I was fearful of having another baby owing to the 3 days of labour and long, unpleasant recovery experience from the birth of my first baby. In chatting to Colleen towards the end of my second pregnancy I began to decide how I would like to approach the labour and birth, I realized that my experience could be completely different, if I were to invite her on my journey. And so I did. And what a difference I experienced: a manageable labour, a happy birth and a quick recovery!
Colleen met with my husband and me to prepare us for the labour, both mentally in deciding on a birth plan in terms of our dreams and wishes, and practically in terms of pain management, so as to avoid pain medication (the epidural from the first birth caused me to go lame in one side, lengthen my labour and resulted in the baby sleeping through the labour) and to quicken the labour.
When the labour day arrived, starting at 4am, I was ready to tackle the day and felt in control of my contractions and my husband felt equipped to coach me before I needed to go to the hospital. Colleen stayed in contact with us and told us when I was ready for hospital – I arrived at 1pm being 5cm dilated already. During the active labour at the hospital, Colleen encouraged me through the pain, helping me change my body positions and keeping the environment calm. She also spoke out for me on decisions I had made beforehand in my birth plan, like when the midwife offered me medication or when she wanted to send me to the delivery ward before I was ready. She had my husband massage my body to assist with the pain, and to feed me snacks. She guided me through each contraction with breathing exercises, making the labour a mental experience versus an emotional one. Finally, at 4pm, after 3 hours at the hospital, our baby boy was born, weighing 4kg and 58cm: no medication and a quick labour! I had achieved my goal. From then on, Colleen encouraged me to spend plenty of time resting and bonding skin-to-skin with Ryan, showing me how to be natural with him and allowing him to feed as he wished.
Colleen’s follow-up visit post-birth was amazing! She popped in to see how I was the next day at the hospital, giving me tips on how to best bond with Ryan, and advice on breastfeeding. She also showed me a range of exercises that I should do to get my body back into shape. Once I was home, Colleen visited us a few times to check on various things; like Ryan’s feeding, his umbilical chord, his circumcision and the dressing for it, and of course my exercises. I have always felt at ease to contact Colleen with queries and advice, like tips on stretching the feeding or helping Ryan’s windy tummy. My recovery has been phenomenal: I lost the 10kg I put on within the first 3 weeks and my tummy is toning well with the exercises I am doing.
I feel so privileged to have had Colleen on my journey of the birth of my second baby. What an amazing experience this has been!