Brynn and Charles' story of the birth of their first child is wonderful, they didn't manage to complete the 5 week course as their baby decided to come rather early at 33 weeks. Despite not having finished the course, and despite the fact that they had very special circumstances with a premature baby, their story is astoundingly positive and calm. I love it! 

" The day of Nathaniel's birth was relatively calm and relaxing: lunch with chocolate cake, lounging in the sunny garden, naps etc. Into the afternoon I went inside to spend time on the couch and relax, as my stomach was feeling a bit crampy.

We'd been in the hospital 4 days earlier with early onset delivery symptoms but discharged within 2 days as the symptoms had calmed down. These same 'cramps' were coming back and I was just trying to do my best to relax and breath through them calmly. I read news on the internet and even sent a few emails around 4:30. I thought a bath would feel good and I hoped it'd help calm my stomach cramps, which were only getting stronger by that point.

My husband Charles drew me a bath and offered to bring me a drinks or snacks, which I gladly accepted. After 20 mins or so of relaxing the warm tub, I was feeling ok but ready to get out, and I started to wonder whether we should go to the hospital. I got out of the tub and began drying off, telling Charles that I thought we should maybe go. By the time I'd gotten dressed in comfortable clothes and laid down on the bed to rest, the 'cramps' were getting considerably stronger. (Even so it still hadn't occurred to me that these were surges and that our child might be born soon!) Our neighbour drove us the short distance to the hospital where we planned to deliver; we were checked in and very soon taken to a nearby delivery room.

My waters broke while sitting on the delivery room bed and the surges remained strong every few minutes. Charles and I settled into our prepared practices and I was able to fall into a zone, listening to Charles guide me and I felt comfortable following my mantra of 'breath it down' to carry me through the surges. Because the baby was coming early, we were introduced to neonatal specialists as they got set up in the room.  

The birthing seemed to just take over naturally and relatively quickly...we arrived at the hospital at 6:45 and our son Nathaniel was born an hour later at 7:50pm. I never felt that I needed or wanted any pain relief and, to my surprise, no stitches were needed afterwards either - an added bonus! We had initially hoped for a water birth but his early arrival introduced an element of risk that meant a water birth wouldn't be possible.

Nonetheless we were very happy with the entire experience and I feel certain that our learned approaches allowed us to stay at home as long as possible in a calm environment. (The Midwife later told us that I was 9cm dilated when we arrived. I guess those weren't 'cramps' after all!) Nathaniel remained in NICU for 2.5 weeks but with minimal intervention. He's progressed beautifully and we are all happily at home, enjoying life as a family of three!