This time labour was longer, around 4 hours compared to 2 hours the previous 4 pregnancies. One thing different this time round was i wasnt on any painkillers, so i was fully aware of the whole process. Dont ask me why i refused this time- i'm not sure either! I guess i wanted to feel what it's like to go through labour without any painkillers (i've tried entonox, pethidine and epidural before) so this time i wanted to be brave and try to control the pain myself :). The first 3 hours was surprisingly bearable- i was sitting in bed and doing deep breathing- the next thing i know i was already 7cm. It felt good to be in control of the situation. I feel that pain can be managed quite well when one is in control of the situation.
But the next 1 hour was excruciating! When i was asked to lie on my side (something i didnt expect at all) i panicked and lost control of the pain. It felt like the longest hour of my life! Finally, at 3.50pm my not so little angel was born. He weighed 3.05kg- the heaviest among his siblings.
Alhamdulillah for this little miracle of life!
I'm writing about this birth for a reason- I've learnt many new things about birth during this pregnancy. Despite it being my fifth. I'm a typical doctor and i've shamefully never thought that women have rights with their labour. Birth must be in a hospital and doctors and nurses are fully in control of the whole process (i'm talking about non complicated pregnancies). Of course, being a doctor, i do agree that some deliveries should take place in the hospital, for the sake of the mother and baby's life. But i think in non complicated cases, the woman should be given more control over how she chooses to birth. I feel that delivery process in hospitals shouldnt be too stringent. We should be able to accommodate some simple requests, for example, not wanting an IV drip or Pitocin, not being strapped to the bed with a CTG machine throughout labour (we can do intermittent CTG if there is no concerns right?), being able to walk around and be on fours when needed (come on, i know it's a bit untraditional for our culture, but the woman's in labour- leave her alone!), and to birth in her most comfortable position! I strongly believe that if a woman is given more control of her labour, there would be less complications, more satisfaction (and less work for the health care workers!).
Having said all this, we must remember that we may plan ahead of time how we want things to be, but do not force them to be. Make some room for adjustments if needed, as the best planner is still Allah SWT indeed.
*Special thanks to my dear hubby for understanding and supporting me thoughout this pregnancy and delivery. Also credit to the Gentle Birth Group on FB (although i cant agree on everything and it is hard to unlearn, i do get your points and i appreciate all the discussions *i am a silent reader*)