I was in charge and felt empowered and strong
The Birth of James
The birth of my first son James 6 years ago in Belgium went well but it wasn’t at all what I had wished it to be. His due date had passed and the midwife starting to talk about induction. I tried different things to induce my labour naturally and it eventually started at almost 42 week, very slowly though. After a couple of nights of early labour on and off, the surges were starting to be regular and we decided to walk to the hospital. It was December and the walk took about 30 min, I had to stop at every surge and lean forward but I enjoyed the movement. When I got to the hospital, the midwife told me my cervix was already at 7cm and I was quite happy, but soon because I was very overdue they plugged me with monitoring and to artificial oxytocin hormones to speed up the labour (Pitocin) and the surges got immediately very intense, all I could do was focus on the pain, I tried the bath and various positions but I was very stressed and cold and was even shaking. After few hours my labour hadn’t progress but the pain was constant. I asked for an epidural as I was feeling depleted of my strengths and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to push. I had the anaesthesia and fell straight asleep, later the midwife walk me up and told me I was ready to push, I could still feel the surges but very mildly. James was born after 50min of pushing with the help of the midwife, a healthy and beautiful baby!
The birth of Benjamin
Four years later I was pregnant again but this time I was a trained and experienced prenatal yoga teacher and knew more about breathing, relaxing and labouring. We were living in London and I was happy to see that the birth centre was really on the same page with my birth plan. I chose to use hypnobirthing and attended the parent workshop with Katharine at the beginning of the 5th month. From then on I would go to sleep listening to the relaxation CD every night. It was wonderfully complementing my yoga practice and breathing techniques and I felt ready and eager to give birth for the second time. A couple of days before the 40th week, my waters broke but without any surges yet. I phoned the birth centre and they wanted to see me. After a short visit to reassure the midwives we went for a long walk with my husband and our son and had a spicy dinner out. In the night around 1am my labour started, the surges were only 10 minutes apart and I was relaxed and felt confortable enough to keep sleeping so I didn’t even told my husband and kept sleeping all night. In the early morning I told him that I was in labour and that it was time he took our son to our friends house as planned. He went but took his time remembering how long my first labour was. I took a shower and relaxed listening to the CD again, and then I felt 3 stronger surges and knew I needed to be at the birth centre soon. My husband came back and helped my to get into the taxi. I could only be on all 4 at the back breathing out deeply, I was feeling almost ready to push and slightly worried about getting there on time. When I got to the birth centre the pool was ready and the hot water felt wonderful, the midwife understood were I was and told me to do as I wished. I was in charge and felt empowered and strong. Benjamin was born after 20 min, in the water. I felt so good and proud of myself, I am grateful he had a calm, peaceful birth and I had the best experience of giving light. I wish every woman could experience that blissful empowerment in childbirth.