THE BIRTHING ROOM ANTENATAL CLASSES
"The class environment was very nice, I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks for your gentle wisdom." -S.B.
"Thank you! I have been and will continue to recommend this course." -J.M.
"I really wanted to have the opportunity to grieve and heal from my first birth experience, and feel confident about another pregnancy. I most definitely feel these needs have been met!" -I.R.
"I loved the foetal positioning and pelvic bodywork as it is new information I can take to another labour and birth." -O.L.
"I'm so glad that you run this course! It has really helped my mindset and I feel confident for a new pregnancy in the future." -H.J.
"The smaller group size was great." -A.L.
"We felt very welcomed and all experiences/discussions were accepted -not critical at all. I thought the facilitator was very accepting but also good at keeping people on track with discussion. It was a really great course, so valuable. Thanks so much." -C.B.
"We both got a lot out of the course and will happily recommend it to others." -M.B.
KIWI COMPANION SERVICE -New Zealand Birth Doula
THE BIRTH OF A MOTHER AND BABY -A JOURNEY THROUGH PREGNANCY, BIRTH AND BEYOND.
A birth story shared by a family who chose to do antenatal classes through The Birthing Room and hired a kiwi companion for their birth.
Where does my birth story even begin? Is birth an awakening? The birth of a mother, as she disrobes the veil of her old life, as well as a baby. Is there a transition between being carefree, playing barefoot on the sand, warm summer wind blowing on sand scrubbed skin with only myself to think about, the indescribable elation of holding that little secret for a while with only one other person, to the overwhelming physicality of the pregnancy journey - awe struck at the wondrousness of my body and the seeming effortlessness of the little babe growing inside. Well that’s what it was for me, a journey, that I instinctively shrouded in some kind of reverence with intense anticipation of THE day. From the beginning even I was so exquisitely excited to experience labour in all her glory. All the way through my pregnancy I sensed I was being taught trust and surrender - trust the process of birth, trust and surrender to who I am and trust that sweet baby inside - but that takes practise.
Growing a baby was such a profound part of my life that I knew I needed to surround myself with the right team. I gathered a kiwi companion (NZ birth doula) and listened to my intuition that tugged at me at 28 weeks, urging me to find a new midwife - one who would share in the wondrousness of pregnancy, challenge me to question my view of my self and hold the philosophy that birth is instinctive, that I can trust my body and ask it to open - essentially one who views pregnancy as more than just peeing on a stick!
What was my fear? Intervention. I held a belief that my body was fit and strong enough to do this naturally and my perfectionist nature wouldn’t put intervention in the plan. And would I be accepting drugs? Hell no! I wanted to fully experience labour and embrace every feeling as naturally as possible. But I sensed flexibility of my mind was key.
At 42 weeks I was really ready to greet our baby and after a deeply relaxing acupuncture session that allowed my body to open, finally the energy in my body began to shift.
The first part of labour under the darkness of night was delicious and cosy: massage and acupressure at home in a high vibe room with my kiwi companion and amazing partner. The second was a golden light-filled hospital room with a pool, allowing the warm ebb and flow of surges as they became stronger and stronger in a safe place where time stood still, surrounded by my chosen team. Then it moved from passive to incredibly active stair walking and hip rotations to move the baby down helped by the strength of my midwife, kiwi companion and partner. But after hours I couldn’t push any harder - not because I didn’t want to - I had renewed energy but still I had reached my max. The head was emerging, and I touched it - a feeling as paradoxically foreign, yet intensely familiar- but why wasn’t my baby coming out? Throughout the whole labour I resolutely trusted my body and baby and I felt empowered and powerful. But why could my midwife not tell me how much longer this would be?! To which of course I knew, there is no answer. Why hadn’t I given birth in the water yet - that was in my ‘plan’! She continued to gently lead the labour and maintained an incredible calm and peaceful energy and with a smile whispered something that has forever vanished from my mind but was probably along the lines of - trust in the process, time is irrelevant, every body and birth is different - I should have known! Calling on the flexibility I sensed I’d need and casting aside my ‘plan’ of no intervention we made our way to another hospital - in an ambulance - yup, pretty exposed for an introvert.
An episiotomy revealed our baby’s clenched fist resting against her face and her head tilted. Did I feel defeated by my body - or mind? Could I not have done more, pushed harder? No, I really don’t think so. I still pushed her out and maintained a sense of calm focus calling on my yoga and meditation practice and I was flexible enough to allow for a departure from my plan. I knew I needed to surround myself with the right team so i could trust and lose myself in my body, listening to my baby uninhibited, fully trusting those around me. And the whole process felt AMAZING. Finally, this spectacular creature was curled up on my chest under a towel, locking deep blue, almond shaped eyes with her dad - a connection that continues to grow stronger.
My birth is an extension of my pregnancy, a journey, an expansion of my self into new territory, learning about who i am and, what I can cast away or expand upon and part of me has re-aligned so that I can be a better mother.
Labour has a masterful ability to disregard and transcend certainty or expectation, unwittingly challenging the perfectionist inside. The lessons of labour and birth have now become my life lessons: release control and expectation, disregard mine and perceived judgement.
And now as a new mother, I realise it’s ok to show vulnerability and I don’t always need to have it seemingly effortlessly put together. As I look at the sleeping babe on my chest I’m reminded to live like her - mindfully in the present.