We could never have anticipated how grateful we would be for having done the KGH weekend course. I went into labour three weeks early having travelled to home to Ireland for 24 hours for my mother in law’s funeral. For two people who were caught so off guard, with no hospital bag, belongings, and not in our own space, we ended up feeling very much in control of and confident enough to keep asking for what we needed to achieve the birth we had hoped for.
Everything we learned during the course, including the handbook and notes proved invaluable. What I valued so much was feeling so equipped with the information and knowledge to understand all of the different situations that could possibly unfold. Having this confidence when everything else had changed- place of birth, hospital, staff, even country meant that we could still keep asking for what we valued when it came to the birth of our daughter. We continually used the language we were taught and ended up having a completely natural birth, which was the most incredible and empowering experience.
Having our baby girl born on the same day as my husband’s mother’s funeral would have previously seemed like the end of the world. However the KGH course equipped us with the knowledge and skills to navigate the situation we were in and blessed us with a natural birth, with little to no physical discomfort afterwards.
This anecdote sums up everything this course does for couples – in the minutes before our daughter was born, my husband, still dressed in his funeral suit, heard the midwives say they were going to do an episiotomy. They arrived over with an instrument and said ‘we’re just going to make a little snip’.
He couldn’t remember what an episiotomy was but knew it was some intervention, so he said, ‘can you just wait and hold off a minute’. He then encouraged me to do one big push at the next contraction, and with that, our daughter was born. I have never felt so grateful and proud that he could be my spokesperson and look after me like that, at a point where I had lost any ability to think or talk and would have agreed to anything to get our baby out safely. The KGH way gave him the understanding of the essential role he played in our the birth and the confidence to keep talking to ensure mine and our baby’s best interests throughout the labour and birth. We will be forever grateful for what this course gave us!