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Susie's Birth Story – Baby Laura, born November 18, 2004
Susie recounts her labour and delivery of precious baby Laura and how she rode the waves of intensity with her partner Nathalie at her side.

Yogaspace - Pregnancy Yoga - Birth Stories     As promised...we have news! We have a baby girl! Laura was born Thursday Nov. 18th at 1:23 pm. She's great. She weighed 8lb 11oz. Quite the job getting that parcel out, but she made it, and we’re all doing just fine.

     Here’s what happened:

     On Wednesday morning, after a couple of weeks of waiting for the mysterious, unknown event, I finally found out what I was waiting for. I felt my first contraction at 9 am. I ran to tell Nathalie that I thought this might actually be it. She proceeded to go into a cleaning frenzy…had to have the house looking good for our new arrival. Contractions came and went all day, and I kind of gave up thinking this would be the big day. Then at 11 pm things began to intensify. But it was not until 2 am that the contractions were regular enough to merit contacting the hospital. And still, they told me to take a hot bath and see if the contractions continued in order to rule out false labour (turned out they were having a very busy night). The bath was lovely, even if it was the middle of the night, but the contractions didn’t stop. In fact they started coming on hot and heavy. It was time to pack the car and make the journey that would forever change our lives.

     When we got to the hospital at 4 am Thursday it turned out that my contractions were not every five minutes, as we had been counting for the last couple of hours, but every 2 minutes. (Oops). That was quite the surprise to us. But when the nurse then did a pelvic exam and discovered that I was dilated to 7cm, we were all shocked, staff included. I was happy that natural child birth seemed to be a realistic possibility.

     Nathalie and I settled into our room (at Anna Laberge hospital you give birth in your own room) and I quickly got going on breathing techniques, pelvic rotations, squatting, even a yoga ball (which I had begun doing at home earlier in the day). I was ready to use whatever I could remember to get through labour naturally. Nathalie, always right by my side, would bring up suggestions of different techniques we had practiced at home. At one point as the contraction intensified I was kidding with her and said out loud "Clearlight, come to me". (Now there's proof of the effectiveness of your classes!). .

     At 5:30 am, I was close to 9 cm dilated and the doctor (who is Nathalie’s cousin) decided that it was time to break my water. The contractions then intensified and I slipped back to 8 cm. To make a long story short, I got stuck there…lost in transition for 6 hours. (Ouch!) Everything I had practiced went out the window, and it became a game of survival. Nathalie followed me like a puppy. Try as she might to ease the pain, I had gone into a world of my own. Just knowing that she was always right there beside me was the biggest relief of all. I began to make up brand new techniques. Not exactly vocal toning, but a whole new quartet of sounds (which Nathalie claims were in the same family as vocal toning although not as deep or as loud). We both had a good laugh about it afterwards, wondering where exactly those sounds had come from. We figured that perhaps it could be a whole new birthing technique to be explored.

     When 10:30 am rolled around (or should I say crawled in) the doctor decided it was time to give nature a hand, and give Susie a break (so to speak). She was going to give me a hormone to intensify the contractions and speed up the dilation (ie: finally get it past 8 cm). That's when my thrill of natural childbirth jumped out the window too. If the contractions were going to get any stronger, I was going to need help. The time had come for an epidural, sadly. But within minutes of receiving it, my sadness gave way to relief and I became human again. I could now consciously acknowledge Nathalie’s presence and the fact that we were a team. One hour later I was feeling the contractions again, but I had now reached 10 cm, and was ready for stage two of labour. (Apparently the baby had been badly positioned. With the epidural to help me relax and the hormone to intensify the contractions, she was able to reposition herself the right way and help complete the dilation - good girl!).

     The pushing could now begin. My cheering squad got into position…Nathalie at the left leg, the nurse at the right leg, and our doctor between my legs. I knew that my role was to push. And so I did. But this kind of pushing, it turns out, is a fine tuned skill. I learned it very quickly. It took an hour and a half, and the biggest physical effort I have ever made, but at 1:23 pm Laura decided it was time to enter the world. And out she came. As the doctor lay this brand new life on my stomach she opened her little legs. Nathalie looked over to me and with a big smile announced, it’s a girl! What followed was the beginning of the rest of our lives.

     I have to say that the whole experience was incredible. Getting through it, knowing that you need to get through it, somehow knowing that you will get through it, and finding that inner strength to just do it. The body is a fascinating phenomenon! I have to thank you for your knowledge, your classes, your couples workshop, and your enthusiasm. I can't pinpoint specifics, but I know that everything you taught us contributed in a big way to our experience of giving birth and it is an experience of which I will be in awe for a very long time.

Read Nathalie's birth story of their second baby, baby Tomas.
Read Susie's birth story of their second baby, baby Tomas.

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