days before she was 'due' and experienced my perfect birth. I used a
number of the active birthing techniques and did not require any pain relief. To my astonishment, I was 9cm dilated when I got to hospital and she was born 3 hrs after we arrived - 6 lbs 8 oz and 52cm long.
So thankyou for the classes and the couples workshop!
Myfanway Jones, daughter of Simon and Susan was born 5th Feb at 3.18am.
Story by Simon : Around 9pm Friday 4th Feb, Susan said she thought she was having some Braxton Hicks contractions. By about 1:30am, she was still having contractions and was still asking me to read out the differences between practice and real contractions. I had started timing them and they were generally around 4min, but they were irregular, so I started to think that these weren't practice anymore! Sus continued to use all her active birth strategies, breathing and visualisation and tried a number of positions we learnt from the workshops and classes. I rang the hospital to let them know and they said that they thought we might be in early labour, but "we might surprise them" so we could choose to come in if we wanted. We left for the hospital at 2.15am and the contractions started becoming more regular. In the car, Sus had two contractions at four minutes and one at two minutes. (I think it was then that Sus realised that these weren't practice ones and we started to prepare ourselves for the fact our first bub may in fact arrive two weeks early and on the day of our planned Blessingway!).
When we arrived at the hospital, Sus was 8cm dilated but based on her calm and quiet exterior, the staff at the hospital didn't realise how established she was. Myf was born 45min after we arrived at the hospital, 6 hours after Sus' first noticeable signs of labour and all within a few contractions and without the presence of the obstetrician.
I'd like to say thank you for all your guidance during the classes and at the active birth class for dads and support people. Both Sus and I credit her easy and fast labour with all the preparation she did with the Yoga Baby classes and the Active Birth workshop. In addition to the physical benefits and preparation she undertook, Sus was very calm and mentally prepared as much as she could be for the labour. We were both able to fully enjoy and experience the birth without drugs or intervention. I have no doubt that the lack of anxiety about the labour, as a result of your classes, was a huge contributor.
Edwan Philip Coggan, son of Ged and Anthea, was born on the 18th January.
I could not have wished for a better labour and birth experience and have you to thank for that. I got the bloody show at 1.30 am and started focussing on being relaxed. By 2.30 am I was getting contractions of about 30 seconds every couple of minutes so I woke Ged and we toddled into the Mater. After assessment they recommended I stay at the ward and by 9.30 am I was 9 cm dilated. I walked, breathed and counted through all contractions. When things got really full on in the delivery suite I used sound as well as walking and counting. It was interesting, when I got to the delivery suite I thought “right, now I am going to have this baby” but the contractions started to back off. That was where the yoga baby practice really helped, we tried a few different positions and when I lay on my side and lifted up my leg– BANG it was all on and I went from slowing down to PUSHING!!!!! Half an hour of pushing and Ewan was born…..I tell you what I now understand why it is called the ring of fire! Ewan was 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg) 54cm long with a 37cm head!!!
It was an amazing experience and I was so pleased that I managed to get through the whole thing with no drugs. Your wonderful teaching gave me the confidence to take control of the birth and at no point did I feel that I needed anything more than my rhythm and ritual. And credit to the midwives, they never distracted me by offering pain relief. Ged was amazing, he timed contractions and just did as I asked. Thank you so much for your wonderful teaching and for helping me be empowered for a wonderful birth experience.
Oliver James, son of Vanessa and James, born 2nd September.
First I need to say thankyou, without your classes I wouldn't have felt so strong within myself and knowing that I could do it again after such a long and arduous birth with my first born son, Kishan. I thought I would birth early but after days of false labour I was starting to question whether I would need to be induced again.
On the 1st of September I had a membrane sweep and I awoke the next morn to find contractions 5 mins apart and this continued most of the day and was slowly getting stronger until I decided about 4pm that it was time to go to the RBWH. Fortunately I was in the birth centre and arrived to find I had dilated 4cm, yay!!! I was determined to have him by 9.30pm and used every method you showed us in class, including having my words that helped to relax and open and the drawing of my pelvis and the mantra. It was so intense and yet so incredible too. My partner James was amazing and so supportive, we climbed in the bath at 9.30pm, my waters broke at 10.15pm and 15mins later and beautiful little Oliver James, healthy yet a little bruised from the speedy second stage, nothing compared to the 4hrs in my first birth. 12hours later we left the hospital and I didn't even feel like I had just given birth the night before. Amazing!!!!
Vera May Blumhardt, daughter of Susan and Nicholas was born on the 26th October at 3:47pm weighing 8 lbs and 6 oz.
The breathing techniques and positions for labour that I learnt at Yogababy were very helpful. The labour and birth went really well and we were overjoyed to meet our lovely daughter.
Baby girl, daughter of Jesse and Kim
I am delighted to share with you my amazing birth story which I believe was partially due to the work we did in the November Active Birth Workshop. On Dec 2nd at 11:30pm I went into labour and delivered vaginally the most beautiful baby girl through a water birth at the RBH at 2:40am Dec 3rd (just over 3 hours of labour in total for my first baby!) I needed no pain medication and was in a blissfully euphoric state after the birth! I completely believe this delightfully magical experience took place due to the prep work I put in during my pregnancy :-)
Thank you again soooo much - Your workshop gave me the confidence to completely trust my body and the process of life.
Patrick Douglas, son of Kathryn was born 25th Nov at 2253.
My waters broke lunchtime on thursday and contractions started around 4pm. I Iaboured at home and contractions were regular at 3-4mins apart by 7pm. We left for the hospital ataround 8.30pm and by that time contractions were already 1 min apart. We arrived around 9pm and I was already in transition.
We got into birth suite and not long after I had the first big urges to push - second stage was 1hr 10mins and he was born just before 11pm. I got to birth him in the position i wanted, a modified squat, and he came out very slowly - lots of up and down and crowned for a long time as well.
Got to hold him straight away which was totally amazing :) and we took our time discovering we'd had a little boy. I birthed the placenta very quickly - within about 10 mins so there was no managed third stage either.
Patrick's birth has been the most amazing experience and such a huge healing journey as well for all of us. It was a bit of a shock going into labour so early, and that his birth was so quick - but so worth it :)
Ayala, daughter of Ravit and sister to Gaia, was born on 1st November at the Royal Hospital.
After my water broke on Thursday I waited until Sunday, hoping I'll have the baby over the weekend, and had to have the induction. During the birth I used the movements and the positions we learned in class, which were so helpful and natural. I had a natural birth(except for the induction) . I felt very confident and knew what I wanted to do every step (it came very natural - changing positions etc). I was very afraid of the pain involved with the birth but I managed that very well and it was much less painfull then I thought it will be. I wanted to thank the yogababy teachers for everything they were teaching me during the yoga classes, now I know I have the strength to do it by myself and I'm not afraid to do it again....(in a few years)
Gemma Ann, daughter of Julie and Andrew, was born at 2.36am on Wednesday 18th August at 39 weeks and 2 days.
I had my check up on the Tuesday and due to low amniotic fluid my doctor was keen to induce and so booked me in for an induction on Thursday 19th August. So determined to do this as naturally as possible I had an accupuncture treatment to try to bring things on naturally.
The same evening at 8pm I had my first contraction, by 11pm when I was soaking in my bath they were 4 mins apart and so we called the
hospital. By the time we got organised and got to the Wesley it was 11:45pm
and I could not walk - I made it through the front doors and then dropped to
all fours and rocked with each contraction. I was 6cm dialated and continued with my breathing and relaxation (and some wonderful massages from my wonderful husband) while moving between a lying down and all fours.
I found the pressure on my groin intensified with each contraction and when the doctor came in to look at me again I was 8cm and my waters broke, then I felt the need to start pushing. After some encouragement from mum, my husband, the doctor and the midwife I decided that the sooner I focused the sooner my little girl would be in my arms so started to bear down and bring my baby into the world.
I was still on my side and the midwife had me put one foot on her shoulder and push into her to hip - I also had the mirror to help me focus on the task at hand. Two big pushes and Gemma's head was out - and then she started crying and we all started laughing, one more push and she was out.
Gemma arrive at 2:36am, we both had a very calm, very peaceful
labour and my little angel continues to be a very peaceful baby. No
intervention, a completely natural delivery that I was able to control using
all of my breathing and relaxation techniques we learnt in class.
Thanks so much for the learning and education experience to help make our
little girl's arrival such a pleasant and peaceful one.
Aisha Hafenstein, son of Tanja, was born on the 19th of September at 1:50pm and weighed in at a healthy 3160g.
I was proud that I got to 7cm dilation and went through about 12 hours of labour without drugs...unfortunately then I had to go in for an emergency caesarian, but fortunately we are all happy and healthy. We feel so blessed by this miracle of love and life. Thanks you so much for all the wonderful yogababy classes.
Aidan Marshall, son of Alison.
Aidan Marshall was born Monday the 18th October at 5:34 am. He weighed 2.735 kgs (6.0 pounds), 48 cm long. It turns out I was in pre-labour during the entire workshop last Sunday. So when you had us practicing– I was actually doing it for real.
I had a good first stage, which basically regulated as soon as we got home. The yoga breathing and relaxation techniques worked a treat. So good in fact I think I missed the transition stage that was to alert me to get to hospital. So from waters breaking to actual birth was just over an hour. The vocalization and breathing also helped me control that too.
He is an absolute delight, I am in love all over again. Next will be mum and baby yoga, so see you next year.
Willow Aloha Simmons, daughter of Franki.
She was born naturally and peacefully and weighed a whopping 10 pound 8 ounces (4.78kg). Despite having to be induced with gel and have my waters broken by the doctor as she was 6 days late, labour progressed smoothly and was only about 6 hours long.
I was blessed to have an empowering birth experience - no drugs and minimal tearing. My husband Sean felt extremely empowered and used your techniques very effectively to help little Willow make her entrance. We are really grateful for your teachings. I would never have thought I would physically be able to give birth naturally to a 10 pound 8 baby - I am not a big person. And my first daughter Stella was only 6 pound 3! But now I see with the right preparation, knowledge and support, anything's possible!
We recently attended the active birth workshop for couples prior to the birth of our second daughter Willow Aloha in July. I also attended active birth yoga. We wanted to thank you for the wisdom and practical advice you shared with us. We strongly feel the course empowered us to have a wonderful birth experience. Thank you so very much Suzanne. We will be back if we are blessed with another baby in the future :)
Zara, daughter of Amanda, was born 6th April 2010.
As labour had not begun naturally I was induced ten days after my due date. Although I was not keen to take the induction route I felt so large and uncomfortable by this stage that I accepted my fate. The primary reason for not wishing to have an induction was that many resulted in the use of pain medication which increased the likelihood of caesarean section (further scenarios I hoped to avoid).
I was very fortunate to have a wonderful midwife at the Mater who was extremely supportive of my drug free goal. The midwife began the process with a relaxing foot massage using essential oils and was very determined to source one of the three remote monitoring machines the hospital now have. The latter was particularly invaluable to the labour process as it enabled me to move around more freely and benefit from using the shower which made an enormous difference.
The positions and techniques I learned in your Yogababy classes were very useful during labour. My partner benefited particularly from those learned in the active birthing class which he applied in the early stages of labour. After a while, however, this assistance along with things such as music became a distraction and it was clear to me I needed to take my focus internally and concentrate on getting through each contraction. I felt quite guilty about leaving my husband out of the process but he understood and felt the active birthing classes gave him the confidence to know when it was appropriate to provide active assistance and when to pull back and provide moral support. Whilst the birth process differed in many ways to my “ideal birth plan” I was extremely pleased with my labour and the outcome. The techniques I learned in your classes were of invaluable to my ability to navigate an induced labour without the need for drugs.
Thank you for your guidance and support!
Benjamin, son of Ruth, was born 5th July.
We started off in the Birth Centre...but unfortunately the labour ceased to progress during the second stage and ended up having a caesarian. However, the fitness and knowledge I obtained through your classes and at the Birth Centre enabled us to make a speedy recovery and ensured that Benjamin received minimal exposure to drugs...being born with 30 minutes of me receiving the epidural.
Jack Michael, son of Clare, was born 31st July at 11.25pm weighing in at 8lb 14.
I had an amazing birth. Our midwife was wonderful. I achieved my goal of having a drug free natural birth. I utilised the relaxation and visualisation techniques we practiced at yoga. And I found my voice!! Thank you.
Abrielle Rose, daughter of Anna, was born on the seventh of June, 4 kg, 51 cm.
The birth experience was one of the most beautiful and connected memories I have. The labour included alot of spiral like dancing, candles and baths, beanbags, squatting and low sounds. I arrived at the birth center 7 cm dilated and gave birth three and a half hrs later....ending up to be a drug free, natural birth with no vaginal tears or complications.
The yoga classes were invaluable!
Alexander John, son of Sandra.
He was born on 13 June, 10 days early. I awoke at 4 am on the 13th with what I tried to convince myself was indigestion pains. I woke hubby up at 4.30 am for the Soccer and it was him who decided that perhaps we should time the pains. I hadn’t had “the show” so thought it was just a bit of tummy pain that would blow over. At 6 am and 5 minute contractions I started to believe that perhaps I was in labour and started using my active birth yoga movements to get through the contractions. After a nice warm shower and contractions strong at 3 minutes apart we headed into the Wesley. On arrival at about 8.30 am I was convinced that they were going to inform me that I was only a few centimetres dilated but we were ready for the experience. The OB convinced me to get on the bed for a quick internal and to our surprise I was 8 cm dilated and it seemed that my waters were going to need some assistance. At 9.30 am they broke the waters and I resumed using my voice and breathing to bring bub down. Alexander was born at 11.26 am and all was good. We had lovely skin to skin contact and daddy got to cut the cord and give him his first bath.
We took Suzanne’s advice and asked to look at the placenta. The OB gave us a really good introduction and we are glad we did take the time to do it. We had a relatively easy and problem free labour. I wanted to thank-you for the classes and workshop. Both me and hubby felt prepared and we really feel that yogababy helped us bring home a gorgeous little boy after a drug free and wonderful experience
George Noonan, son of Helen.
George was born healthy and calm on Friday 4 June via water birth at the RBWH's Birth Centre. He arrived only an hour after we made it to hospital, and it all happened very fast! I'm not sure if chatting with Beth at my last active birth yoga class about her 5 hour delivery had anything to do with it, but mine was only 2 and a half hours! I reckon that all the education/awareness I'd learnt at yogababy helped me to be pretty prepared and relaxed about the whole experience - which probably helped it all to happen so efficiently.
Zachary Craig, son of Francine.
Zachary arrived at 1.40am on Friday 21 May after a 24 hour labour - unfortunately he was posterior. He weighed 8lbs 3 ounces. The back pain was pretty intense, probably more so due to my back injury. I tried the steriod water injection in the back, that gave me a bit of relief for about 30 minutes..we tried massage but I found I didn't want anyone touching me. I tried heat packs, the shower but it was just too painful. I was absolutely exhausted so I finally succumb to an epidural at 5.30pm. The exhaustion was the biggest surprise for me, I really thought I would manage the labour okay. The epidural definitely slowed down the contractions and they thought at one point they would have to assist in getting him out, but I was determined that wasn't going to happen so I pushed hard! No tear, just a bit of a graze..I have the Epi-No to thank for that. Zac is a really calm and placid baby, I think he's been here before :-)
I just wanted to thank you for all that I learnt in your classes. The breathing definitely helped, my friend Jackie and my aunt who were both with me through the labour, couldn't believe how quiet I was through the contractions.
Makisa and Tepa, daughters of Mos and Brock.
hey arrived on the 19th April 1 hr and 40 mins apart. Thank you for all your advice and preparation during my pregnancy... it’s amazing how much I retained from all the classes I attended. My husband and I especially remembered your tip at the active birth workshop of being as intimate as possible during labour at hospital so the medical team can respect our space... what can I say, that and many other tips worked as my gorgeous ladies arrived with my second being foot long breech, with no medical intervention and no drugs. Makisa Carla came first weighing 7lb9oz and and Tepa Luela 6lbs3oz.
Son of Kiah.
He was born on 27th April. He arrived in around two hours – we pulled the car up to the hospital at 6.05 and he was born at 6.55am.
Sophie Margaret, daughter of Christine.
Sophie was born on 26 April at 8:08am weighing 3065g or 6lb 12 ounces. Just wanted to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to you for your important role in bringing our daughter Sophie Margaret into the world.
The labour went for 11 hours and we had a wonderful team including a gorgeous midwife from the Birth Centre at the RBH and our doula. Asking for pain relief didn’t even occur to me as I was so focused on the task at hand and I think we are reaping the benefits now with a very calm content baby.
Ottilie Charlotte, daughter of Cushie and Tom.
Ottilie was born on the 3rd ofMarch. She wasn’t so little actually – 59cm long and 9’12’’!
The labour was great and we managed to do it all completely drug free and be home from hospital the next day! The yoga was really useful and I had a really active birth with the help of Tom and our doula – so a great first birth and can’t wait to do it all over again next time!
Angelina Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Janelle and John
Angelina came into the world and made us a family on 14th April at 6:21pmafter a 3 hour (yep... just three hours!!) drug free labour. Weight 3.3kg (7lb 4.5oz), length 52cm.
Zoe, daughter of Kathy.
Zoe was born at home on 31st March attended by a doula and midwife. After trying a few different techniques through the surges, I found that the focused breathing (with low tonal sounds) was exactly what I needed to ride through the sensations. It helped so much that for most of the time I was not aware of the peak of each contraction at all.
Thank you for your invaluable advice and your wonderful workshop. I will definitely recommend your workshop to any birthing mums and dads out there.
Sanaya Ishtar Demery, daughter of Shireen and Cameron was born at 11:33PM on Sunday 7th March 2010.
Sanaya was 9.9 pounds and considering her size I had a relatively easy birth ((with second degree tears as her shoulders actually belong to a Sumo wrestler!! Just like Cyrus’….. can’t say they did not warn me after his birth))
Sanaya was 6 days overdue. After a session of acupuncture and also a wild party, spicy Indian food and making love the night before I started getting contractions in the afternoon. Between 4PM and 6PM it slowly dawned on me that this might actually be the real thing!!
I called Mater Mothers around 6:30PM but stayed home till the contractions were 4 minutes apart. Literally crawled into the birthing suites around 8:30PM; and we were ALL pleasantly (including my gorgeous Mater midwife Andrea) surprised when they told me I was 8cms dilated around 9PM.
I enjoyed the labour and rode the waves….. very actively. I stood and was on all fours most of the time and I am sure that helped speed things up. My husband Cameron was a very very BIG part of the birth. His support, physical touch and love really helped me enjoy the birth. And yet once again it was with his strength that I did not succumb to any of the stronger pain relief drugs that were available. (I did use nitrous for the mid-labour contractions).
My waters burst in the shower and the urge to push was not far behind. They had me on my side when the Obstetrician came but when that was going nowhere I said I needed to be on all fours and she came soon after at 11:33PM. She was big and beautiful and healthy and I got my wish of holding her straight away for almost 2 hours. It was bliss. She breastfed within the first 10 minutes and has been a good little feeder ever since.
I had that empowering natural birth like I wanted and thanks for all you help in getting me there.
Chanelle Mei-Lin, daughter of Sue-Lin was born on 17th Jan at 9.40am, she weighed 3.08kg.
She was born with with only gas, a tens machine and your active birthing techniques.
Mannix Archibald, son of Sarah was born at 5:50am on Friday 11th of December 09.
He had two private midwives in attendance and his daddy (my husband!) and my Mum to welcome him. I had a planned homebirth. All over in less than 9 hours, no drugs, made lots of noise, his head was born underwater in the birth pool- but needed the midwives to pull the rest of him out! Had active third stage after an injection for bleeding, missed out on lotus birth option because of that. He was a very healthy 4kg, all in all I was very happy with the way things went :)
Mia Lunette, daughter of Danielle and Luke was born 7lb57 and 51 cm long on 23rd October.
I felt very ready after my last active birth class and went into labour that night (well some of my water had leaked). Upon arrival at the hospital, my Birth Centre midwife was not available so had to be seen by hospital staff. There were so many occasions where Luke and I had to assert ourselves to not be intervened. I felt confident and trusted my body so declined any such interventions. I returned home to labour there until about 12pm the next day where we made our way to the birth centre and I gave birth to Mia at 355pm.
I absolutely enjoyed the whole birthing experience and knew exactly how to open my body to let Mia out. I loved how organic the whole experience was and feeling my beautiful baby working with me. At no point did I even consider drugs as I felt that I just wanted to be present in the moment and not break that amazing energy. I thought I was very vocal but apparently I was chanting, and was rightly given the name "Monk" during labour. I had no tearing and was buzzing and beaming after Mia was born. Luke was with me the whole way and was a absolute angel massaging me, assisting me with positions and reminding me to breathe.
Ryley, daughter of Jodie was born in late November.
I wanted to say a big thank you for everything you taught me in yogababy and birth prac, it made my labour a really wonderful experience. I felt really in control, calm and most of the time quite joyful. While it went for 21 hours at 1.30 sec apart from the first contraction I didn't feel tired, I just moved with it and mixed a lot of resting poses in on the ball and I stayed upright the whole time. So thank you so much!!
Elijah, son of Paige and Tim was born into the world on Sunday 6th December at 2.13am!
We had a beautiful home water birth with a 9 hour labour and although he was born 11 days early Elijah is a healthy 7 pound 13oz or 3.57kg, 54cm long and although we are quite biased we think he is pretty cute!
Dee Dee, daughter of Mellissa was born on Saturday, 24/10/09.
The birth was fantastic, no drugs, even though she was posterior. I was fortunate to have quite a fast labour, woke at 12.30 am .. to hospital at 5am with contractions 3 mins apart .. was 3 cm dilated .. and then out she came at 8.51am with the help of a vacuum for the last two pushes. We put her on my chest and within 20 minutes of her birth she was feeding .. it was an amazing experience - we used a few of your positions and the breathing and vocalisations were incredibly helpful.
Jack Alexander, son of Michelle and Dan was born @ 0355 16/11/09 @ Mater Mothers.
We had a wonderful active labour at home for the first 14hrs of the birth. Jack remained in his funny quarter posterior position for the duration of the labour which meant that squatting, sitting, reclined sitting were out the the question for comfort reasons. Being familar with alternate positions gave us both the confidence that we had things under control. Vocalisation became a strong focus of our labour. Our midwife commented on how in-sync myself and my husband were, and how much strength I drew from him. Thank you for giving him the confidence to support me using a variety of different methods. Continuing my visualisation practice despite having an epidural led to a speedy final dilation and maintenance of strong uterine surges with the smallest dose of cytocin. Birth was an amazing process to be involved in. I am so thankful to have experienced the natural labour and to also feel confident in our decision for intervention.
Jona Lion, son of Sonja was born mid October.
He was almost one week "overdue" and bigger (53cm, 3.9kg) than I expected...he also was spine to spine despite all OFP ;-) We stayed at home pretty long as we found out when we came into hospital...I was already fully open :-) I was on all fours most of the time and did all sorts of squatting, lots of hips moving and vocalisation within my 3 hours of pushing ...the midwife told me it was quite an acrobatic birth ;-) and one of the most beautiful she'd had. We went home 5 hours after birth.. . I am so glad I had visited your classes...I wouldn't have had the strength and 'creativity' for this kind of birth otherwise... .
Yahli, son of Pazit was was born on the 24th of July at the RBWH.
Virginal delivery, no drugs, on all six.. weight: 3.65kg. contracrtions began @ 6am. deliverd: 1.25pm. total time spent @ the hospital: 2 hours.Total time in delivery room: 25 minutes. Fully breastfeeding. Helpful Yoga tips: delivery position (on all six), breating deeply with low pitch sound, stating the preferable outcomes from labour in less than 1 minute (had to start pushing..), and swaying movements through transition.
Petra, daughter of Csilla was born safely on the 6th October.
We have made it home safely and enjoy being looked after by proud daddy and big sister Anna
Ariel, daughter of Tali, sister to Noya, arrived on the evening of the 7th October.
I wanted to thank you for a lovely last yoga class. It was lucky that I left in the middle of the class (5.45pm) because by 7.10pm our beautiful baby girl was already born! We got to the Mater just in time for few pushes and there she was. I gave birth kneeling on one leg and standing on the other so thank you for teaching me this too. We got back home after 4 hours and we're both feeling good.
Emma, daughter of Monique and Joeri, was born Thursday 24th of September (37 weeks and 5 days).
Labour started the day before with Braxton Hicks but very soon I got quite regular contractions. I did my active birth positions and breathing and sounds (had to laugh about it, everything under control). Around 1 AM I gave the hospital a call (got contractions every 5 min), they asked me if I could stay home longer. I went in around 5am and I was 5 cm dilated, around 11am I was 8cm dilated but Emma was in the wrong position (back to back and her head backwards).
They still were trying to help me with a natural birth, so I first got gas and later an epidural as the pain was too much. I also received some drip to make contractions stronger, hoping that she would move to a better position. Unfortunately, this did not work and they advised a Caesarean (not much choice…) and I was happy with it at that time (did not wish it before hand). 20 minutes later she was born!!
I as very happy with everything I learned through the active birth classes, because I could managed for more than 20 hours.
Zoe, daughter of Kate and Dan, brother to Beau.
Zoe was born in a peaceful water birth at home at 7:35 am on the 7th October after a 10 hour labour, weighing in at 9 pounds 4 in the old scale. Kate did magnificently, even managing to birth Zoe to “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, which she had played to the little one throughout pregnancy.
After much research, we have also chosen the gentle practice of lotus birth, where the cord is not cut and the baby remains attached to her placenta until she is ready to release it (between 3-10 days). Research shows this helps to create a more peaceful baby, and it shows as Zoe is very chilled, calm and peaceful, stirring only occasionally when she’s hungry, or in protest when dad fumbles his way through a nappy change…
Bodie, son of Tylea.
Bodie was born on Sunday, September 20 at the Ipswich Hospital through the MIdwifery Group Practice. He was born at around 38 weeks and five days and weiged 9 pound and 3 and half ounces...or 4.18 kg. The labour was a lot gentler than my first daughter who was posterior birth/swollen anterior lip, etc. I ended up having a water birth with Bodie and the labour was 8 and half labour. I was lucky to not require pain refief (other than the water), and have bounced back really well after the birth.
Zuri, daughter of Andrea and Shane, sister to Rile.
Zuri arrived Wednesday 23 September at 11.45am (the peak of the dust storm!). Andrea started noticing regular pain after Shane left for work around 7am. She took Riley to daycare around 9.30am by which time the contractions were 4 minutes apart. She considered driving herself to hospital but Shane arrived home around 10.25am by which time he felt the more urgent need to get there after noticing contractions less than 3 minutes apart. After a circuitous route to the hospital with Andrea giving directions (someone had to think clearly...) we arrived at the main entrance requiring a wheelchair to make it to the maternity ward. The nurse at the reception desk ushered us quickly to the delivery suite (she told us later the contractions were 1 minute apart by this stage), where on examination, Andrea was fully dilated and ready to push. Zuri arrived (before the doctor) in less than 10 minutes.
Charlotte Isabelle, daughter of Caroline Muller was born on Sunday 2nd August.
She was a week overdue and weighed in at 8 pd 5 oz. The birth was everything that we didn’t plan … of course!!! I am glad that I was able to labour for as long as I did naturally and I feel in my own mind, that being able to labour that long naturally with a posterior baby most probably prevented me from having to have caesarean. All of the tools that you taught us were helpful. I used movement, breath & sound, as well as the tens machine. But most of all, I went into that labour & birth well educated, with the ability to make informed decisions. And I thank-you so much for your guidance over the last few months. It was invaluable in helping me to make the decisions that I made and I definitely feel that I had an “Active” birth as a result of attending your classes.
Hugo, son to Monica and brother to Rex was born at 00.17 on 15 August 2009 weighing in at 3.370kg.
The birth was exactly as I wanted - laboured at home for the most part with only the last hour and a half spent at the hospital. It was a real relief after the birth of my first son which was a posterior labour and lots of medical interventions!
Aiden, son of Jodie, born on 14th August at 11.35pm.
It was a "surprise" caesarean after my 41 week check up found him to be breech and the conventional system would not allow for a breech delivery. I tried to no avail to turn him before the procedure but my waters broke and it was all systems go from there. I have accepted this experience as it was pretty wild, and we are doing wonderfully besides the night time parties at the milk bar (feeding) constantly. Thankyou for all your advice, support and expertise in making me feel confidant going into the birth experience.
Sayen, daughter of Jane and Rodolfo, was born on 25 May 2009.
I had an amazing powerful beautiful birthing experience- both my husband Rodolfo and I loved it. In short, we arrived at the hospital and I was 8 cm dilated- the labour was 5 3/4 hrs and Sayen was caught by her dada.
Samuel and Oliver, sons of Jacqui and Robert, born 3.54 and 3.55pm on 30th July.
The boys decided not to move down in the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy and were born by C-Section. I tried my hardest to get those babies down...but as it turned out... I had two singleton babies in one belly!
Max, son of Sara was born in the early hours of 27th July.
After a long prelabour, I arrived at the hospital 10 centimetres dilated in the early hours, jumped into the bath tub at the birth centre and was holding our baby boy 2 hours later. It was an exhilarating and wonderful experience and I was so glad to have had all the stories as well as physical practice in the skills of active birth that you offered during the classes.
Thank you for the active birth classes. My little girl was born on 27th June. I was able to have an active birth with the knowledge I had learnt in the classes. I spent most of my labour off the bed either in the shower or on the birthing ball. I used many of the techniques I learnt especially the vocalisation during transition and having loose lips in labour making bbrrrr sounds with my lips.
Lucy Gemma, daughter of Liz.
Baby Lucy Gemma arrived on Friday 7th August. All is well with baby and mother. We had a natural birth – 3.5 hours in total, only 6 pushes.
Chelsea Olive, daughter of Lisa and Caralyn, born 7.15pm on July 31st.
Our little Chelsea Olive came early and is now with us. Under your great advice, we'd stayed home all day and reached the hospital at 6.10pm with a 7cm dilation. The birth then came along very, very (unexpectedly) quickly and although hard, was very natural and rewarding. I used the gas - it was my prop for focus, and no other drugs were even considered so I'm really proud of myself. Lisa and the midwife birthed Chelsea - the doctor didn't have a chance to make it! When she was born they put her on my chest and left us there for the next 30mins as it was a very busy night for them, so Lisa & I and a very alert and settled baby got to spend the first few moments together as a family.
Amelia Grace, daughter of Jodie and Ben, born 11.45am on the June 3rd.
My waters broke at 8.25pm the previous evening. I work as a midwife in a busy hospital and I figured 5 weeks of maternity leave would allow me to get it all done before our bub arrived. My body and baby had other ideas. We arrived at the hospital about 10pm, An abdominal exam revealed bubs head was well engaged (1-2/5 above the pelvic brim), and an internal exam showed that my cervix had started to efface but not yet dilate.
The plan was to wait and see what happened overnight and to reassess things in the morning. From 1 am onwards I started having contraction type pains every ten minutes, lasting about 40-50 secs. I felt most of this discomfort in my lower tummy, but was able to breathe through them using a long relaxed breath (learnt at yoga) and continued to rest on my left side. By 6am I was up in the shower having contractions 2-3 minutes apart, I was making lots of noise using the sounds, breathing, spiralling movements learnt at yoga, trying hard to keep my body open. Ben rubbed my back and hips and I tried to drink plenty of water and munch on a banana in between.
By 7 am I was starting to get quite vocal, I wanted to go down to the birth suite where I could move and make noise a bit more freely and needed to know that I was making progress, if this wasn't labour I wasn't sure I could go the distance. At approx 8 am I arrived in the birthsuite, after a quick tracing of bub's heart rate which revealed he/she was still coping fine, they did an internal examination which revealed I was 7-8cm dilated, I was so relieved that these contractions had been doing something and started to feel a little out of control at this stage (typical of transition). My immediate instinct was to hop back in the shower where I leaned over a birth ball on a mat. I had hot water on my tummy and Ben rubbing and showering my back. I continued to spiral my hips, talking to our baby and making lots of "o" sounds, hoping it would keep my cervix open and relaxed. Ben kept reminding me to relax my jaw.
My own midwife arrived at 9am, I was relieved, she didn't need to say much, she was just like a Mum, holding me and reassuring me. By 11am I started pushing, using all fours, squatting, standing, the toilet, I just did what my body told me. At 11.15hrs I asked to use a mirror, there it was this mat of hair moving in and out with each push, two steps forward, one step back I had seen it so many times. Now in a squatting position with the mirror underneath me our baby was helped out by my husband Ben with our midwife Jan guiding him at 1145 hrs, Ben passed her through my legs to me and announced we have a baby girl.
I can't begin to describe that feeling of total euphoria and joy, I get tears just reliving it now. She came out screaming and went straight onto my chest. The paediatric doctors that were on standby in the room, had a quick glance at her and were happy not to remove her from my arms. She soon cuddled into my breast. The placenta delivered naturally in its own time and I was able to keep bub skin to skin until she started suckling at the breast. She spent her first night in a humidicrib with a little drip and antibiotics, but I was able to visit regularly to feed and cuddle her skin to skin. We took her home with us a couple of days later.
I just want to thank Suzanne and my class mates. Yoga really taught me how to cope during labour through breath and movement. I had a drug free labour, it was hard work but worth every moment for the amazing gift at the end, our Amelia Grace. As a midwife and woman I have a new found respect for what we as women can do. Keep reading your mantras and practising your movement and breath and I wish you all a wonderful birth and babies.
Oszkar Wolff Lackmann.
He was 4.532kg (10 pounds) and 58cm at birth. Born 1.10pm on 16th May, 2009. It was a great birth - drug free, and about 3 hours of active labour. My waters broke at 00.50am and first phase about 20 minutes after. Surges every 15 minutes until about 9am (managed to get two snippets of 30 minutes sleep) when they went to 10 minutes and then moved into the active phase at about 10 am - surges every 5 minutes. I was still at home when I started to feel the urge to push at about 11am. I got to the delivery suite at about 12pm.
I was concentrating all my breathing down to my uterus and baby. Was kneeling over a birthing ball in the shower with Jan running water down my back and massaging my lower back. Delivered him in a squat position with my left leg out until he was almost out, then shifted to my right leg out. So many details I know, but it is still all so vivid in my memory! Everything came so naturally - I hardly had to tell Jan what to do - he even seemed to be able to hear my body - this I'm sure is because I shared with him all I could remember from our yogababy classes.
Jasmine Elizabeth EWINGS was born at 6.34am, 7 April at the Wesley Hospital only just!
We stayed at home until the last minute and arrived fully dilated with pushing underway!
Miss J was born 40mins after arrival. Needless to say we were chuffed all round and especially pleased that there was no one present except John, I and the midwife who was fabulous and respected my wish over the phone not to call Obstetrician :, no persuasion to pain relief and the log list of my other preferences for intervention free birth not that there would have been time for anything!. Breastfeeding going well to date also, we feel so lucky. Thank you for such a positive lead up to her arrival at Active Birth Yoga and also the Workshop.
Krystof, son of Klara.
I believe you will be happy to hear that our baby son Krystof Jiri was safely born on 12 March. It was a very natural waterbirth in the RBWH Birth Centre, a really strong and nice experience for all three of us.