My Yogi Birth Story
Magic can be found in the most unexpected places …
Our birth story – how my mindset and yoga practice helped me have a badass birth, even when nothing went to plan!
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans“
I had a dream vision for Rei’s birth – don’t we all! I’d done a lot of hypnobirthing work, and I was clear on my labour dreamstate. I wanted a birth centre birth where I could be really active, spend lots of time in the birthing pool and refuse all interventions. I had this weird thing about inductions, and was adamant I wouldn’t ever agree to that. Luckily I was also very pragmatic and knew that I may have to throw it all out of the window. Our due date was the 13th July and I honestly couldn’t wait for the exhausting 3rd trimester to be over.
So when I found myself in obstetrics triage on the evening of the 11th July, I discovered pretty quickly that we were going to have to abandon all plans and just go with the flow. It turned out that my waters had partially broken 24 hours beforehand – in such a minor way that I hadn’t even realised that’s what had happened!
Because we’d hit the 24 hour mark, I was going to have to stay on the labour ward – and be induced!
I journaled at 3am on 12th July (not knowing it was less than 12 hours before she would arrive!). I remember starting to get contractions at this point, and I was pacing as quietly as I could around my hospital bed and trying not to wake anybody else on the ward!
I wrote :
I think I’m doing ok with my birth plan going out the window.
Obvs I’m sad I don’t get my birth centre labour.
And I’ll be sad if I don’t get to move around much because I’m on IV oxytocin.
But I’m going to make the best of it.
Which means feeling like I’m making the right calls,
And moving around and being active as much as I can,
And trusting this is the way it’s meant to be and that’s ok ?
Whatever the details, as long as I feel supported, respected and heard, and obvs we’re happy and healthy, what else is there? ☺️
Rei, I cannot wait to meet you!
It was one of those situations where everything in my birth vision had to change. But I still felt supported, listened to, and like a total badass! Rei’s arrival – and my initiation into motherhood along with it – is one of my proudest moments in life so far.
By 5am my contractions were coming pretty thick and fast. Mike had been called in and he joined me on the labour ward. The rest of my waters were broken, and we discovered meconium in them, so there was no question about induction at this point to avoid infection.
However, the first midwife didn’t set the oxytocin drip up properly. After 90 minutes, my main midwife found out that the drip wasn’t actually … dripping. By then it was 7:30am and I was 2cm dilated. I had some paracetamol at this point, but otherwise was just managing everything with breathwork.
After 2 hours of synthetic oxytocin coursing through my veins, my contractions were INTENSE! I had a morphine dose at this point which was horrible – I kept falling asleep between surges and felt really out of it. Moreover, Rei was getting distressed from the rapid acceleration of everything.
Vicky, my rockstar midwife, made the call to turn the oxytocin drip off (I found out later that thoughout the rest of my labour she basically fought off the doctors from intervening at all!) and checked my cervix while saying it probs wouldn’t have progressed much in just 2 hours.
That’s when we found out I was like 9-10cm dilated, Vicky could feel her head, and it wasn’t even midday!
Vicky and Mike were the best support team; encouraging me and telling me how much I was bossing it. I had a bizarrely nice transition where I actually had a 10 minute nap, then it was time to birth our baby girl.
Despite all the changes and intensity of the day, I was IN THE ZONE. I barely spoke, and just focused on breathing and feeling my way through everything.
The morphine had worn off long ago, and I was not on any pain meds by this point. I used my breath to slowly bring our baby girl earthside.
And – I literally breathed our daughter out.
I spent an hour helping Rei move down further with hypnobirthing-inspired “down breathing”. This helped her head move to about 5cm away from being out! Once her head started to crown it got so intense. Vicky coached me the whole way through, guiding me to push for 3 breaths with every surge.
I did a cheeky 4th push in one surge – and Rei was born before any of us expected it!
The past almost-3 months have been a deliciously intense whirlwind! Rei constantly amazes me with her big smiles, cute babbles – and how much she changes every single day.
I know that my birth wouldn’t have been such an empowering story if I hadn’t spent the past decade devoted to my mind and body. I am so grateful for my yoga practice for teaching me self-awareness and the ability to breathe through any situation.
I’m opening my diary to start working with a few new coaching clients. I coach by guiding you to find your own inner power, and helping you to transform your life inside and out. If you feel the call, you can learn more about my coaching offerings here.