Yogababy and my amazing midwife gave me the skills, confidence and the determination to push through my labor when I was so scared that I couldn’t do it. The private Active Birth session my husband and I attended with Suzanne was so important too, as it gave my partner the knowledge and confidence to know what to expect and how to best support me through the different stages of labor.
After a normal day of resting on maternity leave, I woke up around 2am on the 17th August to a trickle of fluid and some slight menstural cramps. I went back to sleep and again about an hour later, a felt a similar trickle but heavier. Around 7am I called my midwife and she asked me to come in to the Birth Centre for a check at 10am. My midwife confirmed that my waters had broken and I would hopefully go into labor within the next 24 hours.
I went home and prepared my space for the experience that was about to unfold. I set up a blanket on the floor with my birth ball, my favourite oils in the diffuser and beautiful lighting by lamps. Around 5pm I started to feel stronger contractions. I kept moving, walking around the back yard and doing some stamping with my bare feet in the grass. I felt the sun on my skin and I watched the trees. My chickens followed closely behind!
I dedicated some time to resting inside, until I was too uncomfortable to lay down. I started to use the birth ball to bounce through the contractions, which really became my grounding spot. I used warm showers and a lot of natural swaying movements. I felt I needed to go to the Birth Centre around 7pm.
Throughout my established labor I continued to utilise the ball, the bath and the beanbag. I tried to move as much as possible even though I found this very difficult.
Around 7cm dilated in the bath, I was moving in and out of a state of extremely intense contractions and a sleep state, to a point I needed to reorientate myself to place and time upon the coming of a contraction. At this point I felt I couldn’t go on and needed help, because I felt too tired. I asked my midwife to help me, but she just kept encouraging me. I was so desperate at this point, until the contractions eased and I just sunk back into the bath. Looking back, I remembered feeling I was not in the Birth Centre, but a spa. I realise I was actually in a state of deep relaxation, which now feels quite magical.
Eventually from the bath I moved back to the beanbag. It wasn’t until this point when I started to realise the power of my sounds, which became deeper and more primal than I could imagine. I felt a surge of fluid releasing and I knew he was coming. At this point I became incredibly energised because I could feel the next stage had begun.
I felt the overwhelming urge to push, which was such a profound and exciting relief. My midwife moved me to the birth stool at 2am.
By 3:08am, our beautiful boy was in my arms. It was the single most magnificent and love filled moment of my life. The immediate skin to skin contact with my baby was energetic. Those moments are truly addictive, as I replay the sensations over and over in my mind.
I feel very empowered to have achieved a natural birth. My husband is also the first man in his family to be present at the time of a birth, as culturally men are not to remain with their partner during labor and birth in Sri Lanka.
As a first time mum, there is nothing anyone can say to truly prepare you for the emotional experience of being in that beautiful pain. But learning to use my body, mind and sound to deliver my baby was so important and powerful and I am incredibly proud of myself. Yoga Baby and my amazing midwife gave me the skills, confidence and the determination to push through my labor when I was so scared that I couldn’t do it.
Now Taru is four months old and those hours become one moment when I reflect on bringing this boy into the world; arriving by a blessed natural birth, because he truly has been a miracle from the beginning. Looking back I am in awe of the unfurling neurochemicals and hormones driving women through this process. How something intangible allowed me to drift between contractions to a dream state, surrendering to primal instincts. Letting my body respond in the way it knows how. Creating sounds like I never knew I could, that were only meant for that moment.
To bring this beautiful boy into my arms was the single most magnificent and pure moment of my life. Energetic skin to skin embrace and being so still whilst watching the placenta complete the transfer of everything he needed before me.
Throughout my pregnancy I envisioned the type of labor I wanted, I replayed it over and over in my mind. Our natural birth was just the greatest gift as a new mother.
Taru, born 18/08/18 at 3:08am, 8 days before his due date
Hayley attended the pregnancy yoga, active birth yoga and private session