“My Mum had fast births” she said. Little did we know that Tetyana would beat her Mum’s time and give birth herself in tempo time. This is Tetyana’s story, the story of Amy’s birth.
In the early hours of the 1st day of June I was woken by a message at 12.45 that Tetyana’s waters had broken but there were no contractions yet. I had wondered if one of the two babies I was on call for would be born that night so I had gone to bed early and already been asleep since 11pm. I struggled to fall back to sleep but eventually managed, only to be woken at 2.11 by a call from John. The contractions had started at 1.30am he said but had progressed in a consecutive order of first 8, 6, 4, and then 3 minutes apart. “Is this normal” John asked? “She already doesn’t want to talk during a contraction” My adrenaline instantly woke me up and I calmly said “that is quite fast, call the midwife and I will meet you at the birthing centre” At 2.21am there was a quick call that indeed the midwife suggested going ahead to the birthing centre.
We arrived at the same time, 3am. We slowly made our way to the top floor of the hospital, where the birthing centre was, stopping for each contraction on the way. Upon arrival I immediately starting running the bath. Tetyana wanted to be checked for dilation to know where she was at and (at 3.30am) she already had a good 4cm. The bath was full and she couldn’t get in there fast enough. The contractions were intense and, as is quite common for women with fast labours, Tetyana did not want to be touched or talked to during one. After a few contractions it became clear that she was dealing with the intensity in her own way and John and the midwife and I could only sit close and watch the process. As a doula, I quickly realized that my tips and gentle hands were not what was needed for this Mama but just a quiet presence. In between contractions Tetyana was alert and relaxed.
Around 4.30 the contractions started to change. The midwife and I smiled at each other and with a knowing look we silently communicated “This is fast and she is coping amazingly” The excitement in John’s face was priceless and yet at the same time he was so calm and amused by Tetyana’s rather loud way of experiencing a contraction.
10 minutes later I started preparing John to get into the birthing pool, this waterbirth was happening! He wanted to catch the baby himself and the time was coming close. At 4.50am he got in the pool and Tetyana relaxed her legs over his and her body started to push her baby down. She couldn’t quite believe it herself and asked for confirmation that it was time. The midwife explained what was happening in her body and with determination she pushed through the intense pain she was feeling. John felt the babies head as it started to show and encouraged Tetyana to do the same. “Amy is really coming” he said with a huge grin on his face “She is right here!”
At 5.09 little Amy was born into her Daddy’s hands. He held her as she swam into her Mama’s hands and together they lifted her out of the water and onto Tetyana’s chest. The midwife laughed out loud and cheered at the same time. With a gentle confidence she had coached John to catch his baby and she too was thrilled at this amazing moment.
As Amy cuddled with her Mama, John intuitively held the umbilical chord between his fingers so he could feel when it stop pulsating. The chord was then clamped and cut and the moment he had been waiting for for 9 months had come, his little Amy was now free for him to steel and cuddle too 🙂
The placenta came away quite easily and quite quickly after Tetyana wanted to get out of the water. Daddy got his first cuddle while Tetyana got comfy in bed. Joy and disbelief were present in the room. “I really did it” Tetyana said. “And I beat my Mums time but wow, that was intense!”
John and Tetyana were well read and well prepared for birth. When they got pregnant they thought that they would move their home run business to Thailand so they could give birth in the best hospital in the world in Bangkok. After researching they realized that actually they lived in the best place in the world to have a baby and that giving birth was a natural process and not a sickness. The Dutch approach facilitated the natural process. Their research also taught them that there was much evidence that doula support would improve their birthing experience. They knew they wanted it to be as natural as possible but also educated themselves well about the risks and knew what to expect if the birth needed to be medicalised. Two engineers who found themselves in the most natural process known to mankind and who allowed themselves to just go with the flow. A privilege to witness!
Thank you to an amazing, sweet midwife who sat back, had faith in John and Tetyana, and watched the process unfold.
Quote of the day: John – “Pain is just information your brain is processing”
Welcome Little Amy!