Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My birth story

Ok, it's been 3 weeks since I went through what we term as "labour".

And today, I actually feel like I have enough energy to document the birth story of Sammy before the details blur into fuzziness.

Labour. Nothing can ever prepare you for this age-old reproduction process. I went for a birth preparation course where I was taught breathing techniques and different positions of labour.

However, when I had to go through the actual thing, breathing techniques were more like "survival 101".

Word of caution: This entry is not for the squirmish. 

Saturday night (3.9.11) - I was spending some time with the Lord.

This was when I was led to Psalm 22.9 "You brought me out of the womb, you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast".

I just knew there and then that Sammy would be born the next day. I felt in my heart that the Lord wanted me to "release" my baby into the world and that I needed to trust God to look after Sammy when he is no longer in the "safety" of my womb.

Blame it on the hormones but I felt so emotional knowing that this would be the last night I would spend pregnant with my first baby. I felt like as much as I wanted to see him in real life, there was nothing I wanted more than to protect him from all the "dangers" of this world we live in.

Still, I released baby in my heart to the Lord in a simple, heartfelt prayer and went to bed. I didn't know then how prophetic this prayer would be.
Sunday (4.9.11) 

Early morning - I couldn't sleep well this night. Kept tossing and turning, while having intermittent cramp-like contractions. I didn't think too much about it, because all I wanted to was to fall back asleep!

5 am - I felt a little balloon "burst" inside me. For a while I thought, "Could that be my water bag?"

When I went to the toilet, I saw that I had some discharge but it wasn't enough for me to confirm. My cramps started becoming more frequent.

5.30am - My water burst just like in the movies. I had to wake hubby up and we started timing my contractions. It was coming every 5-7 minutes. We called the hospital and they said to come in right away since my water had burst.

7am - Arrived at hospital, contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and were very, very VERY painful! Upon internal examination, I was so disappointed to know that I was only 1-2 cm dilated and the doctor said that I should go for a walk.

I couldn't even stand up properly, let alone go for a walk! I ended up sitting on a stone bench at the park while the poor hubby kept urging me to get back on my feet.

I pleaded with him that it was close to impossible, cos the contractions were coming at such close frequency and I was in increasing pain!

9am - Went back to the hospital where they placed me in a birthing room and strapped me to the machine which monitored baby's heartbeat. I was still only 1-2 cm dilated but my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes!

By this time, I could barely do anything except concentrate on my breathing. The contractions were just crazy! There was another lady who was close to giving birth and whose heartbeat monitor I could see from my room.

My contractions were more frequent and the intensity was worse than hers! And she was in the end stage of her labour, while I was only in the first!

10.30 am - Decided to get the doctor to administer Epidural for me. The Epidural didn't hurt at all and I was soo thankful for the time off.

10.30 to 7pm - I slept intermittently while my cervix continued to dilate at about 1cm / hour to about 6 cm.

7pm to 8pm - No progress. Doctor said that baby's head seemed to have been "stuck" in the wrong position and was not directly at the entrance of the pelvis.

She manually emptied my bladder and amniotic fluid left inside me. I was also made to lie down on the left and right side at 15 minutes intervals so that this might hopefully help baby to settle into the pelvic region.

All this time, I could still get up on my feet so I was on the birthing ball, doing my standing exercises to help ease baby's drop. I did basically anything and everything I could think of! The doctors and midwives were very amazed that I could have motor control over the lower part of my body because they said that many women are unable to move once Epidural has been administered. 

8pm to 8.45pm - Dilated from 6cm to 8cm in 45 minutes!!!!!

My joy was short-lived when baby's heartbeat fell by 50% and there was a flurry of midwives and doctors who fussed over me in their efforts to bring baby's heartbeat back into the normal range.

I was given an injection that would cause my heartbeat to increase so that baby's heartbeat would be elevated.

The injection caused me to shiver uncontrollably while baby's heartbeatshowed signs of improvement.

8.45pm to 11pm - No progress. I was stuck at 8cm.

By this time, the Epidural no longer had an effect on me because I was feeling every single bit of nerve-wrecking, spine-tingling contraction. I was convulsing so violently whenever the next wave of contraction came.

Tried so hard to breathe through each contraction, but it was hurting so bad! I had both stomach and back contractions, so I basically had to deal with pain jotting through all my muscles at 1-2mins intervals.

I was also so mega exhausted that I was falling asleep in between my contractions! Before my labour, I didn't even think that would have been possible, but here I was, sleeping through my contractions!

11pm to 12 midnight - Finally my cervix opened to 10cm and I was ready to push!

BUT, baby's head was still not low enough! I was supposed to push him to sit right at the entrance of the birth canal.

The first push was semi-successful. Second push was awesome, in which the doctor said that the baby was coming out soon.

This was when the head OB-gyn came into the room, at about midnight.

He looked through my birth progress and said that something was not quite right because I didn't have any progress for 2-3 hours when I was stuck at 8cm. This meant that he suggested me having a C-section.

They decided to wait until the next contraction to see if my push was "good" enough to get Sammy out.

With this type of pressure, I caved and wasn't able to push properly with the next contraction.

At this juncture, I had to decide if I wanted to do C-section (as recommended) or just keep trying to push, keeping in mind that Sammy's head was still not entirely sitting at the entrance of the birth canal. :(

I decided to go for the C-section mainly because that's what the head-OB Gyn recommended.

By this time, I was soooo beyond my ability to really think that all I wanted was baby out! I fell asleep during the C-section as well, which might have been a good thing cos all I remember was that people were tugging and pulling my insides.

5th Sept 2011, 45 mins past midnight - Baby Sammy entered into the world looking all red and pinky.

Below is the first-ever photo taken of him at the hospital by one of the mid-wives and oh man, he already looks so different by now!

4060grams, 55cm of human-ness staring back at me and all I wanted was to sleep! The doctors said that he was sooo wide-awake even before they took him out of me. They said that most babies are just in a sleeply state when they are first born, but not for my Sammy. He was too eager to take in everything!

When people ask me what was my labour like? I candidly tell them I felt like I gave birth to two babies! One because I was fully-dilated at 10cm and the other through the C-section.

I was really disappointed that I had to go through a C-section but the midwife told me that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck once, so perhaps it wasn't entirely a bad decision. And he was afterall a pretty big baby, so I might have tore badly too if I had gone for a vaginal birth?

Questions for which I will never have answers for. But the most important thing is that my little one was born healthy and fine. I think that's the only thing I will still remember 20 years down the road. And I simply have to trust God that with so many people praying for me, it can't have been "sheer coincidence" that the head-OB gyn popped by out of the blue to recommend a C-section.


Summer Lace said...

Oh my goodness Pris, what a story! It's good that you documented it down. Share with Sammy when he's older so he'll know what mummy went through to bring him into the world!

Anonymous said...

Praise the LORD ! Pris. Everything turns out well. the most important is that the baby is healthy and normal.

Sarah said...

Wow, Pris! Kudos to you, and great job in persevering to the end! Agree with you that God's hand was in this from beginning to end, with the timely intervention of the Head OB-gyn. The most important thing was that Sammy was born healthy and strong, and that you yourself was kept safe! And you know what? It may encourage you to know that your being in labour before the C-section is actually really good for Sammy. It actually increases the baby's immunity, among other things. You can read more here:

Well done once again, we are all so proud of you! Now rest well and may this story continue to remind you of God's faithfulness and provision over you and family. He supplies us the grace to live an abundant life, even in the shock of motherhood! :) Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Wow...I already wondered if you had a experienced the whole range of giving birth! I hope you will recover soon from the operation and also the emotional stress that must have come with all that!

Love, Geli

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds extremely exhausting! I'm so glad everything worked out and that you didn't end up having complications. A mother feels like she failed by taking an epidural or ending up having a C-section, but you only succeeded by doing what's best for you and for your baby! 55 cm, holy cow!

Tiffany Redling

cyn said...

Hi Pris

Now this explains why you spent so many days in hospital. Well glad that you came through unscathed and are looking so radiant in the photos you posted. Meanwhile, baby Sammy's looking good too and growing into a fine young man. Trust God and lean not on your own understanding. It's really wonderful that all went well. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.
I was told in Sg, the gynae wld assist with some cutting if baby's a little too big before suggesting a C-section. It's a gd thing you opted for the C-section cos otherwise you would have tore considerably and that may bring a host of other issues later on. You made the right decision, Pris! Kudos. I take my hat off you.

Pris said...

Andrea - It is quite a story eh? Well yeah, I will tell him his birth story if he asks! Hahah. But don't wanna use it as any form of "blackmail" to make him feel bad for anything he did. :)

Pris said...

Anonymous - Thanks. That's so true. Baby's health is of utmost importance.

Pris said...

Sarah - Thanks a lot dear for your support and words of encouragement. Thanks for the link! I took a look and it really encouraged me that the 17 hrs of labour was not in vain! :)

Pris said...

Geli - Hey dear. Yeah, hubby being at home as helped me to recover much better and faster than if he had gone back to work immediately. For that, I'm really REALLY thankful!

Pris said...

Tiffany - Yeah it did feel like such a failure. But I've come to terms with that and just gotta trust that God had better plans. :)55cm...thank God he was all bundled up! I wouldn't have that amount of space!

Pris said...

Hey Cyn!

Thanks for your encouragement! I think its all the naps that I take during the day that helps a lot!!! :) Yup. Let's see if I continue to look "radiant" in the next few weeks when hubby goes back to work. Hah.


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