Pregnancy & birthing stories
The birth went really well and I got the home birth I wanted, much of what Vivien taught me was invaluable, so I’m so thankful I did so many of her classes.
Everyone's pregnancy and birth experience is unique. Yoga and the skills learned in birth preparation can be invaluable to feel confident and calm as it all unfolds. Here are a few stories - it doesn't offer the perfect birth, but it does offer inspiration that you can handle whatever comes your way.
Pippa's pregnancy yoga and birth story
"I just wanted to let you know that baby boy Oliver arrived bang on due date on Thursday. He has done very well right from the off, even after having to accompany me at Southmead for a couple of nights.
In summary, we had the labour and birth we wanted - only 8 hours in total, got to 8cm dilated at home then the birth itself in the Mendip Centre - but he was so eager to come out that unfortunately I tore and lost quite a lot of blood so had to be transferred to CDS, a visit to theatre as well, and then two nights on the ward. (In fact I could have gone home after one but wanted to establish feeding as Oliver had a tongue tie fixed whilst there).
My husband was a birth partner hero, doing all the Hypnobirthing partner things he could in the circumstances, and basically had the first two hours with Oliver, getting the first skin to skin and the first feed from some colostrum I had expressed, just in case something like this happened! The hospital staff were incredible as well though, and got me skin to skin as I was under spinal block being "done" in theatre.
But...I've been home 2 days now and feeling a lot more human and we are finding our new normal. Tearing was one of my biggest fears...and it happened and worse than expected. But, it's OK, as you always said, not the end of the world.
The whole labour/surge/birth experience was more indescribably intense than I had imagined, perhaps due to the pace I don't know? But as you always say, it was "doable" - well it has to be, no other choice!! There was no time to even think of pain relief beyond gas and air, which I didn't like anyway and only used a bit for stitching attempt round 1...
Your birth prep sessions and yoga were completely invaluable for just being prepared as best as possible for when things go off piste. I'll admit that I just couldn't quash that adrenaline in the second stage and the speed of things meant unfortunately i had very little control over the eventual circumstances and nature of the birth itself, but nevertheless, getting to 8cm on my own at home and then doing the whole thing with zero pain relief other than a Tens and a brief stint in the pool was helped hugely by everything you had taught us.
Louisa's pregnancy yoga and birth story
"I wanted to drop you an email to say thank you. I recently gave birth to my second child, a son and had been coming to pregnancy yoga with Viv for a few months on the lead up to it.
The sessions helped me so much with my birth, and allowed me to have the birth that I wanted. Viv was right you really can breathe a baby out!! You helped with the positions, and the positive affirmations etc. I really was in the right head space for birth, and think that the sessions I had helped me to realise I could do it with no pain relief at all. Breathing is magic!
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I really appreciated the sessions
I have also made some lovely mummy friends from the group, so that is just a wonderful bonus.
Thanks again, appreciate it all more than you can know.
Mandy's pregnancy and birth story
"I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the birthing classes and pregnancy yoga as I found both to be hugely beneficial.
I had my baby sooner than expected at 37 weeks and due to a few complications, I was steered down the road of a planned ‘c section’. Although not my preferred scenario, I think your classes were a huge help in putting me in the right mindset and enabling me to approach the experience positively. I was able to use the breathing techniques throughout regardless and we are all doing well.
I will look forward to attending the mum and baby yoga sessions with Margot in the future.
Best wishes, Mandy"
Kathryn's pregnancy and birth story
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the absolutely fantastic Vivien. Your classes have been such an important part of my pregnancy and preparation for having a baby. All your wisdom and support helped me to have the best birth experience when my daughter decided to arrive.
She had pretty much the perfect birth; I got everything I could have possibly hoped for and more. I had a natural birth, at home in a birthing pool. I was comfortable throughout most of the first stage, pottering around the house, rocking on the ball or resting upright while trying to keep my head in check, listening to your yoga music. Contractions became more intense but still manageable without any drugs; I took just two paracetamols but had lots of extra help from massage, hot water bottles, tens and then the pool itself. When approaching second stage, you helped me follow my instinct and do what I wanted – which was an overwhelming urge to get into the birth pool. Then I can honestly say that I felt wonderful. I managed to ‘breathe my daughter down’ with no conscious pushing at all. I had practiced the ‘J breath’ you taught us but don’t think I actually expected to pull it off!
I’m so grateful that you were able to come for the birth – I felt so completely surrounded by support, reassurance and love. My husband also felt really involved (and he was quite useful!) by doing the things you had talked about at a birth preparation workshop (for instance, light touch massage) and when you gave him some tips to help out – the saucepan of hot water sploshed on my lower back felt really lovely.
I do feel very lucky that I had what you described in classes as a ‘golden ticket’. Although, having had so many birth prep sessions and yoga practices with you, I feel very confident that I would have had a good birth experience even if things had been different and it hadn’t gone to plan A. There are so many things that you have taught me that were useful, particularly the breathing, staying in the right room and being totally ‘non-resistant’. And you’re definitely right that they are skills for life; not just childbirth… I was using the throat breathing just yesterday to help get some rest, calm my head and settle my daughter who had been up feeding/squirming with wind and crying for a couple of hours in the middle of the night.
There is nothing I can say that will thank you enough for what you have given me. I can only tell every pregnant lady I know: how invaluable your lessons are, to go to as many classes as possible and what a great and fun way they are to spend Saturday mornings with a bump and lots of other lovely ladies! 😊"
Laura's pregnancy yoga story
"Thankfully we became pregnant and at 15 weeks when I felt a bit more confident with the pregnancy I decided to do some yoga and that's where I came across the amazing Vivien Tallis. I immediately fell in love with her style of yoga teaching and her relaxing and soul strengthening session was just what I needed once a week to help me feel connected to the little person growing inside me ... I was wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Vivien. "
Jess's pregnancy and birth story
"I wanted to share with you my birthing experience...
The birth of my daughter, Nancy, began at 3am on Wednesday 30th November – a little earlier than expected but within the ‘full term’ date range.
I wasn’t sure at first whether it was the beginning of labour as it started with the ‘show’ or mucus plug, and I’d read that that can come and then there are still days before labour begins. I hadn’t had any Braxton Hicks and at 3am there were just mild period pains and no back ache. Between 3am and 7am I stayed in bed, put on my rainbow relaxation audio and listened to affirmations. Within the first hour the intermittent period pain type feeling became regular – approximately every 10-12 minutes for a minute and with the breathing techniques it was totally manageable. At around 7am we called Southmead and they said to call back again once the surges were 4-5 minutes apart - we said at this stage that we if possible we'd like the birthing pool. I had a bath at home between 7-9.30am and continued to use my breathing techniques and listen to some nice music. At 9.30, the surges quickly ramped up and suddenly I went from 7-8minutes apart to 4-5 and the intensity of the surge really increased. We spoke to the hospital again and they said to take our time but to make our way in. Within 5 minutes the surges quickened to every 2 minutes and my instinct was that things really were moving at pace and we needed to get to hospital! Adam, bless him, was then in a bit of a panic finishing the play list, packing the hospital bag and trying to get some breakfast together (which we had to abandon in the toaster as I suddenly felt the urge to push!).
Luckily we live a 5 minute drive from the hospital – once we got there I was examined and I was 9cm dilated and the urge to push was definitely there! Luckily for me the birthing pool was free and they filled it up and I got in. I was really happy with the ambiance they’d created in the room – the midwife led centre at Southmead is temporarily closed, but they’ve transformed some of the central delivery suite rooms to reflect a more ‘tranquil’ environment. The lighting was low and they had fake candles and mats on the floor, aromatherapy, with almost all the medical equipment removed. From then onwards it was three hours of intense surges, but with some (OK maybe a lot!) gas and air, I breathed/pushed her out in the pool. The midwives helped ease her into the pool and then told me to look down – she was there looking up at me! I scooped her up and then we had instant skin to skin in the pool. It was magical!
Anyway – I wanted to write this to let mums-to-be know that some births can be really great. It was painful (especially when birthing her head!) but for me manageable by being focused on breathing and staying calm. I heard so many horror stories when I was pregnant, but having done the hypnobirthing course I went into my labour really positive and excited and calm. I have no idea whether I was always destined to have an ostensibly straightforward birth, but I felt that the breathing techniques and mind set I’d learnt and adopted from the Mongon method really helped me cope with the experience.
Good luck to all mums out there with their births! "
Clare's* birthing story
"I just wanted to say thank you so much for agreeing to my request for extra breathing practice (on top of all the third stage discussion etc). I went into labour on Monday and what you did in class on Saturday was so so helpful.
I was extremely lucky to have a very speedy labour (from 1-10cm in about 2 hours and she came out with two pushes), and I just ended up having 2 paracetamol as birth pool didn't get to the right temperature in time.
Focusing on breathing out, lots of unglamorous cat poses and keeping face relaxed throughout as per the class instructions was all that was needed in the end (which I found hard to believe as a sceptical medic)!
We had a lovely baby girl and I feel extremely grateful for your classes, and can honestly say I enjoyed the experience of labour as the end result was so worth it. "
*Please note, the name has been changed as she requested to remain anonymous.
" I have found your classes so reassuring over the course of the pregnancy. I definitely would not have considered having this natural breech birth if it weren't for the confidence your classes have given me!"
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