Facebook: @relaxintobirth

Relax Into Birth
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This is so devastating to the birthing landscape in Cape Town. 💔
Relax Into Birth
Relax Into Birth is with Ange Hayler.
I met Ange for her second birth, when she was planning for her VBAC. What I remember most about that birth was that I barely made it in time, having to race across from Noordhoek to the Northern suburbs...when I got there, she was in a half-run bath, as it was still being filled and she was transitioning. It was so triumphant in the end as she got the VBAC she had hoped for! Fast forward to 2019 and she wanted me as her doula again, but this time for her first home birth. This time we had become mom friends, our kids doing capoeira together. We saw each other frequently during her pregnancy. Ange is an amazing mother, homeschooler and just all round strong woman... And her births echoed all that. Just before Christmas we got the call to come: Ange was in labour... Here is her story...♥️
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"My most recent birth was my third birth and came after a c-section in 2013 and a VBAC in 2016. After my VBAC I knew that for any subsequent births I didn't want to labor and birth in a hospital. It had been such an amazing and powerful experience and had given me the confidence I needed to know I'd be able to have a baby at home in the future.

My previous babies had both arrived woefully late and I had assumed that by my third I'd be immune to the feelings of impatience and fragility of those last weeks. But I found as my due date approached I was having a harder and harder time keeping my feelings in check and I was so surprised by how vulnerable and suggestible I was becoming. Doubts and fear had started creeping in and I wondered whether I could really do it. At that time I was so grateful that early in my pregnancy I had chosen an amazing team to walk beside me during this process, I was able to lean on their trust and faith in me and in the birthing process.

Even though I had been preparing myself for a long wait, by the time I hit my due date I was feeling pretty frustrated, Christmas was approaching and I really wasn't looking forward to eating gammon and mince pies as a pregnant beach ball. So on the 20th of December - four days past my due date - I decided I was done waiting and did a series of exercises called the "miles circuit" which is an insane time commitment (about 90 minutes) not to mention slightly strange looking. The circuit is supposed to move baby into an optimal position for birthing, which was something I was a bit concerned about because I'd been having so much false labour.

At about 6 o'clock - after doing some crab walks up and down stairs - I could definitely feel a shift, but I was afraid to jinx things by saying anything out loud, so I just folded some laundry and started getting my kids ready for bed. By 6:30 I was needing to breathe through contractions and had to admit to my husband that I thought I was in labor. Thank God for this man, who let my doula and the midwife know and then proceeded to set the birth pool up.

At this point I was still concerned about calling everyone around only to have labor peter out again, but thankfully my midwife and doula were wise enough to come over straight away. When the midwife arrived and checked me I was already 8cm and the poor husband was frantically trying to get the pool ready after everyone had used up all the hot water showering.

I labored for another hour while my kids ran around excitedly and I tried to focus. Charlene was playing some nice relaxing music and rubbing my back, and I actually enjoyed this part of labour. The contractions were tough, but I felt so held and safe and the back massage was wonderful.

The pool was ready by 8pm. I was a little anxious about getting in and slowing things down because my contractions had been so nice and strong. I got in anyway and the water was glorious and my body totally relaxed in it, it was a couple minutes before I got my next contraction and in that time I wondered whether they would get weaker, but the water had the opposite effect and the next contraction was so strong, it was obvious that everything had shifted gears.

The last hour before he was born was more difficult than I had anticipated. The contractions were so powerful and I didn't really have the urge to push yet, but it was difficult not to wish that it was all over at that stage. Transition and pushing were more protracted than my second birth (I think I only pushed for 10 minutes) but I definitely felt the benefit of a longer pushing phase with this birth. At one point I actually felt his head move down and then back up again. But the breaks between contractions made it manageable and they were such a nice time to rest. When his head eventually came out I had to ask if I'd birthed his head yet and there was a resounding yes. And the rest was super easy. In all, my labour had only been about two and half hours. Actually the emotional roller-coaster of the previous weeks had been more difficult.

We hadn't found out the gender during my pregnancy, but I was convinced that it was another girl. In all the excitement I didn't even think to check what the gender was, but about 10 minutes after he was born someone asked and lo and behold it was a boy! My husband's words were: "I didn't know we could make boys".

The girls had gone to their room to watch a movie on the iPad when I had gotten into the pool but they came out now and were both overjoyed to have a brother. It was such an amazing moment.

I honestly can't say that I didn't get the birth of my dreams. It was such an incredible experience to be in my safe place with just a few of my best people with me. And then to get out the pool and walk to my own bed to spend the night with our new babe and my new family, there is absolutely nothing I would have changed. And I'm so grateful to Charlene and my midwife who got behind me from the beginning and never cast one shadow of a doubt on me, who supported me every step of the way.

Just want to add as a very last comment that women who want to have the kind of birth I've described are facing a really tough birthing landscape at this time. As it stands our options as birthing women are being dictated to by and large by bureaucracy and obstetrician’s fear of litigation. Mothers are increasingly occupying a peripheral role in their choices concerning their birth. Things are getting worse and not better. Please would you be so kind as to join the Facebook group, RIGHT TO BIRTH. Something needs to change and we need to be a part of that change. ONE BIRTH AT A TIME. We need your voice to make a change."
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#relaxintobirth #charleneyaredwest #birthstory #birthphotographers #birthright #righttobirthsa #home #homebirth #homebirthmidwife #vbacwithoutfear #vbacbaby #vbachomebirth #hbac
Relax Into Birth
Relax Into Birth is with Ange Hayler.
You have set spinning
Expanding in me Your universe.
Look at me swollen with life.
I am the gatekeeper
And the gate into this world.

You have tucked into me time itself
And it stretches beyond me
It’s hands reaching out beyond my own.

I am the continuum woven into this moment.

Sisters look at us now heavy
With all of history and humanity
Pushing their way through our bodies.

We are the gateway and
None shall pass except through us.

Words: Angeline Hayler
#relaxintobirth #charleneyaredwest
Relax Into Birth
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Lauren Shapiro spoke at an event I organised last year. She is making waves and helping mothers feel less alone as they navigate motherhood. Get help, reach out... Perinatal depression is not to be taken lightly. ♥️
Relax Into Birth
Lauren Shapiro Author
Pregnancy and motherhood can be tough but how do you know when your reactions are beyond the norm and you need to get help? Here's a clip from my presentation at @MumSupportNetwork this morning. (For the full talk email me at lauren@laurenshapiro.co.za)
Relax Into Birth
Relax Into Birth
I gave the laughing gas a go (watch, you'll see!)! 😂... Entonox also known as nitrous Oxide (Gas & Air) is a colourless, odourless gas made up of half oxygen and half nitrous oxide. It's also commonly known as laughing gas. It can take the edge off labour pain, rather than blocking it out. Check out this short video I made explaining a bit more about it's use in labour 🙂 Subscribe while you're at it, as I will periodically update the channel.
https://youtu.be/xUPsA3s7xAc
Relax Into Birth
Laughing gas takes the edge off
Entonox = Nitrous Oxide (Gas & Air) is a colourless, odourless gas made up of half oxygen and half nitrous oxide. It's also known as laughing gas. It can tak...
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Relax Into Birth
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Madelyn finally got some snow to do her scene 🤣