Syaza's completely natural birth of her first baby
On the morning of my EDD 7 Feb 2015, I woke up feeling all good about myself and baby. I had no pains or what so ever. As I was taking off my clothes to take a warm shower, I noticed a blood show. Not in a panic mode but feeling excited as the time is soon to come. My husband and I smiled so wide knowing that the day is finally here. And asked each other whether are we ready for this. Later we called doctor's nurse for a checkup. Told our parents and family members to stay calm, as we just want to go for a checkup and nothing big is yet to happen. On our way there, we stopped for a quick lunch. Yup. We even had the time to do so. As my brother in law said just in case I get admitted by the doctor and have a fast labour I should eat want I wish for before seeing her, labour and 44 days of confinement. And so I did. I chose Berjaya wanton noodle. YUM!
At noon, we got to see our doctor and my very first encounter of VE had to be done. I was already 2cm dilated. Yay! But she did not want to admit me just yet. As she said it may take an hour for every dilation and told I might take 8-10 hours to fully dilate. Her words were "go watch a movie, shop, walk around the mall". The more I walk maybe I would dilate much faster. So I did just what I was told. Timed my surges while watching a movie!! Surges were still inconsistent and far apart. Time passed by and the 8th hour came, my husband and his brother then asked how I was doing and whether I wanted to go to hospital to be admitted as we already have the consent letter from the doctor. I told them that I felt alright with just slight surges every now and then. I had the feeling baby was still comfortable being inside and need not to rush yet. So I told them I wanted to go home, freshen up, have some rest and see what happens next.
We got back home to our realization that family members were worried knowing that the boys took me for a long outing and what might be my last too. So I did what I wanted to do back home. By midnight I was already in bed. And when I was just about to fall off to sleep, I then started to feel the surges again, what first made me think it was just minor ones then it came again and again. Quickly I downloaded few apps to time my surges accurately. As the doctor had reminded us earlier on, I should only get myself admitted only when my surges were 5 mins apart or less. Oh how nice seeing my husband at that moment sleeping so comfortably and I was there next to him going through my surges and timing them. Blegh!
By 2am my surges had reached 5 mins apart. And so I woke my husband up and told him it is time for us to get ourselves to the hospital. We got to the hospital by 3am, checked in to the delivery ward and settled in through the night. A nurse did a VE just to know how much I've dilated since we last checked. And we got to know I was 3cm dilated. What?! For all the hours of walking around the mall, I only dilated an extra 1cm. Oh well, more ME time before I become a mother. Then my parents and sisters came to visit at 5am, as they were all excited to know that I was already in labour and that their first grandchild/nephew was about to come. Throughout the night and till the sun came out, the surges came and went by inconsistently. Did my breathing to stay calm and not to think much of the pain. Managed to get myself some naps in between. And then it was breakfast time – my in-laws came to visit and no baby yet. My surges were still bearable. I played some surah recitation from the Quran, then changed to the some spa music, watched some videos to keep myself calm and occupied and even took a warm shower.
Then lunch came and no baby yet. I really wanted to know how much I had dilated as I was progressing really slowly. And so I asked for another VE check and came to know I was only 4cm dilated. This baby really is taking his time. So I had my lunch, continued watching videos, took some naps, changed my positions around the room. Every now and then, I would walk around and sit at different positions that are most comfortable to me, as at times lying on the bed at 45 degree angle was just a No No with my surges that started giving me mild lower back pain. By evening I was starting to feel bored and going through surges that was starting to increase was not that much of a fun. So my lovely husband quietly took me out for a walk just outside the corridor of the delivery ward entrance. We walked up to the guests waiting lounge. I was shocked seeing both sides of our families were there, waiting anxiously for the arrival of baby S. All were there throughout my long labour - sending us lots of prayers and support.
Early dinner arrived. Had some of it just so I had enough energy for the awaited delivery that was soon to come. And then suddenly while I was having some chatty time with my mother and friends, harsh surges started kicking in. All left the room to give me some space and air except for my hubby and mother that stayed on by my side. All 3 of us went through the pain together. My husband sat next to the bed facing me, holding my hands tightly while looking straight into my eyes while doing our breathing together and my mother was at the back of me rubbing down my back. By 6pm surges gradually got more intense and frequent. And so I requested for ANOTHER VE as I was starting to feel of wanting to poop. So I got to know I was already 6cm dilated. And the nurse asked do I feel like pooping. I said YES! And they told me not to push or try to poop. I was shock not knowing the reason why they had said that at first. Then they cleared my confusion. They told me that the poop is the BABY that is on its way. If I push too soon when I am not fully dilated yet, my cervix will become swollen. RIGHTTT... stop yourself from pooping is not an easy task to do. So I diverted the sensation of pooping through my breathing techniques. It helped me to hold on to not pushing and poop it out.
Later, the nurses shifted me to another room as they were having technical issues with my external fetal monitor (CTG machine). They gently pushed me to the other room. Since I have a crooked spine (scoliosis) every surge I went through gave me the most painful lower back pain I have ever encountered. To tell you the truth I can't remember how was the pain like when the baby's head was crowning. Because I have read and thought that the pain feels like "the ring of fire" more like my lower back was on fire. The only pain in labour that I could remember for the rest of my life is the lower back pain. Surges after surges, hour after hour I got closer to the finish line. I kept screaming in pain caused by my lower back. Holding on tightly to my husband and mother's hands, did my breathing and recited some zikr/prayers together with my husband. I screamed in pain to my mother to do anything that would help soothe my back. My loving mother tried massaging, at first it made me feel better but gradually gave me discomfort. Then I started calling out for the nurses to do the same. Nothing worked. I could not take going through the tremendous pain any longer, and so I asked where I was at with my opening. They gave me another VE check and told me I was nearly there. Seeing me going through such terrible back pain, they then asked me whether I would like to take any pain killer or gas. In my heart I was like "HELL NO. I have gone through all the stages of pain. I am not giving in to any interventions". And so I told them nicely I did not need any and that I could bear with it till the marathon is over.
I kept calling out, Where is the doctor? When can I deliver? I could not stand holding on to the poop "baby" any longer and with the surges causing maximum lower back pain. And soon she came in all smiley and calm. She then gave me a VE for the VERY LAST TIME. And she smilingly told us that I have fully dilated and it is time for me to bring the baby into this world. And so the doctor and nurses starts preparing for my vaginal delivery. As I have written in my birth plan to be able to birth in any position that is most comfortable for me and baby. My doctor was kind and thoughtful enough to ask me which position I would like to start on with first. So I decided to go with some sort of a squatting position -where I was squatting on the bed facing and holding on to the upright top end of the bed. They guided me through every surge I went through : I should breathe in deep and gently push. And every time I did that, I would move my hip backward and forward. This helped me to let my mind know that, every surges, every deep breath, every push and every movement I make, I would get much closer to meeting my child. So it went on and on for quite awhile. And I was already starting to feel weak with my hands shivering. My beloved husband is such a fast thinker. Fed me with some dates and the holy water (air zamzam). I regained slight energy to breathe the baby out again. And so I tried breathing and pushing again and again while reciting my prayer. My husband kept going to the "front" to check whether has the baby is crown yet. He and doctor saw baby's head was already showing. They kept telling me that he is coming and I was nearly there. I kept trying but the baby was not moving an inch. The doctor then realize that the baby might be stuck and his heart rate was slowly going down. So she suggested that I should change position. And so I sat forward facing her with my back leaning at 45 degree angle and legs wide open. Doctor then asked whether I wanted to still continue pushing or would want my baby to be taken out using forceps. I was determined that I was still able to do it on my own even with my energy running low. I told her I do not want to give up and would like to try to push again. And I was glad that she did not stop me from doing so.
It was close to midnight, after nearly 20 hours of labour, I was tired, my husband and mother's hands were in pain as I was grabbing hard and twisting them at the same time. So I told myself that I want to push few more times and the baby better be out. My husband at the "front" keeping a lookout for the grand arrival of our baby and my mother by my side holding on to me while she multi task photographing and videoing my final moments of the delivery. Breatheee and pushhhh... Breatheee and pushhh.. Breatheee and pushhh... and the final breatheee and pushhhh with all of my strength and screamed the loudest ever (the whole floor heard me btw and even my entire family that sat all the way at the other end heard me too and even heard the baby's first cry) a balloon-like (that was my water bag) pop out from the V door and the sac finally broke with a whole lot of fluid came gushing out together with baby S's arrival too. And so my doctor, husband and mother announced at 11.55pm on 8th of February the baby is finally here and I then felt some sort of relief knowing that I did my best and whatever I could for my baby to have a normal vaginal delivery. I was happy to know that my doctor agreed upon our request for allowing my husband to receive the baby as it comes out. Then the baby was immediately placed on my chest for skin to skin bond. He was just perfect. We were both looking eye to eye. Having our very first moments together while waiting for my placenta to birth naturally and husband had the chance to cut the umbilical cord once it stops pulsating too -all of which was already written in our birth plan and agreed by our lovely doctor.
Oh and lucky me I had a minor tear and only needed a small amount of stitching and recovered within 2 days. It was shocking to some as they saw, I was able to walk, sit and stand perfectly fine when they came to visit me at the hospital. I think it was all due to the right technique of breathing, pushing and another secret is kegel exercise that I had been doing all throughout my pregnancy.
This pretty much sums up my 20-hour labour birth story of my very first child. And I don't mind going through such beautiful journey all over again.
-Syaza Faisal mother to baby Indera Shareeq Bin Indera Shafiq-