At 3am on Friday I woke up knowing that contractions were starting, however they were still 10-15mins apart and knowing that this was still too far apart I left my hubby (daddy) sleeping and got some much needed sleep myself. At 7am I let Dal know and timed them again, they were still about 10-12mins apart. Knowing that we might get to see our Bub today, Dal just ducked into work to finish off a few things and then was back home at 10:30am.
I just rested and pottered around at home and by that stage contractions were then 7mins apart. I was due to get a scan as Bub hadn't grown much for the last 3 weeks so they wanted to check on his size. After talking to my midwife, we cancelled the appointment as there was not much point in getting the scan if we were going to see our man the same day. At 11:30am my waters broke, only showing as a small trickle. We waited a half an hour to confirm that it was in fact my waters, which it was☺️
After calling my midwife again we then finished packing the hospital bags. My second midwife (through the midwifery group practice program) was going to see me when I got there and Nic would come into take over at 6pm. By this stage the contractions were getting quite uncomfortable and I was really needing to focus on my breathing which made a big difference, along with my hubby massaging my lower back. At 1:15pm we left the house to travel the 30mins to the hospital. I was so keen to keep the contractions going so I keep focusing on my breathing, and made light of the situation by turning up the fun radio music.
Once arriving at the hospital carpark we took our time to walk the halls to the birthing suite. A beautiful volunteer offered to get me a wheelchair when she spotted me leaning on my hubby and focusing on breathing as we paused at each contraction, which were now 5mins apart. However knowing that walking helped to progress labour I was happy to take our time to get across the hospital.
Arriving at the birth suite we were met by my midwife Laura and got settled in our room... leaning on the bed during each contraction. Unfortunately the food that I had earlier that morning didn't stay in my tummy, so I needed to make several dashes to the toilet. I swapped between leaning on the bed, sitting on the birth ball and leaning on my hubby or Laura during each contraction.
Due to not having the last scan earlier that day meant that the doctors were keen for me to have the heart monitors on to keep an eye on bub's heart rate. This did make each contraction more uncomfortable as I had the straps wrapped around belly however shifting positions helped. We found when I was leaning forward that the monitors recorded both mine and Bubs heart rate together making it hard to tell if Bubs heart rate was low. Laura made more adjustments to make sure the monitors were sitting right.
When those positions didn't seem to be helping as much I tried sitting on the toilet for a bit, the change of position was good however each contraction was now very intense. Concentrating on breathing was all I could focus on. I jumped in the shower for a bit, however the contractions were definitely becoming closer together. After coming back into the room, my midwife checked me between the next contraction to find that I was fully dilated with I was thrilled about. It was only the first time she had checked me and with how intense the contractions had become, part of me was bracing myself to hear that I was only semi dilated...
The next part seem to go so quick. We tried a few different positions including rebozo in between the contractions. However no position that I had previously tried felt comfortable at this stage, I struggled to express anything at that point. It seemed like a short time after that when I feel a strong urge to push. Laura had started to fill the bath while I had been in the shower however it didn't fill up quick enough😉
Instinctively I got to my knees, concentrating all my focus on breathing and after a few more contractions Bub was almost out, after only 3 hours of active labour. As the monitors were recording our heart rate together again in the position I was in Laura let me know we might need to get Bub out soon incase his heart rate was low. The mummy instincts in me kicked in with a stronger push, instead of breathing him out more. However within seconds Liam had arrived and we were overwhelmed with joy as I held his tiny body to my chest. It was the most amazing experience of our lives.
Thanks so much again ☺️
I came to Tracey and her Calmbirth course in my fourth pregnancy and as a midwife. So as far as birthing goes, I know the drill but wanted to try something new! After 3 previous inductions where I did NOT feel in control and could not take my "midwife hat" off I felt I had not been able to say I enjoyed any of my births and I wanted my last baby to be different.
Ideally I wanted to avoid induction but also knew it was a high possibility for me and I wanted to learn ways in which to just 'BE' and let my body take over without overthinking it all (my biggest issue). I also had used pain relief (gas, morphine and epidural) for ALL of my first 3 and really loved the idea of not doing this 4th time around.
Fast forward to the birth of my final baby, my wee boy. Yes another induction, but NO pain relief apart from some gas, and a completely different birth. I focused NOT on the midwife side of things, I let my beautiful midwife do her thing while I just focused on my own body and my baby. The birth went super fast and pear shaped but in a space where I could have easily completely lost it - I held it together.
I trusted my midwife and medical team and I trusted my body and my baby. This can only come down to Tracey and her techniques. She instilled in me, more than ever before, that I COULD do it. Even knowing as a midwife how it all works (I see it every day), I had not been able to get to a point with my first 3 in where I could relax and let things happen. Thank you Tracey so much. My final birth was the one I was waiting for. My body did it and I was able to be in the moment and STOP thinking. I highly recommend this course to anyone! You will not be disappointed.
It all started late Saturday night the 20th of may. I had to get up yet again out of bed to go to the toilet and noticed my mucus plug had come away. It took a lot of self control not to wake my husband Andrew and tell him that the day of meeting our little bub was getting closer.
It took another 48hrs before around 11pm Monday night I had a small leaking of waters and contractions started. As the contractions were very far apart I went back to bed and was able to sleep between them. So by the morning of the 23rd Andrew and I were feeling quite refreshed and excited with anticipation for the day ahead. We were able to take our dog for a walk in the park as my contractions started to get closer together. Back at home, we listened to our favorite music and had clary sage in the diffuser. Just before midday with 3 contractions every 10 minutes we headed to the hospital.
Unfortunately contractions slowed on arrival at the hospital. Was not until 3pm with a change of midwife and advice to start walking that contractions picked back up again. Within an hour I hit the transition stage, not that I realised it at the time. I was ready to throw in the towel but Andrew managed to get me through each contraction at a time. The midwife at this stage started getting the bath ready and not a moment too soon as I had involuntary urges to bear down just before getting into the water.
Being in the water gave me a new sense of energy. I was able to completely relax into Andrews arms in between each contraction. The involuntary urge to push was the strongest sensation and overall it was the hardest I have ever worked in my life. As bub started to crown our Obstetrician arrived (who had been in Brisbane all day for a funeral and was still in her casual clothes). Five minutes later our beautiful baby rushed with one push into the water and was immediately placed on my chest. Andrew and I were in awe. It wasn't until a few minutes later that the midwife asked if we wanted to know the sex. We had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. George Alfred. 3.485kg and 53cm.
Our midwife respected our birth plan and Andrew ended up being my main support throughout the entire labour. While it was the hardest thing ever done. It was amazing. No tearing either! Even had the planned physiological third stage.
We are so happy. Thanks for all your support throughout the journey.
Helen, Andrew and George
Well our lil man arrived a couple of weeks early at 38 + 3 weeks all happy and healthy 😇😊 Beau William entered earthside on 12/6 @ 1.26pm, 2.975kg and 48cm long. I ended up having an all natural labor with thanks to the help of Calmbirth with the use of breath, positive mind and trusting my body and baby to do what it needed to do 😊
I birthed very similar to my first son with Beau turning posteriorly as he was coming down so lots of back pain labor but with thanks to Kirsten, hubby and midwives doing the acupressure points on my back it got me through. Lots of movement during labor which was great but I ended up having to get out of the bath as it was slowing things down and the last thing I thought I would give birth on but I had him on the birth stool!!
The experience this time was amazing and having the knowledge from Calmbirth gave us the confidence and trust to know what was happening each phase.
Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and knowledge to understand the birthing process.
Renee & Josh
I just wanted to thank you again for the Calmbirth classes.
We had a little girl, Agnes Lee on 24 May. While I didn't have the natural birth I had hoped for the classes provided me with the ability to stay (relatively) calm in the most overwhelming and stressful situation I've ever been in.
At my routine 38 week appointment my blood pressure and proteins in my urine saw me admitted to hospital and diagnosed with severe pre eclampsia. I was monitored overnight and induced the following morning. Just after lunch I was having regular contractions and in a good frame of mind focusing on a positive birth experience using what we had learned in Calmbirth.
Suddenly 9 people walk into my room with blood test results from that morning that indicated baby needed to be born now. Within 5 minutes I was being prepped for an emergency cesarean. It was unexpected, overwhelming and I honestly don't know how I would have coped in that situation without the preparation of Calmbirth. I used the breathing techniques the entire time.
I am so grateful that Calmbirth prepared me to be able to accept changing circumstances and remain calm throughout. I dont feel disappointed about the caesarean and intervention, I know that I had the birth that was right for me. At the end of the day it came down to keeping me and bub safe and embracing rather than resisting each change in circumstance. We have a gorgeous healthy little girl and that is all that matters.
Thank you again for everything.
Lisa & Brad
I was just shy of 35 weeks when I had some friends come stay for a weekend. I had a wonderful pregnancy and was feeling very healthy and not expecting labour at this stage.
At 5am on the 16th April I woke to my waters gushing. I called the hospital to let them know. After convincing the midwife that it was I fact undoubtedly my waters breaking, she told me to come straight in and bring my bags (which I had conveniently just finished packing a few days earlier).
I had to wake all our friends staying in our spare rooms to let them know we might not be there when they wake up! Once admitted, I was hooked up to monitors to check both heart beats. The on call obstetrician informed me that they would put me on be rest and have me induced on the Monday. However, my body had other plans. My contractions started by 10am and could not be mistaken for my regular Braxton hicks.
I danced my way through the first 10 hours of labour as, listening to Whitney Houston classics and using the fit ball as my contractions intensified. My husband Chuck was an amazing support making me laugh and giving me regular massages as my contractions got closer. I had two injections of steroids for the babies lungs as I was just short of 35 weeks.
By 8pm I tried having a shower but the vomiting started, which the midwife told me is a normal sign that things were starting to move quickly.
I was moved into birth suite by 10pm and by 11pm I decided to have the epidural. I was happy to prolong it as I preferred being able to move around during the active stages of labour. By 2am I was fully dilated and started the pushing stage shortly after. Both babies were very cooperative and were head down so I was able to attempt a natural delivery.
At 4.31am I gave birth to my first girl, Arinya (Rinnie/ Ari) Ocean who was 2175g and 45cm. Twin two had moved positions but my doctor and I had discussed the options prior. Twin two was still head down but facing head up. He understood a natural delivery was my preference. I had a minor cut to ensure there was no serious tears. 25mins later Tallulah (Lulu) Capri Christie was born at 4.56am 17th April at 2045g and 44cm. It was the most incredible experience holding my first born in my arms whilst pushing out my second baby.
So they are all the facts but they don't come close to describing the experience and feelings associated with my birth experience. I am so grateful for the for the amazing women I have met over the past few months, encouraging and empowering me to trust my body to do what it is built for. My labour was incredible and I felt calm and in control through the whole experience. I kept reminding myself to let go and trust that my body knows what to do. I had a smile on my face the whole time, breathing through each contraction, satisfied knowing every push brings me closer to my girls.
A big thank you to you for the amazing two day Calmbirth class. Having the knowledge about the stages of labour, allowed me to enter each stage relaxed and prepared. All of the techniques for breathing were excellent and came in handy especially for my final push- the doctor said to me the head was coming out and told me to stop pushing and Chuck shouted "hot chips!" And I straight away remembered how to breathe like I was blowing on hot chips! Chuck was calm and motivating throughout the experience and that's a credit to you for the priceless education you provided, ensuring he didn't freak out when seeing me in pain.
Thanks again for all your support!
My husband & I were fortunate enough to do Calmbirth with Tracey a couple of months ago. My contractions started 1am Tuesday 14th March & after a big team effort of the amazing midwives at Nambour Hospital including Tracey and my husband Jay we were so proud of ourselves being able to have a natural birth using gas for pain relief & the shower. Our bubba also managed to rotate from a posterior position. Willow Grace Fischer arrived on her due date Wednesday 15th March at 1.56am at Nambour Hospital weighing 7.2 pounds, 50cm, we are completely in love 😍
We wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to the wonderful Tracey for all your support with Calmbirth & your magic help on the day of our labour. I cried when you walked into our birthing suite from pure relief you were there, we know we wouldn't have been able to do it without your amazing Calmbirth course as well. I've learnt that believing in your body & having a supportive partner & birthing team is everything on the day of labour & Calmbirth prepared us so well for this life changing event. Oh and the breathing really was everything I just kept hearing Tracey's voice in my head. We will be recommending you to everyone Tracey, how lucky we have been to learn from you. Lots of love Kirsty, Jay & Willow
We are so pleased to announce the arrival of Theodore Andre Kriel, 2850gm, born 2/3/17 (37w)...... 4 hours after my calmbirth refresher!
My second pregnancy was quite different to the first. I was a busy fulltime working mum with an almost 2 year old. I struggled with morning sickness, fatigue and some episodes of low blood pressure. So this time I'd been relaxed (lazy) with my birth prep.
By 30w I'd done the occasional calmbirth meditation, a couple of Osteopath appointments (for optimal baby positioning and joint/muscle prep) and I'd just started my Accupuncture (recharge, positioning and plan for gradual induction Accupuncture at 37 w- as I did with my first baby). I became increasingly anxious about my lack of prep and phoned Tracey to organise a refresher. My anxiety about labour 2 crept up on me...... But as Tracey had pointed out- even though I'd had a beautiful 12 hr waterbirth first round- I'd been exposed to negative labour stories over the last 2 years which had worked their way into my subconscious.
I'd arrived at Tracey's on the morning of the 2/3 at 8am with what I described as 'warm up' surges. I explained that I was sure it was.just warming up and we began the course. Tracey was able to tailor the session to address my specific needs - labour stages, positioning, breathing and transition. I loved revisiting the breathing, the meditation and refreshing my knowledge of the hormones and the reminding myself of the deeply primal ("I can totally do this")experience of labour.
After the meditation practice I realised my warm up surges were getting longer and stronger. We had some lunch (although I couldn't really eat) and I felt the familiar 'space cadet' beautiful labour haze come over me. I decided I should head home and bath at 2pm.
By 330pm I'd arrived at hospital and had multiple offers of wheelchair when walking down the hospital corridor. Coincidentally the midwifery educator walked by and kindly insisted offered to walk us to birth suites saying "you're a woman who looks like she's going to have a baby any minute". This was this first time I realised that this really was about to happen ASAP- I felt a bit excited .... like I was in an episode of ER!
The midwife assessed me- 9cm dilated! I high fived myself and realised that nausea I felt in the car- was transition! I was feeling really positive.... we went to the bath where I laboured for a further 3 hours.
The 3 hours was hard work- I won't lie.... I had to squat, pelvic tilt, figure of 8 - in the bath. My membranes hadn't ruptured which was causing the delay. I found the breathing invaluable. I took myself to another place in my mind- visualising a holiday and relived details. I also repeated my mantra in my mind "my body knows how to calmly and safely deliver this perfectly healthy baby". I also began to talk out loud to the baby - which I hadn't done first time. It was so powerful. This time- the surges were intense but very manageable, I could keep my focus and picture my baby in my arms.
My wonderful midwife with my consent ruptured my membranes while I was in the bath and Theodore was born 9 mins later. He was alert, wide eyed and a fabulous 6lb.
I'd highly recommend a refresher to everyone- but don't leave it to the last minute like me. I'm so thankful to Tracey for 'getting me on the right page', reminding me that I can absolutely do this, and equipping me with the knowledge and beliefs to support me through now two beautiful waterbirths!
I've had a lot of people say to me "you're so lucky to have had 2 waterbirths". I have reflected a lot on this and I feel like it wasn't luck- my body took control and new just what to do.....
After completing our Calmbirth classes we felt so prepared and empowered to have a beautiful natural birth. We purchased battery powered candles, pure lavender oil, an excercise ball - everything we thought we needed to create a calm environment in the hospital. However because our baby came 5 weeks early we had nothing. Not even a hospital bag prepared.
Ironically, we were on the Gold Coast when my waters broke so we didn't even have our midwife who had followed us during birth in the MGP program at Nambour. All of this to say that we felt like we were so ready for our baby to come where we wanted, in the hospital we wanted with all the things we wanted in the room but everything was completely different when our baby decided to come.
So we were Christmas shopping at the Gold Coast at Robina town center on the 23rd while visiting my family for the night. At 6pm, Sam and I we were walking 2 trolleys full of presents out to the car. As we were walking past Woolworths I suddenly felt like I was peeing and I couldn't stop it so I ran to a bench close by and sat down. I had no idea what was happening. I was squeezing Sam's arm saying "Sam what's going on?!" And my waters just kept coming out, all over the floor around us. People were walking past wondering what was going on!
We called our midwife back in the Sunshine Coast, and Sam explained what was happening and she said to Sam "Ok Sam, it sounds like Sarah's waters have broken so I need you to get her to the hospital. And Sam look Sarah in the eyes and ask her to breath with you and remain calm". So Sam looked at me and told me we were going to the hospital but it's going to be ok and just keep breathing. My brother was shopping with us too so he got some paper towels to lay on the wheelchair that security brought over and to put on my seat in the car.
We first went to the closest hospital at Robina which didn't have a maternity ward so we had to go to the University Hospital in Southport which was another 20 minute drive. At this point I was not experiencing any contractions. I remember not being able to stop shaking in the car, but Sam and I just breathed together as much as possible so I could slow down my heart rate as I could feel myself becoming panicked.
Once we got to Southport hospital and we were in the maternity assessment unit, the midwives put monitoring machines on my tummy to measure our babies heart rate and my contractions. And that's when I felt the first contraction, once we were being assessed. At first all I felt was period cramping pain and I thought "Wow if that was a contraction that was easy!" And then I felt a much more intense cramping feeling, my body seemed to tense up immediately. Sam was right next to me and he looked me in the eyes and breathed with me, held my hand, kissed my lips and when I relaxed my body it actually felt manageable. Because I had the monitoring, I had to stay on my back at this point which was not ideal but I still tried rocking back and forth as much as possible. Then the midwife assessed me, I was already 3-4cm dilated so we walked down to our birthing suit.
Contractions were becoming a lot more intense, they offered me pain relief but we said we wanted to do this naturally as best we could. Once in the birthing suite I put on one of the robes as we had no other clothes to wear. Our midwife we met was actually amazing. We didn't go over our birth plan with her at all, all she knew is we wanted this to be natural and calm and she completely understood and respected our decisions. It was amazing because from all the information we received in Calmbirth classes I thought "how will we remember all of this?! I'll have to make up diagrams so we know how to position during a contraction, how to massage, how to breathe". But in that moment, it was like we just knew all of it. I was breathing with the long deep "oooh" sound during a contraction. Sam was standing with my hands around his neck during a contraction while I moved my hips from side to side. I was leaning over the bed but constantly moving. It was incredible. And Sam was rubbing my back, kissing me, loving me, encouraging me, using beautiful calm language and speaking in a quiet calm voice.
Everything he did kept me focused and in line. I could feel my primal instincts kick in and I just knew what to do all of a sudden. We knew each stage we were in. I got on the bed as contractions got more intense, I vomited a few times, once I missed the back and it got Sam’s feet but he didn't care. We put the back of the bed up so I could lean over it and be on all fours. Our midwife was sitting next to us on her computer barely saying anything, she just kept saying "just listen to your body just trust your body". I felt like I needed to poo and push so she came over and it was go time. I remained on all fours over the back of the bed, a second midwife came in and she also was so nice. Sam continued to be there so I could hold his arm while he kissed my forehead and my lips in between contractions and breathed with me.
I remember feeling that burning sensation and the midwife saying "I can see the head crowning" and I knew from Calmbirth that our babies head was coming out and back in preparing the area stretching it slowly but all of a sudden I felt an overwhelming fear, I wanted out. I started crying saying to Sam "I don't want to do this anymore". I remember he looked at me and smiled remembering that stage where the next step is where we meet our baby soon. And he said to me - "It's all good hunni, we are gonna meet our baby! You can do this, your body is designed for this, you're an amazing woman". And I felt empowered.
I remember a point where the midwife said - "Ok Sarah, in a second I'm gonna ask you not to push, we are just going to breath this baby out ok". When she told me not to push, everything in me wanted to push and Sam said "remember hot chips!" So he breathed with me those short quick breaths until that contraction finished. Suddenly the midwife said "ok on this next push, your going to meet your baby" so I pushed and I felt that relief once she was out.
Sam went down and called out "Sarah it's a girl!" I remained on all fours over the back of the bed and they gave me our baby under me and I turned over onto my back and held her on my chest. It was only 4 hours from my waters breaking at the shops to holding our baby on my chest. And it felt like it went so fast too. We had a completely natural birth with no pain relief and absolutely no tearing. We were blessed. We wanted to do delayed cord clamping but Harper (our new precious baby) had a slight grunt so she needed some oxygen. The paediatric doctors were right there in the room so they took her for only 10minutes and put her back on my chest where her grunt disappeared.
We stayed there on the bed with her on my chest for about half an hour and then they wrapped her up and gave her back with a beanie. Sam held her then. It was so so beautiful and even though nothing about it went to plan to begin with in what we thought we wanted, we wouldn't have had it any other way. We were able to recall what we had learnt, work with what we had and have an amazing beautiful birth with no fears, with all the best hormones and a great support team.
Thankyou so much Tracey for equipping us with everything we needed for a beautiful birth. We will definitely have more babies and I will recommend Calmbirth to everyone I know :)
Sarah & Sam
My partner Alex and I decided we wanted to do a birth class but something that was in line with my beliefs and thought process on what we wanted the labour and birth experience to feel like. My partner has two children already and had birth experiences that were not remembered in a positive or beautiful nature. The words he used to describe these births were what I had heard a million times before - painful, hectic, scary, intense. These were not words I wanted to remember our birth by.
Alex and I spent the day with Tracey taking part in the Calmbirth experience and I can not explain the sense of empowerment and knowledge we had by the time we had left that day. Alex felt so excited and confident in the role he was going to play. It feels nice for the birthing partner to know his or her role as you don't feel so helpless. I left Tracey after our session feeling calm and ready to bring my baby into this world.
For a first time mother about to embark on this journey , I was completely at peace and knew I had the skills and knowledge to help create the birth story I wanted.
You can not control so many things about labour and birth of baby, but you do have the power to take charge of your mind, thought process, breathing, understanding how it all works and why everything is happening. This made me feel very confident and at ease.
The day it all started for Alex and I, I had lost my mucus plug at 5am and instead of feeling like emergency we are going to have a baby, Alex and I were prepared and informed and knew this was a great sign but to just go about our day. Alex headed to work and I stayed in bed as the pre labour contractions started. I used the skills and breathing I had learnt from Tracey and continued to pre labour at home all day. In and out of the bath, over a fit ball, showers, eating regularly, reading our booklet we had from the class and knowing exactly what we were doing. Alex and I stayed at home until 8pm that night when my waters broke and I was no longer speaking and my energy had changed from chatting away to now I was in the zone to birth a baby.
Alex had everything ready, just as we had been advised, fuel in the car, bags packed, capsule installed, snacks just incase, phones charged - we were ready to go. It took him a while to get me down the stairs and into the car as I was having contractions very regularly lasting up to a minute and the icing on the cake - I had back labour, baby was posterior and I couldn't understand why it felt like my back was broken.
I was only able to be in one position and that was hands and knees my back was killing me but I kept myself calm and used my breathing to get me through every contraction. I am not going to lie , I was in a lot of pain, but not for a minute did I let my mind wander into negative thoughts or into fear - I stayed connected to my baby and I knew that all of this pain was going to result in this baby that I've wanted and waited for all of these months.
We arrived at the hospital at 8:45pm and the walk from the car park to the birth suite feels like it took an eternity, waters leaking, contractions so regularly I was only able to walk a little at a time, clenching onto Alex and the handrail, slow and steadily we made it.
We walked into birth suite and were greeted by my midwife and taken into our room. 3 hours of back labour, pushing, breathing, connecting to our baby, I did not speak, I stayed completely silent and all of the things I had learnt in our session with Tracey were running through my mind. Alex was by my side supporting me, and at 12:10am we had our beautiful 8.3 pound baby girl, without drugs, without intervention and she was healthy and beautiful and we were so proud of ourselves. We did it!! I'm a mum, I couldn't believe it. We did not know babies sex so a little girl was such a surprise and the most beautiful moment of my life.
I am so thankful for the preparation and the class with Tracey as I will always remember the birth of Autumn as a beautiful one.
Abagaile & Alex