I never dreamt of sharing my Birth experience. We never expected that I was pregnant and all of a sudden it happened. When our doctor confirmed that I was 6 weeks pregnant, and we saw our baby through ultrasound scan my husband was speechless. He was whispering “ah baby ah” Yippee! From that moment we both became happy as it was a surprise for us. As days passed by we both were dreaming about the baby. Our doctor’s words were so encouraging as she motivated us to lead a normal routine life, to do all our house hold works, be active, continue to work, eat healthy foods and take good care of our health. In my 26th week we were introduced to Childbirth Educator via our doctor.
A new chapter began. In our first session our child birth educator asked what are the types of delivery? We only knew about normal delivery and c- section. We were so stunned as she came to explain other types of delivery such as natural, normal (medicated/ assisted vaginal birth), epidural, induction, Pool/water birth and Hypnobirthing. We were really shocked to hear all these options. We regularly attended the sessions every weekend and the one of the hardest things for us was all husbands should attend mandatorily. The sessions included orientation, exercises, breastfeeding, new born care, labour position, birth choice, aqua natal classes in pool and labour room sessions. I was doing all my exercises regularly as suggested by my Birth Educator.
Things got tough after 34 weeks as my baby’s weight started increasing as I am also short. I continued doing my exercises but I felt much more difficult whilst walking. Turning and movement on my bed became more challenging as my baby was pressing on my lower abdomen and I felt more pain. From my 37th week I was expecting my baby and I have always been afraid of pain, even something like taking an injection. The reality is women are often uncertain and scared when they anticipate giving birth, but I was feeling really happy about it. I began to look forward to my labour contractions so that my baby would soon be in my arms. As I was not aware of how contractions will be, even a small pain I kept looking at my watch thinking that it was contractions starting. But when I told my husband that I was getting contractions, he didn’t believe me. I had completed all the labour exercises, perineal massages, breathing techniques and also walking on a regular basis. In addition I had also taken aqua natal classes.
As I drew closer to my 10th month I was very much eager to see my labor and birth and started counting days for my little one to arrive. In my 39th week I went for check up to the hospital after doing my PV (internal exam) the doctor told that we need to wait as there is very less possibility for delivering this week. After 2 days I started feeling a little pain and I noted that it occurs every one hour. When I told this to my husband he did not believe me as he was overly confident that I would not deliver this week. After taking a warm shower the pain still existed and we moved to the hospital that evening. I was only 1 cm dilated and the doctor asked if I really felt contractions/pain as I was not showing it. The doctor said that if pain increases you should get admitted, else you can go back to home.
I was admitted in the hospital, as the pain was continuing and the contractions started to occur every 50 mins, 40 mins, and then every 20 mins. As we opted for pool delivery, before we reached Hospital we called and informed about the birth pool set up. By 8.00pm the pool was inflated and ready to occupy. After the arrival of my child birth educator by 9.00pm my exercise session began. Whenever contractions occur I was advised to do exercises, breathing and alter positions, then relax by walking around the hospital. As hours passed on my water sac broke by around 1.30 a.m. From then onwards I was into the pool. My contractions started getting heavy and were at irregular intervals. As I felt hungry doing all those exercises I was advised to have juices that would boost me to bear the pain and was changing positions in the pool. My husband and child birth educator were continuously pouring water from the pool on my bump and my back as I felt comfortable, felt less during contractions and also relaxed a little when my contractions were building. I was also asked to do exercises inside the pool with the help of my husband. I never allowed anyone to talk in the labour room as I felt disturbed due to noise and the only thing that I was hearing was my favourite songs which helped me to relax and motivated. This went on until morning 9.00am and I was only 2 cm dilated. The labour room was in pin drop silence when I was in the pool. Everyone thought I was sleeping as if there were no contractions happening, yet the heavier contractions occurred every 3 lasting about 35 – 45 seconds. I still did not shout or scream, as being in silence and hearing my favourite music helped me to bear the pain as we had learned during antenatal classes. I was not able to talk as I was exhausted and I never allowed others too to talk. By 9.30am I was only 4 cm dilated.
By 10.30am my cervix had opened fully, the baby’s head was low, and I was ready to deliver. I decided to stay inside the pool, as it was like hell whenever I left the water. Later my husband convinced me to move move to the Labour bed. As I was about to give birth my gynecologist came and she was motivating me to the fullest and she was shocked to see that I am going to deliver in squat position, as practiced during my antenatal classes. I sipped tender coconut water in between pushes to give me strength. I had begun to feel exhausted and the coconut really gave me energy. By 11.15am I did deliver my baby on the labour bed in a full squat.
Our precious little miracle was born and is the new love of our family. I was still not aware that I delivered until I heard the crying of my baby. When I asked my husband what baby?, he replied me that I never knew as he was helping me relax as I gave birth. The doctor told us that it is a cute little boy. As a proud father he was allowed to cut the cord for our baby. I could not forget the first kiss that I gave to my baby when we both were bonded skin to skin. He is the proud procession for our family. At once when the baby is handed over to us, my child birth educator helped my baby to latch on and he continued to breastfeed like a champion. We spent the entire night just staring at him. We felt like it was more than we could have ever asked for.
Natural birthing was a wonderful experience. There were no medications at all. The antenatal, aqua natal classes and other exercises helped me to achieve this great birth experience. My gynecologist and my childbirth educator’s support, motivation and confidence facilitated me to birth in a natural way. Last but not least, my husband’s support, dedication and his endless love made me to have a such a wonderful natural birth.
The author Nithyakala Karthik is a proud mom from Chennai.