On this page you can read other women's real life birth stories and reflections on the Barefoot Babes Prenatal Yoga course, as told by them, in their own words.
"I wanted to thank you for the yoga class I attended with you before giving birth to my little baby boy, Tekoha Patrick Dan Gallagher.
I had a long early labour of a couple of days and it was a lovely sunny Saturday before I had Tekoha on the Sunday morning. We spent the Saturday in the garden doing yoga that you had taught and active birthing between sleeping on the verandah. I finally gave birth with use of a ‘birth pan’ and the squatting was no problem after all the practice you gave us!
Many many thanks, the work you do is wonderful and helps so many people. I found it all absolutely fascinating. The books you lent were amazing and interesting too. I would recommend anyone to your course."
"I wanted to let you know that I gave birth to Ethan John (after his great grandad) Gwynn on 4th Sep, at 9.15pm Oz time, weighing 9 pounds 6.
He arrived a week early.
The breathing exercises in class really helped me stay calm and control the pain during the labour. I also made use of a couple of positions I learnt in class to help ease my back. All in all it took 18 hours and I had an added delivery with a suction cap. I needed an epidural in the end.
I found the breathing exercises and relaxation techniques extremely useful in the latter stages of pregnancy when I was in a lot of discomfort due to heart burn and breathlessness. They helped me to regain my breath.
And the squats definitely mimic the length of the wave of contraction pain. :-)
Thanks again for an extremely useful course of workshops."
"My little boy Henry was born on the 18th of February and is easily the best thing I have ever done.
My first contraction started around 11 pm the night before and my first thought was "must rest!!" so I tried to sleep a bit in between contractions. By around 2 am they were coming every 10 minutes and I found I had to stand up to get through them so I gave up on being a yo-yo in and out of bed and just got up (I was also trying to be quiet so I didn't wake my husband up as I knew it could be a long day ahead). At 6 am we decided to call the hospital to get some advice and, since my contractions were now about 6 minutes apart, they told us to come in.
By about 8 am my contractions were coming about 3 minutes apart, and every now and again I would get two overlapping. I was really focussing on what I learned in yoga and I tried to remember what it felt like to do the squats against the wall and kept repeating to myself "I can do this - I am doing this". It also helped having my husband remind me to breathe! Around midday I got in the shower which was really nice and soothing but I felt too uncomfortable sitting down for too long. I tried to use the gas and air but it made me feel really claustrophobic so I gave up on it, the midwife kept asking if I wanted an epidural as "lots of women would have had one by now" but I kept saying I would wait a bit longer.
At 2 pm I was 7 cm dilated and really starting to feel the pain. My baby was in the posterior position so I was getting lots of pain in my back as well as my tummy. I was checked again at 4 pm and I was only 4 cm dilated! You can't imagine how disappointed I was! I was really starting to struggle with the pain now and finding it hard to stay positive. Soon after this my baby started to get distressed - his heart-rate was dropping with every contraction (it turned out that the cord was wrapped around his neck and body). At 5 pm I decided to have an epidural, the nurses weren't sure if I was going to be able to deliver naturally and they wanted me to be ready if I needed to have a c-section (we were waiting on my obstetrician to arrive - he was stuck in traffic!). Once the epidural was in, my obstetrician arrived and checked me again and I was 10 cm dilated!! It turned out all I needed was to relax! Four pushes later and my little boy was born at 5:50 pm with the help of the vacuum.
Thanks again Hana for the wonderful yoga course, it certainly helped me get through 15 hours of labour!"
"We have a beautiful baby girl, Jarrah, and she is now almost a month old and is the light of our lives.
Unfortunately, I had to be induced so we had her at King Edward instead of the Family Birth Centre, but we did create a positive birthing environment with our midwife present and I gave birth on a mat on the floor.
Thanks again for providing an amazing and empowering yoga experience leading up to giving birth."
"Just found some time to let you know I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, his name is Connor! He was born on the 27th of October.
Thanks again for the lessons and information about birthing!
I ended up with an emergency c-section as after my waters broke I didn't dilate further than 1 cm. They tried to get things moving with syntocin, and was on that for 4 hours. During this time I was able to use the natural pain relief we had talked about in the classes, heatpacks, fitball and massage.
"This is the birth story of our dear daughter Aleena Sultana Khan, born on Friday, 15th February 2013.
When I went for my 38 week check-up, my doctor told me that I was 2 centimeters dilated and could have contractions anytime from then on. As I had some infection, the doctor said I have to be in hospital as soon as the contractions start, so that they can give me antibiotics to make sure bub is not infected.
My mum and sister came from India, my brother came from the USA (first grandchild in our family). So we were anticipating that I might go into labour at any time. I had everything ready (I would check the bag and birth plan like a million times). I cancelled going to my friend's party the following weekend, thinking the last thing I wanted to do is ruin their celebration. Sadat (my dear husband) had to inform work that he might go missing from work anytime to be with me.
A week passed by and there were no signs of any real contractions…I had lots of Braxton Hicks though.
On Thursday the 14th of February, we thought we might go for an evening walk and late night family dinner in South Perth. So we did. By the time we got back it was nearly 1am in the morning. I went straight to bed not thinking about anything (usually I pray for everything to go alright in case my labour starts that night). At 3am exactly, I woke up suddenly feeling really, really hot. So I got up grabbed some water and lay back in my bed. Then I suddenly felt like I had a bigggg pee. Talking to myself to be composed and focused and positive and all that...I checked if my waters broke and again had a big pee. By then it was like something I could not stop. So I woke Sadat up and told him that we had to go to the hospital, as my waters had broken. As soon as he heard that, he started to panic (how brave men are...lol).
So I asked him to call the hospital and let them know about everything. Meanwhile, I had a nice hot shower, talking to myself to be positive, woke my mum up and let her know bub is on her way. I did my prayers, called my dad and my in-laws in India and got ready to rock ‘n’ roll. We made sure that we sat down and had a quick chat about how we plan to bring our bub into our world and discussed things Sadat had to remind me of if I started giving up.
By 5:30am we were at the hospital. It was quite busy that day, with loads of babies and loads of c-sections apparently. We were given one of the rooms which had just been made available. The doctor on duty came in, went thru my birth plan, discussed it with the midwives, checked my levels etc. and then she tried giving me the antibiotic and in that process inflated my vein. After repeated tries she got it in somehow.
By now I had contractions maybe 10 minutes apart and only lasting for 30 seconds or so. This went on for the next 4 hours. I was doing all the positions I had learnt in the classes, long breaths and I went for a long walk in the hospital's courtyard etc. My contractions did not get much closer or intense, only little advances were happening at this stage.
By 9am the doctors changed shifts and there was a new doctor. So I had to go through the birth plan again. She tried giving me a second dose of the antibiotic and again inflated the vein in my other arm (I don’t know what they are trained in… as they could not give an injection properly!). Heart rate showed that bub was doing well. The doctor insisted on doing an internal check-up on my progress and after the check she told me I was still only 2 centimeters dilated. As I had the infection, she suggested I get induced, which I was not ready for. She said they can give me some more time to make up my mind.
So here I was talking to myself and bub to stay positive, trying to persuade my family, who were really concerned that I was being stupid to wait any longer. But the only thing that was going through my mind was ‘I don't want to do anything that might increase the chances of me ending up with a c-section’.
Meanwhile, Sadat requested my doctor (who I was going to while pregnant) to take charge, which she did, even though it was here day off. She came in and explained the pros and cons of an induction and yet again I insisted that I would wait a bit longer so that I can do all I can to start the process naturally…breathing, squatting, exercising etc.
She came back 2 hours later, at 1pm, did a check and told me there was no advance and that I might put bub at risk if I waited any longer. So by 1:30pm I was induced with a very low dose of syntocin.
So now the contractions got really intense, longer and more frequent. I had to be attached to the monitors to make sure bub was OK. Sadat says it was hilarious watching me do the poses with all the wires attached. Though it was tough to stay positive, as there were so many things that were going on, I tried to concentrate on my breathing, exercising and trying to be positive listening to bub's heart rate. My family and midwives were so supportive in keeping me positive.
At 3:30pm the doctor come back to check on me. My contractions were very strong and with very little gap but there was no change in dilation, but bub was doing OK. They increased the dosage of syntocin and insisted on me having an epidural, as the contractions were very strong and I had a long way to go. I refused to take it. The doctor said she will wait for 2 more hours. All my family was praying frantically for everything to go well.
By 4:30pm bub started having a few lows but was OK. I had to call in Marian (my bestie) for extra support. By 6pm the doctor came back, when I was doing my squatting sitting down. She checked me and told me that I was only 4 centimeters dilated and that I might have to go for a c-section as bub was starting to get distressed constantly and it was getting really complicated. She said there was nearly no chance of having a natural birth.
I remember saying “give me 2 more hours and I will do it”. And so she said ‘if bub is not out by 9pm then I must go for a c-section’. So then I cried for a bit, got really scared and passed stools in anxiety. I thought I was losing it; the pain was getting the better of me and so I went into a mental block. I took a few breaths of gas but did not like it, as it made me dizzy and more worried. At that time Sadat, mum, and Marian were like ‘relax honey and you will do it’. Sadat took me in his arms and reassured me I can do it. One of the midwives came in and reminded me of all the positions, though I hated her at that time for having such a high voice, she was like an angel who came just in time to bring back all my confidence.
So again I started concentrating on my breathing, talking to my bub and doing all the positions that can help me bring her out. All my family was praying outside the room...30 minutes later, I was fully dilated. By 8:15pm exactly, bub was in our arms, healthy, eyes wide open and so beautiful and precious. And the first thing bub did was poo all over me!
Even my doctor was so shocked that I had a normal birth, with bub being really active when she was born, that she took a case study so that she could share the importance of staying active and positive while in labour.
We would like to congratulate and thank you for teaching many women like me techniques to believe in ourselves, our body and our ability to give birth naturally.
Keep up the good work Hana."
My name is Vincent Leonard and I was born 2.1.2014 at 6:18am at home. I decided to get rolling on New Years morning and my tough and spectacular mum showed me the world about a day later, I landed right in the hands of my dad.
I'm currently at King Edward Hospital as I didn't do too well the first hours but some antibiotics make me feeling already much better now. Compared to mum and dad, I was not so much impressed by this unexpected gig in the special care nursery. For them it was a bit emotionally draining. Won't be too long though and I'm looking forward to go home and meeting you at some time.
Mum is tired but doing considerably well, especially in getting me to feed. Dad is tired too but outrageously happy. Besides he is a good place to sleep on.
Overall my cuteness will make up for everything ..."
Kamille came to Prenatal Yoga with her first pregnancy and then came back again with her second pregnancy. Both her stories are below.
"We gave birth on May3!
I felt contractions on May 1 so we went to the hospital and found out I wasn't even dilated yet! Contractions didn't stop from that time and it came every 6 minutes and lasted from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. It was crazy! I was going mental.
May 2 we went back to hospital cause I was in pain, they checked again but this time the midwife wasn't so gentle with the internal examination. I wanted to go home and she said I still wasn't dilated and gave me Panadeine Forte for the pain. Even though I was against it, I couldn't do anything so I took to pills. It didn't help though.
Next day, May 3, I was in so much pain 'cause I hadn't slept for two days. During the two days, I'd been using the T.E.N.S machine we bought online and breathing exercises you taught me, which helped a lot (thank you very much!). My cousins visited during lunch time and tried to entertain me while I was having contractions but around 6pm I couldn't take it anymore and told my husband we REALLY NEED to go to the hospital. So he called and told them I was having contractions 6 minutes apart, 2 minutes duration. The midwife said to bring me in since it was my 3rd call. I was getting ready to go into the shower when I felt it...plug went out...freaky. I was on my knees 'cause of the pain. Struggled to get to the shower but felt better with the water. Then rushed to hospital.
Midwife checked me via an internal examination again and said "You're 3cm, did you want an epidural?" after she moved her fingers she then said "WAIT! You're 6cm dilated!!" and I felt proud that I was handling the pain, but I still asked for the epidural. I was taking in the gas while waiting for the epidural.
It felt like forever with the pushing and I knew nothing was happening even though I was pushing with everything I had. My husband was there and two midwives. To cut the story short, my epidural didn't completely work, I only felt it work for a few minutes and felt the whole giving birth thing with just gas.
Happy to say around 10:32pm we gave birth to a healthy baby girl we named Phoebe Karise! It was amazing. I reckon, the stitching was more painful than the giving birth part!!
The long breaths we practiced at yoga helped me when I was having difficulty with the pain. Oh my God, really thankful I did yoga and continued doing yoga even after the first course finished!!
Thanks again for everything. My husband is grateful as well 'cause I was telling him what we learned every time we did the yoga session. So during the labour he knew what I wanted and what I was saying. He said my yoga breathing exercises did help a lot with our communication during labour.
Thanks again for everything!"
"Baby is surely out! It was quite eventful actually. Dan and I had tickets to see Michael Buble' on Sunday night but I knew I wouldn't hold out that long so we swapped our tickets for the Saturday night. Anyway, we got home at 12pm, at 1am I started having quite strong, intense contractions. We got to the hospital at 4am, I jumped into the birthing pool (which felt so warm and relaxing on my muscles) then Harry was born at 5am exactly. So once again I had a natural birth and so glad I managed to have a water birth, it was amazing and my husband got to scoop Harry out of the water which he was really chuffed about.
Once again I credit my ability to stay focused throughout the labour to pregnacy yoga. Thanks again Hana!!
I may see you again (my husband is already talking about a third) :-)"
"I just wanted to let you know that I had a beautiful baby girl, Ella Grace. She was born on the 11th of January. I had my first contraction at 1:00am Friday morning, so I woke my husband and got him to stick the T.E.N.S machine pads on my back and told him to go back to sleep because I could be in labor for ages. I tried to get some sleep but the pain was too intense, so I went into the living room where I practised the breathing and positions we did in yoga.
By 4:30am my waters broke and my contractions were 4 minutes apart but I held off calling the hospital because I was worried they were going to say stay at home a little longer. At 4:45am I called and they told me to come down but there was a good chance they would send me home.
We got to the hospital at 5:30am. My husband was so nervous/excited that he went the wrong way to the hospital adding another 10 minutes to our journey. When we got in, I was examined and fully dilated and quickly rushed to the delivery room. As they wheeled me in, I told the midwife they had to get the pool ready because I was having a water birth. She looked at me and said, "I'm sorry honey there is no way we can get the pool ready in time, you are having the baby now". That was at 6am and by 7:32am Ella was born. I managed to have a natural birth with a little bit of gas. I still can't believe I managed it and that is why I can't thank you enough Hana, for all of your advice and your obvious passion for what you do. I really believe doing yoga helped me achieve the birth I wanted and because of it Ella was so alert, and still is, and latched on straight away for a feed.
Thanks again Hana, I really enjoyed coming to yoga and listening to your stories. My husband is already of talking about another so I'm sure I will see you again :)"
"My little girl is 10 weeks old now! Alexandra Rose. She did not want to come out so I was induced 8 days late. So my vision of going into labour at home and having an active birth disappeared! I did try though and asked for the exercise ball in the birth suite and tried to bounce my way through the contractions, but at the end of the day, they were just so intense it felt better to be in a ball on the bed sucking on the gas!
I did make it through without an epidural which I am happy about. It took 4 hours for my cervix to get 'ripe' and the midwife said "Right...you're ready to go but it could still be another 4 hours!". At that point I said to my partner that I could really consider an epidural as it was just so intense and exhausting. He reminded me that I did not want to have one (which I had previously asked him to do) and so I didn't. Good thing as I was ready to push 30 minutes later. She came out really well although the cord was around her neck, they cut it very quickly and she cried and was beautiful!"