I recently asked Hannah who is a mom, a doula, a holistic coach, and much more to tell me her favorite and most glorious birth story. She had the most incredible water birth pictures that spoke volumes about her experience. Here it is in her own words.
I love sharing Eden’s birth story because it truly was such a peaceful, blessed birth. Thank you so much, Gloria, for hosting me here. I will try to share my story and some helpful tips here!
Eden is my third baby, my only girl and my only Australian born so it was pretty special. We gave birth to the two boys in London where I lived and ran a Doula & Nanny consultancy. I really enjoyed water for use in pain in labour and I had invested in a birthing pool for my 2nd born at home (I had had a water birth in a birthing suite in London for my first) so in many ways, I was looking forward to the labour and birth because the warm water so alleviated my pain and discomfort in my hip and backs. Being my third baby born, I was prepared for what my body would be doing but in each pregnancy (including two that I miscarried many years before) the fear and worry can creep in and rob us of our peace and joy. I knew that I was low risk for the actual birth but every time I had a cramp, or Braxton Hicks, or a small show, the doubt would come.
So I prepared in several ways to ensure I had a peaceful birth.
I read books like:
“Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin, which helped confirm my body was made for giving birth and I was more than capable of a natural birth, and what to ask for in my “support crew”
“Stand and Deliver” full of practical, easy to understand birthing tips by Janet Balaskas
“Your Baby, Your Way” by Sheila Kitzinger
I listened to guided meditations and hypnobirthing CDs, and I am working on my own now because I loved this SO much!
I diffused essential oils during the pregnancy and birth such as:
- Lavender – Oh, I love this one. This scent truly calms the nerves and reduces anxiety
- Frankincense – Calming, especially towards the end of labor or when transitioning.
- Clary sage – Minimising tearing and relieving muscle tension (especially from emotional stress) and again towards the end of labor. (Note: this oil can induce as well so you wouldn’t use until well into labor and under guidance of Doula/midwife/support partner such as husband)
- Peppermint – helps when feeling exhausted in labor. A true pick me up. (Read more about essential oils in pregnancy here)
In pregnancy, I loved nothing more than a bath, candles, a chamomile tea, and a citrus oil or lavender blend in the bath, or sometimes bergamot or ylang-ylang.
NB: With oils, they are volatile. Always read the instructions, always get a premium oil and take care of how and when you use them. They can, however, be VERY effective.
Eden was born within 1 hour and 15 minutes from when I realized things were kicking off. I didn’t have a lot of time to process (clearly). I had hubby on hand with specially made herbal teas, I rocked a lot and made low sounds, I asked the lights to be down low and voices low. We had 2 midwives, my husband, my mum, a birth photographer at her first birth and at any point, my boys could have woken! I believe birth is intrinsically primal and that quiet, dark spaces help retain a sense of control and peace so it was important everyone knew to sort of “leave me alone”
It was a relief to hop into that birthing pool and really concentrate. Breathing deeply, sipping tea and staying in the zone in between strong contractions.
At one point towards the end, contractions were coming in hard and fast and I was feeling overwhelmed and started to lose my peace. I asked my mum to pray with me. She just confessed that we were not alone and things were going ok and I was immediately at peace. 2 more pushes, maybe 3 and my precious little girl was out. I gently brought her to the surface where we watched her take her first breath earthside. What a powerful, glorious, sacred moment!
Our bond 2.5 years later is still so strong, she is still cuddly, still rests her hand right here on my chest and still breastfeeds which has been helpful in keeping asthma and associated colds at bay.
(5 days old first snuggly photo shoot with talented Carrie from www.bugglebee.com.au)
I think what is so evident throughout her story is that Hannah had to fight to get the birth she wanted. She could have easily succumbed to the fear of past tragedies and the worry of future pain, but she chose to educate herself enough to feel confident, and when confidence falls – to surround herself with those that would encourage her and give her peace.
Prepare the best you can, learn to tune in and trust your instincts, and only have people around you who will support your birth
Hannah is a nurse, birth and postnatal doula, holistic life coach and busy mum of 3. She homeschools, enjoys playing piano and listening to music, the beach, meeting new friends and catching up with old friends and honoring & supporting women in finding work/life balance so that the family unit is peaceful!
To read more encouraging birth stories to empower, inform, and embolden you, check out Medium.com/@glorybirthkc
To follow Hannah for encouragement & insights, holistic wellness, coaching and love you can find her here:
Photos by Stephanie with The Capture Project