Dear future mums and dads. You live in difficult times.
Our time is bad. Even though we have a lot of technology, we also have a lot of stupidity. And technology is helpless against stupidity.
If you give even tons of the best medicine to monkeys, it will not make monkeys’ life better. The monkeys will die from overdose.
If you give modern electronic devices to monkeys, the monkeys will not be happier. They will get electrocuted instead.
And if you give to monkeys a container full of hand grenades…
The same is true for humans.
Humans nowadays have technology but in most cases, they either don’t have expertise or (as is true for most hospitals around the world) they use the technology for wrong reasons.
Therefore, I decided to write this guide.
Disclaimer: use my advice on your own risk. Don’t follow my instructions blindly. Use your own head for thinking. What I write may not apply to your situation.
What I write here is not only for girls. Guys, this is important for you as well. You have a vital role in the process. Find a hospital where they allow you to be present during birth. Be there with your wife all the time, and control everything.
Yes, guys, you have to control everything.
If you leave your wife at the mercy of modern doctors, they will do everything wrong, and she will suffer from complications afterwards.
This means you will suffer from her complications afterwards, so you have to be her bodyguard and not let doctors do what they want but only allow to do what is needed.
To know what is needed you have to learn about pregnancy and birth.
So, learn it. Read a lot. Buy thick textbooks for midwives. The thicker the book, the better. You might have to use it as a weapon in the hospital, so pick some heavy edition.
Again, guys in the previous times we didn’t have to learn it but we live in the time with lots of technology and stupidity, so we have no choice but learn these things.
Good midwifery textbooks are available in bookshops in Colombo.
Also read a lot from the Internet.
The problem is that most of technology is used in modern hospitals not for your benefits. It is used for their benefits.
They don’t care about you. All they want is to do everything fast, to get rid of you as fast as possible, to spend as less time and effort with you as possible, and to get as much money from you as they can.
So, they will try to load your wife with medicine to speed up the process. This medicine is bad for her health but they don’t care.
Then, if the baby still doesn’t come out, they will tell your wife that she can’t do it naturally and that she has to go for a Caesarian surgery.
They will lie you that if you don’t do Caesarian right now, then your child will die. You will agree because you will be scared to hear this from the doctor.
But in most cases the real reason why they recommend Caesarian is they want to go home earlier. It is more pleasant for them to spend time at home rather than with you.
Watch these videos (download them just in case they might disappear from the Internet). Watch all of them many times.
Also, download and read all articles from here: http://mothersadvocate.org/pdfs.html
And then find a good hospital.
If you expect a normal delivery, if you don’t have complications and serious pre-existing conditions, then a good maternity hospital is such where:
- They will allow your husband, doula, an army of your bodyguards to stay all the time with you in the delivery room.
- They don’t push you for a Caesarian. They don’t try to persuade you that Caesarian is good.
- They don’t do routine artificial rapture of membranes.
- They don’t insist on routine constant foetal monitoring.
- They don’t insist on routine medical interventions and procedures that are needed only for the convenience of the staff but don’t improve the labour outcome.
- They allow the woman to move when she wants.
- They allow the woman to follow her instincts and choose labour position.
- They are not too fanatic about their rules and regulations
- Before doing anything to you, they first explain what they are going to do, why this is needed, if it is really necessary. And they will agree not to do it if you say “no”.
- They are not angry with you when you are smart.
Finding such a hospital may not be easy. You might have to go to another city or even another country.
I found one such hospital in Sri Lanka. It is Joseph Fraser hospital — http://www.josephfraserhospital.lk/home.html.
I had to travel 11 hours by train from Badulla to Colombo, rent a room in a guest-house in Colombo, bear other expenses but it is all much better than to give my wife into the hands of really horrible doctors in Badulla.
All other hospitals that I checked in Sri Lanka are not good for delivery. Some have much more sophisticated technology than JF but…
And if you can’t find a proper hospital in your country, then buy an air ticket and come to JF hospital in Colombo. It will be cheaper, than suffering for the rest of your life from complications caused by unnecessary medical interventions.
For Europeans, Canadians and Americans, there is another reason to come to Sri Lanka and have your baby born here.
There is no Social Services in Sri Lanka yet. Nobody will forcibly take your baby at birth and put it to an orphanage because you had done some stupid thing when you were a teenager.
The most popular search request by which people find my blog is “what to do if social services took my child away”.
A few words about rules.
In many hospitals, they might say “we have strict rules”. Avoid such hospitals.
Nobody, not even the best doctor in the world knows what to do during birth better than the woman herself. Only she knows what to do, at which moment. Only she knows when to push and when not to push. She doesn’t need anyone’s instructions.
Nobody has ever invented the best rules how to do it. So, if doctors insist on their rules, and show off their expertise, avoid them.
A few more things that are important.
Don’t take the predicted due date too seriously. Even if it was calculated with the most advanced technology, and even if the doctor said some smart sounding words.
No, really, we still actually don’t know how even the simplest living cell works and you consist of trillions of such cells. So, no matter how smart your doctor is trying to appear don’t take this prediction seriously.
Two of our children were born before the due date. In the case of the last one, the due date was the 12th of December. We were planning to buy a train ticket for the December 5th. Had we done that, our baby would have been born in the train. I am really happy that I decided to travel earlier.
Don’t take the 4–1–1 rule (or 5–1–1 rule, or any similar rule) too seriously.
Yes, your task is not to come to the hospital too early. Because the earlier you come, the more opportunity you will give them for unnecessary medical interventions. They will have more chance to rupture your membranes, and persuade you for the Caesarean.
So, you want to come just before your baby is born.
The trick is to come as late as possible but not too late.
You might find in the Internet that you should go to the hospital when the contractions come 4 minutes apart, lasting one minute each, for one hour.
This is a 4–1–1 rule. Other sources will give 5–1–1.
But again, your body consists of trillions of cells. Modern science has very limited knowledge about even simple cells…
In the case of our last baby it was as follows.
My wife had her first contractions two and a half days before the delivery. These contractions were weak. I mean she could talk.
The contractions disappeared after a pleasant walk in the Wellawatta beach.
Many women, especially those who are pregnant for the first time, become so scared of these preliminary contractions that they rush to the hospital immediately. Then, in the hospital, when contractions disappear, the staff writes the diagnosis “No progress in labour” and put the woman for the Caesarean.
The thing is that the baby is not ready yet and the hospital staff doesn’t want to wait till it’s ready. Why wait if they have necessary technology to get rid of you fast?
During those two days it was like this. Weak contractions –> pleasant walk in Colombo –> no more contractions –> rest at home –> contractions again –> next iteration in the loop.
Then, the contractions became strong. My wife couldn’t talk during them. It was painful.
The interval between them was 12 minutes. It lasted approximately 4 or 5 hours. We were in the guest-house prepared to wait for 4–1–1.
My wife was worried why the interval between her contractions did not decrease.
Then there were a few contractions with the interval 10 minutes.
Then a couple of contractions with the 8 minutes.
Then my wife felt that the baby was going to be born right now.
I rushed to catch a three-wheeler.
When I helped her enter the three-wheeler and sit (she already could hardly walk) she looked at me very seriously and said: “Pray that the baby didn’t go out in the three-wheeler!” I prayed, and while we were going to the hospital I was telling her not to worry and told her how many minutes and seconds was left till we arrive.
Our baby was born a few minutes after we entered the maternity ward.
She didn’t experience 4–1–1. Had we waited for 4–1–1, our baby would have been born either in the guest-house or in the three-wheeler.
We came really at the last moment.
So, there is no rules, no theories, no algorithms that you can follow. Read theory but think yourself in each particular case. And also, ask all your family and friends to pray for you.
These are the two most important things that people forget to do in the modern world: think themselves and pray to God.
Wishing you a happy birth experience!