Sam and I welcomed our little boy, Alfie, into the world. After your course, we spent the rest of the pregnancy feeling really confident about the kind of birth we wanted and knowing the things we could do to help have that dream birth. But also knowing our options and preferences should that plan change. With the end goal being a calm, confident, healthy birth, and we got exactly that (and more!).

I spent the back end of my pregnancy really consistently practising the calm birth relaxations that you sent us. I felt like I had mastered the calm breath & the working breath and felt super confident to use these. I also really focused on my  specifically some of the ocean swimming ones we had talked about. So, thank you for laying the foundations for me to use all of those tools; they came in so handy.

I woke up at 5 am with some period-type pains and a backache. Sam went off to work, knowing he would possibly get called back home within a few hours. By about 8 a.m., things had intensified a little, and Sam was home by 9 a.m., and we knew things were progressing. He put down the blinds, put on Harry Potter (a personal fave of mine) and got me the TENS machine. We spent the day at home, me moving on the ball, Sam pressing on acupressure points. I had the TENS machine on the entire day, watching Harry Potter and using my breath to get me through each surge. I was in the zone!!

We did periods of timing the contractions, but I found I started to get in my head a bit about when I ‘should’ be having them, so we didn’t really time them for most of the day.

Around 4:30 pm, Sam noticed things had intensified for me a bit and started to time my contractions again (without saying anything to me), and they were 4 minutes apart. So he called the birthing suite, and they said to come in. We had the list of things by the door, as you said, and again, in a moment that could have easily become chaos or got me out of the zone, it was calm!

When we got to the hospital, we went straight into the birthing suite, and Sam got to work on getting the environment right; fairy lights, aromatherapy, music playing, and I was able to stay in the zone. Bec came in around this time, too. I was then assessed and found to be 6cm dilated.

By 6.30 pm, Bec could see things ramping up & ran the bath. As soon as I jumped in, it was literal magic. I started cracking jokes about how good it was. And again, we were in the zone, Sam doing hip squeezes and affirmations with every contraction.

Around 7.20, things started to ramp up even more. I felt my waters break, and soon after, I felt my body getting ready to push. Bec noticed I was starting to get tense and gave me the cues only a woman who has birthed could give to relax my neck & jaw, “go low,” and “baby down” with my sounds. I was assessed again, and 10cm dilated. Sam and I shared a big hug before I jumped back in the bath, knowing we would soon be meeting our baby.

Within the next 40 minutes, my body started to push. Sam held my hands, whispering affirmations and coaching me through my panting breath. Bec was amazing here, too, reaffirming everything Sam did, giving me sips of water, and just being a great cheer person for us both.

Our OB was amazing, too, encouraging me to feel his head as it was coming down. She had the warm compress on my perineum, as was my wish. Letting my body push and giving me some guidance to hold the last few pushes a little longer.

And just like that… our little boy Alfie was born in a calm, confident, magical water birth. I had no perineal tearing, no pain relief, and got to do immediate skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping and a breast crawl in the bath. I cannot put into words how much I will cherish this moment for the rest of my life.

We opted for a passive third stage, but our obstetrician could see after a little while that nothing was happening. She was so wonderful and calm and got me out of the bath onto the bed for an active third stage as I then had a postpartum haemorrhage. I was none the wiser that anything concerning was happening, but retrospectively, I’m so glad to have had her there at that moment. Sam did skin-to-skin with Alfie, and it was all under control within about 10 minutes.

When I read this back, I can see how many moments my birth support people Sam & Bec just knew what to do. They were able to observe me, let me do my thing, and gently guide me along the way, which I put largely down to your course. I cannot thank you enough for the invaluable tools you gave us and for helping us have our dream birth.