I just wanted to share my partial gentle and natural birth. I never expected to go this way, I was PRO-epidural all the way until I stumbled across ‘gentle birthing’ during my 36th week of pregnancy. I never went to any prenatal class or any birthing class but I did plenty of research before deciding to submit my birth plan to the doctor. I changed doctors so many times, but only because I found myself in certain situations, price vs treatment factor (we’re fully paying patients because our insurance does not cover maternity at all), and also taking into account doctor’s willingness to follow my plan.
My birth plan:
I would like to point out that some things in the list are actually against some doctor’s or even hospital policy, so you can imagine how I had to look for the right doctor. Lucky me, I found my perfect doctor after switching 3 times and the hospital is just 5 minutes drive away from my parent’s :)
So here’s my story :)
I went over my due date, despite people’s positive assurance that I’ll go into labor early because this is ‘my first child’. The dates doesn’t really matter to me, if not for the fact that my husband has to leave for his offshore assignment on the 16th October. My due date was the 19th. So you can imagine how sad I was when my husband left… My doctor said she’ll allow my pregnancy to go until 41 weeks MAX, after that we’ll have to schedule for inducement. At that point, I thought, well… no husband, no natural birth. I felt hopeless and depressed.
I wallowed for a while, then get on with my life, still drove, did my work.
So after my husband left, I felt more strongly about letting my labor start spontaneously. My husband has gone anyway, why should I cave to doctor’s ‘inducement threats’. (OK my doctor is actually the bomb, she supports natural labor, found her name on a natural birth forum) I learned so much about benefits of a spontaneous labor and the scary bits about inducement. I wanted to cry at the thought of a c-section. I did everything I knew about ‘natural inducers’. Pineapples, long walks, squats, eating dates and others… you name it. My doctor reminded me to do zikr a lot and talk to the baby.
Honestly I can’t tell you what works, because I did everything at the same time. Maybe that’s key, that’s what started the labor. Two days before my labor, I went to the park with my brother at 8 am and walked for about an hour. Someone should’ve pointed out that there’s a HUGE difference between walking in the mall and walking in the park. I could walk 4 hours in the mall but not feel tired. Walking in the park is a different story. You don’t stop to eat, or rest, or sit.
Anyway after the walk, I felt some pain in the abdomen. Well turns out it was nothing. Or maybe it was something…
Because two days later, I woke up in the middle of night feeling light cramps, the annoying type you’d get during a period. I thought.. no way.. this couldn’t be it, it’s just practice contractions. I sat up, and felt something gush. I checked and based on a thousand hours of looking up ‘labor signs’ on the internet, I was pretty sure that I was in early labor. At that point, my waters were leaking and I had a show.
I was like, YESSSSSSSS let’s get the show started!!
I started timing my annoying light cramps. I couldn’t believe it was rhythmic! Coming every 20 minutes. I stayed up feeling ecstatic until 4 am, but because it wasn’t strong I went back to sleep.
I woke up for Subuh, excitedly texting my hubby it’s ganna be today! Then I waited until 8.30am to tell mom. Mom was excited but we decided to wait until my contractions got stronger. At 9.00am my contractions did get stronger, to the extent that I couldn’t speak during one. I did a lot of research beforehand about surge breathing and took deep long breaths during a contraction. That technique helped a lot in managing the pain. My mom notified my MIL, and when she appeared at my front door at 11am, the contractions tapered off.
For real peoples.
So we ate and talked like any normal day, not in early labor at all. Around 12.30pm, the contractions came back with a vengeance. I excused myself from the dining table and sat near the tv. I told both moms that the contractions are strong and 14 minutes apart. My doctor and I agreed that I would labor at home until the contractions are 10 minutes apart. I remember watching 6 days and 7 nights while feeling the contractions come and go. At the same time I walked back and forth in front of the tv. Walking actually helped tone down the pain intensity.
Also worth mentioning is that around 3pm, I started feeling huge pressure in my back. Well well turns out I was experiencing the dreaded back labor. There’s nothing much I could do about it, but I remember that leaning forward and pressing into my back provided some relief.
Around 4pm-ish, I did my Asar prayers. Shortly after that, the contractions picked up in pace and strength. I was still doing the breathing techniques, but find it harder to manage. It was then that I started feeling a little bit panicked and out of control. I had my hospital bag ready and waited for my mom downstairs. By then my contractions suddenly jumped to 4 minutes apart, lasting about 40 seconds each.
Mom drove me to the hospital around 5-ish. I was really concentrating on my breathing because that is KEY in managing the pain and how I lasted that long. I checked in via emergency and was wheeled straight to the labor room.
All the while I was like, I can’t believe this is happening!! I brought my headset, my phone, phone charger, a bottle full of water, a quarter bottle of zam zam water (spilled in the car nooooooooo) and of course my hospital bag. Felt like I was prepping for battle. Because my husband wasn’t around, they allowed my mom to be with me during labor.
The doctor came in, had me assessed. I was 7cm dilated!! Can’t believe I was so close!!
I texted my husband the update, feeling ecstatic. So far, the labor has been natural all the way and I thought well, it isn’t so bad. It’s been 9 hours of steady contractions but I‘ve eaten, I’ve prayed, and I could still walk around. I even slotted in a movie session in the afternoon and had a catching up sesh with MIL! Lol. I also felt baby actively kicking since morning. I can definitely do this. Little did I know that the drama was just about to begin.
Baby is waking up! I’ll continue in part 2!