Updated: May 16
Three years ago, Tessa had just started baby yoga sessions at her studio so I joined with my first daughter Ivy when she was around 8 weeks old. I had never done yoga before but Tessa was amazing and really made me feel relaxed and begin to enjoy exercise and have some me time after giving birth.
Each week I felt more comfortable and was learning more about my body. I learnt how to breathe through things and focus my mind better. When my maternity leave ended I stopped going to yoga and then the pandemic hit so I haven't been back since.
On 10th January this year I gave birth to my second daughter, Hattie. I was ten days overdue and at just after midnight I thought my waters had broken. I wasn't 100% sure and didn't feel like I was in labour, so I went back to sleep. My waters broke early in my first pregnancy and I didn't give birth for another three days so I felt okay waiting. At 4am I woke up as I started to have contractions. They were very mild but after about half an hour they began to get more frequent. My husband rang his parents to come and look after Ivy and I rang Burnley Birth Centre. They said if I was comfortable I could stay at home and wait which I did. Even though it had been nearly three years, I remembered everything that I had learnt with Tessa and just kept thinking about the breathing techniques and how to focus my mind properly.
I ran myself a bath to make myself more relaxed and even curled my hair to feel slightly more myself! Stephen's parents arrived at about 6am but I still felt like I could manage so just sat talking for a while, continuing to breathe through my contractions. By this point they were a lot closer together but I still knew I had time, I could tell that she wasn't coming just yet. I made myself a Spotify playlist of songs for when I got to the hospital and double checked I had everything in my bag. At 8am I rang the Birth Centre to see if I could go over and arrived around 8:30am. Once I was settled in my room they checked and I was 6cm. I couldn't believe it! With Ivy I felt like my contractions were so intense and painful and was only 2cm so I was amazed that I had managed to focus and just breathe without any pain relief.
I asked if I could have a water birth so they filled the pool for when I was ready. For the next couple of hours I just stood up and walked around the room, continuing to breathe and focus on other things and talk to Stephen. By 12pm the contractions had begun to get a lot stronger and more frequent and when the midwife checked I was at 8cm. I still felt okay continuing with just breathing so got ready to get into the pool. When I got into the pool I continued to breathe and we listened to the playlist that I had made earlier that morning (a lot of Kings of Leon and some Billy Joel) and then by 2pm my contractions became a lot stronger. I started to use the gas and air to help me along and to help me concentrate.
Not long after, it was time. I tried to zone out the pain and really focus on just breathing and not getting stuck in my head. I definitely didn't think I could do it and a couple of times nearly gave up but at the same time, I knew I could do it if I focused. At 3:07pm I gave birth to my daughter Hattie who weighed an amazing 10lb 15!
Throughout both pregnancies I never really had large bumps and never really looked as far gone as I was, so myself and all the other midwives were as amazed as I was when she arrived!
Even after all the time away from actively practicing yoga with Tessa, I still remembered everything and could still picture her talking through ways to control everything from my mind to my breathing and I know for sure I would not have been able to do what I did without it!
Even though I only practiced baby yoga with Tessa, it still taught me a lot and I am really excited to go back in a couple of weeks, this time with Hattie!
“Tessa Clemson Yoga - your yoga studio in Great Harwood, serving Hyndburn, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley & Burnley”