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Lisa’s Birth Story — Baby Gabriel, born March 13, 2005
Lisa describes the labour and birth of her and her husband Peter’s first child. She writes: “The moment they put Gabriel on my chest was the greatest moment of my life.”

Yogaspace - Pregnancy Yoga - Birth Stories     We were awakened at midnight with the first strong contraction. My husband, Peter, and I had decided to take a nap around 9.30pm, as we had a feeling it would be time soon. We had been having contractions all day off and on, with a fairly irregular pattern. The next contraction, 5 minutes later, my water broke! We were all packed, so I asked Peter to get things into the car so we could get going. On the way to the hospital, the contractions started to get closer and closer together. They went from 5 minutes apart to 4 and then to 3 before we got there. They also became quite intense! While Peter drove, I would throw myself over the back of the seat during each contraction. This seemed to be the only comfortable position for me.

     We arrived at the hospital around 1am. By then, the contractions had become quite intense! In triage, the nurse put the heart and baby monitors on me and told me I could not move for at least 20 minutes. That was very difficult as all I wanted to do was to be in table position. I was checked and I was only dilated 1 1⁄2 cm! I was hoping it would have been more... gulp! Finally, we were admitted to our labor and delivery room. The next 3 hours of contractions only dilated me another 1 cm to 2 1⁄2 total. Between contractions, I used the yoga ball they brought in. It felt very good to rock on it. But when the contractions would hit, I would jump up and lean on Peter. I used vocal toning a lot during those hours. It really helped when I was able to do it right. Sometimes, I couldn’t manage it and just screamed!

     Since I wasn’t dilating, I decided to go for the epidural. It was a strange sensation. The anesthesiologist was very good, but not chatty at all. He didn’t really explain to me how it was going to feel etc. That part was a bit unpleasant, but the relief was so immediate that I got over it pretty quickly! After that, I dilated the rest of the way in 3 hours, with no pain. Both Peter and I were able to rest during that time, with me lying down. The so-called walking epidural was not really, as they would not let me get out of bed. They feared the anesthetic would go down into my legs and I would not be able to hold myself up. I didn’t really mind though, as I had absolutely no pain. I felt a lot of pressure, and knew that the work was getting done. I was chatting with Peter and the nurses the whole time!

At 7am, I was at 10 cm. The nurse said the head was not so low so we may as well wait a while. My doctor came by and checked me. She said that if I was comfortable, she’d rather wait for the baby to move down more. Finally, at 8.30 I started to push. Peter coached me all the way through, telling me to breathe and to relax my face. He was really a great coach. It took a long time, but was not so painful. Gabriel was born at 10.48 am at 6 pounds 6 ounces. The moment they put him on my chest was the greatest moment of my life. That instant connection and elation is indescribable. We wouldn’t change a thing. Peter and I were never so connected. It was perfect.

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