During our pregnancy journey, we have always thought of having a gentle birth without any form of medical intervention for our firstborn, Kayne. However we started our first gynae appointment at Mount Elizebeth and found out that they couldn’t provide for our ideal birth plan. Thus, in the month of April we switched (I’m in my Week 11) to National University Hospital and went around looking for doctors who does water birth and a birthing doula as it’s necessary for water birth in Singapore.
The reason for doing a waterbirth is to ensure that the whole process of birthing was done in water in the most gentle and natural way. With minimum to no medical interventions such as drugs or any form of pain relief including epidural or laughing gas. I always believed that birthing should be au natural and it made sense to me that the usual practice for birthing is about the convenience for the doctors and medical staff. How could you engage your body muscles in a lying lithotomy position? Our bodies don’t work this way.
I had my contractions on 7 November when Kayne’s 39 weeks 5 days. I felt slight contraction at about 7pm and it was really bearable till the middle of the night when the intensity increases and got more frequent. I had some loose stools till 1am and had some trouble falling asleep due to the constant jabbing pain in the abdomen. Then at about 2.35am, I lost my mucus plug and had a show. He’s definitely coming today and it was real labour. We called for our doula, Chiew Gin at about 3.30am and she arrived at our place shortly.
Both Wayne and I are really thankful for her as she helped relief my pain throughout my contraction and we strongly believed that we should only go to the hospital when we’re the active labour stage, which means that dilation should be at about 5cm onwards as the home is the best place for comfort. As the pain intensify, Chiew Gin told us to leave home at 6.30am and we reached NUH at about 6.50am.
We manage to “book” our ideal birthing room 12, which had the bigger pool for birthing. Tip #101 – It’s essential to call the delivery suite while on the way to the hospital as they will be prepared for your arrival and get the room ready!
We started off with lying on the bed and some SOP checks but I decided to ignore everyone else and focus on my own birth and body. There were some trainee doctors and nurses, and one of them came to check on my dilation first. It wasn’t as painful as what I thought it should be. And I was already 5cm dilated, oh wow.
After awhile, in the midst of my contraction there was a sudden gush of water and my water bag ruptured. It felt like something just bursted out – I was shock as I wasn’t expecting this. However, still in my own-world mode, I continued with my breathing techniques and remain ignorance to my environment (hypnobirthing techniques!). I know that my doula and Wayne will settle them. In and out, there will be doctors and nurses who comes in wanting to inject, check and do some SOP procedures which is seriously the most annoying thing.
As I was detected to be GBS positive, I had to be on antibiotics drip which was annoying. However ignoring every single intervention, we proceeded to the water as soon as we were ready. Then one doctor came and asked me to leave the pool and only come when I’m 7cm dilated, seriously. I totally ignored him and stayed within my own zone. My dilation was really quick in water and I was dilated till 8-9cm within 2 hours. Labour was very progressive and fast due to the relaxation, breathing techniques and buoyancy in the warm water. I wasn’t expecting it to be this fast. Relaxing is key but birth is still painful okay.
Chiew Gin kept encouraging me and I was listening to her cues all the way – with Wayne letting me squeeze his hand and him feeding me coconut water & raisins. As labour progresses, none of them left the labour room as our baby is making his way out to the world really soon. After a while, I was asked to switch to birthing stool as Kayne was already crowning, I think this is the hardest part as the pushing begins. I thought it felt like a honeydew squeezing out from an egg hole. It’s just so hard to push! My goodness!
But I guess the birthing stool really did helped with the labour as that’s the best position for pushing but was asked to get back to the pool whilst waiting for Prof Chong, my gynae to come. After a long tedious pushing of 1.5 hours, Kayne’s finally out. Omg. Imagine the amount of blood lost, it’s really a big pool of it. And Wayne cut his umbilical cord ❤️ our precious baby is out & both of us started crying.
Then came the second stage of labour which is the birthing of the placenta, which I wasn’t really paying attention too as baby was already in my arms. But all the pain was worth it. Wayne told me Prof Chong twisted the cord twice and pulled the placenta out twice forcefully. And there was so much blood oozing out from the vagina. So much trauma for the body, as my perineal is seriously swollen with the long pushing. I couldn’t even walk properly after birth.
Can I just say all mothers are seriously amazing regardless of birthing methods. The whole 9 months and birth itself is simply beyond words. Only mothers will understand. But it’s all good, as long as Kayne’s well and healthy. He’s so awake after birth due to the absence of drugs and pain relief. And he’s a whopping 3.79kg. Welcome to the world, son.