Joyce Lee's Safe Gentle Birth Despite Some Pregnancy Scares Story

Every birth deserves a story. My first birth story was written in 2013. Now in 2016, here's my second (and most probably the last) birth story.

A Miracle, a Gift from God

This baby is truly a miracle baby, a gift from God. He was conceived in the third month after a miscarriage. Even then, before the pregnancy test kit showed positive, I never thought I'd be pregnant in that cycle because there was so much spotting past the implantation window. But God had decided otherwise.

Pregnancy Drama

Starting 19/20 weeks pregnant, I experienced on and off brown spotting every 4-5 weeks.

By 31/32 weeks, when spotting happened twice in a week, I admitted myself to the hospital, anticipating an early delivery but at the same time, trusting what my body was capable of doing. After taken the dexamethasone jabs, I was discharged with the diagnosis minor antepartum hemorrhage.

7 monthsBy God's grace, baby decided to stay on till week 34/35 when spotting happened again. I was prepping myself mentally in case I gave birth to a preemie at that time. But baby stayed till 38w+2d before he decided that he should arrive on the day of my scheduled appointment on 6 Dec 2016.

Burst of Energy [5 Dec 2016]

Working from home.
Splitting headache.
Sudden urge to drink white coffee.
Cranky, easily irritated.
Publishing blog posts, I just had this weird feeling to tie up loose ends.

The Birth [6 Dec 2016]

Woke up every 1.5-2 hours since 1:30am till 6:30am due to mild surges, I dismissed them as stronger Braxton-Hicks.

6:30am: Birth (bloody) show. My toddler, who hasn't been waking up so early for the longest time ever, woke up and we talked and he nursed for a while.

8am: Boarded a Uber car to Pantai Bangsar for my 38th week obgyn appointment.

9am: Reached Dr Paul Ng's clinic. At the labor ward, surges became more rhythmic but still manageable because I practiced breathing with every surge and kept on chanting to myself that every surge brings baby nearer to me. I also kept reminding myself to relax my jaws (not clenching in pain) because a relaxed jaw = relaxed pelvic area.

9:45am: Dr Paul came to the labor room, looked at the CTG chart on the machine and said, "So today's the day yeah?" I remembered during the 37th week appointment, I mentioned perhaps next time we met, it would be at the labor room. Hah. Prophecy fulfilled.

Dr. Paul did a VE (with my consent), I was 3cm dilated. I was surprised because for my first birth, it took way longer and way more unbearable surges to even reach 3cm. Dr Paul asked the attending labor ward nurse (Shin Nee) to get me started with the admission process.

10:30am: Hubby reached the labor room after sending our elder boy to the babysitter. He bought Starbucks chicken-cranberries sandwiches for me because I was hungry.

11am: I managed to finish eating when surges that took my breath away started in waves of every five minutes. At first I was sitting on the bed, with hubby applying counter pressure massage on my lower back. Then for the next two hours or so, I spent the bulk of the time riding the surging waves on the porcelain throne. I didn't know about this at that time but at the time of writing this birth story, I've read that our pelvic area is conditioned to relax whenever we are seated at the toilet bowl. So that explains my urge to stay on the toilet bowl to labor.

1:45pm: It looked like I've reached the hallmark stage. I couldn't talk anymore. Midwife (Yun Fong) did a VE with my consent. 8cm. Woohoo! I was so relieved to hear that. Good job cervix! At one point I was making pitiful crying sounds when Sister Seow the head nurse reminded me to breathe and don't cry like that. Oops.

With the help of Yun Fong and Sister Seow, I propped myself against the bed's headrest and knelt on my knees - my favorite birthing position. I heard someone mentioned station minus one, call Dr Paul.

1:55pm: Water bag broke soon after I knelt down. Bearing down sensations started. Dr Paul arrived.

Breast crawlI quite welcomed the bearing down sensations because they were far less intense than surges. I could take a rest while waiting for the next wave, which was pretty much feeling like I was about to pass a very huge motion. After the third wave of bearing down sensations, I finally felt the famous ring of fire, i.e. the baby's head was crowning! From this point onwards till baby's whole body was out, I remembered I was vocalizing very loudly, like the sound of a war cry. I remembered making arrrggghhh.... sound until the whole baby came out.

2:18pm: And..... Baby was born!
Hello Baby!Skin to skin right away after Dr Paul coaxed a stunned me to turn around and take the baby.
Delayed cord clamping.
Baby was covered with some vernix and he wasn't wiped down.
Placenta was out on its own.
Superficial tear so Dr Paul stitched it up.
Breast crawl a little bit.

Lunch!I was ravenous and lunch was so good! :-)

- Joyce Lee (Dec 2016)

First birth: Torpedo-Fast DIY Hospital Birth Story (Aug 2013)