Max’s Birth – Dad talked me through the contractions

We wanted to let you know that I gave birth to our baby boy Max on 9 April. He was born at 11.20am after a strong 9 hours of labour. We arrived at the hospital at 9.30am when I was 9cm dilated and had a water birth at the birthing centre with no medical intervention. He weighed in at 4kg and 55cm long.

The She Births® visualisations, yoga poses and breathing techniques were invaluable. I also used a TENS machine for 5 hours of the labour which was great. Adam was blown away by the birth and was really actively involved. We were so grateful She Births® gave us the confidence and skills for him to do that.

Before I went to She Births® I had started to become anxious about all the things I didn’t know about the birth and what to expect. I felt like I didn’t know where to start with finding out more. By giving me practical but insightful information and relaxing techniques, She Births® gave me the confidence to believe that my birth was going to be one I could prepare for mentally and physically and ultimately a beautiful experience.

I had practiced the visualisations using the She Births® meditation tracks for the two months leading up to my birth. I was unsure whether I’d be calm enough to use them in reality during labour but they were helpful to focus my mind on what was to come and for relaxation especially in the final weeks.

During the birth the visualisations became invaluable – I ended up visualising swimming laps of an ocean pool for each contraction, which I didn’t expect (I think because I swam on the morning I went into labour). Combined with the deep breathing techniques, the visualisations helped me focus inwards through each contraction. Practicing beforehand meant that the breathing and meditation became a tool I could draw upon very easily during labour.

I had planned to use a fit ball to do stretches and active movements during labour, which I found very helpful to ease back pain during the final weeks of my pregnancy. But at the last minute I used a TENS machine which had also been mentioned during She Births®. I was skeptical about how useful it would be but started using it during pre labour pains the day before my birth. I lay in bed with the TENS machine attached to my back for 5 hours after contractions started at 2am slowly increasing the intensity. It ended up being one of the most effective tools for me to help me focus during pre labour and early contractions.

The best outcome from the She Births® course was how engaged my husband felt with the pregnancy and birth afterwards. The birth went from an experience I needed to go through to an experience that we could go through together. Adam helped with massage and acupressure in the final weeks of my pregnancy using techniques learned during She Births®. During labour once at the birthing centre, Adam kneeled for 2 hours next to the bath while I leant on him and he talked me through the contractions. Using information from She Births®, he knew what to expect and enjoyed parts of the birth he wasn’t sure about before – like seeing our baby’s head crown and cutting the cord. I really felt like we had both been fully engaged with the birth and delivered our little one together as a team. Thank you so much for introducing and guiding me to a calm and beautiful birth.

Bryony, Adam and Max xx