I asked him not to go into work and so we just lay in bed for a while. At about 11am the regular tightening was more noticeable and so I called our midwife to let her know. I lay on the couch and used breathing to ride out each contraction, breathing slowly in for 6 counts and out for a count of 8. The course taught dad to make sure that I was warm.

He kept the house quiet, filtered all calls and kept track of my fluid and food intake. The pressure felt firm but was manageable with a deep breath in and slowly exhaling, and keeping my body limp and relaxed. I felt calm and in control, confident that everything was going well.

The midwife came by the house at 2.30pm to check on our progress. We listened to your heart beat and when she examined me she said that I was 1cm dilated. Each wave in my uterus was getting stronger and I was feeling quite tired. During the afternoon I had a shower and was able to completely relax, finding that I could feel the sensations of my uterus and remembering what I had learnt in the classes, I visualised my cervix opening like my favourite flower, a lily. I was able to stay in a relaxed state for an hour at a time and I felt my energy return. The times I came out of my relaxed state I found that the pressure in my uterus was quite intense and I had difficulty remaining calm. I felt extremely fatigued and found that I was uncomfortable standing, moving, sitting or lying. I was unable to keep down any food on both occasions during the day, this also contributing to my fatigue. At this point, Jamie would remind me to breathe and stay relaxed. I was grateful that we both attended the  classes and that he knew what he could do to help.

Once again I would go within and tell myself that I CAN be calm, I have done it many times before. I closed my eyes and breathed, standing and rocking, blocking out the world and working with my body. I felt my energy return as I breathed down through the pressure waves. By 11pm that evening I found it quite difficult to use visualization and the breathing and relaxation was most effective in the shower. The contractions were still at 3 minutes apart but were quite strong now, adding to this I also felt intense urges to push. I called the midwife and we agreed to meet at the birth centre.

Dad and I went into the birthing suit at midnight, room 1 where you were born. The midwife told me that although I had done a lot of work, I had a bit to go as I was now 3cm. She told me not to be discouraged, that I was doing a great job, however, I didn’t think I had the strength to go on. She ran a bath for me and I stayed there for 2 hours working with and breathing through each surge. The midwife tried to give me some NO gas to try but even though it was on the lowest dose I found that it made my limbs tingle and I didn’t like the feeling so refused to take it, besides it was really difficult to breathe in while the urge to push was so strong. She was calm and gentle, encouraging me to make noise instead of pushing. At 2.30am my waters broke unexpectedly like a balloon popping. I found it difficult to be comfortable in any position but lay on the bed while dad kept reminding me to breathe during the surges. His presence and encouragement were so comforting.

At almost 4am the midwife announces that I am in transition and I feel a huge relief and intense excitement that you are about to arrive. I was pushing 2 or 3 times during a surge and dad and I watched in a mirror as you were emerging. At 4.08am you were born.  The midwife placed you on my chest. I couldn’t believe you were actually here after all that time in anticipation. Dad and I kissed you and said welcome to you, our beautiful little boy.

While I found it hard work at times, I know that the confidence I felt, the techniques and practice relaxing and breathing that I learnt during the course meant that I had everything I needed to prepare me to deal with my labour and to manage the intensity and fatigue over the 22 hours until you were born. I am forever grateful to Tracey for converting my fears during my pregnancy into an extremely positive expression. I am proud to have given birth to you without the need for pain relief and cannot sing enough praises to Tracey and the course for that great achievement.

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