I had an over all smooth pregnancy minus the gestational diabetes part, but when it came to the birthing process, I have my share of grievances against my doctor and hospital. My doctor was off to a trip to Dubai just after my delivery leaving me in the hands of junior doctors. But ask me do I have the courage to ditch the entire hospital hullabaloo and go for a home-birth during my next pregnancy? I’ll say I have my inhibitions and apprehensions.
But Aloka of Wholesome Mamma, took the plunge. Read on the inspiring story of her home-birth here….
I conceived both my children at first try, I am healthy, I’ve never had any reason to visit doctors or hospitals and my first birth was pretty messed up thanks to unnecessary interventions in spite of having a dream pregnancy (except the vomiting eeew); though it was vaginal and all’s well that ends well. However I have a lot of confidence in my body and the way I am built, I see no reason why I can’t birth like females of all mammal species have birthed since forever and if anything had to go wrong it can go wrong anywhere anytime.
Having said this, I feel interventions, C-sections, hospitals, and doctors all have their place and it’s great to have them when it’s genuinely a high-risk pregnancy or when complications arise. But the midwifery care model is evidence based and really supports and celebrates birth and women. They monitor the pregnancy and the birth closely and I felt far safer and in better hands this time than when I was with a hot shot doctor in a hotshot hospital the first time around.
Hospital births have become unnecessarily medicated and the worse part is that it is based on convenience of doctors, schedules, hospital protocols etc. Births are not based on individual women and their bodies and they are NOT evidence based at all.
It makes sense right? Each pregnancy is so different, each birth so individual and the mass factory of big hospitals cannot afford to cater to each individual woman. Hence they have schedules and if labor has not ‘progressed’ in a certain amount of time, it’s time for the cut. Women are forced to labor and birth on their backs in semi reclining positions for no evidence-based reasons what so ever in most hospitals in Mumbai. While giving birth the hormones at play are so delicately balanced and any interference with this has far reaching consequences. Women need to listen to their bodies instead of being told or forced to birth a certain way.
Also read: Why I wanted a son
In my first son’s birth my doctor actually pulled out a huge list of women who were due that month and ticked of my name on the list and induced me because she was travelling in a few days and felt I may deliver while she was away. Without even asking or telling me! My baby was born 18 days early to fit the doctor’s schedule and my baby, my husband and I were nothing more than a statistic, mere tick marks in what was meant to be the most momentous occasion of our lives. While meeting my baby for the first time and having him latch on for the first time I will never forget, the birth and how we were treated is something I won’t like to remember.
Again synthetic oxytocin or Pitocin to speed up labor are regular hospital procedure here in Mumbai (as are routine episiotomies) and can cause a cascade of interventions.
I knew then that I would do it differently the next time and home birth was something I read about and investigated way before I gave birth again. I can say I was way more informed and well read the second time around than the first where I put myself in the hands of doctors and medical staff.
During this pregnancy I met my awesome mid wives Lina and Nhing, from Mumbai midwife when I was in my first trimester and immediately got a sense that I was in great hands. Over the course of the pregnancy I met them every month along with my back up doctor Dr. Ameet Dhurandhar. I remember feeling so sick and low during my third trimester and chatting with Lina on whatsapp and she really being there to ensure that I was ok. This care was different, this time I was with people who really loved being at births and bringing babies into this world, unhurried, at our pace, following no prescribed time line
On 5th April – Easter Sunday – my cousin offered to help me set up our new kitchen as we were due to move into our new apartment the following day. I was in the living room of my mother in law’s home chatting with my sister in law at 1 pm when I first felt the surges. They came and went every 2 minutes lasting for 45 seconds. My husband Sumit was in our new apartment trying to get things in order when I called him saying get the bedroom ready as the baby was coming. I texted my cousin to say the plans were off.
I then called Lina who told me they would be over to see me. I walked over to our new apartment and asked my midwives to meet us there. When Nhing got there by 4:30 I asked her to do an internal and she said I was already 7 cms dilated. After that Nhing and Sumit started rushing to get the water birth pool inflated and set up. I just concentrated on the contractions and lost all track of time.
Read the complete story on Aloka’s blog.