Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Rebecca gives birth to big baby number 3, Laurence

Hi Patricia, Sorry for very late update, life with 3 is flat out! Laurence is now 4 months. I was induced at 12 days overdue with a pessary. Between 6 hourly monitoring I went for lots of walks. The following day contractions started as I left the hospital for a walk at 9:30 in the morning, I very slowly walked down Barrack road with diminishing intervals needing to stop. Walked back to labour ward after an hour and delivered an hour later. He was as big as his brothers at 4.5 Kg. A very positive experience. I wasn't examined and found your advice of talking to your baby whilst in labour and imagining them going through their journey downward to delivery hugely helpful. A feeling that we were in it together was great. I vocalised a bit and stood up leaning over the bed with some rocking and circling of hips. In short the few classes I had managed to get to along with your evening recap really equipped me to have a very empowering experience. Thank you so much, Rebecca and Will x

Nora's second birth to baby Hanno LAurens

Hi Patricia George and I were delighted to welcome gorgeous little Hanno Laurens on 18th August at 11:10pm! Although he made us wait a few more days than expected, his arrival was a lot quicker than his big sister’s. I started having some contractions in the morning on the 18th and went into labour in the afternoon. We timed our trip to the hospital well and arrived at around 8:30pm when I was between 6-7cm and little Hanno arrived at 11:10pm. It didn’t feel like less hard work than first time round as the speed of the last three hours made it feel pretty relentless, but I managed to deliver with just the tens machine and all went very well. The low risk unit wasn’t open, but by the time I got to the hospital I no longer cared about where I was giving birth anyway. My midwife had some concern about the baby’s heart rate (which fortunately came to nothing), but it meant I had to be monitored and had to deliver on my side which wasn’t the most effective, but all in all things went very smoothly and we both fell in love with the little guy right away. We’re at home since Friday morning and are enjoying life as a ‘proper’ family – needless to say that Hanno is fitting right in and is getting spoilt by his big sister! We’d be happy to come by to tell our birth story anytime – I could either stop by with Hanno on my own or George & Elsa would be happy to come along but would have to be at the beginning of the class as 8:30 is getting a bit late for little Elsa… Off to stare some more at little Hanno J All the best, Nora

Sarah's Home birth to Redvers Frank

Hi there Patricia and Karin, Hope you are both well? Just wanted to let you know that we now have a little chap, Redvers Frank. Born at home on 9th August and a healthy 7lbs 7oz. The labour was incredible. What an experience for both Red and I! Contractions started the night before but I ignored and snoozed through as wasn't really sure whether it was the real thing. Planned long walks and flapjack making for latent labour but those plans went out the window as contractions came on pretty hard and fast as soon as I got up in the morning. Managed to let the chickens out and get in the washing, intermittently hanging off trees in the garden, before calling the midwife (with a little persuasion from Rob). 8cm dilated by the time she arrived late morning which was a surprise to me! In the birth pool for the afternoon which was very soothing though didn't deliver in there in the end as getting a little tired and contractions slowing. Little Redvers was born 'on dry land' just before 7pm. So pleased to have had him at home - fantastic midwives who just left us to it for the large part of the day. No drugs. Sort of forgot to ask, which must have meant I didn't need anyway. Managed to do it on Purdeys energy drinks (with Ginseng) and Sesame Snaps. Oh yes, and a massive breakfast! Everything has gone well over the past couple of weeks - all happy and healthy. Still finding our feet a little but enjoying every minute. I wanted to thank you both for everything you have passed onto me over the last few months and during the couples course. It gave me the confidence to make the decisions for myself and stick to my guns when others expressed doubt, particularly with the home birth. Also to know what was going on with my body so as to be prepared for the day. Many many thanks. With love, Sarah, Rob and Redvers xx

Jenni's 3rd birth to Leander weighing in at 9lb 8ozs

Hello Patricia,
Just thought I'd grab this rare quiet moment to let you know that I had little Leander on Friday night. I had a very weird stop-and-start labour since Thursday morning, and things finally got going properly on Friday afternoon. We went to the low risk birth unit at 5 pm in the afternoon and he finally arrived at 10.43 pm. I managed to have him naturally with just some entonox in the final stages. THe midwife was absolutely lovely and the whole experience was generally fabulous, with the exception of a tear. Hardly surprising though, given that the little lad was 9lbs8 and sucking his thumb as he went through the birth canal.
We're all doing well and went straight back home that night.
I'd love to come and share my story at some stage.
Thanks for many happy Wednesday evenings preparing for my latest arrival!
See you soon,
Jenni x

Nic's second Bracken birth to Ella Mae

Hi Patricia
You've probably already heard from some of the girls in Yoga that I gave birth to Ella Mae on 23rd July at 4.17. She weighed a healthy 7lb 9oz and the birth went really well; I managed without drugs although couldn't quite manage to give birth to the placenta naturally so had to have the injection for that. I was really lucky and managed to get into Braken and have Ella in the Water pool which really helped with the pain. Unfortunately Ella was born posterior which was very painful but it was quick at least, lasting only 3 hours 17 minutes!
I'd love to come in and tell my story, so just let me know when you would like me to come in.
Thanks for all your help again, your techniques were used throughout the pregnancy and birth.
Nic xxx

Juliet's birth to Harriet

Hi Patricia
Our baby girl Harriet was born on Wednesday morning. We had a wonderful water birth at the Low Risk Birth Unit with no pain relief required. My waters broke on Tuesday evening at 10 pm without any warning signs at all and 5 minutes later my contractions began. At 4.30am I found that they were becoming increasingly powerful and decided we should head to the hospital. When we got there one of the midwives took us straight through to one of the rooms in the birth unit and checked to see how dilated I was. I was 5cm so was able to get straight into the pool which felt so amazing. After that I completely lost track of time and just got really into the contractions. Each time I felt one coming I had this almost indescribable feeling of power. At no point did it feel like pain, it was just powerful. When the pushing urges came I realised I was making a lot of low moaning sounds and breathing really deeply and slowly, this seemed to come naturally. At 8.10am Harriet was born weighing 8lb 7oz and contrary to what I had heard about babies being calmer when born in water, she came out screaming! I held her for almost 15 minutes before I realised we hadn't checked the sex!
I would love to bring her in after a session in a couple of weeks time. I am positive that the active birth classes were the thing that made me feel relaxed about labour and instead of being aprehensive and tense I welcomed each contraction and it didn't even occur to me to ask for pain relief. I loved every minute of it :o)
Thank you for all of your help.
Juliet xx

Laura's home birth to Poppy

Hi Patricia,
Just thought i'd write to say thank you and let you know I had a baby girl - Poppy Elizabeth - at home on Saturday morning, 7lb 15oz. I was in labour for about 8 hours in total, but had been getting increasingly stronger Braxton Hicks and had a show last Tuesday so things were obviously getting moving. It was such an empowering experience, I loved every minute of it. Seems a bit of a blur now to be honest. I used lots of yoga and my birthing ball. At the last minute, I rented a tens mach ine which seemed to help with the very early contractions, and I tried some gas and air for a couple of contractions but actually found breathing through them and vocalising a lot more useful. I'm feeling really well in myself and starting to get the hang of breastfeeding, which was interrupted due to the below... Phil wants to say thank you as well, he was a brilliant birth partner and really appreciates the help you gave us.
I've attached a picture of Poppy for you to see...
Anyway, I hope you're well.
Love Laura

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Laura's birth to Mary Ann

Hi Patricia
I've not been attending the yoga class because my baby girl was born 3 weeks ago on Monday 6th June (her due date!). Unfortunately I didn't get the home birth I so badly wanted but we gave it a good shot, labour started slowly on Sunday morning at 5am with very mild irregular contractions, we had a really nice day at home using my breathing techniques and yoga positions, Phil had my birth plan and was a wonderful support. The midwife came out to us at about 1am and examined me and I was 7cm dilated.
I got into the birth pool about 1.30am, I'm not sure when second stage began but looking back I think I fought it for a while and I wish I had been examined again and encouraged to push because by the time I was pushing which I think was about 5am I was exhausted, the midwife encouraged me to feel for baby's head as I was pushing and as I did this I popped the membrane with my fingers! I got out of the pool and this is when things became too much for me, I couldn't get into any sensible position to push as I had shooting pains up my back and down my hips, baby was in a perfect position so we wonder if maybe the head was pressing on a nerve, and I was starting to worry for baby as time was getting on, an ambulance was called at about 8am and we were taken to Musgrove delivery ward, baby was born at 8.54am, Phil tells me it took 4 pushes once I was in there and she was born.
The midwife came out to check baby the following day and she said she was so impressed with the support Phil had given me, we told her about your couples course! It was definately because of your course that Phil was so relaxed and confident and I'm so glad we did it.
So, Mary Ann was born weighing 7lb 4oz, absolutely perfect without a blemish and completely unaware of the drama! She is beautiful and we're all very happy.
We are already planning number two for next year haha and I will be back to your class then! Please send my best wishes to everyone and if you still here from Elsa could you please give her my love I hope all is well with her little one, I have been thinking of them.

Laura x

Bryony's birth to Eliza Amelia

Hi Patricia
I am writing to let you and the class know that we had a little girl on Thursday - Eliza Amelia, born 6lb 10oz. She is doing just perfectly!
I would like to come and tell my birth story at some point, but here are the highlights! I began to have weak contractions 6am Wednesday morning, but carried on with things normally and they started coming every 5 mins or so in Sainsbury's that afternoon, when I thought I better head home! Throughout the aft and eve they began to come on more intensely and by 2am I was feeling that I needed to go in, but when I got to Bracken I was only 2-3cm and had to face the car journey home! We then went back in at about 7am, when the contractions were about every 2-3 mins and I was quite out of it as I had been very sick a number of times. I had an anti-sickness injection, which was a life saver! I then got in the pool at about 9am and Eliza was born at 11.34 - she fed within 10 minutes in the pool and again in the water after I had delivered the placenta - she has taken to breastfeeding just wonderfully and I feel very lucky. We stayed in Bracken until about 7pm that night. Labour was harder than I ever imagined, but I would do it again tomorrow!
Thank you very much for all your help and I will be in touch when we have a bit of a routine, but enjoying every minute at home at the moment.
Best wishes, Bryony


Hi Patricia,

I just wanted to let you know that I gave birth to our gorgoues little boy; Samuel Philip Marshall on Friday 24th June.

I was 13 days over my due date and had an induction booked for Saturday 25th. To my great delight I went into labour spontaneously in the early hours of Friday morning so avoided induction by hours!! I therefore was able to have the water birth at Bracken that I had really wanted. Eleanor was one of the midwives present for part of it too which was great.

I can honestly say that your yoga classes transformed both my view of the birth during my pregnancy and my experience of it. The breathing techniques were absolutely fantastic. I didn't take to the gas and air -(it made me sick) so I was completely dependent upon the breathing. So thank you very much.

I am now adjusting to the sleep deprivation and other joys of new motherhood, but my husband and I are completely be-sotted with Samuel and spend endless hours watching his funny little expressions.

i would be very happy to come in to give my birth story in a few weeks time if you would like me to,

Sarah Marshall

Monday, 9 May 2011

Hannah gives birth to Theo....

Hi Patricia
Hannah here from your Monday yoga class!!!
I have baby news!!
We had a baby boy on Good Friday (22nd April) at 4.03pm. We have called him Theo and he weighed 6lbs 7oz's ( 1lb heavier than Faith)
The labour was totally amazing and so different from my 1st. I was so frighten by my first as i felt totally under prepared with no coping strategies..
Again i had a very quick labour... that began with niggles on friday morning but we carried on as normal and went out for a family lunch as planned. During lunch the niggles turned into contractions approx every 10 mins and i could really feel them in my back. We stayed for lunch and i just breathed through them.
We left the pub at about 1.30 and took Faith to our friends house... where my Fiance decided to have a cuppa!!!! we left there at 2 again with contractions ten mins apart but i was coping totally fine with them. Once we got home i packed a bag and made the bed... as you do and called the hosp (Bracken) to let them know i was in labour but i was fine at home and would go in when i was ready. I was waiting for them to get closer together although they were lasting over a minute i though i should wait for them to get closer. I got to hospital at 3.15pm as 'something' felt different!!! They began running the pool and my contractions became alot closer together and the breathing became alot louder. At this point i did start to panic and had the felling of ' i cant do this anymore'!!! i was checked and was 8 cm and had gas and air for a few contractions while i waited for the pool. Both me and lee got in the pool and a soon as we got in i started to push! I was pushing for 10 mins (no time at all i know) but Faith was born in one push!!! The sensation in the pool was completely different to being flat on my back like the 1st time. My body did it all it was amazing .... The 3rd stage i found a little strange and was pleased when it was over as i then felt like i could relax! We went home at 7.30pm ....
It was a whirl wind but an amazing day that i could do again ... I am so much more positive about labour and birth this time and i cant thank you enough for all your help your a total star!!! i would love to come and show him off he is gorgeous!!! xxx

Fliss gives birth to her second baby girl

Hi Patricia

Our baby girl arrived on saturday's full moon at home in water, all went really well. Midwife arrived as she was being born! All very happy, just very sleep deprived! I used a lot of yoga moves in labour, especially bum circling and lots of vocalising and breathing well which all really helped...so thank you for some great classes! I am still doing yoga poses now to try and help my very sore bruised coxcyx and rear end!! Hope to catch up with you soon and have a chat...

love Fliss

Water Birth

Monday, 21 March 2011

Welcome, not so little Daisy!

Hi Patrica
Sorry it has taken me soo long to email. I just wanted to say thank you for the active birth sessions, they were brilliant and very helpful throughout my labour. I had a beautiful not soo little girl called Daisy weighing 10lbs 11.5ozs. I went into hospital fully dilated ready to push, but Daisy got quite stuck and had to be helped by forceps. I managed to do it without any pain relief apart from the homeopathic kit you supplied, and the spinal anaesthetic which I had to have for the forceps which was very last minute.

Thanks again for helping make it such a nice birthing experience.
Julia, Mike and Daisy Adams x

Sal's birth to Xavier

Hi Patricia,
Xavier Ren Freudenberg born half past midnight this morning. 8lb 5oz. He is lush :)
Induced last night with a pessary and sweep as combination of worrying factors (diabetes, too much fluid, baby's heartrate). Started up within couple of hours and built up quite quickly but manageably. Lovely active labour just using TENS. One 'sip' of gas and air in second stage but still didn't really like it. Lots of humming ;)
Was lucky enough to get Bracken midwife (male) Aki even though on labour ward. He was brilliant. Once fully dilated baby's heartrate dropped so had waters broken and he was literally out in 3 big pushes (under 5 minutes work!).
Will bring him in to yoga in a couple of weeks time.
Thanks for all your help and advice - particularly in getting him into a great position for birth :)

Sal x

Christell's birth to Jamie Liam

Hi Patricia,
Just to let you know- I had a wonderful birth on Friday. Jamie Liam was born at 5.35pm, weighing 8lb 4 and measuring 56cm long- which I've been told is very long for a baby!
I managed to spend the majority of the labour at home, which I found very relaxing. I spent early labour on the ball progressing to being on all fours and leaning on the sofa. I used the breathing techniques as well, and when the contractions got more intense and I started to loose my breathing technique Jon was fantastic and got me back on track. I found moving around between contraction sped up the labour and soon I was in the hospital pushing! Staff were amazing- ended up going to labour ward as bracken was closed. But I didn't take much notice of it really as i was ready to push and was focusing on that. On the late stages I was kneeling, but right at the end I decided to lie on the left for delivery. I have no idea why- it just felt right. Midwife and student midwife were truly brilliant- I hardly noticed them there. They looked at my birth notes and read how I didn't want to be coached and let me push. I didn't have any pain relief because I didn't feel the need and just focusing on breathing and using the positions from your class were soothing enough for me.
I did have a third degree tear- but it was worth it. It really was a tremendous experience and I can't thank you enough for all the advice and tips- I felt really in control of the experience and focused. I would do it again a million times for Jamie.
Jamie is doing well- breastfeeding has been going well.

Christell and Jamie x

Jake's early arrival

Hi Patricia
Just to let you know that that our baby boy has arrived two weeks early. Interestingly my waters went and contractions
started in the night after yoga! I had felt a very tight/hard bump that day but no other real indicatons I was aware of.
Bracken was closed due to no heating! I ended up on labour ward but I have give the staff I met credit as they were absolutely respectful of my birth plan and very encouraging. I managed with active birth, birthing pool, aromatherapy oils/massage, gas and air plus the wonderful support of my husband.
Jake Thomas Garnsworthy was born at 21:09 on Tuesday (22nd) weighing in at 7lb 9ozs. We are at home now and all doing well.
Thank you for your pregnancy yoga and active birth classes, they really helped me.
Best wishes

Rachel's home birth

Hi Patricia
Just to let you know that that I had a little boy on tuesday. The birth was
amazing, I had him at home after 6 hours in the birth pool. The midwives were
brilliant and I managed to have him with no pain releif. He was 8lb 9oz.
Unfortunatly though i had a 3rd degree tear and had to go into hospital
But i'm holding onto my positive birth experience and its all thanks to you :-)
thanks you so much. I'll come in in a couple of weeks to tell my birth story -
i'll keep you posted.

Take care, speak soon and thanks again Rachel xxxx

Jonty's birth

Hi Patricia

Hope all is well. Just a quick email to say that I did not come to Monday’s class because I had my little one on Friday. He is called Jonty James Holcroft and (as you said would be likely) was not on the worryingly small as possibly predicted! He was 6-14oz and is fabulous. Your breathing techniques really helped as I got to 7cm at home through breathing, using the ball and the exercises that you had taught us. Ironically, I went for my Bracken assessment on Thursday afternoon, as they now want you to have a detailed assessment to check your suitability for Bracken . I was in the early throws of labour and contracting while I was there but the midwife who assessed me put it down to practice contractions.

I loved the classes and the advice was really helpful. I also was sick only once thanks to the little pills you gave me. Thanks you so much and good luck to everyone else.

Love Tammy and Jonty

Tristran's arrival

Hi Patricia,
Just a quick note to say our lovely baby boy, Tristan arrived on the 19th. I am totally in love :-)
He was delivered by ventouse after a long labour and much to-ing and fro-ing between Honiton and Wonford but we are both doing well now and have bonded wonderfully. Breast feeding is also going well which is a relief.
Here's a pic of Tristan and his proud dad.
Mon xxXXXX

Monday, 14 February 2011

Introducing Niamh Eloise Graham

Weighing in at 8lb 8oz. Born 1st Feb at 3.06pm

Love Jane and Nick x

Wecome to Poppy Eloise, born in her caul!

Hi Patricia
Poppy Eloise was born on 1 February at 7.39 weighing 7lb 7oz. The labour was a very slow start and it took 30 hours to get to 4cm. I was having 3 contractions in 10 minutes and Bracken was busy so went straight to labour ward. There was no one on reception and we were messed around a bit and so everything stopped for a few hours. This was really a blessing in disguise because by the time I was 4-5cm Bracken was free. I went in the pool at 5.00am at 4-5cm and Poppy was born at 7.39am. The pool was amazing and I felt like a different person as soon as I got in the water. I had gas and air until I got the the final stage and then I had nothing. It was amazing how instinct took over and I said to the midwife "the baby is coming" flipped over (I was on my front in the water for the most part) and started to push. My waters had not broken when Poppy came out so the midwife broke my waters when she born. I then got out of the pool and lay on the massive bean bag with Poppy skin to skin on my chest. My midwife (Mandy) was amazing and understood the type of birth I wanted. The after care in Bracken was excellent and we were allowed to stay as long as we wanted. We stayed until about 5pm because I wanted to get a few feeds in before leaving. Breast feeding is going well and Poppy is back to her birth weight within a week.
Thank you for all of your help in the classes - had I not been I would never have thought of going for a water birth.

Karen's water birth to Elfie Joy

Dear Patricia
Elfie Joy was born on Thursday 6th January - she was 4 days overdue and weighed 7lb 11oz.
As predicted, my labour was short and this time without any intervention.
Elfie was born in the water at 10.39 am. I woke up at 6.30 am and was feeling a bit uncomfortable, was having regular, serious contractions by about 8.00 am, arrived in the labour ward in Exeter at about 10.00 and managed to get into the pool at about 10.35 having been examined and found to be fully dilated (really just in time!) - 3 good pushes and it was all done. I managed with breathing and my tens machine and did not require any stitches. We did request delayed cord clamping which was fine, I ended up not having a natural third stage as we were still waiting an hour after the birth and the midwife was keen to see the placenta so we went with the injection (after the threat of a catheter to empty my bladder!) I was discharged the same day.
All in all I could not have asked for a better birth experience and the water birth was lovely. I know that the yoga had a positive effect on the whole thing, particularly the breathing so thanks very much.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Maria's birth to Lauren/beating the system!

Hi Patricia
Just to let you know Lauren was born on 5th November.
We had a bit of a stressful week but in the end she came through!
I went into hospital on the 2nd to be induced after fending off medical intervention for a week. I was given a pessary on the 3rd which did nothing. Thursday evening I went over to the labour ward for my waters to be broken but my cervix had become unfavourable.
I was told that I needed to consider a c section or to try again tomorrow. I was also put on nil by mouth.
Decided to go for c section rather than to be pumped with drugs that I anticipated wouldn't work. I felt that with an elective section I had some control as opposed to 12 hours of induction that may may fail and result in an emergency section.
On Friday, the c section list was busy and it wasn't sure if I would get a slot, though I was still nil by mouth. At 2pm I started to feel sick and I was moved to the labour ward at 3pm. I went from 0 to 10cm by 5.30pm. Lauren was posterior and face upwards but decided not to turn. I pushed until 7pm but was then taken to theatre as there was some fetal dipping.
The plan was for ventouse and possible c section if that didn't work. My contractions were so fast that I am convinced we didn't need assistance however one ventouse pull and she was out.
She was born at 7.20pm at 6lbs 6 oz.
The whole thing was so fast I wasn't very active as the space between then was short, but I used breathing and gas and air from around 4.30pm.
While the birth was not as natural as I had hoped,I felt I managed to beat the system as I went into labour naturally despite all the attempts to put me into labour! One midwife congratulated me on beating the system!
Lauren is very relaxed and enjoying life!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Louise's positive planned Caesarean birth to Alex

Hi Patricia,
I have a son! He was born 7lb 3 and we've called him Alexander, more commonly known as Alex, or a whole host of baby nicknames at the moment. He's a very happy, responsive little thing, and an excellent feeder. Amazing to see that instinct in action.
The c-section was ok, a bit tricky in places. We were called in for 8am, but they had loads of emergencies so we weren't seen nntil 3pm, and in the meantime i wasn't able to eat or drink. I think that contributed to me feeling absolutely dreadful afterwards, and i also think they overdid the diamorphine. I couldn;t speak in sentences, and my head and eyes were rolling. After making such a fuss with the birth plan, I was actually too nervous to hold him or try to feed for a while, although my husband held him very close to me. But then a very good, bossy midwife came along and latched him on regardless, and away he went!
The surgeons were quite good at accommodating my request about the placenta. We agreed that they would leave it as long as they could, and they said the cord had started to collapse by the time they cut and clamped. It was only a matter of minutes, but i was glad they agreed to it. Overall, I felt they were prepared to be flexible and it did make me feel more in control of the experience, which was what I wanted.
My recovery is going well now, although the immediate aftermath was pretty tricky. I was very sick and yellow skinned at times, and quite severely dehydrated. I managed to get home after two nights, though, on Christmas Day. I felt like death, but it was worth it to get out of hospital. Now I'm feeling almost right as rain again.
Thanks again for all your help and tips. I think, under the circumstances, I did everything i could to reclaim the experience. Despite the tricky first moments after his birth, I feel a really strong bond with Alex, and i do think the positivity of your classes helped. I was always pretty nervous about parenthood, but it's all coming really naturally.
All the best, and happy new year!
Louise. xx