People say every birth is a unique experience – a story of the mother and the baby. It truly is the end of a journey – the 10 month long pregnancy journey -and a beginning of a new one. Our baby girl, Azwa was born on the 9th of August 2015 , at 2.04 pm at the Westmead Hospital in Sydney.
I had a lovely pregnancy, especially after the 5th month. Up until then , I was working the busy corporate lawyer life of deadlines and agendas and meetings and the only realistic thought I had given to the beautiful baby growing inside me were my daily prayers and vitamins and extra food that I craved to eat. Once we boarded the plane to come to Sydney , it was a more relaxing time to catch up with the thought of the baby and how my husband and my life was about to change.
We both wanted the experience to be one which we would both feel and be a part of. Where I come from, pregnancy , birthing and the life with the baby is mostly considered the responsibility of the mother- and to come to her aid is the supporting network of their mothers, sisters aunts and a bevy of other women. It is also the norm of the doctors to opt for C-sections rather than normal delivery. We wanted a normal delivery and to equip ourselves we joined an ante-natal class where the concept of birthing, pain relief and what are the important things for life after baby were discussed.
At 34 weeks of pregnancy , I was told I had gestational diabetes and had to control my food intake, walk a lot and had to monitor the movement of the baby especially from 36 weeks onwards as sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes tend to grow bigger in comparison to the normal sizes. So, from 36 weeks on – I was a rather anxious woman and whenever baby moved less – my husband and I would head to the hospital for baby-monitoring. By the grace of God baby was always ok and she always decided to kick and dance when the monitor was on. After 2/3 episodes of such monitoring, my husband started taking it with ease. But as advised , we always carried the Yellow card along with our documents.
I gave birth at 38 weeks and 2 days- it was a Sunday. In hindsight, I think my body had gone into labour 2 days ahead or rather was prepping for it as the number of Braxton Hicks had started increasing. I couldn’t quite put a finger on it what was happening as they said contractions had not started or water had not broken. I kept going into this trance like dreamy state and although I felt uncomfortable, it wasn’t painful. We even went for an hour walk at Newington Park for distracting myself. That evening , I felt that the baby was moving less than normal and after monitoring at home for 2 hours, we decided to go to the hospital again for monitoring. Once at the hospital, the monitoring went well . But suddenly towards the end , baby’s heartbeat fell once and then the midwives started monitoring more carefully. As that happened once again, in a span of 10 mintues, they said that I might be having a C-section if that happened again and checking revealed I was 2cm dilated already. I was told that I would either be induced that night itself or early next morning. We opted for the next morning.
Once we went in to the hospital the next morning , my water was broken and I was induced with the drip. The midwives said that labour may be as long as 24 /36 hours. After about 10 minutes into the drip the contractions started and within the first hour I was 4cm dilated. Contractions started coming on quicker but I rode through each one with prayers and holding my husband’s hand. He had prepared a playlist of songs, we had candles and even his swim shorts. But the fast paced contractions and my prayer and screams didn’t allow much time or room for exploring those options. He was there with me
every bit of the way. I had decided to opt for nitrox oxide as the first form of pain relief and that’s all that was needed because by the 2nd hour check ,midwives said I was “ready to push”. I birthed our baby girl after 5/6 pushes. It was a short, beautiful uncomplicated labour and in one word- “blessed” . I felt the presence of God’s blessings and the prayers of all my loved ones surrounding us. It was a beautiful, empowering and miraculous moment when I realized what my body had done! I always wanted to feel what its like to be a mother and the first step of that is the miraculous feeling of giving birth- I didn’t want the experience to be dimmed by forms of pain relief, unless absolutely necessary.
I think I will always remember the moment when I first held our baby girl , felt her tiny little body resting on mine and the look of pure love, adoration and respect I saw glistening in my husband’s eyes as he looked at me and our baby together. There are truly no words to describe the moment when you first hold your baby and the moment when you hear the first cry- and the first family hug of mommy, daddy and baby.
Guest Blog @ Relaxed Parenting by Ishita, Sydney, Australia