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BJU Birth Story | Having a Baby in China

BJU Birth Story

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      I went back and forth for a long while about where to have our baby.  In the end, I choose BJU for a few reasons.  Two of those reasons were because all the people that I know who had their babies there had positive experiences AND our insurance covers the birth. 


      From recommendations on the Beijing Mamas group, I requested Dr. Afnan.  He was very pleasant, professional, and approachable.  I had various questions, and he always took the right amount of time to answer them thoroughly.  He was also quite calm about me being RH-.  Once I realized that very few people are RH-, I started to worry.  But he wasn’t.


      I wrote up a birth plan and had the nurses put it in my file.  I wanted to make sure that what I wanted was clear and that I didn’t need to explain myself while in labor. 


      When I started having contractions, I called the hospital and they asked me a few questions and then told to come in.  Unfortunately, my contractions slowed down dramatically once I set foot in the hospital and I was only 1 cm dilated.  We were at the hospital very early in the morning and Dr. Afnan came by to see me when he arrived.  He knew that I wanted to deliver naturally so he recommended that my husband and I walk around outside, get lunch and check back before getting admitted to see if things progressed.  He was very relaxed about it all and that put me more at ease.  My husband and I had a great day (and walked for about 3 hours outside and including around IKEA) but nothing more happened.  So we went back to the hospital, found nothing had changed and we went home.  I was thankful that the doctor he respected my desires to labor naturally.  He even said that if he admitted me, chances were things wouldn’t be natural and that also we would start the billing process.  I was disappointed we didn’t go home with a baby and that we’d have to do a taxi run all over again, but at peace.


      A few days later, my water broke and we went in with all our gear and our toddlerSmile.   A friend came to the hospital to pick up my toddler and this time around, things were definitely progressing.  It was all very smooth and the nurses were great.  They admitted me, the room was fine and I was given the liberty to move around or do what I wanted.  I asked for a birthing ball and they brought me one.  I asked if they read my birth plan, and they went to read it. 


      I would have loved to have been in the birthing tub/pool, but only the executive suites had the Jacuzzis and someone else was in there.  I was also aware that I didn’t want to be charged for an executive suite room!!  In the end, I really enjoyed the shower.  Part of my birth plan was to try to move around during labor, to be free to do what I wanted, to be in water for pain and not to take extra pain medications.  No one offered (recommended!) me pain medication (extremely thankful) and they all let me run into the shower every time I had a contraction.  I’m not sure what they thought since I took about 2 dozen showers while I was there!  But it helped with the pain and also helped me focus.  They even let me be really, staying out of the room (because that’s what I wanted). 


      When I felt our baby coming, I told my husband to get the midwife.  Three nurses/midwives rushed into the room and started getting everything ready.  A midwife told me that I was free to do whatever I wanted and if I wanted to start pushing, I could do so.  In that moment, I didn’t know what position I wanted to be in.  She gave me some options and I decided to kneel backwards on the bed so that I was holding onto the top of it.  She rubbed my back and coached me as to when to push and when to relax.  She was completely focused and I was really only listening to the background music that we broughtSmile and on what she was saying. 


      I’m not sure what everyone was doing, but they were quite unobtrusive.  I started pushing and about 10 minutes later, in my last BIG push I felt my little son come out.  I looked behind me and went to pick him up.  I had previously ask/told the nurses that I wanted to hold my son immediately.  They were wiping him down and I asked (and asked) for him.  I was quite insistent that I wanted him NOW and that I could wipe him off.  I was given him and we nuzzled together.  He was so little, wet, and sweet.  He started to nurse and I just enjoyed having him next to me, not in a hurry to let go of him or go anywhere.


      Also, I didn’t tear.  With my first son, I had a severe tear, labor was long and hard and I felt really sick from all of the gas and air I used.  I’m thankful that the second time around was very different!  It was a lot faster, easier, I had more freedom to labor as I pleased (I was also a lot more rested so that made a big difference).


      Eventually, we were told that the rooms were full and we went to the post-labor rooms.  The rooms were very nice.  We had everything we needed in there.  The nurses were attentive.  I asked after a few hours to be discharged.  They laughed at me.  I don’t think they really thought I was serious.  I decided to relax, enjoy the time with my newborn and understand that I wasn’t going anywhereSmile 


      When I did ask to be discharged the next day, they made sure to check me out, get me everything I needed, adjust my bill since I wasn’t staying the 3-4 nights and didn’t need to be charged for those nights.  The staff was great.  There was a bit of a whirl of people back and forth.  My husband commented on how many people came in and out of our room.  Between nurses, food staff, doctors, etc. etc. we had quite a few people.  It wasn’t a problem, but perhaps just a difference between going privately and say having a baby in the UK with the NHS. 


      We’re thankful to have our sweet little boy with us.  Dr. Afnan came and said congratulations that first night that I was at the hospital.  It was kind of him pop in and say hello. 


      My baby’s blood group was the same as mine, RH-, so I didn’t need the Rhogam drug that I had purchased.  I was concerned about my “rare blood group,” but in the end, it was all fine.  I was also grateful to be at BJU instead of at a smaller Chinese hospital because of that.  I felt like I was in experienced doctor’s hands and that they knew the possibilities, probabilities and factors of having RH- moms deliver there. 


      I am thankful that we delivered at BJU and really only have positive things to say about it.  I wanted to labor naturally, and I did.  I was given complete freedom to do what I wanted, how I wanted it and felt like they did their best to support me.  I wasn’t pressured into anything and really had a positive labor experience.  And of course, nothing compared to holding my little guy and finally meeting him!    

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