Having a birth plan is helpful so that moms can have a say in how they will deliver their babies with the support of their birthing team. However, we’ve learned that sometimes no amount of planning can prepare you for childbirth – it can happen when you least expect it, like in a car while en route to the hospital.
That’s exactly what happened to Andrea Intalan, 36, when she gave birth to her second son, Dakila, in the backseat of their pickup truck on July 30, 2021. It occurred in the driveway of their home in Las Piñas.
Since she gave birth to her firstborn via unmedicated vaginal gentle birth, she planned to do the same for her second child. She also hoped to have a water birth this time around.
After a routine checkup, Andrea and her husband, Jed Intalan, went back to the hospital to submit their letter of request for a water birth. “I had a bit of bloody discharge earlier that morning and was having some mild discomfort, which I shared with my doula and OB. My OB asked me to come by her clinic to check, and I was already 1cm dilated. She advised me to get an RT-PCR test as a precaution.”
Still, Andrea thought it would be a while before she gave birth, as she experienced being in labor for 24 hours with her first child.
That night, she and her husband started timing her contractions. After getting a couple of hours of sleep, the couple decided to go to the hospital. While Jed was preparing their bags, Andrea waded into a tub of warm water to ride out the surges. “It helped me calm down and breathe through my contractions,” she shares.
When she got into the backseat of their truck, she realized she couldn’t sit down because of the intense pressure in her pelvic area. She ended up on her knees while facing the back of the pickup.
Andrea felt another uncontrollable urge to push and told him that she could feel their baby coming. When he checked, he could feel their baby’s head already. Their brother asked whether she wanted to go to the hospital or back home, and Andrea chose the latter.
They parked the truck in their driveway and ended up surprising Andrea’s parents with a crying baby. “With my baby still connected to me, we managed to swaddle him with some clean towels,” Andrea says, adding that since Kidlat was with them in the car, he woke up to the sight of his baby brother covered in afterbirth.
Shortly after, they again left for the hospital to get Andrea and their baby checked. Andrea shares that trusting her body and her baby paved the way for a successful, natural, and gentle birth. Based on her experience, her advice to expecting moms is to also mentally prepare for their baby’s arrival.