Little Declan was born at 41 weeks on August 23rd after 27 hours of labor. He weighed 3.85 kg, was healthy and gorgeous (nooo, I'm not biased!) and latched immediately.
Most of my labor was very calm, and I felt confident and free of fear throughout, even at the end when things got a bit hairier. I laboured at home from 3:30am when I woke up because my waters had started to release, until 9:30 pm. I used my hypnobirthing and active birth techniques: visualisations, acupressure, different positions (particularly side lunges and holding on to something while leaning back), rebozo under my belly, breathing breathing breathing, light-touch massage, relaxing fully between surges with horse lips and sighing, swaying (I swayed SOOO much, and I kept hearing Lauren's voice in my head saying it was a good sign; I even found myself swaying for days AFTER labour).
At 9:30pm, I started to feel a strong desire to be in the birth pool, so we headed to the hospital, where I rocked on the ball until the pool was ready. At this point, I was dilated about 7 cm, and I was in for a surprise. I started to vocalise! I definitely didn't expect to, though I do remember thinking in class that it really helped with the discomfort of Thai goddess. (My partner just told me I started to vocalise much earlier, but I don't remember that at all!). Once in the pool, while I was moving through transition, I continued to vocalise, but the sound changed to a deep OM. Every single surge I concentrated on making this sound and releasing everything else. I also visualised the OM leaving my mouth as a golden thread/light, which really helped for some reason. My partner applied intense acupressure on the point between my thumb and fingers. Those are the things that got me through.
When I was fully dilated, little Declan still wasn't moving down and I was exhausted, so my midwife suggested augmenting with syntocinon. It wasn't ideal, but I knew I was reaching the end of my strength, and my surges had lost their bite. We needed to go into coached pushing, and then an episiotomy and a ventouse. And then I had shoulder dystocia; an alarm was pushed, 12 people ended up in the room due to a shift change. The obstetrician was able to shift Declan’s shoulders so he slipped out. He was put on my chest but almost immediately taken away to the resuscitation trolley, which my midwife says he’s didn’t need. There were some unplanned things that I had to process—that truthfully I got hung up on for a while after— but ultimately Declan was safe and perfect, and I’ve now come to accept that I had the birth I needed to have. And I’ve learned so so much about myself and my partner and about MOTHERS!
I just wanted to share my experience and thank you for the many things I learned from you ladies. Thank you!!
Kelly attended our Pregnancy Yoga and Active Birth Yoga classes.