Friday, April 28, 2017

I Became A Mother! - My Labour And Birth Story


Six months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Lucinda. The labour and birth was a bit unexpected, well, I didn't really know what to expect to be exact. Let's go back to the memory lane and let me tell you my whole labour and birthing story.

I was so convinced that I would be late, so on my due date, I went about as usual, went to my antenatal yoga class, picked up some last minute baby stuff, had dinner and went to bed. Right after midnight, while I was lying in bed watching some birthing story on Youtube, I started feeling some sort of cramp like mild period pain. Apparently that was contraction. I wasn't sure of it but it started to build up gradually. I started timing the contractions using the Pregnancy Plus app (read my previous post to find out more about this app), whilst using the straws and started practicing straw breathing technique I learnt from the antenatal yoga class. As the contraction became more and more obvious, it suddenly felt so real! I tried to stay calm and get some sleep but the excitement kept me tossing and turn in bed.

At around 2am, I just couldn't stay in bed anymore and decided to walk around the house downstairs. The contraction became more and more regular and lasted long enough for me to pick up the phone to call the hospital. The hospital told me that I can come to the hospital now. I woke my husband up, who was soundly asleep and had no idea what was going on, and had to tell him that this was really happening. We packed everything and left the house at about 4.30. It was still dark outside and quiet. I can't remember when was the last time I was up at that early hour!

We got to the hospital and checked in with Reception. Had to wait for almost an hour before I got to see the midwife. I was 'checked' by the midwife to see how dilated I was and it wasn't a pleasant feeling, weird to say the least, and uncomfortable. I remember I had a 'sweep' but can't remember when I had it. Anyway I was only 1cm dilated and got sent home. We went to mother-in-law's as it was much closer to the hospital. I remained calm the whole time and just focused on my straw breathing. So calm that later when we returned to the hospital, the midwives didn't think I was in much pain and sent me home again!

The second time round, I was 3.5 cm and they told me I can either go home or wait around for a bit in the hospital to be checked in the birth centre. We stupidly decided to go home again! What a mistake! The car journey was a bit too much and the speed bumps didn't help either! We only stayed home for about 10 minutes before we had to head to the hospital again as the pain got more intense. This time round, we got checked in the birth suite straight away. The birth suite was really nice, kind of like a hotel room. I tried to get some rest and relax in the birthing pool, which helped with the pain a bit. The gas and air made me feel a bit light headed but it did take the edge off the pain when the contraction hit.

The labour process was a long process. The contraction started to build up even more, and I started to lose energy. After all, I had no sleep since 8am the day before. At that point, the pain was manageable, and I still was on two minds about whether or not wanted an epidural. I thought I could manage without it, but I was too naive! Out of a sudden, the contraction became so intense that I couldn't take it anymore. I asked the midwife for the epidural but they suggested an pain relief injection to see if it helps so I did that. Didn't work at all! It was already too late as I was in so much pain. I literally was begging them to give me an epidural but no one seemed to listen. I became so angry at the midwives as they were still trying to encourage me to give birth in the birthing suite without the epidural. I was in no place to argue... I was basically kneeling on the floor and could hardly speak because of the pain. I asked and asked and asked but no one did anything but still trying to get me to stay put. That moment was the bit I didn't even want to think about it now, as it just makes me angry.

In the end, I was wheeled upstairs to the labour ward, given an epidural. By the time the drugs started to work, I was almost burnt out as a result of the pain. If I was given the drugs two hours before, it would have been a different story. But anyway. My contraction stopped because of the epidural, so they had to give me another drip to get the contraction started again. Then the active labour started and I was told to push. I just didn't have much strength left but I knew I had to try my best. I felt that the labour was never going to end, and I was going to be stuck for hours more, etc. No sleep, no food, I was exhausted. I don't want to go in much detail but in the end, I had an episiotomy and assisted delivery.

My baby was finally born at 1.32am the next day, weighing 7lb 15. When she was placed on top of me, I felt her weight, her warmth. So tiny, so delicate, so precious. I cried out loud. A room full of doctors, midwives, nurses but I didn't care. From that moment on, I became a mother. My life was changed forever.
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