My story begins at around 11:30pm on 9th January, my due date being the 10th. Having had a normal Saturday, I began to feel some 'twinges' and as I had not had any braxton hicks of any strength throughout my pregnancy, me and my partner discussed whether we thought this was the 'real thing'. I decided to head up to bed to get some rest and see if it passed but around midnight the feelings were only getting stronger and I began to time how often they were coming and how long they lasted.
A couple of hours passed as the contractions began to come more and more regularly and with increasing intensity. I spent this time using my TENS machine, sitting on the birthing ball and using the techniques covered in the couples workshop - remaining calm and humming through each contraction.
We rang the hospital and were advised (as we live so close) to stay at home until I was having three contractions in every ten minutes, lasting for a minute each. Another hour passed, and I continued to draw on the humming to focus as each contraction increased and passed.
At around 3:45am, me, my partner and my mum headed to the hospital. After around 45 minutes I was able to get into the water pool, where I continued to hum through each contraction, before long feeling the urge to push as I moved into second stage of labour. This stage lasted for some time, for much of this I remained in the pool, the warmth of which I found helped with the pain of the contractions and allowed me to remain relaxed and then later (with the support and guidance of the midwife) I tried a number of different labour positions to move things along.
At 9:30am Abigail came into the world. I was able to have the natural labour that I wanted, using only the TENs and water pool as pain relief. The very end stage of giving birth to Abi was difficult and I had become very tired. A ventouse was tried to move things along but my final pushes allowed Abi to be born. Both myself and my birth partners were able to draw on the techniques covered in Nerissa's class and for me the humming was absolutely invaluable at keeping my focus and level of calm throughout.
I was able to spend the hours following the birth with skin-to-skin contact with my new daughter, again with the sense of calm I feel I had throughout the birth.
I would recommend Nerrisa's sessions to anyone pregnant and found the couples session particularly useful as it meant that my partner was aware and involved in all of my labour techniques.
Thanks again Nerissa!!