Dr Nurzarina's squatting birth of her 4th caliph
This is the birth story of our 4th son. It all started when I knew I was pregnant upon coming back from Umrah in February this year. Believe it or not, the fetus in my womb was doing Tawaf and Saie’ with me without me knowing it. Subhanallah. I realised then that I wanted a different kind of birthing this time. Hence, I joined The Gentle Birthing Group (GBG) in Facebook and Hypnobirthing Class with Nadine Ghows. Though I have medical background, I knew that I need to relearn about birthing, only this time, the gentler way. I wanted to know on how to have more control over my birthing. After three sons, the class was our first antenatal childbirth education, much to the amusement of my other friends in the class, who were first time parents.
The GBG and class taught me to shop around for the best obstetrician based on our birth preferences. The things we preferred were not fulfilled during the last birth, which include labour without drugs nor entonox, delayed cord clamping, skin-to skin for an hour and natural expulsion of placenta without syntometrin injection. I had to go to three obstetrician before I finally settled with Dr Idora Mohamed from Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur. After visiting the labour room, we decided to birth in the deluxe delivery suite using the water immersion. Dr Idora agreed to our birth preferences. Antenatal checks were satisfactory and baby was doing well in my womb. At the 39 weeks appointment, Dr Idora told me to come to hospital when I have 1 in 5 minutes surges.
The week before I gave birth, I was having very frequent Braxton Hicks but it was very bearable. Until the 16thOctober, I was having 1 surge every 5 minutes the whole day. As with previous births, I did not have any other signs of labour, no show or SROM. At 11pm, we decided to leave for hospital after calling my mother to come and look after my other sons. We left after all of them went to sleep.
Upon arrival, I was strapped to the CTG for 20 minutes and first VE was done by midwife. True enough, the surges were 1 in 5 minutes lasting 1 minute. However, I was disappointed when the opening was only tip of finger. Dr Idora gave me the choice to go home but I stayed on. I slept peacefully through the night.
At 9.30am the next day, Dr Idora visited me and I was already 3-4 cm dilated. She said I can immerse in water if I wanted to. Then, I received a surprise visit from my CBE, Nadine Ghows and she was happy to see how cheerful I was doing. I was happy to know that I was progressing and the surges were still bearable. I was happy to be in labour and I keep myself upright with the gymball, squatting, sometimes on all fours, or just walking down the lobby all through my surges while doing surge breathing. Essential oil (Elevation, thanks to Nadine for bringing it on time J)was diffused in the room and massaged to my feet and neck. I also applied Clary Sage oil to my ankles and that further improved the surges. The Rainbow Relaxation CD was played interchanged with Surah Maryam. I ate the kurma, drank Wildan’s goat’s milk, and Zam Zam water. I keep on emptying my bladder and bowels every now and then.
I went into the tub for water immersion at around 2.30pm. VE showed 5-6cm. Intermittent CTGs were reactive. The surges were stronger. The nurses never once left me when I was in the tub and it was their duty to pour over me the warm water and making sure I was comfy and safe. They reminded me to breath with the surges, massaged my lower back and helped me change positions from sitting to squatting to hanging out my arms over the tub whilst holding my husband’s hands. Peppermint water was sprayed to my face. Hubby kept giving me sips of water and kurma to keep me energised. At around 7pm, I was feeling lots of pressure at the pubic region. I squeezed my husband’s hands with each surges.
At 8.45pm, Dr Idora came. I almost wanted to stay on in the tub because I thought I could not have the strength to birth outside the lovely warm tub. My initial wish of wanting to birth on birthing stool was not my first choice anymore at that time. I knew I was nearing the transition phase. Looking at my husband’s eyes and listening to his and Dr Idora’s advise to come out, I forego my sudden wish to birth in water and climbed out of the tub onto the hospital bed. Final VE done showed 8-9cm.Dr Idora advised me to hug the end of bed on my knees to relieve my backache as my baby was posterior at that time. She said it was better for me to be on all fours while on the bed so the baby can drop safely on it. I continued surge breathing and was moaning away. Suddenly, I felt like squatting on the bed as I felt that it was necessary to help my baby descend further. This was definitely following my instincts. Minutes later, I felt like pushing and I did. Husband kept reminding me to breath the baby instead of pushing. I lost control during the second stage but with short breaths in and two pushes, the amniotic sac burst and baby was out with the assistance of Dr Idora. Umbilical cord was unwrapped from his neck. The liquor was clear and baby was on the bed at 9.16pm.I recited Alhamdulillah many times and Dr Idora recited the Shahadah for baby while checking the Apgar Score. Baby was placed immediately on my chest. He was quite at first then gave a little cry. No suction was done to the nostrils like I have requested because the sliding movement of the baby’s body out my vagina produced great Heimlich maneuver that squeezed out all amniotic fluid from the nose and mouth. There was no tear on my perineum. All staffs left us for awhile for delayed cord clamping and natural placenta expulsion. Baby suckled and minutes later there was another surge. Dr Idora came to help me deliver the placenta with no syntometrin injection. It turned out that the umbilical cord was a short one. Nevertheless, mission accomplished and I had my most gentle birth with this baby named Daud Alharith bin Shahrul Nizam.
I must say Alhamdulillah and am truly very grateful to my husband, Shahrul Nizam bin Ahmad Zamzali for doing a great job being my birth companion. Thank you to Dr Idora Mohamed for being the most wonderful, amazingly gentle obstetrician, practicing true obstetrics (from the Latin word “obstare”, meaning "to standby"). The midwives were very supportive and everyone in PHKL were very patient with me. I hope my story will empower mothers to birth gently,wherever and whenever you may birth. InshaaAllah.