When I gave birth to Charlie via VBA2C, we hoped for an unmedicated birth. However, we had to do what we can to ensure my and the baby’s wellbeing so although it was a normal spontaneous delivery, it was done with epidural.
During one of our check-ups for my fourth pregnancy, my OB brought up how more and more couples are going for water birth in the Philippines. One of the benefits, she said, is that mothers are less likely to ask for epidural since water helps with the pain.
So, with Ava’s birth, I was more prepared for the pain. Yes, it was as painful (if not more), but once I got through the pain I felt when I asked for epidural in Charlie’s birth, I knew I can reach the finish line unmedicated.
“Always be like a water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.” ― Santosh Kalwar
Preparing For Ava's Birth
I had mixed feelings when we found out we were expecting. I was excited, yes, but I also felt put down.
When we first shared news about our fourth pregnancy with family and close friends, we didn’t get a lot of hugs and “Congratulations!” Instead, we got comments like, “Weren’t you done yet?” “How will you take care of four kids?” “Are you serious?!”
After that initial announcement, my husband and I decided we’ll keep the pregnancy hush hush. Not only will it save us from more pain, but it will also give us a chance to experience a more private pregnancy compared to the other three that were shared on this blog and on social media.
It wasn’t so bad. It felt like we, as a family, were able to really bond over the pregnancy. We shared our excitement with each other as we went on check ups and ultrasounds together – yep, all kids with us!
We also prepared for Ava’s birth together. My husband and kids joined me in my daily walk and exercises. We endured eating healthy meals (and also cheated with milk tea and sweets together LOL).
Most days, though, we stuck with healthy meals and daily exercises. This helped Ava and I stay healthy throughout the pregnancy and prepare for childbirth.
If you’re planning to try VBAC or unmedicated birth, then you’ll have to do the same. I know it’s hard to control cravings and not stay in bed the whole day, but you have to do what you have to do if your mind is set to giving birth via normal spontaneous delivery and without medication.
Flowing With The Water: Water Birth in the Philippines
With the help of warm and soothing water combined with my husband’s gentle massages and my doula’s encouraging words, Ava and I were able to get through the whole process without epidural.
We initially planned for a full on water birth, but I learned I have to go with my gut and birth the way I feel like birthing my baby. So, after laboring in the water, I decided to go through the last stretch (pushing) on the bed.
In the afternoon of July 22nd, we welcomed our precious Ava earth-side via unmedicated normal spontaneous delivery.
All this was made possible because my birth team and I trusted each other and worked together towards our goal for Ava’s birth.
We’re also lucky to have a hospital like St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, which has made water birth in the Philippines possible – even for high risk pregnancies. This wasn’t available when I had Charlie so YAY!
If you want to do a water birth and you’re required to be in the High Risk Pregnancy Unit, St. Luke’s has a room in the high risk pregnancy unit with everything we need for a water birth and birth outside of the water. Ask your OB about it!
I love that they made this available because we didn’t have to move from one room to another anymore. Labor, birth, and recovery all happened in one room! (And yes, baby stayed with us in the room the whole time)
In the afternoon of July 22nd, we welcomed our beautiful Ava earth-side via unmedicated normal spontaneous delivery.
My Birth Team
- My husband (of course)
- OB: Dra. Karen Ty-Torredes (St. Luke’s Medical Center BGC)
- Doula: Ros Padua-Macachor, Pinay Doulas Collective
- Pedia: Dra. Jocelyn Bondoc (St. Luke’s Medical Center BGC) + Dra. Felita Lucena (The Medical City)
HOSPITAL – St. Luke’s Medical Center Bonifacio Global City