Cristina's Story

I thought having been to two of your courses and the couples workshop, I'd take the time to let you know how the birth went and how useful I found the techniques you taught.

I started getting period pains around midday last Monday with cramps in my belly and back. I didn't think much of it as most descriptions I'd read of contractions talked about a tightening of the belly muscles and I didn't have any of that, these were exactly the same as period pains. At around 2 o'clock I sat on my ball to get a bit comfier. My husband later said this is when he knew something was up as he bought me the ball when I was 6 months pregnant and had never used it until then!

Throughout all the afternoon, I was combining the sitting on the ball with standing up when contractions came: breathing, moving etc. The contractions were still very much like period pains just with a peak of pain in the middle. I did try humming but even though I really enjoyed it in the classes, it wasn't for me in labour. My hubbie remembered the lower back massage from the workshop and honestly, that was amazing at this stage: every time a contraction came he would massage my lower back and it really would take the edge of the pain away.

At around 7 pm we called the hospital. This wasn't because the pain was unbearable, but because I was worried as I had also been bleeding all day. We were sent to the LRI as the General, our chosen hospital, was full. By the time we got to the birthing suite, the contractions were pretty intense. I tried to concentrate on the breathing, using the ball and standing positions and the midwife and my husband were really good telling me to control my breathing more (the breaths got a bit faster when I had a contraction!). I used paracetamol only during this stage and the massage stopped working as I felt a lot of pressure in my lower back that was made worse by the massage. The midwife said the baby was coming back to back hence the pressure. I did cry a few times saying ' I can't do this' and also apparently 'I just want my dog' and 'I want to go home now' (can't really remember those but my husband says I did). But by the time I asked for an epidural (I thought there was still loads to go and the pain was going to get much worse), the midwife said she could see the baby's head! I gave birth leaning over the raised back of the bed using a bit of gas and air. I only laid down twice throughout to be examined and really remembered what you said about contractions hurting more then as they were really bad when I was lying down. The breathing also came in handy when I was getting my stitches (this is when I used the most gas and air too).

If somebody had told me at the beginning of this pregnancy that I would be giving birth without an epidural or other significant pain relief, I would have laughed at them. I'm unsure if you remember that I was quite anxious when I first came to yoga as this was a baby conceived after many years of trying, 2 failed rounds of IVF and one miscarriage (the third round of IVF was the successful one). I can honestly say the yoga classes, relaxation and hypno birthing tracks I listened to made all the difference to the end of my pregnancy, birth and since then. Our little Ander is a pretty chilled baby and I am a more relaxed and patient mum than I thought I would be.

Thank you for all your tips in the classes, everything really did come in handy!

Cristina x