Birth Story no.35: Tosan’s Triumph

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“When i fell pregnant, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and told it was a high risk pregnancy for this and various other reasons. The medics told me to expect a c-section. This was my first pregnancy and i wanted very much to have the full natural experience.

Amidst all the sickness, nausea, migraines, tears, and hospital stays, I decided to take back control, and do something positive for my pregnancy. So I started practicing yoga at 17 weeks, and discovered the antenatal yoga classes at the Active Birth Centre around 23 weeks.

I quickly fell in love with Janet, Lola, and our entire group of mums and bumps. I had found my tribe in this healing and nurturing space. I did two classes a week until I was admitted to hospital at 33 weeks with complications.

The recommendation was to have an urgent C-section, as there were concerns about my placenta, but I had my heart set on using all the techniques i had learnt at the Active Birth Centre to have a natural birth. I stayed focused on this desire, I kept moving, and I practiced my breathing techniques as a meditative method of dealing with the stress of the situation. I also walked a lot and practiced my favourite active birthing positions whenever I could.

My condition began to stabilise, and the C-section kept on getting delayed. I finally found myself being induced at 34.5 weeks, with a chance to try for a vaginal delivery. My cervix was in a more favourable position and condition than was expected for 34.5 weeks gestation, thanks to my active birthing exercises.

I endured four unpleasant induction interventions, each time using my active breathing techniques to work through with the pain. The contractions intensified gradually, and my outbreath became increasingly more powerful, I felt I was taking control over the pain and pressure of the surges. It felt like my mind was in charge and the pain was not able to overpower me. This helped me remain positive and mentally strong through the discomfort.

The contractions continued to progress over the next three days. On day 4, I was on my feet from 4am, walking through contractions, stopping at walls, tables, and any solid support, to take yoga position and control the contraction with my breath, I felt like I was now able to mentally drive the pressure and pain down through my pelvis each time, letting gravity do its jobs, moving my labour forward, and taking me one step closer to meeting my baby.

As my body started to struggle, I accepted gas and air, and was able to use that to intensify my outbreath which had become more like a groan coming from the deepest depths of my core. My eyes were closed, I could not really hear the midwife, I had gone into myself and was completely aware of every part of my body. When the overwhelming urge to push came, I tried to hear instruction from the midwife, but it was as though my ability to hear anything outside my body was temporarily lost. At first, I was scared, but I had no choice but to listen to my body, and let it do what nature intended. Within minutes, my little boy arrived into the world. I had given birth, naturally, using only my breath, my will and my inner strength. I have never felt more empowered in all my life. I felt like a warrior. A lioness. A mother.

The education and influence from the Active Birth Centre were the reason I was able to have my desired birth experience. Apart from the physical benefits, the psychological and emotional boost is life changing. I will forever be grateful to Janet and her team for helping me achieve this.”

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Tosan, you are indeed a warrior! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your magnificent story.

 

 

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