Heather’s Birth Story

All those squats and child’s poses prepped my legs for multiple hours of squatting. Thank you for that. And for being my calm space while pregnant. I will really miss your classes. Any chance you’re going to start a baby and me or postpartum class? I would pay!! I’m serious.

I had been to a few yoga classes here and there over the years, but nothing ever stuck. But once I found out I was pregnant I was committed to finding a practice that could help me build both physical and mental/emotional strength to get me through my pregnancy and labor. I was fortunate to have a relatively easy pregnancy without morning sickness, heartburn, or swelling. So even though I wasn’t dealing with any major pregnancy pains I still felt better after ever yoga sessions. I suffer from semi-annual bouts of sciatica so I was prepared to have to deal with back pain during pregnancy. Surprisingly, I never had any back pain during pregnancy, which is probably the longest I’ve gone without it in years! Thanks, yoga!

After yoga class – two days before my due date – I got home, and and 1.5 hours later my water broke! No contractions, so after staying home for 12h to wait for my labor to start naturally (to no avail) I went into hospital and after conferring with the midwife was started on pitocin at 8am; I was dilated 1cm. Induction was not what I was hoping for, but I trusted the midwife/nurse/doula team, and was hopeful that pitocin would be the only intervention I would have to have. I did have to have an IV, but with telemetry monitoring I was able to move around and even get in the tub if I wanted. I was pleased I could still have the active birth I had been hoping for. My partner and I played cards and talked excitedly as we waited for labor to begin. The nurse kept turning up the dosage every 30 mins and still no contractions, after several hours I began to get a little worried that pitocin wouldn’t be enough. At 1pm the nurse turned up the dosage again and within minutes contractions finally began.

My contractions began as mild cramping and got increasingly more intense. I tried the yoga ball, and various positions on the floor and the birth stool, but soon found out that I was most comfortable standing and rocking while holding onto the IV pole. I labored for an hour, mostly standing (just like Carol said, “you could be that woman that is only comfortable standing”, thank goodness for all our standing savasna practice!!). The contractions were painful, yet I was able to breathe through them and enjoy the resting periods in between. I remembered that more than pain they were “sensations” and that unlike most pain they were not a sign that something was wrong but rather that things were progressing as they should to bring me my baby. After only ONE hour (!), I could feel my body pushing. The midwife was surprised and questioned whether I could really be at that stage, and asked me what it felt like. I could only describe it as my body was pushing, and that there was nothing I could do to stop it. After the next contraction I got up on the bed and she checked and sure enough saw that I was complete! There was a huge flurry of the staff entering the room and getting things ready. I was on the bed on my hands and knees and just let my body continue to push. The staff just stood back and watched, encouraging me that I was doing everything right. After only 15minutes of pushing my son was born! The Midwife said it was the fastest first mama labor she had seen in her career.

I truly felt the power of my body during the whole process. Honestly I don’t even feel like I DID that much, but more that I just let my body do what it needed to, and all I had to do was trust in my body and not fight it. I had one small 1st degree laceration requiring a single stitch, which healed very quickly. My son was born with a cone shaped head that the midwife said indicated he was probably deep in position for quite a while. I really believe that I owe a lot of it to the body work we did in class, both in getting baby into the right position, giving me ideas of positions I could use while laboring, the ability to relax when I could (even while standing), and the confidence that my body was made to do this work.

It is a true gift that Carol offers these classes and the generosity of providing them for free, removes a barrier allowing ALL women to take advantage of them.

– Heather

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