Sneak peek – birth supply kit!

Deja vu! It was only less than 16 months ago that I prepped the same things for Rosebud’s birth. The last time, they were packed in an IKEA box (which I still have!). This time round I decided that a bigger, translucent and less flimsy box would be better for everyone, InshaAllah.

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What’s in there?
Basically there are the essentials to contain the ‘mess’ (contrary to popular belief, there’s very little mess in a home birth!) like plastic sheets, underpads, trash bags, towels, sheets and containers. Then there’s the baby stuff like diapers, clothes, socks, hats and blankets. There’s items for mummy too like disposables, sanitary napkins and soothing labour items like hot socks and massage oils. Other miscellaneous important things include my gyn/ob’s card in case of a hospital transfer, thermometer and flashlight. My midwife will be bringing her own birth kit (the medical stuff) on the birth day itself.

The things I’ve prepared above are for a land birth. For those having a home water birth, you’d need more stuff like extra plastic sheets and towels, pump and water thermometer. And of course the pool itself!

So when DH overheard all the hustle and bustle of me putting the kit together, he jokingly remarked, “You’re making me nervous!”. Lol… Well, actually I kind of am too myself 😊. But nervous is good, it makes you prepared, InshaAllah! I hope I’ve covered most things~ Allah help me, InshaAllah… Ameen~

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Home birth story of my little Rosebud

What took me so long to write the birth story of Rosebud? Frankly I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. If you all know me by now, you’d know I love to insert learning points in my writings. I imagine that if I were to write the story properly, it would turn out to be a 10 page article and risk boring you all to death, lol!

Here is the (hopefully) brief version:
(Some other things happened before this, like how I walked for 3 hours at Giant Supermarket the day before and later had the ‘show’ etc, but I shall cut to the chase and get to the point):

3am of that Sat, 22 June: Woken up by a ‘familiar’ sensation – a mild energy surge that vibrated through the whole body.

3.30am: Woke Mr DH up and told him this may be it, but still not quite sure. Sensations were very mild and random. It could still take days, I thought. Alerted Amelie (my midwife) anyway but told her not to come yet. Went back to bed to try and sleep it out. The surges of energy continued to come in irregular waves.

5am: The surges didn’t dissipate with rest, in fact I could feel ‘more’ of it (stronger, longer and more frequent) so decided to let Amelie know that she should probably come soon.

I was off the bed at this point. Mr DH moved the sleeping Abang H up from the mattress to our bed as I needed as much floor space as I could have. I moved everywhere in the room. I leaned standing on the edge of my dresser, leaned sitting on the edge of my bed, went on all 4s on propped pillows on the floor, leaned against Mr DH etc. I was also very aware of my deep and long breathings which relaxed me a lot (thanks to all the breathing practice sessions I did, Alhamdulillah). Intermittently, I visited the loo every once in a while as I felt this tremendous pressure akin to wanting to do a bowel movement – but it was not. Mostly I just sat on the toilet bowl for comfort.

5.40am: Amelie reached my house and brought her birth stool which I was initially confident I wouldn’t need. With Abang H’s labour, I was contented just being on my hands and knees; but with Rosebud, the feeling was all pelvic floor pressure. I couldn’t even sit on the birth ball as the pressure was too much. So the birth stool with the hole was just perfect!

6am: Even though the surges began to get closer and more frequent, the intensity was still pretty low. At one point, I remember thinking “Oh dear, at this rate, I’m going to make everybody wait the whole day!” My mum came in the room to ask me if everything was okay at one point and I confidently replied that it will still be some time (“Lama lagi, Mak”). My sister asked me if I wanted her to take pictures, but I shook my head confident that there was nothing interesting to capture at that point, lol! (Yes, am regretting that decision very much now ;p)

For all this while, my wonderful midwife provided amazing support simply by just watching over us from the sideline. She respectfully left Mr DH and me alone (my choice) while giving us the energy and confidence without having to say so much. Mr DH is deeply grateful for her confidence boosters which empowered him so. He was a superb birth partner!! Even though he had zero experience having missed Abang H’s birth, he was a natural. He knew where to massage, what to say and what to support and constantly reminded me to zikir. He was always there at the right time and the right place.

7.45am: That feeling of wanting to clear ‘something’ out came more intensely. I told Mr DH and Amelie that I would be more comfortable sitting on the toilet bowl for a while. Amelie said go ahead. Again, nothing came out of course, but the feeling suddenly got more and more intense, taking my breath away.

8am – 8.12am: A period of primal intensity which I would never forget. Time warped at that point. A second felt like an hour. I was so inwardly focused I could remember every bit of what happened within me but not around me. I remember clinging on to Mr DH for life and gripping his shoulders (we were both standing). He told me I could do it. I sensed his confidence, and could feel the energy that passed through me passed through him too. At that moment, I let go (Bismillahi tawakkaltu ‘alaAllah), and let my instincts take over. I breathed Rosebud down in about 3 big (and loud) breaths. I remember simultaneously thinking “I could really feel her slide downwards with every breath!” Then I somehow ended sitting on the birth stool which Amelie had brought into the toilet (did not consciously do this – time/space warp! Lol) while pausing (as noted by Amelie) my breath as Rosebud’s head crowned (again, this is an instinctive reflex to minimize perineal trauma, so I did not have a tear but just a graze). She came so quickly after that, before I could gather myself to catch her. She slid pass the birth stool into Amelie’s hands and was immediately placed on me. It was most surreal!

(Waterbag broke a few moments before the head crowned. Mr DH was surprised that there was very little blood involved throughout)

After 8.12am: This deserves another long entry on its own really. In short, Amelie helped me to transfer myself to the mattress and I birthed the placenta about half an hour after that (8.50am). Rosebud’s cord was left unclamped for a good hour to let all the nutrients get to her. Amelie checked me for tears and retained membranes, then checked Rosebud, weighed her and made sure that her reflexes were in order. Alhamdulillah, everything was. Amelie left several hours later after feeling assured that both baby and I were doing well (upon Amelie’s advice, we brought Rosebud to have a proper check up with the peadiatrician only 2 days later, but that’s another lovely story I shall save for another day).

Oh, did I mention that Abang H slept throughout the whole experience and woke up to a happy Ibu cradling his new baby sister? As much as I had wanted him to share the experience, I was also glad that he missed it while still being near to us (same room). Amelie said that nature always has an explanation for when things happen, and I couldn’t agree more. Verily, Allah is indeed the Best of Planners!

So there you go, the not-so-brief version of Rosebud’s birth story. I’ve said so much, yet explained so little, really. I will continue to write learning points of my birth story to share, so keep reading this page! Meanwhile, here is a picture of my fantastic birth stool (picture courtesy of midwife Amelie – I totally forgot to take this photo when it was at home!)

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