MUM SAYS I decided to give birth at home

It was only for her third child that Mythili Pandi felt confident enough to deliver her baby at home.

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“As a medical professional, I’ve always known that I wanted the most natural form of birth for my children. For my firstborn, Keshav, who is now almost 7, I had an un-medicated water birth in the hospital with a doula’s assistance.

Two years later, when I fell pregnant with Nikhita, I started entertaining thoughts about having a home birth. I knew that when a woman is allowed to move freely while in labour ― as opposed to being in a lying position ― and in her comfort zone, such as her home, labour tends to be faster and less complicated.

However, at that time I felt I was not ready yet for a home birth. When Nikhita and Keshav were 2 and 4 years old, I fell pregnant again. This time, I decided early on in my pregnancy that I would have a home birth.

When I spoke to my gynae, Dr Lai Fon-Min, about it, he was very supportive. My gynae, who runs his own practice at A Company For Women, is the only doctor in Singapore who does home births.

Although I was aware of the medical benefits, the more important reason why I wanted to give birth at home was that I wanted to share the experience with my family. 

“Although I was aware of the medical benefits, the more important reason why I wanted to give birth at home was that I wanted to share the experience with my family.”

Imagine how thrilling it would be for my husband and kids to have such an intimate involvement in my labour and birth! My brother, who lives in Melbourne, would fly down just for the birth and my mum, a trained midwife, was more than supportive of my decision.

My pregnancy progressed well. When I was in my 28th week, Dr Lai gave me the all clear to proceed with planning my home birth.

Then, it was time to get my birth crew in place. My six-man team included my hubby Viknesh, my doula Ginny Phang from Four Trimesters, her assistant, my gynae, a birth photographer and my mum.

I also needed to make sure I had the right gear. We had to rent a water tub, which I would use to give birth in and an oxygen tank, in case we needed to resuscitate the baby.

Getting the kiddos prepared was the next step. I spoke to them at great length and over a period of time on what was going to happen during the birth. We also read children’s books that talked about home births and welcoming a new sibling, such as Hello Baby; Mummy Mummy What’s in Your Tummy?; and My New Baby.

Keshav digested the news very well, while Nikhita worried that I would have to endure a lot of pain and ultimately bleed to death. I assured her that nothing of that sort would happen and I would have a lot of help in the form of my doula, gynae and her daddy, who would take good care of me.

30 December 2014 ― the day my boy would enter the world ― started off like any other day. I woke up and made pancakes for Keshav and Nikhita, but in the middle of breakfast, I felt intense stomach cramps. I went to the loo to relieve myself, but the cramps continued even after that. I realised I was going into labour. It was time!

What happened next? Read on to find out!