Being new to Singapore and early on in my pregnancy I attended a pregnancy morning where Red spoke about “Love Based Birth”. I knew immediately that this was the kind of birth experience I wanted with my first child.
My husband and I attended her programme and quickly learnt how powerful the human body is and how often unnecessary medical intervention can so easily creep into one’s birth experience when you are not informed.
Like so many dads, my husband’s anxiety stemmed from not being able to physically help me with the “pain” during labour and not knowing what was happening to me.
We prepared for birth when we could – my husband made the time to record a birth meditation for me (with his voice) which I listened to weeks before the birth. We worked on our birth plan together and understood why we wanted to TRY opt for a drug-free and limited intervention labour.
A week before my estimated due date, my water broke at 10pm. The surges were almost immediately 5 minutes apart … by 1am I was ready to go to the hospital. I could hardly walk across the room without stopping to breathe through a surge.
The hospital staff were expecting us and the room was prepped. My husband and the assigned midwife spoke through the birth plan – she was onboard and happy to support us. He dimmed the lights and switched on our meditation music. It was calm, peaceful and really not “hospital-like”. Then things started to heat up really quickly. The nurse checked my dilation, but I was only 4cm!!!!
At this stage I started to panic and think “oh my gosh how am I going to get to 10cm feeling the intensity I was feeling at 4cm.” I started pacing around and could not get comfortable – hanging onto my husband as the surges came and went. Strong thoughts of intervention started entering my mind – my hips ached and I had lost my breath. A couple of times I said I didn’t think I could do it. My husband assured me “your body can do this just as your body made this baby” – my birth affirmation. He breathed with me, rubbed my back, walked with me, held my hand.
With each surge I gave out the most intense underbelly sound – it was so loud and I could see my husband was really concerned for me (and the other mommies in the ward 😜). My voice burned and the midwife kindly encouraged me to try save my energy. I started visualising the opening of the lotus flower – trying to speed up the dilation.
An hour later our son was born at 04:04.
It was an insanely wild 6 hour labour. My legs shook uncontrollably, but I was so present in the moment and watched my baby enter into this world without any fear of what was happening to my body.
When everything had settled, my husband shared with me how insanely intense the experience was for him – at times he just wanted it to be over as he felt alone, especially when the midwife left the room.
Without the physical, emotional and spiritual support I received from my husband and the incredible midwife on duty, as well as all the preparation we did with Red, giving birth to my son could have been very traumatic.
There’s no doubt (for me) that labour is painful, but it doesn’t have to be frightening. We were in it together – supporting each other in moments of weakness and strength and now we have this incredible gift to share for the rest of our lives.
***Thanks for sharing your story Melissa! We are so happy for you 🙂
I noticed Melissa was an incredibly proactive mum from the first class of Love Based Birth, she was clear what she did and didn’t want and was willing to put in the work to make it happen.
She dug into every topic we covered in class messaging me for further research on everything from GBS to circumcision. When little Blake decided to sit bum first at 36 weeks she again got proactive, came for craniosacral therapy, did her research, and actively lead the decision making process with her care provider and sure enough she got him to turn. When he started to cry a lot at 5 weeks old she reached out again for help and starting bring him for BCST and taking support from others in the community.
Thanks Melissa for showing me again the path for an empowered start to motherhood: Always looking to build and gather the team, letting intuition lead, finding partnership health care, and taking incredibly good care of yourself.
It doesn’t automatically mean an easy or orgasmic birth but the method puts you in the driver’s seat to manage twists and turns; whatever they may be.
She messaged me after the birth: “Craziest wildest experience – Mark was my hero.”
And I asked her, like I ask everyone, ‘One word to describe your birth?’
“Partnership!!!!!!” <Yes those 6 exclamation marks were there 🙂 >
Big love and congratulations to all three of you from Love Based Birth!
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