This mama educated herself and achieved the birth she wanted! Thank you for allowing us to share your story.

First of all, let me share with you why this birth is a big deal to me and my husband. Having gone through 2 births (one induced, intervened vaginal birth and one emergency c-sect), they were not as positive as one would want their birth to be. Thus, having this successful VBAC, I was encouraged to share my experience to tell all that it IS possible! For my first birth, I was very naïve, didn’t bother to read up on birthing and labor and all things related. Thus, I ended up going to the hospital MUCH too early; where I was induced, had my water bag prematurely ruptured and although it was a vaginal birth, it was assisted with a vacuum. Nonetheless, I had the skin to skin contact and had the first touch of my baby and was breastfeeding exclusively for more than a year. (At least there was some positivity that came out from all this).

For my second birth, I became slightly hardworking and did some reading on labour and all stuff related. At my 39 weeks, I was induced as the doctor said my baby was big. That same evening, my contractions came but this time, being slightly smarter, I laboured longer at home and when I reached hospital, I was 6cm. Everything progressed well up till the time I felt ready to push. What happened next might piss off most of you – I was told not to push and had my legs closed because the doctor was NOT around. By the time the doctor came, which was 2 hours later, I was very tired and he wheeled me in to the operating room for an emergency C-section. Was baby’s heart rate dropping? No! He said I was swollen and that baby is too big, again!  Anywho, what’s done was done. Fortunately, my second baby was a great latcher! No cracked, sore nipples, just wonderful breastfeeding journey the whole 18 months!

And so because of my past birth histories, I decided this time, it has to change! For MY sake! I chanced upon this wonderful group, The Gentle Birthing Ummi Group, and did more reading and research and searched and hired a doula and oh, I changed hospitals. So, on 2 December, 2013, I had been having surges for a few days that lasted up to 2 hours only – prodromal labour they say. On this day, I had been feeling the surges since 8:30am. At 10:30am, I messaged my doula to update her. At 2pm the surges were still there and they were 6-8 minutes apart. So I messaged my doula again to give her a heads up since they were lasting more than 2 hours. I tried taking a nap but I could still feel the surges and the intensity was felt more when I was lying down. Nonetheless, I managed to get a short nap. The rest of the hours went by and the surges came very consistently now getting closer together, about 5 minutes apart and the intensity was about the scale of 6. I took a long, warm bath and rested. At 8:30pm we went for a short walk and bought dinner home (having to stop to sway & breathe the surges away after a few steps). I seriously wondered how I got through them, hah! My husband was super wonderful throughout my surges. At 9:30pm I went to the toilet and the mucus plug came out. I called my doula and she said, “Alright, this is going well” and we decided to meet her at NUH. We got our bags & stuff ready and left home at 10:45pm. At 11:30pm we reached NUH and met our doula.

After assessing me, she said I had a couple of hours before I really ‘pop’ and suggested we take a walk in the park! LOL! I trusted her and we went to the toilet first. But on the way to the toilet, we had to stop every few seconds as my surges were progressing super fast! There were even double peaks! It took us, I think 30 mins to reach the toilet! Oh the drama we put on! Hahaha! In the toilet, I felt different and I guessed when the surges came, I was at the point of crying so our super doula said, “Wow! You’re in transition already, let’s go check in ok.” I just nodded and followed but I couldn’t walk already and had to sit on the wheelchair.

On 3 December, 2013 12am, I was sitting on the wheelchair and I guessed this was what my husband meant when he thought, “Who are you and what have you done to my wife?” LOL! Because it was already my body taking over, I could not control it anymore, I let go. 10 minutes later, in the lift we went and the biggest surge hit me. My super doula and husband pulled me up to sway and breathe the surge but GUSH! Out gushed my water bag! I was already groaning, saying that I felt the need to push. At 12:15am I was rushed to delivery suite. There was no time for IV drip, no drugs, it was all au natural! They told me to get on the bed, no, they insisted I get on the bed, so, I did, but I did it MY way!  I wasn’t lying back, I went up kneeling and leaning my body on the head rest and I refused to turn. More surges came, I felt my baby crowning and the feeling was phenomenal, I was very panicky but thanks to my husband and super doula, I learned to calm down, breathe and slowly breathe baby out. 10 minutes later, at 12:25am, my baby was out! He weighed 3.595kg! And my perineum was intact!  It was the most surreal feeling ever, alhamdulilah! Although my gynae wasn’t around for my birth, who cares! I had my husband, my super doula, Kak Fadillah Yusope and my VBAC!

Reflecting on this healing birth, there was little but big changes made to my lifestyle. I had to prepare my body just like I would for a marathon. I was already eating greens but I had to cut back on my sugar. Starting the change wasn't easy but once I started, there was no turning back. Until now, fast food doesn't tempt me and I feel woozy if my body were to take in more sugar than needed. Such is the power of eating healthy. Ma Sha Allah. Thanks to Allah (SWT) for hearing my dua, my awesome doula, Kak Fadillah and my husband, we achieved our VBAC, my healing birth. Alhamdulilah.

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