Darren’s Birth Story (2007)

  This is Darren’s Birth Story as written by Ginny, my doula from Four Trimesters. It incorporates some of my sms to her from days prior to the birth as well. I have added more details from my perspective and these are written in Red.

Darren Sim

Born ….. 2007

At 12.57pm

At Mount Alvernia Hospital, Singapore

Weight: 4.425 kg

Length: 56 cm

Head Circumference: 37.5 cm

And so handsome!

The story of your birth…….

Dear Darren,

I first met your mother on an online parenting email group called Asia Parents years ago and she took my active birth antenatal classes to prepare for the birth of your second brother. For your birth, your parents decided to make the best of this last experience (so they say) and to welcome you in the most natural and gentle way possible, hence they decided to take HypnoBirthing and engage Doula services.

 

……late  2006

11:15:04 sms

Thanks. Just recovered from cold. 2 weeks ago Adrian said a small part of placenta still covering the cervix though.

Your mother contacted me in […] to inform me that you were still in the breech position. We met up at your parent’s place and did a Hypnosis Breech session and during the session, you were actively moving. Your mother and I later shared with each other that we suspect that you moved head down during the hypnosis session.

Besides this one session, I also tried the slant board tilt a few times. It was the most uncomfortable position to be in when you are very pregnant.

 

……  2006

12:18:15 sms

Good news. Baby turned. But at the moment still a bit high, star gazing and posterior. Nevetheless I am happy.

….. 2006

14:40:41 sms

Check up today everything ok. Seeing J next week.

J was the back up obgyn who was supposed to cover for my obgyn when he went on holidays.

14:42:04 sms

Not posterior. Adrian is not worried.

… 2006

12:57:13 sms

Baby still want to bake. Everything else is fine. Next appointment on the 5th. May want to consider induction on the 8th by which time almost 42 weeks.

By this time, baby was 4 days past EDD. We were not worried and not in a hurry to induce. In fact, we wanted to avoid induction as much as possible.

13:01:35 sms

Want baby to come out in Jan not Dec so not trying anything yet. I think last time was ROA. Water level and heartbeat good. I just feel terribly heavy!

….. early 2007

21:30:17 sms

Losing mucous plug. But probably another few days more.

….. 2007

09:20:44 sms

Decided to go ahead to induce. Will be calling Adrian later.

By this time, I was terribly heavy and uncomfortable. Not to mention terribly frustrated. Since we were not prepared to go beyond 42 weeks anyway, induction was finally under serious consideration, much as I dreaded it.

 

9:26:38 sms

Nothing. Just too fed up and uncomfortable. Calling him to see when. Might be today even. Just try the prostin first.

09:43:33 sms

I know. But I am desperate. Don’t think it will start on its own any time soon and don’t think i want to wait beyond 42 weeks.

17:36:42 sms

Monday induce.

Ginny suggested that I do some belly lifting. She suspected that my belly – being protruded and somewhat flopping forward – was causing the baby to not lie properly on the cervix to trigger labour.

That night, around 11pm, while watching tv, I decided that there was no harm trying the belly lift. So I took out my sling and basically slung up my belly. Never knew the sling could be useful for this! I could only do this a short while at a time because I would need to stand and standing was very tiring for me. Sitting did not give me as good a leverage.

After a short while of lifting, I started getting contractions. Not wanting to get my hopes up, I decided to just wait and see. I have had such contractions that eventually died off and made me so disappointed and discouraged. This time round, however, the contractions kept on and finally, I was convinced that I was finally in labour.

After the show, I went to lie down and started doing my hypnobirthing relaxation. The Hypnobirthing thing really did work very well for me. I was coping really well, right up to 7 cm dilation and could still talk and joke around.

About 13-14 Days past EDD

Your mother decided to go for induction on Monday and I was thinking to myself that she will probably go into spontaneous labor prior to that.

Around 1.30am, your daddy calls me to inform me that your mother is in labor and that surges started since midnight. They were not sure if they should go to the hospital soon or not, so I said I will get ready and call him after my shower. He said no need to rush.

03:24:59 sms from your Daddy

Ok. Surges 4 mins apart. Getting more intense. Call me when you are here so that I can open the door.

3.50am

I arrived at your parent’s place, found your mother in a reclining position on the bed and breathing through a surge. I could tell that it was intense yet she remained beautifully relaxed.

I was relaxed even in the hospital (before things got too intense). Richard took a video of it for proof. 🙂

“that was a really painful one”, she said.

She said that this was the only position that she felt comfortable. Your daddy shared that she spent a few hours doing abdominal lifting and that could have helped start labor. She said that when she stands its much harder to get a nice long breath. Surges were frequent, 3-4 minutes and she focused on her breath and remained completely relaxed. We talked about when to go to hospital and I said that there is still time to stay home as I am looking for other signs ie. bowel movement feelings, more show etc.. if she wants to stay as long as possible at home or she could move on to the hospital to settle in. Your daddy seemed to prefer to stay home first. Your daddy then said to wait till daylight before moving on and I said who knows, might be before that 🙂 asked him to catch a snooze.

4.16am

You are moving around actively and your mother said that she did not know what you were trying to do. Kicking on right anterior bottom.

4.26am

She said that surges are much closer together. She was wondering if she should start moving to the hospital because she is unsure if she is able to walk later but I said she was ok, we can move down slowly. She reports constant pain whenever she moves as well as feeling queasy.

4.40am

She went to the toilet and reported a lot of discomfort and that it takes effort even to pee.

4.49am

She had a very “bad” surge and took some time for her to get back to slow breathing. I suggested to her to moan on her out breath if it helps instead of holding it back.

4.55am

She decides to go to the hospital for fear of being unable to move so I said that could be a good idea. I woke your daddy up and we are getting ready to go.

5.30am

We arrived at the hospital. Your mothe refused an internal check and takes her time to settle down. She asked if standing up will help speed up the labor and I said I think she is ok for now, there is no need to speed it up.

Your daddy went to do admissions. Your mother reported that she feels you pushing your way down.

6.15am

Your mother goes for a pee and is beginning to sound like she is slowly bearing down.

6.22am

She consented to an internal check and yay, she was 7cm dilated!

We were still talking and joking around at this point!

7.12am

Decides to stands up to labor but found that difficult. Dr. Adrian came and commented on how well she was doing and encouraged her. Surges were getting very intense at this point and your mother was finding it very difficult to manage. She asked for the epidural and your Daddy and I encouraged her. She was slowly moving from a state of coping with the pain to a state of suffering, so your Daddy consented to an epidural and I informed the nurses.

I do not know how but I passed from managing comfortably to barely coping with the pain. Labour seemed to have stalled at 7cm. At this point, I was physically exhausted and could hardly cope with the surges. For my first two births, I had to push for a long time without progress. Since I knew this baby would be the biggest of the three, I was not confident that I would have the energy to last that long considering I was only 7 cm dilated. Hence I begged for epidural.

9.30am

The epidural was administered. I went home for a break.

Eventually, I got my relief (epidural) and managed to rest for 2 hours, during which time my cervix only dilated to 9cm!

11:55:10 sms

Cervix dilation at 9cm. Nurse says another hour will be ready for delivery.

12:10:50 sms

Doc passed instruction to nurse that we should start pushing now.

After having a rest, I was reading and raring to go. At 9 cm, about 12 noon on Sunday, more than 12 hours after labour started, my obgyn instructed me to start pushing as the pushing will help with the final dilation also. Ginny also agreed that I should push. So with the help of the midwife, I started pushing. Had to tell the midwife that lying on my back is not a good way for me to work and I managed to convince her to let me lie on my side. She was a bit surprised, I think, but I proved myself right. Within a few pushes, the baby was well on his way and we stopped to wait for my obgyn.

I smsed your Daddy that I will come over right now. When I came, your parent’s told me that your head was visibly. I was told that your mother told you that you had to make your own way out as she could not feel anything. Such a good boy you are. Nurse Jane asked your mother to push and so much of your head was visibly. So I said better not push until Dr. Adrian comes else he might miss the birth. During this time, I prepped your mother up on coached pushing and what might be expected during this stage etc… all was not necessary though. As when Dr. Adrian  arrived and with one big and long push, you slipped out into this world at 12.57pm unassisted and just in time for lunch!

I sort of told the baby to come out on his own because there is only this much I can do with the epidural – we switched it right down before started pushing. Darren was a good boy because when my obgyn arrived, with a few pushes, Darren was out! We were all very surprised by how quick and easy it was because for Dominic and Damien, I was pushing and pushing for more than an hour with no progress! Since I expected Darren to be the biggest of the 3, I expected his birth to be even more tough. Who knows he came so easy! The biggest of the 3 yet born without assistance of forceps or vacuum.

Richard managed to capture the birth on video but of course, this is for our eyes only! Precious footage of Darren coming into this world!

 

Even though I succumbed to epidural, this is the best birth of the 3 and Richard and I were both very happy with it! He took some video of how calm I was coping with the early stage of labour right up to 7 cm – he was so surprised because it was a far cry compared to the previous births. I don’t regret the epidural decision because it really gave me a break and I could focus on the last part – the birthing – with refreshed energy and motivation (which I thought I needed because of past experience).

One week after the birth, when Ginny came for the post-partum visit, we debrief the birth and concluded that despite epidural, there is really nothing that I would change if I were to do it again.

The hypnobirthing breathing exercises came in handy even at the birthing stage. Even though I couldn’t feel much and was more or less ‘purple pushing’, at one point, when my obgyn asked for a slow and gentle push, I could focus and just breathe the baby out. Would not have been possible if not for all the practice. And because of that, even though Darren’s head circumference was quite big (37.5cm), I only had a tiny little nick that required only 1 stitch! It’s a miracle. Goes to show episiotomy is totally unnecessary!

Even though your mother did not manage to have a drug free birth, she gave it all she got for your birth and this was her best birth experience ever! I am so happy for you all

Thank you Darren, Angela & Richard for inviting me to be part of YOUR birth team, and to be part of this beautiful birth that is so wonderful in every way. And to my beloved and handsome Darren, may your parents’ love and strength during your labor & birth and the same calmness and peace you experience at your birth carry with you throughout your life. You are truly blessed.

Doulaing with a warm heart,

Aunty Ginny