Thursday, September 17, 2009

Clare's birth: a story of triumph + inspiration!

Hello Blooma mamas!

We love hearing your birth stories. Sometimes, you even let us share them. Such is the case with Clare, a mom who attended Blooma yoga classes throughout her pregnancy. Below is a letter from her. We thought it might inspire all you mamas out there. Clare, we are sending you big, congratulatory hugs!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Dear Sarah,

I wanted to write an email to you telling you my birth story so you can share it with anyone you feel needs to hear it. The birth process for my first daughter did not go as planned and ended in an emergency C-section with a faulty epidural. As they pulled Bella out of my uterus, it tore and because my epidural was not working they put me
under general anesthetic as soon as the umbilical cord was cut. I have no memory of her first cry, I didn't get to see her first bath and she didn't meet me until she was a few hours old. I remember coming around in the recovery room and asking, "Does she have red hair?"

The outcome of her birth was wonderful: I have an amazing daughter who is now 3 years old and everyday she teaches me something new about how to be a better human being as I watch her gentle soul interact with the people around her. My OB told me before I took Annabelle home that I would never have a natural birth.

Christmas Eve 2008: I discovered I was pregnant again and I dutifully made a 12-week appointment with the OB who had delivered Annabelle. He insisted that I could not attempt a VBAC and everywhere I turned I only found people telling me it was not possible. So I scheduled my C-section and started going to the yoga classes at my local hospital in Shakopee. There I reconnected with a wonderful woman named Susan Colvin who had been a real support to me after Annabelle's birth. She suggested I try out the yoga classes at Blooma so I went along one Saturday morning to take the class.

Well, there were so many women there at all stages of pregnancy and the instructor was telling a story about a birth she had been at as a doula and how the woman had been in a birthing squat for most of her labor. I loved the energy there and my little girl fell in love with the childcare that we always called the Kid's Club.

Every time I took a class and heard one of Sarah's success stories I knew that I wanted to be one of them. There was something in me telling me that I could do it.

At 30 weeks pregnant I asked Sarah to be my doula and said that I was going to find someone who would let me try a VBAC. Before I even found a new OB I called and cancelled my C-section, as I had no intention of doing it. I spent the whole summer
surrounded by the wonderful women of Blooma in the yoga classes that began to be so hard to do. I shared inward groans when Sarah asked us to "Peel off the floor into another crescent lunge" or "Hold in Goddess pose for just one more minute."

I finally found an OB who agreed to let me try a VBAC and decided to deliver at Methodist. Labor Day weekend I started having contractions on the Sunday night and dutifully went to Methodist as I had been told not to labor at home. When we got there, they were reluctant to let me go home, even though the contractions were not regular. There were enough of them that they were worried I was about to go into active labor.

They finally let me go home at 3 a.m. and I went to bed and tried to sleep as much as possible between contractions. Monday morning I mostly hid out in my bedroom until Amber (my backup doula) came over at about 3 p.m. She suggested we go out for a walk and she massaged my back and shoulders as we kept stopping for my contractions.

At 5:30 p.m. I suddenly decided we needed to go to the hospital. In the car the contractions became very intense and by the time we got to hospital I was in tears. Hearing Sarah's voice in my head I refused a wheel chair but I did cheat a little and take the elevator to the 3rd floor! When they checked me in triage I was already 7 cm dilated!!!!

They whipped me into a delivery room as soon as they could. I had always told Sarah I was very reserved and would be very modest and quiet when I gave birth. Well, here I was almost completely naked, screaming some very primitive noises at the top of my voice, and I did not care who could see or hear me! I was so loud that I was hoarse the next day. I refused to lie on the bed and wanted to stand for most of the time—thank God for strong thighs from all those bloody Goddess poses and Warrior sequences.

Amber has to be an angel in human form as her calming voice was a complete voice of reason for me and she even held my leg while I was pushing and pulled my knees open to give more room in the pelvis.

Three-and-half hours after I arrived at the hospital, my second daughter, Harriet Grace, was born. She was pretty much exactly the same size as Annabelle and she made it through without even a cone head! The doctor handed her straight to me and she started to nurse immediately. I was present in every part of the birth and I remember it all. My husband cut the cord and even looked at the placenta when I insisted on looking at it (just like a big liver!). I was lucky to labor completely drug free and I had very little tearing.

With the support of the wonderful women of Blooma I found the courage to say that I didn't believe I couldn't do it and I took on the challenge to prove that it was possible. I got my miracle.

I know the decision I made is not necessarily the right decision for everyone but it feels amazing to have followed my intuition and to have my miracle. So, now I am home with my family...

I am feeling amazing. I am going to miss the weekly yoga classes and hope to see familiar faces in BYOB yoga. Thank you for all of your support and community.

See you soon,

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