Harshita was booked with us and was under collaborative obstetric and midwifery care. Her pregnancy was uneventful and she was keen to have a waterbirth.
Four days past her due date, Harshita noticed that her waters had started to go. She contacted her Doula and visited the hospital. By the time the midwife checked her, Harshita had already begun her waves. She was given an option of returning home and waiting for 24 hours for her body to develop its own rhythm and set into labour. She returned 24 hours later. On examination, she was 1 cm open. A decision to augment the labour was made.
Harshita was informed by her obstetrician that now she may not be able to have a waterbirth as she did not meet the safety criteria for hydrotherapy (immersing in the warm water pool). She opted for the other non-pharmacological comfort measures.
Her doula joined her at this point and helped her with the light touch massage on her back, alternating with a hot water bag, which seemed to help her as her waves kept waxing and waning. Six hours later, Harshita was assessed and was found to have the same findings – 1 cm open. Tired by now, Harshita and Namit were disappointed. The midwife and the doula reassured them that Harshita’s body was doing all that it could at this point of time and they just needed to stay positive and go with the flow. They helped her continue with her rhythm of breathing with each wave, gently holding her hand while reading her birth affirmations that she so connected with.
By the afternoon, Harshita was 3 cms open and her waves had clearly picked up, but she was exhausted. She took an epidural and slept for 2 hours and woke up energised. Harshita was given different upright positions using the peanut ball and soon she was fully dilated. Her baby’s head was short of rotation, so the midwife and her doula helped her with some rebozo exercises. Harshita was exhilarated hearing her body was completely opened and she would soon meet her baby. She began feeling a lot of pressure and instinctively got on to the squatting position. She felt the urge to bear down with every wave. The midwife applied a warm compress at the perineum and over the next few minutes, silently encouraged Harshita to work with her body and her baby. Finally, more than 40 hours after releasing her waters, Harshita welcomed her baby boy into the world. A proud daddy, Namit beaming with joy was excited to cut the cord. Harshita had a first-degree tear and the Midwife put a few sutures. Harshita and Namit were left to enjoy and connect with the little angel they had created.
Harshita’s birth proved that when pregnant women and their care-providers share a relationship based on trust; when women are not coerced into making decisions out of fear, when women are provided with unbiased evidence-based information, then every woman feels confident and empowered as she enters a new phase in her life, a new journey called “Motherhood”.