*this post is not for the faint-hearted*
On Sunday, May 29th 2011, at 02.04 in the early morning (breaking dawn, since it’s only 1 hour to Subuh time) I delivered my baby daughter Nina Ariane Rusadi in a way of Natural Birth. Because apparently the phrase ‘normal’ could not best described what I have experienced. You could get chemically induced or get any form of sedatives or anaesthetics (cmiiw) in normal birth, while I did not to get any of those. Actually, I was asking for those at quite the wrong time when it’s way too late to be ‘helped’ by any kinds of them.
This experience was so new to me that I have nothing in mind about it, back then. It all started in early Saturday morning -just passed midnight- when I suddenly awoken by a this menstrual pain-like with a heighten intensity on my lower back, hips, and lower abdomen. It wasn’t like any usual menstrual pain I have felt before since I woke up by the feeling of it. It wasn’t painful, just intense and it’s gone right after I opened my eyes. After that I went back to sleep as nothing ever happened.
Then when I took a morning shower, I noticed a brown mucus-y spot in my -ehm- underwear and I called the emergency number of the midwife. They told me to take a rest and wait until I felt any contractions and wait until the contractions came every 5 minutes with 1 minute duration, each. So, I waited. I ate breakfast, watched tv, watched Hell’s Kitchen Season 3 marathon-ly, ate lunch, continued HK, then the contractions started to come slowly and painlessly, at first.
I counted every contractions using Contraction Master, an online application I found on Google. All I had to do is click ‘Start’ and ‘Stop’ whenever I felt the contractions coming and the app will count the length and distance between previous contractions and the latest one. After I see the contractions came within 5 minutes approximately, and lasted approximately 1 minute, I called the midwife emergency number again. This time they said that they will send someone (one of the midwives) to check up on me and my dilation.
The one who came was from another practice, because the midwives from the practice I’ve been to, were busy or unavailable. Her name is Marijke and she was 20 weeks pregnant! Talk about working mother dilemma. Ha! When she checked me up it was dilation 4 and we’re good to go to the hospital. She called the hospital for any rooms availability and she even drove us there! Me, my husband, and my mother all rode in her car to hospital. My ‘flight bag’ or Vluchtkoffer was already stuffed with all items I needed in the hospital (spare clothes, toiletries, baby clothes, socks, sarong, etc).
The pain was still there but not heightens, and it came closer as time passes. After 15 minutes of driving, we arrived at the hospital around 8 pm. Around 9 pm, the contractions came more intense and closer, about every 3 minutes for 1.5 minute long. Still felt like a worsen menstrual pain, but I might stop at sentences or in the middle of a talk because of the intensity.
Around 10 pm the midwife came, her name is Sophie and her grandfather is half-Indonesian but he has no connection with this story whatsoever, and check my dilation again, apparently in stalled and still on opening 4. Hence, she tear the membrane -Ketuban in Indonesian- and let the water out. She did that because my dilation was not improving after 3 hours (I started to have dilation 4 since 7 pm). After that, the dilation increasing rapidly. And so was the contraction’s pain.
I got from dilation 4 to 7 within 1.5 hour, and that’s when I started to ask for sedatives or morphines or whatever it was to relieve my pain. But the midwife check my dilation and said that I’m on the 7th and it was too late for any of those pain relievers, since I would still feel the pain anyway. So, we decided to say goodbye for any pain killers and I had to face the realms…
I took a warm shower to relieve the pain and it was worth the while. During the warm shower I felt less pain and I can concentrate on my breathing as thought by the yoga class (which I didn’t finish since I was way too late to join and my belly started to get heavier to go for a far walking distance). Around 1 am, the midwife check my dilation again and said that I was already in the 10th dilation. I never get a chance to squeal in happiness since the pain was too intense that I had to take another warm shower, this time I did the ‘inhale and exhale 3 times’ method as told by the midwife.
I the felt the urge to -ehm- poop or defecate and then I knew that it’s labour time. I went back to the bed and the intense menstrual pain with the urge to poop came strongly that I couldn’t hold anymore. Unlike any regular poop which I can hold for as long as I could (even days), this one is a stubborn one that I just need to release. In my mind I was pushing out the poop instead of baby or something out of my v-part. Because, it’s hard to concentrate on that part since I never push something out of there before. So, I concentrate on the must-go-to-the-toilet-now! feeling and just push, push, and push.
Since it took me a while in the bed to push out the baby, the midwife and the nurse decide to take me on the birthing stool.
I felt the urge more strongly sitting on the stool, but still no baby out yet. After 15 minutes of trying and the midwife also helped by inserting her fingers inside to take out the baby’s head, we decided to went back to the bed.
The first 2 attempts (in bed and in stool) I was busy concentrating on the pain and my v-part. Thus at the 3rd attempt, I tried to concentrate on the defecating urge instead and thought of a stubborn poop which haven’t been out in days, and that I had to get them out. So I did, with all my best and force left within me, and at 02.04 am my daughter was born. When her head was reaching out to my birth canal, then I started to feel to push her instead and there she was!
Amazing! I felt relieve, happy, joy, tired, and once I saw her face I was stunned. I cannot believe I just gave birth to her, after all the 9 months inside me talking to my own belly and now here she is. In my arms crying and I couldn’t believe that she’s alive.
Well, after this experience I must say that there’s nothing that a woman cannot do. No need for pills or injections or sedatives, just let it be natural because if you believe in God, that He will NEVER put any tense or pressure to a person that him/herself cannot withstand. Besides the reward is heaven, heaven on a real meaning an heaven for having seen your child coming out of you.