Iryna's Birth

May 14, 2015

I had light cramps started at 3am on the due date given by the Genetics Medicine Centre. Blake told me it's my body getting ready & it's a good thing. 


I wasn't able to do much, kept lying on my side all the time, thinking all day that at some stage I'll start having proper surges like we've seen in videos in Hypnobirthing classes and will be able to finish packing hospital bag, or should I say half the house that I was bringing for ease & comfort in labour...


A friend came over around 3 pm and she realised from having experienced her Sister's home birth that baby was on its way...


Cramps weren't regular and I was waiting for proper surges, so I could practice my breathing as it didn't seem to work much with cramps in a way of relieving discomfort.


As it got around 9pm my cramps started to be much more intense, but I was still hoping that when "real surges" will come, I'll be able to finish getting  ready for hospital, have shower & change clothes  in between them.



Blake was really helpful  and I just kept telling him: "Give me endorphins!"( meaning special massage with your fingertips) or "Pressure points!" to promote comfort during my strong cramps. 


I decided it was time to have a bath & asked Blake to wash my hair for me and give me a hot-microwaved towel as I was shivering by then through the surges ( by then Blake told me it wasn't cramps anymore! ).

Every time I'd have a surge I was swaying in a dance kind of move and groan, so Blake started timing them from 10.50 pm for over an hour with phone app (really helpful -not the time to get distracted to time the surges, just get an app!)


One surge he dared to ask me about the intensity of it (it was required for the app), which made want to physically hurt him...


It was hard for me to clearly define surge start and finish as it didn’t really stop being uncomfortable after the surge would pass, but Blake said it wasn't.

Amidst all of it I wondered why he didn’t take a big bag of interior design magazines that I thought would be good if labour took much longer, duh?!


He insisted it was time to go as surges were 50 to 60 seconds for just over an hour and 3 minutes interval in between them, but I kept trying to check what else we needed to take and was still planning to change clothes...


As we were trying to leave I used the bathroom (for the "68th" time as I've been loosing my "birth show" all day) and that's when my water ( was very clear) released like pressure right into the toilet. 


I was spaced out and thinking I couldn't bear it, if it will go on like this for any longer as I thought I had a long way to go...still  knowing that epidural/ IV /painkillers weren't an option for me as I did not want to interfere with Mother Nature, I wasn't sure how I would deal with intensity of surges...


I really didn't want to leave home, it was almost some kind of inconvenience & I just wanted to stay & continue right there & then...


In the car I think I growled like a werewolf...luckily the trip to Al Zahra hospital in Al Barsha was very short and I didn't turn into a beast...


We arrived to emergency at 12.40am, and they were really great: there wasn't much to register as we were their patient and we had some admission letter from Dr.Yemini.


Somehow throughout pregnancy I had this "fear about fear" from being admitted to the hospital and my labour would slow down because of my fear of hospitals and it seems like a completely stupid idea to me, because of the stage I was at and a state I was in ...


As we were admitted into the labour room, even knowing that I had to have at least one exam for them to know the stage I was at, I was still negotiating to not get examined as my water was gone. 

The doctor who was on duty that night, was calm and as she performed  an exam without causing discomfort:


"Delivery room, not labour room!"


And what an encouragement it gave me, cause I still thought I had a long way to go...


So yeah, I didn't get to use Al Zahra hospital's pool for labour, which partially contributed to my decision to switch from other hospital with it's strict procedures of labour/delivery.

She was great and let me take the lead, most of the time sitting in a chair and reading through my natural birth preferences, which I have to say was greatly respected and followed.


And the midwife Katarina, this young lady from Poland was exactly what I would've asked for if I knew that's what I wanted...


She nicely offered their clothing and looked stunned as I refused and proceeded to give birth in my stylish pure Indian silk short beach dress, nothing to do with fashion, just couldn't care less...


As I was "breathing" the baby down leaning on the back of bed set to upright position, then just sitting on my ankles, doctor wanted me to give her a bit more of a push (after allowing me to do it the way I wanted for quite awhile), they said she didn't move down for that time, so I agreed to.


Only once had baby's heart rate dropped from 150+ to 104 during one of the surges, and later I found out that second midwife suggested oxytocin injection, but Blake stepped in quickly and pointed out that it went back right up after the surge, and Dr. didn't support that suggestion.


I remember as Katarina just kept on saying: "Good mama, good!"


Which is today a saying we use in our home to say something good about me being a good mother (in the same way she made it sound in her Eastern-European accent)...

I can't remember crowning as being painful, probably just unbelievable pressure...

Blake had received her and later cut the cord.


She was born at 2.36 am 3.280 kg (after not even 2 hours in the hospital)


And just made some short crying noise and after that just lied calmly on my chest... it was amazingly overwhelming  to meet her for the first time...


She was so perfect and quiet...and just kept looking in my direction with her deep eyes...there's no better feeling than to look right into your baby's eyes and she looks back...


Dr. was supportive of not cutting and clamping the cord right away, and baby was not taken away for any of the checks...


I also had no IV catheter upon admission, no oxytocin for placenta, and no participating in pain scales (for all those legal waver form needed to be signed).


I still had to have oxytocin shot as there was no form to sign to refuse that procedure, but luckily she was on my chest for a while already and placenta has been delivered on its own.


Just before my birth I have heard this story of another Hypnobirthing woman who recently came, delivered her baby standing up and had her placenta blended in a berry smoothie, I thought she really had the balls, this woman! And of course I wanted to have the kind of birth she had! 


And as I was feeling pretty smug about my own birth, I decided to have my placenta (small part of it, in my defence), no berries and no blender though...Blake's quite a handy guy and not scared of anything, neither is he squeamish... 


Sorry Jasmine, you never taught us this in your classes but I suspect what Dr. & midwives were thinking was


"What are they teaching them in those Hypnobirthing classes?"


We were transferred to the after birth suites, where staff was very helpful with everything and facilities were great. We had all the support and comfort you could ask for, and I can complain a lot about many thing, but I have to say this was the best hospital I have ever been to and had absolutely not one thing to complain about...We had to spend at least 24 hours there as that's the shortest discharging time allowed.


I was feeling very empowered by my birth process


I loved how it went, and I was still running on endorphins probably, cause I couldn't sleep I was so excited as opposed to Blake just falling asleep everywhere, as he was looking after me well, but forgot to even get enough water for himself...


I also want to say a few words about hospital midwife manager Sally Madubuko, who has been a great help with many things, questions and doubts...meeting Sally contributed to my decision to choose Al Zahra hospital as she has managed to make that department run in as natural direction of birth with as many as  possible implied conveniences


As well I want to say a very special "Thank you" to Jasmine, our Hypnobirthing teacher for helping us to achieve such a calm and natural birth (we both as a couple felt completely empowered with the knowledge and attitude learnt at her classes, leading us to have the exact kind of birth we both wanted). 


I find it kind of offensive that after all we did for our birth some people would still say," Oh, she was lucky..."


Jasmine is helping birth babies in an un-medicated and un-interfered way that produces calm, relaxed and healthy baby and un-traumatised by the birth process the couple can have happy un-resentful marriages...only pure bliss and un-obstructed ability to fall in love with your new baby...


This is how one person makes a difference in the world...


Iryna & Blake x





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Childbirth Educator

Co Founder of Love Parenting UAE

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