My body started to tell me labour was beginning in the early hours of a Friday morning. It began with a dull ache in my back and what felt like period cramps. Thirty nine weeks pregnant and unsure as to whether or not this was ‘the real deal’, I continued on as normal in to Friday and Saturday - grounding myself in the present moment as the Opti-Mum course had encouraged … enjoying walking the dog, practicing yoga, preparing food, and soaking in the sunshine - all with a quiet hope that my babe was on the way.
By Saturday evening my back pain had intensified and so I began to slow down and turn inward … practicing some short meditation and regularly applying a wheat pack to my back. I suggested my fiancé, Tim, sleep in a separate room that night in case things continued to progress as he would need all of his energy in the morning!
1am on Sunday morning marked a real turning point when I began needing to be very focused and present to move through the discomfort. The anchoring techniques I had developed after the Opti-mum course really helped here; particularly grounding breath work and gentle movement. At 5am I decided to hop in the shower and prepare for the day; by this stage I was pretty confident my baby was making his/her journey earthside as the length, strength and frequency of my contractions increased. By the time Tim woke the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, so we decided to call our midwife, Sheena, and prepare to head to the birthing unit in the next few hours.
No sooner had we called my waters released with a gush and I felt a sudden urge to push … but both Tim and I were able to remain calm and centered as things intensified … remembering the importance of staying “in the Green” as Opti-Mum has taught us! Remembering, also, the impact environment can have, we closed the blinds, lit some candles, and put on the labour playlist that I had prepared. I focused intentionally on my breath whilst using my birth ball, as Tim quietly supported me and held the space.
Sheena arrived a couple of hours later with a calm and competent vibe and told us I was almost fully dilated! I certainly didn’t feel like getting in a car, so after a quick discussion we all agreed to stay put and have this baby at home. The decision felt so right and I felt 100% confident in my body’s ability - I was pumped!
Two hours later, with the sun softly peeking in through blinds, our beautiful baby girl entered this world. She did it so gracefully and so knowingly - leaving me in complete awe of the female body, birth, and my baby. I felt utter euphoria and immense love. After birthing the placenta and some checks by Sheena confirming I didn’t require any stitches, Tim and I were given space to marvel at the beauty of our baby; all in the peacefulness of our own home. By that evening Tim was outside cooking us dinner on the BBQ as I fed our baby girl on the couch and listened to birds outside. It was truly magical and I am deeply grateful for my experience.
Words gratefully received by Alex - Opti-mum Graduate