Pregnant in Bangkok?

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I just had a baby. As such for the next few posts until I get over my all things baby obsession, this blog is going to focus on green/eco baby topics.

Given my expertise is in being a consumer watchdog for products, I will recommend items that I have used on this site. Please note, that I have never received anything for free, nor been paid to do any of my posts. And if you know me, you also know that to make sure I don’t get sued, I never write about products with which I have had a negative experience. If you don’t see a product that you would like me to review on here, feel free to email me at bkkgreenie@gmail.com . However, if you don’t see it here, it doesn’t mean I haven’t used or tried them, more often than not it means I have chosen not to promote them.

So….in March 2016, I was lucky and blessed enough to get pregnant with my first baby. And so start the adventures of motherhood for Bangkok Greenie.

When I found out I was pregnant, after rejoicing, the first thing I did was start looking for a doula. Google the words “Doula Bangkok” and the first thing you come across is a wonderful page called “Doulas of Bangkok“. I was thrilled. This meant that (1) Doulas exist in Bangkok (2) There is more than one!!! So I wrote a message to the page and long story short connected with the page owner Rasee Govindani, who then connected me to my doula Andrea Sill.

Many people ask me, how did you choose your doula? When I messaged Rasee, she sent me a list of doulas who were available during the time I was due to give birth. They each had a website or facebook page or did personal meetups. For such an important event in my life, I needed someone there who would (1) support me (2) support my husband (3) support my baby. My hubby also had to feel comfortable with this person as its a very private moment. To prepare for meeting Andrea for the first time, I bought my husband a copy of “The Birth Partner”  by Penny Simkin. Excellent book. Highly recommended. Once he had read it, he had a better understanding of how a doula could support us during our birth. And so we met Andrea and asked her all our questions which included: How many births had she doula-ed for? How she saw her role in our birth? What kind of support we could expect from her at the different stages, before, during and after? After our 1 hour chat over great coffee, we felt comfortable with Andrea. We decided she would be a supportive part of our birth experience.

But oh, it had only just begun as I now had to prepare for natural birth. I knew I would have to train for it, much like you train for a marathon or any great sporting event. It was going to be the marathon of a lifetime. So to begin my training, I had started doing Pre-natal yoga. I had a wonderful teacher “Sabina” who came to teach me at home. She did a combination of meditation and yoga. A good combo to improve my flexibility, strength and calm my crazy mind. I also had a personal trainer “Guy“. He made me do a heck of a lot of squats which gave me a lot of great leg strength for birth. While Guy had never worked with a pregnant lady before, his wife was pregnant at the same time, and so he was more than happy to research and adapt our workouts to something appropriate for me.

I also had to start preparing my “Birth Plan”. For those of you who don’t know what a birth plan is, it basically helps set out your wishes for what you want to have happen at your baby’s birth. To prepare a birth plan I needed more information. What were the various decisions I had to make at hospital? What did I want?

My doula suggested attending Rasee’s pre-natal classes.

Now in month 7, I could no longer sustain personal training, so I had ceased sessions with Guy. But I still needed exercise and mindfulness and so was continuing with my yoga. However, my yoga teacher Sabina had to go for further training. And rather than leave me hanging, she asked me if I would be interested in continuing classes with her dear friend “Alison“. I wasn’t too keen at first, as I had never met Alison before, but gee whiz is she amazing. Alison was meant to come into my life at this point to prepare me for the final stretch before I gave birth. As a mother of 2 herself, Alison knew exactly what I needed at this stage. She helped me feel strong and get in the right head space and physical space for giving birth.

It was only appropriate that I should lose my mucus plug 5 minutes before my bi-weekly yoga class was supposed to start. (I was at 39 weeks and 4 days.) I had called my doula Andrea, but she said, it could be anywhere between 12 hours and a few days. So I was like okay…cool. However when I told my yoga teacher Alison, she was like, yup…. both my babies came out 12 hours after I lost mine. And I was like okay here we go!!!  We did our yoga class with the full gusto that we normally would. And I swear Alison knew that baby would be making an appearance all too soon.

Sure enough that evening at 9:30pm I had to go to the toilet. I had the runs. And then they started. The contractions were coming on fast and furious. I reminded myself of all the things I knew I had to do to make sure this went right. “Stay upright, keep moving, be on the toilet lots.” Our doula had told us to time our contractions and not to come in until they were 3 minutes apart. If you haven’t yet felt a  contraction, they feel like a very bad period cramp. My husband had downloaded a contraction timer on his phone and was doing his part very diligently. At first I was fine. Then I started to not being able to speak as they were getting closer and closer together. It didn’t feel like very long. Hubby called doula Andrea and loaded our gear into the car. Off we went, it was almost midnight. The 2 contractions in the car were horrid. I squeezed my poor hubby’s arm both times that he just kind of had to park during the contractions. We arrived at our hospital where they tried to make me lie down on a stretcher. I was like NOOOOOO. No lying down. I need to be upright. I couldn’t really walk, so I agreed to a wheel chair. When I arrived the hospital did not take me to a birthing room and I was very confused and started screaming, they had taken me to some other room to attempt to do some fetal monitoring (which was a clear no-no on my birth plan) and check my dilation. I refused the fetal monitoring but had to let her check my dilation. I was 9.5cm dilated. So they rushed me to a birth room where the nurse then told me that if I didn’t slow down the dr. wouldn’t be there in time. Which stressed me out. However I knew I didn’t really need a dr. I had my husband and my doula.

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