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
After 3 weeks of labour signs and already 5cm dilated I hit the 41 week mark and thought my baby was never going to come. The thought of an induction wasn't favourable and I was telling myself she was going to come on her own. That afternoon I was having contractions but they weren't painful or getting stronger so I tried not to get my hopes up and got on with my afternoon.
My husband suggested dropping our 3 year old at Poppy's for a sleepover just incase so we did.
At that stage I was having contractions every 7 minutes but they still felt mild.
At about 10:30pm I decided to give up and go to bed (we never usually have the bed to ourselves!).
1:45am I woke to a "clunk" feeling in my pelvis. My waters are going to go everywhere I thought. I slowly got out of bed - nothing. I walked to the bathroom and then the first one hit - a strong, intense contraction.
I quickly woke my husband and said this is it we need to get to the hospital now!
It took us 25 minutes to get there, the whole way I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing.
We arrived at hospital at 2:30am, contractions about 3 minutes apart, powerfully bringing our baby down.
When we got into the birthing suite I had a wireless CTG monitor attached and started swaying side to side and continued breathing with my husband by my side empowering and guiding me.
15 minutes later I started to get an intense pressure to push. It happened so quickly and my waters broke at 2:55pm but frighteningly they weren't the right colour. After 8 minutes of pushing and our little girl was born whilst I was standing up. Alyssia was born with an infection and meconium aspiration.
My husband cut her cord and she was put on oxygen immediately. 10 minutes later she was taken down to special care nursery.
We were definitely not expecting it but having such a calm & empowering birth made me stronger for the aftermath and hurdles we had to face with our daughter. At 12 hours old we finally got to have our first cuddle and she latched like a pro and made a quick and strong recovery.
I absolutely loved my calm birth experience especially since it was our second baby and the first labour was traumatic for both of us.
I can't wait to do it again!
Sara & Slade
After waiting a very long 7 days after our due date (by very long, I mean that everyday felt like a week… a little like a Christmas present staring at you when it was Christmas last week and you are still waiting to open it), my waters broke at 3:30am on Saturday the 21st of May. It wasn’t like the ‘flowing gush’ of water that you see on the movies these days that made me wonder if it was my waters that broke. With that being said, I went back to sleep and didn’t wake Justin.
On Saturday morning Justin took me for a walk to get things moving. We walked, skipped, danced and laughed around our neighbourhood. On our journey home, to our surprise, hundreds of bats living behind our street were going crazy around our house. As this was our first bub, Justin and I decided to go to the hospital just to check that it was my waters that broke, which it was. The midwife gave us two options… 1. I could get induced there on the spot, or 2. we could go home and wait. After already waiting a week over our due date, we decided to go home and let things happen naturally.
We drove home, and we were home for 45 minutes and the contractions started. We decided to labour in our bedroom for 3 hours waiting, as my contractions grew stronger and closer together. Our bedroom was filled with candles, our favourite music was playing and Justin was talking me through every contraction and putting me in and out of the shower when I felt like I needed it. When I knew my contractions hit two in ten minutes and I felt like I needed to be in hospital, we decided to leave. With every contraction over that 3-4 hour period of being at home and driving to the hospital, I focused on my breathing and listening to Justin talk me through them. After arriving at the hospital, I entered my birthing room that was dark and warm. It felt like my little cave that I didn’t want to leave.
At this stage, I was 3cm dilated. When the midwife told me this I didn’t lose hope or strength because Justin was there telling me it was okay and that I was beautiful and doing an amazing job. We laboured for another 4 hours in and out of the shower and on the fit ball until it was time to check again, and I was devastated when I had only dilated another 1cm. I looked at Justin and the tears rolled in. Again, he reminded me that what I was doing was bringing our baby closer to us and I couldn’t do anymore or anything differently. I reminded myself that this was up to my body and our baby girl. As my contractions grew stronger and more powerful, I made the decision to have gas to ‘tone down’ the overwhelming feeling of my contractions that were only felt in the front of my pelvic area. Although I had Justin supporting me, I was losing trust knowing I was only 4cm dilated and had to get to 10cm. The inner teacher in me kept telling myself… ‘how on earth am I not half way yet?’.
I knew that it was time for me and my body to have an epidural. Justin questioned many times ‘is this really what you want?’ as I was determined to accomplish this on my own. When I was about to ask Justin if we could just go home, my saviour, Tracey walked through the door smelling of peppermint and radiating with soft, calm vibes. I was so happy that she was there I think I cried. After having the epidural, it didn’t work. It only made my right knee numb… this called for a second administration. After this, my entire left leg went numb, but I could still feel my contractions building although the intensity wasn’t there anymore. I liked that I still felt a little in control.
I continued to work through the weaker contractions and was now dilated 8cm and had been in the hospital for 12 hours. We had finally entered the next stage of labour and I knew this because I was exhausted. I also knew that this is when I had to soon push this baby out. Only weeks ago I was told I had to have a caesarean, I needed to remind myself of how lucky I was to have a vaginal birth. After over an hour of contractions and pushing, my contractions started to slow down. This little girl was very content inside my belly and wasn’t just quite ready to enter the world. I was given a hormone drip to push my contractions along. I pushed for another hour, and had the Doctor tell me that we may need to get the vacuum if she isn’t coming out. Just then, with another push, Justin saw her head and started to cry with excitement. Tracey had me touch her head and continued to remind me of how close we were. This gave me some hidden power and motivation to build any last energy I had left to push again. Seeing your partner so overwhelmed, as they are encouraging you with every push, gave me the strength to push her out. With that last push, she moved over my tailbone and entered the world into her Father’s hands and bare chest.
And just like that, I had this little warm body on my chest searching for my nipple. I had tears rolling down my face as I looked at Justin and said ‘we did it’. This experience showed me how important it is to have an active partner at the birth encouraging you, reminding you of breathing techniques and telling you every second how amazing you are. There we were, the three of us together as if the moon, stars and sun all aligned and made a perfect moment that we will never, ever forget. At that moment, the one thing I did forget though, was all that came in those 15 hours beforehand after Luca was placed on my chest. I am forever grateful to our midwife, Tracey, who the universe was so lucky to give us.
Renee & Justin
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