Eleni, regular Barefooter and hot yoga devotee since 2014, kept up her practice by attending just about every Thursday and Saturday prenatal yoga class throughout her pregnancy. 8 weeks post-delivery, she found a little time to write to us about her birth experience.
“I wanted to write a few words to thank you for contributing to my preparation to experience labour and enjoy the first hours that brought Sophia into my world. It was so hard to only write a few lines about the very rewarding experience I had – how can you reduce 16 hours into a few words! But I tried to be faithful to the spirit of the day.” – Eleni
How did you know it was ‘Go’ time?
It was one day before my due date, 21 March, the first day of spring. At 1am, I started feeling a tightening sensation at my lower back. It came and went and I thought maybe this is Braxton Hicks. By 3am I knew it was not and I was very excited. I woke up my partner to say, “the baby is coming today”, then focused on the rushes that felt like sea waves crashing on my body. I remember being interested in experiencing the birth waves and at each stage thinking, “If this is what it feels like, I can do it!”
By the time the midwives came at 8am, I was 5 cm dilated and was helped into the birthing pool. The water was great. I was holding onto the sides of the pool and remember the beautiful sun and the bird song coming in through the window. Lovely day to have a baby.
And what was the most challenging part?
By the afternoon, the rushes became more intense and I could feel an urge to push. I thought about hypnobirthing and the option of breathing the baby out – No way! I don’t know how long I felt the head putting pressure on me – 5 minutes? 5 hours? Whatever it was, I had no stamina left!
I started speaking to the baby to encourage her to help me. Giving birth to the head was challenging and I thought, “I’m not doing this again any time soon.” However, once the head was born the body slid like an eel in a river.
Tell us about the first moments holding your baby.
It was amazing. I pulled her out of the water: a big girl at 4 kg! I kept holding her while getting out of the pool and onto the bed and from my belly she got to my chest and started breastfeeding on her own straight away. A wise little one, I thought, and called her Sophia.
Beautiful! How do you feel yoga has helped you?
It gave me the focus on breathing and keeping my muscles relaxed. I thought about Faye’s suggestion at the yoga practice that it’s ok to make noise, and a colleague’s advice to push onto my bum and not my eyes! The excitement about finally meeting Sophia had slowly built up in the classes and on the day I was ready! Slowly but surely, yoga had reassured me that my body knew how to do it.
Congratulations, Eleni and family! We are super happy for you, bring baby Sophia along for Mum and Baby yoga soon.