Rene's simple homebirth of her first baby
We had envisioned our birth to be natural, gentle and in the comfort of water at home. We hoped labour would be about 3 to 5 hours. And we wanted a cosy setting with hubby, mum and hopefully Wai Han during the birth. Our minds were set on it. On most days we would talk to baby, asking baby to be in optimal position during birth and to arrive on the last weekend of June.
5am: I was woken by period-like cramps and the first thing that came to my mind was “Aiya, who’s going to take pics/video?”. Tried going back to sleep but couldn’t, so I woke hubby up to tell him. We chatted about what we needed to prepare for later. 4 surges later, I felt wetness and went to check. Pinkish discharge. Texted Wai Han and Nadine and they confirmed it was birth show.
7am: Surges were about 10+ minutes apart. Did my surge breathing and tried to relax.
8.55am: Surges were getting more intense and I was getting a bit nervous. Was also worried about baby’s position although I was told it doesn’t really matter. Did the polar bear position hoping it would help.
9.45am: I had back labour and it was 6 to 7 minutes apart. After breathing through one, it seems like the next one came too quickly. It was still manageable though, and I was walking around. Mum knew what was happening but didn’t know the extent as I still smiled and looked normal.
11am: Wanted to go get lunch but was stopped by a strong surge that made me squat as I wasn’t able to stand. Whoa. No lunch then. I tried using a heat pack, doing leg lunges, bouncing on my gym ball, taking a hot shower (which felt really good) and found my main position of the day: on my knees leaning on the bed hugging the heat pack and being on all fours with hip presses during surges. Couldn’t have done it without those hip presses (Thanks, Wai Han!).
Hubby got the pool ready. We underestimated the time it takes to boil water and fill it. I wanted to get in already but it wasn’t ready yet. Mum helped with boiling the water and made sweet potato soup in the meantime. She mentioned that labour can go on for hours, and to her, I didn’t look like i was in a lot of pain. In my mind, I wasn’t sure how long I can manage this back labour. Haha. I got into the pool when the water was a few inches deep. Surges were already one after another. Even hubby was like “So fast?”.
My friend Nat arrived and helped to take a few pictures as well as to fill the water. Throughout the labour, hubby was reassuring me that I was doing well, and that women are amazing, and that baby is near. At about 3pm I reached down and felt a small balloon-like thing. Was it the head? The sac? I don’t remember membranes releasing so it must be the sac. Baby’s near! I was encouraged. It was going in and out at each surge. It’s ok, take your time, baby, but not too long. Finally, after a few birth breaths I felt the pressure of baby’s head and then the head was out! Waited for another surge and baby slid out into my hand. Phew, what a relief! We then moved to the toilet and after some 40 minutes, the placenta was birthed with a surge. The whole birth happened quite fast and mum was surprised.
It felt unbelievable and incredibly empowering to be able to birth my own baby, and to do it among loved ones in a comfortable, supportive environment.
I’m really grateful to God that everything went smoothly and also thankful to Wai Han and Nadine for their guidance during and outside class. And of course my mum and Nat for their support and assistance as well as hubby, who was there by my side every step of the way, for his loving support and tireless hip presses. Last but not least, to our beloved baby, who chose the right date and time, and assisted in her own way. Love you so much!