Birth Stories Archives - The Birth Whisperer

Category Archives: Birth Stories

From ‘never again’ to ‘Yes, I will birth a baby again’

Closeup of group pregnant bellies. Pregnant women wearing colorful dresses outdoor

When your first birth was terrifying,  how do you go from never wanting to give birth again to saying yes to another baby? 

After a traumatic first birth, Amy was left with significant fear of birth, of being unsupported, and of the hospital where she gave birth. She was adamant she’d never birth again. Eventually, after divorce and finding a lovely new man, she realised she wanted another baby. During her pregnancy she consciously prepared herself for an improved birth experience. I skyped with Amy as she sat on a gorgeous Australian beach. If you can handle the breezy sounds and occasional passing helicopter, you will love her story as much as I did.

What can you learn from Amy? You’ll probably gain your own insights as you watch and listen, but here are a few things I picked up:

  1. Calm birth (and other variations of HypnoBirthing) are not necessarily for everyone. If you’re a noisy, talkative person who is not relaxed by silence, this model may not support you. Perhaps you’ll be better off swaying on a birth ball, rapping along to hip-hop music, like Amy did in her second, noisier, birth.
  2. Choose people you trust to be with you on your birthing day. Ask yourself: “Will this person listen to me and do what I ask?”
  3. Having a doula is a great move if you want a supportive presence, who will stay with you and advocate for you through the whole birth, including interventions and transferring to another birth place. Amy said her doula was like her watch dog, and helped her feel emotionally safe.
  4. Read positive, empowering birth stories during pregnancy and right before birth.
  5. It’s not the length of your birth, it’s how you feel.
  6. A big baby does not necessarily mean a long, hard labour.
  7. If you like to be informed, educate yourself about birth; Places, providers and options.

Here’s the link to the incredible pictures of Amy’s birth and her blog about it.

 

Wishing you a beautiful, and even fun birth (imagine that!),

Anna

Rebecca’s Birth Adventure Story

What is birth really like? Does the ‘not knowing’ make you feel a little nervous?

Birth is a big unknown. If you’re a first time mother, the uncertainty of birth can be scary. You can educate yourself about how to approach many things in life, including big unknowns like birth and even death, but you still don’t know how it will feel and how the events will unfold. In this video Rebecca reminds pregnant mamas to treat birth like an adventure and to remember that at the end of your adventure you will be holding a beautiful baby in your arms!

Much gratitude to Rebecca for sharing her story. One of my dreams is even more women sharing their uplifting birth experiences. Do I have a bias towards sharing encouraging birth stories? Yes. Because there are plenty of terrifying birth stories already being shared. Just get pregnant to discover how willingly  share scary birth stories. This may be helpful for the women sharing, but is not helpful for pregnant women. Scary stories promote unhelpful anxiety.

Of course there is absolutely a place and a need for sharing painful and traumatic birth stories; maybe with a friend, with a compassionate therapist, or with someone who can listen without being personally impacted. I honour, support and work with women who have had difficult births and it is never too late to heal and feel better.

 

Rebecca’s 12 insights to empower you as you move closer towards giving birth:

  1. Learn about the physical birth process so you know what to expect
  2. Know that it is ok to have moments of overwhelm and uncertainty
  3. Treat birth like an adventure
  4. Have sex to speed up a slow labour (Sex releases hormones, including oxytocin that support labour). IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not have sex if your waters have released, as this increases infection risk.
  5. Walking also helps to move labour along
  6. There was no pain between contractions, so use the breaks to relax and get into comfortable positions
  7. Use hot water like a shower on your back, or get in a bath.
  8. Acupressure helped me focus and distracted me from pain
  9. Breathe long slow breaths
  10. The part when baby’s head comes out is fast and ‘fine’
  11. Be aware of interventions but not overly focussed
  12. Choose support people you really trust.

 

Now do tell me how these thoughts and ideas impact you. Share now in the comments below. Go on… make my day!

 

Happy birthing,

 

Anna

 

PS Here is one day old Nina with her proud mother and father:

 

An Awesome Birth Over 40

If you are pregnant and over 40, you become a ‘higher risk’ case. What if you have a dream of keeping things as normal as possible? How can you manage being in a ‘riskier’ category, and still head in the direction of a birth you wish?

This amazing story from Colette, who became pregnant at 42, will help you feel calm, positive and grounded about being a mature mama. And whatever your age, you will love this interview if you want to know how to feel excited and not scared of birth, and simultaneously willing to surrender to all possibilities of how birth will unfold.

Your capacity to balance the potential to birth positively and naturally, with the faith that you can surrender to whatever arises is a powerful combination.

This balancing point is one of the best spaces to be in when you give birth. I know for me, the moment I went deep inside and gave myself to the experience of birth, trusted in something bigger than myself, had faith in nature, and my body and fully surrendered, the opening just happened.

We try so hard to get things right. I meet many women desperate to achieve a natural birth, as if it is a goal we can achieve by trying hard. With the best of intentions, we over-achieving list-making modern women sometimes approach birth as something to be good at and get right. This will only take us so far. Somehow we have to stop trying and start trusting. This is not something you can make happen, more something you give into. It is a feeling, not just a mental release of ‘over-efforting’, but also a physical letting go.

So educate yourself and make kind conscious choices about how  you wish to give birth. But above all, contemplate and make quiet space to cultivate trust and faith in something beyond your ‘trying’ self. This may be in God, nature, your mammalian birthing body, the power of women who have birthed before…whatever works to give yourself over to something bigger.

Tell me: What will you have, or have you had, faith in during birth, beyond your thinking trying self? I am curious to hear your response, and I know thousands of women will value your thoughts on surrender, trust and faith in childbirth.

May you be happy and well in birth and in life,

Anna

PS How can life look when you have a baby over 40? Check out these gorgeous snaps of Colette and her family:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at the river

Amazing ‘Twin-Lotus-C-section’ Birth Story

What happens if you want a totally natural birth, and then a few weeks beforehand you find out that it just ain’t going to happen. For many reasons, women discover that ‘au natural’ is out and surgery is how their sweet baby is going to enter the world.

Some mothers are able to easily adjust their expectations and take the new plan in their stride, especially if the safety of their baby is truly at risk. But many women find it hard to transition to a birth plan that has taken birth dreams and thrown them out the window.
If you can relate to this scenario, or if you are interested in having an empowering surgical birth, or having an empowering birth full-stop, this interview is for you.

Hera’s story provides insight into when it is a time to ask tough questions, research, dig deeper and make change happen, and when it is time to stop trying so hard, to let go and be supported by a bigger process. This story is all about the balance between surrender and ownership in birth.

You may know ahead of time that your baby is going to get some medical help on it’s way into the world, or you may not. You may be certain that your baby will be born naturally. Wherever you sit, it is worth taking Hera’s advice: briefly contemplate the possibility that your baby may be born with medical assistance. Then whatever happens, you can prepare to respect and celebrate yourself and to have an awesome first meeting with your precious baby.

Perhaps you know someone, or you are that someone, who is attempting to make peace with a birth plan that isn’t the ‘dream birth’, for example, a breech, twin birth or induction. If so, sink your heart and mind into this transformative story and find your own way to a beautiful birth.

Hera’s story is one of my all-time favourite birth stories, (OK, I have a few!), because through it I learnt a lot about what makes a birth amazing.
Being respected, listened to, and being honoured in your requests all help you to own your birth fully. This is what makes the difference, however your babies are born.

Hera and babies

Hera and babies

 

The whole family

The whole family

placenta

The well-cured lotus-birth placenta

 

Now I would deeply appreciate hearing your response to this interview. Have you experienced a time in birth or daily life, when you have struggled to make something a certain way, and in the end it was easier to ‘let go and go with the flow’?

Tell us about your moment of  letting go and how it helped you.

With warmest thoughts and best wishes to all the Mamas in the world birthing today,

Anna

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