I went into early labour on a Monday evening, after a wonderful day of relaxing and enjoying some quiet alone time. The first emotion I felt was actually a bit of sadness about the end of pregnancy. I took a few moments to wish my baby well on her journey. I managed to get a few hours of sleep but then the nervous energy and the contractions kept me up! I spent the next several hours eating, sitting on my exercise ball, leaning against the wall and over the kitchen bench swaying and doing figure eights with my hips. I started focusing on my breath and really getting into the rhythm of breathing during contractions as we had practiced in yoga. When it seemed like my contractions had become more regular, we paged the midwife and headed into the hospital. Unfortunately, when she examined me, I was only 1 cm dilated and they suggested I go home. At this point, I had already been having contractions for 18 hours and I was exhausted. I felt quite discouraged and unsure if I would have enough energy to keep going.
When we got home, I tried to eat something but I threw up and I tried to rest but the contractions were too strong. The only place I felt reasonably comfortable was sitting on the toilet! Once I did that, everything fell into place.
We lit a candle and created a calm environment and my husband sat next to me and helped me count breaths. The breathing really helped me get through each contraction. Even when the sensation was very intense, knowing how many breaths I would do in a minute made it feel more manageable because I knew how long I had left and it gave me something to focus on.
All the discussions in class about taking advantage of the space between contractions really helped me to relax. After three hours of active labour, my waters broke and I very quickly went through transition- at which point I knew I needed to get to the hospital!! We got to the hospital and I climbed into the birthing pool and in less than an hour, our little girl swam into the world, two minutes before midnight on Tuesday! Even though I had been discouraged when we were initially sent home, being in my own environment allowed me to relax and get into the optimal position to progress labour.
Amelia attending Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Yoga and the Active Birth Workshop for couples.