Well, no matter how you plan or what you do, that baby growing inside of you has a mind of its own! They want to arrive when they want to arrive and let me tell you…..my girl Ava has got some spunk in her!! I’ve always wanted to “control” my own life….even after becoming a follower of Jesus, I still find myself wanting to “control” things, and clearly its all out of my control. Believe me, I know that. But yet still I try…..
This is my birth story, rather, Ava’s birth story, at Pantai Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
My due date was July 10, 2013. I wanted really badly to try this birth as naturally as possible submerged in water- both the labor and hopefully the birth as well. I wasn’t sure what to expect, except of course what I had been reading up on, watching through documentaries, and talking with others who went through it….and yet I knew in my heart that I wanted to give it a go. And let me just clarify, I have NOTHING against women who want or need drugs or c-sections or whatnot. Nothing at all. I’m not trying to prove anything or to be better, stronger, purer, or anything. I just personally don’t like drugs in my body and wanted to see if I could do this without their aid and from the beginning, my doc and my hubby have been on board. Which is why I found myself in & out of the hospital those final couple weeks getting a check on baby’s health and mine without intervention from anyone. I used natural ways to get her moving- acupuncture, reflexology, intimacy with the hubby, spicy foods, comedy, walking, stretching, swimming, etc etc etc. And yet still she stayed comfy…..
I thought for sure that she would come early. Not sure why exactly I thought that, I just did. Well, let me tell you, I was wrong…..WAY wrong. Not only did she make us wait the full 40 weeks, she made us wait even longer, 40 weeks and 6 days to be exact. But in week 39, she became quite the little stinker. My whole pregnancy was very enjoyable, except for a few hiccups here and there but nothing compared to the lack of energy, nauseous, sickness, crampiness, and contractions that I began to have. It became so bad that 1 day before my due date, we headed to the hospital thinking “this was it”. Well, after 4 visits in & out that day alone, still no baby. Little trickster! Then on my due date, another trip in….and out, and still nothing. Although the ultrasound did show that Ava had slightly turned herself to the side, still head down, all was well and there were no plans to intervene or induce me until at least 41 weeks.
My first day of being “overdue” I woke up feeling good and headed to an acupuncture appointment to try and get things moving even more (2nd time in). That day passed along with another 4 and my girl was warm and cozy. Day 5 of being overdue at 1:30am, my water broke at home. We rushed to Pantai hospital and began the process of getting checked in. Mind you this was all happening and still no contractions. Anyway, safe to say my water birth plan went out the window. So very sad for me…
But the deal is, at least in Malaysia where the weather is HOT and STICKY, that once your water breaks, the risk of infection is too high to allow for water labor and birth. It would have been one thing if I started laboring and then the water broke while in the tub, but that was not the case. On top of this, they would not let me go more than 24 hours after my water broke before having this baby- one way or another she was coming out.
So began the waiting game. After 12 hours of walking every floor in the hospital, playing cards, laughing, napping, and listening to music, still no major contractions nor dilation over 1cm. Ugh. Finally my amazingly kind and supportive Doc came in and gave me some (limited) choices. I needed to get my contractions going, otherwise he would have to help me along. I had another 3 hours to figure something out. Well, I think you can guess by now, nothing happened so in went the IV for Pitocen….broke.my.heart. This was the downward spiral of my birth plan. Once the pitocen hit (basically within an hour), I was in massive labor and having contractions about 2-3 minutes apart. Horrendous pain. And yet still after 5 hours of this, only 3cm dilated. What?!?! On to the next stage: Ava had turned herself even more to the side so her head was like fitting a square peg into a round hole: wasn’t going anywhere, and sure as hell wasn’t helping my dilation with the pressure of downward movement at all! I had no choice, my body was too tense and Ava was my main concern. So began the epidural process. Loved the sweet and kind anesthesiologist, hated the drug & the subsequent reaction of intense headaches I got from it (another procedure was needed after delivery to stop the pain…more needles, blood taken, etc).
Anyway, at least by this point I was not in pain and relaxed enough to get some sleep. A short 4 hours later, I was fully dilated and the pushing began! After 1 hour and still no Ava, more intervention was used. This time a suction. She was turned too far to the side to get herself out. :-(. Anyway, with complete trust in Dr. Paul, out Ava came after a long 26 hrs of labor, including 90 minutes of pushing. She was healthy, happy, and absolutely perfect!! What a relief! Ava Dawn- born at 3:50am Tuesday July 16, 2013 at 3.05kg & 51cm long.
So there you have it- easy peasy right!? Can’t wait to do it again…seriously, I can’t….minus the whole labor aspect and everything going wrong with my plan- LOL.
Anyway, I want to give some shout outs where they are due. First and foremost, my doctor- Dr. Paul Ng at Pantai Hospital- phenomenal. Hands down the most capable, personable, calming, informative, and natural doc I have ever been too. If you live in KL and are planning on having a baby, I highly recommend him!! Secondly, Pantai Hospital and their nurses- what amazingly kind & helpful staff and such a niece environment….especially giving birth in another country than your own! And last but most certainly not least- Chloe Lodge, our birth photographer. She was so amazing. She was on call for 2 weeks for us and was there the entire labor…sleeping on the couch at times, catching pictures when she could, being unobtrusive and completely tasteful throughout the whole ordeal. On top of that, she was so kind, supportive, and a joy to be around. I highly recommend her services- she did our maternity, birth, and newborn shots. Side note, she now lives in Dubai, UAE.
David & I are head over heels in love with our angel Ava. She’s priceless and brings such joy to our lives. Thank you for allowing me to share my personal story of the birth of our daughter, our first child, and the newest International Naber- miss Ava Dawn Naber!
Until next time, happy lives~
** Photos courtesy of Chloe Lodge Photography.
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