I, Nicola, did a yoga teacher training a few years before I got pregnant, so I had some kind of a practice and was sure that I know how to breath. During the pregnancy of my first daughter I found some prenatal yoga which I attended sporadically here and then. I went to a birth preparation course with another 30 couples in the room, the place was huge, the midwifes informative but my focus dispersed. I was in my pregnancy joy and I didn’t think I need all this information. I thought I got this.Wishful thinking for when the day came. When my first contraction started, I jumped out of bed, it was 12 am and I just went to sleep. So, I went to the living room and was sitting on my yoga mat waiting for the contractions to come on stronger. In my imagination I was going to have my baby in the morning. More wishful thinking! When the contractions came on stronger, I suddenly forgot all about breathing and everything I thought I knew. And as the hours passed by it didn’t become easier. The labour was long and strenuous. I was tired, I was helpless, all I had was my midwifes in my home who supported me that everything is going normal. Sometimes it just takes longer I hear them saying. They took shifts, after 38 hours Maya was born, save and healthy and my husband and I were in heaven. My daughter was one year old and I decided to continue studying yoga as it was a good time to learn about how yoga can help in pregnancy and for birth. I learned about the “mistakes” I made. Basically, I allowed my body to go so tense that I had no chance to relax without any special tools. Yes, the midwife helped, but it was me who was not able to help myself through breathing, intention and movement. I did move yes, but instead of moving with the contraction I held them tight until they were gone, probably not all of them, but many of them. I might have prolonged my birth or not, we will never know, anyhow I felt totally overwhelmed. For this and many more reasons I recommend every couple to learn about birth, to practice for birth, to exercise during pregnancy, to get in touch with their breath, to learn to use the muscles which move the breath, to connect to yourself to your precious body and to your baby. And most of all focus! Stay in the zone. Don’t let the mind take over. Birth is an energetic experience, learn how to move with the energy! My second birth was much smoother, when the contractions hit I remembered what not to do. It wasn’t at all that super smooth either, but much better than in the first one.
What I tell couples is the role of the partner in labour. I want to give the guys something to do. I want them to feel part of the process, like my husband was, especially the second time around. He was always there, but then he was more confident which in turn helped him to connect to our second daughter much faster.There are many more stories you will hear when you come to my birth preparation class. I enjoy to share my experience with you, so you will not make the same mistakes.
Birth is so individual and in the end it’s about empowerment, if you are prepared you have your story in your hand, which is not always the way we want it, but at least we have the intention to have a desired outcome.