16 days before my calculated date of delivery I started training. As it was slightly difficult to train alone I asked my husband to help me. The first training unit took only about 8 minutes as it was quite strenuous and I reached my threshold of pain after only a few minutes of pumping. At that point of time I found it difficult to believe that I would manage to pump up the balloon to its full size in only 10 to 14 days. The training unit on the following day proved to be more pleasant and lasted over 10 minutes. With each day I got more experienced and found it easier to withstand the pain, I visibly noticed the positive training effect. One thing I would like to mention at this point is the fact that due to the daily training I was able to reduce my fear of the oncoming birth.
It was my first pregnancy and the “horror reports” from women among my friends and relatives who had already given birth to children kept on going through my mind during the whole pregnancy. My sister had a real trauma of the birth. I remember well that she was not able to sit down for weeks and it was quite obvious just how much pain she was suffering. This overshadowed the experience of birth and for a long time she could hardly imagine having another child.
Like training for an exam
Training with Epi-no gave me the feeling of doing something active to make delivery easier. I had found a possibility to get myself prepared and I did not feel so helpless in view of the oncoming birth. It was obvious that I was making progress and with each individual training unit I managed to pump up the balloon even more without feeling great pain, at the same time being aware of the fact that the tissue was being stretched to adapt to the increasing size. The training units with Epi-no were like learning for an examination, conveying a feeling of self-assurance and trust in myself to pass this exam with my increasing understanding.
Unfortunately I did not have the chance to train for two weeks. When I realised that what I was feeling were not pains announcing the oncoming birth, but the real labour pains, my first thought was: “Now I have not even managed to pump up the ball completely”. At that point of time I had reached a training level of about 6-7 cm. In the following night my husband and I drove to the hospital. In the delivery room I told my midwife that I had trained with Epi-no and in the pauses between the contractions we talked about its application and effects. I told her that I would only give my consent to an episiotomy in an absolute emergency, as I was convinced of the advantages of this device, despite the fact that I had not been able to complete training.
Early in the morning of the 10th of December our baby girl Sophie was born. No episiotomy was necessary – I only had a small tear which the doctor sewed with a few stitches. My midwife who came to examine me the next day (I was an outpatient) told me that it was only a minute tear. And I did not have any problems with that either. One thing I must say is that our daughter Sophie was a relatively large baby.
I am convinced that without Epi-no I would have had more than just a minute tear. My experience with EPI·NO was therefore highly positive. In the event of a next pregnancy I will definitely train with Epi-no again. Sophie is a wonderful baby and we love her deeply and cannot imagine life without her. I am sure that I was able to enjoy the first weeks of her life with her so positively because I had no severe pain at all.