Friday, 27 August 2010

Mothers Cuddle Brings Baby Back To Life

Amazing story about an Australian Mum who's body warmth and breast milk revived her premature twin boy whom the doctors had pronounced dead.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Rhiannon's birth Story

Congratulations to Rhiannon and Doug on the birth of Robert David McLean

Hi Patricia here is my birth story for you.

Started having regular contractions every 10 minutes from 23.30 20th Aug for five hours, breathed through them, then managed to get some sleep, waters broke at 8.15, forewaters only, some niggly contractions followed but not regular, sat on ball. Took some arnica and pulsatilla and mild contractions approx every 5 mins. Phoned BBC and were asked to come in as regular and waters broken, stayed in for an hour then sent home (4cm, thinning cervix and softened), contractions more intense but still 3-5 mins apart. Would have preferred to stay at home for a bit longer anyway so quite happy! Taken pulsatilla, caulophyllum and arnica, keeping moving, waters clear. Once home went on ball then into shower as contractions intensified, moving, hip circles, vocalising, contractions now 1-2 mins apart, lasting 1-1.5 min, rang bbc, closed so go into labour ward, got midwife we knew, walking from car park got things going after car journey. Contractions starting each min, intensified again, on all fours, leaning over chair, vocalising, using homeopathy kit, got to panicky point so used aconite, felt like transition so midwife asked for exam, agreed, only 6 cm, midwife estimated maybe another 8 hours before birth, tried some more felt starting to push, felt couldn't cope with that much pain, losing focus, on all fours crouched on floor, asked for pain relief, discussed with Doug, tried gas and air, couldn't breath/vocalise so stopped, asked for diamorphine, injection at 1755, was able to move to better position, kneeling on bed, gravity working, felt lucid and focus returned, pushed and felt I knew exactly what was happening, robert david mclean born at 1840. midwife said was a treat seeing normal birth!

Baby unwrapped cord from neck twice, passed through legs for me to hold skin to skin, cord left to stop on its own then clamped, I cut it as was short again. Had synometrin for placenta as started bleeding a lot. Breastfed while placenta being delivered.

I felt I made the right decisions for me to have a good birth experience. Couples workshop helped, Doug massaged my back throughout and breathed with me, knew the homeopathy kit and techniques, very lovely and supportive, stuck up for birth plan and helped me hang on without pain relief for as long as possible!

Baby was alert and responsive straight away, and fed well immediately.

Thank you so much, Rhiannon, Doug, Will and Robert

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Emma's Birth Story

Congratulations to Emma and Adam on the birth of their first baby Isaac: Here's their story:

I really wanted to thank you for every thing you did to help us

prepare ourselves for the birth of Isaac - it was an incredible and

joyful experience. Isaac is beautiful and very loving baby - and is

settling well into this world. He is now 5 days old and is feeding

well, sleeping in the day but still finds the idea of nightime a bit

alien but who can blame him! So... my birth story! It may seem quite

short as my labour cetainly was.

On Sunday at lunchtime I started to get some cramps, I had had quite a

few in the week before so was unsure if they were contractions, I also

had been trying to turn Isaac round, baby spinning website was great,

so I was unsure whether this may be a helping hand to get him to move.

However, I thought I would continue with the day and went to do the

weekly shop where the contractions became more noticeably in gaps of

about 5 minutes. Quite funny when I ran into so many people I know

asking me when the baby was due...soon I thought! Got home made

flapjacks and then a roast dinner.I then had a bit of a show with some

blood. By the time I was finishing food I had to stop what I was doing

during contractions and convinced myself this really was going to

happen. I rang Bracken and said i was fine but warned them I would be

in later. I couldn't eat much and got in the shower/bath and Adam made

sure last bits and pieces were ready. Contractions continued to get

stronger but remained 4-5 minutes apart from start to finish. I was

going to get out of the bath to see whether the contractions

escalated, they did! I was doing my stuff on the ball but by about 9 I

had a strong feeling of needing the loo but when in the bathroom

thought the loo is too small and got in the bath and my waters broke

in the most explosive style. We rang and warned bracken we were on

the way and got me into the car. I have to say this was a bit nerve

wracking bit for me getting to the hospital. The breathing techniques

we learnt had become so imbedded in my experience that despite the

pain, I seemed to know exctly what to do. I also appreciated the

vocalising experiences from the class as I am usually a bit self

concious but the noises flowed and allowed me to communicate with Adam

without having to engage in conversation. On arrival at 11pm l I met

the midwife Eleanor - she read my birthplan, asked me where I had been

introduced to active birthing and when I mentioned your name she said

she knew you and said to just follow what you had said, what I had

learnt and she made Adam and i feel empowerered and able to be fully

involved in the birth. She gave me an internal then asked if I wanted

to feel the baby's head! Birth imminent she filled the pool and I

crawled around on the floor and did a combination of deep and shallow

breathing and a hell of a lot of vocalising - although painful and

amazing and I have to say again a joyful experience. Once in the pool

I politely asked whether I could have my baby!! and Eleanor said yes.

She then sat in the corner and left me to it. I did know what to do,

when to relax and when to push. I found it so strange that I knew I

was ready as my mouth was wide open and my body was then doing the

pushing instinctively. His head came out and I was then elated and I

could feel him wriggling. He came out 'superman style' with one hand

out but I managed to avoid a tear. This stage took 20 minutes! Adam

picked him up and then Eleanor and another midwife helped hand him to

me and we had our first cuddle.He was born at 12.17am (1hour 17 mins

after our arrival!) They helped me out of the pool and put him on my

stomach and we helped him to my breast to feed. He latched on and I

looked at him - a truely wonderful experience. The placenta wasn't

rushing out so eleanor give it a gentle pull that initiated a

contraction that birthed the placenta. She put it in a bowl next to

Isaac.Adam later cut the cord. We were then left alone, brought tea

and toast. We were then asked if we wanted to stay in for the or go

home. We both decided immediately to go home. I had a bath and they

gave Issac a quick look over then we got dressed, put our unopen bags

in the car and took our little boy in the car and drove him home. The

whole birth was phenomenal and the most amazing time of my life -

thankyou so much for giving me the confidence to really experience his

birth and to for us to have such a fantantic time meeting my boy!

Friday, 13 August 2010

A Birth - Baby Ithan Saul Hancock

In his mothers words;

Ithan Saul Hancock 31st of July 2010

I woke up at 7 in the morning, despite having been up half the night with Rosa, my teethy two year old. I thought that I felt a tiny pop but thought I’d probably imagined it as Ithan wasn’t due for another 10 days.

 I tried to go back to sleep and drifted a bit but started to feel like the baby was poking me really low down and so decided to get up and make tea. When I got out of bed I noticed a small wet patch and started to wonder if baby might on his way.

I wrote my diary for a while wondering if it was really happening and cursing the fact that we had decided to start decorating the dining room the day before so the house was total chaos. Not the lovely clean tidy environment I’d imagined giving birth in at all!

By 8.30 the poking feelings had turned into definite period type cramps and I had to go to the loo for a huge pooh so I thought it really must be happening and I’d better wake Gareth up and tell him the baby was on his way. As things were still really quite mellow I didn’t feel any urgency as my labour with Rosa had been about 14 hours, the first 6 or so were fairly relaxed.

 However by halfway through Rosa’s breakfast I was starting to find it hard to concentrate and the contractions were definitely getting stronger. Gareth phoned the hospice, where we had arranged for Rosa to be while we had the baby and they were great and said they’d get her room ready, bring her straight in.

 I phoned the labour ward and had a chat with them and they said they’d find someone to come out . None of us thought there was any rush though as I could still concentrate enough to make sense during contractions.
 They said the midwife might be a while but that sounded fine as I thought it might give us some time to sort our chaos out.

 G whisked Rosa off and although she had been quite amused by the noises I was starting to make I was relieved as it meant I could fully concentrate on the physical and what was happening. I went and sat on the loo again and it all reached another level of intensity.
 I started sounding and it really helped my breathing and to focus on thinning and opening. I felt so much more aware of the process this time and of everything we had learnt both in the hypnobirthing and the active birth classes. Last time I felt like the hypnobirthing fed in and really helped but it was on a subconscious level. This time I felt I was consciously drawing from what I knew.

I decided to get in the bath. I thought it would help and if it slowed things down a bit it wouldn’t be a bad thing either. G came home as I was trying to run the bath and helped me into it. He then did a super human high speed hoover and tidy. I was feeling like everything was going on very low down and I was really starting to push.

Gareth had been timing my contractions and said that when he’d started they’d been 30 seconds long and three minutes apart and the gaps just got smaller everytime until there was barely a minute between them. I felt they were coming in waves the whole morning but the sets were definitely increasing and getting closer together. I was using the sounding more and more, I surprised myself by how loud I was, mostly using ooooh! and AAAAH! As my surges got deeper and intensified so did my voice. It really felt like I was using my voice to push and squeeze downwards.

G had to give me a lot of support to get out of the bath. I had to hang off him every time a contraction came and there wasn’t much time in between them. Eventually we made it into the sitting room. I felt so happy when I saw it, I think I hadn’t really been able to imagine giving birth in there as we had had to go to hospital at the crucial moment last time.
 Gareth had made it really lovely, or so it seemed to me. It was clean and uncluttered and everything was covered in throws and towels.

 I think my only moment of anxiety had been at the beginning when I realised it was really happening and the house was such a state. I couldn’t even really sit down anywhere let alone imagine giving birth. I felt huge relief and love for him. All of this in the blink of an eye between fast and furious surges.

I asked Gareth to sit on the sofa and I knelt on the floor resting on him in between and braced by him during contractions. By this point I was really roaring, proper effective pushing with my whole self. My voice was deep down roaring him out. I said to G at that point it felt fierce, I think that describes the physical sensations really well but I felt fierce too.

 I needed to sit back for a moment and I leant my back against the birthing ball while kneeling with my legs apart. This was really intense and when I put my hand down I could feel his head. It was amazing and so exciting. I wasn’t at all bothered that the midwife wouldn’t be there. I didn’t feel like I needed anyone else.

 I felt a bit stuck in that position so we went back to the sofa. From then it was maybe two or three more pushes and I felt his head be born, it was the most wonderful and satisfying feeling. In a strange moment of clarity I saw the midwifes car pull into the drive. Another push and he came out with a splash onto the floor, he started to cry straight away .

 Gareth got out from under me and picked him up in a towel. I was stretched forward, panting on the sofa, everything felt like it was in slow motion. G told me he was a boy and I kept saying hello baby without moving, he asked me if I wanted to hold him but I needed to just stay where I was for a moment.

The midwife knocked on the door and G shouted for her to come in. She came into the hall all of a bustle saying sorry she was late, traffic etc. and she came into the room and said oh my god you’ve delivered! It was perfect timing as far as I was concerned as she was able to do check him out and make sure my placenta came out completely, which it did without the need for the third stage injection.

Ithan and I had lovely naked cuddles for quite a while until the cord was cut after the pulsating had stopped. He didn’t feed straight away but nuzzled around lots and I felt elated and so very lucky. I had a tiny tear but it didn’t need stitches so by lunchtime the midwife had gone and we were eating scrambled eggs on toast and wondering if it had really happened!

Thank you so much for helping me to have an amazing birth experience. I will treasure the memories of Ithan’s arrival for ever. The classes empowered me and meant I felt confident and in control and was able to trust my body and my baby completely.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Callum's birth

Baby Callum arrived 1st June, so 11 days late. I’m sure the Clary sage and the reflexology points worked because as soon as my sister had finished massaging my feet the contractions were reasonably strong and regular! Thank you for your help and advice and I’m so glad I came to the classes it made a huge difference!

The birth went well, I started on Bracken and then got moved up to the labour ward as Callums heart beat was racing. After lying on my back for an hour with a monitor strapped nice and tight to my belly, they decided all was well and I got moved back to Bracken.

Things were going well until my waters broke and there was old meconium - which apparently is normal with an over due baby. The midwife on Bracken wasn’t happy so I was sent back up to labour ward. I was quite far on at this point so the move was not appreciated!

On labour ward they insisted on me lying on my back with the monitor strapped to my belly. They couldn’t get a good reading of the baby's heart rate so the strap was getting tighter and tighter! I requested to go on all 4s, but the midwife wasn’t convinced as they couldn’t get a reading with me on my back so thought they wouldn’t be able to get a reading on all 4s either.

At 9am it was shift change, so my 3rd midwife (not keen on 1st one, liked 2nd one and was concerned about who would be my 3rd midwife) Both of us were delighted when Eleanor walked in : )

Eleanor took off my monitor straight away got me off the bed and I gave birth on a birthing stool within the hour. Not the water birth I wanted, but it all worked out in the end. The breathing, the birthing positions and the couples workshop definitely enhanced our experience and gave both Robin and I the confidence we needed for an empowering birth. Thank you for your help advice and support throughout my pregnancy - I would definitely recommend active birth sessions to expectant mothers.

It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to doing it all again : )


Congratulations to Clare and Malcolm on the birth of Jasmine

Just to let you know how the birth went . . . . . .I spent as much

time at home as possible. We were the only ones in Bracken (luckily).

The midwife who I think you know - the one who is knowledgable about

aromatherepy - Jane was with us (along with a student) for

the first shift overnight and then Jill took over the following

morning with another student. Jane was more laid back and was fine

about me not wanting any internals etc but Jill was much more time

conscious and as soon as she came on shift basically said that she

accepted I didn't want to have an internal examination but that I

should know it was difficult for her to know at what stage I was at if

I didn't!! She also checked more frequently the baby's heart rate.

After being at Bracken from 11.30 pm on the Tuesday night at about 10

am on the Wednesday I had a really strong desire that I needed to empty

my bowels - I had already done this earlier on and felt that it was

probably what was holding things up. I went with Malcolm to use the

toilet (just off the room with the birthing pool) and after a while

Jill came into the birthing pool room and said that she was going to

deliver the baby and that she didn't mind where she did it - even if it

was in the toilet! I realised later of course that the desire to empty

my bowels was in fact the baby!?! The bean bag I had been using and

cushions were then brought into the pool room and Malcolm suggested

that I go in the pool for a while - they filled the pool up and I went

in. It felt lovely and in this position Jill was able to establish

that I was fully dilated. Unfortunately, I think the water meant my

contractions slowed down - I was in the pool for about 1 1/2 hours. I

got out and went back into the original room I had been in. Jill once

again expressed concern that she felt she really needed to do an

internal examination to see what was 'holding things up'. I agreed as

I was feeling very tired by this stage. She established that the

baby's head was slightly turned so we then tried squats and also used

the birthing chair. As things still did not progress we then

transferred to the room with the bed in it and I climbed on and put my

legs in the stirrups. I felt utterly exhausted at this stage but it

was not long until they could see the head. Jill encouraged me to use

the vocalising effort internally in order to help with the pushing. I

did this as much as possible and eventually birthed the head. I put my

hand down and could feel her head and a lot of hair and a mirror was

brought in so I could see her. It was incredible. One last effort and

she was born. We didn't know the sex but discovered together and were

delighted. Jasmine was placed straight on my chest as I had requested

in my birth plan and I felt really tearful and so happy.

I used my birth ball a lot and found the breathing techniques excellent and did lots of vocalising too!

Malcolm was a fantastic support. I spent a night in Bracken ward which

was really nice as there was only one other new mum on the ward so it

was really peaceful. We came home the following day.

It took me a couple of weeks to get to grips properly with

breastfeeding. I even went back into Bracken ward (when Jasmine was

about a week old) and Jane spent a couple of hours chatting to us and

giving me lots of encouragement (which is I think what I really needed)

and confirmed that I was feeding well and that Jasmine's latch was

fine. I am really pleased that I have perserved with it because it's

fine now.

I just want to say a massive thank you. I gained a great deal from

the Monday evening classes and really valued all your knowledge, advice

and input. I really feel that the birth experience I had was excellent

and I feel that is down in the main to the classes and your teaching.

Also, Malcolm and I really enjoyed the couple workshop in Exeter and feel that it prepared us well for the birth experience.

Jasmine is an absolute joy to have and we are over the moon.


Friday, 6 August 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

Its World Breast Feeding Week from the 1st to the 7th of August. You can follow the link to find out more, or on a personal level you can just celebrate your own breastfeeding journey/potential.