Birth Stories

Chloe and Oli’s birth story

Oli and I were not sure what to expect from Jessica’s classes, but immediately felt we were in safe and experienced hands. I went to the yoga, prenatal and postnatal classes. The classes covered active birth techniques and explained why having as little medical intervention as possible can make for an easier birth and were always realistic and practical, giving lots of information to prepare us for every eventuality, from c-sections to a detailed explanation of how an epidural is administered.

I think everyone was worried about the birth – I know I was! – but luckily I ended up had a relatively straightforward birth experience and was able to use the breathing techniques that Jessica taught in the yoga class during the contractions. They really made the pain easier to bear. I remember that even while having a contraction feeling totally shocked that breathing could have such an effect on the pain and, spurred on by this discovery, I managed to battle through the second stage of labour without medical intervention (it was a shortish labour of 6 hours, so that might have helped!). I think the fact that I had done so many yoga classes and the prenatal practicing the breathing allowed me to slip into it much more easily, and so I would recommend doing the yoga and prenatal combination before birth.

The postnatal course was also invaluable, giving some welcome structure and support during the first crazy weeks adjusting to motherhood. I was one of the last people to give birth in our class and so went to a few postnatal classes while pregnant, which was very moving – especially watching the baby yoga (very sweet). It also cemented the closeness of the group, and we continue to meet at the same time each week. It’s lovely seeing everyone’s babies develop, and reassuring to have new friends who are all navigating motherhood for the first time and have been through such an intimate and extraordinary experience together.

Amy and Michael’s story

We headed to Homerton Hospital around 8am on the 17th. My waters had broken quite spectacularly at 5:20am but my contractions hadn’t started – Ruben arrived nine days early!

The contractions started and all the moves and positions we had learned in the class suddenly came back to us and I found some which were obviously the best ones for me. It turned out Ruben was back-to-back (born face up) so I had a hard back labour, but our birth partner pushed on my pelvis and Michael kept me focused on the moves and the breathing and that really helped me get through it all. Ruben arrived at 6:10pm and I’d managed it all on paracetamol – I couldn’t quite believe it as I stood in the shower after the birth – I’d done it!

I felt confident in myself that I could give birth naturally and this confidence I had gained from the classes and the support I’d had in the months running up to the birth. Obviously birth is emotional as well as physiological and so I felt that the classes had given me the tools to draw on strengths from within and I let my body do the rest. I just knew I could do it.

When he came out I felt so relieved and so tired all of a sudden. It was more a gentle but powerful completeness I felt once the initial feeling of relief that he was ok subsided.  I felt almost transitory between the ‘zone’ and real life – but I guess that was the tiredness from the labour.

We were given some time alone once we’d had the all clear in the birth room and it wasn’t until 1am that we took a private room in the hospital (which was really worth it). I spent all night looking at Ruben – wondering how it had all happened and marvelling at the thought of our future as a family. I barely slept!

All the advice we were given was useful – from getting the dad to pack the hospital bag so he can find everything without you having to ask, to taking drinking straws and cordial, through to the pain management options and the post-birth recovery.

There were some not great moments – such as arguing with midwives who didn’t believe that my waters had broken; or not getting into the birth pool straight away; or the hard delivery of the placenta as I was so tired, but aside from all these points which now seem so minor looking back, both Michael and me believe this was the best days of our lives because we worked in unison with my labour and it brought us our beautiful boy.