Why Max Collins and husband Pancho Magno decided to welcome their first baby via water birth
A grand entrance for Skye at home
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 23, 2020 - 12:00am

Very healthy, very chubby, very pink.

That’s how brand-new dad Pancho Magno described Skye (name from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order), his and wife Max Collins’ 17-day-old first child (panganay) who weighed 3.6 kilos and measured 47 centimeters when delivered via water birth right at home last July 6.

Max was supervised by a doula assisted by Pancho who is an RN (Registered Nurse) and a midwife. (A doula is a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional and who supports another individual through a health-related experience such as childbirth...)

Registered Nurse (RN), Pancho assisted Max, together with a doula and a midwife, in delivering their first baby Skye last July 6. The baby’s name is from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Photos courtesy of Max and Pancho

Max told The STAR that she had prepared for the delivery months earlier.

“Pancho and I took classes on gentle birth, lamaze, breathing exercises, different birthing positions and breastfeeding,” according to Max. “We also did a lot of research, watched a lot of documentaries. We educated ourselves about home birthing and water birth. We bought a pool, we met with our doula and midwife and I got the go-signal from my obstetrician. I prepared physically by doing prenatal pilates, yoga once in a while, and light walking.”

How is it different from natural delivery, Cesarean section and assisted giving birth in a sitting position?

Explained Max, “The beauty of home birthing is you can go around. You don’t have to be restrained so I would move around sa room, try different positions and I eat if I want to. Basically, I had the freedom over my body whereas when you’re in the hospital, they tell you what to do.

“I’m not against that but I just appreciated the fact that I was able to be attuned with my body and have no medical interventions. Very different from being in a hospital setting. It’s so much more comfortable at home. Just thankful kasi walang medication pero iba pa rin ‘yung joy after kasi the fact na nagawa ko, iba ‘yung endorphin high after going through all that pain.”

As an RN, Pancho supported Max throughout her pregnancy until she gave birth.

“Nagpaalam ako sa kanya kasi gusto ko talagang mag-epidural siya and sa hospital kami pero syempre, tumataas yung COVID-19 cases so nag-usap kami,” said Pancho. “She really wanted to do water birth at home. I did research which was very important and I watched YouTube videos to see what the advantages were at ano ‘yung magiging result. I have witnessed so many deliveries pero iba pa rin talaga pag sa anak mo na-experience.

“As a nurse, of course, I know the basics in a hospital setting and somehow siguro ‘yung mga training ko before sa hospitals helped me somehow to understand the situation, especially in giving birth. Pero siyempre, iba din if you’re doing it with a patient who is your own wife and your own child. I had Max in my arms while she was giving birth. Mahirap pero ‘yung hirap — that was nothing compared to the happiness afterward. Ibang klaseng experience.”

Is water birthing advisable for all pregnant women, and what are the criteria/“qualifications”?

“I believe that every woman is capable of having water birth and a home birth,” assured Max. “But the thing is, I think you have to be really mentally and physically prepared kasi darating din ‘yung time na gusto mong sumuko pero kasi nandyan ka na so you really have to keep going. You should really prepare for it months in advance because if you don’t prepare and you just do that, it would be harder kasi hindi siya madali. It’s a beautiful experience and I believe every woman can do it if given the right preparation.”

Added Pancho, “Doon ko na-realize na it’s a good thing that there are other options on how to give birth kasi may mga cases na may moms na hindi kaya because of their medical condition. It’s not for everybody. Dapat mag-re-ready ka physically and mentally. Of course, it’s very important to also consult your OB first before you do it. Luckily for Max, she was given the go-signal by her OB.”

Max is breastfeeding.

“For as long as I can or at least give him breastmilk. Hindi kaya to physically breastfeed but I want to give him breastmilk for as long as I can.”

And how many more kids do they plan/want to have?

“At the moment,” said Max, “we’re okay with one.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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