My 44 hours labour started with a 'pop' when I felt my water bag broke as I went for a pee in the middle of the night on my baby's estimated due date which was 16 October 2012. I was like, "Wow, baby's really on time and waited for grandma to be back to witness his arrival to this world too!" So happened that the day was the earliest time my mum can be home from Australia due to some commitments and we did ask baby to ‘wait’ for grandma. :-)
Remembering what I've learnt from Wai Han's HypnoBirthing class, I quickly checked what's in the toilet bowl to ensure everything's fine. I saw bits of white stuff floating and guessed they must be vernix so I thought to myself, “This is it!”
I felt really excited as it has been a long awaited day for the little one to come and meet the world! However, after the water bag broke, nothing much happened so I tried to go back to sleep but was too excited to fall back to sleep. After a short while I had the urge to go pee again. As I stood up, a gush of water just flowed down my legs like an opened tap and my husband need to quickly grab a towel for me to hold the ‘leak’ and escort me to the toilet and more water was released as I sat down on the toilet bowl.
After the water stopped coming out, I thought to myself baby may be coming out soon! But I didn’t feel much of the ‘supposed’ surges, neither do I know how the ‘real’ surges should be like. So I sent an SMS to Wai Han in the middle of the night to let her know of my condition and to my surprise, I got an instant reply from Wai Han! She asked if I felt any surges and I said no. So she asked me to get some sleep and call her when there are more ‘actions’.
So I tried to sleep again but of course failed. Then throughout the whole day we were waiting and expecting for things to happen as we’ve heard stories of baby coming very shortly after the water bag broke but there were also those that came many days after. So we can only wait and I turned on the Rainbow Relaxation CD to help relax myself. For the whole day I felt nothing much except for some very mild surges and kept in touch with Wai Han to update her.
Another Restless Night
Night came and still nothing much. So I tried to tell baby don’t come too late. Although I knew the amniotic fluid will replenish itself but of course we were anxious to meet baby. I tried to sleep again at night but anxiety kept me awake. Surges were coming once every 10 minutes and each time it didn’t last long and I only felt mild cramps but not uncomfortable though. I have been lying down on the bed, walking around the room, and actually spending most of the time on my birth ball counting down on surges, while my husband (Joshua) snored away after an anxious day of waiting but baby has not decided to come out. The birth ball was really the most comfortable thing to be on at that time.
After a restless night once again, there was still not much ‘action’. My mum was at my house early in the morning to accompany us and wait for baby’s arrival and brought us breakfast too. Many hours passed and with all of us getting more anxious, we tried to do a vaginal check with my husband doing it and trying to figure out how much dilated I was but he couldn’t tell or more like we didn’t know how to check or expect, so we can only continue to wait and wonder how long more the labour will take.
36 Hours After Water Broke
At around mid afternoon on 17 October 2012, which is about 36 hours after the water bag broke, the surges started to feel pretty uncomfortable and came every 5 minutes and lasted 1 minute each time. However, there was no urge to bear down yet. I asked Wai Han when was the best time to go into the bath tub as I planned to give birth in the water and was told I can go in at that time to get ready for baby’s birth. I was soaking in the water for 2 hours with each surge getting stronger than the last but finally I could not stand staying in the water any longer so I moved back to my bed with super crampy surges coming.
When the surge came it was really intense and I couldn’t even tell the time or count the surges anymore. Joshua was trying to get me on different birthing positions on the bed and ended up I was at the side lying birthing position after trying many other positions and found this to be the most comfortable by far. Joshua helped to do the light touch massage to help me relax but to be honest it was really difficult to try to calm down with the super cramps at that time. I was even given a face towel to hold on to and I squeezed really hard at it. Otherwise, I would have scratched my husband badly! All I can remember was I was screaming every time the surges came. I’ve told myself I needed to be calm and made lots of preparation for baby’s birth but these have all gone out the window when the powerful surges came! I can say we were inexperience too.
My husband was in contact with Wai Han throughout the evening and updated my condition to her. As the surges came and the cramps felt more intense each time, I’ve started to feel the urge to push baby out and this lasted for a few hours on the bed but baby hasn’t come out. At one point some blood was splattered out from my vagina and Wai Han informed Joshua that it was ok. My mum got worried and asked if I wish to go to the hospital. I nearly said yes but decided to give a little more time.
At around 9:00pm Wai Han arrived at my house and she instantly told my husband to help with the pelvic press but I could not bear any person’s touch when the surge come so once the surge ended each time they will quickly press on the pelvic as hard as possible and it felt so much better! This continued on for a while and up to a point when baby still has not come out, Wai Han suggested me to change position. I remembered telling her that other positions were not comfortable and I wasn’t willing to change.
She then asked if I have passed urine in the last few hours as a full bladder may cause some difficulty for baby to move out so I unwillingly agreed to move away from the bed and was assisted to the toilet. As I sat on the toilet bowl I couldn’t feel any urine passing except for the continuous surges. Joshua was supporting me in front as I held on him tight and shouted in pain as the surges came. Wai Han helped to massage my lower back as each surge ends and held me tight and whispered to my ears with very comforting words which did help to calm me down. Mum was also in the toilet to help.
Toilet Bowl Birth
After some powerful surges as I sat on the toilet bowl I heard Wai Han said baby was crowning, which I couldn’t tell myself as I could only feel super camps but I did feel more urge to push at that time. Then I was asked to stand up to allow baby to be received. My whole body was limp and could only rely on my husband to support me up. Wai Han told me not to push but to let baby move down himself and asked me to make the low humming sound to further relax myself as baby moved downwards. I tried very hard to calm down and hummed but still couldn’t stop myself from the feeling of wanting to push hard. I even told myself and hoped that I did not tear as I pushed baby out!
After a few attempts of “trying” not to push while baby was crowning, baby’s head finally emerged and everyone got so excited except that I still felt the urge to push the whole of him out! Mum was getting ready to receive baby as he came and I even heard them saying, “be careful don’t let baby fall into the toilet bowl!”
After the head came out, baby’s body followed out quickly and that was much much easier. We were all blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Finally I could sit down and carry the little one. All were joyful that baby came to the world in a very calm manner (not for the mother, me! :P) and he did not cry. He opened his eyes wide and made some sound after a short while but was making himself comfortable in my arms as everyone else looked at him lovingly. Phone calls have also started to announce the arrival of the little prince!
As we were busy checking on the little one to make sure everything was fine, I told myself that I still need to birth the placenta out and wished that it comes out smoothly. We placed a sieve in the toilet bowl and after a few mild surges, I felt the placenta coming out with baby still in my cuddle. Wai Han then helped to check that the full placenta has come out and it had. At that time I felt so relieved that all went well and couldn’t wait to have skin-to-skin time with baby. All feelings of pain and discomfort were forgotten instantly at that point.
Once the placenta has come out, baby has been carried away by his father to clean him up, with everyone else following him excitedly, leaving the poor mother (me) behind. Lucky I had Wai Han with me. However, as I was chatting with Wai Han when I was taking a rest, I noticed that her shirt had some ‘black’ stains and asked her what they were. She replied that baby has passed motion which also came out with the other substance as baby was birthed. I was shocked as throughout the whole labour process I kept checking on the fluid that came out and did not see anything that needs worrying but our beautiful baby has arrived safely so nothing else really matters, except to spend precious time with the little one.
The universe will make things right for baby and you when you have faith in your pregnancy and baby’s birth, and we are blessed with our beautiful baby boy who has arrived to this world safely and calmly in the comfort of our home with no medical intervention. Baby was very alert and very talkative too!
In my closing words, we would like to thank Wai Han for being there to support us and help us through the birth of our baby!
— Samantha Siah (Oct 2012)