An Angel is born!

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 25, 2009
in ,

So, every labour story is unique and different. To every mum, the first labour experience is usually a very long lasting memory, remembering the pain, the agony, the joy, the elation, the relief and all the mixed emotions within.

So, here goes my story.

Date: 21 November 2009
Venue: Karlskrona, Sweden

1.30am Mild contractions were felt. But I continued watching hubby jw play the mahjong game on my laptop, thinking that it's probably just Braxton Hicks since I was still more than two weeks away from my due date.

4.45am Couldn't zzzz the whole night. I tossed and turned in bed, feeling the contractions time and again but was still wondering if they were the real thing or just false contractions. I had absolutely no idea! Tried various positions to sleep but in the end decided to wake up and google the difference between real contractions and Braxton Hicks. I found a table that compared the differences but they were of no use in helping me to decide. Finally, my hubby woke up a teeny bit and realised something was not right with me. At last, dear. I decided to take a hot bath and felt three contractions within a short 15min bath. Ate some bread and cheese after the bath and just paced up and down in the house.

6.30am Jw timed the contractions for me and realised they were on average 5-6mins apart, lasting for roughly 45sec-1min each. He said "You have all the symptoms, call the hospital k?" I felt excited but apprenhensive, thus kept delaying before I finally dialed the number. The nurse told me to hang around at home longer if I could take it. So I laid on the bed while still feeling the contractions.

7.45am Called hospital again. I guess the nurse was doubtful as she saw that my edd was 6 Dec in their record. So she asked if I had taken painkillers, taken a hot bath blah blah. In the end she said I could go to the hospital, but if I was still in the early stage they would ask me to return home again. Well well. We decided to make the trip down. By then, we had packed all the stuff and were ready to go! I could feel jw's excitement too as we drove our way to the hospital. By the way it was just a 10mins drive, Karlskrona is really small! No worries that I would give birth in the car!


8.20am We arrived at the hospital and the nurse was ready for us. I could still walk, especially in between contractions. The nurse brought us to a room, measured my blood pressure and it wasn't accurate because I had a contraction then and I realised it made my blood pressure shoot up! After that, the midwife came in and placed some monitors around my tummy to measure the baby's heartbeat as well as the contractions. I found it so interesting! At that time, I could still pose for the camera and I also helped my hubby to take some pictures because he was behaving wacky then, faking that he had contractions too. Guys. Lucky you all.


9.40am The 'tick' appeared on the screen and we called the midwife in as instructed. She examined my cervix and informed us that I had dilated 2cm. Hmmm. I would have thought it would be more since the contractions were already less than 5mins apart. 2cm sounded little, but well, at least she said we did not need to go home and could stay in the hospital to wait. Yay. We were brought to a private ward as we prepared for the long wait. I wasn't sure of what lay ahead for me, all I could do was take one step at a time.

10.15am Midwife decided it was time to burst my waterbag to see if it would speed up the contractions. It was quite an experience too and the string that she inserted to stick onto the baby's head really made me feel ticklish. Keke. Jw was a bit overwhelmed as he witnessed the whole thing and he took a video! I was wondering if he could tolerate seeing the birth experience later.

11.15am Dilation increased slightly to 3cm. Midwife decided to use oxytocin on me to help accelerate the contractions. Well well. I could still watch TV initially without much problem. However, the contractions got stronger steadily and soon, I had to squeeze a pillow or jw's fingers whenever it came.

12.00noon At around noon, we shifted to the delivery room. The pain was quite intense already at this point. The midwife encouraged me to go to toilet and I had to do so with jw's help, pushing the oxytocin stand with me and enduring a contraction as I was in the loo. The best display of a women's multi-tasking ability. I was glad when the midwife brought the gym ball, just like the one we had at home. I was also given the option of a standing support with two bars at the front for you to hold on to. The midwife asked, again, if I needed anything to help cope with the pain. I was unsure of how long the labour would be, and told myself to hold on longer before I took any pain reliever. Fyi the midwives (we call those who help us to deliver midwives, not gynaes) in Sweden are really encouraging and pro natural birth, so they don't really promote epidural and would prefer you to persevere.

1.00pm After around one hour, I was taught how to use the laughing gas. I was told by many peers that it would make me dizzy and even puke. But to admit, I didn't feel dizzy at all. I thought I would feel high and ecstatic, like after drinking alcohol, but neh, it wasn't what I expected, but it did help to make me feel better, perhaps psychologically. So I tried swaying on the gym ball side to side, and then tried standing up using the support. Every time a contraction came, I would grab jw's fingers hard and asked him to breathe with me. I could hear him chanting "In, Out, In, Out" and it did help to keep my breathing in check. When he didn't say the command words, I would shout and say "Dear, I'm not breathing! Help!". It was kind of comical, actually.

1.40pm We pushed the button for the midwife to attend to us because she said we should do so if I felt an urge to push. And gosh, at the last contraction I really did! Like there was something pushing down and wanting to come out. An unique first time feeling. I was thinking, well, it seemed like the baby was going to come out soon! BUTTTT, guess what, the midwife did a check and I was only dilated by 5cm. You can imagine the demoralization jw and I felt. Externally I acted brave, internally I was like "What??? only 5cm?? How long more will it take then??"


2.00pm The midwives changed shift and soon the new midwife and her assistant came in to check on us. I was much in pain then, and honestly at a point in time I wanted to give up. Even jw could tell the intensity of the contractions on the screen and he could see the pain on my face, and for once, he asked if I wanted epidural. HAHA. The hubby who was so against the idea of epidural, actually asked! I guess it made his heart ache to see me in so much agony, and he was also wondering how long more it would take to fully dilate and if I could endure it. I asked the first midwife if I could now take her suggestion of increasing the laughing gas to a higher dosage, but guess what, the new midwife said she thought I shouldn't do so and told me to take a bigger breath instead. Darn. She asked if I wanted the next step of pain relief, I asked her what and she said epidural. I was like, sigh, I wanna try again since I'm already halfway there! I need to push on!

3.00pm The next hour was one of the worst I ever had. The pain was so intense, and the contractions so strong and frequent. The one big motivation that kept me going was the thought of my mum. Whenever I felt the pain setting in, the picture that I took with her in my graduation gown would float across my mind. I wanted to do it for her, for jw, for myself. If mum could do it, so could I! The worst feeling I had was the urge to push in this hour but yet not allowed to because the cervix was not fully open. Think about it. It was like trying to stop your poo from coming out or trying to swallow your puke in. No joke. It was a daunting task.

I could feel baby's head already but yet I had to stop it from coming down! It was good that I had the gym ball, as I sat on it for the whole hour, and rocked left and right in between the contractions. Jw was beside me the whole time and I believed I must have hurt his fingers with all my squeezing. In return, I asked him to literally punch my lower back whenever the contractions came to distract me. I kept asking him to use more strength because his only felt like ants biting compared to the contractions. Don't get it wrong, we are anti-family violence.

Anyway during one contraction, I really felt like I pushed more than I was allowed to and it set me in panic, and as I breathed in the laughing gas, the connecting tube came out and I frantically still kept breathing into an empty mask, yup like an idiot, at the same time signalling jw to call for the midwife. She came in, did a check, and she was also surprised to announce that within a short time, I was fully dilated and could start to push!

3.47pm Everything happened so fast after that as the midwife and her assistant prepared the necessities. I was told to lie on the bed sideways to deliver and I held both of jw's hands tightly when I started to push. Finally! With every push, I felt abit of baby's head coming out and jw said he could see it! But every time I stopped pushing as the contaction died, the baby's head went in again. Arrghhhh. At around the 5th contraction, I gathered all my might and pushed hard and I even screamed because it made me feel better. I was told the baby's head was 3/4 out already and jw told me to give one final push and she will be out. So I did try but alas the contraction died and as I started to push, the midwife grabbed my hand and told me to stop if not I will hurt myself. Boohoo. Gotta wait for the next one then.

With the next push, I pushed with all the strength I never knew I had. As well as screamed with all the voice I never knew existed. Luckily, Angel came out, head and all. It truly felt like a big, wet, slippery and lumpy ball just came out. My baby was born!!!! Yippie yay!!!



Once she was born, she was passed to me and it was such a magical feeling as I held her for the first time. Despite we were both dirty and bloody, it still felt like the best feeling in the world. My baby girl was here with me! I had to ask jw if it was a boy or girl when she was out and the nurses were making sure she was ok. Somehow, it made me very happy when he said "A girl!" Hee. We spent the next half an hour singing to Angel as I completed the rest of the labour by pushing out the placenta and letting the midwife stitch me up. Honestly the antiseptic wasn't much help because I could feel every bit of it when she did the stitching. But well, I didn't really care except for letting out a few "Woooos" when it hurt, because I was too engrossed in my baby and amazed at how she just popped from my tummy after 9 months.



After this onerous, gruelling, excruciating but at the same time most rewarding experience of life, I can only say 妈妈们真伟大! To all mummies in the world, let us give ourselves a pat on the back!

Looking forward to starting my life as a family of three. My dearest Angel baby, I love you more than words can ever describe!

For Ariel's birth story, go here. For Asher's birth story, go here.


4 comments:

  1. Woah.. Another mummy that didn't use epidural. You gals are great.

    But I have a question regarding the gym ball. How does it help? Cause over here we just lie on the bed.

    I guess its every mother-to-be fear to have a false alarm when coming to labor. I also have that fear that I waited a whole night bearing the contraction when I was about to give birth to my second child. :P

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    1. Hihi, thanks! I can't remember how I survived it without epi actually. Haha. Oh the gym ball, I have one at home so I was used to the rocking and somehow, sitting down (but still moving around) made me less inclined to push before I was fully dilated. And it distracts me too! I wouldn't like to lie on the bed for the whole ordeal! Yes yes, false alarms, we just dunno which one is the real thing! =) Congrats for having two lovely children!

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  2. Wow kudos to you! I'm always very amazed at how mothers can give birth without epidural! Amazing. Wish I had your guts haha.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Madeline! I somehow made it through but mums who took it are still just as amazing! =) We all gave birth! Lol!

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