I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years, after I had a back injury I found yoga alleviated my pain so I have been practicing since 2001. Yoga has always been apart of my exercise routine. When I became pregnant with my first daughter in 2014 I started yoga with Liza in my 3rd trimester and practiced right up to my due date with her, my only regret was not starting with Liza earlier in my pregnancy.
So this time when I became pregnant with my second child I started prenatal yoga as soon as I learned I was pregnant. I first began with Liza’s classes on yoga download. When my pregnancy was confirmed I started coming to her class at Babies in Bloom and continued until the day I was in labor.
My due date was 9/30/16, but like all babies they choose when they would like to come. I continued to go to yoga and on 10/1/16 I attended Liza’s Saturday class. I had been having some light contractions since the day before so I knew I was getting close to my little ones arrival. But they were light and infrequent so I just kept moving on with my day. During that Saturday class Liza discussed the 5 things that can tip you off that you may be in early labor, as I was not the only one in the class who was past their due date. Liza said if you still have contractions through 1. exercise (check) 2. sleep (check) 3. eating (check) 4. shower (check) 5. I am blanking on the last one (drinking?)…but I know I had all 5. I knew I was in early labor, but movement is the best thing and I felt fine through yoga so I went with it. I went on with my day even running errands and putting my two year old to bed that night.
Around my bedtime 10:30 pm I noticed my contractions coming on more frequently, about every 20 min or so lasting about 1 min. I decided I would lay down to get as much rest as I could because I had a feeling I would be in for a long night. I was able to get some broken sleep until 1 am when my contractions started to become every 10 min lasting 60 seconds. I brought out my exercise ball to the living room, my water, and Liza’s amazing smelling spray. The contractions were coming steadily every 10 min and gradually increasing in intensity. During this time I hydrated with coconut water, water, and had a bowl of cereal. At this point contractions were not stopping me in my tracks. I found my exercise ball and walking around the house helped me get through the contractions as well as my yoga breathing.
About 3 am the intensity of my contractions increased greatly. They were still 10 min apart but I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable and now unable to talk through the contractions. The ball was still easing some of the pain, but I found standing leaning against the couch bent over and adding the yoga breathing with the moan that Liza suggested helped me at this point. I also used her amazing smelling spray which did help me relax a little more and did ease some of the contractions.
At 4 am I could no longer talk through contractions and they were coming every 5 min lasting a minute apart. I gave it a little more time to make sure I really could not talk through contractions and at 4:40 am It was time to go to the hospital, I had lost my mucus plug and I am pretty sure my water broke at this time. My husband and I got in the car, and in the 10 min ride to Scripps Encinitas I had 3 very painful contractions, sitting in the car was not helping. We arrived at the hospital around 4:50 pm.
The staff hooked me up to the monitor and asked me what my birth wishes were, I had an open birth plan. My main priority was my safety and my daughters safety and safe arrival. I was open to medication and natural means of pain relief, and I utilized all of them. At this point the ball was not working, when I walked my contractions stopped me in my tracks. They could not officially admit me because I was only at 3 cm dilated…(What!!!) But my nurse, George, gently told me I wasn’t going anywhere, I was going to have this baby soon. He even said he thought I would not make it to shift change. This made me feel better.
That was short lived. I labored for one more hour bent over, swaying and my husband putting pressure on my back ( I had back labor) and moaning (very,very loudly I may add), when they checked again I was at 5 cm. I was admitted and asked what I would like to do. I was at an 8 out of 10 pain, and I knew If I could relax a little bit I could get this baby out. I opted for an epidural, and I am ok with that, because It is my journey. The anesthesiologist arrived and placed the epidural. After placement I was at 8 cm. He did an amazing job, I could still move my legs slightly and could feel pressure of the contractions. From there I progressed very fast I was at 10 cm and ready to push. My OB was already at the hospital with another patient and as soon as he arrived, which was right after the nurse checked me. I pushed 2 or 3 times, and at 7:40 am my sweet girl arrived. No tearing I may add, Thank you Dr. Cap for saving my lady parts.
No pregnancy or delivery is alike, my oldest daughters arrival was very different but beautiful in its own way. This delivery felt was very swift, and just as beautiful. I regularly exercised through my pregnancy 4 days a week, I did a variety of exercise such as cardio and strength training through my pregnancy and adapted as my pregnancy progressed. I also have a 2 year old to chase. I regularly did yoga 2 x per week, one with Liza and a class on yoga download. I believe exercise helps with labor, because both my labors were pretty fast, and I think I endured pretty well. I feel what it has helped me with the most, is recovery. I feel better after this delivery, I am sleep deprived, but I feel much better.
Thank you Liza for your amazing classes and making your yoga classes available for us. I truly made a difference in both my pregnancies. I will continue my yoga practice after I get the go ahead from my OB. I will recommend your classes to my patients and friends. It truly made a difference.