Blissful Pregnancy - Paving for Gentle Birth
Few months after marriage, I got pregnant. It was the best Mothers' Day gift for my mum and myself. Throughout my pregnancy, baby was like my guardian angel - I had a few clumsy falls but always got away unscratched. I had a smooth sailing pregnancy - no morning sickness/cramps/nausea whatsoever - and couldn't believe such wonderful experience would end with pain. I believe my baby then led me to HypnoBirthing. I was sold by its gentle birth philosophy, so happy that it's "scientifically reasonable" to have comfortable birth. I obtained the materials at week-31. Hubby thought I was wasting money. As there was no practitioner in Malaysia then, I have to self-study and with my understanding of less than half the book, I started practising diligently at week-35. I truly believed my birth would not hurt. People around me though I was asking for the impossible. At week-37, I finally mustered enough courage to present my birthplan (which I didn't have full understanding of) with my careprovider. His first comment was, "This is very western." Luckily he put down his signature.
I planned to give birth on my EDD because of its near-symmetricalness (30 Dec 03). Also hoping it'll be at working hours, not willing to pay surcharge by careprovider. Initially I have envisioned enjoying Christmas cartoons with my baby (who might be conveniently named Santarina, haha..) at the hospital but when I was informed about the surcharge, I forbade hubby from singing Jinggle Bells (supposedly a cue for baby to be born).
Getting Ready for Birth - Natural Induction
2 nights before EDD, we enjoyed some intimate moments and nipple stimulation, flooding baby with loving hormones. Early next morning (29 Dec), I showed baby some of her pretty, cute, nice-smelling, tiny clothings that we have prepared and I told her, "Mummy is all ready to meet you, hug, kiss and cuddle you." On my way to work, I had a birth show with very mild surges. I could hardly contained my excitement as I walked 20+mins to office (I did not own any transport then). It was strange that on that day, the whole office was vacant except myself - everyone seemed to be out for support or sales. Thus, to play safe, I decided to take off half day, took 2 public bus-trips and walked 10+mins to reach home, hoping to get things going by all those exercises. Surges were getting more frequent and I could feel soreness at my back. Relaxation helped immensely.
I had a heavy late lunch of chicken rice, enjoyed a hair wash and went for checkup. I was 3cm dilated. I made a comment that baby wasn't moving much and my careprovider promptly suggested induction. I decided not to rush birth unless there was a true medical urgency. Luckily, as baby's heart tone was good, I was allowed to rest at home. I was experiencing even more frequent pressure/tightenings and still some soreness at the pelvic bone. In the evening, I could only stomach a very light dinner of milo with oats. I rested on bed in a semi-sitting position listening to Rainbow Relaxation (RR). My hubby did our version of light touch massage, which was nowhere being light (I only realised our misinterpretation of the massage when I took the practitioner course... 1.5 years later), but it felt good anyway. When I slipped into deep relaxation, no more soreness or discomfort felt. It was amazing!
In the Hospital - Waiting Patiently for Baby
Meanwhile, my hubby, being a typical father-to-be, was getting anxious from waiting and doing nothing. To ease his mind, we timed the surges, which to me felt like 10-20mins but lo and behold, they were actually 2+min apart! And no discomfort at all! It was after mindnight when we went to the hospital. The attendant of the emergency unit was very doubtful I was in labour. I probably looked like a heavily pregnant lady enjoying some late night music with my walkman. I walked myself into the labour ward. Upon examination, I was 8cm dilated! Immediately, there was a hoo-ha trying to get me ready for birth and contacting my doctor. Hubby was being hustled to sign paperworks.
Oblivious to the commotion, I got comfortable lying on my left, continued listening to RR and zzzz.... Midwife came in to perform vaginal exam very hour, which was irritating but dilation seemed to stall at 8cm. I then declined further exams as I wasn't feeling any progress. Throughout the night, I dozed on the bed while hubby slept on the comfy couch at the corner, occasionally being my air-con remote controller. During each surge, I went with the flow and again, I was feeling great, going 8cm... 8cm... 8.5cm...
Finally... the Birth of My Baby!
After six hours, it was finally complete... phew! As it was still not office hour, I was trying to delay midwife from contacting doctor. Also, I had a feeling baby wasn't ready to be born just yet. However, that got the midwife worried about doctor not able to reach in time due to traffic, etc.. Anyway, my doctor came in an hour plus later. I declined amniotomy (i.e. artificial release of membrane) and insisted on waiting, not wanting to rush baby or the birth. The membrane self-released another 2 hours later with traces of meconium. Doctor advised getting baby out as soon as possible. Assisted by vacuum, and with a push following an intense urge, baby's head emerged, another nudge for shoulders and lastly the placenta. It was amazing that I could feel all these! Baby was placed immediately on my chest with the umbilical cord attached. It was only clamped when pulsation stopped. I had no episiotomy, only a 2nd degree tear away from anus. Hubby and I were enjoying our baby while stitching was done. Baby was a pinky healthy 3.45kg bundle of joy!
After birth, I was excited, energetic and hungry for breakfast. Before labour, my hubby was all prepared to sacrifice his arm for me to bite... but now he thinks birthing is a piece of cake. The birth was easy, tranquil, joyous... and "connected" (with body and baby). It was just too awesome, thanks to HypnoBirthing!!!