Daily Archives: February 23, 2017

Winna’s birth story

Winna is a very active person, having met her before she fell pregnant. She is regular with her Yoga practice and continued doing so until late in her pregnancy. This is her birth story.


Like many other first time mom, I had no idea how labor was going to feel like asides the fact that I can’t run away from the pain during contractions. As such, I chose to attend the AMANI birth class with my husband to prepare ourselves for the big day.

I was admitted on the morning of 03Dec16 because I had the “show” and was 3cm dilated. Nothing comes by throughout the day so I kept myself busy by walking around as much as I could. Contractions finally kicked in after 12 midnight where I started to feel restless. Nurses in the obstetric ward insisted that I take pethidine to help with the pain but I refused after learning how the drug can be harmful to the baby during the birth class. I was sent to the labor room at 3am when I was 5cm dilated. Again the nurses in the labor room insisted I take the pethidine shot to help me relax and conserve my energy for pushing later on. But I was very firm on a drug free labor and again I rejected it. I tried using the laughing gas which was of no help to cope with the pain and neither does it help me to relax. What really help throughout the transition process was the breathing techniques which Nora taught me during class and the support my husband gave me.

After 8 hours in labor, I gave birth to Ryan on 04Dec16 at 10.47am. We were glad that we managed to ask for delayed cord clamping too although much negotiations were needed beforehand.

My husband and I couldn’t thank Nora enough for the knowledge she shared with us in the AMANI birth class and would recommend any mom-to-be to attend the workshop to prepare themselves for the big day.


Rabiatul’s birth story

Rabiatul attended our Childbirth class in July 2016. Her estimated due date was 16th September 2016. She delivered a healthy baby girl on the 8th September 2016. Alhamdulillah.
This is her birth story.
(What was supposed to be a routine check up turned into an expected birth. The unfolding of events happened very fast and i felt very vulnerable. If it wasn’t for prior knowledge from the childbirth class, i am sure i would have agreed to whatever the doctors said and i would miss my chance of a normal birth.)
On the 6th of sept, i had a gyne appointment in RIPAS and on my way there i experienced sudden blurred vision and a headache. After the check up, i was admitted for bp monitoring for 24hrs because they were scared i might be experiencing preeclamsia. My bp was normal throughout but i did have a high protein count in my blood and urine. From the beginning i got the feeling that the Drs were trying to persuade me to consider C-section for the “sake of me and my baby”.  So far they were only speculating that i had preeclamsia but they could not provide evidence stating that me or the baby are in any kind of danger. So after a lengthy discussion, they agreed to prioritize normal birth unless my bp or my baby’s bp goes up then they would have to deliver the baby by c -section. I agreed. 
During the 24hr monitoring period, they noticed that i had dilated by 1cm and my cervix was soft. The dr advised me to be induced to expedite the dilation and reduce the chance of me experiencing high bp hence increasing my chance of a normal birth. I agreed and was induced with the pill twice. First induction was bearable. It felt like really bad period pain every 3mins (unfortunately i only managed to dilate 3cm). 2nd induction was worse, i had contractions every 10mins but the pain was excruciating! (Breathing exercises were sooooo helpful here! I was surprised my husband remembered it from your class) I felt like my hips was about to fall off! I was bleeding alot and by now i was very sure i was ready for labour. Unfortunately i only dilated 4cm. By this point all i wanted to do was for the dr to cut me up. I felt like giving up. I was literally waiting for the dr to come through the door and just tell her i want a c-section! I was in the holding area within the labour ward the entire time, not in the delivery room yet. Here, only the husband, mother or mother in law can go in and they have to adhere to the visiting hours. There i was alone, in pain, exhausted and about to give up on my fantasy birth..But then i remember in your class you mentioned Allah will not let you feel pain you can’t overcome and that pain is you..this was the only thing that kept me going. The nurse kept on coming in asking if i wanted an epidural. I said no several times because i knew it would mess up my dilation. I was given pethidine. I went on to dilate from 5 cm to 9 cm in 2hours. In term of the pain relief, i didn’t think it made any difference.
I persevered and after 24hrs of labor, i finally dilated. 3hrs later my baby came out, facing upwards healthy as ever Alhamdulillah.
Basically my point is, in all this, i feel, that my biggest barrier  between having a normal birth and surgery was myself..Doctors will always give you the easy way out, they know when you are most vulnerable. Having a strong support system is also important but the most important of all is believing that you can handle it all..i feel like your class really prepared me for that..and i feel very thankful.

Jannah’s birth story

Our prenatal yoga student Jannah, had a VBAC with her second born. Jannah was considered high risk as her first baby was delivered via c-section in 2015.This is her birth story.

On the  2nd June 2016,  at 8pm while having dinner, I had irregular contractions and it was quite painful. It came and go every 5-7 mins and went on until 2am.  I couldn’t sleep. I tracked them using Pregnancy+ app and  I knew it was time.
At 2am, I woke my husband up and went to RIPAS.  I had already dilated 3cm and so  I was admitted. But then, the contraction was stopped until 4th June at 2am – but it came back and by then i was dilated at 6cm! This was a regular contraction!
I was brought to the labour room  as the doctor wanted to give me thorough check up every 15-30 mins interval, just in case my bikini line (at caesar area) became painful – so that the they could prep for an emergency c section. I waited for 15 hours long then finally, it was time to push… Luckily, it was a VBAC delivery!
It took me only 15-20 mins to push. It was a miracle that my labour ran very smoothly, Alhamdulillah despite having to go through a c section  last year! Surprisingly contractions was not that painful as I expected. No pain relief used because the pain was bearable. The tip is I practised the ice exercise from the  first labour workshop last year. Basically, my brain focused on different things when the contraction came. I thought of peaceful things: Allah, my daughter, my husband and your sakura tree that is in front of your studio.
My husband was really supportive! Even though he didn’t know what to do, he kept saying to me “You can do it baby!” “Just a little more to push and you’re done!” He was an excellent support I must say. 
After birth, it was hard for me to breastfeed directly because my baby was admitted into SCBU (born at 35 weeks ). So I had to keep on massaging my breasts to produce milk. On day 2, i had very little of colostrum and I consumed a milk booster. Day 3, my breasts became sore because it produced a lot of milk and pump was no use. A midwife helped me to squeeze my breasts. It was embarrassing, but I didn’t care. Haha.
Day 4,  we went to SCBU early in the morning and asked the nurse to allow me breast feed baby directly. Alhamdulillah, my baby latched on.
Overall, Alhamdulillah my labour journey went really well. To compare with c-section and a VBAC delivery, definitely VBAC or normal delivery is the best choice!

Amal’s birth story

Amal attended our prenatal yoga classes and delivered her son in August 2015. This is her birth story!
On 3rd August last year, I remember going to RIPAS for my weekly checkup and having lunch at Fratini’s with my husband right after. I was only a few days into my maternity leave and it was about another 10 days to go til our due date. Plenty of time I thought. Let’s book a haircut tomorrow! I distinctly remember my husband saying to me “maybe you shouldn’t book anything, you know you’re due anytime now right”. I then started to get an ache in my tummy late that afternoon, I thought hmm the pizza was a bit off? Haha. Maybe Braxton Hicks? Then a few hours later at about 10 pm I finally said to my husband, I think I’m in first stage labour! I then found myself on the phone with my parents asking them whether they could come home tomorrow. So we timed contractions while I sat on the exercise ball and called my best friend who was all the way in England. “So I think I’m in labour. Have you packed? Yes. My parents aren’t here. It’s ok. It’s just us two. You’ll be alright. Get some rest, eat, shower, don’t panic. Banyak baca baca. Don’t forget your selusoh. Ok. I’ll message you in the later.”
I ended up drifting in and out of sleep on the couch whilst whatsapping the girls and keeping track of contractions on the app. “Contractions are 10 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration, for over 1 hour.” Managed to subuh, shower, have breakfast and by 6.00 am we were off to go to the hospital. My mum was trying to get the first flight back to Brunei but she wasn’t sure if she could make it back for the afternoon. We called my in laws and aunts to let them know we were off to the hospital. Checked in at the hospital and my contractions were getting more frequent and stronger but still manageable. I was 3-4 cms dilated at about 7.00 am. All I remember was hearing other women in labour in the delivery rooms and being hungry and thinking hmmm I wonder if they do Fratini’s delivery. Haha!
They let me walk around in the first stage labour room for a good few hours. I texted my hair dresser to tell him I was in labour and couldn’t go for my appointment! Lol! I could still walk, talk, eat and drink as normal. I kept reading surah after surah whilst the contractions came and went. I had heard husbands weren’t allowed to accompany their wives in the labour room but my husband appeared (with food!!) and said my family was outside waiting. CNN was on and I remember watching something about Obama and American politics on the news. Coincidentally it was also Obama’s birthday on 4th August. Earlier in the morning the midwife gave me a leaflet about epidurals and pain management and said if it got too bad, just call and they’ll try to help. At 11.30 am I called the nurse and said “OK maybe time for some gas please! We’re so sorry we’re out of entonox. Maybe some oxygen? Nope, no difference. What about the epidural? You’re 8-9 cms dilated. We can’t offer it anymore. You’ll just have to it do the natural way. You’re ready to go to the delivery room.”
It was about 12 noon and everything was already a bit blurry. I remember my husband taking my phone and glasses aside and telling me he wasn’t sure if my mum made it on the plane for this afternoon. My husband stayed with me the whole way and held my hand. It was contraction after contraction and I tried my best to push. But to no avail. I wanted to sit up and walk around but by then they’d put a drip on me and I was exhausted. I remember tears streaming down my face and my husband wiping them with tissues. He tried to keep me steady and read surahs trying to keep me calm and strong. I honestly don’t know how I could’ve managed without him. The nurses suggested maybe I should rest and sleep. At some point they changed shifts and a new midwife came in the room. This was about 2.30 pm. They said I had been in and out of sleep and that maybe we could try again. The new midwife was incredibly supportive. I remembered how to breathe again. She said to conserve energy. Focus. Almost there she said. This was around 3 pm. She could see baby’s head. We tried one more time and the midwife, my husband and I powered through. I am not kidding when I say it was literally the “life flashing before your eyes moment” but it was. Big bright lights and everything. No wonder people say giving birth is like between life and death. Then it was a sudden relief. I remember still holding onto my husband and then hearing baby cry. Alhamdulillah. I held him for the first time and said Assalamualaikum sayang. My husband then held him, Azan and Iqamah and cut the umbilical cord. Allah is the best of planners. At 38 weeks, 5 days our beloved son was born.

Tracy’s birth story


Tracy joined our prenatal class when she was expecting her first child and continued to practise when she was carrying her second child.Her firstborn was born in December 2014 and her second child was born June 2016. This is her birth story.

When I was pregnant with my second child I thought I knew what to expect but it was so totally different that it threw me off!

With my first, I had a bloody show at 3am and contractions started few hours after. It was a dull backache similar to when I had my period. I didn’t really feel any stomach pains. Initially I thought ‘this wasn’t so bad. I can get through this. it’s like having my period’. Fast forward to 8pm I felt as if an elephant was on my back. I seriously wanted to break my back in half.

With my second, it took me a few hours to realise that my water broke (I thought it was my bladder). Went to the hospital in the morning with no contractions until evening. Which was so weird that I started googling how to naturally trigger contractions. when I finally had contractions it was from my tummy and not my back. Not sure which was more horrible. Both felt really awful towards the end.

I took pethidine for both pregnancy but only because I was tired from having contractions for almost a day. I wanted to avoid asking for epidural but wanted to reserve enough strength for pushing. Both time it took within 2 hours of administering pethidine for my cervix to dilate from 4cm to 7cm.

First pregnancy took an hour of pushing. Second took 11mins. Hubby didn’t even have time to enter the labor room.

Oddly enough I didn’t feel much pain when it was time to push. With my second child I could feel my daughter’s head and that was my focus (no hubby to distract me).  I was somewhat visualising the labor. It felt so surreal when baby came out and I remembered both time how amazing the body was to be able to naturally push out a baby from such a small opening.

I started breast feeding within minutes of delivery but if possible I don’t recommend any painkillers because baby gets really drowsy and doesn’t feed well for couple days. The nurses at ripas were really nice and I could always ask them if I had any latching issues.

In short, labor is nothing like in the movies. It’s loonnng, intense and the continuous intermittent pain is exhausting but every time I look at my babies the pain seems less and less significant.