Giving birth to my 2nd daughter, Nishta, is one of the most satisfying and wonderful experience of my life. My first labour with Shreya in June 2003 didn't quite go how I wanted it to. I was induced at 40 weeks. My waters had leaked and my gynae felt that it could lead to a possible infection. She also felt that Shreya was big baby and my labour could last long leading to a cesarean. My waters were broken and I was put on a pitocin drip. That led to an epidural, episiotomy and vacuum extraction when I was counting on doing it naturally. Shreya was born weighing just 3.5kg, 5.5hrs after my waters were broken. Although it was a relatively short labour and having her had been the most beautiful feeling, I was determined to have a natural birth experience the second time round. I came across the concept of Doula and read abt Ginny's work in a magazine sometime after I had delivered Shreya. When I had confirmed my pregnancy in Feb 2005, I got in touch with her. She gave me names of gynaes she knew who are supportive of drug-free births. I went with Dr Paul [...]
What do birth and boxers have in common? Nothing. However, if you have attended my classes, you might have heard about this timeless birth story of Bentley the Boxer. Having had boxers since I was 13, this breed holds a special place in my heart. We had Max the father, Sam the middle girl, and Lucky, the son of Max and only survivor of the lot, hence his name. When I was still living with my parents, the father and son team would be pulling a 5 month pregnant me for a walk, making me look like I was riding a chariot without the chariot itself! Lucky, the defiant one, would always sleep at the foot of my bed instead of his designated mattress in my parents’ room. Once my brother came into my room in the middle of the night, he bit my brother with the intention of protecting me! When I moved back home for a short period after giving birth, Lucky still slept with us. Now that made 3 in a single bed! Lucky had a soft spot – he needed human contact whenever there was thunder. So when Kieran was less than 6 months old, my [...]
Born in the Caul 36 hours before I was supposed to leave for an impromptu vacation, Sabrina calls me at midnight to inform me that she thinks she is in early labor. Still out under the moonlight looking for her missing dog, I encouraged her to go home and rest. I woke up in the morning jumping out of bed panicking that I must have missed her call, only to realize that she still hasn’t called, so I dialed her number, labor was still inconsistent she reported. An appointment with Dr. F.M Lai at 1pm showed that she was only 3-4cm dilated, so they decided to go home first to get some lunch and pack up before heading to the hospital. An hour and the half later, Jeff calls me to inform me about the nature of her surges, 5 mins apart but climbing in intensity. We agreed to meet at Mount Alvernia Hospital, with me traveling from the East, and them traveling from Seng Kang, in the pouring rain. 3.45pm They arrived at the hospital and Sabrina is 7-8cm. I arrived 15mins after they did and Sabrina was clearly breathing down but her water bag was still intact. Jeff [...]
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! The chant went on. I stood there at the end of the fire lane, eyes locked with the participant who is about to attempt the fire walk, beckoning her with one arm to walk towards me, and my other arm out-stretched as a barrier to break her state after her walk as her feet gets hosed down. Not having done the fire walk before nor crewed for Anthony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” seminar, the only reference point I had was the mental birth visualizations of one of the trainers demonstrating the role I was taking on during the rehearsals we had the day before – that is, to stop the fire walkers at the end of the 3m burning coals and break their mental state. We only had half a day to train for this, as we role-played the scenes the day before, conditioning it into our nervous system mentally, emotionally and physically. But nothing truly prepares you for the real thing. As nervous as I was, completely S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D out of my comfort zone, I tuned out the doubtful voices in my head and tuned into the mental state of [...]
Since school reopened for term 3 about three weeks ago, I have been feeling stretched like a piece of dough being rolled out to be cut into pasta noodles. A few minor adjustments paved way for major changes on the personal front, mostly being extremely proactive in my 8 year old son’s life. Thus is the journey and the life of being a parent, and a mother. It is constantly evolving, taking you places beyond your wildest imagination and stretching you to the point where you never even knew existed. Such is the beauty of parenthood, I say this with my eyes rolling backwards. Who are you kidding? I kid you not. The late nights spent getting work done, researching on schooling options and methodologies as well as teaching curriculums; the mornings and evening spent on family time and coaching him on schoolwork; the afternoons spent on meeting clients and doing all work related stuff; plus the lack of sleep.. I was knackered yet I stayed awake at every possibility, avoiding what was most important. For a long time now, I’ve always felt that my calling and I lead parallel lives. How could it not be? As I quote Kahlil [...]
4.30am. I pressed the wrong button when the phone rang. The line got cut off. With one eye opened, I redialled and Lula was on the receiving end. “My waters has broken Ginny.” It was only the night before when I was on the phone with Hugo and Lula about the last minute plans to have a homebirth instead of a hospital birth as planned because of the discrimination against Mexicans all over the world. Not having been back in Mexico since they moved here to make Singapore their home months ago, they have been discriminated against in several incidences and did not want to go through that stress at the hospital. And before Hugo ended the call last night, his last sentence to me was that as a Hypnobirthing Dad, he has spoken to Santiago to hold on inside whilst we prepped for the homebirth. It usually takes time for labor to start after the waters have broken, with that in mind, I went back to bed. I contacted Dr. Lai in the morning to get his approval for a homebirth as I rushed to the pharmacy to buy whatever supplies we needed and headed for their apartment. Dr. Lai [...]
That every pregnancy and birth is different is very clear to me, having had 3 of my own and seen many more. My first was a hospital birth, lots of interventions and drugs, everything short of a caesarian, typically traumatic. My second was with a midwife and doula, fantastically empowering and exhilarating. My third was a planned unassisted birth at home, deeply satisfying. As Debra Pascali-Bonaro, director/producer of the film “Orgasmic Birth” said to me: “It’s been quite a journey for you”.