My entire life, I have been scared at the thought of giving birth. I was scared of the pain, and I was scared of dying while giving birth. My father’s mother died giving birth to him, and something my mother said became ingrained in my mind: “Nasa hukay and isang paa pag nanganganak ang babae, pero pag binigay niya buhay niya para sa anak niya, dederetso siya sa langit. (One foot is in the grave when a woman gives birth, but if she gives her life for her child’s, then she’ll go straight to heaven for sure.)”
So when I found out I was pregnant, I studied birthing topics as if I’ll be taking an exam after the supposed 40-week period. In my pursuit of knowledge, I became confused and more scared, so I tried searching for people who can help me understand birthing. I learned about doulas and chanced upon Irina Otmakhova’s (Conscious Birth Manila) website where I learned about her workshop on Hypnobirthing and Fetal Positioning Techniques. This workshop changed my perspective about childbirth. Before, I was dead set on getting an epidural, and even considered a voluntary C-section. By the end of the day, I was 90% sure that I want a medication-free birth. A couple of months after that, Irina became my doula.
So for this birth, I had a doula, studied Hypnobirthing (Hypnobabies 6-week self-study course), adjusted my diet to what was specified in Hypnobabies, and did my best to exercise. I kind of failed in the physical fitness area. By the time I found a prenatal yoga class in our seventh month, I was placed on a fourteen-day bed rest due to spotting and contractions. When that period was over, I just shied away from physical activity, except for one pre-natal yoga session in my ninth month with Yogini Sonia.
T I M E L I N E
4th November — Irina came over in the morning for our second pre-natal session. Here, she taught us birthing positions, and some exercises to help with the waves (contractions) where we used rebozo and birthing balls. She also e-mailed me an acupressure manual for pain management and stimulation of labor. We even discussed the next appointment with my OBGYN where Irina will accompany me, and rounded up a couple of questions to bring up regarding my Birth Plan. We ended the session with a rehearsal of the birthing time, summing up all the techniques she taught us.
After the pre-natal session, my next goal for the day was to show our new maid the ropes around our apartment. My mom also arrived on the 2nd of November to keep me company whenever Ralph (my husband) is at work. After dinner, Ralph and I went to the grocery to stock up on food, and to purchase last-minute items in our Hospital Bag List.
Read the FULL STORY on Roxanne's blog.
Irina is a birth
keeper, mother and an advocate. As a certified Childbirth Doula and
Hypno-Doula she accompanies mothers through pregnancy, birth and postpartum to
ensure a joyful, balanced and pleasurable experience. It is her greatest joy to
see mothers to come out of birth feeling empowered, proud and honored.