Xandrea C., A Birth Story – Part #3 of 3

~ Continued from Part #1 & Part #2 ~

Labour is a brilliant design. Just when you’re about to give up, just when you think you’ve given all that you can, something incredible happens: it ends. That glorious head finally emerges, then a little body slides out easily and the room erupts.

Just like that.

Meeting Xan for the first time
Meeting Xan for the first time

My baby is here. Xandrea Chua is born.

Steve received our baby. It was around 8:10 p.m. He lifted her out of the water. I turned around from the kneeling position and cradled her.

It felt surreal to finally hold her in my arms. For months, I have wondered what she would look like. She’s beautiful, just like what I have always imagined.

Hello my baby girl. Happy birthday. We did it, darling girl! Mommy love you so much. You’re such a good baby.

Tears of happiness for my bundle of joy
Tears of happiness for my bundle of joy

Christina and Tian joined in the crying camaraderie. Xan opened her eyes, let out two short cries, and went back to sleep. Shortly after that, she began to nurse. Steve referred to the APGAR score chart and cross-checked her vital signs. All good.

Just to be sure, I looked in between her legs and called out, “It’s a girl!”

E came in five minutes later to check out his baby sister
Ewan came in five minutes later to check out his baby sister

Best evening ever!

We spent around 30 minutes in the pool before moving to the bed. Steve then called Teri, a friend and a mum who has homebirthed her two children, to ask what should be done to birth the placenta. After four surges – around an hour after birth – my placenta came out, just like that. The art of doing nothing.

He then contacted Dr Siva and gave him a run-through of the birth and both mummy’s and baby’s condition.

And Xan makes 4!
The placenta that kept Xan nourished for the past 39 weeks

Having missed the opportunity to cut our firstborn’s umbilical cord, Steve proudly snipped off Xan’s after it stopped pulsating.

You’re now on your own, baby.

Cutting the umbilical cord

My mum had a hard time believing me when I called and told her that I have just given birth. According to her, I sounded “too normal and energetic for a person who has just given birth”. I had to MMS her a proof of photo.

That night, I took a nice hot shower, blow-dried my hair, had dinner, cleared up the mess and stayed up late to chat with Steve and Christina. We talked about what happened over and over again. Best evening ever.

Newborn Xan and her godma, Christina

The aftermath’s euphoria

I had heard and read over and over that the moment you see your baby, the pain of labour disappears. While I was in labour, I had some insane thoughts. We will stop at two children, I will never do this again. I will totally get an epidural IF there’s really a baby #3. My friends kept saying that an all-natural birth is worth it but how the craze will this ever be worth it?

But it does disappear. It is worth it. And I don’t mind doing it again.

Most of all, I got my birth dreams: a smooth and easy labour of around five hours at 38 weeks 6 days. Xan is a better planner than me; she revised the proposed timing from 3:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., to 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., so that all the logistical details we have been worrying about would be well taken care of. How clever! And I was calm, the birth was gentle. Xan is safe and contented, and my tear is minimal with no stitching required.

Our little thanksgiving and burial ceremony for the placenta. We covered it with salt, sprayed some fragrance, put it in a cloth bag and sprinkled some flower petals before burying it in our garden.

The next day, we bought two slices of cake and sang the ‘Happy Birthday’ song to Xan.

Ewan is a dotting brother to Xan
Daddy’s first photo with Xan
Xandrea Chua, 9 days old on her supposedly EDD, 25 November 2012

Friday, 16 November 2012:

The day we took a leap of faith and conquered our fears;

The day my body did what it’s created to do;

The day I followed my instincts and gave my daughter and I a gentle birth.

No doubt the toughest work I’ve ever done in my life;

No doubt the most life-changing effort I’ve ever put in my life;

Yet worth every, every moment;

Which couldn’t have unraveled any more perfectly.

We had a beautiful birth.

I am healed.

There you have it, Xan. The day you were born.

~ Ends ~


19 thoughts on “Xandrea C., A Birth Story – Part #3 of 3

  1. Pingback: Xandrea C., A Birth Story – Part #2 of 3 « It Ain't That Hard

  2. Crystal

    Dear Luan Luan,
    It was such a joy reading your story. truly a joy. I felt a lump in my throat when I read the paragraph on “Birth is a miracle”. how beautiful. You have such an amazing courage!

    Congratulations to you and your hubby on the birth of Xan! hugs.


    1. Hi Crystal, thanks for your kind wishes and sparing some time to read the story 🙂 Birthing can be a meaningful and beautiful event if we choose to have it that way. Hope you’ll get a good experience too when your time comes 😀

  3. Oh my such a lovely and inspiring post. And she is a beauty. 🙂 God mom Christina looking good carrying Xandrea … “Dear Xandrea, you have such a strong and amazing mummy. I am sure you will grow up to be as wonderful as your mummy. You are going to be daddy’s princess too ;)” Congrats once again LuanLuan!

  4. Nancy

    Joey, your birth story shows a remarkable journey that you and Steve has taken to provide the best natural birth for little Xandrea. It takes a lot of preparation, research, courage and reselience to be able to experience this.
    Such a beautiful and inspiring birth story. Thank you for sharing it and I couldn’t agree more that Steve is such and amazing husband and father. Ewan and Xan are so lucky to have you both as their parents.

    1. The overall pregnancy was a heartwarming journey, and we couldn’t be more thankful to be blessed with positive people and knowledge around us. Thank you for your kind words, Nancy 🙂

  5. Oh, Xan looks a lot like Ewan! The eyes!!

    Thanks for the beautiful recap of your wonderful journey. It has (and will always be) a joy reading your blog posts! Can’t wait for mine in 4 months time!

  6. Mandy

    Hi Joey, thanks for sharing such beautiful experience and journey!! It’s very inspirational indeed… Congrats on ur new born baby Xan, she is very adorable..

  7. Congratulations Joey! Love every bit of your story. Now, you’re my inspiration to do the same if I decide on home birth. Thanks for sharing such an awesome story. Thank you!

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