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All Natural Birth of Annika - 11th February 2010 (Royal North Shore Private Hospital)

Birth of Annika - 11th February 2010 (Royal North Shore Private Hospital)

 I knew that above all, I wanted to experience my pregnancy and birth with as little intervention as possible, to trust my body and my self, and to just surrender to the natural processes at play in my body, and that of my baby. As a first time mum, making a decision on care providers and hospitals proved difficult, and was something I had started to consider even before I was pregnant. I informed myself of the options availble, speaking to everyone I could about their experiences, and reading a stack of books. My husband and I chose to go with an Obstetrician and Private Hospital that would give me the comfort I needed in a medical and comfort sense, but I knew I also wanted a Doula – someone who could be an advocate for us in the midst of hospital policy, who would be with us on the day, and to support my husband and I throughout our birth. I knew that having a Doula increased my chances of having a more natural birth, and so I was willing to do all I could to increase my chances of this occuring. It turned out this was the best decision we could have made – the combination of care I received, all the physical, mental and spiritual birth preparation I had done to keep me as grounded and centred as possible, and the support I felt , resulted in an extremely positive birth of my beautiful daughter beyond my expectations.

I knew that when we met Jenny she was the right person to accompany us. She has a very calming and peaceful presence, and I think you just intuitively know when people are the right fit for your needs. My husband was initially unsure about the role of a Doula, and why we would want or need one, however Jenny was able to gently reassure him of what she would be able to bring to our experience, and he was very much able to see the advantages not only to me, but to him as well.

Late in my pregnancy I was concerned about the lack of movmemt from my baby and this resulted in regular monitoring. After lots of natural methods to encourage labour, 4 days after my due date my husband and I decided we would be induced as I was finding it extremely difficult . I was already 2-3 centimetres dilated, and had started having some mild contractions and indications we were getting close. Based on this, my Obstetrician broke my waters, whereby my contractions then became more intense and I moved to established labour quite quickly. Jenny joined my husband and I at the hospital and was quickly and quietly able to become part of the experience. I can remember feeling very safe having Jenny's familiar face there, suggesting gentle pain relief techniques, massaging my back, and alwas intuitively just knowing when I needed a sip of water, a heat pack or the right encouraging words. Having someone who understood the birth process also meant my husband was reassured that what was happening was normal and healthy, and Jenny's presence gave him a lot of peace of mind.

Approximately hours after I was in established labour, my beautiful, much longed for little girl was born. I was absolutely elated, and overwhelmingly awash with the buzz of such a wonderful birth. As hard as it was, it was so incredibly empowering to let myself go through the pain, and to know that I gave birth with just lots of Gas and Yogic Kirtan's playing, avoiding the epidural which had been my intention. I have such wonderful memories of my labour – utter bliss in moments – and that was even before my baby emerged! I am positive that such an uplifting birth contributed to how well I felt immediately afterwards and in the weeks since her arrival.

Jenny provided such great support before, during and after Annika's arrival - it truly was such a great decision, and one that we'll hopefully be able to make again should we be blessed with a second baby in the next few years.

Rebecca, Cameron and Annika