Doctor’s Report: Anna Joy


As with any doctor, we are trained to always think of the worse case scenario. Therefore when I was presented with a call on 12th March 2009 from the nurse from the hospital informing me of a CBBA (complete birth before arrival), horror thoughts raced through my mind especially when I realized that it was Henson and Serene’s baby. CBBA means that the baby is born with the expulsion of the placenta.

I was kind of expecting something like this as Serene is considered a grand-multip ie. Grand-multipara – 7th pregnancy. Delivery would be quick and rapid; may happen in minutes. In my heart, I was praying, when Henson posted on Facebook that Serene was already postdated, that they will not deliver in the car or something. I did not even consider the baby delivering at home.

I immediately rushed over to the hospital to find Henson, grinning from ear to ear, wielding his digital camera, cooing at Anna in the baby nursery. I quickly congratulated him and set to check on Anna. She was alert, active, well, eyes wide looking like nothing in the world has happened.

Many things can happen to a baby who is delivered at home what more with the placenta, the whole lot. Infection is the first and foremost consideration. The sterility of the surroundings is always in question and contamination to the baby may lead to serious problems. Once the baby is delivered, the umbilical cord is usually clamped once the pulsations have stopped and this usually occurs 1 to 2 minutes after delivery. If the umbilical cord is not clamped in time, 2 things can happen. The first will be that the blood will continue to flow into the baby leading to excessive blood in the baby and the second will be that the baby will lose blood from the bleeding placenta leading to anemia, lack of blood.

As a good responsible doctor, I ordered for blood tests to be done for Anna to exclude any infection and also to make sure that the blood is not too thick (polycythemia) or too thin (anemia). I was glad that she appeared well on clinical examination but was still concerned about the potential complications even though I had prayed for Anna’s safety.

You should have seen my face when I received Anna’s blood results. Fist pumping and with a big smile on my face, I looked up and praised our God in heaven. Not only were the results normal, they were perfect. Every single reading was as perfect as it could be. Not a ‘hair’ was out of place. It was as if by divine intervention, God has brought Anna out with His own hands, stopped the cord from bleeding either way and wrapped her up in His love, grace and mercy.

I thought of all the prayer warriors who have been praying for Henson, Serene and the baby to come. Such wonder prayers and what a beautiful answer from our God. God is great and greatly to be praised!

Dr Ong Eng Keow

The details of the Home Birth of Anna Joy can be found at and


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