Marcela Cravo Rios

- My Story -

I was told by the doctor that she would wait until 40 weeks and 13 days to the baby to come, otherwise we would go for a cesarean surgery. Back in Brazil, some years before, when I started thinking about births and the way I would like my babies to come, I couldn’t think of anything else then a natural birth. It was a Tuesday afternoon of a hot summer day in Dubai, and we had passed the 40 weeks mark. At that point I was wearing my colorful bracelet made by my lovely friends from the pregnancy circle and following all recommended natural tips to stimulate labor to start. Because of the weather, I was walking on the treadmill, but that day I just felt it was right to go to the mall. My parents and I were spending some time in the supermarket (we have this thing about discovering new products in big supermarkets), and suddenly we noticed it had passed almost 5 hours from our arrival. At that same moment, I started felling very tired, and the lower part of my belly started hurting. We decided to go home as quick as possible and once at home, I saw my husband Bruno eating some pasta. I couldn’t hold myself and started eating from his plate. Suddenly I felt something coming from inside and when I stood up, a lot of water came out! My water broke and for a moment there was a waterfall in the living room, just like I used to see in the Brazilians soap operas. “Please, film it”, I said to Bruno! Two hours had passed, I had taken a shower, put my pajama and was laying down on my bed preparing myself to rest. I was talking to the doctor by WhatsApp (thank you technology), saying I was feeling really calm and that the contractions haven’t started properly. She told me to monitor them and wait for the 1-5-1 pattern to arrive – contractions of 1-minute duration, separated by 5 minutes of rest, happening throughout 1 hour. We put on our contraction tracker app and tried to rest a little. It was 6 am and Bruno woke up asking me how it was. I couldn’t reply him, once I was really focused in breathing (we have done Hypnobirthing classes, breathing and visualization were our powerful techniques). My kind of reply to him was enough to make him call the doctor and agree with her that it was time to go to the hospital. We woke up my parents and finished packing (yes, baby’s cloths were all in the bag, but I was missing something for me). I was going to the kitchen to take some bites, and then SQUAT! Then back to the room and suddenly, SQUAT! We took the elevator, walked the hallway and SQUAT! Whenever I felt the
wave (contraction) coming, the best way to wait for it to pass was squatting. We arrived at the hospital and I kept squatting for some time. I had a birth plan and Bruno was the one making sure the medical team was aware of it. I really wanted my natural birth to happen with no interventions, no routine procedures and no medications. After a while, I felt right to sit on the exercising ball, and I stayed there, changing positions and always counting on my husbands’ and mothers’ hands, for a while. When I reached 6 to 7 cm of dilatation, I could enter the birthing pool and that felt like heaven. I felt really relaxed in the warm water. I started felling the urge to push when in the water and started vocalizing. It’s amazing how our body knows what to do and how, we don’t even think about it, it’s instinctive. Bruno told me I spent two hours in the pool, but it felt like half an hour for me. Time had passed and I was feeling tired. We decided it was better to try a little bit out of the water and I went to the bed. After 3 pushes, I was with my baby boy on my chest! He was healthy, active and looked me in the eyes very soon. At that time, I felt the best sensation I ever experienced! I couldn’t even feel the doctor stitching the small tear I had. Our golden hour was almost a two-hour skin to skin, and after mommy’s turn, it was time to daddy feel the joy of having a baby in your bare chest. Even far away from home, speaking a foreign language and with just a few family members, I had the birth experience I dreamed about, and my choices were respected. 
I believe every woman deserves to have enough information to make her own free decisions and achieve a memorable and amazing experience.


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