Birth Story #36: Jana’s Path To Pure Bliss

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Jana attended Lynn’s pregnancy yoga classes and gave birth to handsome baby Leo with her husband, midwives and nurses cheering her on! It’s amazing what positive energy can do…

 

“The birth of our son Leo started in the middle of the night. Around midnight my waters broke, I was surprised because I knew that labour doesn’t necessarily start with this and I was only 38+5 weeks by then. I was convinced he was going to be “late”.

We called the hospital and they advised us to come in to check if it was really my waters and to see how baby was doing. Upon arrival we were welcomed by a friendly midwife. She confirmed it was my waters, baby is doing fine and sent us back home to sleep – especially since my contractions had not started yet.

I was happy to hear that there was no 24 hour deadline imposed on us from the time the waters broke – their policy was 48 hours. On the way back home, my surges became much stronger and by the time we were home (around 2:30am) they were around every 3-5 minutes but only lasted 20-30 seconds. I was amazed by the sensation – so this is what labour feels like!

I tried to sleep but it was impossible. I knew I would have to be wise with my energy and wanted to be calm and rest as much as possible. I was mostly laying on my side or sitting on the sofa with my head resting on pillows with lights dimmed.

Every time a contraction rolled in, I focused on relaxing my jaw, my hands and my neck. I listened to peaceful piano music and made deep throaty moaning noises when I released my breath through my mouth. My husband later told me it sounded quite sexy. Oh well – I am glad he enjoyed it 🙂 It was for sure painful but not a pain I couldn’t manage. I simply accepted it and told myself “with every surge, I am getting closer to my baby being born.”

At 7:30am, we went to the hospital. The surges were strong and I was in labour land – not being able to talk through the surges when they came.

Once we arrived, a midwife that I knew already greeted us and checked me, I was 6-7cm dilated. That was great news. We had stayed home long enough and I had made good progress. I was planning to use the birth centre and the pool during labour and now would be the right time to get into it. But guess what – the birth centre was full and I had to stay in the labour ward!

It didn’t matter though. It was 8:30am at this point and I was a little tired after a night of no sleep, I just wanted to lay on my side and close my eyes between surges. The midwife set up the gas and air for me and this is how I spent the next hours: mostly on my side, sometimes on my knees bent over the bed, somewhat sleeping between surges and using the gas and air. It really did a good job for me and the surges were actually very bearable.

I had no concept of time at this point, it must have been around 11am or so when I felt a few pushing urges but they went away and intense labour continued. At noon, the midwife checked me and I was fully dilated – yeah! ‘Not much longer now’ I remember thinking. I was also surprised that I had already gone through the transition phase, which every book I read described as the worst bit of labour. I didn’t really feel anything “worse”.

Yet, I felt no urge to push. There were just strong surges about every minute or so. I continued to go with them. However, from time to time, the heart rate of our baby dropped during or after the contractions so we agreed to be continuously monitored. I didn’t mind – I knew this was all for mine and baby’s safety. I continued to focus on my breathing with my eyes closed. The midwife became a little concerned with the dropping heart rate. With conversations happening outside the room, I could just continue doing my thing. She came back saying, the consultant is not worried and that another midwife would join us in the room for a second opinion.

I was so zoned out in labour land, none of this disturbed me. The midwife suggested I try and push during the next few surges – even if I didn’t have the urge. I was not a big fan of this idea as I thought my body would start pushing when it was ready. Yet, I trusted her and gave it a try. I was on my side or on my hands and knees, it didn’t really work so I changed position. I was kind of sitting and my feet were on some type of pedals so that my knees where at an angle this changed the way I could push. It felt more like I was pushing as if I was going for a poo rather than pushing towards my vagina. I also realised that the gas and air was making me too woozy and I lacked power to push so I stopped it all together.

I was on no pain relief from now on, and this got things moving again so I was very happy. The midwives cheered me on during the pushes and helped me with breathing. I initially didn’t want any cheering-on during the pushing phase but it really helped me, I have to say.

Baby was moving down quickly now! I could feel he was about to make an appearance and the midwives confirmed they could see the head. I could feel the famous “ring of fire”. I knew there was no way back now and pushed with all my power. There was the head. Celebrations started in the room. Everyone, including my husband, was cheering and telling me how great I was doing. The positive energy in the room helped me with the last two surges before the rest of our baby’s body just slipped out in one go. It was the most amazing feeling in the world.

I cried, my husband cried, our baby boy screamed. The sweetest sound I ever heard.

It was 1:50pm. They lay him on my belly his cord was short and he couldn’t make it to my breast just yet… He was crying and I just marveled at his perfect face and little hands, and felt so much love. The cord stopped pulsating and my husband cut it. Finally our little Leo could feed, which he did eagerly.

I had a slight tear which the midwives diligently stitched up, and after everything was done, we moved to our room for the night. We learned that our boy was 49cm long and weighed 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs). Pure bliss.”

 

 

 

 

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Janet Balaskas Founder of Active Birth Director of the Active Birth Centre
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