08 Sep I Gave Birth Using Visualisation and Breathing Techniques
When Teresa found out she was pregnant for the third time, she cried. Here’s her story as told to Brooke Tasovac.
When my husband and I were ready to try for a baby, I read lots of books on preparing to conceive, began a fitness routine, visited the doctor for a general check-up and got a flu shot.
I completely stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine, had lots of fresh fruit, vegies and smoothies, and began monitoring my hormone levels with a saliva kit to determine when I was most fertile. We conceived on the first try but unfortunately we miscarried.
We waited another 12 months to heal, prepared in the same way as we had before and had another miscarriage. We had just came back from a hike in New Zealand when I found out I was pregnant for the third time.
I cried and remember saying to the baby, “You’re the one, you’re going to stay with us”.
Taking into consideration our previous losses, we decided to wait until 12 weeks arrived and then do something a little different. We hiked up a mountain and took a photograph with me wearing a shirt I that said ‘12 weeks’, then we shared this on our social-media page. It was hard keeping it a secret for that long.
Being pregnant was one of the best times of my life. I loved watching my body change, wearing maternity fashion and taking photos of my progressing bump. The best part was sitting on the lounge with my husband and talking to the baby.
The worst part was the constant worry that something would happen. I could never just enjoy being pregnant, because I knew the potential dangers – it was really tough in that respect, but towards the end I taught myself to let go a little.
We went to the classes offered at the public hospital where they showed us the birth room and pain-relief, as well as some Calmbirth classes, which I found to be the best tool for both my pregnancy and the labour itself. If I could pass on any words of advice, it would be to book in for these classes. It gave us both an understanding of the process of labour, how we could help and support each other, the physical expectations and also relaxation techniques during pregnancy and beyond.
I hoped to have a peaceful, positive and somewhat easy birth.
We used the public health system, and after 11 hours of labour with an extended second stage, I couldn’t fault them. I completely dilated at home and got to the hospital with my contractions slowing down, which ended up being a little bit of an issue as my body was so tired with nothing happening. Eventually the contractions picked up again.
I used the bath, massage, visualisation and breathing techniques as natural forms of pain relief, and had to have an episiotomy and a catheter inserted, which wasn’t fun but necessary. I didn’t feel anything – I think the three hours of pushing numbed everything.
The whole experience was challenging and scary at times, but I achieved my goal of using no medical pain relief. We feel as though falling pregnant isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do, and for us there’s no rush to have another child. We’re really happy where we are right now, and just want to focus on our baby daughter Arwen.
Words by Brooke Tasovac