Home Birth in China
Having a baby or know someone that is? The personalized newsletter from babycenter is awesome. You can track the development of the baby and there are lots of helpful tips and forums.I signed up with them while I was pregnant with my first and only child in China, and being so far from home and family, it was nice to get an email once a week telling me what was going on and what to expect.
We decided to have the baby at home since we had seen the hospitals and they sometimes didn't look very clean and we'd heard that the fathers were not allowed to be with the mom. I didn't want to be alone with doctors and nurses who didn't speak English, when I wasn't fluent in Chinese. My husband is a paramedic and I, myself, had been in the medical field for close to 5 years. Besides, women have been giving birth in their homes since the beginning right? how hard could it be? I read about home births on the internet and felt a little more comfortable and since I hate hospitals, it seemed like a right choice for us.
We had a medium sized walk-in Shower and I cleaned it with bleach that week. We bought a lot of towels and put a pillow inside some plastic bags so that I could use it in the shower. I went into labor on December 31st around 1 o'clock pm. I was in the shower trying to feel better, I felt a little uneasy, cold, and clammy. Then my water broke and there was bloody liquid that came out (good thing I was in the shower!). I got cleaned up and spent the next five or so hours going from the bed to the toilet and back again. My husband was timing the contractions and then at some point decided to order Mcdonald's (they deliver in Shenzhen, China, lol). I wasn't hungry, but he was able to eat, quite calmly I might add.
The contractions were getting worse and more frequent. Then it just seemed like they weren't easing up anymore. I went into the bathroom and squatted in preparation. I was grunting in pain and told my husband that I had changed my mind and wanted to go to the hospital to get drugs and he said "no, you don't" and I said "yes, I do" and "if you don't take me then at least punch me until I get knocked out."
After almost 6 hours of contractions, I was in a LOT of pain and I said "I think something is happening." He called our Chinese friend and told him to send an ambulance. Then he knelt down to look and he said he could see the head and that I should hold on to the faucet and push- ahhhh I was so ready to push. I held on and pushed and he put his hands under me to catch the baby. After a minute or so my son came out! What a relief!! He wasn't making much noise only a kind of gurgle and so my husband rubbed him and cleaned his face and patted his back saying "come on lil' boy make some noise for us" and that's when I looked down to see that in fact, it was a little boy (we didn't know until then, because they are not allowed to tell you the sex of the child while you are pregnant in China).
He finally let out some small cries. I reached for him and rubbed his back and got him all cleaned up with some warm water. Tony waited a few minutes to cut the cord then put a knot in each side, but it wasn't bleeding much by then. The paramedics arrived and Tony (my husband) took the baby to them and brought me a change of clothes and a small bucket for the placenta (the paramedics have to look at it and make sure it's intact and it's proof that you just had a baby). I pretty much pushed while tugging ever so gently on it slowly and gently (I didn't want to rip the cord) and it came out. I got cleaned up and changed and then we walked down to the ambulance.
We went to the hospital and stayed one night (necessary to get the birth certificate). They sowed me up ( delivering the baby ripped me up), checked the baby out, gave him some shots (including a tetanus shot, since he was born at home) and did the paperwork to get a birth certificate. Then.... we went home with a beautiful baby boy:)
All in all, I think giving birth in the squatting position is ideal and compared to all of my friends birthing stories - mine was the fastest and easiest. Only six hours of labor and no drugs- it was ideal for me, but thank God, I don't have to go through it again. I love my baby but it was still a LOT of pain. I never planned on having kids. I always thought that I would adopt when I got older. I felt like there are so many kids that don't have homes, why bring more kids into the world - why not take care of the ones already here? But thanks God, am I glad that we got our little surprise! Our little angel! Our little bundle of joy! Our wittle 'neeno'! Our little "I don't think you can get much cuter, but you do" boy!
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