6: My Tough Birth of My First Child and how I overcame it

Welcome to Every Mother Matters. I’m Sharon and in this episode, I will be sharing with you my experience of my tough birth and how I overcame it
Transcript of Ep6:
Welcome to Every Mother Matters.  I’m Sharon and in this episode, I will be sharing with you my experience of my tough birth and how I overcome it

In my 20s, I loved to watch Bollywood Hindi movie.  My time was Aishiwarya Rai.  She is one of the most beautiful women on earth.  I love to watch Hrithik Roshan too. He is a great dancer and an actor. I watched Hindi movie on TV every weekend and my hang out place was at Little India street.  I love spices and I love Indian food.  Super delicious and tasty.

I was fascinated by Bollywood dance and signed up for Indian dance class when I was 32.  I wanted to learn Bollywood dance but signed up for traditional Indian dance by mistake.  Indian girls start learning traditional Indian dance from a very young age.  My classmates were about 8 years old.

Those were the days. Time flies.  Now, I cannot understand the new Bollywood movie.  I am out-dated. That is when I know I am not young anymore.  I am more mature now and I love it. Life is beautiful with family and children.

When I was pregnant in my 1st trimester, I had a dream.  I wanted a boy.  In my dream, I dreamt that one Indian young girl cried so badly and wanted to be my child.  I really felt sad to see her crying so badly as I love Indian but I was very sure I wanted a baby boy and I rejected her straight away.  She was very upset and still crying hard but I walked away.

Two days before I went into labour, I experienced nerve pain at my lower back at the sacrum area.  I could not sleep well or eat well for 2 days as the nerve pain was persistent.

At that time, I was very fearful of hospitals.  Home birth was too costly and so I chose water birth in the hospital and I engaged a doula to support me throughout my labour.

When I felt some contractions on the 3th day, I informed my doula to come to my house.  There was no pain, just some contractions but the nerve pain was still there throughout my labour.  I asked the doula to use her hand to gently tap on my sacrum area.  Once she stopped tapping, the nerve pain was still there and causing much discomfort.

I did not want to take any drug or have any medical intervention because I was very fearful of any drug injected into my body.  Despite all the voices and belief that women need pain relief measures during labour, I trusted my body to know what to do to carry the baby to full term and to know how to birth a baby.

My thinking is that it is very normal and natural to have a baby and to give birth.  My basic belief is why labour should be painful.  There was no 2nd option.  I only wanted natural birth without any drugs. It was my body and my baby.  I chose a pro natural gnae who supported natural birth and water birth.  Despite the fact that I was 37 when I birthed my 1st baby boy, my pregnancy was not high risk.

My doula did not realise that my baby shifted his position slightly and he was pressing on my nerve on the lower back.  My doula thought that what I was experiencing was the early stage of labour pain. 

Basically, I felt that there was a bit of neglectance because labour contraction is not persistence and different from nerve pain which is persistent discomfort and pain.

When the contractions got stronger, my doula supported me all the way to the hospital until baby was born. 

She started to set up the inflatable birth tub and check for the right temperature of the warm water.  My husband finds water birth a kind of dangerous and was not really into it but he supported me throughout my labour.  He even went into the birth tub with me.  I went in and out of the birth tub.  In total, I was in the birth tub for 7 hrs but I did not birth my baby in the water. 

At one point, I felt a very strong urge to push but I regretted not listening to my body.  Instead, I asked my doula if I be pushing when I was not at 10cm yet.  My labour was progressing very slow.  My doula was silent.  She was sitting opposite me at the other end of the birth tube watching me.  Soon the midwife came and I asked her the same question-Should I push when I felt the strong urge to push but I was not 10cm yet.  She hesitated for quite awhile and finally answered I should follow my body to push.  My doula was still sitting opposite me and watching me.  I did not feel supported or encouraged to follow my body and I hesitated.  I regretted not following my body to push.  When I was inside the warm water, I did not feel the nerve pain.

I wanted to get out of the birth tub and I stood up but I did not realise that it was the middle of the night and it was so cold that I was shivering.  But my doula did not act fast enough or warn me that it was cold.

I felt that my doula did not have enough knowledge and skill to provide me with adequate support.  She was more of a companion keeping me accompanied during my labour.  However with her presence, I managed to have natural birth.  If not, my hubby told me he wanted to suggest a c-section as the labour went on too long.  He did not voice out because he knew that the doula and I would not agree.  Luckily, I engaged a doula who at least served that purpose.

Even though I had my husband, doula, midwife and gnae, I did not feel supported during my 40 hrs of labour.  I felt very much alone to birth my baby.

My labour continued to drag on.  I did not feel contraction pain.  The gnae came in and out of the room to check my progress.  I did not feel safe seeing my gnae because I was not the medical person.  I did not feel safe and relax to birth in the hospital.

My water bag did not burst or leak.  The 1st time the gnae suggested bursting my water bag to speed up the labour, I rejected it because I did not want any intervention.  So, the gnae continued to monitor me.  After some time, she came in again to check on my progress and explained to me how the procedure was done and I was certain that there was no drug used at all.  I agreed to it. I felt that my doula should explain the fact that there was no drug used when the gnae 1st suggested it.  Once she bursted my water bag, the pressure was instantly gone and so there was no more nerve pain.  The gnae suggested episiotomy so that it was easier to birth my baby and I agreed. Soon after that, I birthed my baby.  His weight was 3.5kg and 49cm.

I wanted to have delayed umbilical cord cramping. After the baby is born, the gnae said that the cord was not pulsing anymore.  My husband later told me that he wanted to suggest that I go for caesarean as the labour was long but did not voice out because I would not agree and my doula would support me in that too.  He finds waterbirth dangerous and after learning from the gnae that there was no pulsation of the umbilical cord right after my baby was born actually, made him feel that what I was doing was in fact very dangerous. 

His worry about our baby's safety was understandable.  When I went to meet the gnae for post check-up, I checked with the gnae about my husband’s concern over the safety of my baby.  But my husband refused to meet the gnae with me.  He was taking care of the baby outside the gnae’s office.  The gnae told me that the baby was safe and it was common that there was no pulsation immediately after the baby was born. My husband did not bother to listen to the explanation as he felt there was no need too.

3 takeaways:-

I felt that it was important to listen to our inner voice and instinct.  Find the right people I trusted to support me during the birth so that I felt confident, supported of my wish and I could relax, tune in to my body to focus on birthing my baby.

Communication is the key.  I need to take charge of my own birthing.  I could have told the doula how she could support me instead of just let her sit opposite me and watch me.

Conclusion: -

Yes, we never know what we are really going into in pregnancy and childbirth.  We cannot prepare enough and let nature take its course.  Don't be too hard on myself. 

You can connect with me through my facebook, instagram and Linkedin and my links will be in the show notes.  I look forward to seeing you in my next episode where I will be sharing with you more stories and tips.

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