Birth Story No. 8 – Phil & Jasna’s water birth

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We recently received this lovely story from proud new father Phil.

“Jasna and I attended the active birth weekend in March – I’m the guy with the dodgy back.

This Saturday afternoon at 4.30 Jasna birthed our son Bertie, in the pool in our daughter’s bedroom. Everyone is well.

Jasna had a show Friday evening, surges started in earnest about 3am Saturday. She was magnificent. Your teaching and sharing had prepared her perfectly and she was confident and ready to embrace the experience.

We had an excellent team of midwives (plus Jasna’s sister Rahela Vrdoljak, a midwife on her day off!) who were exactly what we needed. The placenta came out 20 minutes after Bertie, and I cut the cord a little after that.

Perfect.

This was a VBAC [vaginal birth after caesarean], so it was extra special for Jasna to have this birth go the way that birth should be. But that’s not all.

If you remember me from the course, I’m sure you can imagine how physically difficult this whole thing would be for someone with a back like mine (but I’m not for a second equating what I had to do with what Jasna had to do!), but it wasn’t, because the zone works for dads too.

phil & jasna vbac 2

I’m sure it’s not anywhere near as powerful as for the mother, but it was enough to keep me going, which was not something I ever imagined possible.

I had two main jobs – to watch out for the 1/400 chance of rupture, and to help guide Jasna’s breathing. So by the time the surges were starting to intensify, we were so in sync, so focused, that I was able to support Jasna from start to finish – something that I honestly thought would be impossible.

I fully expected to be doing 15 minutes on, 15 minutes recovery, but no. I did the whole thing (except for the two surges just before transition when Jasna was on the toilet and there wasn’t enough room in there for me too, so I took the opportunity to have a stretch and a pain-relieving swear!) and it was an utterly mind blowing experience.

It got to the point where I knew when the next surge was coming and could get us breathing into the start of it, which meant that Jasna wasn’t fighting to get in control, she was ahead of that first rise each time, and could really relax into the calm between them.

She said “I can’t do this” only once, and I think my response was “bollocks, you already are.” Uncouth, but true, and she saw it for that.

She was able to listen to Bertie’s cues and move into the positions that we had been shown, and cuddled him out of the water when he swam out.

phil & jasna vbac 3

Rahela got an amazing photo of his face in the midwife’s mirror when his head was out, in the calm before the last surge. Every time I look at it, I can’t help but think that out of all of us there, he was the one with the clearest idea of what to do and when to do it.

So in short, thank you. Your course gave us the most positive birth experience for everyone involved.

Please feel free to share this with anyone who you feel would benefit from it.

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