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A birth story - Julia East

Naveen attended the Trumpington pregnancy yoga classes during her second pregnancy.  She asked me about supporting her and her husband during the birth as a doula and I was delighted to accept. It was all rather ‘last minute’ and on the day I met her husband Jono she was already having signs of early labour. I encouraged her to rest and went home to organise my own family. At around 10.30pm I received the call.  

Naveen and Jono were already at the Rosie Birth Centre and labour was clearly underway.  I met them there in one of the beautiful birthing rooms and Naveen was breathing through her surges, walking around and leaning on Jono for support.  The atmosphere was quietly supportive with a lovely midwife sitting in a corner intermittently listening in to the baby’s heartbeat.

Labour progressed through the night with Naveen moving from kneeling on the floor, to the bed, the pool, the birth ball and back to the pool.  The relaxing effect of the water obviously helped as she appeared to ‘drift off’ whilst resting in the pool.  It seemed that she needed some reassurance, which we offered, with Jono giving some positive affirmations and massage when necessary. I noticed lots of hip circles and spirals, groaning, roaring and raspberry blowing – all of which we do in the yoga classes. It was wonderful to see how she responded to her surges with all their strength and power, breathing and relaxing beautifully.

Whilst moving back to the pool, her ‘waters broke’ and the intensity of the surges increased.  With my midwife experience I knew it would not be long now, so Jono and I assisted Naveen back into the pool as swiftly as she could.  Within minutes of entering the pool Naveen let out her final roar and birthed her baby boy, lifting him gently to the surface of the water. The precious first moments as a family followed, while I sat back feeling joyful and privileged as I always do attending a birth.

I was reminded again of the strength and vulnerability of women giving birth, and how in supporting them I aim to honour both equally. The journey is always unknown, so love, trust and support, with acceptance and appreciation of medical help if necessary is what I hope to offer.

Baby Johan is doing very well now at home with lots of hugs and kisses from his big brother Leo.  

(Written with kind permission from the parents)

Julia East

Joyful Babies