'I had multiple birth partners'
Want to know what to expect during a 'natural' childbirth? Is it as fascinating, painful and dramatic as they make it sound? Read about Effie D'Cunha's experience to find out!
A proud mother to 3-year-old Niya, Effie is a successful communications professional with a top MNC. Here she tells us how her plan for a natural birth was well-thought upon and why! Effie D’Cunha lives in Mumbai and is married to Dyu, a media professional, who runs his own company, OnStage.
When Effie realised she was pregnant, she knew nothing about pregnancy or delivery, except that she wanted the best for her baby. So, along with her husband Dyu, she decided to venture into the unchartered terrain the well-read way. Here she speaks.
We started preparations well in advance for the delivery. As first time parents, we did extensive research on the birthing process. I read four books on pregnancy, birthing and labour.
The online research was an ongoing process through the nine-month journey – reading blogs, birth stories, websites, watching videos. In addition, I had subscribed to email updates from pregnancy and baby related websites.
I was also meeting different people and in conversations with mums, soon to be expecting mothers and childbirth experts. I attended a prenatal exercise and childbirth education class.
Exercise was a part of my preparation and I attended a prenatal yoga class as well, which I think did wonders for me as a mum-to-be during my pregnancy and of course helped me during the delivery.
Natural birthing it was for me!
Natural birthing is basically delivering the baby without any intervention – no enema, no saline, no forceps, no pain relieving or inducing injections! Basically, I had enough confidence in my body to give birth the most natural way.
Our need for giving birth in the manner we wanted, lead us to natural birthing. From then, it was an ongoing journey – meeting people, talking to mums, prenatal experts, lactation consultants, our midwives, and more.
Continue reading to know about Effie’s labour pain and how she managed to stay calm!
When Niya decided to arrive before her due date!
The baby was due to arrive on Valentine’s day – February 14th, 2012, but she arrived two days earlier. The loss of my mucous plug was one of the first signs of my labour. But I was aware that labour could take time.
The mild labour pains started two days earlier and I was in constant touch with Lina Duncan, one of my two mid-wives, on the phone. Given that it was my first pregnancy, I was unsure about certain things, but my midwives advised me throughout the two days.
Is THIS labour pain?
On Sunday early morning, the pains started to intensify. I called up Lina and described the pain and she confirmed I was in labour. The intense labour pains began at 6.00 a.m. in the morning and I delivered at 2.44 p.m. in the afternoon.
I kept exercising, used different breathing techniques to deal with pain and applied the learnings from my yoga class as well. Warm water baths helped me quite a bit.
Lina kept massaging my back when the labour pains intensified and her touch was soothing and helped me cope with the pain. Before the contractions began, I continued the breathing techniques, squatting to deal with the pain as well.
My final push looked like it would never happen. It took about 45 minutes for me to push our baby out. Given that we had our mid wives along, they took care of everything and I did not have any complications. They were ensuring I was well hydrated and monitored the heartbeat of the baby at regular intervals.
3 cheers to natural birthing!
I decided to have my natural birth at Daaimaas, which is also affiliated to a hospital. So, while my room was a regular room, minus all the hospital hoo-haa, I still had the confidence of having external help handy, let God forbid, anything untoward happened.
As we had hoped for, all went well and we didn’t need even the slightest help from the doctor, especially as my mid-wives had managed the whole process so beautifully.
Continue reading to know about Effie’s ‘multiple birth-partners!
My birth partners, my saviours!
Well, I had multiple birth partners. My husband, of course, who was by my side throughout the delivery. In addition I had two mid wives (Lina Duncan and Nhing Castillo) who were strong pillars of support.
As I look back, I must say that I would not have been able to achieve what I as a mother or we as to be parents wanted without the support of my husband. He knew exactly what I wanted and how I was feeling; he kept ensuring that I was OK and was my biggest source of strength throughout my pregnancy and definitely the delivery.
A beautiful birthing experience, this!
There are learnings from quite a few things in life we do. And in this case as well, I had lots of learnings from my delivery. Keeping that as the basis in mind, I do think I would have done a few things differently… may be insisted on NOT having the doctor around.
I still recall, instead of helping me ease into the process, my doctor just put pressure on me… once even literally! She actually tried to put pressure on my stomach to ‘ease out’ the baby. Ugh!
The whole point of natural birthing is that the body knows when and how much to put pressure, and if the body is ready at all. Why complicate it with unnecessary interventions?
Labour is NOT scary!
One of the messages I want to really leave behind for pregnant mums is that labour is not as scary as they make it sound. You need to be well prepared for it so that you can deal with it better.
And the saying cannot be more true in this case – ‘The fruit of your labour is indeed very sweet’. Trust me when I say this – When you have that baby in your hand, the pain seems definitely worth it.
As told to Divya Nair
If you have any thoughts on Effie’s labour story, please share in the Comment box below.