Birth Story – of my Firstborn

It was an extremely smooth pregnancy with me not having any morning sickness at all. I didn’t feel pregnant other then having dizzy spells once in a while. And because it was my first pregnancy, I wanted to announce it to the entire world, but my tummy hardly showed at all! There was a tiny bump there that looked like I put on weight at 5-6 months, and it only looked more like I was pregnant after 7 months onwards.

At my 39week check up, the gynae made an appointment with us to induce him out at 40weeks+1-3 days. She refused to go further than 3 days after EDD, so we decided on a date to induce.

At the night of 39weeks and 5 days, I had gone to sleep as usual about 10pm. 12+am I got woken up by a feeling of stomachache and had to go to the toilet to try to shit. It felt like diarrhoea pains. Nothing came out so I went back to bed again. The pain was painful enough to not let me sleep but not that painful. It didn’t occur to me that it could be mild contractions. Anyhow,  the pain persisted. and next thing I knew, I wet the bed. I then rushed to the toilet and another gush of water came out. I knew then, that my waterbag had burst. That was almost 1am.

Hubby had just gone to bed at about 12mn so I didn’t want to wake him up yet. I went to get a pad, put it on, and drenched it completely almost immediately. I didn’t know what to do. I went to sit at my common toilet so hubby doesn’t get disturbed and called the gynae’s hotline. As I was sitting on the toiletbowl making the call, 2 more uncontrollable gushes of water came out. Gynae told me to go hospital. So I went to wake hubby out.

We got changed, grabbed the hospital bag and headed for the door. I changed a new pad and lined the car seat with the waterproof sheet that my friend gave and said would come in useful. It sure was. But surprisingly no gushes of water came out in the car and I didn’t wet my pants nor the car. the gushes turned into slower leaks and I did wet the pad again when I reached the hospital. We went to Mount Alvernia and was warmly greeted by the midnight staff there.

It was about 3am when we went in. Got checked for dilation and it was very very painful…. 1cm dilated only. Hubby went to continue his beauty sleep on the armchair. (I realised other hospitals have a sofa bed for the daddy). When morning came and gynae came to check on me at about 9am, another check for dilation 2cm. What?? only?? I was then put on the drip to speed up contractions as though my contractions were coming at every 1-2 minutes, they were very mild, like mild menstrual cramps. I was afraid of pain and also cos I heard another woman (and a man as well) screaming from a neighbouring ward. I asked for epidural to be done at 11am when I wasn’t even in any kind of unbearable pain.

So epidural was done. I was tired from not sleeping at all. Pain though mild was there disturbing me. at 12nn, the pain on my right side of the body was getting more painful. Didn’t I already have epidural done? Wasn’t it supposed to get rid of all the pain? I told the nurse and they came in to increase the dosage. I was still feeling the pain when the contractions came. on my right thigh especially. By 1pm, the pain on my right thigh was so intense I didn’t want to give birth anymore. Finally, they called the anesthetist back and he reached back at 2pm.

Just before the anesthetist came, another check was done. Only 3cm dilated?? I wondered how long more I would had to endure the pain for. He came and redid the epidural. I felt the cool liquid flow down my spine. and then I was numb from waist down. So this was what people call happy-dural. This was what it was supposed to do. Relieved of all pain, I then fell asleep. I was woken up at 4pm. The nurse had realised I was bleeding a lot and did another check for me for dilation. I was already 10cm. From 3 to 10cm in 2 hours! And then they told me gynae was coming and told me to be ready to push. Half asleep still, I said ok.

Gynae came and told me to get ready to start pushing. Push? I couldn’t feel anything from waist down! How to push? Because the nurses had increased the epidural dosage so much before the anesthetist came to adjust it again, I was filled with epidural! I was really numb from waist down. So i used my neck to push and hubby helped by pushing my shoulders. Before I started pushing, apparently baby was very low already and gynae showed my hubby that can see baby’s hair already. After about 5-10minutes, 3 pushes, and using up all the energy in my entire neck and shoulders muscles, baby was out. 4:24pm on 21st Feb 2013.

1 - at birth

As for the epidural, it still didn’t wear off even at 9pm. I had to be carried to my ward bed, had to insert the urine catheter  to remove my pee. I vomited once at 7pm but felt better immediately after. I didn’t breastfeed until 10+pm cos I was so tired from the pushing and from not sleeping the entire night I fell asleep whilst still waiting in the labour ward. I can’t imagine when people tell me they push for more than 1 hour. Or maybe it is cos I couldn’t feel myself push. My shoulders and neck were aching terribly. To make things worse, single (and double) bedder were all full. I was allocated to a 4-bedder and the mummy next to me was talking loudly on the phone and watching tv and I couldn’t rest properly and my hubby couldn’t stay with me.

Experience Mount Alvernia was still good though. Nurses and Lactation Consultants were warm and motherly and very willing to teach. I would recommend first time mothers to go there! But some lessons are learnt. For my next birth, I’m going to a hospital with more single beds so there is higher chance to get single bed for good rest, and I’m also going to tell the anesthetist that I want the epidural such that I can still feel the push but no pain.

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