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The Babies!

Zachary Amos

8.2 pounds. 57cm. 30th November 2015

Photo by Lauren McKinnon.

My husband, Nick, and I both chose to do the calm birth course in my second pregnancy. My first birth was an arduous labour with a decent amount of intervention. I found it somewhat traumatic afterwards and knew that to be able to go through labour and birth again I wanted more skills and options up my sleeve to help me with whatever may happen again. Calm birth was perfect.

There was a lot of informative content covered that was easy to understand and helpful in getting to know the whole process of labour and birth. The most helpful tool I found was the breathing techniques that could be applied to any situation where the pressure is on. Cherie was an excellent facilitator and encouraged discussion which I found the best way to learn. She was great at helping the group to understand the material and sensitive and engaging where appropriate.

The morning of the 30th November 2015 my waters broke at 4am. Things quickly built from there. I thought I would have a slow progression into things and have the morning to potter and prepare as contractions may build. But this did not happen. By 7am I was on all fours or leaning over the couch concentrating solely on the contractions. I had a moment of tears as Hudson’s labour and birth came flooding back. The intensity of the contractions reminded me of what I had gone through not even 2 years previously. I had forgotten the strength of them. They were all-consuming. Nick spoke to me encouragingly and reminded me of the breathing patterns and deep breaths to do that I learnt from calmbirth. It helped. It calmed me down and helped me focus.

We were soon in the car and heading to the birth centre. For the first couple of hours at the birth centre I was in the bath with the shower head on my back. It was amazing. As I was nearing the end of my time in the pool the contractions were hardcore. I had some freak out/fear moments and my midwife and Nick both encouraged me to breathe. Again the techniques I had learnt calmed me down, focussed me and gave me what I needed in that moment to centre again.

I couldn’t handle being in the bath more than a couple of hours. So by 10am I think I was wanting out. I was assisted out of the bath and slowly made my way to a bedroom. I settled in at the end of the bed leaning over it and also used an ottoman and small mattress. I used lots of active techniques to bring bub down and out. I was well and truly bringing Zachary down and pushing. It was incredibly hard work. I don’t think I could think of anything else in my life that compares to the work that is involved in birth. It blew my mind. It was painful, but also strong and hard. The rest periods were calm. I worked hard pushing for a couple of hours and had many moments of wanting to just stop and go to bed. I wanted out. During the contractions I would be resting and breathing gently. Then through contractions and pushing I was applying the long, numerical breathing technique. It helped Im sure of it. I had minimal room to panic and had something to concentrate on that Im sure helped me birth Zac. He entered earthside at 12:45pm on Monday the 30th November. I was partly in shock at what I had just done and was mesmerised with my beautiful son, Zachary. He had arrived and it was a brilliant moment. I had birthed him naturally and he was healthy, strong and beautiful.

After having some time with him and doing the routine checks I then went over to the hospital for some more checks and then to theatre due to tearing. During this whole process the calm birth breathing techniques came in very handy also. It was painful being assessed by the doctors before the decision was made to go to theatre. It was also nerve wracking and uncomfortable spending two and half hours in theatre being repaired. I used the calm birth breathing techniques through all of this and, again, it helped me be in a more calm, relaxed and focussed state. I believe it also helped ease the pain.

I would definitely recommend the calm birth course. I found the tools and knowledge learnt invaluable for the journey of labour and birth. I believe they can also be implemented in other moments of stress or intensity in life as I have done so.

Thanks Cherie for your passion and work in delivering calm birth classes to those keen to educate themselves further on the journey of labour and birth. So that they may have some more tools and knowledge in contributing to having a more peaceful birth, whatever the process.

Eve Olivia

Born January 11th, 7 pound 13 ounces, 51cm
After a completely normal pregnancy I started developing epigastric pain at 37+5.  Initially I brushed this off as pre-labour symptoms and used my Calmbirth techniques to cope when the pain was bad.  After a few days I realised that it was a little unusual and arrived at the labour ward to be assessed.  It turned out I had severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome which came on very suddenly, which had caused problems with my liver and low platelets.  As such I was induced at 38+2.
The induction initially started with my waters being broken and a syntocinon drip being commenced.  After 3-4 hours of active later there was still minimal dilation and at this stage I asked for an epidural as I was beginning to tire from the stronger contractions.  Unfortunately my platelets were too low to have an epidural and whilst decisions were being made there was 3 hours where I could not have any pain relief at all.  This was the point where I used the Calmbirth principles to cope with the strong contractions (which became ‘syntocinon only’ contractions with no uterine activity).  As there was still no further dilation after 6 hours of active labour, I underwent emergency caeserean under general anaesthetic.
Calmbirth helped us stay calm in the face of adversity and we approached some very difficult decisions with complete peace.  Despite the fact I had the most ‘unnatural’ birth possible, I felt it was still a rewarding experience as Eve was very healthy when she was born and we made the right decisions at the right time.  I think Calmbirth helped me put my emotions aside and focus on the task at hand.
Eve is 6 weeks old now and thriving.  We still use the Calmbirth principles during the dreaded ‘arsenic hour’!
Sam and Matt

Luca James

Calmbirth –

Luca James born January 13th,  7 pound 12 and 53cm.

It was not at all what I had hoped for in my birthing experience unfortunately, but that’s just that way things go sometimes. I was induced on the night of my due date (due to high blood pressure throughout my pregnancy they didn’t want me to go past my due date), they broke my waters the next morning. Nothing was happening naturally so they started me on they syntocinon drip. After about 6 hours of mild contractions strapped to the bed things became a bit more intense and painful and my blood pressure went really high. Each time I had a contraction babies heart rate dropped a bit. I had the epidural to lower my blood pressure and after that everything stopped, no more contractions and I only dilated to 4cm. Babies heart rate was back to normal and he was happy.

We then decided to have a c section rather than waiting it out to see if anything progressed on its own as the drip was at its highest dose and we waited a few hours and nothing was happening. At 10.17pm Luca was born. It was a long and scary day but all worth it in the end.

I would definitely say the Calmbirth classes helped with breathing through the pain and having lots on knowledge on hand for all scenarios.

He is 2 weeks old now and doing really well. He is definitely a calm baby and we are trying hard to be calm parents 🙂

Charlotte.

Lucella Grace

Calmbirth  –

After a straightforward and natural birth with our firstborn, we were looking forward to the birth of our second baby with excitement and anticipation. Cherie was starting out as a Calmbirth practitioner and approached us to ask if were interested in completing the course with her. Life was busy with work and a toddler and I wasn’t getting as much time to focus and prepare for the birth as I did with our first so we thought it would be a good opportunity to help us prepare and get “in the zone”.

Our baby was 9 days overdue and I was wanting to avoid any intervention, however after a brief scare the day before I was becoming anxious and wanted to meet her. After negotiating with the doctors, they let me go home from the hospital at 9pm after they had given me some of the gel to get things happening. After getting home at 9:15pm and sitting down to a cup of tea before bed, I felt the first contraction at 9:32pm. They were mild but regular for the first 45 mins and by about 10:15pm I knew it was time to focus and to put into practice what we had learnt. We left home for the hospital at 1:40am and by 3:09am on Thursday the 16th April 2015, Lucella Grace Taylor entered the world weighing 3.85kg after another straightforward and calm labour.

We both found Calmbirth to be really helpful – the breathing techniques were especially useful both before and during the birth (I even used them for intense leg cramps during the night in the late stages of pregnancy!!) I strongly believe in mental preparation before childbirth and believe that Calmbirth encourages the use of various strategies during labour. We also found it helpful to understand the way childbirth has been designed and to have the knowledge and confidence to trust my body through the process. Cherie is wonderful and has such a beautiful passion for childbirth. Her calming, welcoming and relaxed nature was so refreshing and the course helps equip and prepare you for however your story may unfold. We would definitely recommend Cherie as a Calmbirth practitioner if you are hoping for a positive birth experience.

Joel & Marissa

Flynn Andrew

Calmbirth –

The best thing about doing the calm birth classes was that it gave me confidence that my body knew how to birth naturally and also a completely positive attitude towards labour and birth.

Flynn Andrew, born at 2:10am 18th October weighing 8pound1ounce after a 20hr labour.

Laura.

Oliver Daniel

Calmbirth –

Reflecting back, Calmbirth was not just a technique we learned but an education in birth in general and something to use for the rest of our lives in every day scenarios.

The mind is a powerful tool.  The human body is a marvel.  Trust it!

I encourage everyone to become empowered.  I am very blessed to of had the opportunity to cross paths with Cherie and discover Calmbirth and all that it entails.

I would highly recommend it to everyone bringing life into this world.

Oliver was born in May 2015 after 18 hours of long hard labour.  I ended up with an epidural which left me with some feeling so I was able to push him out myself, he was 9 pound.

I am at peace with my labour.  It was very different to my others.  Must have been due to it being a boy – what a surprise.

We used Calmbirth techniques for about 12 hours and found them very helpful, I wish I had known them for Poppi’s labour.

Thanks for being an important role in our birth.

Melanie