After her first birth to Joshua, aged 5, Michelle Wong, previously a risk management manager at one of the Big 4 accounting firms, was determined to make her second birth a better experience. Close to her due date, Wong discussed with her obstetrician and gynecologist (obgyn) about her birth plan and hydro birthing.
“I was considering hydro birth using water as a form of pain relief as I wanted a natural birth,” recalls Wong. She was grateful that her obgyn was a natural birth advocate who respects and supports her birth plan.
In her 39th week, Wong woke up at 4am when she felt a trickling of water. However, as there was no other sign of surges (a shift of term from contractions, used in hypnobirthing that signifies pressure rather than pain), Wong contacted her obgyn and was assured that everything was alright.
There were no further signs until 3 days later when she felt a slight backache and light surges which came on and off until 3.30 am the following day before returning regularly at about 20 minutes apart.
“It was a blessing in disguise that my son spent the night with my parents,” she recalls. Waking her husband up, she gathered everything she needed including her fit ball and headed to the hospital.
“On the way to the hospital, my husband called the labour ward to inform them to prepare the birthing pool as instructed by the hospital, because they need to be notified one hour in advance,” adds Wong.
At the hospital, her obgyn placed her on the fetal monitor to confirm that she was going into labour. After she settled down, she chatted, snacked and even went on Facebook while she bounced on her fit ball, stopping each time she had surges.
“When I was 7 centimeters dilated, my obgyn told me that I should be going into the water soon or I won’t have time to enjoy it!” she chuckled.
After lunch, Wong entered the birthing pool and was in and out of the pool until the surges became approximately 1 minute apart. “It was so comforting in the pool where the water temperature was at body temperature,” she recalls. “I applied hypnobirthing techniques and managed each surge with slow, deep breaths.”
HERE COMES AMANDA!
Two hours later, Wong gave birth naturally to her precious baby girl with her knees bend forward. She was then helped out of the pool and to the bed for the placenta delivery.
“Gravity helps!” she says. “Amanda was calm and as the doctor put her on my chest, she slept for a little while before opening her eyes”.
Wong also opted for delayed cord clamping. “When the baby is born, the cord is still pulsating which means the mother is still transferring oxygen and blood and the remaining food to the baby. So we waited for the cord to naturally stop pulsating which takes about half an hour or so after the baby is born,” she explains.
After being stitched for a small tear, Wong was up and about within 24 hours. “It was an amazing experience!” she concludes.