Back in 2011 when we had our home water birth in our son’s swimming pool, we received many mix reactions. The common ones are “Are you crazy? What were you thinking? What if something bad happens?” or “Poor you, didn’t you have enough money to go to the hospital?” or “What are you trying to prove here? Are you in this ‘underground’ movement rebel against birthing in the hospital?” or “That is so cool! That is so you! Would you do it again?”. The answer is YES, we would definitely do it again and this time we would want to do it in the sea. A sea birth. To be more realistic and specific, I wanted to give birth to our 3rd child in Tanjung Jara Resort. I really enjoyed myself there the last time I was there. The bath tub, spacious wooden room with wide verandah, serene swimming pool and the whole ambience there is simply breath taking. That is exactly how we as a family living our life and how we would like to welcome the latest member of our family into this world. When we decided to have home water birth for our 2nd child, we enjoy the fact that it was really personal where Ipin can receive the baby himself, Aufa can be around to welcome his baby sister and most importantly there was no unnecessary medical intervention. It was really another moment between you and your Creator. How much faith you have in Him.
As expected, I’ll be pregnant for at least 40 weeks again. Like my earlier pregnancies, I’ll play with my close friend on guessing the delivery date. This time around got more interesting as we didn’t know the baby’s gender and since it was going to be a ‘sea’ birth, I specifically prayed for a Saturday morning delivery. God IS great and never under estimate a mother’s prayer. At this point, 99% guessed the baby will be a boy using their respective theories and analysis. I like guessing game and pleasant surprises.
I think being pregnant and giving birth is a sacred moment. It should be treated with much attention, care and love as much as you would prepare for your wedding. The details are important and do not just leave things to the doctors to decide for you. Read here for my motivation and preparation for water birth. I still met up with Nadine for revision session on my 40th week. My dear friend Febbie made a compilation CD of Zikir Terapi by Hafiz Hamidon and it is one of the best gift and birth companion I’ve ever had. The audio also became my birth affirmation. Regardless whether you are a muslim or not, I’d strongly recommend that you listen to this Zikir Terapi and you’ll know what I mean. It was very soothing and therapeutic for the soul. I played the CD in the car while driving and practicing my Relaxation Breathing. It was played during labor and now every night to put my baby to sleep.
Finally, it was T+5 late at night I was updating my family and friends on Whatsapp on how glad I was that most of my work was settled and I’ve bought most of baby stuff from baby expo earlier that day. Now I think the baby can come out since tomorrow will be a Saturday but preferably after we all attend my son’s school sports day. That night too I was too exhausted from walking and told my baby that if you are ready to greet the world, please do it in the morning. I’m not at my best on late nights and furthermore Ipin has been working long hours for the past couple of weeks. He just needed that night to catch up on his sleep.
I got up at 5am that Saturday morning to get ready for Sports Day. My helper managed to get the pancakes, nuggets and hotdog sorted out for our little family picnic while I get everyone ready. Honestly I was not sure the feeling of butterfly in my stomach at that time was because i was too excited to attend the sports day cum picnic or I was having contractions. I emptied my bowel and woke Ipin up, told him that I think today is THE day and he knows that I would not exaggerate or give false alarm on these kind of matters. I was not sure whether he heard me or not because he told me to wake him up again for suboh prayers and went back to sleep, snoring. On my Kakak’s advise, I took my iPhone with the free Contraction Monitor apps downloaded and begin tracking my contraction intervals as well as intensity. It was between 7 and 10 minutes apart, equivalent to 2 to 4 hours before active labor comes.
At 7am, everyone was ready for Sports Day, Ezu was leaving for Tanjung Jara Resort for family holiday and I had to make a decision. I asked Aufa whether it was OK for us to miss his Sports Day and greet baby first instead. Based on calculation too, I didn’t think we would be able to join the fun in Tanjung Jara Resort. I was really in need of a swim that weekend. So we decided to go to a different kind of sea instead to birth the baby. We all made our way to Pantai Hospital in Bangsar. Traffic was smooth, I called the hospital to inform them of our arrival and requested for water birth. We arrived around 8.30am, I was about 5 minutes apart and then the Contraction Monitor app stop and said “Purchase the full version now at $1.99 only”. I just laughed because these things DO happen during critical times. Who needs the app anyway at this stage, right? So there I was at the lobby enjoying our packed picnic food while watching my kids playing around in between going to the washroom but nothing was coming out. Honestly, the contractions’ intensity was manageable and were not as strong as when I was giving birth to Ayfaa. I was still not confident whether I was in labor or not. At 9am we all moved into the Labour Ward waiting lounge. I was so glad that the room was empty and clean with ensuite washroom, the kids can make themselves comfortable there while watching Disney Channel. By then, Daddy was there already from his cycling trip to offer his support. I told the kids to behave as the doctor needs to check on Mama’s tummy and I need Babah to accompany me. Should they need us, we are only a scream’s away.
9.30am we were in water birth delivery suite. Even though we didn’t get the beach mural suite, the waterfall mural was not too bad after all. I was all excited already to jump into the bathtub while Ipin had the Zikir Terapi CD on. The lights were dimmed and the thoughts of playing in the water made me forget about the contraction. I had to give in to VE after talking it thru with Dr I a few times. The procedure is minimum of 5cm dilation before being allowed into tub. I was at 8cm already when I got in. The water was warm and simply perfect. It was very relaxing especially when you are floating. I would have turned on the rain shower if our darling doctor was not bathing me like in Hammam spa. I felt bad too for her as she was there with me while she has a few other patients in labor at the same time. Mucus plug off. She checked the baby’s heartbeat and I tried to engage conversation with her and hubby. I really think that I’m nowhere near to give birth as the contraction intensity never went beyond Strong. Water bag popped. I was feeling a bit disappointed because I was hoping for an encaul water birth. It would have been so cool. 10am, doctor was prepping herself with her plastic apron and I remember laughing nervously asking her “Are you sure you want to stay here with me Doc coz I don’t think the baby is coming out anytime soon. I don’t feel THAT sakit”. She replied calmly looking at me and hubby “After this the contraction will be longer and baby will swim out”. BANG! Kakak came into the room and guided my breathing. I was so glad to see her and true enough baby was coming out. All I could remember was saying “Allahuakbar” many times. The next thing I know baby was on my chest. Then I asked Ipin “Baby boy or girl?”. He was too anxious to notice. He flipped baby gently and it is a GIRL! That explained why she was pretty small compared to her other siblings. It was 10.30am.
Next, I got out of the tub to birth the placenta on the bed. Baby and I were still having our skin-to-skin moment where she was suckling like a pro already. It was a miracle and simply beautiful. What a privilege to experience Motherhood and have that birthing moment again. I was a bit nervous too for the next stage which was birthing the placenta as I never birthed it naturally. I took a jab to have it out and had 3rd degree tear for my first two babies. Alhamdulillah this time around I’ve improved, did some breathing and placenta was out. I had minor tear only. Practice makes perfect and I wouldn’t mind going thru it again. 4th child jom?