Renee & P.J
When I fell pregnant for the second time, I knew I wanted a VBAC and I knew my partner would have NO idea what to do during labour.
I quickly searched “doulas" and a girl highly recommended Trudy. After meeting with her I knew, immediately, she was the right fit for
us. I felt so at ease and we had a lighthearted, funny chat. We clicked. Throughout my pregnancy my resolve and confidence in a VBAC wavered, but Trudy was always there with some kind and reassuring words to get me back on track. The spinning babies and birth class was invaluable, and I’m sure that helped flip my breech girl!
When my contractions started slowly just after due date, Trudy was never far, checking in and encouraging me with kind words and tips to help get things going. It was a long, frustrating week and induction day loomed.
Trudy was my beacon in this time, keeping me focussed on the end goal! When she arrived at the hospital I was about to start synto. I was hopeful but anxious. She weaved some magic with a side lie release and “shake the Apple tree" and things seemed to ramp up.
About 8hrs after my waters were broken I started to struggle... gas wasn’t cutting it, my birth plan was drifting further away, and I needed help. Trudy never left my side (until I asked to be alone or with my partner) and reframed all my doubts and negativity... I think she helped my partner more than me for a while there, bonding with him while they ate all my snacks I could no longer stomach. :)
When I started to struggle and pushing was imminent, she was right beside me, whispering in my ear and reminding me to relax my jaw, breathe, that my baby was so close. I pushed for two hours. Needed far more intervention than I planned, and had to make a lot of personal sacrifices to bring my baby girl out safely, but she helped talk me through every moment, every choice, every doubt, so I could make the best choices while I was quickly fading and losing hope.
Finally, after 14hrs, my little one arrived. I got my VBAC! Despite all the odds building against me. I could not have achieved what I did without Trudy’s unwavering support, encouragement, and calming presence. She was my rock when I struggled, my laughter when I needed a break from the pain, and my calm when I started crying, “I can't do it. I have nothing left.”She held my hand through every moment, good and bad, and I cannot thank her enough.
Words alone can’t describe the warmth and joy I feel when I think back to my birth and know that I had the best possible person there beside me. Thank you, Trudy. I will never forget this experience and you were instrumental in making it happen! You knew what I wanted and what I needed and did everything within your scope to help me get there.
Cheree & Joel
When I think back to the labour and birth of Billy, I don’t feel traumatised, scarred or disappointed. Birth for me, was the most amazingly powerful and empowering journey I’ve ever experienced.
When Trudy first explained Bir
th Relaxation to me I was pretty
sceptical. However, after our first class, my husband, Joel and I both walked
away happy with the decision we had made. Trudy provided us with all the tools
and information we needed to achieve the b
irth I wanted. Prior to the Birth Relaxation classes, I wasn’t aware how many choices I actually had. My first response when Trudy asked me what I wanted for our birth was, “I don’t know, my son being here I guess? I mean, pain-free and drug-free sounds amazing, but I’m not going to be dead set against any pain meds… I’ll take them if I need to.”
The Birth Relaxation really made me realise how empowering birth could be. It really changed my whole outlook on birthing as a positive. By the end of the classes I knew I had this. And I knew that Joel would be beside me every step of the way to support me. We had ‘this’ from the beginning.
Coming to the end of my pregnancy, we really took it day by day, waiting for our baby to let us know when he was ready to be a part of this crazy world. At the time, I really thought he was going to be a January baby. But January came, and January went, and before we knew it so did the 40 week mark. I always joked around saying he would end up being born on our anniversary.. but who really knew.
Everyone tells you sex brings on labour, and passing my due date everyone was in my ear telling me this over and over again on the daily. I remember thinking ‘f*&k that for a joke’, who knew it would actually work! Within 2 hours I started noticing contractions starting to form. After lying in bed for an hour, it felt like it was time to start timing them. Yep, 3-4 minutes apart lasting up to 60 seconds. ‘This is the sh*t they talk about in all the birthing classes… OMG its really happening!’ With that thought in my head it was time to wake Joel up. He was in such a daze at first, ‘I’m having contractions, they are getting really close together, I think it might time to call the hospital.’
From the beginning, they drill into you to stay home for as long as possible, and I wanted to. But when things actually started to happen, all I could think was, ‘No, I don’t want a home birth.. or a birth in the car on the way to the hospital.’
Up to the hospital we went. Midnight. Back home we came. “It’s only early labour.. come back when they get more intense.” At this stage my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 60-90 seconds. I was slightly freaking out when we left, and hoping that we would make in back to the hospital in time. How was a first time mum meant to know ‘when’? Once we got home, I tried resting, bouncing on the ball, standing under the shower with the water on my back. After 2 hours of that, and still getting consistent contractions that were starting to get more intense, so much so I was keeling over with every surge I had. The feeling was cross between getting punched in the stomach and period pain. I had had enough. Back to the hospital we went.
By 8am they were still saying I was in “early labour” and were trying to push me out the door. But I had nested, and I wasn’t leaving that room until that baby was here.
In and out of the bath, different positions, sitting in the birthing stool, sitting on the ball, standing up, attempting to walk… but my goodness… there’s no such thing as walking mid-contraction. My contractions were still staying consistent but now the back pain had kicked in. NO amount of vicious back rubbing was easing the discomfort. I turned to the gas – this really helped me control my breathing. Deep breaths in and out, I’ve got this.
By lunchtime they were telling me I wasn’t “progressing” to their standards. It was a bit of a punch in the face, but they told me it was time to rest and I should consider having the Pethidine. This wasn’t what I wanted, however, after putting it off for 2 hours, I agreed. I needed rest.
An hour and a half of rest and then the contractions ramped straight back up again. “You’re 5.5cm… you are officially in active labour.” Just the words I needed to hear – the end was coming and my baby would be here soon. Within 2 hours, I was ready to push.
I remember towards the end just feeling an uncomfortable pressure – and that’s exactly what I chose it to be from the beginning of our Birth Relaxation classes. It was the kind of uncomfortable feeling like when you stub your pinky toe on the corner of furniture. It was uncomfortable… but bearable… I had this. The gas continued to help me stay calm and control my breath. The lights were dimmed, my eyes were shut and our birth music had been playing all day which really set a calm environment.
It must have been at transitioning time, and I remember laying on the bed, breathing through another surge and then resting. I could feel a big smile across my face. Joel wasn’t sure what was going on, or why I had such a big smile on my face. “He will be here soon,” I said. With the positive thoughts and encouragement from Joel and my best friend, Jessica, I knew it was going to be okay.
Unfortunately, I had the wrong midwife in the room with me at the time I first started pushing. She was negative and kept telling me to be quiet and push through my bum. She was so irritating, it took every ounce of energy I had left, mid-contraction mind you, and told her to GET OUT!!! Looking back after the birth, I wish I had followed my intuition and continued to breathe the baby down, but it was my first birth, and the midwives do this every day, so I listened. I pushed that baby out with everything I had left. At the time I was so focused on getting him out, that when I was having another surge and I was just focused on pushing that I couldn’t feel anything. I’d felt numb. No more discomfort… just numb.
My support people and new midwife were so amazing and encouraging, but by the second last contraction I heard them talking about episiotomy. I knew I didn’t want this before going into hospital. But in the moment, I said “just get it done”. It felt like they were prepping the tools forever, and before you knew it I told them to wait because I was having another contraction. My body must have just knew it didn’t want to be cut, and I gave that last contraction absolutely everything I had.. and with one push.. he was here. Billy Joel was born and I remember feeling on top of the world. I did it. I grew, nourished and birthed this baby, all with my body and everything I had.
Without Birth Relaxation I honestly don’t think I would have been able to get through not only labour and birth but even obstacles we faced in pregnancy and post birth. The skills that Trudy was able to instil in Joel and I, and also our other birth supporter, Jessica, made Billy’s birth so much more special and positive. The birth was not followed to a “perfect plan” but it was perfect to us. Our new family.