Originally posted on April 15th 2018
I still can’t believe that nearly 21 months have passed since Starfish was born and just as I’m starting to feel settled back into work again I’m already preparing to finish up and head on maternity leave again! As many of you will know I’m 29 weeks pregnant and starting to think about delivery options for our little “Chickpea”.
This pregnancy is very different for lots of reasons. I’m a lot more calm and empowered, a combination of experience and my GentleBirth training. Also with Starfish keeping me busy, I don’t have nearly as much time to obsess over every little twinge and niggle. The downside is however that unlike first time round, when I come home from work exhausted, I can’t just lie down and relax as understandably Starfish needs Momma time. The other weird thing that is totally different this time is that my sickness has only arrived in the last 2 months or so. Last time I was chronically ill for the first 6 1/2 months and only got rid of it with Bio Energy Healing. This time I flew through the early months. I think the sickness is hanging around now as the space in my tummy gets less and less and everything including my digestive system is really starting to slow down.
As I’m now in the final trimester, and armed with the skills and knowledge I’ve gained through my GentleBirth training, the meditations and brain training for birth techniques, I’m excited for the new arrival; a stark contrast to the fear and anxiety I had with Starfish which led to my planned C section. This time I trust my mind and body to do what it was designed to do and believe that I can have a natural, non assisted delivery (VBAC).
GentleBirth have specific tools for VBAC incorporated in the app and there’s even a VBAC course tailored for parents who have had a previous C Section or even multiple sections and now want a non assisted delivery.
I’m all too aware that my muscles are much tighter than most and my limbs don’t bend as readily as they should or as would be ideal for delivery; however, that’s less of a problem now that I’ve discovered the possibility of an upright birth! Upright birth is exactly as it sounds; rather than getting into your pjs and lying in bed One Born Every Minute style, you stay mobile as much as possible, stand, move, or sit upright as much as possible, letting nature and gravity do most of the hard work for you. That makes perfect sense, right?
Other benefits of upright labour and delivery are:
Shorter labour (with gravity helping so much)
No need for “coached pushing” as we see in the movies. Pushing is more mother led happening when mum takes the signals from her body that the time is right. This leads to the who experience being less strenuous and stressful for both mother and baby and reduces the risk of trauma or injury.
Staying upright will ultimately be more comfortable for mum. This is especially important when you consider that even a short labour and delivery will be hours rather than minutes. Who wants to be in an uncomfortable position for hours on end? For me as a Wheelie Momma with frequent backpain (and chronic heartburn in pregnancy) lying down for hours is a nightmare so the idea that I can move around and mobilise or sit upright to deliver is an absolute breakthrough!
I did briefly look at the standard birthing stool in my local hospital before having Starfish but it was hard and uncomfortable and no higher off the ground than a child’s potty so there was no way I could get down to it, even though I’m only 5ft tall; never mind be comfortable on it.
When I visited the Irish Positive Birth Conference I was elated to discover the CUB (Comfortable Upright Birth) stool. This is a lightweight, inflatable birthing stool. Crucially for me, the fact that it’s inflatable means that it is also height adjustable with a single or double inflation. Fully inflated it is the perfect height for me to sit on safely and it is much easier to balance on than a traditional birth or yoga ball.
The Cub is sturdy and secure while at the same time being soft, and even more so if you add the fleecy cover. It has no nasty ridges or edges that could restrict blood flow or cause damage and the beauty of it is, the shape means it can be used both throughout all stages of labour and to deliver baby.
It’s not just a chair either, it can also be used as a support to lean against or lie on and with a single inflation it can even be used as an extra support on top of a bed; still a lot better than lying flat.
There are huge psychological benefits to upright births too. Research has shown that when we go to hospital, put on or pjs or a gown and get into bed, we effectively go into “patient mode” and give over our power to the medical staff. Standing or sitting upright, straight with our shoulders back is a “power pose” which instantly makes us feel more empowered and in control. For labour and birth mind-set is key so the more we can do to stay calm and in control the better. This has led me to start thinking about not only how I will give birth but also what I’ll wear and the people and things I want around me while in hospital. I will dress for how I want to feel, comfortable but also feminine and powerful. Less baggy tracksuit and more my wonder woman t shirt.
I have every confidence that armed with my CUB, the GentleBirth app and of course my amazing husband and birth team, I will rock my VBAC and welcome Chickpea into the world in the most amazing way possible.
For more information or to buy your own CUB visit https://www.cub-support.com/