|The 3 Musketeers!|
This is my first post as a family of 5. Five! Oh gosh, I'm beginning to sound like a Mother hen.
We got discharged yesterday after a 3-day stay at the hospital - our shortest so far. With Sam, we stayed for 5 days because of the unplanned C-section and with Gabriel, we stayed for about the same period of time because of his jaundice.
What can I say? Liam's birth was the fastest and best birth I've had, out of 3 children.
Best birth does not equate to painless birth though. I'm still sitting on a ring pillow now and having the typical after-birth pains that most mothers would know about.
But Liam's birth was so good in comparison to my other 2 births that I can only overflow with thanksgiving.
So, with no further ado, here's my birth story.....
30.3.2016 (Wednesday) - At exactly 39 weeks pregnant
4.30 am.- I felt intermittent cramps that jolted me awake. They were very mild compared to the usual labour cramps so I just monitored to see if the cramps would get more intense / regular. I felt so exhausted that just the thought of going into labour at this unearthly hour made me wanna faint.
I asked the hub to get me a warm water bottle which I put on my belly. I was so thankful when the contractions faded away as I slowly drifted into sleep again. My sleep was fitful but still gave me the rest I needed for the big day ahead.
9.15am - Got out of bed with Gabriel. Went to the toilet when I just couldn't shake off the feeling that something was not quite right. I felt a lot of pressure down there and even walking felt weird and uncomfortable.
9.20am - Contractions restarted and very quickly increased in frequency from once in 10 minutes to once in every 5 minutes. This time I knew it was the real thing because the contractions radiated from the back to the front and they were very regular. It was exactly the same type of contractions I had with Gabriel.
Called my midwife to inform her about my contractions, to which she said that I should go to the hospital if my contractions came every 5 minutes. But I was not supposed to drive.
Was quite appalled that hub went to work that morning even though I distinctly told him last night to have a home office day, judging by the fact that I had some irregular contractions.
He on the other hand, either didn't hear what I said in his sleep or happened to dismiss those contractions as Braxton hicks, which I've been experiencing very often in this pregnancy.
Had breakfast with Gabriel while trying to figure out what to do. He was so cooperative and even brought his clothes / shoes / jacket to wear while we were getting ready to leave the house.
Called my father-in-law to come over but FIL couldn't make it because he had an X-ray appointment at a specialist due to a dislocated shoulder.
Ahh.... told myself to focus in between the contractions. Who could I call next?
9.50am - Decided to call Yvonne (Sam's Godmother) who would come with one kid and take care of Gabriel. But she would need 30 mins.
Tried calling hub 5 times but couldn't get through to him.
9.55am - Hub calls me back and said he would drive home immediately. He would still take 40mins.
Decided I needed a backup plan just in case I felt that I needed to go to the hospital earlier, so I called my cellgroup leader, Marcy would said she would drive over. She would take about 15 mins.
10.45am - Hub finally makes it home and we drive to the hospital. Called Marcy to tell her I wouldn't need her service anymore.
11am - Yvonne meets me at the hospital and we pass Gabriel to her.
|The wireless CTG that I was strapped up to. That's baby's heartbeat on top and the bottom one indicates my contractions|
|What a labour ward looks like. Spot the CD player? I used it to play some calming music.|
|Before the contractions got too painful|
11.15am - We enter the labour ward, when my midwife examines me and says I'm around 5-6cm already. I was so elated because that was also the starting point for my labour with Gabriel. I tell myself that I can do this! I'm more than halfway done.
My water bag had not burst yet but I thought I should labour naturally to give the water bag a chance to burst normally.
12.15pm - I progress from 5/6cm to 7cm.
Was quite disappointed that it was only 1cm progression in 1 hour (which is actually a normal dilation rate). By this time, the contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and were getting increasingly more intense.
Midwife and I agree to wait until 1pm to see how far I get.
12.45pm - I decide that enough is enough and I didn't want to wait for water bag to burst naturally anymore. Midwife manually bursts my waterbag and I felt temporary relief in the pressure down there.
Contractions come fast and furious and I keep asking for epidural. Midwife keeps telling me that my contractions / dilation have been so effective that I don't need epidural.
1pm - Contractions were so painful that I really regret not getting epidural. I was about 9cm by now.
Kept telling my midwife I need epidural, but she said that as soon as I feel a pushing sensation, an epidural is not going to help with the pushing phase anymore.
I did feel the pushing sensation but kept reasoning with her that with Gabriel, I did have an epidural a 9cm. She kept encouraging me that I can do it without epidural and baby will come after a couple of pushes.
I asked her if she could use a vacuum (cos we had that for Gabriel), but she said that it was too early to use a vacuum. Asked her if there's anything else I can use, that's is betweeen drugless and epidural and she said there's nothing else.
I start pushing and everything else was a blur really. I just remember thinking "Ok, the head is out, can she not pull out baby?"
But she was like, "No, Frau Tews, YOU need to push out the baby".
Me, "NO way!"
(Save you further details of the last stage of labour).
1.25pm - Liam Owen Tews was born with his whole head of black hair.
|Photo on the right was taken just an hour after his birth|
Liam Owen Tews
I was totally completely shocked and in disbelief that I managed to have a drugfree, painkiller-free, epidural-free birth!
Totally natural birth that was done in a matter of 4.5 hours of active labour (9am to 1.30pm)!
Liam was born 25 mins after my midwife burst my waterbag!
I had a little bruise down there but it didn't need any stitches. The pushing phase was also short and effective, so I didn't have the same problems I had with Gabriel's birth either.
I actually felt "OK" after Liam's birth! With Sam's birth, I felt like I was hit by a truck - twice, with Gabriel's birth, I fainted after giving birth and with Liam's birth, I was whatsapping with my group of girlfriends from Singapore throughout the birth process and could continue whatsapping with them after Liam was born!
I got wheeled into a double-room with an excellent, panoramic view of Stuttgart. I didn't have any roommate the entire 3 days I was there, so we had the peace and quiet to just be by ourselves - Liam and I.
I must say that this is the first birth that I felt so empowered as a woman. I have nothing against taking epidural and as a matter of fact, I was so certain I would have taken epidural if my midwife had not been so encouraging towards me about going for a natural birth.
I do feel that epidural is like a crutch psychologically. I was labouring so well when I kept thinking that I could use epidural if I couldn't take it anymore. But the second the option to have epidural was taken away from me, I could feel myself panicking on the inside - even though nothing had changed much about the contractions!
The bottom line is that I felt that with each subsequent pregnancy, I've been blessed with better labours and recovery period. I was honestly quite traumatized after Sam's birth that, the thought of going through labour with Gabriel again scared me the most. But once I had a VBAC with Gabriel, it was a healing process for me that not all births have to be that traumatic. And with Liam's birth, not only did I have my second VBAC, it was all-natural, short and very smooth!
And if you remember what I blogged about before, I was very worried about being induced if I went past my due date. So for the fact that Liam was born at 39 weeks, I was totally saved from having to go through the dilemma of should I wait or should I be induced.
Yeah, so that's my testimony of how God knew what was going on inside of me. He knew exactly what my worries / desires were and oh how He helped me through every single worry!
- No induction, cos baby was born at 39 weeks.
- No epidural, all-natural birth with 4.5hours of active labour
- No tears / episiotomy, just a bruise that didn't require stitches
- Short hospital stay of 3 days. Liam has some jaundice but PD said that its minor enough for him to be breastfed regularly and it should resolve itself with time.
- Having a "single" room with a panoramic view of Stuttgart for 3 full days. Didn't have to share room with anybody and could enjoy my baby in the privacy of my own room
|That's the view from my room. Gorgeous, isn't it? And doesn't the hub look so relaxed? Like the "This is the 3rd time I'm doing it, so I know what I'm doing" look!|
For those who are interested, here's the birth story of Sammy,
And here's the birth story of Gabriel.