I’ve now developed severe cramps in my left glutes stretching all the way to my knee due to being forced to ‘lay still’ on the bed while the strap-on monitor tries to get a steady reading from the baby. Which is absolutely RIDICULOUS considering we (Baby & I ) were both in active, advanced labour.
Funny, but the leg cramps are bothering me way more than the uterine contractions – which I seem to be able to deal with, while the leg cramps are just UNBEARABLE. I think this was the only point I actually shouted to Erin to
“Please do something to help me with the leg cramps!!”
We finally find that keeping my leg bent and her pushing down with all her might on my knee works to keep the cramps at bay.
Idiote medical doctor comes in once again, looks at me squirming around in the bed, looks at the monitor and says the reading is ‘not satisfactory’.
She then kind of yells at me, asking if I have ‘the urge to push’. I’m like, ‘I don’t know?!’ She rolls her eyes at me and leaves. This is my first baby, how the heck am I supposed to know?!!! All I know is that my body seems to have taken over!!
I wanted very much to yell various profanities at her, had I been physically able to, but the labour was frankly overwhelming in that it took over all of my focus and energy.
At this point, a different midwife (of middle eastern descent) comes in to take a look at me. Apparently a shift change had taken place during that time, which explains why we were left to ourselves for quite a long while. The midwife finally has the experience to know that I should be checked, before realising in shock that I was already at 10cm. I see her almost jump up to roll the medical tray into the birthing pool room and call the OB/GYN pronto.
Apparently no one had expected too that I would progress so quickly, as I had just been recently admitted.
The water birth
I jump off the bed and immediately hurry to the tub. Baby monitor be damned, I would have yelled at the next person who told me to stay in the bed anyway.
I get in, and immediately feel SO relaxed and at ease. It’s a really deep tub, so much so that I can’t sit in it, so I prop myself up on the edge with my elbows and kneel upright. Amazing way to labour. I still bear a grudge against the doctor who refused to let me in the tub till a ‘proper reading’ from the baby was taken. Which is absolutely ridiculous because they used a waterproof handheld monitor with me all through the birth and there was no issue whatsoever. So why not do that in the first place?! Apparently my OB/GYN had told them that I was allowed into the tub as soon as I arrived, due to having had an uncomplicated pregnancy. But Doctor-on-Duty did not bother – whatever – not doing her job properly, I don’t know.
The birthing suite felt so lovely, calm and relaxed. The room was completely dark, except for a special dim blue lighting from the tub. Everything was so quiet and serene. Erin diligently carried my hypnobirthing track into the suite, and that was the only sound I heard, apart from slight whisperings from the staff and my birthing partners.
I’ll add the pictures I have on file when I get to them.
I was told not to push till Dr Amber arrived, so I kind of just hung out till she did. When she did, I was so happy to see her because I knew that I was in good, gentle hands, and with a doctor who supported all my natural birth preferences. In fact, she was the one who suggested a water birth to me in the first place. I had looked into it and wondered if it could be for me, but it was her who gave me the confidence to go for it. Looking back, I can’t believe the luck I had in finding her in Dubai, as I discovered while she was getting her visa papers sorted, that there are nasty ones who perform procedures without prior notice or consent. I had complete trust in her, knowing there would be no unnecessary procedures taken, and I realise now that is rare to find.
I could begin pushing, with the staff taking baby’s heart rate after each push, and using a handheld mirror to check its progress. Soon enough, the baby was crowning, and Dr Amber suggested that I flip belly-up so someone could catch the baby. I flipped, and before anyone was prepared, Miss Jyve pushed herself out, and I saw her shooting through the water across the tub. She caught everyone by surprise; now THAT really is an image to remember and a story to retell.
The midwife caught her and brought her up into my arms, as the husband was at my back propping me up in the deep tub.
She lay on my chest and looked up at me with those large, cute baby eyes, then looked around, taking in her surroundings. No crying or wailing as they tell you in all those stories, just calm and aware. We always talk about how aware she was, straight out of the womb.
Just. So. Beautiful.