Oasis Beijing Birth Story

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      Here’s my birth story..


      We are so happy to have received our third little boy into this world:) When we found out we were pregnant we began to think, pray and explore options of where to deliver. We live outside of Beijing so we considered delivering locally or again returning to Beijing to deliver. Our second son was born at BJU and it was a great experience. Staff and facilities were excellent and he was born smoothly and naturally. But we had heard that there was a new hospital that recently had opened in Beijing. From reading people’s experiences, people seemed quite satisfied with Oasis so we started communicating with them.


      They answered all of my questions via email and we found out our insurance could do direct billing or I could prepay and save our insurance some money. Getting a right price was a key reason why we went with Oasis. It was siginfically less than our natural delivery at BJU.


      I did all of my prenatal locally until about 38 weeks. I had 8 ultrasounds, was weighed probably twice and had my blood pressure taken twice:) Going to a local hospital got the job done and I would come away paying maybe 200RMB or less each visit. But it was never a pleasant, relaxing or private experience; the doctors saw what they needed to see and I left.


      We decided not to deliver locally since I have O-blood and they were slightly hesitant with that factor. Also, I just wanted to have a nice birth experience and to be able to deliver the way I wanted to. I wasn’t sure that they could guarantee that all doctors and nurses would indeed listen to me, let me naturally deliver as I wanted to or whether I’d be arguing with people as they told me to lie down in bed, etc.

      We started with appointments at Oasis and in each step I was impressed with the new hospital.  The staff are friendly.  The people who open the door greet you in English and welcome you.  The hospital itself doesn’t really feel like a hospital (in a good way!)  There are plants, paintings, nice carpet, piano music playing, etc.  


      A friend had been seeing a doctor, so based on her recommendation, I also decided to see him. He has now left and is in Germany. He was fine and listened to me. He asked me to see the midwife and also the anaesthetist. I had already submitted my birth plan and basically wanted to have a natural, no intervention birth. So when I met with the anaesthetist I was very quick to say “I’m happy to meet you but I hope to not see you when I’m giving birth.” We agreed anything could happen and what I wanted and what could happen could easily be two different scenarios. The midwife was friendly and asked some key questions and just was a nice woman. I told her what was important to me (skin to skin contact and having the baby immediately passed to me once he was delivered). 


      The dr. understood that the last time I gave birth I was only in the hospital for two hours before our son was born. I think I gave him the impression that everything always happened quickly. So he told me he wanted to schedule me for a sweep on my due date and that everything should take about 6 hours and afterward I should have a baby. I started to get excited about meeting our little one and we thought in some ways that it was quite handy to know when to expect our baby so that our other two could be well taken care of. But when I went into the hospital, I also felt a bit unsure. The doctor had returned home and the other doctor covering for him was fully into the plan. It all started to dawn on me that maybe this wasn’t going to happen like I had imagined. The sweep happened and then I was admitted into the hospital. She gave me two hours to start contracting normally and then she told me that would start inducing. I put my bag down and started to get quite emotional. I told my husband I was probably tearing up because I knew that I was going to have a baby in a few hours and also thinking, I must not have understood the reality of the situation.  I had hoped to have a baby naturally and this wasn’t what I had expected.


      I was trying to do all of these salsa twists on a birthing ball, walking around and trying to get contractions started. The nurse came in and I asked for more time. Each time I opened the door the doctor was waiting out in the hallway. She patiently answered my questions about what was going to happen (oxytocin or burst my membranes). I kept going back to my husband, googling inductions, oxytocin, bursting membranes, etc. and eventually looked at him and asked, “what if we just go home?”

      She came in and we talked through the option of me just going home to wait for contractions to really get going naturally. I think her main worry was that with traffic and the distance from the hospital and how quickly I delivered last time that it was a safer more controlled environment to deliver in.  But she was open and said there was no medical reason that I needed to be induced.  We decided to not control everything but trust that our baby would come at the right time and be born safely at the hospital.  She did a fetal stress test to see how many contractions I was getting and also to see how Baby was. My contractions were very very minimal and Baby was fine.  So we went back (without our baby!). But I felt that it was the right decision.  I was so glad that I had said something and that I was listened to.  My parents were coming and although I wanted baby to be born, I wanted him to come in the right timing and I didn’t want to rush him.


      A day later my contractions really started. It was about 10:00pm.  My kids were sleeping, our friend was over and everything was set. I called the hospital and they had everything ready. We caught a cab and after a 17 minute ride we walked through the doors of Oasis. They checked me right into a room and they had already read my birth plan. One of the main things I wanted was space and privacy to labor on my own without people coming in and out of the room, to not be offered pain relief (I just wanted them to trust me and not second guess my desires).  The midwives and nurses respected everything I had written down.  What a relief!  They didn’t make me walk around with an IV or even have the little tube in my wrist.  They did do some blood tests and then let me get on with it!


      As birthing waves increased, I spent my time in the warm shower letting the water ease my pain. I would come out and then quickly go back in. I think I had about 200 showers! The nurses wanted to do a few routine things, but I quickly ensured them if it wasn’t convenient that I would be right back and hopped into the shower again. At one point they wanted to listen to the baby’s heart and I just assured them that “baby is all right.” They didn’t argue with me:)


      I was tired but determined to have our baby. I was thankful that the nurses and midwives gave me privacy like I had requested. At one point the midwife said she was “just going to stay close by” and I was thankful because I knew that I was going to want to push and I wanted to have a smooth transition to the bed and to the next step. She listened to what birthing position I wanted (I knelt and held onto the back of the bed) and soon others came into the room and I was given the “go” to push. The head midwife told me that my waters were still intact and asked me what I wanted to do. I had previously declined having any intervention, but it was about 2:00 AM and I was tired. I looked at her and asked her what she recommended. She said that they should pop naturally (so thankful that she was an advocate for doing things naturally). And boy did they ever! About 2 minutes later they exploded:) Then very quickly things progressed. I remember telling them “I want to push NOW” and then starting. I was pushing and then they were anxiously saying KEEP PUSHING and another contraction came and I pushed again and my sweet baby boy quickly came out. It was one long push and I’m forever grateful for the little man that came out.


      I picked him up and they told me to just enjoy him. My husband cut the cord and then I put him on me and he started feeding. I wasn’t rushed, they didn’t ask to weigh him, and they weren’t trying to take him to run tests. The pediatrician did want to get him crying (he didn’t cry when he came out) so she eventually got a cry out of him then they all left and my husband and I had some precious moments together with my sweet newborn.


      We told them about an hour later we were ready to sleep. They took us to our new room, which was beautiful, very clean and had a couch all ready for my husband. We all quickly went to sleep. The next day around mid-day my husband left to take care of our other two boys. I stayed in the hospital for a night and it was amazing (normal life for me is taking care of little people so to be taken care of was refreshing!) I felt blessed to have the time and space to cuddle our precious newborn with great, patient and friendly staff ready to help in any way they could. I used my bedside buzzer liberally (the first morning I woke up really hungry and the nurse went and got me some toast and jam, etc).  Whenever I needed something I just pressed the button. The rooms were spacious. The food was delicious. As a mom of three now, I don’t very often have people cooking for me and I don’t’ think I’ve ever had so much dessert (think I had three desserts a day with all of the meals).  I only wanted to stay in one night because we have other little guys at home and also because insurance only covers a part of each night stay.  I did find the post labor contractions especially painful.  The nurses told me that it was normal and that they get more painful with every baby.  I was asking for stronger pain relief and not comfortable.


      Patient services came and gave me beautiful flowers, a basket filled with treats and coupons.  One of the nicest perks was that the hospital photographer came and shot snaps of my little guy and then later emailed them to me. Very nice! He did a great job and it’s nice to have them.


      My baby has the same blood group as I do so I didn’t need the Rhogam shot. I had saved mine from my previous baby for almost two years (who was also the same blood group) and now it’s been thrown away.  So happy to not have it in my refrigerator anymore!  It’s good for 2 years if refrigerated so we were basically at the end of the time length anyways.


      Two weeks later, as I finish writing this, my little guy is sleeping beside me. I feel back into the normal pace of life (busy) and we are thankful to have our little baby here with us.
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