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Birth Stories
Welcome to our birth story page. Here I will be publishing the emails we have received from our new mums who have been to our Pregnancy yoga Classes.
Tanya & Alice
I was induced with the drip, so surprise surprise it didn't go according to our plan, but I have to say I am very proud as I did it all on just gas and air!
It was a very fast labour that took a lot of hard work by both me and my partner, but I concentrated on my out breath and was encouraged to do so by Woody, which I have to say was AMAZINGLY I think, the only way that I managed to get through it drug free!












I have to say mooing is an understatment! I think the whole hospital must have heard me - but it helped me give birth (almost) completely naturally to our beautiful baby girl Alice.
It is all down to the yoga and you Paula, we both really can't thank you enough for your brilliant teachings and support that you have given us.
Please tell the girls to ALL go to the partner classes as they are just invaluble, and to listen to you - you really are right!!!
Paula, THANK YOU from all three of us.
From a very happy Tanya, Woody and Alice!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Francesca & Camilla
Wednesday (9th of March) I started loosing the plug. On Thursday morning (10th of March) I went to Serenity since my discharge was becoming more liquid than jelly. They checked me and found that the baby was lying on the right side, I was only 1 cm dilated, but mostly that and baby's head was only a little bit engaged, which they said was unusual for 40+3, and gave me a sweep. I started immediately having contractions very far apart but strong enough to feel them and to wake me up at night. On Friday they picked up more frequently and by Friday evening I was having them every 7 minutes and pretty strong. I called my doula, she stayed for the whole night at home with us, and around 7am (on Saturday), after a night in labour and regular contractions every 4 minutes we decided to go to Serenity again.
They checked me and found that again I was only 1 cm dilated but my cervix had started to efface. They sent us home. I got so discouraged that I cried for almost 2 hours, I was very tired for the 2 days and 2 nights without sleep...I honestly thought I could not make it and started thinking to volunteer for induction.
Saturday was tough since I kept on having contractions but was scared that they were ineffective. By Saturday night things picked up again (contractions every 4 minutes lasting around a minute) and I felt I could not cope anymore. I called back Serenity and asked for help (I might have sounded pretty desperate). They told me to go in. They checked me and I was 3 cm dilated, my cervix had effaced and baby's head was finally engaged. Baby spine had also started moving from right to left (finally some good news). They suggested that, if I could cope, I'd go back home for some more hours and then go back in the morning for admission. I did, even though I was exhausted.
Sunday morning at 7 am I went back in (At that point I gave up the TENS machine which was not effective anymore). I was 4 cm dilated. Contractions were slowing down a bit but lasting longer and they finally admitted me in the birth center. Around 10 am I was 5 cm and declared in establish labour. At that point, I had been breathing through every single contractions for 3 days and the pain relief that it provides is amazing. At 10.45 am my water broke and I had mecomium in it and started having fever. They gave me some paracetamol and gave me 1 hour to lower my temperature and go to 6 cm, otherwise I would have had to go to labour ward.
At that point, if it was not for Marco's and my doula's support, I would have probably given up. I tried to remain calm and accept every contractions breathing and making low sounds.
At 11.45 my temperature was low enough, I got to 6 cm and they filled the pool.
That was the best part of all. I was able to relax and cope better. After almost 1 hour, I felt the pain changing and I had the urge to push at the peak of each contraction. Also, I went into transition for a while. At 2 o'clock the urge to push became overwhelming, and I started pushing and breathing her out. The midwifes were great at helping me through the pushing stage and thanks to them I did not tear even though Camilla was 8.5 pounds. I am not sure why I did not ask for G&A before, but when they offered it to me I felt so close to pushing stage that I declined it (insane, now that I think about it)
I had skin to skin and delivered the placenta naturally after 30 minutes.
Then I fainted and was not able to sit up straight without fainting for several hours.
They kept me in for the night because of low BP, but we went home yesterday (Monday) and now are adjusting to the new life. Camilla is beautiful, and had being strong through such a long journey. I am breastfeeding at the moment and will see how that goes.

I heard Paula's voice through the whole labour telling me to breath and then relax and I kept saying to myself "one contraction closer to meeting my baby". Thank you! I would not have made it without your help.

Lynne & Ivy
I just want to let you all know about the birth of our daughter, Ivy Maya Molina. She was born Sunday 20th March 2011, 8 days past her due date at 4.40pm and weighed 7lbs 13oz (3.555kg)

















It all started Saturday 19th March at about 5am. I woke up with pains in my stomach, like contractions. They were fairly regular about 10 mintues apart. We contacted mum and asked if she would look after Eddy for the day so she came around and picked him up at about 9am. At around 10am Saturday I noticed that the contractions had fizzled out, which was a bit of a shock and unnerving as this never happened when I had Eddy. I had some pineapple and went for a walk to try to get things going again, which seemed to work as around 5pm I discovered I had a show. The contractions started to come on again gradually, and about 2/3am in the morning of Sunday they were 4/5 mins apart and 30-45 seconds long. I called the birth centre and they said to wait until the contractions were lasting a minute and 3 mins apart before coming in. They continued in the same vain all morning and called the birth centre at about 12pm - and asked if i could go in to be examined. I explained I was prepared to go home if neccessary, but I wanted to know how far long I was - more for my own piece of mind as this labour was turning out to be so different to my first. The birth centre were fine with this, I arrived at 1pm only to be told there was no space in the birth centre so if I was well on my way I would have to go the delivery suite... I was examined in triage and found to be 1.5cm dilated (which was pretty disappointing!) The midwife offered me a sweep which I decided to go for, and then I was told I could wait in the waiting room in the birth centre to see if it had been effective or go home. We decided to wait, and it was a good thing we did as my contractions became much more convincing and regular within about 10 minutes. We were them told that a room had become available and luckily it was a room that adjoined the birth pool. From this point onwards things really hurtled along, they filled the pool for me at about 3.30pm, they didn't both checking to see how dilated I was at this point as Fiona my midwife told me that she could tell I was ready from the sounds I was making!!!! (mooing). Getting into the pool was such an amazing feeling, very soothing and calming, I could also use the gas and air in the pool. The baby was monitored in the pool and I was always told everything was fine, which helped to reassure me that things were going well. I was told to tell the midwife when I felt the urge to push and when I did, she helped me to slowly push my baby out, which was great as it helped me feel a bit more in control and meant I only needed two little stitches (the water birth helped with this too). I think the pushing stage only lasted a few minutes, and Ivy was placed on my chest in the water. The cord was left intact until it had stopped pulsating and I had a natural 3rd stage, all what I had asked for from my birth plan. I stayed in overnight so I could get Ivy checked in the morning and left hospital and was back home to see Eddy Monday evening.

So considering the slow start to my labour, it all ended up to be very quick, from 1.5 cm to Ivy on my chest in 4.5 hours!

Finally, just to say, there was a point during the whole experience when I suddenly felt very out of control and that the pain was too much, I was sort of on a tipping point, and then, automatically, my brain told me to "focus on the out breath" and the feeling of panic just sort of passed. It amazing how much I retained from the yoga classes and could access without really having to "think" about it. I think I used alot of the active birth techniques, positions etc and I know they helped alot.

Good Luck with the classes and to every one in them with there birth experiences.
Lots of Love Lynne and Ivy X

Simone & Toto
Weds 30th March:

5pm:I took a very much needed late afternoon nap - the last of 3 during the pregnancy, during which I felt a couple of contractions.
6.30pm: I felt really refreshed and went down for dinner with Mike and wee Jeremy.
No more contractions, but I started to feel emotional.
Mike started putting Jeremy to bed and at 7.45pm I went to kiss him goodnight - I was quite tearful...as I felt it was all going to happen but you just never know how things pan out (for baby & mother).
Jeremy kissed my eye lids and said "mummy, you won't feel any pain when you see the baby's face!". He sang me 'Puff the Magic Dragon'...and this all made me more emotional...
8.30pm - 10.30pm: I sat in a nice hot bubbly bath while my hubby Mike read me some of Private Eye mag, we chatted, i soaked and breathed and the contractions came on more and more. Mike timed their frequency. I gauged their intensity and was calm, happy & restful.
11pm - he called Triage to put them on notice.
11.30pm - the TENS Machine went on. I again found it so effective!
11.45pm we called Jeremy's Godma get ready to be picked up to look after Jeremy. For energy - I ate a banana a smoothie & half a sandwich.
12.15am, called Birth Centre - Mike told them the frequency and duration of the contractions and that we would keep them updated as I was dealing well through just breathing, rotations ( with Mike as support), resting & TENS Machine.
1am: contractions were full on and every couple minutes. Mike called birth centre to update them.
1.55am: We felt it was time to go in: into the car, I leant on the back seat, breathing through each contraction,eyes closed, relieved and feeling great once each one was over, and with Mike giving me positive comments during & after each :)
2.05am: arrived at Birth centre - contractions now every minute or so and 60s -90secs each. Straight into the same room where we were 4 years ago with Jeremy! This felt like a time trip!
Mike asked for the hammock, dimmed the lights & set up our ipod - playing all our favourite classical music for the birth :)
An examination showed I was 4cm, .."but going on 8cm", dilated already ( ie Cervix was very 'loose') and a massive bag of waters.
Midwife said "If you stand against the hammock, I am sure the baby's head will press against the bag of waters and you will be ready to push..." I am not sure i believed it/her, as Jeremy to 12 hours still to deliver when I was at 7cm ...
2.35am: I took my first gulp of Gas/Air.
Well, into the hammock I leant and during a violin piece I was singing along to, there was an almighty crash! My Waters had gone!
So, straight to the Birth Pool we went. I felt exhilarated.
The warmth of the water was welcome and reassuring. Things had happened so fast that Mike didn't even have his swimming shorts on to join me (as with Jeremy).
But after just a few minutes, baby's heart rate had dropped, so I got out of the Pool.
Then from 2.54am I just had to push!
When Mike said "the delivery pack is open and the blue gloves are coming out"..I couldn't quite believe it but Baby "Toto" was about to arrive.
Through 4-6 well-managed contractions and the important words "USE the contraction", baby's head arrived and I could touch his wee hair!
3.24am and baby was out: The chord had been wrapped 3 times round his neck, so the midwife spun him and he was straight to my chest to feed. JUST PERFECTION! Not one tear, no stitches, hardly any blood loss!
I never thought I'd say the birth could be sensational and exhilarating but that's how it was :))
I can't say enough how awesome the use of breathing, rotations, positions, resting in between and all that I have learnt in classes was. As well as the superb support and involvement again of my husband Mike.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for all that you taught me and all your encouragement and support Paula!
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Ciarah & Annabel
It started on Tuesday evening, when I was having mild contractions - I actually wasn't even sure they were the real thing as they were very manageable! I remembered your advise and went to bed just in case it was the real thing! I woke up at 3am and my contractions had started, at this point they were about every 7 minutes - I was coping quite well and on all fours circling and then getting into my resting position. By 5pm I had a show and the contractions were now every 5 minutes and were lasting for about a minute, I went to the toilet and I had a bit of bleeding, so I phoned the birth centre and said I needed to come in and also that I was concerned about the blood. They advised me to go to triage as I had been bleeding and ten once they'd checked everything was ok, I would get taken around to the birth centre.














The second I got off the phone my waters broke and suddenly the contractions were every minute and unbelievably intense! It took me nearly an hour to get into the car as literally every time I tried to stand up another contraction came on and I had to get back onto all fours as it was the only way I could handle them! I think I could have done with going to the hospital a little earlier, but the contractions just intensified so quickly that there just wasn't time!

I eventually arrived at the hospital at 6:30am and was taken straight to be examined, where I was told I was full dilated! They opened the delivery pack straight away and I was told that there wasn't time to go to the birth centre and I couldn't go into the birth pool - so my birth plan was quickly going out of the window, other than the act I'd had no pain relief and I was still keen to not have anything. I started pushing straight away, but after an hour and a half she wasn't moving and I was starting to struggle, I got into every possible position and kept moving around but then her heart beat started to drop when the contractions were coming. I had to have an internal examination and I was told that she had her head twisted around and they needed to intervene and prep me for theatre - they said they would try to use forceps, but if that didn't work they would need to push her back up and do a C Section. So unfortunately I was taken to theatre and they had to give me a spinal block - it took them ages to get the spinal block in as my contractions were still coming so fast - in the end they had to do it while I was having a contraction - which was very scary. Anyway once that was in, they used the forceps and within 5 minutes Annabel had entered the world!! She was born at 9:50am weighing 6lbs exactly.

Although the birth was nothing like I had planned, I was really glad I had stayed at home for so long and I managed nearly all of it without any pain relief up until I abosluely had to have something and I know that without the yoga classes I wouldnt have been able to handle the contractions for so long at home. The out breath and resting position and circling kept me in control and happy that I could cope. The partners class was also brilliant for Stuart, as he kept me active and was really good at teling the midwifes what I wanted.

Thank you for all of your help, advise and support - it made everything much easier and less scary!

I also saw Andrea in the hospital with her baby girl who is just gorgeous!!

See you soon,

Ciarah.x


Katie & Theo
Hope you're well and had a lovely Christmas. I thought I would email through my birth story, which although didn't go quite to plan, resulted in the most amazing gift in the world, our little boy Theo. He weighed 8lb 1oz and is totally incredible!

On Monday 3rd January, 7 days overdue, I had a sweep and my midwife said I was already 2cm dilated so things were pretty close. In the afternoon I went for some labour inducing reflexology which was relaxing and lovely and must have done the trick as at 7am on Tuesday morning I went into labour at home. My contractions were pretty intense straight away so I put on my tens machine which I loved and my wonderful community midwife, who I have seen all through my pregnancy, arrived a little later. After a few more contractions she examined me and immediately called for another midwife as I was 9 cm dilated. I had only been in active labour for 4 hours. The contractions were totally bearable and both midwifes were really impressed with how I moved and breathed with them. I used everything I have learnt with you and I felt totally relaxed at home so didn't need any pain relief (other than tens machine which was great)
















I started pushing at 11am and we all thought Theo would arrive at by lunchtime in the serenity of my bedroom at home but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be as when I was examined next, we realised he had meconium in his waters so we had to be transferred to the delivery suite. The ambulance got us there fairly quickly and both midwifes came with us. When we got there a 3rd midwife welcomed me and was so lovely, apologising for me having to come in! I was hanging of the end of the bed at this stage squatting and pushing but did feel very safe until I had to be examined again. I found being on my back very hard but they adjusted things so I could sit as upright as possible and put me in stirrups which were surprisingly comfy! Unfortunately Theo was a little bigger than any of us had anticipated (too many chocolate hobnobs!) and was stuck. At this point my husband counted 9 people in the room helping us! After an injection to help me, they tried with a ventouse to help him out but this didn't work and his heartbeat dropped so out came the forceps and Theo entered the world at 1.12pm. He was a little bruised but everything was fine and I hadn't had to have an epidural which I really hadn't wanted. The whole experience was extremely positive. The staff at BWH were amazing and I even had a joke with the consultant who did my episiotomy to keep it neat! All in all, my labour lasted only 6 hours and I would do it again!!

We're home and very happy, overwhelmed and slightly tired!! Thank you again for everything you taught me. I genuinely believe it made the difference to what was a very positive experience. I am very happy to bring him along to meet one of the groups if this would be convenient and have attached a photo of him in the meantime.

Katie

Clare, Flo & Lola
My twins, Flo & Lola, were born Sat 12.02.11 & are absolutely perfect!
Basically I was offered a sweep on Thurs 10.02.11 by my consultant when I was 37+2 on the basis that NICE are changing the guidelines so that MC/DA twins should be induced by 37 weeks. When she did the sweep she found that I was already 2cm dilated so booked me in for induction on Sat 12th but we all expected that I'd go into labour beforehand. She agreed that I wouldn't need any drugs for the induction, that they'd be fine to break my waters as I was already dilating.
Early hours of the morning on Friday I was woken by regular Braxton Hicks contractions, & really thought they'd develop into actual contractions but when I got up on Friday everything seemed to stop (regardless of me necking raspberry leaf tea & caulophyllum continually & going for 3 walks???)
Friday night we dropped Boo (our elder daughter) over to the friends who were looking after her for us as we were expecting to go into the hospital at 8am Sat morning. We ended up spending the evening with them & again I started having regular (every 4 or 5 mins) BHs from about 9pm.
Following the instructions of my consultant I rang the hospital & told them that although I wasn't in any pain, no broken waters etc I was having regular BHs so they told me to go i
n. After monitoring the babies they ended up sending me home at 3am (aarrrgghh!) because I wasn't in labour & they didn't have the resources to break my waters. So home we went...















When I rang in at 8am Sat I was told not to go in until 11am. When I got there I was told they wouldn't be able to do anything for a few hours. The first midwife who was looking after us was lovely - really knowledgeable & I felt that she listened to me. Can't say the same for the doctors though - they were really dismissive of my birth plan & said that I should have an epidural as twin 2 was breech & I wouldn't be able to handle them manipulating her position after twin 1 was born without it. Well this was the first time anyone's ever said that to me so I just reiterated that I wouldn't want an epidural unless it was for a c-section. The doc said that there wouldn't be enough time for that & I'd therefore need a general anaesthetic if it came to it, so we left it as that. It was really clear that the medical staff weren't interested in me having the active labour & birth I wanted with pain management controlled by hypnotherapy/relaxation & instead wanted it to be completely medicalised.
At 1:15pm there was a staff change over. The new midwife was introduced & whilst she was friendly she seemed really hesitant & hadn't heard of natal hynotherapy, which made me a
little nervous? When I asked her if she'd delivered many twins (just making conversation!) she said no & she also said she didn't feel comfortable breaking my waters since it was twins so the first midwife stayed on shift longer & did it for me at about 3pm (at which point I was 3cm dilated)
The doctors agreed that they'd let me go for 2 hours after breaking the waters before they'd want to start administering drugs to bring on the contractions, but I really didn't want any drugs at all. Not much happened for the first hour but then the contractions started sporadically from about 4pm. At about 4:30 I put on my TENS machine as they were getting quite regular & strong, I stood next to the bed & if I'm honest the constant monitoring of both girls was a bit of a bind as it meant I couldn't move far, but I appreciate they needed to keep an eye on how they were both doing. The midwife did very little to support me - offered no words of encouragement or whatever & instead spent her time bringing in equipment etc & sort of dithering?! Ollie timed my contractions & said they were every 2 mins & lasted anything from 1-1.5mins.
At nearly 5pm I wanted to get on the bed, I knelt at one end with my hands on the backrest & with one push delivered twin 1's head. To say the midwife panicked is a HUGE understatement! She told Ollie to call for help - not knowing what this involved, he hit some kind of emergency button & in ran about 10 people!
Another push & Flo entered the world at 17:02, weighing 5lb 2oz. Ollie got to cut the cord (although there was no time to wait for it to stop pulsating) & she cried straight away. I'm told they confirmed all was well with her & she was passed to Ollie.
In the meantime the doctors were having problems getting the scanner working & just kept telling me I couldn't push (not so easy when your body's making the decisions!) When they got it working initially they thought that twin 2 had turned & was head down so a number of people disappeared (including a paedtrician who said the canteen was shutting & she wanted a sandwich!) but then the doc changed her mind & said that twin 2 was bottom first & that I should be moved to theatre.
Coincidentally I said I needed to push - they said no but it was too late. Ollie tells me that he then thought I'd had some sort of prolapse as a huge bubble appeared, that the doctor looked like she was going to push back up?! Only then they realised it had a pair of legs in it - basically I'd delivered the sac, waters, baby & all! Another push & out came Lola's head - she had the cord wrapped round her neck once, but apparently the doctor just hooked her finger through it to lift it over her head as she flew out. She was born at 17:13 & weighed a healthy 5lb 1oz.
Both girls got 9 & 9 for their APGAR assessments, and the entire experience had lasted just over 2 hours, although only an hour of activity, and the only pain relief I used was a TENS machine, complimented with the skills Id learned at Pregnancy Yoga & Natal Hypnotherapy. I had a 2nd degree tear (probably on account of 2nd stage labour being just a couple of pushes) and I used gas & air when they stitched me. Actually scratch that, I got off my head on gas & air when they stitched me!!!
The girls are just incredible & I feel so, so proud of myself. I can't believe we could have created such a perfect little pair. Both breastfed immediately & we were discharged at lunchtime the following day. Our eldest, although only 19mths herself has been great & shows real concern if one of the twins cries. It's really cute.

Jane & James
I am very pleased to let you know that James Philip Astle was born on Tuesday 22 February at 6.05am. When I stood up at the end of the class I felt a little damp and when I got home I checked and my waters had gone. We went to hospital and got checked out, but with no contractions came home. My contractions started at 11.30pm and I put my tens machine on about 12.30am and left my husband in bed to get some sleep.














By 3.00am my contractions were getting closer together and more painful so I woke my husband up and we called my in laws to come and stay with Ethan. By the time we were sorted and dressed it was just before 5.00am I was wanting to push. I think my husband was a little worried we wouldn't make the hospital, but we did and James came not long after we got there. There was no time for any pain relief even gas and air so all done using the tens machine and breathing. We were offered that we could be discharged straight from the birth centre and could keep the room until we were ready to go home, which in my view preferable to going to the ward so came home at 1.00pm the same day.

Thanks for the classes and I definitely used the techniques from the practice contractions we did.

Jane