I wish to survive a good experience in my birthing and that is how it all started. Now...a so-called 'good' experience is very under-rated...as I went on to read more about gentle, unhindered and physiological births, for me it's a no-brainer...I just needed to convince my hubby to go along with my radically hippy (I hated to be associated with hippies when it comes to making informed and personal choices....but that's just my opinion =_=) planned homebirth/waterbirth. So, what gives? I just want to give the best start for my family especially my precious baby. Eventually my hubby relented after we went to a sharing session with the advocates of home birthers/parents from The Gentle Birthing Group Malaysia at Ibu House on my 20th weeks of pregnancy. And for him who had spent a good 8 years in Germany and also to have known a few midwives and the birth setting in Europe, he does believe in the benefits of unintervened births...
So the first step is to get ourselves educated before we can go on making informed personal choices for our birthing. We enrolled for a series of Hypnobirthing course with Madam Soo Wai Han of Hypnobirthing Malaysia and who's also one of the respected members of The Gentle Birthing Group Malaysia. It was just by chance that my gym buddy added me to the group not long after I e-mailed Sifoo (our endearment for Wai Han ^_^) to register for the course. I would say that is the best investment I have made in my entire life!
Which means after my 20th weeks of pregnancy I prepared or shall I say approached my birthing heads on. I read up as much as I can on birthing, hospital settings vs home settings, pros and cons of medical interventions and the risks involved so that I can hope for the best and prepare for the worst...
I skipped my obgyn's appointments but took extra care of myself-diet, health, relaxation, exercise/daily activities - it's all about taking the responsibility and accountability for my actions that will most likely affect the baby I carry in my womb...I also wanted to sharpen my intuition and imothering instinct that has been blessed by God The Master Planner onto us the human species for our survival on earth. It's the first step in being a parent, to care and protect our child from any harm, in the best way we can...I don't want to rely on the doctors to tell me what to do with myself or my child unless medical assistant is necessary...and that sentiment echoes my philosophy on birth - it is a daily part of life and our survival as human species and so it is a calculated risk which is not anymore dangerous or safer than any other activities we have...
The birthing day...
Saturday 24th December, Christmas Eve
Time : 2.30am
- another round of peeing and pooing with the first of a few birth show/release of mucous plug (for me it's something that looks like the clots at the beginning of my menses)
- some mild and irregular surges started...just went back on to sleep coz I know it's going to be along day ahead
Time : 7am
- started to prepare the room for birthing - cancelled plans to go last minute shopping for baby stuffs
- called mom and wai han just to update on the birth show and mild irregular surges/contractions
- the 3m X 1m inflatable pool that I bought from Toys R Us are already half pumped up and just waiting for my hubby to completely blow it up and fill with warm water...it's sittin right in front of my bathroom so hubby had 'engineered' a way to fill up the pool using syphon method to directly fill it up from the hot water panel.
- spend the day relaxing and talking to baby, bouncing on the gym ball, layed all the sheets/cloths/linens that I have washed, sterilized and kept aside to be a padding for 'emergency' dry birth (remember that we planned for a home waterbirth??? but this is where I place my tawakal - I can plan and prepare all I want but it is entirely up to God's Mercy to what is the best plan that He has already written out for me)
- darling husband setup the room with scented candles and soft amber lightings, he actually went out around 6pm to get snacks/meals for the 'birth party'...ordered Domino's pizza
- by the time he came back, my surges are already clockwork and he started to fill up the pool and also brought up his outdoor cooking stove to boil water
What's a clockwork surges looks like (for the benefit of 1st time moms) :-
7.00pm / 7.10pm / 7.20pm / 7.30pm / 7.38pm / 7.46pm / 7.56pm / 8.03pm / 8.13pm / 8.22pm / 8.31pm / 8.41pm / 8.46pm / 8.53pm / 9.00pm / 9.07pm / 9.13pm / 9.20pm / 9.27pm / 9.33pm / 9.38pm / 9.41pm / 9.45pm / 9.51pm / 9.56pm / 10.07pm / 10.13pm / 10.18pm / 10.25pm / 10.32pm / 10.42pm / 10.54pm / 11.01pm / 11.07pm / 11.14pm / 11.19pm / 11.28pm / 11.34pm / 11.41pm / 11.49pm / 11.57pm / 12.03am / 12.08pm / 12.14am / 12.22am / 12. 28am / 12.33am / 12.41am / 12.44am / 12.50am / 12.54am / 12.59am
So from 7pm to 1am the surges are getting into a regular pattern and getting intense by the next one...but for me it is still manageable and reminded me of my period cramps...I loaded up on fluids (plain water, air kelapa/coconut juice, raspberry leaf tea - which I steep my last stash and I got like a jug of it)...changed positions many times but as soon as the surges gets around 4mins apart that lasted about 30secs more or less I decided to get in the pool...it was such a relief but not entirely...at 1 am I got into my birth pool and actually (personally I felt like it had stalled my labor when it fact it actually makes a clearer path for a good progressive labor) thought I would be giving birth before dawn...the surges became some what further apart but the intensity level is a 9/10 score and 10 being the most intense...by 4am I was sooo spent to the point of madness (I was scared for my baby that he got stuck or something but I can still feel him moving and stretching inside me and I haven't had a spontaneous rupture of the membrane sac yet)...I get my hubby to call Wai Han and requested for her assistance...my hubby had been so wondeful the whole time and giving encouragements and just being helpful just let me order him at my whims and fancies...I was totally out of myself - very vocal (the part that I didn't expect at all) and intuitive and alert...
Wai Han came around 7am, and by then I was already out of the pool on the dry paddings feeling so lousy ( I have thoughts of my past sins, my mother, my ability to hit a home run with this birth etc). As soon as Wai Han arrived and we go through the surges together while she kneaded my lower back each time during the surges and also talk to baby and reciting positive birth affirmations, my spirit and enery level renewed...and this is when I started to rotate my hips clockwise while leaning on my dressing table. And boy do I vocalize...and I got the urge to pass motion which is overwhelming and from deep within that is sooo strong sometimes I can't control my hips rotation unless being reminded by Wai Han to focus on breathing down the baby/ J breathing taught in the Hypnobirthing course. The whole time my hubby was outside the room catching his breath but couldn't sleep coz he's sooo worried...
By 11am the urge to push is already at the brim...and my hubby came in just in time during the last hour of laboring to take awesome pictures of the crowning, just before 12pm on a Christmas Sunday. I felt the infamous ring-of-fire and from the mirror placed underneath and in between my legs, I can see the membrane sac bulging from my cervix/vagina...I touched it and true enough a sense determination overwhelmed me and suddenly I have a renewed sense of energy and very focus on my breathing long, deep hard and slow breath to avoid my perineum tearing and the opening unfolds slowly by the second...until another final surge Akashah bin Muaaz came swirling out and in one slippery swooshed into his Ayah's hands but he ended up in the landing pad because he's too slippery. My hubby cried and overjoyed with happiness of catching his own baby and I was too stunned to realized that my baby was born en caul (together with the membrane sac) and Wai Han reminded me too remove it over from his face and head...I actually expected for it to be awhile before his whole body came out, as I have watched from YouTube births...haha another poignant lesson to learn - never ever take up somebody elses birth as yours - OWN YOUR OWN BIRTHING ^_^
As soon as he gushed out and I removed the sac from over his face, I gave him a rub while my hubby is supporting me from behind still overwhelmed with positive emotions, my son Akashah gave a loud energetic cry, and he was visibly very pink and healthy...my hubby did actually counted his toes/fingers and checked for any birthmark...I was just elated to get to finally hold my baby which I carried full term and immediately after, we started to have skin-to-skin and eye-contact, he was breathing fine and I placed him over my abdomen and chest to do a breast crawl...he did halfway and just got mad LOL! already showing his character the little squirt...so I immediately brought him to nipple and breast fed him to get the contractions to birth the placenta. The umbilical cord was quite long and it was only tangled once around his body over his shoulders but was easily un-tangled...then after we moved to the bed to try getting me into uprigth position to assist the placenta out but nothing happened even though I felt the same strong surges and doing visualisation for the placenta to be expelled. Around 1.25pm-1.30pm decided to sit on the 'throne' and walla one strong urge and the placenta was out of the way...MasyaAllah syukur Alhamdulillah we survived the ordeal as a family...
Wai Han and hubby helped to clean up the mess and clear the pool...I ate the most delicious left over Hawaiian pizza and Secret Recipe cake together with a warm milo...Wai Han went back soon after and I am forever indebted to her for being able to be there and assist my birth.
As for my hubby, we have a very special relationship but now this bond is made even more special....we spent the whole day after the birth and the post birth just the three of us in our bedroom, admiring the 1st edition of Muaaz and Hayati branding... ^_^ It is still to me very surreal...I would definitely advocate gentle unhindered physiological birth to any family because it is a total paradigm shift and how you treat your family or any human being for that matter will profoundly change with this one magical birth...
Do contact me if you want a blow-by-blow personal recollection of my birthing experience or you can also join The Gentle Birthing Group Malaysia and also sign up for Madam Soo Wai Han's Hypnobithing Malaysia course.
- Hayati Muzaffar
- Salam, may peace be with you...I am a BIRTH JUNKIE! And this is my space where I share with you relative information regarding pregnancy and childbirth. This is MY personal space where YOU are welcome to be. All information shared be it in writing or graphic, is MY PERSONAL SHARING based on MY best of knowledge and experience in life. Therefore, it can be changed at any point of time to make it relevant and current. Whatever actions or reactions that YOU may take after being here, are YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY. May this space is blessed by The Creator to be the platform of enlightenment & self development; may waves of positive vibes reverberates far and wide In Syaa Allah!