Journal 1 – Part 2: The Labour, 2015

8 min read

After going through nine months of pregnancy, I was very much ready to meet the little hero in my tummy. It was a nerve-wracking last few weeks of the pregnancy. I wanted to get my baby out soonest possible because I was starting to worry, for unexplainable reasons.

The Start of The Beginning

The last day of work before I went for my maternity leave.

A whirlwind of events happened from the very first day I was on maternity leave at 38 weeks. I had my routine pregnancy check-up in the hospital. They found that my urine contained proteins. My blood pressure reading was also suddenly high after being normal for the previous 38 weeks. These two conditions were the requisites for pre-eclampsia, a condition which was dangerous for pregnant women that could lead to her death. The only solution to pre-eclampsia was giving birth to the baby.

I had to be admitted due to my pre-eclampsia.

I was hospitalized that very day after getting a few more high blood pressure readings. The team of doctors was contemplating if I should be induced for labor or not, as my baby would already be full term by then but it will be two weeks early. The next day was a holiday, and the doctors were not working. I had time on my hands to Google on what was pre-eclampsia and what is it with induced as my few friends who are already mothers then all went through natural labour.

The Waiting Game Begins

I was quite afraid of what I read, but I pushed my worries and concerns aside and focused on baby and keeping myself calm, even though on the inside, my heart was churning all around.

The Delivery Suite Number 6

The day after the holiday, the doctors finally decided to induce me, and I was scheduled for an induction at 2 pm that Friday. It took quite some time, but they wheeled me into the delivery suite a short while before the procedure.

After the Cytotec pill was inserted into the vagina when I was in the delivery suite, I had to wait for 6 hours. I managed to get some sleep and walked around the hospital (tip for pregnant mothers: they say walking a lot is one excellent way to speed up natural labour) after I was given clearance from the doctors about my condition for me to go out from the delivery suite.

By 8 pm, I was super hungry. I requested for my dinner, which was supposed to be served at 6 pm, but for reasons I was not told about, I was not given clearance by the doctors to eat. I cannot remember the exact reason. However, when I requested it at 8 pm, they finally allowed me to have my dinner. It was my last dinner before I popped.

Here Comes Labour

After enjoying my delicious dinner, I suddenly felt a teeny tiny pop followed by a light gushing of liquid trickling down at my vaginal area. It felt like I was peeing but I am unable to control my pee. This being my first time, I raised my alarm to my husband to call the nurse. A nurse came in, but for some reasons, she could not confirm if it was my water bag that had burst. I was flabbergasted. How could a nurse who does not look new not know? I was not satisfied. I kept on asking my husband to call the nurse again. She kept coming in again and again until one point, she verified that it was my water bag that burst. Finally, I was able to relax a little.

Relax, I could not.

Soon after, things seemed to speed up and everything is starting to blur as a sudden flurry of events began to happen. Since I was induced, the labour had been kick-started and my body was knee-jerked into labour. Sudden waves of contraction pain start to come in, slow and steady in the beginning, then quickly became fast and strong contractions. Somewhen in that time, the rest of my waterbag gushed out. I took a pain-controlling jab on my thigh, which didn’t do anything to manage my discomfort. The nurse had advised me to take epidural because I was having high blood pressure due to the pre-eclampsia. They were worried that with contraction pain, my high blood pressure was going to go higher. Despite the contractions coming in, I was still stubborn and do not want to take epidural as I wanted to feel the natural birth.

I started to scream with agony with every contraction pain. I was told to save my energy for the big push instead of screaming. I tried to hold back any shout nor scream with each contraction. I also had my eyes shut for the rest of my labour. My husband was being helpful in the delivery suite, to the surprise of the nurses there. He was also being partially annoying with words that he thinks are words of encouragement but were basically annoying to me that I felt like swatting his face with my eyes shut. Soon enough, they administered the laughing gas. Oh boy, I really enjoyed using that. After inhaling the gas when the contraction pain comes again, I got “high” as my mind slide into oblivion while the contraction pain starts to ease again. The laughing gas did nothing to lessen the pain, but I felt I could care less about the pain and whatever was going on in the delivery suite. I could hear their voices shouting instructions and all the other buzz of activity. I was at peace. It makes me able to manage the pain as it comes and goes. This went on for about three hours.

Final Moments of Labour

In the final moments of the three-hour labour, I was told to start pushing. So I pushed. In all that fuzziness, there was one point when I was told not to push. However, I followed my reflexes to push instead of following the doctor’s advice. Unknown to me as I had my eyes closed shut, she was performing episiotomy at that point of time. I ended up getting an episiotomy cut with a slightly off angle then it was originally supposed to be. I guess it is supposed to be painful, but I was already in so much pain that the cut felt like an itch. I was scolded for pushing when I shouldn’t be pushing, but at that moment I couldn’t care less.

They told me they can see baby’s head crowning, but I couldn’t feel much difference. I think it was time, and they told me to give one big push without shouting or screaming. I pushed with all my might. It felt very much like pooping, just that this is literally my biggest “poop” ever.

A few seconds later, baby literally slushed out of me. That was the only word that could describe baby coming out of the vagina, slushed. He came out with placenta cord. I was relieved. Like, FINALLY. Since my eyes were still closed, I could only roughly hear that they took my baby somewhere to clean him up. It took a while, but he finally cried. I was relieved and happy when I finally hear his teeny tiny cry. The doctor pushed out my placenta from my tummy and I “gave birth” to it moments later.

She then informed me that I had to get stitched up, as I was torn quite badly especially due to me pushing while she was performing the episiotomy. Now that is a moment I was dreading, the stitching up. I told myself I could do it, because I had just gone through the worst pain of my life with the contractions, and given birth to a baby which is not that painful but tough. She injected me with some numbing chemicals so that I couldn’t feel the pain down there. It hurts a while but after that was fine. I still could feel tugs here and there, and I could still feel it at the most sensitive area, but soon enough it was over.

Motherhood Begins

Once everything was done, the cleaning up and etcetera, they left us alone. Myself, my husband and our first newborn. It was a surreal feeling. We were supposed to have some skin-to-skin time. Everything was such a new experience. I held my firstborn in my arms and pulled him close to breastfeed him. It was not easy to make a newborn latch, but slowly he made his first effort to latch for a short while. I was not worried nor stressed, because we were just soaking in the atmosphere then, and relieving the surreal experience of having our first baby in our arms, safe and sound.

The nurses cleaning our first-born up after I delivered him.

If I had thought everything is fine, and it was going to be easy from then on, I thought wrong. Oh boy, was I so wrong. It was just the beginning of everything parenthood and motherhood related.

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Journal 1 - Part 1: First Pregnancy, 2015

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