My quick labour story: I nearly gave birth in a taxi!

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Read this mum's story about her super-quick labour and how she almost gave birth to her son in a taxi! Keep reading to find out what happened...

It was mid-2011 and I was new to Singapore–and pregnant with my second son. I was well prepared and knew which OB/GYN I was going to see.

It didn’t strike me until I arrived in Singapore that there was a fair distance between the East Coast (where I lived) and NUH (where I delivered). But more about that later.

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I wanted a quick labour…but I never expected it to be that quick!

My pregnancy flew by without a hitch. Before I knew it, I was into my 9th month. I wanted a normal delivery like my first birth. I also wanted to deliver with no medical pain relief.

Water all the way!

To ease the discomfort of contractions during my first delivery, I tried gas (which didn’t work) and Pethidine (which worked). But in retrospect, I think Pethidine made my firstborn very drowsy after birth that, in effect, it caused problems for him with latching on.

What really helped me through the contractions, however, was laying in a tub full of warm water, controlled breathing through the contractions, and having my husband with me every step of the way.

So with these experiences in my mind, I knew for certain that when I gave birth to my second baby, I wanted to use only water as pain relief and have my husband by my side.

The staff at NUH said this was fine, but if I wanted to use water as pain relief, I would either have to bring along my own doula or register with the hospital’s Enhanced Midwifery Maternity Care (EMMa Care) Programme.

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The use of water really helped me with the discomfort of my contractions.

Incidentally, the EMMa Care Programme was fully booked, so I had to source my own doula.

Labour started 2 weeks before my due date. I happily settled in my bathtub at home (this was at about midnight) and let the warm water take care of the contractions. I didn’t have a quick labour with my first son, so I thought I had plenty of time with my second birth, too.

The warm water was so soothing that I was in a state of absolute relaxation and was drifting in and out of sleep between contractions. At about 3am, I was still in my bathtub… and I noticed my contractions were almost 5 minutes apart. I thought it was about time I got to the hospital so at this point, my husband called a taxi.

Fast and furious ride to the hospital

I waddled down to the lobby of our condo (stopping at least twice on the way down because of contractions!) and got into the taxi. I could see the alarm on our taxi driver’s face at the sight of a woman in labour getting into his cab!

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The wonderful taxi driver who took me to hospital that day had probably never driven so fast in his life!

As we were driving out of the condo premises, the taxi drove over a small speed hump…and that’s when I felt something inside me go “snap”! My water had broken and I was flooding the taxi seat!

The poor taxi driver was visibly panicking now and I was in a fair amount of discomfort. Luckily, I remembered my doula’s advice to sit on a towel in the vehicle on the way to the hospital, so the mess wasn’t too bad.

We still had a good 20 minutes drive to NUH and labour had well and truly set in. I don’t think our taxi driver had ever driven so fast in his life! Luckily for him, there was no traffic police — and luckily for me, there was no traffic, otherwise I would have definitely given birth in the taxi.

My contractions were so powerful when we finally reached the hospital that I could barely move my body to get out of the taxi.

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My son was born just 40 minutes after reaching the hospital. Quick labour, indeed!

By the time I was taken to the delivery room, I was fully dilated. This baby was coming, and coming fast! My obstetrician arrived and, of course, there was no time for any pain relief with water or for my doula to get there (so much for my plans!).

Within just 40 minutes of my arrival, my second son was born…on my husband’s birthday!

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My little boy made his entrance to the word in record time!

Lessons learnt

  • If you already have a child and are expecting another, please don’t think labour is going to progress in exactly the same way as the first time around. It may or may not.
  • Don’t wait until your baby’s head is crowning to get to the hospital!
  • Normal delivery without pain relief is really not that bad. It’s just a matter of conquering the contractions and conserving your energy for the final stage of labour.
  • Having my husband by my side for both births was amazing. He was wonderful and knew exactly when to encourage me to push or gently rub my back. Encourage your partner to be with you during labour and birth — it’s the best kind of pain relief!
  • A doula is also a wonderful support person to have during birth. Even though my doula wasn’t able to be with me during the birth of my son, she visited me at home several times during the last month of my pregnancy and shared great birthing tips.
  • Finally, I really can’t stress enough the wonders of warm water and the correct breathing techniques to help with the discomfort of contractions. Even if you are not thinking of having a water birth, consider using water as pain management (of course, discuss this with your OB/GYN). It really works!

Did you have a quick labour, too? Share your story with us by leaving a comment.

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