I shared the story of my caesarian birth in my previous post, as well as the importance of prenatal yoga and continuous labor support for birthing women. Part of my personal mission is to teach these empowering yoga practices and spread knowledge applicable during pregnancy, labor, and throughout a woman’s life.
Our sons were born six and a half years apart. My particular physical and psychological recovery from caesarian surgery was difficult (another post for another day). When I became pregnant again, I conducted research about birth choices, caesarian births, and if I could safely experience a vaginal delivery after a caesarian. My background includes college teaching, writing, and publishing.
I find it somewhat ironic in retrospect that this academically oriented pregnant woman simply accepted the brochures and hospital issued materials about pregnancy and childbirth.
But it was my first pregnancy.
Ultimately my investigation led me to seek out midwives who would be willing to work with me to experience a trial of labor . My insurance covered midwifery care at the Birth and Women’s Health Center.
My second childbirth journey started at approximately 1:00 AM with mild contractions.
I actually could sleep between the surges, and did not experience the unrelenting back labor of my first son’s birth.
At 5 AM, (while dreaming of a marching band performing on our Tucson road), my water broke; I called it the “big gusher”. My niece arrived to care for our first grader as my husband and I met the midwife at the Birth Center. I ultimately needed to check into the hospital because of meconium in my water. But, the midwife accompanied my husband and I to the hospital for continuous (trained) labor support.
I was having contractions the entire check-in time and breathing through them with my husband by my side. As documents and paperwork were completed, and my contractions became closer and stronger, I dilated to 9 cm. Even if I had wanted an epidural, it was too late!
Soon it was time to push.
Similar to baby 1, I pushed for 3 hours. My legs were shaking and exhausted. If I had been squatting regularly and doing prenatal standing poses, I believe I would not have been quite so fatigued in my legs.
Labor is like a marathon for some of us. You can physically prepare!
My husband encouraged me, the midwife coached me, and finally I asked-no, begged-that the physician be called for another opinion about my progress.
I had run out of steam.
I am blessed to say that this physician was fabulous. With the intervention of a vacuum extraction, my second son was born. He weighed well over NINE POUNDS! This baby never fit in his newborn diapers.
I’m inspired to share my knowledge and experience with you and facilitate a space to share with each other.
We cannot know how events will unfold in labor (and in life), but informed choices can help us navigate and cultivate empowerment as we face these occasions.
7 Ways Prenatal yoga practice helps pregnant women:
1. You will learn how to carry shifting body weight in proper alignment to help prevent lower back, pelvic, and shoulder soreness.
2. Legs are strengthened to carry weight and baby as well as for labor endurance.
3. Prenatal yoga strengthens and provides flexibility to the pelvic floor.
4. Tight and tense shoulders are relaxed.
5. You will cultivate back and core strength appropriate for pregnancy-and beyond.
6. You will practice breathing, anxiety management, mindfulness, and more. Women are provided the physical and mental preparation for childbirth-and beyond.
7. Additionally, a continuous knowledgeable labor supporter such as a doula or midwife can remind moms-to-be and their partners of choices in the midst of the challenges of the birth experience.