I still remember how my first and my second previous cesareans were "unnecesarean", first was breech and second was premature rupture of membrane (PROM) which was not a good start for VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), the doctor said. I couldn't imagine myself being cut again for sometime since people keep saying once cesarean always cesarean, moreover twice. But Allah had plan for me. On January 2013 when my second child was 2 years and 7 months old I got pregnant again and I said to myself that it's gotta be different. I then made a lot of research about VBAC, more than before, especially VBAMC (Vaginal Birth After Multiple Caesarean), and found ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). I joined ICAN Malaysia Facebook group and met VBAC/VBAMC mothers. I was inspired by their stories and convinced that if they can do it I CAN do it too insha Allah. I believe Allah has created me and all women with the ability to give birth. The only problem was how to get my husband into this as he's going to be my partner in this journey. He's such a busy person, too busy to learn about birth. Well, why would an IT grad student learn about birth anyway. But he's a good listener though.
I drag my busy husband to a preview of a childbirth preparation class, conducted by Hayati Muzaffar, a childbirth educator, a doula (labour couch). It was a free of charge session, so of course my husband was willing to come, and it was on weekend. At the preview, Hayati mentioned how hormones play a certain role in labor and birth and how emotions affect their flow. A loving support from a birth companion will bring a better condition for mothers in labor than any synthetic drug or medical procedure. The words really caught my husband. He knew how my previous cesareans brought trauma and after the preview he knew he was going to play a more important role this time as I shared my thoughts about my previous cesareans with him AGAIN. That was how they brought scars, not only in my body but also in my heart, physically, mentally and spiritually. It hurts to be cut at your stomach. It hurts to be told that I never gave birth. It hurts to be alone and uncovered surrounded by strangers. And I never want to go back to that situation again.
I told my husband what I've been feeling to release my fear so that I can get a total support from him to move on for VBA2C (Vaginal Birth After 2 Cesareans). I don't care if people say that VBAC/VBAMC is a high risk delivery, as long as my husband with me I am strong, insha Allah. Alhamdulilah, my husband understands and supports me all the way since we're hoping to be blessed with lots of children to make our prophet Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam proud of the many of his ummah. So we were determined. It's going to be a VBA2C and it will always be Insha Allah.
And for whatever has happened in the past we praise Allah in all circumstances, Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal. We're grateful from those previous cesareans, we're blessed with two lovely girls as our qurratu a'yun, the coolness of our eyes.
I drag my husband for the second time to Amani Birth preview by the founder of Amani Birth herself, Aisha Al Hajr, an American Midwife who converted to Islam and lives in Riyadh. It wasn't free, but it's worth it. We're impressed by her presentation about natural birth in Islamic perspective. Masha Allah.
One thing that cling to our mind was her saying “Birth is a natural process, not necessarily a medical situation!” This againsts what we used to know about birth that it must happen in hospital because it is and will always be an emergency situation. It's said that birth is actually so natural that a mother can even give birth without any assistance except from Allah, like Maryam bint Imran, the mother of ‘Isa (Jesus) 'alaihi al-salam. Amazing, masha Allah! Allah said in the Quran:
"And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, "Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten. But he called her from below her, "Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented.. " (Quran 19:23-26).
It's also amazing to know that Maryam was told to be active during labor, to shake the palm tree. To eat and drink, to be hydrated and have energy. Mother does need energy to give birth. She even was told not to grieve but to be happy, to release oxytocin as natural induction. It brings to our knowledge that a woman in labor must not to be rushed when delivering her baby and she must be allowed to eat and drink, and it's all been said in the Quran! I know some mother who gave birth in hospital were not allowed to eat and drink, they just stayed in bed and did as instructed by the medical team. I remember my VBAC attempt, I felt contractions in the operation room few hours after the water broke, but the nurse told me to just lie down on the bed to wait for the doctor. Errr... Really stressful.
After the presentation my husband asked me to ask Aisha about my case, “I had two cesareans before, isn't it risky to have a natural birth for the next one?” She replied, “It’s even riskier to have repeated cesarean!" Interesting! I knew that VBAC is possible but I never thought that there is risk for repeated cesarean. They always say that VBAC is risky, but they never say anything about the risk of repeated cesarean at all, which the fact is repeated cesarean is even riskier. Subhanallah.
Going back from the preview, my husband asked me when we can go for the real childbirth preparation class. Alhamdulillah, finally my husband was ready to spend time, and money, to learn more about natural birth. He must’ve loved me so much.
My husband and I joined Amani Birth Preparation Intensive Class conducted by Hanz Jamaludin. Though my husband unfortunately wasn’t concentrating that much because it was a full-day class; moreover on weekend which was his time-out from his daily activity at campus, plus we had to entertain our girls because we brought them to the class, however, we learnt so much about natural birth from her. We learnt about the physiology of birth, the preparation, stages of labour, complications and solutions. We got more impressed by how Allah designed the mechanism of birth, masha Allah.
We even took note that it's not impossible to have a homebirth, not even after cesarean. Are we planning for homebirth? After two cesareans? Seriously? Yes. I know some people might think we're crazy. But after everything I've gone thru we believe that home is the most convenient place to give birth. We thought about looking for a doctor or midwife to assist us, but it's not easy to find one who supports VBAMC, moreover who's willing to attend a homebirth. So we decided not just to have a homebirth, but an unassisted homebirth. Besides, after I learn about natural birth, really, birth is not an emergency status. It's a natural process that Allah has made the system perfectly. It's just like we eat when it's time to eat, we drink when it's time to drink, we go to toilet when it's time to go to toilet, so we give birth when it's time to give birth. I know it's not as easy as it sounds. But it does look easy on Youtube.
Days and nights I kept praying to Allah to make everything easy for me, before birth, during birth and after birth. May Allah grant me calmness, patience and strength.
I learn that the biggest fear for a VBAC attempt is uterine rupture; which leads to a cesarean. But reading about the chances it's actually very low. Rupture may even occur to mothers without prior cesarean, not only those who had cesarean before. But of course, we had our plan B which was to go to the nearest hospital if the sign of uterine rupture occurs. Although the chance is very low but the integrity of the scar can only be tested through labor. I prayed to Allah many time to protect me from this uterine rupture, I've really had enough of cesarean.
Our Amani Birth classmates, Zafar and Athirah, first time parents welcomed their first baby at home, it was an unassisted water birth. And few weeks later my husband went to meet Zafar to hear the homebirth story and pick up some stuff. Zafar lend us the things needed for waterbirth such as a pool, an electric pump, a plastic, a hose, even a sealing clip to clamp the umbilical cord, and also shared some tips to my husband. Jazahullahu khayr, may Allah give him the best of rewards.
At home my husband told me about his meeting with Zafar. He was amazed by how Zafar was that knowledgable and so calm during the birth process. My husband noticed something, he said that whoever accompanies a mother in labor needs to be cool as a cucumber and at the same time knowledgable so he can determine whether a situation is an emergency or just a natural symptom; because once a woman in labor she’ll be too busy dealing with the contractions, her emotions took over.
Suddenly my husband felt nervous. He's been relying on me too much to gain knowledge all this time. He felt like he had so many things to do, to read, to remember, whatever. So he began to review the materials again and again with me. He even finished his reading on Ina May Gaskin's Guide To Childbirth almost from cover to cover. He told me he had been praying a lot to Allah, “Ya Rabb, please grant me sakeenah (calmness) during the process.” He knew he would probably go panic since he had never seen a natural birth process before.
To make sure the baby and I were in good condition I did my last check up later in this month, on 38 weeks of my pregnancy. I made it as my last day for check up because I need to keep calm and positive at all times; almost in every checkup my doctor reminded me to schedule the repeated cesarean. She seemed to know I was planning for a homebirth, so she told me about her patient who failed to do VBAC at home. She didn't really tell me what happened. But I don't care. I won't let her scare me off and change my mind like the doctor who got me into my first cesarean; who said she wouldn't be responsible if anything happen to me and my breech baby if I still wait for the baby to come naturally while she was on her vacation. Huh, the scare tactic!
Anyway, on that last day check up I just smiled to my doctor and told her everything was under control, insha Allah. Alhamdulillah, the scan showed that the baby's head was already facing down. I was in good health too, except for some lower back pain and pelvic pain, the kind of pain that went on and off when I tried to stand after sitting and to change position while sleeping. I suspected it was SPD (Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction) so my husband took me to a chiropractic therapist. I felt better but the pain still exist.
8 october 2013
40 weeks of pregnancy, Estimated Due Date (EDD). No sign of labour. However, we remained calm as we knew that EDD is not an expiry date. My husband and I spent the time to make simulation at home, we put everything at our reach. The underpad to cover the bed from the mess of blood, the towels to hold the baby and to clean up, the clamp, the alcohol, and the scissor to cut the cord, the basin to place the placenta, and also the pool. I didn't really want to go for a waterbirth, but I read in some birth stories warm water has soothing and calming effect in labour, so I thought it's worth to try. We timed it took almost 2 hours to get the pool ready. Fiuh!
We copied the stages of labor from the Amani Birth Workbook and put it on the wall near the pool, so we can always check the signs in every stages I'll be on.
My husband also made sure the supplements for labor were at arm reach, some Ajwa dates and Yemeni honey for my energy, Yunnan Baiyao in case of haemorrhage, and Spirulina to stabilize the blood pressure when it drops.
I read that most mother after passing their EDD are diagnosed to have low amniotic fluid. Since we weren’t planning to do any check up anymore, so I need to be hydrated at all time to keep the amniotic fluid still in its level. I read coconut water is one of the best think that can provide immediate hydration boost. So starting this day my husband bought coconut water for me everyday.
12 october 2013
4 days passed my EDD. I felt contractions. I noticed this because it was the same being-squeezed-like feeling when I had miscarriage on my second pregnancy (this is my fifth pregnancy, I had two miscarriages before having my first child) and also when I attempt for VBAC. Alhamdulillah, I felt blessed for the contractions. And I felt more blessed when I saw mucus in my underpant which means that the cervix began to dilate. After that nothing happened, the contractions were also irregular. I was kind of confused, I wondered what went wrong. Nevertheless, I just kept doing my activity and my husband kept encouraging me to stay healthy. He really took care of me especially my nutritions and kept an eye on my exercise. He made sure I ate quality food and did my exercise regularly. We walked around a lake garden for half an hour almost everyday. It was such a wonderful activity as our daughters also enjoyed the time we had together.
15 october 2013
41 weeks of pregnancy, it was late at night and I couldn't sleep. The irregular contractions I had been feeling since 3 days ago turned to be constant like every 10 minutes. I recognised this as the first stage of labor so I woke up my husband to fill the pool. I learn that the pain between contractions is one of the sign of uterine rupture; Alhamdulillah I didn't feel it. I thanked Allah for saving me from uterine rupture.
My husband filled the pool with the hose from the bathroom while boiling hot water in a big pan, a stainless steel jug and an electric jug. I walked around the house and waited till the contractions got intense. I urinated, defecated, vomited, and the amniotic fluids leaked not long after that. I was sure that it was gonna be the day as the signs of labor were so obvious. I finally got into the pool when I thought it was about time though the frequency was still 10 minutes apart. My husband gave me coconut water to replenish the leaking water and dates for my energy. But when my husband went for subuh prayer I fell asleep in the pool. When I woke up in the morning the contractions became irregular so I got out from the pool and had a proper sleep on the bed.
That day I got fever and felt upset. I tried to convince myself that I guess I was wrong recognising the contractions. May be it wasn't contractions, may be it was the lower back pain, the pelvic pain, SPD, I don't know. But my husband tried to calm me down. He told me that one by one the signs of labor had occurred, and i knew it. The mucus, the leaking, it means that it's going to be soon, insha Allah.
Since then my husband bought more coconut water for me to keep hydrated. I read that naturally the leak will seal by itself as long as we keep hydrated. And since the mucus kept discharging I took extra vitamin C to prevent infection. Alhamdulillah 'ala kulli hal, praise be to Allah in all circumstances. I tried to keep positive and enjoyed the movement of my baby inside of my womb. Alhamdulillah the baby was still active, that's all what's important to me.
18 october 2013
41 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy. The contractions were still irregular and I was still waiting, and so all of my family and friends. I must say I was still feeling down of what had happened before. I thought after I jumped into the pool I would give birth right away, but i fell asleep!
I talked to Sofia Azyze and Maria Zain who are VBAMC mothers for some words of encouragement. Sofia said she was also having contractions for days. Maria Zain who's also a childbirth educator told me that it does take time to have VBAC but even if we are asleep when it's time to push our body will tell, it's just that natural. Then I remembered a story of a mother who gave birth naturally while she was in a coma. So I said to myself, okay, so what had happened was normal and what I'm waiting right now is "just" the pushing stage.
To keep feeling positive, I browsed on the internet for the longest time in labor and found a story of a mom who experienced 75 days in labor! Masha Allah, I said to myself, ok, what I've been having is "nothing" but I hope it's not gonna be that long of course.
My husband told me to praise Allah as He gave us time to be more prepared. He reminded me of my writing on the whiteboard: I trust Allah to make this birth easy for me. It softens my heart everytime i see the writing.
My husband kept encouraging me to do what I had to do. Until it happened again. It was late at night and I couldn't sleep. The irregular contractions I had been having for 6 days turned constant to every 4 minutes. But I didn't want to get too excited like before so I decided not to wake up my husband too early. I thought the pool was already filled half full anyway since labor can happen anytime, so I guess I didn't have to rush him this time. But I couldn't help being alone in the middle of the night with contractions so I woke him up. After he woke up he started boiling the water. Again, I urinated, defecated, vomited and the amniotic fluid leaked some more. We realized that the sign of labour were more likely like what had happened before but I was still not ready to get disappointed again, so I stopped my husband boiling more water. I just didn't want to trouble him. I told him to get some rest and i will wake him up when it's time. Before we went to bed my husband told me to wake him up if I feel like want to, "Don't hesitate, it's okay, I'm here for you".
19 October 2013
In the morning the contractions got more intense. This time I was really in pain and it was stressing me out. I didn't think that it was contraction, it was more like pressure. Hanz suggested us to do a scan just to make sure the baby is okay; because it's been 11 days passed the EDD and i've been having this pain for almost a week. Although I believe my baby was just fine since she was still moving actively inside my womb, we decided to just go for the scan.
Since it was , we went to a 24-hour clinic because my regular doctor was only available . At the clinic we didn’t tell the doctor about my last period, otherwise she would know that it was already passed the EDD by almost 2 weeks. But we didn’t lie; instead, we told her that according to the last scan the due date was 22 October 2013 which was 3 more days to come. However, we couldn’t get away when she asked about the previous 2 births. The doctor was surprised that I haven't gone to the hospital for repeated cesarean, but somehow she made a conclusion by herself that it wasn't my fault for not knowing "the rules" since we're foreigner in the country.
She scanned the baby and the result was fine, the amniotic fluid was still in it's level and the baby’s heart was still going strong, but the baby was not engaged yet. The doctor told us that the weight of the baby was only 2.1 kg, that was why the baby had not engaged yet. She also told us that by the size of the baby, the pregnancy was still on week 34 and the EDD would be in the first week of December which means that it would be 6 more weeks to come! We were kind of shocked because we still remembered that the last time we scan the baby's weight was 3.1 kg. And to wait for another 6 weeks with this contractions, this pressures, this pain, or whatever that is, Subhanallah.. I just couldn't imagine.
At night my husband discussed the issue with Hanz. She was worried about me because my baby loss weight, a symptom called Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) in medical term, it happens when the mother lacks in protein. But we thought that would be very unlikely to happen since we were very serious in taking protein for months. Besides, what is this IUGR got to do with the pain I've been having?!
Hanz asked me if I was willing to ignore the scan result and just follow my instinct. I said yes, insha Allah I was sure my baby was just fine. The problem was in me, not my baby.
I almost thought there was something wrong with my "birth muscle", may be the doctor cut it on my previous cesarean. I was almost desperate.
20 October 2013
The pressures got intense that I barely could sleep, I felt like I couldn't take it anymore, but going to hospital was not one of the options. I just thought that nobody could help me. I just have to deal with it by myself. My husband looked so worry everytime he saw me in pain. He couldn't sleep as well. I told him not to worry about me, at least not in front me. I asked him to be strong for me no matter what happen. We prayed to Allah to help us, to give us guidance and to make things easy for us. That night was the very emotional part of our journey.
The pressure became more intense. But I still try to do pelvic rocks. Though I didn't know what was actually going on and how long it was going to last I thought I just had to do what I had to do. I thought If the baby had not been engaged yet so I must make the baby engaged. But then I almost couldn't stand, sit or do any activity. I just didn't know what to do but pray to Allah, "Ya Allah, please... give me your decision.."
Hubby side of stories:
It was morning. I went to the wet market about 10km away because our stocks have depleted. I was worried leaving my wife, but since the last scan showed that the baby had not been engaged, I thought it would be some more days until she would give birth.
On my way to the market with my motorbike, I listened to a lecture by Mufti Ismail Menk about lessons from the story of the prophet Eesa son of Maryam (Jesus son of Mary). Though I listened to the lecture before, I felt like listening to it again. I was deeply moved when I listened to the birth story of Eesa, how Allah helped Maryam gave birth without assistance of another human being. It was a struggle indeed, but Allah made it easy for her in so many ways. Being touched by this, I paused the lecture and I called out to Allah,
“Yaa Rabb, this is me your slave, son of Your slave and son Your female slave. My forehead is in Your Hand. Your judgement upon me is assured, and Your Decree upon me is just. I ask You by every Name that You have named Yourself with, or the Names that You have revealed in Your Book, or the Names You have taught any one of Your creation, or the Names that You have kept unto Yourself in the knowledge of the unseen that is with You.. my wife has been struggling. We’ve tried our best to prepare for this. And we’ve bourne patience. We have no one to rely to but You. We have no one to ask for help but You. No doctors no nurses no midwifes no doulas nobody but You. As you’ve made it easy for Maryam daughter of Imran gave birth to Jesus, please make it easy for my wife too..”
I returned from the market around , felt tired and slept for about an hour.
My wife told me to start filling the pool with hot water when she felt the pain became unbearable. She said at least the water could hold her body as she couldn't step her foot on the ground anymore. I hugged her and held her body when the pain attacked and went to fill the water between the pain that came one after another. The situation seemed hectic indeed because I had to run to the kitchen for the hot water and ran to my wife when she called me and ran to the kids to entertain them.
After sometime, I began to realize that her pain was actually contractions, the frequency became closer and the duration became longer. "I think you're on late first stage!" I said. She replied that it was not contraction, it felt different compared to the squeezed-like feeling few days before, it was more like pressure. Realizing that on this stage she couldn’t think straight, I searched the web for how does contraction feels like and found out that different women may feel it differently, at different stages of labor, and even on different pregnancy. So I was quite sure that those pressures were actually contractions.
My wife finally stepped into the pool when the water was lukewarm. She asked me to stop running around the house and let the kids do whatever they want to do with the laptop, watch cartoon, play edugame, whatever. She said it was so annoying to see me running around the house.
After filling out the water until she said it was warm enough, she asked me to stay with her. She sat with her legs across the width of the pool so that her feet were resting on the opposite side. She spread her arms wide and and rest them on the pool’s side. I sat outside the pool holding her hand. Each time the contraction came she would squeeze my hand.
I put a pillow behind her neck so that she could relax and rest her head. I scooped ajwa dates, yemeni honey and zamzam water for her between the contractions. I reminded her to submit, to surrender, and ask for Allah's help. I heard her saying dzikir, la ilaha illa llah, la haula wala quwwata illa billah..
Thick lines of blood started coming out almost each time she had contractions. Luckily I was reminded before about this by Zafar so I didn’t panic. Alhamdulillah.
Her emotions began to change, her breathing rhythm became shorter. During one contraction when I was trying to guide her to breathe deeply, she scolded, “Don’t breath to my face!” I said, “O.. okay.. sorry..” I didn’t realize I was breathing to her face. “But deep breathing okay..” I continued, she scolded back, “Deep breathing with short interval is okay! You know that!!” I said, “Okay, okay.. here eat some dates..” I was still trying to calm her down. She scolded again, “No! I don’t want it! Stop talking to me!” Wow, suddenly she became so sensitive. But I thought that's good it shows that she's still sober and her blood pressure is ok.
The frequency of the contractions became very short and sometimes it would look like one was on top of the other. She would sweat, shake and even shiver. The kind of shiver when you’re inside a freezer! She became very anxious. When I touched her tummy, she raged, “Don’t touch me!!!” I was stunned, and I just said "Owh.. okay, sorry..” she was upset but I knew by then she was on the transition stage. Alhamdulillah.
She knew deep breathing during labour will maximise the amount of oxygen available to the baby so the baby won’t get distress but it was so hard for her to do. She started to vocalize because she looked like she couldn't control her breathing. She held her voice sometime because she didn't want the neighbor to hear, but i said, "It's okay, just vocalize, don't mind the neighbors". I turned on a Quran recitation and turn up the volume to masquerade her voice. We just didn't want to make our neighbor worry.
The contractions on this stage was the most intense indeed. A good friend of us once said, “Brother, wahnan ‘ala wahnin (labor pains upon labor pains) is true, you don’t know it because you’re a man..” So true. I remembered a verse in the Quran about Maryam when she was about to give birth to Eesa she said, “Oh if only I had died before this and I had been a thing long forgotten..!" I said to myself, if one of the most pious woman ever lived in this world utter such words, what would my wife will utter!?
My wife said "I feel like I want to push". I said, "Okay, keep breathing deeply, you're doing great, the baby’s coming. Don’t push, just breathe the baby out."
She then had this very intense contraction and I suddenly saw this finger-width black thing, starting to push out. I thought and hope it was the baby’s hair, I couldn’t move to see it clearly because my wife kept holding my hand. I did remember Zafar told me that he saw his baby's black hair first when his wife gave birth. So I just prayed, “Ya Rabb, let it be the head.."
Between contractions she smiled and relaxed. The kind of smile when you see a sunlight after a long storm and you’re in the middle of the ocean. She just realized she was about to give birth. Ya Salaam! where had she been?!
Contraction over contraction, and at one long contraction suddenly.. Sploosh! I saw the baby spinned and then slipped out into the pool. Masha Allah! It was an amazing view and I was literally stunned for a few seconds. "T, the baby’s out..” I said. My wife opened her eyes and saw the baby “Alhamdulillaaah” she said. We giggled and cried out of happiness. She did it. Masha Allah.
My wife called our daughters to come and see the baby. The eldest was very excited when she saw her new sibling while the second one was apparently taking her nap.
My wife let go my hand and asked me to catch the baby. The baby was still under the water and I saw the feet were still inside. She told me to wait and not to pull out. So I let the baby floating there. But my wife thought a little push wouldn't hurt so she pushed and I caught the baby. It was a thrilling experience, the baby's bones were still soft and flexible.
"Masha Allah the baby looks very beautiful!" My wife said. The baby was very beautiful indeed, the skin were pale white and the eyes were still closed. I gave the baby to my wife. "Assalamu'alaykum" she said welcoming the baby. "O look, the baby had poo!" she said again. We saw this bright greenish poo, the meconium. I flipped the baby so the head face downward and let the poos fell down by itself. Then I saw the baby’s genital and told my wife, "Alhamdulillah, it's a girl!" We never knew if the baby is a boy or a girl since we wanted to be grateful for whatever given to us by Allah.
My wife then put the baby on top of her upper stomach. I called Hanz by phone to ask her how to clean the baby's mouth and nose from mucus, meconium, and what not. We didn't want the baby to aspirate meconium when she starts to breath. Hanz was surprised when I told her that my wife just gave birth and she told me to rub the baby's back. So my wife held the baby's chest with her left arm while the other rubbing her back, mucus fell down from her nose and mouth. The baby was still not moving. I asked my wife, "Is she alive??" And suddenly the baby cough and cried. Alhamdulillah, I was so relieved when I heard that. Apparently the cough made all the mucus inside the mouth and nose fell out. I inserted my pinkie to her mouth to reconfirm it’s clean and then my wife wipe the baby's mouth with a cloth and immediately breastfed her. I handed over a small towel for my wife to cover the baby.
My wife felt another contraction that pushed the major part of the placenta out. So we waited for another contraction but she told me that she wanted to stand up because she was afraid the baby might feel cold. The water inside the pool also began to change to dark red because of the blood, I barely could see the placenta. Before standing up I gave her a full glass of warm water with mixture of yemeni honey, yunnan baiyao and spirulina. I knew the mixture from an article about after birth. Then I helped her stand up and stepped outside the pool.
Unexpectedly, the placenta fell out. Apparently it wasn't long enough to touch the floor. It was hanging by the umbilical cord connected to the baby, but the layer was torn and blood spurt out from the placenta. The baby cried, my wife called me out, “Get the basin!!”. I was kinda shocked that moment, I ran to the kitchen to seek for a basin while it was actually at my arms reach. When I reach the kitchen and look for one, I said to myself, “Astaghfirullah! it was near me all the time!” I rushed back and quickly put the placenta in the basin.
I then hold my wife (she’s carrying the baby) and the basin and walked her to our bedroom, where I prepared underpads on top of the bed. When we reached the bedroom, all of a sudden my wife black-out and fell down. I tried to hold her but since my feet were wet I slipped and fell down too, along with the baby and the placenta. Blood burst out of the placenta all over the floor and the view was just like a crime scene. The baby cried and my wife went conscious and immediately checked the baby. Luckily I fell down earlier and became the cushion for my wife and the baby was secured in her arms. Alhamdulillah we didn't hit anything, we're all fine.
I offered my wife to get up from the floor and lie down on the bed but she refused. She felt dizzy and prefer to sit down on the floor while breastfeeding the baby. I quickly put the remaining of the placenta on the basin. I gave her another scoop of yemeni honey to boost her energy. I must say that the yemeni honey was worth every ringgit, it was quite expensive but each time my wife was about to faint (she was almost faint like more than 5 times) I quickly scooped a spoonful of it and she instantly gained conscious. Masha Allah.
While my wife was breastfeeding the baby in the bedroom, I started to empty the pool and mop the mess in the living room. It took me more than 4 hours to clean up. Around 2 hours after birth, I cut the umbilical cord. We thought of waiting for 24 hours to let it dry by itself, but i noticed that it was not pulsating when it was supposed to be, to transfer what's left in the placenta. Maybe because the placenta was shattered.
After that my wife cleaned herself up. And the baby somehow looked just clean. We let the baby covered with vernix that protects the skin from bacteria and it's moisturizing. New born baby smell good already anyway. So we didn't bathe her.
Then I began to tell the news to our parents in Indonesia, of course we did not tell them we had a homebirth, we told them only when they visited us days later. My sister came around to help us (she’s living in KL too), followed by my brother in law (my wife's brother) around . He had a business trip to KL that day. Luckily everything was done before he came. Alhamdulillah.
We went to the clinic at for a check up. Alhamdulillah the baby and the mother were all fine. The baby was 2,85 kg and 50 cm long. My wife had a natural tear. The nurse said it was a first degree vaginal tear, only at the skin. So my wife refused to get stitched, she said that it will heal by itself, insha Allah.
Alhamdulillah we felt so much relieved that everything went well with Allah’s permission. It was only by His help and guidance we made through this whole process.
Mutiara Wahiddin & Alfi Khairiansyah
(Parents of Sumayyah, Ruqoyyah, Juwayriyyah)