Birth Stories - Rhia Stanger

Birth story from Rhia Stanger

I just wanted to say Thank You for creating your course!

I did the online version as I live in a remote community 2hrs from the Wodonga maternity hospital. My first birth ended in a C-section at 38wks due to vasa previa and minor placenta previa. I was devastated and determined to have a natural birth for my 2nd however during an appointment with the hospital I was told that I would HAVE to book in for another C-section as my pregnancies were too close together (17 months between birth dates)!

 

It was the knowledge that I gained during the She Births® course that gave me the strength to make an informed decision and find myself another option.

 

I ended up searching for and paying top dollar for an Obstetrician that fully supported my VBAC. It meant traveling 4 hours to Canberra for appointments and I had to relocate at 37weeks to appease the ‘just in case factor’. It was well worth it in the end, my Obstetrician met me at the hospital when I arrived in labour, and basically acted in my defence when hospital policies were against me (eg. they refused me a fit ball, a bath, and tried to make me lay still on a bed to get readings from fetal monitor for over an hour). I called my OB and he ensured I got everything I needed. I was amazed that in my search for an Obstetrician that the person I found that fully supported me was a man (not that I’m a man hater, it’s just I felt like having an all woman entourage with the exception of my husband). My midwife was also male. It was funny, I laboured for all of International Women’s Day, surrounded by men and couldn’t have felt more supported.

My daughter Siobhan was born on March 9th 2018 at 3:30am, after a successful VBAC after 29hrs of labour, the gestation was 40wks and 3days. Again, hats off to my OB, there was no pressure from him to induce. Additionally throughout the pregnancy I was asked by my GP, ‘how long will he let you labour?’. This was an interesting concept, my natural thought was, ‘well how long is a piece of string’, you know, doesn’t it just take as long as it takes?… Anyway, the comment made me nervous so I called the OB, he said that it was an archaic attitude towards birth, that I would labour for as long as I needed to. It is so interesting what an impact an ‘off the cuff’ remark can have, which is what I believe you were getting at in the interview that was edited quite noticeably, everyone has an opinion about pregnancy and birth and they seem to want to share these for better or for worse. Unfortunately pessimistic comments often result in undermining the confidence a women has in herself.

So again, thank you!. . . Thank you for helping me to realise that I have a voice; I can ask questions and I will make my own decisions!

 

Kind regards

 

Rhia

Birth Story | The birth of Aiden – by Kim Campbell

This week’s beautiful birth story comes from Kim Campbell who completed our Online Course.

Our Online Course is becoming more and more popular, reaching more and more couples around the world, which is super exciting. Next week, we will have a special announcement about our brand NEW Online Course – stay tuned!

When preparing for birth it’s important to understand that we never really know where our journey will take us.

But every now and then, things unfold exactly as we had imagined.

Kim Campbell had one of these experiences and her  “empowering, phenomenal birth journey” is something to behold.

As she describes, the much-anticipated arrival of son, Aiden was just about perfect and exactly as she had envisioned.

‘I wanted to feel confident about birth’

After suffering four consecutive miscarriages, Kim said falling pregnant with Aiden was a time of great joy and anxiety in equal measure.

I wanted to do whatever I could to ensure the birth was not only successful, but also an empowering experience. With no family in Sydney and a husband that was working 16 hour days, 7 days a week, I felt the need to reach out and gather as much information and support as I could. I wanted to feel confident about the birth and be able to let go of any anxious thoughts,” said Kim.

Kim’s research led her to She Births online course, and held most appeal because she could fit the modules around her work and life.

“What I found most useful was the information on the specific hormones that were involved in the birthing journey. Knowing what was happening within by body during the last days of pregnancy, the birth, and postpartum helped me to understand and accept the mental, emotional and physical changes that I experienced,” said Kim.

The labour journey

Kim’s birth preparation involved lots of walking and daily yoga as well as plenty of fresh dates and raspberry leaf tea.

She carried Aiden for 40.5 weeks when after a stretch and sweep the nurse told her she was “already 3cm dilated.”

“The following day I started to feel light contractions that continued throughout the night and into the morning, which I was able to managed with the TENS machine supplied by my Doula,” said Kim.

The power of breath

Kim and her husband arrived at the hospital at midday, she found the breathing techniques the most empowering of all her birth tools.

“Not the shallow breaths you see in the movies, but long deep breaths. Counting the length of each contraction, knowing that by the 8th or 9th second it will all be over – I had my husband repeat the words “This too shall pass” which reassured me that it’s only temporary,” said Kim.

“Even the midwives were amazed at how I handled it and commented that I basically “breathed him out” and that I should “start teaching the hospital birthing classes”!”

A drug-free and very efficient labour

Once at the hospital, Kim’s labour lasted approximately four hours and was completely drug-free. She found the stage before transition the most challenging part.

I started to feel very weak and thoughts of possible complications came to mind. This was terrifying for me and I knew I had to change that train of thought. This was then followed by a rush of energy and the strength to push through,” she said.

‘It was just as I had envisioned’

Kim described her husband and doula as the “perfect team”when it came to labour support.

And when she was ready to push, Kim brought Aiden into the world in the squatting position.

“It was just as I had envisioned,” said Kim.  “We arrived at the RPA hospital at midday, he arrived at 4pm, and we were home in our own beds by 10pm the same day!”

A seamless recovery

Little Aiden had no problems breastfeeding and “latched on and started sucking” while the placenta was still intact.

Five weeks postpartum, buoyed by her wonderful birth experience Kim remains delighted by her new life as a mum.

“I’ve had enough energy to be venturing out and about since week one, showing the world our healthy little boy,” said Kim.

“I’ve been recommending She Births® to everyone who has asked about my birth, and will continue to recommend it to any new mama’s to be!”