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Yoga birth story, baby Aviana

I love hearing birth stories from our community, women who have attended yoga classes and learnt valuable tools to support their birth experience. This is such a lovely birth story!

"Just wanted to let you know that I had a baby girl on 16th February. She was a whopper, 8 pounds 8 ounces, who arrived via water birth with only gas and air!

As someone who always thought in the back of my mind that I'd probably end up having lots of pain relief during the birth, what actually transpired was a big surprise to me. I certainly did not expect to have a water birth with only gas and air for pain relief (hmm if you can call it that...I think it just helped to focus my breath more than anything). I've always had problems with anxiety so the pregnancy process in itself was a lesson in relaxing and 'going with the flow.' The techniques I learnt in your yoga sessions were so important in calming my mind down- just taking that time for myself and to connect with 'bump', learning different breathing techniques, paying attention to my body and what it was telling me. I also found value in focusing on the positive feelings you can gain when your body is experiencing pain/difficulty (i.e using it to feel empowered and strong when holding a tricky position for longer than you usually would). This was really useful during the birth...knowing that the intense feelings were my body doing something it was capable of.

I attended hypnobirthing sessions during pregnancy and this too helped me to feel as relaxed as possible when labour began. I had a sweep on the 14th but didn't realise it had worked until over 24 hours later when my contractions came on very quickly. I was so convinced the sweep hasn't worked that I was charging up hills and bouncing on my birthing ball to bring on labour (despite having period-style cramps and backache straight after...that's how relaxed I was! I didn't realise they were the initial slower contractions). Eventually the next evening I had a raspberry leaf tea and put on my hypnobirthing cd...for the first time I fell asleep listening to it and when I woke up at 6pm I was in full-blown labour. The contractions were coming every 5 minutes but I still didn't head to the hospital as I wanted to have a bath and make sure my dad had arrived in time to collect the dog...ridiculous when I look back! I managed to stay at home until past midnight (again, swaying on the birthing ball and plaiting my hair, of all things, to take my mind off it). This is when the breathing techniques were so valuable- I don't think I would've felt as in control or been able to stay at home for this long without them. I distinctly remember sitting in the bath repeating 'I have everything I need to birth my baby.' My pre-yoga, anxious self would've had a meltdown, I'm sure!

I used to worry about when I should go to the hospital but my body definitely told me when it was time. Although, when we did arrive no one realised how far along I was and I had to insist on being examined...they got a shock when I was almost 6cm dilated. I went straight into a birthing pool and once I was in there was no way I was getting out. My husband was in charge of setting up the LED candles, a diffuser we had from home and a hypnobirthing playlist that we'd used during pregnancy too. I can't tell you how useful these were in keeping the whole room calm. I would recommend anyone to use these tools. Because I was so far along most of the pain relief wasn't available to me...again, thank goodness for the breathing techniques! It was really useful that my partner knew about them too as he could remind me when it all got very intense. He was also great at feeding me jelly babies and flapjacks when my contractions slowed down due to me tiring (glad we packed them!). At one stage he was instructed to put on a special song to get the contractions coming again...I think he enjoyed having a job at this point!

I won't pretend that the final part was a breeze. Not everything went to plan and there were some complications once Aviana was born too. However, I'm so happy that we used hypnobirthing and the techniques you taught at the yoga classes. Without them I'm sure I would've panicked and made the birth a lot harder. It was great to go to the hospital feeling in control and knowing (even when the midwives didn't!) that this was was coming and I could do it!

So, thank you again for the part you played in my pregnancy and subsequently Aviana's birth. What you are teaching definitely works! "

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