I had intended to have a water birth for my second child. I diligently attended private ante-natal classes with DH to prepare for the birth. I had even engaged in a Doula for support (see link for definition – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doula).
But it was not meant to be…..
10 days before delivery
“Alamak babe, got cramps lah, hope its not surges …” This was uttered while in the midst of reading the Sunday papers and sipping my decaffeinated iced mocha at Starbucks outside Pacific Plaza.
“Ok, just monitor and we’ll take it from there” replied my DH. Obviously he had wisened up from the previous birth experience *wink* (see link for previous birth experience – http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/blogs/autumnbronze?page=1). Anyway, I decided to just carry on with my plans and went shopping with DH and DS1 after his lesson at Berries. All the while the degree of pain seemed to be escalating slightly gradually. However, miraculously in the evening, it stopped. I heaved a sigh of relief. My ob/gyn was out of town and also she had allocated me another obstetrician, I fervently wished that she would preside over the birth of my 2nd child.
Life went on as per normal for the next 9 days, although there would be surges on and off at least once a day. I continued savouring my favourite for the past 9 months – Hagaan Daz belgian chocolate ice cream. A visit to the obstetrician some time in the week confirmed that the baby would come any time and I was advised to pack my bag.
Tuesday – day of delivery@38 weeks of gestation
I woke up at 8am with surges. Somehow my instinct told me that this was it. Coincidentally, I had an appointment to see the obstetrician. I called out to my DH and told him this might be the real thing for sure. I had requested to labour at home before arriving at the hospital, which I had done so with DS1, so I proceeded to make myself comfortable in bed and close my eyes in order to focus on my breathing. Once again, DH coped in the way he could … going about doing his own stuff ie washing up, showering etc … while I practiced my deep breathing in bed. Suddenly, my eyes flew open, irritated by the whirring sound of the hairdryer …. “Babe, I gotta do deep breathing and visualization … you switch on the hairdryer, how to concentrate liddat?” “Sorry” he replied sheepishly. “Listen, can you please call your Dad to pick up the boy and bring him to your parents’ place.” I reminded DH then as I heard DS1 calling out for his Daddy with yet another poser. I decided to get out of the bed, take a shower and do my yoga poses. I waddled towards the shower cubicle, intending to shower.
“Whoaaaaaaaaaa …. if the degree of the intensity of the surges are like that now, how is it going to be like when I’m about to deliver?” Suddenly, I had a strong urge to push ….. and push ….. and push ….. I realized then that I was going to do a home birth. I grinned … a wide one at that. This was definitely going to go down as one of the highlight in the annals of our family history … woo hooo!! Far from being anxious or nervous, I was on an adrenaline overdrive – biiiiig time.
I went into the shower area, leaned forward, with my elbows placed against the wall doing a half squat – gravity would help the baby descend smoothly. “Babe, get DS1 and helper out of here, and bring at least 4 to 6 towels to me NOW, call the Doula and tell her to come ASAP …” My thought processes were churning feverishly as I panted out a myriad of pertinent instructions and focused on my breathing concurrently. So much for listening to soothing music, spraying essential oil etc …. Just goes to show no matter how prepared one is of something, sometimes things may not turn out as perfectly planned.
I felt the ring of fire as the baby’s head was about to emerge. I was conscious of the fact that the water bag had not burst and that it would probably come out together with the baby. True enough, I felt a membrane-like substance. My instincts came into play again as it urgently whispered to me to squat down so that in case the baby was delivered, it would not hit the floor. In the meantime, my DH had laid the towels on the floor. Just then, the baby SLIPPED OUT and landed on them. He gave a loud and protesting wail. It took almost three hours from the time I woke up for the baby to make his dramatic entrance into this world. I quickly cradelled him in my arms and waited for my Doula to arrive.
She came soon after, laid incol sheets and towels on my bed and helped me to the bed so that I could nurse my baby and wait for the placenta to expel. DH coolly made nespresso for himself and milo for me as we sat on the bed listening to soft music and chatted. On hindsight, I was probably in labour for the past 10 days or so. It was only much later that DH confessed that he had to call someone to remind him how to make milo *laughs* when it finally sunk in that I had ACTUALLY delivered at home. For me, I was swirling in the mist of exhilaration and achievement. I had DONE it – and successfully too! I was not at all exhausted or overwhelmed. I felt a sense of peace. The baby was also nursing very calmly. About 2 hours later when there was no sign of the placenta coming out, my Doula suggested that we go to the hospital so that the obstetrician could do the necessary follow up. So with a top and a sarong skirt tied around me and the umbilical cord still attached to the comfortably swaddled baby, I walked slowly out of my flat and DH drove us first to my in laws, who lived a stone’s throw away, for me to ‘show off’ the baby, then to the hospital.
Little did I know that there were some ‘spies’ *smile* looking out of the window and that the story would soon spread like wildfire among the few neighbours that we keep in touch with.
At the hospital, as I settled down in the delivery suite, the first thing the obstetrician said when he saw me was “wow, I wish all my patients were like you, then my job would be made easier.” The baby was given a thorough check up and the paediatrician gave a thumbs up.
I had intended to have a water birth for my second son. But it was not meant to be …..
It instead, turned out to be an even better experience than I had expected.
Would I be planning for a third child? You bet.
Would I plan for a home birth? Most definitely, provided the baby or/and I have no health issues.
Note: Home births used to be popular among the expatriates here, but it has taken an upward trend among the local ladies too.