Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us!
On Saturday, April 3rd I started to feel mild cramping… it was coming and going
throughout the day. About 20 minutes apart, at varying lengths. I thought to myself, “could this be the start of early labour?!” I went through the whole day and night feeling these mild cramps, got ready for bed and went to sleep wondering if my time was coming soon. Then at about 2:30am on Sunday morning, April 4th I was awoken by a very intense cramp. I thought “whoa!” ok… now this feels like this could be for real. The cramps had definitely intensified into what I thought could be considered a mild contraction, or “wave”. The time between each wave varied, from 20 min, to 7 min, to 15 min… It went on like that the entire day on Sunday. I stayed active throughout the day, walking on the treadmill, bouncing on my exercise ball and practicing my “wave” breathing each time I felt a sensation.
I was getting a little emotional, wondering when things would really kick in, and when I would go into “active labour”. But I remembered to practice “acceptance” and just live in the moment as it was happening. This allowed me to stay calm. I called triage around 5:00pm Sunday night and described what was happening… they said it sounds like you are in the “early labour” phase and you need to stay home. So I did… In the meantime I had experienced some spotting and the loss of my mucus plug. So I thought – Ok! Things have got to get happening now!
I felt waves all Sunday night, I stayed upright on the couch instead of laying down because that felt better and I breathed through each sensation. Things continued the same way all day Monday, April 5th. The waves were starting to build in intensity and then finally, they started to get closer together in frequency. I continued walking on my treadmill and leaning on my partner and other furniture around my house! That really gave me some relief. I called Triage again around 5:00pm on Monday, April 5th and they told me to come in. They could tell that the hours of labour (about 30 hours now) at this point had really started to tire me out. I was getting quite tired, but I felt calm and focused throughout the entire process.
We arrived at triage and I got my cervix checked by the midwife. I was 2cm dilated… But my blood pressure was elevated and they said I appeared to be quite dehydrated. So they wanted to admit me to keep an eye on the situation. During this time we went over our birth preferences and expressed our desire to have a “tub room” and to have a natural delivery. I was admitted to a tub room and assigned a midwife. She discussed with me the option to get an I.V. of fluid to help re-hydrate me and also some morphine to help me get some rest between waves to gain strength for the “active labour” phase. We made the decision to move forward with the morphine and the I.V.
Once I was given the morphine, I felt my whole body relax…after I laid on my left side hoping to get some rest… As I relaxed the waves started to build in intensity. After about an hour I asked the midwife if she could check me again because I felt the intensity had increased to a point where I wanted to know how dilated I was. She checked me and I was 7cm! Oh – and also my waters released as she was checking me! All of that progress in just 1 hour! So she said it was time to start filling up the tub. Once in the tub, the relief I felt was so amazing! We had turned out the lights and I was able to just focus on the sensations and use my breath and my voice to get through each moment… I was in the tub for about an hour when I started to feel an intense “bearing down” feeling… A feeling like I wanted to push. I asked the midwife to check me again and I was 10cm… It was time to start pushing!
I remembered my breathing techniques I learned from class, and I started to “breath my baby down”… I was able to feel the progress of my baby moving down my birth path and she and I worked together with each push. At one point I found myself hesitating because I had some fear of what it would feel like to actually have her come out! But I thought – now is not the time to be afraid – now is the time to do this!! So, I abandoned any fear I had and just pushed with each sensation. After about 30min, my baby girl was delivered in the tub and I was pulling her out of the water looking at her little face. I felt so much emotion! Relief, amazement, and shock! I couldn’t believe I had actually done it! Something I had prepared for and anticipated for so long, my labour and delivery of my baby, and I had actually done it! The midwife said she couldn’t believe how well I did for a first time mom. She was so impressed with how well I worked with my body and remained calm. She was so excited to do a water birth! I know all of the methods I learned from class got me through my 48-hour labour. I felt such a sense of achievement afterward, I was so proud of myself and my husband. He was a huge source of support and strength for me throughout everything thanks to the tools that he learned from class as well.
I look back on my story feeling pride, happiness, amazement and like I can do anything!! I’m so grateful for the Calm Birth School, my instructor Katie and all of the tools I have now to face anything that life brings me.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!