Monday, November 30, 2009

Sofia’s Birth Story

I gave birth to Andrei at a lovely private hospital where I was allowed to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I was drinking tea and eating chocolate in the early stages. Andrei’s birth was about 6 hours long, and I’m counting here from the first contraction.

Since no one intervene until after Andrei popped out I was feeling pretty good about having Sofia the same way. Coaching through birth, like when to push and how to breathe doesn’t make sense to me since you are the one feeling everything…Sure, it was brilliant having Ake there, cause he really helped when the pain was stronger. Rule no 1 when giving birth: NEVER make any decisions when you’re in pain…deal with the pain and decide later.

We have decided to drastically cut the costs for Sofia’s birth and went to the biggest Thai Public Hospital in Bangkok, Chulalongkorn. I had a lovely doctor here as well and whenever I discussed the birth with him he basically said, “ Well, I agree with you, but you’ll have to negotiate this with the nurses on the spot. They do things a certain way here and it will be tricky to change their minds. However, as a foreigner you have better chances than a Thai.” So there I was again with the same birth plan saying;
- No IV, no drugs, no episiotomy, no induction
- I’d like to move around
- I’d like to push whenever I felt like
- I’d like to eat in the early stages and drink

My water broke painlessly at 1 am on Weds morning. I quickly woke up Ake, cause Andrei had popped out 2 hours after that happened. We grabbed a few things, but forgot our wallets and surely we were checking in by 2 am…We knew Ake wasn’t allowed in the delivery quarter, so me and Sofia had to this on our own. They checked me in after signing tones on paperwork and I must admit I did get a bit anxious after entering the birthing center. I wasn't allowed to take anything from my bag - no cell, no clothes, nothing to drink,,, There were several women lying sideways, all hooked up on machines, IV drips and fetal monitors….brrrrr…saying no to all of it was going to be hard. I was sort of hoping for someone to distract the nurses away from me. SURPRISE though - I was already 5 cm dilated.

I mean, I was having contractions, but nothing too strong now. With Andrei, getting to 5 cm was hard work! It was GREAT hearing this…5 cm and NO pain…!!!

A lovely young nurse (LYN) asked me to follow her in the delivery room. Yet another cold shower here too…it was set up like a surgery quarter…brrr again… and here came the hardest part. I was sort of assigned to an evil old nurse (EON) to basically began saying NO to everything…like ….”ahhh…I’d like to go to the toilet!”…”Oh no, you can’t! Baby coming!” …I negotiated my through everything in Thai…I’ll use the bedpan once, you let me go to the toilet once……you can put the needle in my hand just in case – but no IV drip….. I’ll be in bed, but upright, sitting but definitely no stir –ups…LYN came back with 2 hot packs which I promptly put on my back and my tummy and this was a big help, it was starting to hurt a bit which again was good news – it meant no intervention…I was entering the active stage. Thankfully, so was the woman in the next room and cause she was making all sorts of noises and all the nurses rushed there…YEI! I was left alone…thank GOD! I felt sooo peaceful – I said to myself that as long as I keep quiet it will be ok, no one will interfere…

The next 2 hours flew by….it was relaxing just listening to all the sounds the other women were making, their fetal monitors, the nurses coaching them on what to do, me breathing ‘quietly’ through contractions … LYN popped in and out couple of times to change the hot packs …
I had lost track of time cause the clock in my quarter was twitching at 11:30, but after the woman next door had given birth I kindly asked to change the clocks (I wanted to time my contractions to see if I was making any progress contractions wise)…LYN changed the clock and checked me out…YEI – 8 cm already…and she phoned the doctor…and I was again ... alone…

All of a sudden I felt this HUUUGE urge to push…it was 4:50…It was so intense I thought surely there’s no time for me to get out of bed, squat and catch Sofia (I had to take the bedrails first which would have been literally impossible at that stage)…I hesitated a few seconds, but decided to call the nurses just in case…”Ahhh, sorry….I think the baby is coming…”…Both LYN and EON came in and began to frantically get towels, lift my legs up in stir ups and lower the bed…WOOOOOOW….STOOOP! I fought my way out of the stirrups, clinching to my comfy upright position and pushed Sofia right out with the nurses going bonkers in Thai MAI BENG! MAI BENG!!! (Don’t pushhh!) I really didn’t care what they were saying – I couldn’t have helped it any how…when the baby comes, there’s nothing you can do. The fight lasted less a minute, but felt more like a 10 min struggle … Luckily, LYN caught a screaming healthy Sofia at 4:55 and gave her to right to me then ran quickly to get a resident doctor…Sofia was amazing like all babies are and looked very much like her dad to me… I leaned over, grabbed a towel and wrapped her up and she cuddled up gently…This young woman doctor came and cut the cord and took Sofia to get her cleaned up….5 min later my doctor arrived …we both laughed… he asked if I can get the placenta out….whoosh! no probs…We had the funniest conversation as he was sewing me up…stitches are such an insignificant little thing and they heal soooo fast. Again, I didn’t really care about the tear!

Andrei came in the afternoon and looking at the 4 of us in that hospital room felt like one of those key moments in life that you want to hold on to and always remember…I love my kids!

PS. If I would have to pick a song for Sofia's birth...this would be it!

Se e vero che ci sei

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home Sweet Home
The first night back home...dinner, bath , books, then all of us sleeping peacefully...precious. Pure happiness!:)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We're over the moon happy after the birth of our little Sofia...who kept us waiting for couple of days and came rushing in a matter of hours.

She's an absolute doll...or we just know better...?? I'm guessing it's both, cause we are just crusing the nights and loving the days...I mean...It does get busy....:)

Andrei did extremely well so far, maybe becuase we really tried to maintain all the regulars in his life (playground, friends, school), but he does want to try everything that the poor girl touches...her bed, her chair, her toys...Since she doesn't mind YET, that's totally find by me.:)

As I was saying couple posts back...I truly feel that women can give birth (provided all is well) without doctors / nurses etc...and once again, that's exactly what happened to us...and it was brilliant! Having said that...I love my doctor for arriving 5 min late and being totally cool and so natural about everything.

Birth story to follow soon...

Meanwhile enjoy day 1 photos...

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Some days it's just too darn hot to go the park and we take Andrei to an indoor playground where he burns off tones on calories. Like this morning...there were 35 C at 9 am and Funarium looked so much more attractive especially to me (Carmen). I'm a waddling mama goose now and can take Bangkok in a swimming pool at this temp.

I've got the nesting insticts all over again...going for fancy recipes, sorting out clothes a million times...

We're making homemade hummus now and salmon and pesto pasta for dinner.